Articles from Alabama
Nations Energy Solutions had filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying the claims were speculative. The motion was denied on Friday. That got the company’s leaders asking why they were in the lawsuit, Tracey said.
There is a group of people opposed to a proposed wind farm sight on Turkey Heaven Mountain in Cleburne County they have shared their feelings several times with the county commission.
The proposed legislation passed unanimously by the Cleburne Commission is based on the Cherokee County law, Commission Chairman Ryan Robertson said. The legislation includes regulations such as a 2,500 foot setback from adjacent property, a 40-decibel sound limit and safety features including fences at least 6 feet high surrounding the turbines.
Opponents of a proposed wind farm on Turkey Heaven Mountain have brought up concerns that the development might hamper emergency communications in the county, and a communications expert supported their warning. Mark Truett, one of the the dissenters, brought information on the potential for interference to a Cleburne County Commission meeting earlier this month.
The lawsuit, filed on June 2, had dismissed all the defendants but Oklahoma-based Nations Energy Solutions and Terra-Gen Power from Delaware, so the defendants asked that the case be transferred to federal court. Anniston attorney Christopher Hopkins, who represents the defendants, filed the notice of the move to federal court Dec. 4.
Plaintiffs attorney Chad Hopper said he requested the rest of the residents named in the case be dismissed because he discovered they did not have contracts with Nations Energy Solutions, the company exploring the possibility of building the wind turbine farm. Terra Gen, the other company named in the lawsuit, and Nations are the last two defendants in the case.
GADSDEN, Alabama -- The lawyer for a Texas-based company abandoning plans for two windmill farms in northeast Alabama said today that recently approved state regulations on wind energy led to the decision.
Attorney Charles Stewart, representing Pioneer Green, said the project has been canceled in both Etowah and Cherokee counties. He said after legislation was passed establishing parameters for any wind turbine project, including setback lines and permitting through the Public Service Commission, “they couldn’t make the project work.”
According to a document filed July 9 in Cherokee County Probate Court, Pioneer Green Energy President Andrew Bowman signed a memorandum terminating a lease to about 1,889 acres of property. ..."The residents are ecstatic. It was only when we learned that the leases had been terminated that we knew it was really over."
Three communities, Gadsden, Ala., Kokomo, Ind., and Tipton, Ind., all with an identical problem, separated by miles and in a seemingly hopeless situation, have prevailed in a common effort. Voices of concerned citizens ended projects detrimental to many and beneficial to the few.
The lawsuit was filed June 2 by neighbors of the properties being explored as possible sites for wind turbines. The lawsuit states that the project “will destroy some of Cleburne County’s most scenic areas,” as well as diminish area property values, and cause irreparable harm to the adjoining landowners due to flashing blades, low frequency noise, wind turbine syndrome and space and motion discomfort.
If Etowah politicians allow wind farms — maybe not now, but later after all residents have experienced the social damage these monstrosities cause — political careers will be in jeopardy. ...The citizens of Kokomo and Howard County have seen the enemy and do not like it. Gadsden and Etowah County have yet to witness these prodigious Frankenstein monsters.
Now, a proposed wind turbine project atop Turkey Heaven Mountain may alter those views, adding spinning blades atop large towers that turn wind into electricity. ...The proposal has drawn heated opposition from some residents at public meetings, and left at least one family split on the issue.
Commissioner Benji Langley created the proposal, which among other things would have directed Chairman Ryan Robertson to write a letter to the governor and local legislators to ask for a three-year moratorium on wind energy projects in the state. It additionally asked the commissioners to state that they would not now or in the future close or re-route County Road 852, the main road up Turkey Heaven Mountain.
Opponents of wind farms in Cleburne County say they will not give up their fight to keep them out of their area. Many of them attended a county commission meeting on Monday.
Arguing on the House floor, [AL state Rep. Becky] Nordgren said she considers the wind resources in Alabama to be too low to support wind turbines. She also says the turbines are noisy and dangerous. What’s more, the wind industry needs to be regulated like other industries, she said.
Rep. Nordgren said that her bill, H.B. 106, never got on the agenda in committee and she was not invited to the negotiations. She lives on Shinbone Ridge in Etowah County where the wind turbines are located and the Committee version of the legislation would not have prevented the Turbines from being built in her neighborhood, but her substitute bill would.
A bill going through the Alabama Legislature that would regulate wind power might put an end to two wind turbine projects that have been in the works in Etowah and Cherokee counties for more than three years. There are also two local bills that have been passed by both chambers of the state Legislature that Williams described as “backstop” bills to stop the projects in case the state bill doesn’t pass.
The bills regulate the permitting and process, the setbacks from property lines needed for construction, decibel limits and bonding and land restoration regulations for the removal of wind turbines when a project ends, whether through the end of its life or abandonment.
An Oklahoma-based developer has been studying Turkey Heaven Mountain in Cleburne County as a potential site for a wind farm since early 2011.