NOXEN TWP. – Township supervisors last Tuesday (June 5) got an earful about regulating windmills but no ordinance was put forth.
The windmills, which are projected to be used by BP Alternate Energy, would spread over 7,400 acres of land owned by Deer Park Lumber in the South Mountain area of Forkston Township.
The land is expected to house 35-70 windmills which could produce up to 125 megawatts of energy, according to Kevin Davis, a business developer for BP Alternative Energy in Virginia.
Davis explained in a follow-up e-mail: “What we are currently evaluating is whether or not the overall area (not just South Mountain) can support a 75-125 MW facility. If found that it can, depending on the turbine used, this could mean anywhere from around 35-70 Turbines installed to achieve the generation of this amount of power – Of these turbines it is very difficult to know how many would specifically be located on South Mountain.”
Supervisors and residents raised several questions about the windmills.
“As it stands at this point, we don’t see what monetary value there would be for the township,” supervisor Thomas Nalbone said. “Who is going to maintain the roads to the windmills? If they’re not paying the village, why should we let them in?”
Supervisor Carl Shook agreed adding, “If you want to see them and hear them in your own back yard, go to Waymart.”
Area residents raised similar concerns.
“We don’t have high enough wind quality to support the windmills,” Dr. Doug Ayers, founder of the North Branch Land Trust said. “Bats, eagles, and hawks can’t see the blades because it’s not a natural movement. They also throw ice 500 to 1,000 feet into the air, some pieces are the size of Volkswagons.”
Ayers said that under such instances, the residents would have to evacuate the area.
Because the land is privately owned, supervisors believe they have little say into where the windmills can be built.
The board motioned to have several wildlife and preconstruction studies to see what measures would be taken if the windmills are put into place.
“There has to be explanation or else the court will knock it down. You have to be careful about these things and you have to bear the expense of it,” Noxen solicitor Ron Kamage said. “You need reasonable regulations and ones that will hold up in court.”
By Nathan Urie
Wyoming County Press Examiner
13 June 2007
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