FROSTBURG — The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.
The project was hinging on the decommissioning of the Grantsville VOR/DME system, which drew opposition from Ed Kelley, manager of the Garrett County Airport, and the Maryland Aviation Administration. The Grants-ville VOR/DME system will be decommissioned, according to Maisano.
VOR/DME refers to a combined radio navigation station for aircraft consisting of two beacons placed together.
“The decommission of the Grantsville VOR would leave Garrett County and Cumberland airports without a ground-based approach and would eliminate numerous instrument procedures, including six instrumental approach procedures, nine standard arrival routes, four victor airways and one remote communication outlet,” Kelly previously said in a letter to Melinda George of the FAA. “The loss of procedures and services could severely impact the safety of general, commercial, emergency and military aviation within the now served VOR/DME.”
The Fourmile Ridge project started out as a Synergics project with 24 wind turbines and was revised to an Exelon project with 16 wind turbines in the Frostburg Road area.
The Maryland Public Service Commission approved the Fourmile wind project last year.
Construction on the project is slated for completion by early November with testing and plans to begin commercial operations by mid-December 2014, according to Maisano.
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