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Turmoil over turbines: Residents oppose possible wind project  

Credit:  Marissa Mitchell, WTVC NewsChannel 9, www.newschannel9.com 24 September 2010 ~~

Residents in Lookout Mountain are gearing up for what they say will be a fight to keep their land pristine and peaceful.

Residents say, in the past few days, they’ve been approached by representatives of the 0regon-based power company, Iberdrola Renewables, to build wind turbines near their land. They say it’s a no-go. And plan to make lot of noise to keep what they say are noisy wind turbines at bay.

Carl McCleskey, who owns more than 1,000 acres of land in Cloudland, Ga. atop the mountain, has one question for officials at the company.

“If one of those [turbines], were within a half mile of a house that you own or a house that you intended to build and you were listening to that and seeing that, would you do it?” he asks.

He’s been living on the mountain for more than 25 years. And say the turbines would undermine the very reason he decided to move there–for peace and quiet.

“I feel like they will have a detrimental environmental impact as well as impact on property values,” he says.

He and other residents say the company plans to build more than 120 turbines. But the company spokesperson, Paul Copleman, says they have issued no figures and are in the very early stages of considering the land as an option. But they are interested in possibly erecting a site in northwest Chattooga and southwestern Walker Counties.

“Until you’re on the ground and getting a better understanding of what the lay of the land is, you don’t really have a sense of what you’re dealing with until you’re actually there,” he says.

He adds that company officials are aware of the residents’ concerns and plan to address them at a later date.

“It’s a process that will be very public and very transparent, and numerous opportunities for questions and public input, but a lot of the issues, these folks have raised, we study very carefully,” he says.

Copleman says the process could take a few years. The company would have to get a permit, use towers to study wind patterns in the area before they build turbines, he adds. Iberdrola Renewables has about 40 wind power projects across the county.

Residents in the area aren’t waiting to see what happens. They plan to meet tomorrow to discuss these issues and their plan of action.

If you’re interested in attending the residents’ meeting Saturday, September 24 at 2 p.m., call Pam Vias at (770) 722-8330.

Source:  Marissa Mitchell, WTVC NewsChannel 9, www.newschannel9.com 24 September 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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