Articles filed under General from Maryland
Regulations for small wind energy systems in Somerset County could get a bit of tweaking before adoption by Somerset County Commissioners, who questioned setbacks and other provisions during a public hearing. In particular, commissioners asked why there was a 20-foot setback requirement for wind turbines from a driveway on the same property.
Delegate Wendell Beitzel has submitted a bill that would require the development of general performance standards for commercial wind turbines across the state. Last year's solo effort failed to get out of the House Economic Matters Committee. This year, the bill already has 22 co-sponsors, including the influential Montgomery County Democrat.
As the Baltimore County Council prepares to consider new regulations for wind turbines in residential neighborhoods, at least one member is strongly opposed to the idea. The Planning Board voted unanimously recently to recommend allowing one wind turbine no taller than 60 feet per one-acre property. ...Council member T. Bryan McIntire said he had not reviewed the proposal, but he stood "adamantly opposed to the use of windmills in the north county."
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.
The proposal gives permission by right -- that is, without special permission from the county -- to install one wind turbine up to 60-feet tall per property, provided the property is at least one acre and in a residential area only. The energy generated would be only for the homeowner's use and could not be sold into an electricity grid.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission on Monday approved a permit to allow up to 23 wind turbines to be built atop a 3.5-mile stretch of Green Mountain in Mineral County, a few miles west of Keyser. Pinnacle Wind Force, a subsidiary of Greensburg, Pa.-based US Wind Force, filed the permit application on March 17, but the project has been in development since 2002.
A former state senator believes the current District 1 legislative delegation is abdicating its constitutional responsibility by failing to "understand the notion of separation of powers and the role of a legislative body as an independent branch of government." At issue is the delegation's decision last week to put on hold a request by John Bambacus of Frostburg for legislation that would have codified Gov. Martin O'Malley's prohibition of commercial wind turbines in Maryland's state forests and parks.
The Public Service Commission approved plans today for a 23-turbine wind farm in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, citing the hundreds of jobs and more than $1 million in state and county tax revenue it could generate. The decision on the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage in Mineral County came on the last day of the agency's 300-day review period.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission is scheduled to issue a decision in the next few days on a wind energy developer's application to build wind turbines in Mineral County. The deadline for the decision is Monday, but it could come as soon as the end of this week, according to commission spokeswoman Sarah Robertson.
The future of Baltimore County's zoning regulations for wind turbines remains up in the air after the county's Planning Board heard differing opinions on just about every aspect of proposed regulations from 30 speakers at a Jan. 7 public meeting.
A Maryland federal court ruling last week put a severe crimp in an industrial-scale wind project in West Virginia. Could it do the same for smaller projects planned in western Maryland? ...Invenergy issued a statement after the Dec. 8 ruling saying it would seek such a permit, according to The New York Times. In the meantime the judge said the turbines already up could only be operated in winter, when the bats are likely to be hibernating.
State officials announced plans Tuesday to fill nearly a quarter of the government's annual electricity needs with power supplied by clean energy projects from the Delaware coast to the Appalachian ridge tops. The state will sign 20-year purchase agreements with four wind and solar developers, demonstrating Maryland's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020, Gov. Martin O'Malley said.
I think your readers would be interested in knowing what wasn't said about Constellation Energy's agreement to purchase the Criterion wind project of Clipper Windpower, Inc. ("Wind, solar, 'farms' slated for 2 counties, Dec. 1). ...What the industry is not telling you is that to realize that scenario the wind would have to be blowing and capable of producing 50 percent their of their maximum output thoughout the year.
Baltimore-based Constellation said it has agreed to acquire the $140 million Criterion wind project from Clipper Windpower Inc., which had proposed putting 28 tall turbines atop Backbone Mountain near Oakland. It was the first of three commercial-scale wind projects to win state approval under a 2007 law meant to promote wind energy development in Maryland. Meanwhile, CPV Renewable Energy Co., with headquarters in Silver Spring, plans a 10-megawatt "solar farm" near Waldorf, to be built alongside an already proposed natural gas-burning power plant.
The O'Malley administration's desire to build offshore wind turbines as part of its renewable energy program is running into an unlikely source of resistance: the military. The fear is that turbines placed in the Atlantic Ocean could disrupt flight and weapon test ranges ..."When you start to place turbines out in the Atlantic Ocean, they will create an artificial image on the radar, and we might not be able to see aircraft because we think the aircraft is really the turbine spinning around out there," said Todd Morgan, president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance.
The commission was appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, at the request of the Pocahontas County Commission. The PCC questioned the border after surveyor Jeff Hiner of Monterey marked the border more closely than the established U.S. Geological Survey line. Hiner had been hired by Highland New Wind Development LLC to survey property owned by the McBride family, which is erecting a 38-megawatt wind energy utility in Highland County, Va. When Pocahontas learned of the new survey, officials were concerned about the accuracy of the border, since at least one of the turbines was within a few feet of the state line.
The Public Service Commission conditionally approved a wind energy project in Garrett County Wednesday, the third expedited application it has moved forward. Synergics Roth Rock Wind Energy LLC and Synergics Wind Energy LLC plan to build a 20-turbine facility on Backbone Mountain, generating 50 megawatts of power.
A controversial wind farm project in Mineral County goes before the state Public Service Commission starting Monday. The PSC will hear evidence from Pinnacle Wind Force, the group hoping to build 23 wind turbines on top of Green Mountain near Mt. Storm.
Several additional companies have inquired about the possibility of building windmills in Tazewell County, officials confirmed Monday. Although Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America are planning a large-scale wind turbine farm for East River Mountain near Bluefield, other areas of interest for other wind energy companies have included Morris Knob, near Tazewell, and Burkes Garden, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman David Anderson.
Delmarva Power's four power purchase agreements with wind developers should begin paying dividends by the end of the year, with the first clean-energy electrons flowing to the state later this fall. One land-based wind farm under contract to the local utility could start sending electricity to Delaware by year's end, and another in western Maryland could get its permit soon despite concerns the turbines could harm endangered species. That project has an easier path to approval thanks to a controversial new law that exempts smaller wind farm projects from an extensive environmental vetting.