The developer of the Greenbrier County wind farm project says he expects more challenges to their plan to build more than 120 wind turbines on ridgelines in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.
“This is not the last word on this project,” says David Groberg with Beech Ridge Energy on the Public Service Commission’s approval of the project this week. “We fully expect the folks opposing it, one way or another, to exhaust every appeal and reconsideration opportunity.”
The PSC has approved the project with 29 conditions. One of the opposition groups is Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy. Dave Buhrman is with the group. He says their first step will be asking the PSC for reconsideration.
“I believe that the record shows that the 3,357 letters that were received by the Commission, 80 percent of the citizens who chose to comment disapproved of installing wind turbines here and for a wide variety of reasons,” says Buhrman who was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Buhrman says many residents of Greenbrier County chose to live there because of the rural nature of the county. It’s something that he says large wind turbines would ruin.
“I’m afraid you come down on the side of many citizens of Greenbrier County who simply don’t feel that the benefits of this project are worth what will change the entire focus, in my opinion, of northern Greenbrier County,” says Buhrman.
Groberg, though, says they’re still planning to begin construction in the spring, if possible. “When you have a resource that has such minimal environmental impacts and that is never going to run out and the build does have real value, it just doesn’t make sense not to use it when the economics work.”
Some of the PSC provisions include things like limiting construction activities during evening hours and church hours and limiting the lighting at the project area.
The company must also consult with a technical advisory committee regarding the project’s impacts on bats and birds.
The PSC issued its decision on Monday.
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