Synergics Wind Energy is appealing the Oct. 30 decision made by hearing examiner David L. Moore, Maryland Public Service Commission. The examiner had approved the company’s application to build wind turbines in Garrett County, but with several environmental restrictions.
At the October hearing, Moore okayed 24 conditions recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, including one that would prevent construction of the wind turbines in two areas in order to help preserve habitat for rare species.
Synergics had until Nov. 30 to appeal the examiner’s decision to the full Maryland Public Service Commission. The company filed its appeal yesterday, Nov. 29. Oakland resident Jon Boone, Friends of Backbone Mountain, is also appealing Moore’s decision. Boone filed his appeal on Monday, Nov. 27. Hearing dates have not yet been set.
The Annapolis based company’s construction plans include 17 wind turbines, up to 548 feet tall (measured from a blade at its highest point), along a 3-mile length of Backbone Mountain near Roth Rock. Synergics had originally planned to build 24 turbines measuring 387 feet.
The company reduced the number of turbines after the DNR identified several rare species in the proposed project area. Those include the mourning warbler, mountain wood fern, summer sedge, Allegheny woodrat, and timber rattlesnake. The height of the proposed structures was subsequently increased to compensate for the loss of power from fewer turbines.
Synergics contends that the turbines will generate 40 megawatts of electricity, which will be sold on the wholesale power market, and help the state meet its goal of producing 7.5 percent of electricity from renewable resources by the year 2017.
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