Plans for a proposed 34-turbine wind farm in Bear Creek Township are still grounded, as Energy Unlimited Inc. lost another appeal in court Thursday.
Commonwealth Court rejected Energy Unlimited’s appeal for reargument, throwing out the company’s claim that the court misinterpreted the law in siding with township supervisors Feb. 16.
Township Solicitor William Vinsko argued at the Dec. 11 hearing that the company presented preliminary plans for 25 of the turbines that were incomplete and didn’t address all zoning questions.
The additional nine turbines, which cannot operate without the other 25, were filed under a separate zoning application and have also faced legal suits.
Despite the setback, several lawsuits against the project and public concern with a wind farm on county-owned Theta Land, Energy Unlimited would still like to pursue the project, company president David S. Lamm said.
“We will continue to pursue the project in all legal ways until those options are exhausted,” he said. “This decision will not discourage our desire to build a wind park on that property.”
Energy Unlimited’s attorney Ernest Preate Jr. said he hasn’t spoken with his clients, but they are considering all legal options. Energy Unlimited could appeal the decision to state Supreme Court or start over with a new zoning application.
Based on court decisions thus far, Vinsko said he doesn’t think the Supreme Court would hear the case.
Lamm would not speculate what action the company might take in continuing with the project.
Should Energy Unlimited resubmit plans to the township zoning board, as many as half of the 34 turbines could not be placed at the proposed location. Supervisors passed a zoning ordinance this past summer restricting placement of wind turbines in the township.
“We’d be happy to entertain a wind farm plant for that area so long as it complies,” Vinsko said. “We did what we had to do under the law. If they want to come back and talk about a resubmission, the board would definitely be open to that.”
By Coulter Jones
17 April 2007
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