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Wind Power News: December 2009

These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.


December 24, 2009 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind power project goes under analysis

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the beginning of a process to develop a plan to reduce harm to endangered birds by a Humboldt County wind power project. The agency is asking the public to weigh in on how birds, especially marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, might be affected by the turbines and other elements of the project on Bear River Ridge outside Ferndale. As part of generating an Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report, Fish . . . Complete story »


December 22, 2009 • Ontario, VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Wind tower neighbor bought out for health reasons

Barbara Ashbee-Lormand traveled from central Ontario to central Vermont in late October to a discussion of an industrial wind turbine development proposed for the town of Ira, organized by Vermonters for a Clean Environment. She’s an rare figure in the debate over the effects big wind towers have on people. She’s one of only two homeowners that a major wind company, Canadian Hydro Developers, has conceded it bought out because of their complaints that the huge gadgets proved to be . . . Complete story »


December 14, 2009 • Maryland, West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Bat ruling casts shadow on MD wind projects?

A Maryland federal court ruling last week put a severe crimp in an industrial-scale wind project in West Virginia. Could it do the same for smaller projects planned in western Maryland? U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus found it “a virtual certainty” that the 122-turbine Beech Ridge facility being built along 23 miles of mountain ridges in Greenbrier County, W.Va., would violate the federal Endangered Species Act by killing Indiana bats. Construction is already under way on the $300 . . . Complete story »


December 13, 2009 • Europe, SpainPrint storyE-mail story

With wind energy, opportunity for corruption

The northern trade winds of the Canary Islands have long tempted daredevil windsurfers, but now the gusts rising up to 60 kilometers per hour are attracting giant wind turbines and the millions of euros behind them. With their blades whirling, the 55 turbines that stand beyond the gray pebble beach of Pozo Izquierdo are stark, white symbols of a growing industry and the potential for abundant clean energy – and corruption. The town of Santa Lucía Tirajana, host to the annual . . . Complete story »


December 10, 2009 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Judge halts wind farm over bats

A federal judge’s ruling that stopped construction of a West Virginia wind farm to protect an endangered bat underscores the growing conflicts between green energy and imperiled wildlife. But the case, thought to be the first of its kind involving a wind energy project, seems unlikely to derail other projects, as some wind energy advocates have feared, unless the operators ignore endangered species laws. In the West Virginia dispute, a subsidiary of wind developer Invenergy called Beech Ridge Energy applied . . . Complete story »


December 10, 2009 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Court halts West Virginia wind farm to guard endangered bat

In a rare green vs. green court case, a federal judge in Maryland has halted expansion of a West Virginia wind farm, saying its massive turbines would kill endangered Indiana bats. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete 40 windmills it has begun to install on an Appalachian ridge in Greenbrier County. But he said the company cannot move forward on the $300 million project – slated to have 122 turbines along a 23-mile stretch – without . . . Complete story »


December 10, 2009 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Court constricts W.Va. wind farm to protect bats

In a rare green vs. green court case, a federal judge in Maryland has halted expansion of a West Virginia wind farm, saying its massive turbines would kill endangered Indiana bats. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete 40 windmills it has begun to install on an Appalachian ridge in Greenbrier County. But he said the company cannot move forward on the $300 million project – slated to have 122 turbines along a 23-mile stretch – without . . . Complete story »


December 9, 2009 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Judge halts West Virginia wind farm to save endangered bats

In the first federal lawsuit challenging an industrial wind energy project on environmental grounds, a federal court ruled Tuesday that a wind farm under construction in Greenbrier County, West Virginia would kill and injure endangered Indiana bats in violation of the Endangered Species Act. In a case brought by two environmental groups and an individual caver, Judge Roger Titus of U.S. District Court in Maryland decided that the wind farm developer could finish construction of the 40 wind turbines that . . . Complete story »


December 9, 2009 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

Appalachian wind turbines halted by judge because of bat slaughter

A federal judge in Maryland ordered project developers to stop building wind turbines along Appalachian ridgelines in West Virginia until they got a federal permit allowing the “incidental take” of endangered Indiana bats. “It is uncontroverted that wind turbines kill bats, and do so in large numbers,” wrote Judge Roger Titus. The underlying case, filed last June by the Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David Cowan, accused turbine construction companies Beech Ridge Energy and Invenergy Wind . . . Complete story »


December 9, 2009 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Brook trout considered in wind tower trial

ST. JOHNSBURY – In Vermont, brook trout may be to fishermen what white tail deer are to hunters. But when it comes to a timetable for building 16 wind turbines on the ridge lines of Sheffield, trout may be the determining factor. The condition of brook trout in the five streams that run through 60 acres of the Sheffield wind farm was a subject of contention during a three-day trial that got under way here in Environmental Court last week. Actually, . . . Complete story »


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