As the Wyoming County Planning Commission discusses how wind turbines might be addressed as a development issue, one municipality is moving forward to create an ordinance that would regulate the machines.
Noxen Township on May 1 is planning to consider the ordinance, which regulates the operation and placement of wind turbines, for adoption. Meanwhile, companies have begun to study where wind turbines could be placed in the county, according to county planner Paul Weilage.
Weilage added that his office has been asked for county regulations. Although no one has submitted a formal proposal, Weilage thinks that wind turbines may be placed on the ridges in Forkston and Noxen townships.
Current regulations give the county little control over where a wind turbine, which can stand as tall as 300 feet, could be placed.
“Subdivision (regulations) would only control the access lease holds,” Weilage said.
A lack of control over the location of wind turbines is what bothers some people such as Noxen resident and conservationist Doug Ayers.
“I want to see some control on where they can be placed,” Ayers, a veterinarian and member of the North Branch Land Trust board, said, adding that wind turbines in the county would likely detract from the area’s natural beauty.
“Who wants to see them on every beautiful vista in the area,” he asked.
Still, in the long run, Ayers thinks that wind turbines are a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Today, wind turbine facilities can create enough energy to power hundreds of homes.
For example, in Wayne County, FPL Energy operates 43 wind turbines that can power 300-400 residences. Each machine produces 1.5 megawatts of energy.
The company operates five wind turbine facilities in Pennsylvania.
Company spokeswoman Mary Wells said that eastern Pennsylvania provides a good environment for the operation of turbines because of its high wind quality.
BY Josh Mrozinski, Wyoming County Press Examiner
25 April 2007
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