Library filed under Zoning/Planning
Several hundred people packed an Ashe County courtroom last night to share passionate opinions about a proposed wind farm of 25 to 28 windmills at sites on or near Big Springs Mountain in Creston. Last night’s hearing before a member of the N.C. Utilities Commission is part of the commission’s decision-making process in approving or denying the project. In July, Richard Calhoun, a resident of Ashe County, filed an application with the utilities commission to build the wind farm, which would generate electricity that would be sold to power companies. Each windmill would be about 300 feet tall. Development costs are estimated to be $60million to $65 million, according to the application.
Highly controversial proposals to build a wind farm of 12 turbines reaching 410 feet into the sky at the former war time Lissett airfield will be debated by councillors next week. A planning application has been submitted by Novera Energy Limited to build the wind farm, a permanent 80m anemometer mast, a control building and a parking area at the famous World War II bomber base. The scheme has sparked a widespread mixed reaction with hundreds of people contacting the planning authority, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, both in support and in protest.
The fate of the Hoosac Wind Project remains uncertain while both proponents and detractors of the project await a ruling from a state magistrate. It has been eight months since the last hearing at the state Division of Administrative Law Appeals concerning the proposed $40 million, 20-turbine project, which would produce 2,300 megawatts of electricity. Since that time, the project’s owner, PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., has been anxious to find out if it can proceed with construction or will have to change its plans. “We had been expecting a ruling in the fall of 2006,” PPM spokeswoman Jan Johnson said. “There’s no question that we wanted to go ahead sooner.”
New York Regional Interconnect might consider bypassing portions of certain communities along the route of its proposed 190-mile power line, company representatives said Thursday during a meeting with Gannett News Service. “What I want to suggest is you stay tuned,” Project Manager William May said when asked specifically about Clayville and South Utica, two communities in the line’s proposed path. May said the company is open to changes in response to community concerns in some places, although he wasn’t more specific. But some residents said moving the line in a few places won’t change their minds about the project, which would lower downstate electric rates but raise them upstate.
SWANSEA - When school committee members were given the opportunity to bring up issues of concern to them at a meeting earlier this month, Ellen Furtado had a polite reminder for Superintendent of Schools Stephan Flanagan. "Steve, my windmills," Ms. Furtado said. When the committee's next meeting took place Monday night, Mr. Flanagan came prepared to address the issue. What issue? The school department is looking to greatly reduce its electrical costs by employing a wind turbine to power one of its schools.
Let us not forget that we are sacrificing precious forest, rural areas and adjoining home values for an industry that cannot make a profit without huge tax subsidies, is 30 percent efficient in Pennsylvania and will not decrease our dependence on foreign oil or provide significant amount of steady electricity at a reasonable price (without subsidies and tax breaks). Once these areas are desecrated, it will be many years before any semblance of our natural areas and scenic vistas are restored.
Getting more money to preserve land, operate state parks, protect wildlife and regulate polluters top the 2007 environmental agenda of a broad coalition of groups. Legislative leaders embraced this first-ever collaborative effort the Granite State Conservation Voters Fund organized and promoted at a breakfast meeting of lawmakers Thursday. “I think great things are going to happen this year, and it’s great to feel like you’re in the mainstream,” said former state Sen. Rick Russman, a Kingston Republican who serves on the GSCVF board of directors.
The town’s first commercial wind turbine “whooshed” closer to reality last week with approval of Country Garden’s West Main Street location by the Site Plan Review Committee. The proposal for a 120-foot high monopole wind tower with a 32-foot rotor diameter leaves only a few legal questions, and a perceived need for general criteria for this and other such future projects, for this one to advance. Richard Lawrence of Cape and Islands Self Reliance Corp. and a professor at Cape Cod Community College, addressed several questions previously posed by site plan agents regarding sale of excess power, a utility plan for the trench and turbine hookup, approval from airport and FAA officials and whether zoning relief might be needed on height.
Steve Gallo, executive director of the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority, said he is looking for innovative ways to save money for the city, and reduce the cost of his authority's energy needs. One of these ways, he said, is the possibility of installing modern windmills on BMUA controlled land to harness wind gusts off New York Bay to generate power for the Oak Street pump station. "We are trying to use new technology to find ways of saving our energy costs," Gallo said. "This is evident with the recent installation of solar panels in our schools that makes Bayonne the largest non-power company to supply energy on the east coast." Two years ago, the municipal authority in South Plainfield installed a wind-generated turbine to run a station, and with Bayonne surrounded on three sides, Gallo figures he might be able to do the same things. Windmills have also been successfully installed at Atlantic County Utility Authority, and combined with solar panels it generates enough energy to run the plant.
State regulators today approved We Energies’ plans to construct 88 wind turbines in Fond du Lac County. The project is expected to cost the utility’s ratepayers nearly 400 (M) million dollars. The Blue Sky Green Field wind farm will be built in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield, just east of Lake Winnebago. It will generate enough power to supply 45,000 homes. The Public Service Commission says the wind farm will help We Energies comply with a state law that requires ten percent of the state’s energy supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2015.
No sooner had the Planning Board completed its draft of the town’s wind facility bylaws Thursday night, then resident Harold “Butch” Malloy announced his intentions to present his own set of bylaws. But Planning Board members expressed concern that Malloy’s bylaws will be slanted in developer Minuteman Wind’s favor because Malloy owns the 290 acres on West Hill to be used for the proposed five-turbine, 12.5 megawatt project. Malloy only needs the signatures of 10 registered voters to submit his own bylaws, which he plans to do at the Jan. 30 Selectmen’s meeting. Planning Board Chairman Jamie Reinhardt said Minuteman has objected to some of the board’s previous bylaw drafts. He said Minuteman even tried to get the board to sign off on “non-descript” bylaws the company had written. “We reviewed those drafts and discussed them,” Reinhardt said. “Ultimately, we felt they were not in the town’s best interests.”
Glyndebourne Opera should re-think its plans to build a huge wind turbine on the top of the Downs in an area of outstanding natural beauty, claims the South Downs Society. The planning application, submitted to Lewes District Council last week, proposes a 70-metre high turbine on Mill Plain, between Glyndebourne and Ringmer, on the site of an old windmill. The turbine is designed to produce 850 kilowatts of power for the opera house and surrounding area. ‘The South Downs Society is not opposed to renewable energy,’ said its chairman, Jon Martin, ‘but it is vital that we protect the few areas of unspoilt countryside we have in the south-east from large-scale developments such as these.’
Like its Highland neighbor, one of Bath County’s greatests assets is its scenic mountain ranges and the natural resources they provide. It also has some of the highest winds in Virginia and is therefore attractive to industrial wind energy companies. Its vistas atop the surrounding ridge lines make it attractive to other kinds of development as well. Bath planner Miranda Redinger is urging the planning commission to seriously consider some sort of ridge top protection ordinance.
A power company has submitted an application to build 60 wind turbines in the Greater Wash.
A proposed three-turbine windfarm development in rural Aberdeenshire has sparked concern over the possible effect on wildlife, views and property prices. Opposition is mounting over plans for the development at Mains of Hatton, Kirktown of Auchterless, near Turriff, by Cardiff-based firm Eco2 Ltd. The company has lodged a planning application with Aberdeenshire Council, which is currently being assessed by the planning service. Turriff resident Barrie Liddell, of Castle Street, formerly lived near the proposed site of the turbines, and is spearheading opposition to the project.
Any way you cut it, the State Corporation Commission staff’s decision to recommend approval of Mac McBride’s wind project on Allegheny Mountain was a pre-determined cop out. Because Highland County’s supervisors long ago dismissed the concerns of the great majority of their constituents about the negative effects of industrial scale wind power on tourism and viewsheds, the SCC staff was also able to sidestep the heart of the matter in its purely technical support of HNWD’s bid for a state permit to begin construction. All the heartfelt testimony of those who would be directly affected by the project related to the county’s beauty, history, cultural heritage and future opportunity based on these factors was simply ignored. SCC personnel said those things had already been considered by HighSland County supervisors when they reviewed the company’s application for a local conditional use permit. Most Highland residents believe their elected officials failed in this process, and the majority of other appointed leaders who got involved agreed they could not support HNWD’s plans. The examination of HNWD’s application by county supervisors did not begin to sufficiently assess the profound impacts this project could have. Two of the three on our board chose to lean on biased information and a subjective review of the county’s land use plan, and ignore the pleas of their constituents who came to them armed with an army of research showing these leaders they didn’t begin to have all the facts.
A new windfarm war has been waged in the Stewartry. Villagers in Lochfoot and Kirkgunzeon have launched the fight against two small-scale turbine developments being built in their area. Natural Power Consultants Ltd (NPC) have applied to put up two turbines at both Barnbackle Hill, Lochfoot and Doon Hill, Kirkgunzeon. Protestors say the windfarms would be visible from many villages and passing roads. And one member of a group set up to fight the projects says Dumfries and Galloway Council approving the schemes could see the floodgates opened for more developments.
Opponents of onshore wind turbines are gearing up for a fresh fight against a plan to build two of them on the edge of Exmoor. The turbines - measuring 100m (328ft) to the blade tip - are planned for Cross Moor, Knowstone, near South Molton. Members of the Two Moors Campaign, which has opposed other windfarm applications in the area, said that although the latest proposal was for only two turbines, if it was allowed, it could open the way for more, which would threaten the unique nature of Exmoor.
In a decision that could have wide ramifications for the future of wind power in Maine, the Land Use Regulation Commission on Wednesday rejected a plan to place 30 turbines on two western mountains.
The surprising rejection on Wednesday of a proposed wind farm near Rangeley sends one clear message to landowners with development plans for Maine’s North Woods. Members of Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission aren’t afraid to make up their own minds about what activities are allowed by the strict rules that protect the 10 million acres of unorganized territory. Neither widespread support for wind power nor a strong endorsement by LURC’s own staff swayed the commissioners in this case. They effectively voted 6-1 against the Redington wind farm after citing concerns about its visual and environmental effects.