A Texas-based company has canceled plans to put a wind farm on top of Shinbone Ridge in Etowah and Cherokee Counties.
Pioneer Green Energy had planned to put up turbines, but their attorney, Charles Stewart of Birmingham, confirmed that the leases with property owners have been terminated.
He says the company has also filed in court to have lawsuits dismissed that were aimed at stopping the project.
Ginny Shaver, a Cherokee County resident and one of a number of property owners who fought the project, applauded the decision.
“It’s really been a long, drawn-out fight, a David versus Goliath type struggle, for property owners versus huge corporations with unlimited amounts of money,” Shaver said.
Shaver expressed concern over noise, vibrations, property values, shadows and environmental concerns. She also feared the turbines would catch eagles that she has seen and photographed on her property near Leesburg.
Shaver said her research indicated the turbines would have been as tall as the Washington Monument or the Seattle Space Needle, apparently to collect the wind.
“I don’t think they took the proximity of the residents and our concerns to heart. They were so intent on building the turbines for the tax credits, that I don’t think they considered the negative impact to the community,” Shaver said.
Stewart said the project had been planned for years, and said the company did due diligence in planning around environmental and technical issues.
He said it was a well-run company whose executives reacted with surprise over the opposition to property owners.
Stewart said a local law passed in 2013 affecting wind farms in Etowah and Cherokee Counties was the culprit in killing the project.
He says the rules about distance from other property were likely written to prevent wind farms altogether, as opposed to just regulating them.
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