Documents from West Virginia

US v AES Laurel Mountain Wind LLC

Aes-wind-plea-agreement_thumb The AES Laurel Mountain wind energy facility consists of 61 GE 1.6 MW turbines (97.6 MW) and a 32 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). On October 2 and 3, 2011, fog and a low cloud ceiling resulted in migrating songbirds becoming trapped in the light of the battery complex. A total of 483 birds were destroyed as a result of colliding with the battery system and wires. AES Laurel Mountain LLC was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Aloi to pay $30,000 in fines after pleading guilty to two federal charges related to the deaths, a crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). A portion of the filing is provided below. The full record can be accessed by downloading the documents attached to this page. 
24 Feb 2016

Bird mortality event at Laural Mountain wind farm substation: incident report

Laurelmtnreporttousfwscomp10_25_11_thumb AES' Laurel Mountain wind energy facility in West Virginia experienced significant bird mortality over the weekend of October 1, 2011. Nearly 500 birds were reportedly killed after lights were left on at the electrical substation associated with the wind project. The deaths occurred due to collisions with the substation and apparent exhaustion as birds caught in the light's glare circled in mass confusion. The incident report of what happened can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
25 Oct 2011

Animal Welfare Institute, et.al. v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC: District Court opinion and order

Opinion_thumb Federal district court Judge Roger Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued a comprehensive ruling that an industrial wind energy facility in Greenbrier County, West Virginia will kill and injure endangered Indiana bats, in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The court concluded that “the development of wind energy can and should be encouraged, but wind turbines must be good neighbors.” This is the first federal court ruling in the country finding a wind power project in violation of federal environmental law. Judge Titus' opinion and order on this matter can be downloaded by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.
8 Dec 2009

USFWS comments on Pinnacle Wind Power Project

Usfws_pinnacle_93009_letter_uswf_thumb US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wet Virginia field office, issued these comments regarding the Pinnacle wind power project proposed for ridgelines in Mineral County, WV. The comments pertain to the Habitat Characterization and Assessment of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species for the Pinnacle Wind Farm (BHE Environmental 2009a); the Avian Risk Assessment for the Pinnacle Wind Power Project (Kerlinger 2009); and the Bat Risk Assessment: Pinnacle Wind Farm (BHE Environmental 2009b). Excerpts of the letter are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
6 Nov 2009

Plaintiffs' reply and pretrial brief opposing Beech Ridge Energy LLC

37_-_plaintiffs'_reply_and_pretrial_brief_thumb The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy, and others submitted this pretrial brief and supporting reply briefs in their law suit opposing the Beech Ridge wind energy facility to be located in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. These briefs show that the developer, Beech Ridge Energy LLC, discovered the presence of the federally endangered Indiana Bat at the project site but withheld this information from federal and state authorities. With this information hidden from public inspection, the project was granted a siting certificate from the West Virginia Public Service Commission to construct up to 124 wind turbines, each 390 feet tall, along a twenty-three mile stretch of land on forested Allegheny Mountain ridgelines. Construction commence in early 2009 but a subsequent injunction request was filed by the plaintiffs and granted pending the outcome of this law suit. The pre-trial brief and reply briefs by renown bat experts Drs. Lynn Robbins, Michael Gannon and Thomas Kunz can be accessed by clicking on the links below. The introduction to the reply brief is also posted below. The trial is scheduled from October 21 before the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
25 Sep 2009

Animal Welfare Institute et.al. motion for preliminary injunction against the Beech Ridge wind energy facility

Motion_for_preliminary_injunction_and_supporting_memorandum_thumb The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David G. Cowan have filed a law suit against Beech Ridge Energy LLC and Invenergy Wind LLC under the federal Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). This filing seeks preliminary injunction to halt further construction, turbine erection, and operation of the Beech Ridge industrial wind power project. The plaintiffs argue that the project, if constructed, will result in the "likely killing, injury, and other forms of "take" of endangered Indiana bats in violation of the ESA." The wind project is proposed to be located on ridgelines in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
10 Jul 2009

WV-PSC decision: AES Laurel Mountain, LLC wind energy proposal

Psc_final_order_-1-_thumb At a session of the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WEST VIRGINIA in the City of Charleston on the 26th day of November, 2008. CASE NO. 08-0109-E-CS AES Laurel Mountain, LLC, a limited liability company, Arlington, Virginia. Application for a siting certificate to authorize the construction and operation of a wholesale electric generating facility in Barbour and Randolph Counties, West Virginia. The full order can be downloaded by clicking on the web link at the bottom of this page.
26 Nov 2008

Decommissioning costs and scrap value: Beech Ridge wind energy facility

Beechridgeenergydecommissioning_thumb Tom Hewson of Energy Ventures Analysis, Inc. ("EVA") was hired by the citizen's group, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy, to evaluate a Decommissioning Cost Report prepared for the Beech Ridge Energy Project - a 124-turbine project proposed for Greenbrier County, West Virginia. His summary below provides insight into what communities and permitting agencies should be looking for when evaluating decommissioning plans. Mr. Hewson's memo on decommissioning of the Beech Ridge wind facility, which was included in the public record before the West Virginia Public Service Commission on the project, can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
7 Oct 2008

Forest clearing at the NedPower wind facility, WV

Beforeafterforest_destruction_at_nedpower_windwv_thumb This document provides before and after aerial photos of the very southern end of the NedPower wind facility, the most recently constructed wind energy facility in the mid-Atlantic region. The project is comprised of 132 2-MW Gamesa wind turbines, each nearly 400 feet tall. Extensive clearing of forest was done to install the turbines and other project infrastructure. The average width of the area bulldozed for road corridor varies from about 75 to 100 feet.
1 Oct 2008

Ecological impacts of wind energy development on bats: questions, research needs, and hypotheses

Kunz.bats___wind.hr.07_thumb This important peer-reviewed paper written by bat expert Dr. Thomas H. Kunz et al identifies the significant risk wind turbines pose for migratory and local bat populations in the mid-Atlantic Highlands region of the United States. The projected number of annual fatalities of bats at wind energy facilities in the Highlands in the year 2020 can reach up to 111,000 bats.
6 Aug 2007

WV PSC Order to deny Liberty Gap wind project

Ord20070622154826_thumb By the reasons set forth in this order of Jun 22, 2007, the West Virginia Pubic Service Commission refused to issue a siting certificate to Liberty Gap Wind Force, LLC (Liberty Gap) to construct a wind turbine electric generating facility (Project) in Pendleton County, West Virginia. The applicant, US Wind Force, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, had proposed constructing up to 50 wind turbines. The total output of the project would be up to 125 megawatts.
22 Jun 2007

WV Supreme Court decision on Nedpower

Supreme_court_decision_on_nedpower_thumb This WV Supreme Court decision decided in June 2007 provides a concise argument pertaining to nuisance issues (noise, flicker, strobing) and hazards as they relate to wind energy facilities built near residences. The background of the case and the court's conclusion are listed below. The full decision, including the discussion of nuisance issues and hazards, can be downloaded by clicking on the link. The court references substantial case law to support its decision.
8 Jun 2007

Representative Mollohan's Letter to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia

Mollohanjul26_thumb WV's Congressman Mollohan submitted a letter on July 26, 2006 to the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) concerning the Beech Ridge wind energy project proposed for Greenbrier County, WV by Chicago-based Invenergy, Inc. This wind energy developer successfully pushed through a windplant in Wisconsin nearby the Horicon Marsh - a globally-significant wildlife area and National Wildlife Refuge - despite the widespread outcry by national and local wildlife groups who opposed such close siting. Mollohan's letter points out that Invenergy disregarded recommendations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for multi-year pre-construction studies regarding the project's potential impacts on migratory birds and bats. He also observed that although WV's one operating wind project in Tucker County has been the site of record-setting bat mortality due to collision with turbine blades, the project operator (FPL Energy) has cut off access to the site for scientific study or investigation, even by the National Research Council/National Academies committee charged by the U.S. Congress to study the environmental impacts of wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands (see footnote #2 in his letter).
26 Jul 2006

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=West+Virginia&type=Document
back to top