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Mehoopany wind park gets green light

WASHINGTON TWP. – The proposed 88-turbine Mehoopany Wind Park LLC of BP Alternative Energy got a green light Monday night that will one day facilitate getting harnessed wind power to an electrical power grid.

The approval process came in two steps.

First, Washington Twp. supervisors had to consider a conditional use of the installation of transmission lines in an area already zoned for industry.

Second, the Washington Twp. Zoning Hearing Board had to consider whether granting a dimensional variance was appropriate.

Supervisors Dan Huff and Bill Ball were present at the first hearing at 6 p.m., which Mr. Huff let township solicitor Paul Litwin conduct.

Entered into evidence was the wind park application, the public notice that zoning officer Carl Grabner said he had posted Dec. 29 and the public notice of meeting.

Mr. Huff said his only concern about granting an easement on lines overhead was that they would not affect the Carney Cemetery near the southeastern corner of Procter & Gamble’s property.

Michael Klein, representing BP Alternative Energy on behalf of the law firm of Dewey & LeBoueuf in Washington, D.C., said that all of the easements were actually on property of Procter & Gamble, and the cemetery very definitely would not be affected.

Mr. Huff, Mr. Ball and Mr. Litwin went into an executive session for about five minutes and returned with a motion to grant conditional use as presented; it was approved.

At 7 p.m., the township zoning hearing board hearing was attended by Gary Tewksbury and Bill Jaquish.

Zoning board solicitor Ed Neyhart asked most of the questions.

And Mr. Klein provided an opportunity for Mark Dypiangco, a business developer for BP Wind Energy, to give deposition about the transmission lines that would be needed in Washington Twp.

Mr. Dypiangco said the 88 windmills would be sited in Noxen, Forkston, Eaton and Mehoopany and there would be a substation in Forkston that gathers the force of all the wind turbines.