Library filed under Impact on Landscape from USA
After meeting with both sides and reviewing reams of documents, we’ve determined that the rancorous year-long debate over a proposed 6,350-acre solar power plant that has pitted Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County, a small local grassroots group, against a large, out-of-state corporation comes down to this: the project is way too big for western Spotsylvania County, and there are too few benefits to county residents to offset this major deficiency.
Residents who live around the proposed site in the Wilderness area of western Spotsylvania have aggressively opposed the project, saying it is too big, includes too many unknown risks and would bring no benefits to the county. The company has, in turn, aggressively countered residents with experts who deem the project safe and beneficial to the county.
California's largest county has banned the construction of large solar and wind farms on more than 1 million acres of private land, bending to the will of residents who say they don’t want renewable energy projects industrializing their rural desert communities northeast of Los Angeles.
"This is huge. This is a tremendous victory for national parks and public lands," said Pamela Goddard, senior regional director for the NPCA's Mid-Atlantic region. "The court has found that if anyone wants to build a major infrastructure project, they must follow the law. So it's a victory for our parks and public lands."
Plans for a Chinese company to construct a new wind energy facility along the Devil's River, which runs over 90 miles from Sutton County Texas into the Rio Grande is running into opposition.
In Fayette County, Catherine Miller knows firsthand that, while wind turbines are touted by many as a source of local revenue and clean energy, they aren’t loved by all Iowans.
After listening to more than half a dozen Walkersville residents, the applicant and county staff, Frederick County Council members voted to deny a request for rezoning for a proposed solar array in Walkersville.
Intermountain residents packed a school gymnasium Thursday night to sound off about a planned wind farm that some, who attended, believe would dramatically change the landscape of eastern Shasta County.
Environmentalists are in a position they never imagined: Fighting a solar panel project that would help Georgetown University dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. They say the project, which involves razing about 210 acres of trees in rural Charles County, Md., could endanger the area’s birds and lead to runoff that would put tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay at risk.
To avoid bird deaths, the organization said, companies shouldn’t locate wind turbines in areas where there is high risk of bird collisions. “In my opinion, there are probably two places that are absolutely the worst places to put wind turbines. It’s the Great Lakes region and the Gulf Coast of the United States,” said Shawn Graff, vice president of the Great Lakes Region at the American Bird Conservancy. “In these areas, during migration, the number of birds is huge.”
Wednesday night, the Makakilo, Kapolei and Honokai Hale, passed a resolution 6 to 1 opposing the project, citing issues such as the impact on wildlife, a lack of wind due to climate change, the eyesore it would create on the mountain ridge line and the impact that would have on jobs, tourism, and housing.
The wind turbines are currently on hold due to a lawsuit from neighbors, claiming their property would have decreased value with the turbines obstructing their view. The petition put together by the Crazy Mountain Neighbor Coalition currently has more than 200 signatures from people across the state. Pattern Energy anticipates construction will begin in the spring of 2020.
“The agency can and should improve the draft provided,” the council’s letter read. “Projects that are consistent with current laws and regulations, are guided by science, that protect intact forests, that promote sustainable and resilient communities, and that expand carbon sequestration and the resiliency of natural and human communities will be key to making New York and the Adirondacks a world leader in the fight against climate change.”
Each of the 24 turbine sites requires about 10 acres of timber-clearing and road construction in sensitive environmental areas where high-quality tributaries and wetlands could be affected, chairman Jason Childs reported. ...Turbines will be nearly 660 feet high.
The sPower plant would consume 10 square miles of designated forest lands. That is half the size of Manhattan, and larger than the entire city of Fredericksburg. The four larger solar power plants are located in the desert of the U.S. Southwest, far from any residential areas. The project is just plain wrong for Spotsylvania on several levels.
Opponents argue that the 600-foot-tall, 2,400-ton turbines would diminish the area’s natural beauty and harm sensitive geologic features that provide habitat to 16 endangered species, including bats and crustaceans that live in caves and underground streams. ...Opponents got a boost in October, when the Illinois Department of Natural Resources published a report, known as an Ecological Compliance Assessment Tool (EcoCAT), examining how natural areas and endangered species could be affected by the proposed wind farm. The agency made 19 recommendations. The first was for the developer to consider an alternate location.
A company called S-Power wants to build a massive solar energy center on 6,000 acres ...More than half of the land would be covered with solar panels. "This would be the fifth largest solar plant in the United States. ...All 10 of (the largest of) these are nowhere near a residential area."
Do rural Americans have a say in what they see outside their dining-room windows, even if that view extends miles beyond their property lines? It’s a more profound debate than it might seem, having as much to do with the future of farming communities and land values as it does with aesthetics. And for the wind industry, it poses a sharp challenge. As turbines get ever bigger and more visible as they spread across rural areas, they become more controversial, threatening the industry’s growth.
But David Sinclair with Louisville Gas & Electric brought up a number of practical hurdles t...For example, if the city were to produce renewable energy from within the county, it would take 20 percent of the entire land in Jefferson County to meet the city’s needs with solar and 90 percent with wind power, Sinclair said.
"The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance for the review and approval of renewable energy projects inside the Adirondack Park with regards to the Adirondack Park Agency Act, the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act," a press release says. "The policy is envisioned to advance renewable energy sources."