Library filed under General from West Virginia
A long ride on a dusty Pasquotank County farm road - a right after the tractor shed, a left at the edge of the bean field - eventually leads to a recently harvested wheat field two miles from the nearest paved road.
Once again, the Allegheny Highlands is gearing up to debate the merits of commercial wind energy - this time for a project on Shenandoah Mountain. Solaya Energy LLC has been monitoring wind resources along a five-mile stretch of the ridgeline there to determine whether it‟s a good site for roughly 23-25 industrial wind towers. At this point, the company believes the location has strong potential.
It's too soon to tell how this project might evolve, but there's no doubt Pendleton is no longer as vulnerable to the corporate push on wind power as it used to be. An informed citizenry makes all the difference. There's not a full-time farmer in these mountains who wouldn't understand and sympathize with the Cow Knob families' desire to hang on to their land. ...But as much as we get their motives, we also know they're setting themselves up for a costly, protracted battle.
"The interest is increasing and people want to talk about them," he said. "We will schedule an open house for fall. We want to get all the construction finished. In mid to late fall an open house will be open to the public."
Charles Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy, said the goal of the community meetings is to keep people informed and that due to the bad weather last week, only 25 to 30 people attended.
"As Adams wrote, '. just because (an industry) bills itself as green and renewable does not mean it has no effect, or footprint, on the environment. It does. Land is disturbed. Trees are cut. Watersheds are changed. And wildlife and habitat areas can suffer serious consequences.
Industrial-scale wind farms have altered the rural landscape in places where the natural environment and quiet living are high priorities. Some local residents and conservationists say wind turbines are an assault on both.
Over the last five years, environmental degradation to our beautiful natural landscape is occurring without the public's knowledge as closed-door negotiations among local and state government and energy companies take place. And, of course there is very limited federal, state, and local regulatory oversight.
As the Mineral County Commissioners await comments from their attorneys on the proposed escrow agreement with U.S. Wind Force, representatives of the Allegheny Front Alliance are asking them to consider the results of a decommissioning study before signing any final documents.
Shaffer said the escrow agreement would assure that the wind farm "is paid for from the first shovel of dirt to start construction of the wind farm to the decommissioning of the last standing turbine. "This is the document that will protect individual land owners, and guarantee that turbines on leased or purchased land are the responsibility of the group in possessoin of the turbines when their useful life is over.
The study, required by the West Virginia Public Service Commission as part of its permitting process, is designed to determine the cost of decommissioning, or dismantling, a wind farm after it has exceeded its useful life. That money is then set aside as a means of ensuring that the useless turbines are not abandoned with no means of funding their removal.
Lorelei Scarbro's husband, Kenneth, an underground coal miner for more than 30 years, is buried in a small family cemetery near her property here at the base of Coal River Mountain. The headstone is engraved with two roosters facing off, their feathers ruffled. Kenneth, who loved cockfighting, died in 1999, and, Ms. Scarbro says, he would have hated seeing the tops of mountains lopped off with explosives and heavy machinery by mining companies searching for coal.
Groundwork is in progress to make way for the $250 million wind turbine facility on Laurel Mountain, and completion of the project is expected by the end of next summer, officials said this week.
Work could begin as early as fall on a controversial, 23-turbine wind farm in Mineral County. Despite that, environmentalists opposed to the project say their fight continues. ...Frank O'Hara, a spokesman for Allegheny Front Alliance, said many West Virginians are just now learning about the wind farm project -- and aren't eager to see it take shape.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission will not reconsider its decision to allow US Wind Force to develop a 23-turbine wind farm atop Green Mountain near Keyser. The PSC initially granted the project's permit Jan. 11. But the Allegheny Front Alliance, a group opposing the project, filed an appeal Jan. 21, asking the commission to take up the matter again.
A Grant County wind project that received state Public Service Commission approval in September is now in the hands of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Plans for the AES New Creek project call for placing up to 66 wind turbines on a 7-mile stretch of New Creek Mountain ...The project is now awaiting the DEP's decision on its stormwater construction permit. The 30-day public comment period for the permit closed Thursday.
Opponents of a planned Mineral County wind farm have appealed to the West Virginia Public Service Commission to reconsider its decision to allow the project to go forward. On Jan. 11 the PSC approved a permit allowing developer US Wind Force to move forward with its plans to build up to 23 wind turbines atop Green Mountain in Mineral County.
The Allegheny Front Alliance has appealed the West Virginia Public Service Commission's approval of the Pinnacle Wind Farm, delaying construction of the 23-turbine project atop Green Mountain. The Alliance, which represents opponents to the Pinnacle project, filed its "petition for reconsideration" late last month, submitting a 13-page appeal that raises a number of issues with the approval.
Tazewell County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that prevents wind farm construction on specified locations. Wind industry supporters say it's an example of how the "anti-wind agenda" is gaining steam. It's one of the latest ordinances in the country adopted by local government that prevents wind farm construction as the federal government is pushing for cleaner greener technologies.
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.