Library from Virginia
Highland New Wind Development LLC remains optimistic about building Virginia's first major wind farm despite concerns from state agencies about its environmental effects.
RICHMOND — Five state agencies plus the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believes Highland New Wind Development’s application for a wind project is insufficient.
RICHMOND — A bill to give localities the option of how to tax wind utility equipment passed the House of Delegates Monday by a margin of 10 votes.
There seems to be no good way to properly site these turbines on unspoiled Appalachian mountains without causing irreparable damage. The State Corporation Commission has an opportunity to do the right thing by heeding the growing warnings about negative, cumulative effects its own experts are offering.
Even if federal ridge lines were forever protected, and that is a very dangerous assumption, there is sufficient privately-owned mountain terrain here with attractive enough wind scales for developers to significantly downgrade the scenic values that are the backbone of Bath’s economy and the promise of its future. The stakes for Bath could be every bit as high as they are now for Highland.
A House of Delegates committee restored local authority over the location of energy-related facilities when it amended a Senate bill creating a state energy plan yesterday.
Nineteen big windmills are proposed for Highland County ridges. A new state report says: • The windmills could kill large numbers of birds and bats. • They could drive away some tourists. • More study is needed, including collecting animal carcasses if the windmills go up.
MONTEREY — A study conducted at Highland New Wind Development’s site on Allegheny Mountain last fall found a higher rate of nocturnal migration on Red Oak Knob and Tamarack than at sites where other such studies have been conducted.
MONTEREY — Highland County planners now have 60 days to take another look at Highland New Wind Development LLC’s application for an industrial wind facility here.
It would be foolish to enact any legislation promoting wind power prior to the completion of objective studies of where turbines could be located and what the actual benefits and environmental tradeoffs might be.
MONTEREY— Highland New Wind Development’s attorneys have formally requested the company’s application process to step along in time for construction of its wind turbines to begin this year.
The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee yesterday approved 13-1 a bill to establish a comprehensive energy policy for Virginia.
Let’s hope our elected officials in Richmond and Washington don’t fall for the same untested arguments our supervisors did. Sen. Allen’s response to Mr. Flora’s thoughts is reassuring in this regard. Legislators willing to examine the issue fully are finally starting to smell something rotten about how this [wind] industry operates.
In a recent fiasco the Highland County Board of Supervisors issued a permit for a wind energy project supported by only 20 percent of 97 speakers at the public hearing. Prior to the hearing more than 1,000 residents and landowners of this county with a population of only 2,500, signed a petition opposed. Editor’s note: The following letter was written to Del. Chris Saxman and shared with The Recorder.
“Like so many others, he [Sen. Allen, VA] has had to reassess his position, but he does remain open to the possibility that the wind industry will eventually find a way to increase its capacity. But at this point, he just doesn’t believe it’s terribly efficient and there are more affordable and reliable energy sources for our economy.”
MONTEREY — Highland County residents opposed to the wind utility proposed by Highland New Wind Development LLC have often cited the proliferation of more such industrial projects as a large concern in granting the first one. And it appears they have reason to believe a second project is planned.
The bill would basically tell people, especially those who in the past objected to the siting of natural gas transmission lines and windmills, to go fly a kite.
The Senate passed a bill Friday that would set taxation rates on 18 to 20 proposed wind turbines in Highland County.
A bill that would create a state energy policy has been amended to give the state more power to trump local zoning laws.
RICHMOND — It will come as little surprise to Highland residents that pressure at the state level to develop wind energy projects continues to mount. And now, the county’s own legislative representatives are jumping in to the debate with separate bills introduced in the General Assembly session. The legislative proposals are entirely different, but if passed, they would each have a significant effect on the current plan for a 39-megawatt facility here, and any future commercial wind projects that are likely to surface.