CUMBERLAND – The Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals on Friday voted unanimously to deny an application for variances and a special exception for a proposed 17-turbine wind farm project on Dan’s Mountain, killing the $110 million project.
The project was proposed by Dans Mountain Windforce LLC. Opponents have said they were concerned about the viewshed, adverse health effects, noise and electromagnetic interference, among other issues.
The decision by the three-member board comes after a three-day public hearing last month. The board reconvened Friday.
Dans Mountain Wind Force has already invested more than $5 million in the project, according to David Friend, managing partner with Laurel Renewable Partners LLC, owner of Dan’s Mountain Windforce.
Friend said a special exception is a form of permitted use that must be obtained in order to locate a wind farm anywhere in the county. The denied variance deals with setback and separation requirements.
The project had been in the works since 2001. In 2008-2009, a 25-turbine farm was proposed, but that number was reduced to 17 to meet county requirements.
The project was delayed several times, with the Maryland Public Service Commission granting extensions to the developer. During a Dec. 17, 2014, meeting, the PSC granted a motion to extend the deadline for the start of construction of the project to Dec. 31, 2016, and the deadline for the beginning of operations to Dec. 31, 2018.
Questions regarding the board’s action can be directed to attorney Wesley W. McKee at 301-724-7400.
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