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. The State Corporation Commission, which has final say, will conduct a public hearing Oct. 30 in Richmond on the proposal by retired poultry processor Henry McBride of Harrisonburg. His attorney, John Flora, hopes the project can benefit from a federal tax credit that expires in 2007.
Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Virginia
Virginia's environmental agency recommends that the developer of a proposed Highland County windmill project study the big turbines' effects on birds, bats and scenic views. The state Department of Environmental Quality passed its recommendations yesterday to the State Corporation Commission, which will approve or reject the project.
RICHMOND — Formal respondents in Highland New Wind Development’s case pending before the State Corporation Commission are adding to a long list of concerns expressed already by a variety of state agencies. Among those who have weighed in recently are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which expresses serious doubts about environmental reviews conducted thus far.