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Wind turbines discussed in Bedford Township

The energy company studying the potential for wind turbines in the area of Bedford, East St. Clair and South Woodbury townships cited its development of a natural gas facility in Cambria County as an example of how it will work with local communities in Bedford County.

Representatives from Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) met with East St. Clair and Bedford townships on Aug. 6 to notify them of the company’s interest in possibly installing turbines somewhere along the ridges of Dunning or Evitts mountains.

Bedford Township secretary Janie McMillen during the township’s meeting on Tuesday read a follow-up letter sent to the supervisors from John Hafner, director of the project.

The letter said working closely with local communities is “critical to CPV’s mission.” In the letter, Hafner referenced the company’s Fairview natural gas combined cycle electric generation facility under construction in Jackson Township, Cambria County, as an example of its procedure.

“A determined community engagement in the Fairview project is exactly what you can expect moving forward,” Hafner said in the letter.

Representatives from the company said a public information meeting on the natural gas project was attended by about 400 people.

Hafner, in the letter, also reiterated that the proposed wind turbine project is still in the early phases of development.

“The wind study, wildlife study, acquisition of land agreements and other necessary studies will likely take at least a year before CPV can determine weather or not to move forward with the project,” he said.

McMillen said the township’s meeting earlier this month had a few people opposed to wind turbines in attendance. About a dozen attended the meeting in East St. Clair Township, where the company is replacing a meteorological tower that will be used to study the viability of turbines on the ridge.

Laura Jackson, a founder of the Save Our Allegheny Ridges group, attended both meetings earlier this month. After the meeting in East St. Clair Township, Jackson said the turbines cause a number of issues, including watershed problems, are harmful to wildlife like bats, birds and snakes, and can be annoyances for nearby residents. She said they also degrade the visual appeal of the ridges.