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New wind energy ordinance adopted in West Penn

West Penn Township officially has a new windmill law on the books.

On a 2-1 vote Monday, the township’s board of supervisors agreed to adopt a wind energy ordinance. Supervisor Ted Bogosh was opposed.

“It limits you to one,” Bogosh said. “Most people are not going to put up two dozen turbines on their property if it’s small.”

Supervisor Tony Prudenti retorted, “Then let them go before the (township’s) zoning hearing board.”

“You don’t want to create a wind farm,” Prudenti said.

Bogosh then questioned the height requirement.

“Those are my two objections to it,” he said.

In September, supervisors agreed to have board solicitor Holly Heintzelman request the GIS information from the Audubon Society in the township’s name and use the township’s email address.

Heintzelman said there’s a provision in the ordinance that says wind turbines shall be 1,000 feet below the Kittatinny Ridge.

Because it involves zoning, the windmill ordinance had to be forwarded to the Schuylkill County Planning Commission for comment.

The information will be maintained on the township computer for the purposes of the wind turbine ordinance

Heintzelman said at that time the township had about three paragraphs in its zoning ordinance that relates to windmills.

She said one of the purposes of the new ordinance is to distinguish between the requirements for windmills that might be used for residential and/or agricultural uses, which they are calling accessory wind energy facilities, and commercial wind farms, which they are calling principal wind energy facilities.

Heintzelman said the power created by accessory wind energy facilities is used primarily by the resident of the property on which the accessory wind energy facilities are located, while the power created by principal wind energy facilities is generally sold to third parties for profit.