A company interested in building a 30-90 wind turbine facility in the southern part of Wyoming County is ‘encouraged’ by test readings taken with a meteorological tower in Forkston Township.
BP Alternative Energy business developer Kevin Davis, who spoke during a Noxen supervisors meeting Wednesday, Aug. 22, about a wind turbine ordinance, said that his company plans to put up additional testing towers in Forkston, Noxen and Eaton townships.
“If we don’t have the wind, we won’t do a project,” he said.
Part of the turbine facility would be located on 7,400 acres of land, which is in Forkston, Eaton and Noxen townships and owned Deer Park Lumber.
According to Davis, BP has entered into a 29-year lease agreement with the Tunkhannock Township lumber company to use its land, which is partly located on South Mountain, for wind turbines.
He wouldn’t say how much BP is paying for the lease and he said the agreement was signed last month.
The special meeting Wednesday was attended by around 50 people and was called by supervisors to discuss a proposed windmill ordinance, which was tabled in May after BP expressed concerns.
The company has also recommended an ordinance to supervisors.
“It’s a very well balanced ordinance,” Michael Klein, an attorney who represented BP, said.
At the start of Wednesday’s meeting, supervisors held an executive session that lasted for about an hour.
Solicitor R. James Kamage said that supervisors discussed legal issues raised by BP’s letter.
Although he added that BP hasn’t threatened or pursued litigation, he also said that if Noxen had passed its proposed ordinance then BP might have threatened litigation.
Asked by resident Cathie Pauley for his opinion on BP’s proposed ordinance, Supervisor Carl Shook said that he didn’t have any major issues and wanted clarification on some items.
For instance, he noted that the ordinance does not define the “like-kind” replacements to a wind turbine that would not need a permit modification.
Supervisor Thomas Nalbone, Jr. said that BP’s ordinance also does not give a definition to the term, occupied building.
He also noted that he didn’t have a problem with the overall content of BP’s ordinance.
Kamage said that a draft of an ordinance that would combine proposals made by BP and Noxen could be ready for public review at the Sept. 4 meeting.
Some residents spoke against the proposed wind turbine facility, including Rick Wilson who asked, “What are you going to do for Noxen?”
“We’re getting nothing from this,” he added.
Also Wednesday, supervisors appointed Noxen resident Denise Hosey to fill a position on the board that became open in July after Harry Creasing, 58, died.
Hosey said that she intends to run in November as a Republican.
By Josh Mrozinski
Wyoming County Press Examiner
29 August 2007
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