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Pioneer Green formally announces 2 wind projects in northeast Alabama  

The Shinbone project, announced months ago and set for construction on a large tract of private property in southwestern Cherokee County, has already generated local opposition from residents concerned about the proposed site’s proximity to Cherokee Rock Village, a natural rock formation and tourist attraction near Sand Rock.

Initially, Pioneer Green had been working with the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Board (PRB) to place a turbine inside Cherokee Rock Village as a draw to increase tourism. Savage said local opposition to that aspect of the plan makes the turbine on public property less than certain at this point, despite an earlier signed agreement.

Credit:  By SCOTT WRIGHT | The Post | Feb. 13, 2013 | www.postpaper.com ~~

LEESBURG – Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy last week generated some excitement with a press statement officially declaring its intent to erect not one but two wind turbine projects in northeast Alabama.

In the release, dated Feb. 5, 2013, Pioneer Green announced plans to build an eight-turbine project near Leesburg known as the Shinbone Wind Energy Project. The press release also announced an additional 40-turbine wind farm a few miles away, across the line in Etowah County. It was referred to in the release as the Noccalula Wind Energy Center.

Pioneer Green Vice President David Savage said the reason for announcing both projects was to avoid the impression that there was still only one project whose name had been changed.

“The reason the announcement was written the way it was is that the Noccalula project has not been publicized yet,” Savage explained. “We were afraid there would be confusion and we wanted to make clear that the Etowah project is a separate project. Its development is running a few months behind the Cherokee County project.”

The Shinbone project, announced months ago and set for construction on a large tract of private property in southwestern Cherokee County, has already generated local opposition from residents concerned about the proposed site’s proximity to Cherokee Rock Village, a natural rock formation and tourist attraction near Sand Rock.

A final decision on whether or not to proceed with construction will fall to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which would purchase the power for distribution across its electrical grid. Savage said that process is still on schedule.

“The TVA studies are on track and I think we can expect a formal process from them to begin in one to two months,” Savage said.

Savage said the TVA approval process will include public comment periods and publication of multiple impact studies.

Initially, Pioneer Green had been working with the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Board (PRB) to place a turbine inside Cherokee Rock Village as a draw to increase tourism. Savage said local opposition to that aspect of the plan makes the turbine on public property less than certain at this point, despite an earlier signed agreement.

“We have told the Parks Board that we aren’t going to insist on the turbine in the park, that the decision is in their hands,” Savage told The Post. “They have some new members and need some time to make that decision. Internally, we are prepared for them to make a decision that they do not want a turbine.”

Savage said Pioneer Green looks forward to cooperating with the PRB as the project moves forward. But he said he and his partners at Pioneer Green cannot assume the Board’s members will make a decision in time to be included in the construction schedule for the other turbines in the Shinbone project.

“We’d love to do it, and we’d still like to work with them however we can,” Savage said.

Source:  By SCOTT WRIGHT | The Post | Feb. 13, 2013 | www.postpaper.com

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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