Articles from Virginia

Lawsuit against wind farm in Botetourt County allowed to move forward

The lawsuit, filed last December by Virginians for Responsible Energy and 14 residents of Botetourt and Rockbridge counties, asserts that the DEQ permit should be vacated because the agency cut corners in a process that ignored the adverse impacts of building turbines more than 600 feet tall along a remote county ridgeline. Friday’s hearing did not address the merits of the case, instead focusing on several defenses raised by DEQ and Apex on procedural grounds.
20 Aug 2021

Wind farm developer appeals Botetourt County's decision that it missed a deadline

Since announcing plans for the wind farm in 2015, Apex Clean Energy has seen a number of setbacks. The most recent came last month, when county zoning administrator Drew Pearson determined that Apex had missed a May 26 deadline for county approval of a site plan. The Charlottesville company did not qualify for an exemption passed by the General Assembly for some projects that were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pearson ruled.
5 Aug 2021

Spotsylvania's solar decommissioning will be a nightmare

Instead of requiring financial assurance, as mandated by Virginia law, the Board of Supervisors agreed to a scheme where no assurance whatsoever would be required for the first five years of the project, and no assurance covering the full cost of decommissioning would be required until the 30th year of the project, even though the useful life of the solar panels is only 15-20 years. But the real problem with the decommissioning scheme is even worse than that. The board was somehow persuaded to agree that the cost of decommissioning would be reduced—“offset” is the term used—by the salvage value of the solar panels installed on the property.
10 Jun 2021

Spotsylvania's solar decommissioning will be a nightmare

Instead of requiring financial assurance, as mandated by Virginia law, the Board of Supervisors agreed to a scheme where no assurance whatsoever would be required for the first five years of the project, and no assurance covering the full cost of decommissioning would be required until the 30th year of the project, even though the useful life of the solar panels is only 15-20 years. ...The board was somehow persuaded to agree that the cost of decommissioning would be reduced—“offset” is the term used—by the salvage value of the solar panels installed on the property.
7 Jun 2021

Company adjusts plans for wind farm in Botetourt County

Opponents have said the giant turbines would be an eyesore, make too much noise, generate shadow flicker and pose a threat to a scenic, mountainous area and its wildlife. A lawsuit filed last year seeks to stop the project by challenging a permit issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The state has asked that the case be dismissed; an Aug. 20 hearing is scheduled in Botetourt County Circuit Court.
3 Jun 2021

Strata Solar pulls application for utility-scale project in Culpeper

Strata Solar on Friday afternoon pulled its application to build a utility scale power plant in Culpeper County, a week after the planning commission scrutinized, then denied, the request and neighbors intensely opposed it. This is the second time in as many years that an out-of-state solar company has abruptly yanked its request to build a big project on farmland in Culpeper after facing similar scrutiny and public opposition.
22 Nov 2020

Offshore wind farm threatens tangier family’s conch fishing livelihood

Eskridge is concerned that wind turbine EMFs could negatively affect the conch that bury themselves in the sandy, muddy bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. ...Dominion representatives told watermen that the EMF from a cable would be comparable to that of a “toaster oven.” [T]he fishermen questioned how that comparison was determined and whether even a small EMF could negatively affect a conch. No scientific study has been done.
12 Nov 2020

Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia partnering on offshore wind energy development

Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina are teaming up on an effort to kickstart wind energy and economic development off their shores. The new initiative provides a framework for the three states to "cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce," they said in a joint press release.
29 Oct 2020

Dominion bills have soared — and are set to rise even faster, officials say

Dominion Energy customers’ monthly electric bills have jumped nearly 29% since 2007 under a series of electric utility-backed bills enacted since then — and look set to rise another 45% over the next decade, the State Corporation Commission said. ...It said Dominion’s push to expand its solar and wind generating capacity will drive much of the rise in bills over the next decade. ...The SCC report said Dominion’s latest long-term plan, which details a multi-billion-dollar investment in renewable energy, will boost the average residential customer’s monthly bill from $116.69 now to more than $168 by 2030.
20 Aug 2020

Tall wind turbines in Botetourt will pose no hazard to aircraft, FAA determines

In a step forward for a proposed wind farm in Botetourt County, the FAA found this week that turbines reaching as far as 680 feet into the sky from the top of a mountain would “not constitute a hazard to air navigation.” It was the second time the agency has determined that the renewable energy project, to be located in a remote and rural spot about 17 miles from the nearest airport, would not pose a threat.
6 Aug 2020

Virginia’s first offshore wind turbines promise jobs and clean power. They won’t come cheap

The massive towers now installed off Virginia Beach were assembled in Nova Scotia and brought down on a special ship that held them vertically. Driven into the sea floor like nails, the structures now stand 620 feet above the waves. The Washington Monument, by contrast, is 555 feet tall. On Monday it took a tour boat five hours round trip to visit the towers, which occupy a 112,800-acre site Dominion leases from the federal government.
1 Jul 2020

Upsized Botetourt County wind farm squeaks through on 3-2 supervisors' vote

The most vocal critic of Rocky Forge, however, proved to be Amsterdam District Supervisor Steve Clinton, who described the proposed wind farm as having “overstated benefits and understated costs,” and suggested, “maybe this isn’t worth it.” Martin, who represents the Blue Ridge District, stated that he supported wind energy but opposed the height increase. He also expressed exasperation that Apex still hasn’t secured passage to transport the massive turbine parts up the mountain, telling company representatives, “You’ve had four and a half years to get a right of way.”
27 May 2020

Botetourt project changes part of wind industry's move toward taller turbines

If wind turbines are allowed to tower up to 680 feet into the sky from a Botetourt County mountaintop, they would be higher than the tallest ones currently in the United States. But should the county’s board of supervisors approve a request from Apex Clean Energy to build up to 22 modern windmills as tall as a 50-story building, it wouldn’t necessarily set a new record.
23 May 2020

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Virginia&type=Article
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