Friday, June 20, 2008

Windmill Turbines for Fayette Horizon


Hearing July 31

Fayette windmill dispute spurs proposal

By Liz Zemba
Thursday, July 17, 2008

...The project was halted March 11, when the zoning board rejected PPM's request for a special exception for 24 of the turbines. PPM has appealed the board's decision in Fayette County Court, with a hearing slated for 9:30 a.m. July 31 before Judge Ralph Warman...

Original Post

A nod to the Tribune Review and reporter Liz Zemba for continuing to track the progress, or lack thereof, of a windmill turbine project which has been the subject of controversy from nearby property owners.

Deal Reached in Wind Turbine Dispute

A few weeks ago, during a board of county commissioners' public comment period, several citizens spoke about the project. A few supported erecting the turbines for a variety of reasons. On the other side of the issue, several citizens, wearing t-shirts which read: Trees Not Turbines, expressed concerns about noise, setbacks, potential negative impact on home prices, etc.

We covered the issue in our post:

May 23, 2008
Windmills Tilting for Fayette Land?

It appears some negotiations are ongoing with nearby property owners who have raised concerns with some verbal agreements concerning setbacks being made before the appeal raised by the project's sponsor is settled in court.

The Herald-Standard notes a July 31st hearing to determine the status of county ability to be among the interveners.

During public comment at a May Board of Commissioners' meeting, proponents and opponents of the project spoke. Notably, information was revealed that the setback distance was double the requirements.

Those residents with concerns asked for a 1-mile setback.

Net the Truth Online

Deal reached in wind turbine dispute
By Liz Zemba
Friday, June 20, 2008
Two Fayette County property owners who opposed a windmill project have reached a tentative agreement with the developer that will ensure the turbines are built at least 6,000 feet away from their homes.
Eric Williams of Skyline Drive in Wharton said Thursday that he and another property owner, Larry Williams, expect to finalize the tentative deal with PPM Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp. by next week. Sam Enfield of PPM confirmed yesterday that a verbal agreement has been reached.

The two property owners, who are not related, were seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by PPM.

PPM wants a county judge to reverse the Fayette Zoning Hearing Board's March 11 rejection of its request for a special exception for 24 wind turbines.

The 24 windmills were among 27 that were to be installed over a 3.5-mile section of Chestnut Ridge in Wharton, Georges and Springhill townships. They would produce electricity for PPM's South Chestnut Ridge Windpower Project.
Eric Williams yesterday said that as a result of the tentative agreement with PPM, he and Larry Williams no longer need to intervene in the case. The agreement, he said, calls for PPM not to locate any of the turbines within approximately 6,000 feet of nine homes on Skyline Drive.

Without the agreement, Eric Williams said, one turbine would have been built within 3,000 feet of the homes. Eric Williams said by doubling the distance, he is satisfied the project won't devalue homes or create noise problems.

A third property owner who had sought to intervene, Thomas J. Bozek, was granted permission to do so after a hearing yesterday before Judge Ralph Warman.

Judge rules Bozek can be added to wind turbines suit
By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard

A Fayette County judge has ruled that a neighboring property owner will be permitted to join a lawsuit involving a plan to construct wind turbines in Springhill and Georges townships that was denied by the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board.

During an evidential hearing Thursday, Judge Ralph Warman allowed Tom Bozek to be included in the case. The inclusion was permitted at the request of Bozek's attorney, Gary Altman.

Altman said Bozek's home is located just less than 2,000 feet from one of the proposed wind turbines and Bozek is primarily concerned about noise.

Another hearing on the case is scheduled for July 31, when the court will hear arguments about allowing the county to intervene in the case.

However, Gary Verkleeren of Iberdrola Renewables said the company is trying to reach an agreement with other neighboring property owners who are concerned about the location of a couple of the turbines.

"We are making concessions with turbine locations," Verkleeren said...


Wind Energy may Save Consumers Money

Fun with Wind Market Fund
Thursday, June 19, 2008

November 2005

PA Governor Announces Local Spanish Wind Energy Investments
Renewable Energy Today, Sept 28, 2004

June 19, 2007


The wind farm is owned by Iberdrola, the largest owner and operator of renewable energy facilities in the world, and was developed by its affiliate, Community Energy Inc. Gamesa constructed the 13 turbines at the Locust Ridge Wind Farm. Both companies are international clean energy leaders that chose to establish operations in Pennsylvania as a result of the Rendell administration’s energy policies and strategic investments.

Locust Ridge will produce 68,328 megawatt hours annually—enough emission-free electricity to power more than 6,500 typical homes each year.

Pennsylvania is already a leader in wind energy production on the East Coast with 179 megawatts (MW) of capacity, including Locust Ridge. Within the next 12 months, the commonwealth expects new wind farm projects will add another 214 MW of capacity and more than double the state’s current capacity.

Region takes lead role in wind farms
By Rick Stouffer
Sunday, May 28, 2006

...Spain's Gamesa, one of the four largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, opened its North American headquarters and East Coast development offices in Philadelphia. It also is constructing four manufacturing plants, including one in Ebensburg, Cambria County, to produce turbine and windmill blades, towers and nacelle assemblies, the enclosures that house a windmill's gearbox, shafts, generator, controller and brake.

Windfarms are capital intensive, with the demand for wind power driving many small developers out of the business. For example, Goldman Sachs acquired Zielka Renewable Energy and Scottish Power's PPM Energy bought Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp. Both acquired firms were involved in the development of many of the region's windfarms.

Spain-based Iberdrola, the world's largest wind power company in terms of installed capacity, with 3,600 megawatts as of March 31, earlier this year acquired Community Energy Inc., a Wayne, Delaware County-based developer. Iberdrola's goal is to reach 10,000 megawatts of primarily wind capacity by 2011.

"One reason for the marriage with Iberdrola was the wind turbine shortage and attendant price increases for the turbines," said Brent Alderfer, Community Energy's president and chief executive. "When you work on a project-by-project basis, you can't compete for equipment."

Alderfer said Iberdrola seriously is considering taking the path of competitor Gamesa by building manufacturing plants in the U.S.

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