Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Virginia
HIGHTOWN - The first utility-grade wind farm proposed in Virginia is hailed by its supporters as clean energy that can help stem global warming and rising fuel prices. But mountaintop residents near the Highland County site worry about what the blades of 18 towers taller than the Statue of Liberty would do to their environment. That would include rare or endangered birds, bats and a few other species, as well as a wild trout stream. Eleven state agencies have reviewed the Highland New Wind Development proposal and come up with a lengthy list of suggested studies, including an analysis of the cumulative impact of wind farms on the four-state Allegheny Mountain region.
Among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's 14 recommended requirements for the Highland New Wind Development's proposed turbine project:
RICHMOND — Highland residents are beginning to get a glimpse of the kind of testimony they’ll hear at the end of October about Highland New Wind Development’s utility project.
RICHMOND — After several weeks of delay, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality has sent its final report on the proposed Highland wind utility to the State Corporation Commission.
MONTEREY — Despite another strong majority opinion from citizens to the contrary, Highland New Wind Development’s application with regard to the comprehensive plan has now been deemed in accordance with land use goals by Highland planners
MONTEREY— Yet another decision awaits county officials about Highland New Wind Development’s plan to erect a 39-megawatt wind plant atop Allegheny Mountain.
A House of Delegates committee restored local authority over the location of energy-related facilities when it amended a Senate bill creating a state energy plan yesterday.
MONTEREY — Highland County planners now have 60 days to take another look at Highland New Wind Development LLC’s application for an industrial wind facility here.
The bill would basically tell people, especially those who in the past objected to the siting of natural gas transmission lines and windmills, to go fly a kite.
A bill that would create a state energy policy has been amended to give the state more power to trump local zoning laws.
We hope other Virginia localities watching these proceedings will profit from learning that currently unreliable wind power is green only for those who are allowed to siphon off government money at taxpayers’ expense and that as this high-cost energy is fed back into the grid, it will result in higher, not lower, electric bills for users. And we hope the cumulative anguish of Highlanders expressed during the hearings will give other decision-makers pause when they consider the real costs of wrongly-sited wind power.
Virginia local governments would lose zoning and land-use authority over designated sites for wind farms, nuclear plants and other low-emission energy facilities under a proposal being studied by a legislative panel.
Senior planner Darryl Crawford, of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, handed planners a list of recommendations to consider for wind energy permit applications last week, telling the commission it should determine whether Highland County wants industrial wind plants within its borders. A summary of Crawford’s 20-page set of recommendations is (attached):