Library filed under Impact on Landscape
Gray areas show active and reclaimed coal stripmines.
Eight years ago, when my wife and I bought a 28-acre farm on the serene and beautiful Tucannon River near Dayton, we had no idea we were in the crosshairs of wind tower developers. Later, despite being told we would not see the towers, we now look out our dining room window at 43 wind turbines. About 14 miles northeast of Dayton, where Highway 12 crosses the Tucannon River, you start to see the desecration that the wind projects have wrought.
As Tyrone Borough and Spanish-based wind energy generator Gamesa work out the fine print on a lease agreement for watershed acreage, those outside the process question the merits of placing turbines on Ice Mountain. ...Resident Jeff Morrisey said he has done as much as he could to educate himself about the issue of wind turbines since he became aware of Gamesa's intentions. ‘‘The more I found out, the less I liked them,'' he said of the 380-foot-tall windmills. ‘‘I don't want them anywhere. I really don't see where they're making a difference.'' The difference Morrisey brings up is the debate over whether wind is a ‘‘green'' enough alternative to electricity generation methods, particularly coal-powered generation.
Within the next few years, dozens of wind turbines could be erected in Randolph County ... Indianapolis attorney Christopher (Kit) Earle, of Bose McKinney & Evans, advised farmers attending the meeting that land lease payments were just one issue they should address in a contract with energy companies. Other issues include access roads to the wind turbine for construction, operation and maintenance; soil compaction; escalation of lease payments to take inflation into account during the 20- to 40-year life span of the wind farm; underground electrical cables and their impact on cultivation and drainage tiles; fixed payments versus royalties or percentage of revenues from a wind farm; negotiating as a group because of safety-in-numbers advantages; and decommissioning turbines when they are no longer useful.
DEVELOPERS may press on with plans for a controversial 12-turbine windfarm in North Wales even though a council rejected it this week, it emerged yesterday. Conwy councillors threw out the proposed Mwdwl Eithin scheme in Cerrigydrudion against the advice of officers, who recommended it for approval. ...Clwyd West AM Darren Millar welcomed Conwy councillors' refusal of the scheme which is in his constituency. Mr Millar, the Assembly shadow minister for the environment and planning, said: "This is great news for the countryside. The decision not to grant the application went against the recommendation of local authority planning officers, but represented the views of the majority of local residents.
After years of debate over the controversial wind farm and approval granted two years ago, construction has begun. It dominates the Louth Marsh landscape and the view from the Wolds. All 20 turbines are expected to be in place and operating early in the New Year. ...There were 137 letters of protest to the proposal and ELDC's Planning Committee initially refused the application. The controversial site was deemed hazardous to aircraft radar and military jets using RAF Donna Nook bombing range. Councillors also agreed that the visual impact on the Louth Marsh detracted from the spire of St James' Church, Louth.
Alternative power is all the rage but even a magic bullet can draw blood. Dave Bidini visits Ontario's bucolic Wolfe Island, where an Alberta firm wants to build a $410-million wind farm, bigger than any now operating in Canada. Many residents are bitter - their home is a major stopover for species that migrate in the dark, 'when you can't see the birds getting chopped out of the sky'
MAGICAL, mystical and iconic views could be affected if a proposed wind farm in Northumberland is allowed to go ahead, a public inquiry heard yesterday. On day four of the public inquiry into an application to build 18 wind turbines at South Charlton near Alnwick, anti-wind-farm campaigners again clashed with experts speaking on behalf of nPower. ...Mr Stevenson said: "These turbines will introduce an element of dynamism into the environment. There is some evidence from other turbine sites that they become popular and may even become tourist attractions themselves."
On June 29, 2006, I sent a two-page letter to Mr. Vought in regards to his and Gamesa's offer. This is a "quote" from that letter. "You stated (Tim Vought) that the first phase of wind-power development would consist of 30 wind-powered turbines, the first year (2007). Also, 30 more to follow in the second phase, which would be approximately two years, with other phases being considered." You stated this would be a definite because of the vast land holdings of Berwind Corporation (7,935 + acres) which were leased to Gamesa. Berwind-Gamesa lease of Nov. 22, 2005, in effect Gamesa leases the Windber Area Authority Watershed! Mr. Vought, John Kott was definitely 100 percent right in his statement! ...In closing, your letter to the editor, "Some simple facts" turns out to be another Gamesa "smoke-screen" containing nothing more than spin, half-truths, and in some cases such as the Windber Area Authorities cutting of timber - totally false and untrue statements!
After generating huge interest across Berwickshire and beyond, a controversial planning application has been rejected by Scottish Borders Council after it was decided that it contravened key council policies. Meeting on Monday, the Council's Development and Building Control Committee, decided to follow the recommendation of planning officials and unanimously put a halt to the plans to have a windfarm on Coldingham Moor. Since it was originally lodged last year, the application has sparked a vast difference in opinion, gathering responses on a local, national and even international level.
The government's conservation watchdog has been accused of putting wildlife and wild places at risk by preparing to relax its defences against development. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is under fire from environmental groups and insiders for allowing plans for a coal mine and wind farms to go ahead, despite the damage they could do to rare birds and peat bogs. Critics warn that a review of corporate strategy being led by SNH chairman Andrew Thin could result in more damaging developments being given the go-ahead. Fears have been fuelled by a recent interview in which Thin said he was neither a conservationist nor an environmentalist.
State regulators unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday to build New England's largest wind farm on a remote ridgeline in northern Washington County. ...Stetson Mountain is located in a sparsely populated area of Washington County's northernmost border with Penobscot County and Canada. It's a scenic area with rolling, heavily forested hills that help support the local timber industry. Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other forms of outdoor recreation are also an important part of both local culture and the regional economy. So UPC's proposal to build 38 wind turbines, each standing nearly 400 feet tall, has not gone over well with everyone. ...Opponents also raised concerns about noise from the turbines, which has been a problem for some homeowners near the Mars Hill farm.
A project is in the works that will dramatically change the face of Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks. A mining company that's been around since the 19th century, wants 21st century technology to make it a power producer. These days trees are tallest along the Adirondack landscape, but two years from now wind turbines could be towering over them on Gore. ...Barton has to get the approval of the state's Adirondack Park Agency, which won't be easy. It has a history of opposing tall structures, like cell phone towers. ... Another obstacle will be the Adirondack Council, a private non-profit environmental organization. While the towers aren't near any homes, the council does not like the idea of ten, 280 foot tall wind generators towering over the landscape.
THE COMPANY behind plans to build a massive windfarm in Shetland intends to wait until next summer before submitting a planning application to allow a second study of the islands' peatlands. Viking Energy had initially hoped to have already submitted its planning documents, but the huge number of responses to a public consultation scuppered the company's timetable. ...During the initial consultation in spring this year, many local residents were concerned about the amount of peat which would have to be cleared to erect up to 192 turbines, each measuring up to 145 metres in height. There were also worries that disturbing the sensitive peat habitat could pollute burns and inshore waters.
"It just seems like this is a perfect place for a wind farm, in big, open spaces," Town of Chilton resident Sandy Popp said. "In this project, there aren't many nonparticipating land owners, and I think that makes a huge difference. In our county, there will be hundreds of people who will not be participating who will be relatively close."
While not opposed to the expansion of a windfarm atop Higgins Mountain, Wentworth area residents are hoping project proponents, 3G Energy Corp., will adjust its plans to address community concerns. The Wentworth Community Development Council held a meeting at the fire hall earlier this week to discuss the plan to add 66 turbines to the three already on Higgins Mountain and to hear from part-time resident Peter Bigelow, who gave a presentation on the pros and cons of living near windfarms. ..."The province should be taking the lead on this, not leaving it up to municipalities," she said. "There have to be rules for everyone in the province to follow. This is bigger than setting land-use bylaws." - Amherst Daily News
Congressman Alan Mollohan sent an 11-page letter to the state Division of Energy officials last week, criticizing a new state plan for developing industrial wind power sites, primarily in the state's northeastern counties. State plans "entirely disregard the serious environmental concerns" raised by a number of critical studies prepared by the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said Mollohan, D-W.Va. Citing state marketing efforts touting the state's scenic vistas and calm pace, he asked, "How do rows of 400-foot-high industrial and wind turbines, spread out over thousands of acres of ridgelines, fit into that picture?" ...James Webb, a University of Virginia research scientist, recently found that the Mountaineer Project in Tucker County operated at only 9 percent of its capacity during the month of August. Webb calculated it would typically take nearly 3,000 huge wind turbines to match the power output of one conventional electric power plant.
The wide open spaces and natural terrain and wildlife of Southeastern Washington are fading, and some residents would like the encroaching effects of urbanization toned down, such as a proposed project that would place 35 to 50 turbines on Rattlesnake Mountain. More than 30 people showed up Saturday at the Richland Community Center for a meeting to oppose a proposed windmill farm at the base of the mountain. ...Rick Leaumont, chairman of the Audubon Society's conservation committee, agreed that urgency in protesting the project is necessary because about 238 bird species have been documented in the area, and would be effected by the windmills. "Wildlife needs some kind of solitude, a place that is theirs," Leaumont said. "Any location on the mountain would be a problem."
The biggest challenge to the proposed 1.5-megawatt wind turbine in Falmouth Technology Park may not come from the 14 local, state, and federal agencies that Notus Clean Energy LLC needs approval from. Instead it may come from nearby residents who are concerned that the machine will negatively impact their views, lower their property values, create noise pollution, and potentially cause health problems to those in the neighborhood.
DOWNSIZED proposals for a wind farm in a Moray forest are still visually and environmentally unacceptable, claim local residents. ...Locals say the development would scar a scenic landscape for nothing more than commercial greed. ...In 'The Northern Scot' last week, David Hodkinson, managing director of the firm's wind energy business, believed the development, on land owned by the Forestry Commission, now fitted with people's expectations in the area. ...However, the application met with strong opposition this week from residents whose homes border the site, which is around 800 metres above sea level to the south of Buckie. ...Dr Henderson said it was inconceivable to erect wind turbines, recently voted the No 1 eyesore in a BBC and MORI poll, at a time when Moray is developing a tourism strategy. "Once this process has been started it is iredeemable and you can't stop the juggernaut," she said.