A wind energy company is scouting turbine sites in Southwest Virginia, including one on a Boy Scout reservation in Pulaski County.
Iberdrola Renewables Inc. recently signed a lease agreement with the Blue Ridge Mountains Council, the governing body for local Boy Scout chapters, that allows it to construct two test towers on the 15,000-acre reservation.
The 195-foot meteorological towers will collect climate data that Iberdrola Renewables, based in Spain, will evaluate over the next few years before deciding whether to pursue a wind power project on the land.
“Any of the work we are doing is very, very early-stage work at this point,” said Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul Copleman. The company is also evaluating other sites in Southwest Virginia, he said.
Although no deal has been reached with the Boy Scouts, Copleman said the company is encouraged by the fact that the organization is allowing the research towers.
The towers will be located on a backcountry area and will not be visible from Camp Powhatan and Camp Ottari, the two sites that host Boy Scout events, said John Johnson, president of the Blue Ridge council.
“Our council has been blessed with the good fortune to have this land available for our use, and, as stewards of the land, we are conscious of the need to manage our resources wisely,” Johnson said. The venture could benefit the scouting program and help its participants “become conservation-minded adults,” he said.
Iberdrola operates more than 40 wind farms in the United States, ranging from 12 to 168 turbines.
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