Library filed under General from Virginia

Windmill debate churns

Although the official public hearing was delayed until January, area residents still spoke out Tuesday over the controversial topic of wind turbines. "How are we guaranteed that so many jobs will be created?" Mark Tyson of Tazewell, said. "We have to take the word of BP and Dominion - the same people who funded 50 percent of this study." "As far as this study is concerned, I know it is an economic impact study, but I pray there will be other studies you all will look at other than economics," Donna Kelly of Bluefield, Va., said. "It's not all just about money. I feel a few will profit from this but the majority will suffer."
18 Nov 2009

Windmill study provides statistics and more for divided community

The long-awaited wind energy study compiled by Springsted Inc., was released on Monday. While it didn't include a lot of surprises, it did come with plenty of statistics, projections and hypothetical scenarios related to wind turbine farms. ...While it doesn't provide a lot of new details, the Springsted study still provides a lot of information for folks to digest. The official public hearing on the proposed mountain construction ordinance, also known as the mountain ridge protection ordinance, will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6:15 p.m. or soon thereafter at Tazewell High School.
18 Nov 2009

Wind energy study details Tazewell County impact

A proposed wind turbine farm for East River Mountain would provide $9.2 million in new revenue to Tazewell County over a 20 year period, according to the findings of a new wind energy economic impact study. The study, which was made public Monday through the county's website, will be discussed in detail at tonight's Board of Supervisors meeting. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Tazewell Middle School with a wind turbine discussion scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
17 Nov 2009

Pivotal turn coming in Tazewell windmill saga

Tazewell County leaders will tackle the controversial topic of wind turbines Tuesday during the first of two meetings that could determine the fate of a controversial East River Mountain project. The board meets Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Tazewell Middle School, and will begin the wind turbine discussion at 7:30 p.m. At that time, John Anzivion, senior vice president of the Springsted Company, is scheduled to present the results of a wind turbine economic impact study to the board.
14 Nov 2009

New Tazewell board members: No decision on wind turbines

The newly elected members of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors say they haven't made a decision yet when it comes to wind turbines on East River Mountain. "I'm going to have to research that a little bit better," John Absher, who defeated incumbent Bill Wimmer for the Western District board seat, said when asked about wind turbines. "I haven't made a decision on that one way or another. We are just going to have to talk about the pros and cons of it." Although the wind turbine project is not planned in his district, Absher said he has still had several questions from residents.
9 Nov 2009

Virginia SCC postpones wind turbine hearing

A hearing scheduled for November 10 at the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) regarding the Tamarack Ridge wind energy project has been postponed by request of the Virginia Department of Historical Resources (DHR). ...DHR requested the continuance until it has received the requested information from the Parks Service and had time to "review, analyze and consult with Highland New Wind about these reports."
7 Nov 2009

Waiting in wings on windmills

Several additional companies have inquired about the possibility of building windmills in Tazewell County, officials confirmed Monday. Although Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America are planning a large-scale wind turbine farm for East River Mountain near Bluefield, other areas of interest for other wind energy companies have included Morris Knob, near Tazewell, and Burkes Garden, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman David Anderson.
20 Oct 2009

Hearing on Tamarack Ridge wind project rescheduled

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has rescheduled a hearing to determine whether a wind energy company has complied with pre-construction conditions regarding protection of historic resources. The hearing, originally scheduled for October 12, will be held on November 11 at 10 a.m. The hearing will be available as a webcast from the SCC website. The Virginia Attorney General's Office, representing DHR, filed a motion on October 9 to reschedule the hearing, which was granted by hearing examiner Alexander Skirpan.
14 Oct 2009

Carolina moving ahead on wind

Virginia officials have long discussed placing wind turbines off the coast, but the first towers in the region are likely to appear farther south - in North Carolina's Pamlico Sound. Duke Energy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently signed a contract to install one to three turbines in the sound west of Buxton and Avon as early as next year. The turbines would be seven to 10 miles from shore. The pilot project ...could position North Carolina as a leader in developing wind energy.
13 Oct 2009

Tazewell officials hope for wind energy study by next week

A long-awaited wind energy economic impact study for Tazewell County could be ready as early as next week. ...Following a five-minute recess in Tuesday's meeting, [County Administrator Jim] Spencer told media representatives that he was told by Springsted officials on the telephone that the wind energy study wouldn't be finished until mid-October.
6 Oct 2009

Tilting at wind farms

The developers of a wind farm in Highland County will be required today to appear before the State Corporation Commission -- again. This time opponents claim that the wind mills, finally under construction, might be seen from the site of a Civil War skirmish. Even if the swooping blades are visible a mile or two away at Camp Allegheny, that isn't cause to halt the project. This objection has been raised before -- and addressed before.
23 Sep 2009

Developers make progress atop East River Mountain

The developers of a proposed large-scale wind turbine farm for Tazewell County have been quietly making progress high atop East River Mountain. A meteorological tower to study wind speed and direction has been erected on the mountain. A number of geo-technical studies, along with wildlife and avian studies, also are continuing at the Tazewell County site, Ryan Frazier, a senior communications specialist with Dominion Energy, said.
6 Sep 2009

Wind project still faces challenges

As Highland New Wind Development pushes to get roads installed and fields leveled for foundations, efforts to build its 38-megawatt wind-generating utility here aren't proceeding smoothly. Obstacles abound, in the form of legal challenges, allegations of not meeting state requirements, and an Erosion and Sediment control plan state officials have found lacking. All of that is coupled with an ongoing assertion from West Virginia officials who say Virginia, and Highland County, had no right to approve a facility that crosses state lines.
3 Sep 2009

Inspector finds extensive deficiencies in wind plans

Protecting Laurel Fork and its watershed has been a top priority for landowners near where 19 towers are under construction on Allegheny Mountain. This week, that appears to be also true for the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is assisting Highland officials in getting Highland New Wind Development to comply with Erosion and Sediment control regulations.
3 Sep 2009

Decision on windmill project still up in the air

The chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors is expressing frustration over repeated delays in a decision regarding a large-scale wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. Anderson made another motion late Tuesday night to proceed with a public hearing on a revised ridgeline protection ordinance. His motion died for a lack of a second. His fellow board members said they wanted to wait until an ongoing wind energy economic impact study was completed.
2 Sep 2009

Familiar territory in Tazewell: Board back to wind, air

Members of the Citizens for Environmental Independence urged the county Board of Supervisors to approve a large-scale wind turbine project for East River Mountain, and School Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lawson asked the board Tuesday for permission to use $1.4 million in remaining “soft cost funds” for meeting the remaining financial obligations for heating and air upgrades at five elementary schools.
2 Sep 2009

Virginia wind power project draws flak from across the border -- wherever that is

As a 19-tower wind turbine project nears the construction stage in Highland County, Va., just across the state line from Pocahontas County, it faces a whirlwind of objections from both sides of the border -- including a dispute about just where the border lies. The project also has drawn fire from Civil War battlefield preservation groups for the negative effects the wind farm would have on West Virginia's Camp Allegheny.
29 Aug 2009

Agency recommends survey of rare, endangered species

It's possible, says one state agency, that rare and endangered species and habitats exist on or near the 220 acres where Highland New Wind Development is building an industrial wind utility. Monday, project review coordinator Rene Hypes, of the Division of Natural Heritage, Department of Conservation and Recreation, sent a letter to the State Corporation Commission attorney Wayne Smith saying her agencies special ecologists should survey the project area to help the developer avoid damaging rare species.
20 Aug 2009

Commissioners engage attorney to help settle border dispute

The Pocahontas County Commission voted Tuesday to engage an attorney to help determine where the West Virginia-Virginia State line is on Tamarack Ridge of Allegheny Mountain. The dispute arose after Highland New Wind Development. LLC, released its site plan for more than 15 wind turbines to be built on the ridge, two of which could be on or very close to the West Virginia side of the line. Those wind turbines and possibly others will be visible from Camp Allegheny, a pristine Civil War site.
19 Aug 2009

Virginia wind project blows into Pocahontas County

Concerned citizens of Pocahontas County and a resident of Virginia brought the issue of the Highland County wind turbine project intruding on the viewshed of Camp Allegheny in Bartow to the county commission's attention at Thursday's meeting. Virginia resident Dan Foster said his main concern is for Camp Allegheny and preserving the history of the battlefield, where the turbines will be visible from almost every angle.
12 Aug 2009
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