- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy Action Alerts - https://www.wind-watch.org/alerts -

Wind Project Developer Seeks to Avoid Wildlife Protection Measures

Virginia Wind – — – News Release – — – July 17, 2007

The Virginia State Corporation Commission is hearing testimony on the proposed Highland New Wind project on Tuesday, July 17, at its Richmond office building.

If the Highland County project goes forward, it will be Virginia’s first utility-scale wind project.

Highland New Wind is testifying that it cannot afford the wildlife protections recommended by wildlife agencies, conservation groups, and citizen respondents in the case.

Despite the prospects of government incentives, which would cover the majority of development costs, it remains a marginal project, promising negligible benefits and huge environmental costs.

“This project is simply a bad investment for the wind industry and a bad precedent for the Commonwealth,” says Rick Webb, co-manager of Virginia Wind and co-author of a National Academies report on environmental impacts of wind projects. “If it goes forward, it can only damage the concept of green energy.”

The proposed project would involve twenty 400-foot turbines on two ridges in the Laurel Fork area of Virginia’s least populated county, an area noted for high mountain scenery and wildlife abundance. Limited studies conducted by the developer indicate that the project site may have the highest numbers of migrating birds and bats among all wind project sites in the eastern United States.

Multiple agencies and organizations have presented testimony about the proposed project to the State Corporation Commission.

This project clearly tests the limits of public support for wind development.

Virginia Wind takes the position that meaningful steps must be taken to solve our energy problem and address air pollution and climate change.

The Highland New Wind project is a step in the wrong direction.

www.VaWind.org [1]

Virginia Wind Contacts: Rick Webb (540) 468-2881; Dan Boone (301) 464-5199

Virginia Wind was initiated to serve as a clearinghouse for information on environmental assessment of commercial wind projects in Virginia and the surrounding mountain region.