Articles filed under General from Maryland
The Allegany County commissioners have postponed Thursday's public work session discussion that was to focus on the proposed restrictions to industrial wind farms. The public meeting is now scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the County Office Complex. The commissioners, acting County Administrator David Eberly and County Attorney Bill Rudd are to analyze a number of points made by US Wind Force President Tom Matthews.
The Allegany County commissioners on Tuesday gave Tom Matthews, US Wind Force president, 60 minutes to explain why the proposed county zoning code amendments would terminate future wind energy projects here. But Matthews only needed 53 of them to tell them the legislation is a bad idea - and that they could be held liable for "potentially illegal roadblocks."
The possibility of 200 construction jobs didn't sway critics of a planned commercial wind turbine project atop Dan's Mountain. Neither did an estimated $5.4 million in new property tax revenue over the next decade. Nor did an appeal to clean, green energy. Instead, the 14 area residents who spoke in favor of legislation that would place steep limitations on industrial wind energy projects here said the project simply wasn't a good fit for Allegany County.
The Allegany County Board of Commissioners on Thursday granted the president of US Wind Force a meeting to discuss why a proposed bill to regulate the wind industry is a bad idea. Tom Matthews appealed during the public comment period of Thursday’s weekly meeting that amendments to the zoning code — drafted to protect the county and its residents — are too restrictive.
Again, US Wind Force spins their claims and half-truths in the April 14 article "US Wind Force Counters Commissioner's Concern." Mr. Friend's cites a West Virginia statewide opinion survey that 57 percent of individuals polled were pro-wind. At best, this survey is misleading, dubious and outdated. ...The uninformed opinion of pro-wind is diminishes when individuals learn that industrial wind turbines are planned on fragile mountain ridges.
A wind energy official has fired back at a Mineral County commissioner on the viability and public perception of the wind industry. David Friend, vice president of US Wind Force, said in a letter Friday to the Allegany County commissioners and also sent to the Times-News that Commissioner Wayne Spiggle's skepticism and concerns "are unfounded."
David Friend, vice president of US Wind Force, said in a letter Friday to the Allegany County commissioners and also sent to the Times-News that Commissioner Wayne Spiggle's skepticism and concerns "are unfounded." ...Friend's letter was in direct response to a Times-News March 29 story in which Mineral County Commission President Wayne Spiggle said he doesn't believe wind energy decreases greenhouse gases and questioned whether the majority of Mineral County residents do.
Having just returned from Annapolis, where I testified on Sen. George Edwards' six wind energy bills, and preparing for the hearing on Thursday, I have a number of questions/comments about the format. It is my understanding that citizen comments will be directed only to the Planning and Zoning Commission report, The Regulation and Management of Wind Energy Devices, A Report to the Planning and Zoning Commission of Allegany County, January 29, 2009 ("Report").
U.S. Cellular Corp. has filed an objection to fast-track approval for a proposed western Maryland wind-power project, citing potential interference with cell phone calls and emergency communications. ...In a filing Thursday with the PSC, Chicago-based U.S. Cellular said three of the 29 wind turbines US Wind Force plans to build atop Dan's Mountain in Allegany County would block transmission of microwave signals from nearby U.S. Cellular antenna towers.
A state program to help people pay for installing wind turbines has already used up all the money it had for fiscal year 2009. Todd Bricken, of Mount Airy, was one of those counting on money from the Windswept grant program, which was created in July. Bricken installed a turbine at his restaurant, Brick Ridge in Mount Airy.
I am writing as a private citizen to respectfully request that you consider supporting a repeal of the act (SB 566) which allows land-based industrial wind turbines to be built without a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) being required.
The Garrett County Commissioners are still hoping for legislation to allow for wind turbine setbacks. "We looked into it over the summer and our attorney (Mike Getty) told us we didn't have the authority," Denny Glotfelty, chairman, said. "There is no reason not to get legislation. Mr. Getty reiterated that we ask for legislation to single out wind turbines."
A wind farm proposed in mountainous Western Maryland has cleared a key hurdle under a year-old law that streamlines state review of such projects. However, a potential new hurdle has arisen: the recent financial market meltdown. ...Kevin Rackstraw, eastern representative for the California-based company, said it hopes to begin construction next year, contingent on being able to secure financing for a project expected to cost more than $120 million. Given the credit crisis, that "obviously in this environment is a challenge," he said.
Nearly a decade after the Navy retired and dismantled 19 communications towers along the Severn River, a fledgling energy company is planning to build wind turbines that would turn the near-constant breeze there into electricity. ...The county must decide whether wind turbines would affect the communications towers. Of the turbine proposal, Schram said, "We'll see how it goes along from this early stage."
[H]unters may lose if wind developers have their way in Allegany and Garrett counties. In exchange for a few thousand dollars, the wind company can pre-empt landowners' rights to: allow hunting on their property, plant trees, extract sand and gravel, develop mineral rights, build additional outbuildings, etc. These landowner contracts subordinate the landowners' rights in favor of the wind developers. Leases, typically lasting a generation, prevent a landowner from complaining or taking action against the wind company because of noise, flicker, visual, vibrations, electric and radio frequency disturbances, and other side effects caused by the operation of the project. Hunters could lose their access even if the landowner is amenable to hunting.
It qualified as a wind-wind situation, the gathering on the Frostburg State University campus on a breezy Saturday during which folks with differing opinions discussed the future of Western Maryland's zephyrs and the energy turbines they may or may not spin. Competing with a nearby bagpipe band, whose members were, coincidentally, playing wind instruments, the panel of four was part of the annual Appalachian Festival.
H. Russell Frisby Jr., who was chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission from 1995 to 1998 and now represents the advocacy group Marylanders for Reliable Power, said Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference that the clock is ticking for Maryland to free up enough capacity to meet the state's growing demand, and residents need to realize that.
U.S. Wind Force has received a county grading permit for a geotechnical investigation for a commercial wind energy conversion system and access roads near Vale Summit along the ridge of Dan's Mountain. The Allegany County Division of Land Development Services issued the permit July 31, one day after the application was submitted by CME Engineering in Frostburg on behalf of the newly formed Dans Mountain Wind Force LLC. Dans Mountain LLC is a subsidiary of U.S. Wind Force.
A woman now residing in Gaithersburg recently wrote to praise the power of limited liability wind companies to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal, and to condemn the fact that a "propaganda-istic" documentary I made, Life Under a Windplant, featuring the people and scenes around Meyersdale, is available from the county public library. People are entitled to their opinions, of course. But here are the facts.
Maryland has opened energy supply talks with a Delaware offshore wind developer, hoping to tap into green energy from an expanded wind farm off Rehoboth Beach. State Energy Administration officials in Maryland said Wednesday that options now under review include using Bluewater's proposed turbine complex to power all of Maryland's state and county buildings, and possibly drawing energy from a second wind farm that could be built off Ocean City. ... "This is in its infancy. At first blush, I would say: Build it in Delaware, let us look at it, let us see how it looks and what kind of problems you have first," Hall said. Neither of Bluewater's talks in Maryland and New Jersey currently involve forced contracts or costly, regulator-driven deals of the type used in Delaware to produce the Delmarva contract.