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Commission OKs windmill rules, but environmentalists fear for birds  

Credit:  By Jennifer Sorentrue, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, www.palmbeachpost.com 28 July 2011 ~~

Plans to build a wind farm on thousands of acres of sugar land near Belle Glade have cleared their first hurdle.

Palm Beach County commissioners on Thursday tentatively agreed to a series of changes to the county’s land development rules that would allow the wind turbines to rise.

The changes aren’t related to a specific location. But they help clear the way for turbine proposals within the county’s limits, by creating rules and regulations for the projects.

Wind Capital Group, a St. Louis company, has proposed to build Florida’s first wind farm, in the Glades. The company hopes to convert the breezes blowing off of Lake Okeechobee into energy that could power homes and businesses across South Florida.

Environmentalists, however, have expressed concerns that the turbines could harm birds and bats.

Migratory birds flying through the region could be struck by the moving blades, environmentalists fear.

Commissioner Paulette Burdick said the wind companies should be required to conduct studies on birds in the area for a period longer than one year. A final vote is scheduled for Aug. 29.

Source:  By Jennifer Sorentrue, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, www.palmbeachpost.com 28 July 2011

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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