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Pact reached to protect wildlife at wind farm  

An alternative energy company and the Pennsylvania Game Commission reached an agreement that could better protect the state’s wildlife resources from the development of wind energy.

State Rep. Merle Phillips, R-108, announced Thursday a voluntary agreement between Penn Wind LLC and the game commission signed the PA Game Commission Wind Energy Pact on Sept. 28. The agreement sets forth standards to minimize and potentially mitigate any adverse impacts the development of wind energy may have on the state’s wildlife resources.

“I am very pleased that all sides have joined together with one common goal in mind,” Phillips said in a press release. “Pennsylvania is home to a wide variety of wildlife resources, and we want to make sure that in our quest to develop and use forms of alternative energy, that those resources are protected to the fullest degree possible.”

The agreement was brokered with substantial input from the wind energy industry and assistance from the Pennsylvania Wind and Wildlife Collaborative. The Game Commission’s Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement aims to provide guidance and consistency for development of wind turbine sites.

Justin R. Dunkelberger, CEO, Penn Wind, Tuesday told Northumberland County Board of Commissioners that enough wind energy exists at a test site on Mahanoy Mountain in East Cameron Township to supply power to 5,200 homes. He said the proposed wind farm could generate upward of 6 million kilowatts of wind power annually.

The Penn Wind project, its first, will be located in East Cameron Township and could be commissioned in fall 2008. Upon commissioning, the $35 million construction project will supply renewable green energy across the Central Susquehanna Valley, Phillips said.

The project is also unique in that Northumberland County is a land holder for this project and will receive lease payments annually for the next 20 years. The company entered into a lease agreement with the county last year to conduct wind testing in Coal and East Cameron townships.

Similar projects already exist in Mahanoy Township in Schuylkill County, Wilkes-Barre and Somerset.

The News Item

21 October 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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