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Birds, bats cause end of wind-turbine project on South Mountain land

A Northumberland County firm has backed off a plan to build wind turbines on South Mountain in eastern Lebanon County. ...But birds and bats got in the way of the plans, said Justin R. Dunkelberger, chief executive for Penn Wind. He explained that the South Mountain site is part of a bird-migration path and is also frequented by bats. "As a wind developer, we have to be concerned with birds and bats," Dunkelberger said. "We want to be responsible developers."

A Northumberland County firm has backed off a plan to build wind turbines on South Mountain in eastern Lebanon County.

For several months, Sunbury-based Penn Wind had worked with the Womelsdorf-Robesonia Joint Authority on a proposal to install turbines to harness wind energy on land the authority owns.

Plans showed 18 turbines as tall as 200 feet on a site in Millcreek Township, Lebanon County, just over the Berks County border.

But birds and bats got in the way of the plans, said Justin R. Dunkelberger, chief executive for Penn Wind.

He explained that the South Mountain site is part of a bird-migration path and is also frequented by bats.

"As a wind developer, we have to be concerned with birds and bats," Dunkelberger said. "We want to be responsible developers."

So, Penn Wind is no longer interested in South Mountain.

"We will work on other sites elsewhere in the commonwealth and elsewhere in the country," he said.

The Womelsdorf-Robesonia Joint Authority would not have had a hand in the project other than leasing the land to Penn Wind.

The firm has a wind-turbine facility in Northumberland that produces 13 megawatts, enough to power a small city.

Some authority members said this summer... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A Northumberland County firm has backed off a plan to build wind turbines on South Mountain in eastern Lebanon County.

For several months, Sunbury-based Penn Wind had worked with the Womelsdorf-Robesonia Joint Authority on a proposal to install turbines to harness wind energy on land the authority owns.

Plans showed 18 turbines as tall as 200 feet on a site in Millcreek Township, Lebanon County, just over the Berks County border.

But birds and bats got in the way of the plans, said Justin R. Dunkelberger, chief executive for Penn Wind.

He explained that the South Mountain site is part of a bird-migration path and is also frequented by bats.

"As a wind developer, we have to be concerned with birds and bats," Dunkelberger said. "We want to be responsible developers."

So, Penn Wind is no longer interested in South Mountain.

"We will work on other sites elsewhere in the commonwealth and elsewhere in the country," he said.

The Womelsdorf-Robesonia Joint Authority would not have had a hand in the project other than leasing the land to Penn Wind.

The firm has a wind-turbine facility in Northumberland that produces 13 megawatts, enough to power a small city.

Some authority members said this summer that they supported the South Mountain proposal, and Chairman Donald Schwartz said that other energy companies may have a similar interest in the future.

The authority owns about 1,300 acres in Heidelberg Township along with the land in Millcreek.


Source: http://readingeagle.com/art...

SEP 29 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17284-birds-bats-cause-end-of-wind-turbine-project-on-south-mountain-land
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