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It’s been 15 years since Jim Spencer started a small solar energy company in New York that would turn into Pittsburgh’s biggest wind developer and, on Thanksgiving Day, be sold to the world’s biggest asset manager.
The acrimonious debate over whether turbines should rise from the ridges surrounding Bethlehem’s water supply has generated broad questions about clean energy, wildlife and property rights. But whether the project moves forward may depend on how Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass answers a more narrow question: whether the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board blew a legal deadline to decide the case.
In rejecting a wind energy project near Bethlehem’s reservoirs, the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board has made a 31-page argument of technical, legal and environmental reasons on why turbines don’t belong along the wooded ridges that surround the prized Wild Creek watershed. Applicant Atlantic Wind spokesman Paul Copleman said the company would challenge that rejection in court.
“It’s a private industry or business that wanted to use the courtroom and there’s a whole bunch of security issues and legalities in being able to do that,” he said. “Legally, we can’t do that.” Commissioner William O’Gurek added, “We don’t want to be a hosting site for anyone who has a disagreement in their municipality.”
WINDBER – Two weeks ago, debate over wind farm regulations in Ogle Township prompted supervisors to end a meeting after approximately four minutes.
An Ogle Township landowner who has served as the area’s most vocal opponent to the idea of a Shaffer Mountain wind farm put his words to music Monday, bringing a portable boombox – and a song he’d written – to the township’s meeting.
Ogle, Shade township residents oppose proposed wind farm OGLETOWN – Three 300-foot-tall test towers have been erected on a sprawling tract of Berwind Corp. woodland spanning parts of Ogle and Shade townships.
Garner said it is not true that the turbines were not maintained. The reason the wind farm was decommissioned was there was no longer a customer for the electricity. The contract with the energy cooperative expired in 2012.
"I was told that they are deteriorating," Donald Decker said. "They were supposed to do maintenance weekly, but in the winter sometimes they didn't plow for a month." ...The eight 200-foot windmills (10.4 megawatts) were dedicated in the fall of 2000.
A hearing over whether a wind farm will be built on Bethlehem's watershed has been put on hold after alleged threats, including to the family of a turbine company official.
Dahlkemper is on the board of directors of the wind developer, LEEDCo, which is a real conflict of interest with her duties as county executive of Erie County.
Nicole Nothstein, administrative secretary for the authority, said members were against the location on a watershed, not the alternative energy source. She said the vote reflected board members' intention to protect the watershed.
TV attack ads are flying in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Pat Toomey and his Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty. The race could help determine control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 8 election. Here is a look at two of the attack ads currently on the air in Pennsylvania.
“We are standing together and vowing to fight this with every resource that we can muster,” Orlandini said. “The township has tried to keep this under wraps and are now seeing how strong the people of the Poconos can be when we stand up for something we believe in.
“We are organizing our community against this project,” said Hank Orlandini. “We hike and hunt this ridge. This isn’t green energy, it takes oil to run turbines. We are going to fight this, and we are asking you to stand behind your residents.” Many others spoke and each person who did was applauded by those who listened to them.
"I think they're going to destroy a beautiful place up there. It's gorgeous up there. There's birds that are going to be affected. There's animals' habitats that are going to be affected, and it's going to ruin a beautiful place,” said Andrea Miller, a Beltzville Lakes Estates resident. Penn Forest Township supervisors heard an earful at their meeting Monday night.
“Some individuals have expressed concern to the county about the potential impact of this project on the Cherry Springs State Park international sky preserve, as well as the potential impact of forest fragmentation created by the clearing of roughly 200 acres for construction,” Heimel said. “These concerns should be voiced to Hector Township, which may be in a position to affect the development.”
“What is it going to take to get wind back in Pennsylvania? It is really a restoration of some long-term contracting market that goes beyond just the few corporate buyers that exist out there,” said Eric Thumma, director of institutional relations at Iberdrola Renewables, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola S.A.
Developers with plans for a large-scale power plant in Jessup have gone to great lengths to show they can be good neighbors in Lackawanna County. Whether Invenergy LLC can keep its word depends on whom you ask in other municipalities where it has facilities.
A developer planning to build the region's first commercial wind farm in the township has terminated all of its property leases for the project and will build no giant turbines there.