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Round and round we go

In my humble opinion when any organization actively pursuing wind power options, promoting legislation that would support those options and taking it upon themselves to define responsible siting criteria publishes a "model" ordinance, it's going to be an ordinance promoting the interest of wind production and wind producers. And what could have prompted the need for wind proponents to create their own model ordinance? Well, according to Brent Summerville, wind program manager at ASU's Energy Center, "Some wind ordinances have passed that are not favorable to utility scale wind development.

The North Carolina Wind Working Group (NCWWG) has created its own Model Wind Ordinance for Wind Energy Facilities in North Carolina. We have gone from the fox guarding the hen house to the fox designing the hen house.

According to North Carolina Wind Energy at Appalachian State University's Web site, "The North Carolina Wind Working Group is an alliance among environmental groups, policy makers, industry members, educators, and citizen action groups who actively pursue wind power options by promoting supportive legislation and responsible siting criteria for development in North Carolina."

In my humble opinion when any organization actively pursuing wind power options, promoting legislation that would support those options and taking it upon themselves to define responsible siting criteria publishes a "model" ordinance, it's going to be an ordinance promoting the interest of wind production and wind producers.

And what could have prompted the need for wind proponents to create their own model ordinance? Well, according to Brent Summerville, wind program manager at ASU's Energy Center, "Some wind ordinances have passed that are not favorable to utility scale wind development. It... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The North Carolina Wind Working Group (NCWWG) has created its own Model Wind Ordinance for Wind Energy Facilities in North Carolina. We have gone from the fox guarding the hen house to the fox designing the hen house.

According to North Carolina Wind Energy at Appalachian State University's Web site, "The North Carolina Wind Working Group is an alliance among environmental groups, policy makers, industry members, educators, and citizen action groups who actively pursue wind power options by promoting supportive legislation and responsible siting criteria for development in North Carolina."

In my humble opinion when any organization actively pursuing wind power options, promoting legislation that would support those options and taking it upon themselves to define responsible siting criteria publishes a "model" ordinance, it's going to be an ordinance promoting the interest of wind production and wind producers.

And what could have prompted the need for wind proponents to create their own model ordinance? Well, according to Brent Summerville, wind program manager at ASU's Energy Center, "Some wind ordinances have passed that are not favorable to utility scale wind development. It seemed that a well-written model wind ordinance needed to be made available to communities who want responsible wind development in their area."

It appears that before NCWWG, in their largess, decided to assist communities with well-written ordinances, two counties in Western North Carolina and one in the northeastern corner of the state had somehow managed to craft their own ordinances. Watauga and Ashe Counties in the west and Camden County in the northeast all had wind ordinances, which had been publicly vetted and supported by their local governments.

But these ordinances were apparently poorly conceived and poorly written. Currituck County's recent wind ordinance, which reads quite like NCWWG's model ordinance, gets much better reviews from wind proponents.

Paul Quinlan of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association told The Virginian-Pilot, "It's the best local wind ordinance we have in North Carolina now."

Some of the obvious differences between the three earlier wind ordinances and Currituck's and the NCWWG's model ordinance have to do with facility-size - the older ordinances describe a large facility as anything greater than a generating capacity of 20 kilowatts (kW) while NCWWG's ordinance creates a middle-sized facility of between 20 and 100 kW and the large facility threshold is not met until generating capacity surpasses 100 kW other differences include turbine height and height above ridgeline; setbacks and in the case of Ashe's ordinance, who would provide an "impact analysis."

As you may have suspected, in those cases where the older ordinances differ from the model ordinance, the older ordinances are more conservative - read restrictive if you're a proponent of wind turbines - with more emphasis on protecting the environment and natural resources.

The Ashe County ordinance is the only wind power ordinance that I have seen that specifically calls for, "... a comprehensive third-party impact analysis ..." a no-brainer, I would think, for anyone looking for an unbiased analysis.

My American Heritage Dictionary gives several definitions of "model." The second one is "A preliminary pattern." The fifth one is, "An example to be emulated."

If the NCWWG has created a model ordinance as a preliminary pattern; a template that says paragraph one should be about "x" and paragraph four should deal with "z" then perhaps they have provided a service for all stakeholders concerned about the establishment of wind farms across North Carolina. If they have created a model ordinance as, "an example to be emulated," then I would encourage any and all communities considering this ordinance to remember it is the mission of the NCWWG to, "... actively pursue wind power options..."

It's kinda like Carl Pope, president of the Sierra Club, jetting around with T. Boone Pickens in Pickens' private jet (which doesn't run on wind) lauding the oil tycoon's recent conversion to wind prophet while perhaps diverting his attention from the giant straw Pickens would like to poke into the Ogallala Aquifer in Texas. When you hang with the fat cats, expect to get some cat hairs on you.


Source: http://www.smokymountainnew...

AUG 6 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16370-round-and-round-we-go
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