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Garrett commissioners extend wind project easements

The renewal of an easement on county property will help Clipper Windpower's subsidiary, Criterion Power Partners, proceed with financing on its project on Backbone Mountain. "The commissioners agreed to extend the easement," Monty Pagenhardt, Garrett County administrator, said. "(The wind developers) are at a point where they are finally trying to get the financing.

OAKLAND - The renewal of an easement on county property will help Clipper Windpower's subsidiary, Criterion Power Partners, proceed with financing on its project on Backbone Mountain.

"The commissioners agreed to extend the easement," Monty Pagenhardt, Garrett County administrator, said. "(The wind developers) are at a point where they are finally trying to get the financing. They needed to get the easements for all the properties for financing."

In 2008, the commissioners extended the easement by two years, and at their public meeting Tuesday, they unanimously agreed to extend the easement to 2012.

The agreement was originally made by the Garrett County Sanitary District in 2002. In April 2003, the county took over the sanitary district as well as the easement and any extensions made on it.

The agreement would have ended Dec. 31. Pagenhardt said that with that date quickly approaching, Clipper was having difficulty finding anyone interested in helping to finance the project until they were certain the project would continue to have the three turbines on the former sanitary district property. The overall project is planned to have 28 turbines and generate 70 megawatts of power, a downsize... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

OAKLAND - The renewal of an easement on county property will help Clipper Windpower's subsidiary, Criterion Power Partners, proceed with financing on its project on Backbone Mountain.

"The commissioners agreed to extend the easement," Monty Pagenhardt, Garrett County administrator, said. "(The wind developers) are at a point where they are finally trying to get the financing. They needed to get the easements for all the properties for financing."

In 2008, the commissioners extended the easement by two years, and at their public meeting Tuesday, they unanimously agreed to extend the easement to 2012.

The agreement was originally made by the Garrett County Sanitary District in 2002. In April 2003, the county took over the sanitary district as well as the easement and any extensions made on it.

The agreement would have ended Dec. 31. Pagenhardt said that with that date quickly approaching, Clipper was having difficulty finding anyone interested in helping to finance the project until they were certain the project would continue to have the three turbines on the former sanitary district property. The overall project is planned to have 28 turbines and generate 70 megawatts of power, a downsize from when the project was first proposed with 67 turbines at 100 megawatts in 2003.

Previously the public had questioned whether the turbines should be located on county-owned land, though documents stated the county wasn't aware until after it had acquired the sanitary district property that there was already an easement on it.

Without the land now owned by the county, the project would be reduced by nearly ;$15 million, according to an e-mail from Kevin Rackstraw, consultant for Clipper Windpower, to Pagenhardt. Rackstraw said this would mean reductions to "tax revenues to the county, local construction work and purchases, etc."

He said that losing the easement would require going back for some of the permits and having to revise the plan that was presented to the Maryland Public Service Commission, though he didn't think that would cause the project to lose its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity exemption that allows the company to expedite the PSC review process.

Commission chairman Denny Glotfelty was on the sanitary district board at the time the easement was approved. He said the easement on property near Landon's Dam was originally approved by the town councils of both Loch Lynn and Mountain Lake Park, as that is their water source. He said the sanitary district didn't want to approve something that could have affected the two towns' water without their approval.

"It was a community agreement," Glotfelty said. "That's why we let it up to the people."

Glotfelty said that other improvements have been made to the water system, and that all money to be brought in from the easement on the property will go back to that water system.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

JUL 8 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21044-garrett-commissioners-extend-wind-project-easements
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