Articles from Pennsylvania
Construction could begin in the spring on the first wind farm in Bedford County, a $100 million facility proposed for the top of the Dunning and Evitts mountain range. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. of Portland Ore., has filed a construction permit application with the state ..."A lot of people are concerned about property values," she said. SOAR is pushing for protection for the timber rattlesnake, endangered bats and the golden eagle.
Nearly three years after a permit application to build a wind farm on Shaffer Mountain was filed with the state, the first shovel of dirt is yet to be turned. The project could be the poster child for private advocacy - with nearly a thousand residents flooding a Department of Environmental Protection meeting in August 2007 to fight the construction and tens of thousands of dollars raised for the Save Our Mountain cause. But Gamesa USA ...said it is not backing down despite public opposition.
Gamesa USA, the Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer the Rendell administration lured to Pennsylvania five years ago to help build an alternative-energy economic sector in the state, has been quietly moving its headquarters out of Philadelphia. The decision to relocate executives to lower Bucks County, acknowledged by Gamesa representatives in an interview this week, is part of a mixed bag of news the company has for Pennsylvania as it adjusts to a brutal time in the wind industry.
Some of the same conservationists who laud wind power as a cleaner, renewable resource are concerned about the turbine proposals. They fear bats and birds will get caught in the powerful windmill blades or the turbines will scare them away. ''It's not recommended that wind farms be built where there is a large concentration of birds,'' said Rick Wiltraut, a local ornithologist. ''Unfortunately, all that area is prime habitat for neotropical birds.''
Gamesa USA's decision to furlough more than half its employees at the local turbine blade plant came as a surprise to many. But Gov. Ed Rendell remains optimistic the action is a bump in the renewable energy journey, a spokesman said Friday. ..."Not only does it hurt the families of these employees, but there is a spinoff in the economy as well." The Gamesa plant in Ebensburg was made possible through $9.3 million in state assistance.
A proposal to build wind turbines in central Bedford County took a step forward when the project developer submitted a construction permit application to the state recently. ...The 30-day public comment window for the permit closes at the end of November, but Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Theresa Candori said the agency has already received enough requests for a public meeting to warrant holding one. The meeting hasn't yet been scheduled.
Gamesa USA will lay off 141 workers Jan. 1 at its wind turbine blade factory in Ebensburg because the global economic crisis led to a falloff in orders, a company spokesman said Wednesday. There are no new projects under contract because the crisis has delayed wind farm projects, halting orders for turbines, spokesman Michael Peck said. "We're sort of at the end of the food chain," Peck said.
The answer as to whether a combination wind turbine and cellular tower opposed by neighboring property owners is allowed to be built on a Franconia property is still blowing in the wind. But the township now has rules for any future plans to build windmills. The new rules were approved by the Franconia supervisors at their recent meeting.
Gamesa USA is reducing employment levels at its Cambria Township fiber blade plant by more than half, the result of the global financial crisis that has stalled many planned wind farm projects, company officials said Wednesday.
A Sunbury-based company that plans to build a portion of a wind farm in Black Creek Township can start building infrastructure as soon as it gets local construction permits. Penn Wind LLC plans to build 22 turbines on Buck Mountain - four in Black Creek, Luzerne County, and 18 in neighboring Beaver Township, Columbia County. ...Turbine construction has to wait until the township grants Penn Wind final approval and issues a permit for each turbine.
Iron pyrite was among the risks to water quality that opponents of the Sandy Ridge Wind Farm pointed to during Monday's state Department of Environmental Protection public hearing. "Given the formations, there is a likelihood there's some up there," Michael J. Byle, a civil engineer who is working with Gamesa USA, said after the public meeting and hearing on the proposed wind farm. Core drilling has just begun, and the company is looking for the acid rock.
Opponents and supporters of a proposed wind farm in Centre and Blair counties used a public hearing Monday night to express their opinions about the turbines Gamesa Energy USA wants to build. The state Department of Environment Protection held the hearing specifically to take testimony on the national pollution discharge elimination system permit it handles. But, the limited topic did not stop those who spoke from commenting more generally about Gamesa's proposed Sandy Ridge Wind Farm.
Two out-of-state energy companies will present their plan for a wind farm in the county's west end to the public. GEOS Global, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and BP Wind Energy, Charlottesville, Va., want to put up electricity-generating wind turbines, commonly called windmills, on Rausch Creek land.
Another wind farm is planned for Schuylkill County. The proposal will come up Wednesday night at a zoning meeting at the North Schuylkill High School. There is opposition from people who live near the proposed site for the giant windmills. Even from a few miles away wind farms are hard to miss. They're usually located on mountaintops.
David Yoder's been farming for more than a third of a century. He's at least the fourth generation of his family who have lived and worked on the land on Cowpath Road near the border of Franconia and Salford townships that has been farmed "forever," Yoder said. Adding a 140-foot cellular tower and a power-generating wind turbine with a blade that reaches to a height of 163 feet will give the farm reduced electric bills and rental income from the cell tower and is similar to adding animals, crops or farm buildings, he said.
Bell Acres council has approved construction of an alternative energy center that will include a 60-foot wind turbine, but not without a few conditions. Several of the stipulations involve possible noise issues, while others are intended to address residents' concerns for dozens of great blue herons that nest about half a mile away on the Bell Acres-Economy line. In a 5-0 vote Monday, council gave the Alternative Energy Center permission to create an 80-by-80 foot display site for three alternative energy products.
A week after the Black Creek Township Zoning Hearing Board gave more time to a Sunbury firm looking to build wind turbines on Tomhicken Mountain, dozens of residents attended a township supervisors' meeting to both speak for and against Penn Wind's plans. Supervisors, however, discussed very little about Penn Wind's plans during the Friday meeting, which was rescheduled from Oct. 6. ...Sean Purdy of Penn Wind did not speak during the meeting. His company wants to install four turbines in Black Creek and 18 in neighboring Beaver Township, Columbia County.
Despite a recent report indicating Pennsylvania's significant growth in wind energy, local projects that once seemed imminent are all either dead or at a standstill. The state ranked second in growth with 29 percent, according to the American Wind Energy Association's report on the market for the third quarter of 2009. ...Two Luzerne County projects have withered on the vine, one dying after a very public legal fight and the other quietly.
The large wide load grounded Monday remained in town Tuesday, awaiting a part needed for repairs before it continues to West Virginia. Front Street remained closed from Route 54 to Mill Street, where the 150-foot-long, 100-ton windmill base sat on a trailer. The part for a damaged rear turning axle was ordered from Alabama and is expected to be delivered today, Danville Police Chief Eric Gill said.
Traffic on the Danville-Riverside Bridge was tied up for six hours Monday after a tractor-trailer carrying a wide load turned onto the bridge and got stuck. A crane was called in to move the trailer, which was hauling a section of a wind turbine tower. The truck became stuck at about 11:30 a.m. and was cleared from the bridge at about 5:30 p.m.