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Commonwealth Court rejects wind park plan

Energy Unlimited’s push to build a 34-turbine wind farm in Bear Creek Township hit a snag Friday, but the company still plans to pursue the proposed wind park.

Commonwealth Court sided with the township in rejecting Energy Unlimited’s plans for 25 of the proposed wind turbines based on zoning rules.

The other nine proposed turbines are dependent on these 25 and were presented under another proposal. Those nine turbines have also faced legal suits.

The proposed wind farm has been controversial because of watershed concerns with Crystal Lake and the use of county-owned Theta land by a private business.

During the hearing before Commonwealth Court on Dec. 12, 2006, Bear Creek Township Solicitor William Vinsko argued Energy Unlimited presented preliminary plans that didn’t address all zoning questions.

Energy Unlimited will review the court’s decision and decide the best way to move forward, President David Lamm said by telephone from his California office.

Lamm feels a wind farm should be built on the site and that a majority of township residents support the project.

“The township is not against windmills,” Vinsko said. “Windmills in the right places are vital to our energy success, but following the law is of paramount importance.”

By Coulter Jones
The Citizens Voice


17 February 2007