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Wind farm plans awaiting approval  

tribune-democrat.com

By Kirk Swauger
The Tribune-Democrat

BERLIN – A Kansas company has submitted plans to construct 18 wind turbines in Brothersvalley and Northampton townships, about four miles south of Berlin.

Lookout Windpower Project LLC of Leawood, Kan., is awaiting approval from the Somerset County Planning Commission.

“We want to begin as soon as possible, once all the necessary permits and everything else is in place,” said Bob Gardner, a member of the project team.

Lookout would join two other proposed wind farms in Shade Township and Stonycreek and Somerset townships that have plans on file. Other projects, mostly in the northern part of the county, remain in the conceptual stages, county officials said.

“We don’t consider them real until we get a plan here,” said Brad Zearfoss, director of the planning commission.

“There’s no guarantee they will be going anywhere until they’re actually built,” agreed Bill Lehman, a land-development planner for the county who is reviewing Lookout’s proposal.

A cost estimate for the wind farm was not immediately available.

Like nearly three dozen other turbines currently turning in the county, electricity would be sold to a main power grid serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

In Ogle and Shade townships, a proposed 30-turbine wind farm has come under fire from residents, who fear environmental and other problems.

Some Northampton Township residents have expressed similar concerns, township Supervisor Terrance Bittner said.

“This is something the government’s funding, basically,” he said. “They’re not going to let us impede it.”

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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