AES is asking the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to approve a siting permit for an industrial-scale wind plant which has two wind turbines of drastically different requirements for foundations, hydrology, viewshed and grid interconnection requirements. That is, AES has not specified which turbine will be selected for construction. Additionally, AES is requesting waivers on the most critical of issues: need and net metering.
The West Virginia Division of Highways has not yet corrected their position that AES has the right of eminent domain, a violation of West Virginia law because AES is not a public utility. AES clearly states in its application for a siting permit that it is not a public utility.
Utility customers will be paying for the necessary upgrades to the Belington substation and transmission lines if the 427-foot, 2.5-megawatt wind turbines are constructed. AES has no responsibility to pay for the upgrades, only to obtain an agreement with the PJM regional transmission operator and Allegheny Power. Allegheny Power will be obligated to pay for and perform the work. The PSC must be able to hear the issues relating to need and net metering.
The application is full of contradictions including the following:
— The bat report cites only one cave within five miles of the site. There are more than 40 caves within 40 miles. The average migration distance of a bat is moe than 300 miles.
— The citing statement by AES indicates a foundation pad of 20 feet. The specification for either wind turbine’s foundation of 40 to 50 feet.
— The hydrology report cites groundwater at 50 feet and the foundation will only be 20 feet deep and blasting will not affect the groundwater. There is no reference to pre-blasting surveys of structures, cemeteries, reservoirs, wells, etc.
AES has shown the siting for only 53 of the 65 planned wind turbines. What about the viewshed and hydrology for these unspecified locations?
Is it possible 9.6 miles of wind turbines could be given a siting certificate with no specific information being given by AES? The PSC needs to know your opinion by (Wednesday) March 13.
Arthur W. Dodds Jr.
8 March 2008
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