SOMERSET CO., Md. – For the past four years, Vicki and Kevin Miller have been gearing up to have two of 25 wind turbines built on their farmland land in Somerset county.
It was part of a $200 million project, slated to bring in more than $44 million in tax revenue, and 500 local jobs to the struggling economy.
“It would’ve been incredible,” says Kevin Miller.
In a vote Saturday afternoon vote, the Maryland Senate approved a measure, pushing the project back just over a year.
Senators in support of the bill say the delay was to further study how the height of the turbines would impact radar testing used by the Patuxent River Naval Base.
The concern, the turbines, at more than 400 feet, could interfere with the Navy’s ADAMS radar system.
According to Pioneer Green Energy, the company behind the wind farm, “a 15 month delay is essentially a kill of the project.”
Pioneer Green Energy says they had addressed the issue with the base, and were working toward a compromise.
Opponents of the bill not only feel disheartened about the end of this project, but worry about what it could mean for the future of green business in the state.
“A bill like this really sends a chilling message to the whole green energy community and the investment people were going to be making,” says Paul Harris, with Pioneer Green Energy.
Governor O’Malley previously stated he would only support the bill if it allowed for the wind farm in Somerset County, so it’s unclear if he will sign this bill into law.
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