Wind energy company Gamesa Energy USA has backed out of a public forum scheduled to be held today in Shade Township, organizers reported.
The town hall meeting, scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shade High School gymnasium in Cairnbrook, will still be held as scheduled with other speakers, Larry Hutchinson, Shade Creek Watershed Association president, said.
“Gamesa felt uncomfortable about some of the presenters that are scheduled to be there. They didn’t feel they were going to be able to present their side,” he said.
Those speakers already lined up for the meeting include a number of people strongly opposed to the company’s Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm project.
The 30-turbine wind farm, which is projected to extend through parts of Shade and Ogle townships in Somerset County and Napier Township in Bedford County has generated much media coverage in the last six months.
Hutchinson said that tonight’s speaking lineup includes Dr. Thomas Dick, landowner Jack Buchan and Laura Jackson, who have all actively opposed the project.
Thomas is the founder of the Allegheny Plateau Audubon, Buchan is in the process of filing suit against the project citing environmental concerns and Jackson is active member of Save Our Allegheny Ridges.
Scott Tattar, a representative for Gamesa, said the company will reschedule a town hall format meeting in the near future. “We need to have something where we have enough time to explain our position,” he said.
“It’s going to happen very soon. We want people to have the facts about wind energy.”
By Dan DiPaolo
Daily American 30 North Chief
12 June 2007