Articles filed under General from Virginia
Large and utility-scale wind turbines will have to be at least a half-mile from the nearest occupied homes under proposed revisions to the Roanoke County zoning ordinance advanced Tuesday. The county planning commission tweaked a set of changes to the zoning code that it has been working on for more than a year and a half.
A project that will place a 55-foot wind turbine next to Central High School may need to find another location before it receives the approval of the Shenandoah County School Board.
"As Adams wrote, '. just because (an industry) bills itself as green and renewable does not mean it has no effect, or footprint, on the environment. It does. Land is disturbed. Trees are cut. Watersheds are changed. And wildlife and habitat areas can suffer serious consequences.
State regulators have approved scientific surveys for a test project that aims to build one of the first offshore wind turbines in the United States, in waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
North Carolina's first large-scale wind farm, with more than 100 towers taller than a grain elevator, is working its way through a long permitting process with little opposition.
The prospect of windmills standing 440 feet above Poor Mountain, visible from distant mountain outlooks and the Roanoke Valley below, should make one thing clear to advocates and foes alike: A wind farm would have a big impact.
Even if the FAA were to approve the project today, Chicago-based developer Invenergy would face more delays as it approaches a second regulatory hurdle -- approval by the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.
Virginians know that "Virginia is for Lovers." We also know the adage that love is blind. Such blindness is exemplified by Gov. Bob McDonnell's and Sen. Frank Wagner's love affair with renewable energy.
Concerns about low-frequency noise, negative impact on the mountainous viewshed and other issues have led the Roanoke County Planning Commission to delay the implementation of rules for large- and utility-scale wind turbines in the county.
Industrial-scale wind farms have altered the rural landscape in places where the natural environment and quiet living are high priorities. Some local residents and conservationists say wind turbines are an assault on both.
The latest regulations, as proposed, would require that every "large" and "utility" project receive specific approval from the supervisors through a special-use permit. A "large" system would consist of one or more towers producing less than 1 megawatt of electricity each. A "utility" system would have more than one tower, each capable of 1 megawatt or more.
The proposal by Invenergy Wind Development calls for 18 turbines. The turbines would each be 443 feet tall. The concern is possible signal interference with existing emergency communication, radio and television towers.
"I would sincerely hope that whoever runs for the Board of Supervisors - if it's not me - that they would listen to the people and abide by the organization and regulations already set forth," Anderson said. Anderson said it will be up to the voters to carefully question candidates about where they stand on wind turbines on East River Mountain.
The Virginia Association of Counties is urging localities across the Commonwealth to oppose a renewable energy bill as it is currently proposed by a Virginia Beach lawmaker. The legislation sought by Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, would weaken local government land use authority, and could override local ordinances.
Legislation introduced by a Virginia Beach lawmaker could potentially trump Tazewell County's new ridgeline protection ordinance ...Senate Bill 862 introduced by Sen. Frank Wagner addresses the role of local governments as it relates to the goal of the Commonwealth to promote the generation of energy from renewable sources, including wind energy.
KEYSER - According to the independent firm hired to conduct the decommissioning study for the Pinnacle Wind Farm, the net scrap value of the 23 wind turbines to be constructed on Green Mountain should exceed the cost of dismantling the entire wind farm, thus making the provision for an escrow bond unnecessary.
The debate over a proposed wind farm in Tazewell County is far from over. It remains a hot button issue for local lawmakers who could see this issue play out in Richmond. While Dominion Power continues to push for creation of a wind farm on East River Mountain, three local state reps weigh in on the issue.
Joe Coburn, president of the Mercer County Commission, said the board has not had any real discussions about whether or not to create a ridgeline ordinance for Mercer County. Coburn added he wasn't aware of any entity interested in building a wind turbine farm in Mercer County. ...Why repeat the same mistake made by Tazewell County.
"Dominion has invested a significant amount of money in property in Tazewell County and based on the current pro business political climate in Richmond and Washington regarding wind energy I knew it was just a matter of time before the project was moved back to the front burner," Hymes said.
"I am certainly saddened by the fact that I see this in the newspaper and that they are coming back and operating as they are," Dr. Teresa Paine, a member of the Mountain Preservation Association, said of Dominion's announcement that it will be the sole developer of the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm. "I think they are going to take advantage of this county for their own benefit."