The opposition against the Rocky Forge Wind Farm in north Botetourt County came out in full force on May 25, dressed in bright green vests.
About 20 people strong, there was an equal amount there to give comments on behalf of the wind farm in a two-hour period. The event was held at Eagle Rock Library by Apex Energy, the group proposing the wind farm on property owned by Jerry Fraley in northern Botetourt.
Among those questioning the wind farm was Mark Henning of Rockbridge County. Henning also spoke at the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors meeting May 24.
“My property is very close by,” Henning said. “I don’t necessarily oppose the wind farm. I just want to see it done right.”
Henning’s major complaint is decibels levels Botetourt County has approved for the project. He believes that the wind farm could be quite noisy. At the supervisor’s meeting, Jack Leffel assured Henning that the supervisors’ trip to West Virginia to see similar windmills had proven that wind energy can be quiet.
One of the claims that the opposition has is that only 8,000 homes will receive power from the project. Apex gives a different view. Apex project manager Charlie Johnson said, “We are using actual on-site data. We still project over 20,000 homes. It would not be cost effective if less.”
A decision is expected on the project by the end of summer or early fall by a APEX generated DEQ report that will decide on the permitting process. If passed, the Rocky Forge Wind Farm project would be the first of its kind in the state of Virginia.
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