ROANOKE COUNTY, Va.— In less than two weeks the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors expects heavy winds to blow through their hearing room.
In many parts of the country huge wind farms dot the landscape and a Chicago Company wants to build one on Poor Mountain, which is Southwest of Roanoke. It needs approval from the supervisors and a change in zoning.
Invenergy is a clean energy company and it wants to build a wind farm with 15 turbines on Poor Mountain.
The company feels a mountaintop ridge is an ideal area because it already has TV and telephone towers on top plus easy access.
Invenergy had representatives in Roanoke Thursday to meet with existing utility tenants on Poor Mountain. The company declined to let any of them talk to News7.
A public hearing’s expected on this proposal August 23rd, which will require a zoning amendment.
Invenergy says wind farms provide green energy and reduce gas emissions.
Ed Elswick lives near Poor Mountain and is also on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. He says there’s a big difference between a huge moving wind turbine and the existing radio and TV towers. “They’re only one-hundred to one-hundred and twenty-five feet tall, and they don’t move. Large wind turbines are almost five-hundred feet tall and there are three-hundred foot blades on them that are going around all the time. There’s a humungous difference.”
Elswick also says these windmills would be in the flight path for planes and nearby residents complain that turbines could ruin their view of the mountains.
The Board of Supervisors, if it chooses, can modify and vote on Invenergy’s wind farm proposal on the 23rd.
The zoning amendment that would be required for the proposal to move forward would set standards for things like, setbacks, noise, communications interference, soil erosion and soil impacts. That meeting begins at 6 pm at the Roanoke County Administration Center on Bernard Drive.
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