Articles filed under General from Virginia
Dominion hasn't given up on its plans to build a wind farm in Tazewell County, spokesman James Beazley said Monday during the Southwest Virginia Technology Council's third annual energy technology summit. ...The project received what appeared to be a fatal blow Feb. 2, when the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of a tall structure ordinance.
As word spread through Tazewell County Friday that Dominion is still attempting to build a wind turbine farm on East River Mountain, the reaction from local residents and county officials ranged from disappointment to support for the project. "They came in and divided our community," Dr. Teresa Paine, a member of the Mountain Preservation Association in Bluefield, Va., said. "I think some of the wounds were just beginning to heal, and now they are going to come back in and open those back up again."
Plans for a wind turbine farm on East River Mountain will not be abandoned, officials with Dominion said Thursday. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, David A. Christian, the chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, said the company remains convinced the wind turbine project will create jobs, income and economic opportunities for Tazewell County.
On Jan. 27, county staff gave the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors a draft of a new zoning ordinance, which, if approved, would give a special use permit to two wind companies. The companies, Solaya Inc. out of Massachusetts and Dominion Utility out of Richmond, want to put large wind turbines on a private mountaintop near Criders. There are a number of problems with wind farms.
We're open to Chicago-based Invenergy's latest proposal to come into the Roanoke Valley with a plan to put 15 windmills on top of Poor Mountain. Yes, along a ridgeline in prominent view as traffic along Interstate 81 comes and goes through the Roanoke Valley. ...That doesn't mean we're ready to endorse Invenergy's project, though.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission on Feb. 26 denied the Virginia Department of Historic Resources' complaint against Highland New Wind's 38-MW Highland project in Highland County, Va. SCC Senior Hearing Examiner Alexander Skirpan Jr. recommended Jan. 25 that the commission dismiss DHR's complaint, which said Highland New Wind failed to comply with a number of conditions stated in the SCC's Dec. 20, 2007, final order approving the project. The department said the sunset provision in the SCC's final order requiring Highland New Wind to begin construction by Dec. 20, 2009, had expired. Although the project has begun grading and moving earth on the site, the DHR said the project was in violation because nothing has been constructed. Construction is expected to begin this spring.
The winds of change met voices of opposition Wednesday night, when Don Giecek, Invenergy's business development manager, pitched a plan for a wind farm to a crowd of 60 Bent Mountain-area residents at the local fire and rescue station. Invenergy wants to build 15 turbines on Poor Mountain and sell their power to Appalachian Power Co.
A Chicago-based clean energy company envisions a wind farm of 15 turbines atop a portion of Poor Mountain in Roanoke County. Invenergy's power-generating windmills would be 443 feet from base to the highest tip of a blade and occupy ridge lines along what has been described as one of Virginia's windiest land-based wind power generation sites.
Invenergy's power-generating windmills would be 443 feet from base to the highest tip of a blade and occupy ridge lines along what has been described as one of Virginia's windiest land-based wind power generation sites. Don Giecek, a business development manager for Invenergy, noted that Poor Mountain already hosts telecommunications equipment, other infrastructure and an access road with which the project could intersect. And Appalachian Power Co. has an existing transmission line nearby, offering a potential carrier for the power generated, he said.
Two green-energy companies have asked the federal government to approve permits for wind farms off the coast of Virginia Beach, the first applications to develop offshore wind power in Virginia. While the news was exciting to state and local officials, environmentalists and entrepreneurs, the early effort offers little indication of what, if anything, may actually be built in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
Federal regulators have received leasing proposals from two Virginia companies seeking to develop offshore wind farms capable of supplying clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. Apex Wind Energy Inc. is proposing to lease 116,000 acres for an undetermined number of wind turbines with the potential to generate up to 1,500 megawatts of power.
The Allegheny Front Alliance has appealed the West Virginia Public Service Commission's approval of the Pinnacle Wind Farm, delaying construction of the 23-turbine project atop Green Mountain. The Alliance, which represents opponents to the Pinnacle project, filed its "petition for reconsideration" late last month, submitting a 13-page appeal that raises a number of issues with the approval.
Brian Cochran, Bluefield city solicitor, in the process of drafting a tall structure ordinance so the city has something in place if a developer specifically wants to acquire property and erect a wind turbine project like the proposed Dominion and BP project in Tazewell County, but Cochran said there's no hurry to get one in place. "The city of Bluefield already has some restrictive zoning in place," Cochran said. "I don't see where our code would allow a development like the one that has been proposed in Tazewell County."
Tazewell County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that prevents wind farm construction on specified locations. Wind industry supporters say it's an example of how the "anti-wind agenda" is gaining steam. It's one of the latest ordinances in the country adopted by local government that prevents wind farm construction as the federal government is pushing for cleaner greener technologies.
The approval of the so-called ridgeline protection ordinance for Tazewell County may not be the end of the wind turbine debate. Although officials with Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America say they are now mulling over their options for the East River Mountain project, company spokesman Ryan Frazier pointed out following Tuesday's vote that the newly adopted ordinance does allow for an appeal of variances.
According to an advance copy the Tuesday's printed agenda for the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, the board will discuss at 7:55 p.m. and consider the approval of an ordinance to regulate the construction of tall structures on certain ridgelines. If approved by the board, the ordinance would effectively prohibit Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America from constructing large-scale wind turbines along the ridgeline of East River Mountain.
Laurel Fork, the protected stream in western Highland, might be seriously affected by the industrial wind facility planned on Allegheny Mountain, county citizens contend. They have asked the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to take another look at the potential impacts, and include public participation in a more thorough review.
Highland New Wind Development has said for months it does not have to do anything about its proposed 400-foot towers' visual impacts on a nearby Civil War battlefield. This week, the State Corporation Commission hearing examiner agreed. Virginia's Department of Historic Resources had complained the company was not meeting a condition of its permit for the industrial wind energy utility planned in Highland County.
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.
At a work session Monday, supervisors authorized the Bedford County Planning Commission to begin drafting a set of rules on small wind energy systems for the county. ...anything above 80 feet would be unfeasible for small wind turbine owners. "I guarantee you'll never see a commercial wind farm in Bedford County," Henderson said. "You'll have interest but you're not going to be inundated with requests."