Mehoopany Township, Wyoming County – BP Wind Energy announced on Tuesday a deal with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative to build a wind farm.
Construction is tentatively set to start this year. The energy that the farm is expected to produce will be sent out to other parts of the northeastern U.S. Some are questioning how the wind farm will benefit Wyoming County.
Rural Mehoopany Township is in the heart of Wyoming County’s countryside. It’s what attracted Bradford Barnes to buy his property about 20-years ago. “I like it except there’s a lot of traffic now and they want to do more and I don’t know how it benefits us,” said Bradford Barnes of Mehoopany Township.
Gas drillers have increased the traffic crunch along his travels in recent years. Now, increased traffic will come from another source following BP Wind Energy’s announcement that it will build 90 wind turbines extending from Mehoopany through Eaton, Noxen and Forkston Townships. BP’s website claims the wind farm will produce 105 megawatts of electricity – enough to power more than 40,000 homes each year.
“You gotta have some bad to get the good that’s how I look at it,” said Bob Day of Mehoopany Township. He works on one of the few farms left in this part of Wyoming County. His wife, Mehoopany Township Supervisor Eloise Day, recognizes the sacrifice her hometown has made in the name of progress. “It was a rural agricultural community and now there’s nothing any more. There’s, what, three farms left in our area right here,” she said.
The BP Wind Energy farm calls for constructing only two of the 90 wind turbines in Mehoopany Township, but the township will be extremely valuable to the energy producer. The reason is because of Fire Tower Road. It leads past the Barnes property to the top of the mountain where BP’s wind farm will exist. “They’re talking about a lot of noise and a lot of traffic,” said Mr. Barnes. “My dog is going to bark his head off. The neighbors are going to be unhappy.”
The plan calls for BP to revamp the road. “They have contracted with us to improve the road, make it easier to access,” said Mehoopany Township Supervisor Day. “They’re talking about 1,100 trucks going up and down this road and they want to make it four-lanes,” said Mr. Barnes.
BP needs him and his neighbors to sign off on the road widening plan. So far they are reluctant. “Without change there is no progress so we have to have it. But I don’t see the benefit of this wind farm for us,” said Mr. Barnes.
BP still needs to obtain all of the necessary permits but if everything goes according to plan, construction on the Mehoopany Wind Farm will begin late next year and could be operational in the 4th quarter of 2012.
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