CENTRE, Alabama – Five Cherokee County residents have filed suit in an attempt to stop a proposed windmill farm development in their community.
It is the second lawsuit aimed at preventing Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy from building two turbine developments in Cherokee and Etowah counties. Earlier this year, a group of Etowah County residents filed a similar lawsuit.
Geneva “Ginny” Shaver, J. Dwight Jones, Lathan Lancaster, Newman E. Mackey and James David Estes are listed as the plaintiffs in the three-page lawsuit, which was filed today in Cherokee County Circuit Court.
Shaver, who is Gadsden’s assistant city clerk, said the lawsuit speaks for itself.
“We did it to protect our homes and our communities from this industrial development,” she said.
The lawsuit names Pioneer Green as well as the residents who are leasing their land to allow construction of the turbines as defendants.
The residents claim construction of the windmills will harm property values and cause damage to the area’s natural beauty. The suit also lists low-frequency noise pollution, “shadow flicker” or the flashing of sunlight on the turbine blades, disturbance of natural water sources and potential harm to wildlife as possible negative consequences of the development.
The suit states that the company’s plans to erect eight turbines in the county, projected at 570 feet tall, will not result in any substantial power because of the lack of potential wind energy in the area. This will result in the turbines eventually being abandoned, the suit claims.
“There is little or no benefit to the public,” it states.
Pioneer Green officials say new technology will allow windmill farms to flourish in the Southeast, a part of the nation that has seen very little wind energy development. Earlier this month, the Gadsden City Council passed a resolution supporting proposed regulations for wind turbines in Alabama that could come before the Legislature early next year.
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