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Battle continues: Workshops focus on controversial wind turbines  

Members of the Potter County Planning Commission recently held two “workshops” to continue discussion of regulations to control the location of industrial wind turbines in the county.

On Tuesday night, Bill Shuffstall, a community education specialist with Penn State Cooperative Extension, led a broad discussion of the county’s options for controlling the location of turbines.

International energy giant AES Corporation has unveiled a preliminary plan to place upwards of 80 turbines on high-altitude farmland in the Ulysses area for electricity generation.

Other companies are eyeing hilltops near Coudersport, including the Crandall Hill/Hebron area north of town and the Dutch Hill/Inez area south of the county seat.

Art and Laurel Kear of Horseshoe Road, near Ulysses, last weekend traveled to Arcade, N.Y., to view a series of turbines recently installed there. The Kears, who live next to one of the proposed AES turbine sites, have been lobbying Potter County officials to require that the machines be located at least a half-mile from neighboring properties.

“These turbines are not part of the landscape – they ARE the landscape!” Art Kear said. “Too many people are being blinded by dollars.”

Kear added that aesthetics are not the only concern of turbine opponents. They’re more worried about noise, shadow flicker and potential impact on the environment.

Planning Commission members have been debating wind energy regulations for more than a year. Any restrictions approved by the board will be referred to the Potter County Commissioners for consideration.

Endeavor News

2 February 2008

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