Library filed under Energy Policy from Virginia
The governor made his first formal step in developing offshore wind resources, saying in a news release today that he has requested the formation of a federal-state-local task force. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine sent a letter this month to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting the formation of the task force to guide and facilitate the leasing process of federal waters off the Virginia coast to develop wind power.
Virginia's national forests are emerging as a potential battleground for wind energy, a key part of efforts to develop alternatives to coal and oil in the United States. Few proposals have been made so far for wind farms in the thousands of acres of Virginia national forest, but those that have been submitted have sparked intense disagreement. ..."The whole wind energy thing is brand new to the forest service. We don't really have any experience or guidance with this," said James T. Smalls, district ranger for the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington & Jefferson national forests in Virginia.
A third meeting of county officials reviewing HNWD's plans was held at a brisk pace this week. The Technical Review Committee of county administrator Roberta Lambert and building official Jim Whitelaw is sorting through a checklist of conditions Highland New Wind Development must meet before it can get a green light for construction. Opponents of the 38-megawatt electric utility are pushing to hold the county, and HNWD, accountable for meeting their responsibilities, raising questions about erosion control, wetlands protection, proper maps, and other concerns.
let me clarify your editorial assumption that I "oppose the wind farm." It would be more accurate to say that I am skeptical that the proposed project, and the several more that are sure to follow, will be good for Mineral County.
Tazewell County officials are moving closer to a decision on a controversial windmill farm project for East River Mountain. A steering committee studying the wind turbine project has recommended several changes to a proposed ridgeline protection ordinance, David Anderson, chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said.
A Senate committee has killed a bill that aimed to set up a panel of scientific experts ...to identify and finance renewable energy research projects around Virginia. The measure, HB 2404, was sponsored by Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle County, and was atop the House GOP's "energy independence and alternative resources" agenda for the 2009 General Assembly session. The bill aimed to clean up the environment, create green jobs and stimulate the state's economy.
The $200,000-plus Highland County hoped to receive from the proposed wind utility here could be cut to $120,000 if a legislative proposal survives the General Assembly this session, according to county officials. Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) submitted a bill that would allow wind energy facilities an exemption on state and local taxes up to 80 percent of the value of their projects if their capacity is less than 100 megawatts.
Ryder began working on the ordinance in response to a request from the planning commission last month. The county is working with James Madison University on a field test of the Virginia Renewables Siting Scoring System, or VRS3. The test will use a scoring book to evaluate factors related to siting wind energy facilities in various parts of the county. However, work on the book is still not complete.
Next week, Bath County planners are likely to discuss and review what may be one of the most important new ordinances our county has considered in decades - one to guide them on how applications for industrializing their mountaintops with wind energy turbine towers will be handled. If officials here succeed in passing it, Bath will be the first locality in Virginia to have an ordinance in place addressing commercial wind utilities. And it won't come a minute too soon. ...
Horns Reef [wind farm in Denmark] is emblematic of enormous subsidies to industries that would not exist in a free market. In the U.S., such industries are being supported by massive government subsidies and tax write-offs that shift the cost of resulting electricity to unsuspecting Americans' tax bills and monthly electricity bills.
A team of university scientists and industry experts has narrowed its sights on an initial project - about 100 wind turbines installed at least 12 miles off Virginia Beach, costing more than $250 million. The whirling turbines, each about 300 feet tall, would not be visible from shore, researchers said, and would take advantage of strong, consistent winds found in that part of the Atlantic, especially during winter. ..."If wind energy development in the eastern U.S. is going to make a real rather than symbolic contribution to solving our energy and air pollution problems, it will certainly be offshore development," Rick Webb, a University of Virginia scientist.
Virginia may have given a controversial power line an initial "yes," but Pennsylvania has given it an initial "no." In a ruling released late Thursday, regulatory judges in Pennsylvania recommended that the state's Public Utilities Commission deny applications from Allegheny Power and Dominion Virginia power to build the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line. A hearing examiner for the Virginia State Corporation Commission has recommended approval for the controversial power line, but only on the condition that West Virginia and Pennsylvania also sign off on the plan.
This brochure provides a quick, but informative, summary of the key issues pertaining to wind energy development in Virginia and the Appalachian region. The document can serve as a start point for others preparing similar information materials for their community. Click on the link(s) at the bottom of this page to view the final layout including photos.
On Jan. 31, The Recorder newspaper printed an interview that Judge Theodore "Ted" V. Morrison Jr. gave to Anne Adams, staff writer for the paper. He was one of three commissioners on Virginia's State Corporation Commission, which recently approved Virginia's first industrial wind project in Highland County over well-organized protests from residents and landowners. Morrison has been on the SCC for 19 years ...Morrison stressed the federal production tax credits are what make commercial wind facilities attractive, but the reality is the renewable electricity utilities will never substantially change the country's need for larger power plants.
Sen. Chap Petersen’s (D-34) Clean Energy Future bill was wiped from the 2008 legislative agenda last week when the proposal calling for renewable energy sources and reductions in energy consumption was killed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on a 3-12 vote. Senate Bill 446 would have required energy providers to produce 20 percent of their power through renewable resources by 2020. Petersen had touted the initiative heavily during his campaign for the Senate last year.
A bill which would have eased environmental restrictions for a controversial wind farm slated for construction in Highland County has stalled in committee. As previously reported in the Hook, Senate Bill 324, introduced by State Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), would have exempted all electric facilities that generate and distribute renewable energy with a capacity of no more than 50 megawatts.
State legislators may soon make life easier for a company looking to build a controversial wind farm in Highland County. A new bill in the General Assembly would exempt certain small electricity-generating facilities from state environmental regulations and requirements, so long as they operate on renewable energy. Senate bill 234, introduced by State Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) two weeks ago and currently being considered by the Commerce and Labor Committee, would exempt all electric facilities that generate and distribute renewable energy with a capacity of no more than 50 megawatts. ...Rick Webb, a senior scientist at UVA and nationally-recognized wind energy expert, believes that the passing of this bill is crucial to the Highland County wind farm's success and that without the bill's passage, Highland New Wind would face potentially devastating repercussions for failing to abide by the Endangered Species Act. The proposed wind farm's location is in the center of several caves that are home to two species of endangered bats: the Virginia Big-Eared bat and the Indiana bat.
Dominion Virginia Power, the state's largest electric utility, is looking to get greener. Actually, Dominion must get greener, mostly because of government rules in Virginia and North Carolina that at least 12 percent of the company's energy come from renewable sources by 2022. Dominion currently draws about 2 percent of its power from green energy supplies, including a large biomass facility in Pittsylvania County and a hydroelectric pumping station in the mountains of Bath County. To expand its environmental portfolio, the Richmond-based conglomerate is seeking project proposals from entrepreneurs and businesses to provide more renewable energy in the near future. ..."In order to meet one of the fastest-growing demands in the country, we need a very balanced portfolio," he said. That means investing in coal as well as renewables, energy conservation and efficiencies, and nuclear power. Dominion announced last month that it intends to seek a federal license to build a third reactor at its North Anna nuclear power plant, northwest of Richmond.
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
Imagine 3,500 wind turbines, each at least as tall as a 40-story building, lining the ridges of Virginia's mountains for about 400 miles (Shenandoah National Park is 100 miles in length). That is what would be needed, according to a U.Va. environmental scientist, to satisfy proposed legislation to make nine percent of Virginia's energy "renewable" by 2020. Rick Webb doesn't want to imagine it, nor would he allow it if it were up to him. "On-shore wind energy will do little to solve our energy problems in Virginia, but will possibly do significant harm to our environment," he said.