Articles from Virginia
Oil giant BP broke the rules in Botetourt County. A company official admits they built a 198 foot tower last year without permission.
"We are in a critical spot right now," said Elizabeth Salerno, director of industry data and analysis for the association. "It's sort of a do-or-die moment for the industry." She said a struggling economy is one reason why investors have grown more reluctant to put money in projects like the Highland County wind farm, which has an estimated $80 million price tag. An unrelated preliminary proposal by a separate company calls for 18 windmills atop Poor Mountain in Roanoke County.
All is quiet at the site on Allegheny Mountain. Heavy equipment and construction trailers are no longer parked at HNWD owner Mac McBride's property on Red Oak Knob and Tamarack. Highland residents have been wondering for months what's going on, and this week, supervisor Robin Sullenberger called the company's attorney, John Flora, to find out.
This is to dispute recent propagandized information provided to area citizens from a green money-motivated industry posing as a green energy hero. A Chicago-based corporation, Invenergy, proposes to lay claim to our area mountain winds, beginning with 18 industrial-sized wind turbines on Roanoke County's Poor Mountain.
The bulk of the Cool Cities Coalition talking points are based on "coal mining: bad; wind turbines: good." This rhetorical trick is the fallacy of false choice, as in "it's better to drink bleach than gasoline," while neglecting alternatives, such as drinking water, whisky or nothing at all. The coalition can't prove "wind turbines: good."
Matthew Broughton, an aviation lawyer and president of the IFR Pilots Club in Roanoke, said the wind turbines would create a hazard to navigation, particularly when the condition are IFR. Aircraft on IFR approaches to Roanoke usually use runway 6, and Broughton and other pilots say the approach path would take them too close to wind turbines.
The airport has two key concerns -- whether the turbines would create safety hazards and whether their presence might eliminate future opportunities to lower the airport's minimum altitude setting as global positioning systems become more sophisticated. Shuck said four of the turbine sites proposed by Invenergy are of special concern.
The concern is that the turbines would be too close to the landing approach for Roanoke's longest runway. ..."It is a very big safety issue. We are vehemently opposed to it. we don't see any way around it. In our judgment, the turbines have to go somewhere else. They cannot go there."
In a news release Monday morning, Matthew Broughton --president of the IFR Pilot's Club -- said the proposed windmills "present a potentially deadly hazard for pilots and passengers trying to land in the Roanoke Valley." The Poor Mountain approach corridor leads to runway 6 – the longest runway at Roanoke Regional Airport, the one he said is favored by air traffic controllers and pilots during poor weather.
Nearly everyone agrees that some form of offshore energy will help bring much needed jobs to Virginia. ...There is particular interest in energy off the coast of Virginia but environmentalists, and the U.S. Navy, have some concerns. The Navy is worried wind towers and oil rigs could interfere with radar facilities as well as training exercises.
Federal aviation and defense officials said a primary concern is that tall wind turbines can adversely affect radar systems, not only by physically blocking them but by generating interference. The blades of a turbine spinning at 200 mph on a 400-foot-high stand will generate enough "clutter" to mimic a Boeing 747 jetliner, said Nancy Kalinowski of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Even while British Petroleum (BP) is up to its corporate neck in the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company's wind energy wing continues to explore the prospects of building wind farms in Wise and Tazewell counties along with its partner, Virginia Dominion Power.
Even while British Petroleum (BP) is up to its corporate neck in the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company’s wind energy wing continues to explore the prospects of building wind farms in Wise and Tazewell counties along with its partner, Virginia Dominion Power.
MGC attorney William S. Eubanks notified HNWD by letter that the company's wind energy project will "almost certainly result in unauthorized takes of Indiana bats and Virginia big-eared bats," in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The letter demands that HNWD obtain an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) or face either a USFWS enforcement action or a citizen suit by the above-named groups.
Appalachian, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, had requested commission approval for contracts to purchase electricity generated by two separate wind farms -- Beech Ridge in West Virginia and Grand Ridge in Illinois. Appalachian relies primarily on coal-fired power plants to generate the electricity it sells.
It would behoove us as citizens to do as much research as possible to understand the full ramifications of the impact before these [wind farm] are installed. Once they go in, they are here to stay. A once thriving community will be dismantled -- forever.
Getting approval of a wind-energy policy by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday evening was a breeze. The panel voted 5-0 in favor of a zoning amendment that would require fewer hurdles than recommended by the Planning Commission earlier this month. Supervisors Chairman David Ferguson was absent.
Birders tend to be sympathetic to whatever protects the ecosystem. For that reason, "clean" energy schemes that provide power without pollution should be an easy win with the birding community. Ridgetop wind turbines, however, have many birders worried. ..."When birds are migrating, most are a lot higher off the ground," Dawson continued. "But they clear the ridges at a lot lower altitude than they would when flying over flat ground.
Maybe, just maybe, after all this time, Highland supervisors are getting the message. ...That is: Citizens opposed to Highland New Wind Development's wind power facility are not against the idea of generating electricity with renewable, "green" energy. They're opposed to the location of the 400-foot towers this company chose in our county, and the lack of adequate planning in this case to avoid negative environmental impacts.
Wind turbines could co-exist with military activities off Virginia's coast depending on their locations, a Defense Department assessment has concluded. Proponents of commercial wind power 12 miles or beyond Virginia's coast believe the giant turbines could ultimately provide 10 percent of the state's annual electricity demand.