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Wind farm developer revises W. Md. turbine plan; Scaled-back proposal could exempt it from a state environmental review  

A wind farm developer is shrinking its proposal to put turbines in Western Maryland, making the project small enough to be exempt from a major state environmental review.

Clipper Windpower Inc. says it now wants to build 28 turbines instead of 67 along Backbone Mountain in Garrett County. That change could make it the first project to be exempt from broad state review under a 2007 law meant to speed up construction of smaller wind farm projects.

Clipper is one of three companies competing to be the first to build turbines in Western Maryland, which has no wind farms today. Gov. Martin O’Malley recently announced that the state will ban turbines in state forests, but that decision does not affect Clipper or the other companies that want to build on private land.

Steven B. Larsen, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, said today that his agency will make a decision within a week about whether to exempt Clipper from an comprehensive state environmental review.

By Tom Pelton | Sun reporter


23 April 2008

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