A Baltimore judge has affirmed a state Public Service Commission ruling favoring the Clipper Windpower project proposed on Backbone Mountain in Garrett County.
Circuit Judge John Miller found no fault with the agency’s approval in 2005 of Clipper Windpower Inc.’s plan to reduce from 67 to 40 the number of giant wind turbines it plans to erect on Backbone.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said turbines in the redesigned project would use longer blades than originally proposed to produce a comparable amount of electricity with lower construction costs and less environmental impact.
Clipper proposed no change in the 394-foot height of its turbines. The original project was proposed in 2002 to be located along a 10-mile stretch of the ridge on Backbone Mountain from Wild Turkey Rock to just short of Eagle Rock Road, along Bethlehem Road and north of Gorman Road, near state Route 560.
Project opponent D. Daniel Boone had filed for judicial review of the decision. He claimed the change violated a settlement agreement the PSC accepted when it approved the project in 2003.
The county commissioners have given support to both the Clipper Windpower project and another project proposed on Backbone Mountain by Synergics of Annapolis. The Synergics project has not received PSC approval.
In 2005, the commissioners announced they would not back any wind projects proposed in the county in the future.
7 November 2007
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