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A threatened lawsuit and claims that the county has not followed proper procedure in crafting its updated 10-Year Comprehensive Plan sparked a heated exchange this week between Mineral County Commission President Wayne Spiggle and attorney Jack Barr.
The ordinance would cover a variety of industrial energy generation projects including solar power, biomass and geothermal facilities but the main focus at the work session on July 27 dealt with wind power. Most of the discussion was even more narrow in scope, dealing with noise levels and setbacks of wind farms.
The only people present at a public comment period on the Enfield wind farm project Wednesday were town board members, representatives of the project, and curious onlookers. No one spoke during the brief comment period at the Town of Enfield board meeting.
In written testimony to the Army Corps, Thomas Kunz, a biology professor at Boston University with a long list of studies and publications qualifying him as an expert on bats and their reproduction, said there is a high level of risk to the Indiana bat population at the proposed project site. The location is routinely and heavily used as a roosting and foraging location, as well as a potential bat migration path, Kunz said.
The new law, while encouraging wind turbines, solar energy panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems, will regulate the construction of what officials said could be "potentially intrusive facilities" in the township. "If someone puts a solar panel in, it may work very well for that homeowner but there could be various problems with its looks or even with glare."
During their regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, August 3, the Wadena County Board tabled action on an application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow a 262-foot high wind tower to be erected in Aldrich Township.
"Once the siting of the turbines has been done people will finally realize what we've been trying to tell them, and people will start to realize how close they're going to be to their homes," he said. "Based on what we were hearing from the DeKalb people, they're at 1,400 feet, and they've got noise and shadow flicker problems.
In recommending approval, associate county planner Dirk Goering said the proposed ordinance would encourage county policy to support development of nonpolluting renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy. Debate centered on whether such systems would be noisy and impact views.
Oil giant BP broke the rules in Botetourt County. A company official admits they built a 198 foot tower last year without permission.
This document represents the WI Wind Siting Council's final recommendations to the Public Service Commission regarding the proper siting of wind energy facilities. The Council was unable to achieve consensus on its findings and recommendations. Included in the document is a minority report prepared by four of the fifteen members sitting on the Council. Appendix B contains the straw proposal proffered by the Chairman of the Council, Dan Ebert. The straw proposal formed the basis of the recommendations.
A vote on revisions to the Adams County wind ordinance could take place as early as Tuesday, which could in turn start the development of wind farms within the county. County Board Chairman Mike McLaughlin said he did not see a reason why the ordinance would not pass.
After more than two hours of deliberation and public comment at the special board meeting, the board voted 10-6 in favor of the exemption, with Janet Schreck, Dave Jenks, Stephen Johnson, Marvin Hawk, Karen Starbuck and Todd Winkler voting against the project. With the board's approval, Monarch Wind Farm will move on to the next step, securing the financing, which Gay will begin Monday.
Seven months worth of work by the Wind Power Advisory Committee to craft the town's first ordinance with which to regulate wind farms ran into stiff turbulence from a few selectmen and a Massachusetts-based wind developer at Thursday night's workshop. It would require among other things, a minimum 1-mile setback of turbines from residences and wind turbines that don't reflect sunlight.
The company that plans a wind farm in the Valley says a proposed three-mile setback from homes would kill the project. Mark Jacobson, business development director for Chicago-based Invenergy, told the San Miguel County Commission this week that the three-mile rule would be far more than what other counties with wind farms require.
A new wind farm off Block Island could jump-start Rhode Island's economy and make it a national leader for using renewable energy. Or it could be a risky venture that actually thwarts economic development by unnecessarily hiking local electric rates.
RUMFORD - Selectmen have scheduled a workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with their Wind Power Advisory Committee, which has a proposed wind power development ordinance.
"The subcommittee feels it has finished its charge. That concludes our work," said Bill Welty, chairman of the Subcommittee on Commercial Wind Energy Conversion Systems, at the close of the meeting. Included in the new draft are setbacks nearly twice the state's longest and a noise pollution clause that requires all turbines to impose a marginal five decibel change on typical background sounds.
While the new law bans wood-fired burnersand essentially relegates wind turbines to the less dense R-1 zoning district, it eases traditional setback requirements for residents and businesses contemplating systems like solar panels, said Komelasky. Without the ordinance, the turbines could have cropped up in high density neighborhoods and become a source of problems. And Komelasky said they can be "noisy and obtrusive."
“We need a moratorium of at least 12 months to allow the time necessary to study the issue further,” he said, “and I would also recommend that a seven-resident panel be formed to tie our citizens in with the process.” Martis’ research into what other communities have done in response to wind farm development proposals had led him to a study conducted by another commission.
Governor Carcieri and the state's legislative leaders put more pressure Monday on the state's Public Utilities Commission to approve a power-purchase agreement to pave the way for a $205-million wind farm to serve Block Island ...The commission remains committed to announcing a decision on Aug. 11, just within the deadline mandated by the General Assembly.