Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from West Virginia
Friddle and Staggers presented the group with a PowerPoint presentation on the proposed Interstate transmission line, known as the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL). The new transmission line will be 240 miles and will be 500 kilovolts. The line should run from southwestern Pennsylvania to West Virginia, then to Northern Virginia. The proposed cost for the project is estimated to be $1.4 billion. According to Friddle, the new transmission line is needed so that the supply of electricity meets the demand for electricity. “Without this project, it's determined that by 2011 there will be 12 electrical problems with possible blackouts and brownouts,” Friddle said.
The state Public Service Commission rejects four appeals against a proposed wind farm in Greenbrier County. The Chicago-based company hopes to start construction this year on a the 300 (m) million-dollar project. Invenergy plans to build the 124-turbine Beech Ridge Energy wind farm in northern Greenbrier County.
It’s called the Allegheny Plateau, a wide span of ridges stretching across west-central Pennsylvania and then south into West Virginia. The wind patterns and terrain characteristics of the plateau make it the primary reason why Cambria and Somerset counties soon will be home to more than 500 new windmills during the next few years, with predictions of more on the horizon. That number is in addition to the 34 existing turbines in Somerset County and includes the 90 proposed for the Allegheny Ridge.
It will be another seven months before residents in Pendleton County will know if wind turbines will be built on Jack Mountain. Tension between both sides is growing.
The Grant County Board of Education has once again reaffirmed its support for a controversial mountaintop wind power project. BOE members recently agreed to submit a legal document in defense of the project, which is being challenged in court by some of its detractors. Known as a “brief,” the document will be filed with the state Public Service Commission and Supreme Court of Appeals. The brief was approved on a 5-0 vote during the BOE’s recent meeting at the Union Educational Complex. Action came after a presentation by Dennis DiBenedetto, prosecuting attorney. DiBenedetto told board members the brief won’t cost them anything and will largely restate arguments in favor of the project already made by the BOE. Some of these arguments include a welcome for $45 million in tax revenues to be gained over the project’s lifespan.
Those headed to West Virginia’s capital city this week for hearings on the Liberty Gap wind utility proposal came home early. The state’s Public Service Commission was set to begin evidentiary hearings Tuesday morning on Liberty Gap LLC’s request for a permit to build a 50-megawatt wind energy facility on Jack Mountain in Pendleton County. But at the last minute, the company realized it had not published public notices about the hearings as required by the PSC. When it realized the error, Liberty Gap asked the PSC to postpone the hearings 30 days, and move the statutory deadline for the PSC’s final decision back 30 days as well. The PSC denied that motion, and cancelled the evidentiary portion of the hearings, though it did receive limited public comment on the project Tuesday, and agreed to hear argument from all parties involved about how to proceed.
After being twice urged to do so by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Liberty Gap LLC has volunteered to seek a permit for the incidental “take” of endangered species. In doing so, the company has asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission not to consider its proposed wind energy project’s impacts on other wildlife. But PSC staff has urged the commission to deny that request.
Both sides of the Pendleton County West Virginia wind turbine dispute remain unsettled. The agency who will make the final decision on the project. The Public Service Commission, has delayed an evidentiary hearing until April because Liberty Gap Wind Force, failed to properly advertise for yesterday’s public hearing.
“All necessary permits have been granted for the project and NedPower Mount Storm LLC has certified to the West Virginia Public Service Commission that all of the certificate’s requirements necessary for construction have been met,” said Tim O’Leary, spokesman for Shell WindEnergy, which will operate the NedPower wind electric-generating turbine farm at Mount Storm.
The Public Service Commission’s Aug. 28 ruling permitting 124 industrial wind turbines in Greenbrier County drew a quick response from MCRE (Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy). MCRE spokesman Dave Buhrman said, “We concur with wind opponent Jon Boone who states, ‘Industrial wind is a distraction issue—distracting from the heavy lifting required for meaningful change in our energy practices.’”
With wind farm development continuing to become somewhat of a household word along the eastern ridges of West Virginia, it’s imperative for Gov. Joe Manchin’s newly established Public Energy Authority to become familiar with the issues as quickly as possible.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite hundreds of letters supporting the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s July 24 decision to dismiss Liberty Gap LLC’s application for the Jack Mountain wind utility, the PSC decided last week to give the company another chance.
CHARLESTON — In yet another victory for wind energy developers, the state Public Service Commission has reinstated the application for a 50-turbine wind farm to be located on Jack Mountain in Pendleton County.
A Greenbrier County citizens group hasn’t given up its fight to block a 126-turbine wind-energy project. Members of Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy plan to ask state Public Service Commission members to reconsider their decision earlier this week to approve the $300 million wind farm.... During the past year, more than 3,300 people sent letters to the PSC about the wind project. About 80 percent of the letters urged the PSC to turn down a Chicago developer’s plans to build the 186-megawatt project called the Beech Ridge Energy Wind Farm.
The PSC’s approval came with 29 stipulations — some before construction starts, and others after the turbines are built. Among them: Beech Ridge and its contractors must use noise buffers on equipment and trucks. The company must conduct studies on the project’s impact on bats and birds for the first three years the wind turbines are up and running. Beech Ridge also must limit lighting at the site and comply with the federal Endangered Species Act.
THE Sierra Club supports renewable energy nationally, and in West Virginia. Recently, the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club recommended that the application of Beech Ridge Energy LLC for a Certificate of Site Approval from the West Virginia Public Service Commission be approved and that the following conditions be included in the commission’s order granting the certificate for the company’s Greenbrier County wind farm:
A bill to impose a six-month moratorium on Public Service Commission certification of wind power generation facilities died in the House.
CHARLESTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin proposed legislation for the special session that began Tuesday that would temporarily bar siting new wind farms near airports.
Gov. Joe Manchin proposed legislation for the special session that would temporarily bar siting new wind farms near airports.
For months, supporters and opponents of a proposed 124-turbine wind project in Greenbrier County have dueled through news releases and letters to the state Public Service Commission.