Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from USA
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."
Conflicts between energy producers and conservationists are nothing new in Texas, but a recent fight in Val Verde County centers around wind farms and whether they belong in one of the wildest natural areas left in the state. Members of the Devils River Conservancy, whose group includes landowners with property on the Devils River, have launched a campaign called “Don’t Blow It,” to advocate against wind development along the Devils and Pecos rivers north of the Texas-Mexico border.
Though still a long way from fruition — or even a concrete application — the prospect of up to about 50 turbines and 200 megawatts has already stoked debate across some of the surrounding farms and growing bedroom communities of Monroe County.
The Aug. 1 appeal from the Boulevard Planning Group says they object to the “weasel worded findings” of county staff to turn their rural community into a “renewable energy sacrifice zone.” New York-based renewable energy company Terra-Gen, which has an office in San Diego as well, wants to build a 126-megawatt project on a 2,000-acre private ranch in northern Boulevard.
Tisdale urges the public to “speak out with any concerns or any personal knowledge you may have of turbine noise impacts, health impacts, local wildlife,cultural, and groundwater resources or other related issues. These projects use millions of gallons of water for construction.” This meeting and public comments will help decide what issues should be included in the project environmental impact studies.
“This fall we plan on installing additional sleeving over another section of cable to protect it from potential damage from a stray anchor or other heavy object. We will be meeting with the Coastal Resources Management Council and Deepwater Wind [on Thursday, Aug. 9] to discuss the current situation and explore other options. We will keep the town and other officials updated accordingly.”
County Mapping, Platting and Zoning Director Mike Fausz said the windmills Koppeis is hoping to erect would be among the largest in the state of Illinois. He also said the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has signaled it has concerns about the wind farm.
“There was a large group of landowners here in Val Verde that are concerned about the impacts of that and their respective property rights. This is a very strong state for private property rights, and we belong to that line of thinking, and we believe we can do whatever we can on our individual properties, as long as it doesn’t harm our neighbors,” he added.