[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Company seeks permit for a wind farm in Botetourt County 

Credit:  By Laurence Hammack | The Roanoke Times | October 31, 2015 | www.roanoke.com ~~

Plans for a 25-turbine wind farm atop a Botetourt County mountain are now official.

After months of preliminary planning and discussions, Apex Clean Energy on Friday afternoon filed an application for a special exception permit, which it must obtain from the county board of supervisors before starting construction.

The Charlottesville company hopes to have the giant windmills spinning by 2017.

Similar plans by other renewable energy companies interested in building turbines in Southwest Virginia have stalled over the years, leaving Apex and Botetourt County poised to have the state’s first commercial wind farm.

From the top of North Mountain, about five miles northeast of Eagle Rock, as many as 25 turbines would stand nearly 550 feet tall, almost 200 feet higher than the tallest building in downtown Roanoke.

Apex’s application, filed with the county’s planning department, is “well over 100 pages,” said Tyson Utt, director of mid-Atlantic development for the company. “It’s a thick binder.”

When Botetourt County learned that it was being considered for a wind farm about a year ago, county officials began work on an ordinance to regulate such industries. Under a process established in June, Apex’s application for a special exception permit will first be considered by the planning commission.

The planning commission will then make a recommendation to the board of supervisors, which would vet the plans through a public hearing and other measures before deciding whether to allow the windmills.

That process is not expected to start until early next year, and could take several months.

Meanwhile, Apex plans to host an open forum to explain its plans to the public. That could happen sometime in December, Utt said.

The county’s ordinance limits the height of power-generating turbines to 550 feet. It also restricts how far they can stand from adjoining property lines, and requires that the sounds made by their spinning blades be no louder than 60 decibels when heard from the nearest property line.

Wind farms have been controversial in other parts of Southwest Virginia, with some nearby residents complaining they are noisy eyesores that can produce flickering shadows. Opponents also say the turbines can harm birds, bats and their natural habitat.

But the Botetourt County proposal has not been as controversial, perhaps because the North Mountain site is so isolated. At a public hearing on the ordinance last summer, supporters outnumbered opponents by more than 2-to-1.

Some opposition has surfaced, though. Eight county residents filed a lawsuit against the board of supervisors in July, alleging that the ordinance does not provide adequate safeguards. The county is asking that the lawsuit be dismissed. A hearing is set for Dec. 16.

Even if the court challenge fails and the county approves Apex’s plans, the company would still face additional regulatory hurdles. Other agencies that must consider the project include the Federal Aviation Administration and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

If approved, the 80-megawatt project would tap into existing power lines operated on North Mountain by Dominion, providing enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. The project could also provide a jolt to the local economy, and comes at a time when county supervisors say they need to find additional sources of revenue.

Source:  By Laurence Hammack | The Roanoke Times | October 31, 2015 | www.roanoke.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky