Articles from Pennsylvania

Residents air thoughts on Schuylkill windmills

The Butler Township (Schuylkill County) supervisors hosted the session to gather input on amending the township's zoning ordinance to deal with the issue, since the present ordinance mentions nothing about windmills. ...To begin the meeting, supervisors' Chairman Kevin Kowalick emphasized that no building permits have been issued for the project. He also clarified the supervisors' position on the project.
26 Sep 2009

Butler Twp. to address wind turbine issues

A public informational meeting will be held Wednesday at the Butler Township Municipal Building for input into amending the township zoning ordinance to address wind turbine issues. The meeting, slated from 6 to 8 p.m., was announced at last week's meeting of the Butler Township Board of Supervisors by Chairman Kevin Kowalick, a Republican-Herald employee. The decision to amend the zoning ordinance was spurred by the plans of Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC to construct 27 wind turbines, or windmills, in the Fountain Springs area.
22 Sep 2009

Attorney's oversight delays vote on West Penn wind turbine ordinance

For much of this year, the West Penn Township Board of Supervisors has been considering an ordinance regulating the use of wind turbines. The ordinance has been reviewed by the planning commission and revised after being under public scrutiny. When it came time for the supervisors to pull the trigger and vote on the proposed regulations, an oversight by the township's solicitor has the board delaying that vote again, at least for another month.
15 Sep 2009

Wind farm, sewage plan discussed

Township resident Gary Swope, who has expressed concerns about the impact of the turbines at past meetings, said he had given the supervisors a letter prior to the meeting listing some problems three residents in Somerset County have experienced. In one instance, a homeowner some 2,500 - 3,000 feet from a turbine said the noise at times was similar to a jet engine and added that 30y people in that area are concerned with the aesthetic impact that turbine have on the landscape. In a second instance, a woman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine said she can hear the noise inside her closed house and that she has measured the noise level there at 55-65 decibels.
11 Sep 2009

Wind company lobbied for, expected stimulus money for Locust Ridge II

Millions in federal stimulus money was expected for Locust Ridge II wind farm near Shenandoah even before President Obama took office in January, according to the company that developed the project. "When we were lobbying (the Obama transition team), we said, 'You need to do something or we can't utilize the tax credit,' " Rich Glick, government affairs director with international wind power company Iberdrola Renewables, said in a conference call with The Republican-Herald late Thursday afternoon. "It allowed us to complete Locust Ridge."
4 Sep 2009

Wind company gets nearly $300M, but none for Pa. projects

Despite reports to the contrary, none of the $294 million in stimulus money awarded Tuesday to Spanish wind company Iberdrola Renewables will be spent in Pennsylvania, according to company officials. ...Johnson said Iberdrola applied for stimulus money using projects already completed, like Locust Ridge II, as examples. She said the federal government was looking at a company's track record of success.
2 Sep 2009

Wind farm owner is sold; Investment expected to spur more projects

The company that owns Highland Wind Farm has been sold as part of a nearly $400 million investment that will jump-start more projects, including a second phase of development here. A British investor has paid $350 million to acquire controlling interest in EverPower Wind Holdings Inc., the New York-based company that developed the 25-turbine wind farm off Dunlo Dip Road in Adams Township.
2 Sep 2009

Wind turbine research continues

The Brady Township Supervisors held a workshop conference call in relation to developing a wind turbine ordinance. The conversation was with Thomas Tuffey, the director of PennFuture's Center for Energy, Enterprise and the Environment covered many areas of interest for the supervisors, who are currently writing an ordinance that will place regulations on the wind turbines currently being proposed by Iberdrola, U.S.A. in the township.
1 Sep 2009

1st of 67 wind turbines on rise in Bradford County

High atop Armenia Mountain, near this Bradford County borough and close to the Tioga County line, the first of nearly 70 giant wind turbines is rising into the sky. According to Matt Riel, general manager of operations and maintenance with AES Armenia Mt. Wind, as of Tuesday three turbines had been erected and four others have been partially built.
30 Aug 2009

Company asks court to allow windmills in Butler Twp.

The Gilberton company that wants to build windmills in Butler Township has asked Schuylkill County Court to reinstate its zoning permit for the project. Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC wants the court to allow it to construct 27 wind turbines near Fountain Springs and alleges the township zoning hearing board incorrectly revoked the permit on July 29. Serious harm would result if the court does not reverse the board's decision, according to the appeal filed Tuesday.
27 Aug 2009

Region's green jobs depend on U.S. policy

The latest generation of wind turbines needs bigger blades than the 140-foot-long, 6-ton models that Gamesa Technology Corp. Inc. has been making at its factory in Fairless Hills. So company officials announced 184 layoffs in January and said the blade work would be transferred to a larger Gamesa plant in the center of the state, near Altoona. And just that fast, manufacturing jobs that Spain-based Gamesa had delivered to this region less than three years earlier - aided by more than $10 million in financial incentives from Harrisburg - were gone
23 Aug 2009

Turbine's drawback could be blue heron

Each spring for the past three years, people in my neighborhood buzz about the return of flocks of great blue heron. ...Part of the reason the birds return to Bell Acres is Big Sewickley Creek, a small stream where the heron can fish undisturbed. But how much longer they remain undisturbed is anybody's guess. At the July 20 meeting of Bell Acres' Planning Commission, a proposal was introduced to turn a field about a half-mile from the heron nests into an "alternative energy center."
20 Aug 2009

Windmills called threat to raptor migration route

Turbines already are taking a heavy toll in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission released a report last spring showing the death rate is highest for bats, which additionally face being wiped out by a mysterious phenomenon called "white-nose syndrome." The evidence has mounted since studies in 2004 showed 1,500 to 4,000 bats annually were killed by the 44 turbines on West Virginia's Backbone Mountain.
16 Aug 2009

FAA deals blow to Gamesa

The Federal Aviation Administration has found six of the 25 wind turbines Gamesa Energy wants to build in Taylor and Snyder townships to be "presumed hazards," but the company is continuing to study the proposed location in hopes of changing that determination. The turbines in the proposed Sandy Ridge Wind Farm would be 475 feet tall. Nine of them would be in Taylor Township, Centre County. The rest would be in neighboring Snyder Township, Blair County, on land owned by Tyrone.
14 Aug 2009

Grant powers Turkey Hill wind project

A $1.5 million federal stimulus fund grant awarded Monday is just the boost needed to launch southcentral Pennsylvania's first commercial wind turbine project atop Turkey Hill in Manor Township, according to a county official. ...Warner and equal partner PPL Renewable Energy believe the turbines will serve as an example that small-scale wind projects can be built in rural areas to serve nearby customers.
11 Aug 2009

Balloon to test for wind farm

One red balloon will be hoisted high above the Buck Mountain ridge overlooking Black Creek Township this month. The balloon is part of a test to better visualize what a proposed wind turbine farm will look like. ...Penn Wind LLC, Sunbury, plans to build 22 wind turbines on the ridge.
8 Aug 2009

Butler Twp. supervisors move to restrict turbine projects; legal battle may follow

The Butler Township supervisors took actions during Tuesday's special meeting that will lead to restrictions on wind turbine placement in the township. However, those actions will most likely lead to a legal battle between the township and the developer planning to erect wind turbines. ...The supervisors voted unanimously to reject all pending plans submitted by Broad Mountain relating to wind turbines currently before the township planning commission or board of supervisors.
5 Aug 2009

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