In October 2019, the Board of Zoning Appeals granted a wind turbine project for 37.3 megawatts (MW) to Dan’s Mountain Wind Force. The Project consisted of three turbines, 426 feet tall with 1.7 MW generators and 14 turbines 496 feet tall with 2.3 MW generators.
This project was Public Service Commission (PSC) Case No. 9164 and was originally granted the Certificate for Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) in March 2009, however this CPCN was voluntary relinquished by Dan’s Mountain Wind Force in June 2016 to pursue another CPCN in Case No. 9413.
In case No. 9413, the wind turbine project was at the same location and for the same 17 wind turbines; however, the project was for an additional 22.2 MW, making the project for 59.5 MW. All turbines would be 580 feet tall with 3.5 MW generators – 51 feet taller than the tallest building in Maryland.
This CPCN was denied by the Chief Public Utility Law Judge in January 2017 because “… construction of the Wind Project does not justify or offset subjecting the local communities to the adverse impacts that will result from the Wind Project’s construction and operation.” (Page 124)
Commissioners, are you aware of the megawatts of the Project Dan’s Mountain Wind Force has applied for in their application to the PSC? (The commissioners looked at each other and then replied: No.)
Do you realize their request is for 32.7 MW more than what the Board of Zoning Appeals approved in October 2019, almost double at 70 MW. This megawatt is even 10.5 MW than the project in 2016 that was denied for “… subjecting the local communities to the adverse impacts…”
It is quite apparent you are not up to date what is in the scope of this project because if the numbers of turbine remain the same, each turbine would have 4.11MW generators and be much taller than 580 feet or else more wind turbines would be added to the Project.
What Dan’s Mountain Wind Force wants would be devastating to the communities adjacent to the Project. The entire scope of this Project must stay within what was approved by the 2019 BOZA. It is apparent, commissioners, that you are more beholden to Dan’s Mountain Wind Force than you are to the citizens of Allegany County.
The communities of Bel Air, Harwood, and Midland were identified as growth areas in the Allegany County Comprehensive Plan and already were in the area of the county that has 52% of the entire county’s population.
The life of a wind turbine project is 18 to 20 years and the money it generates greatly diminishes after 10 years; the project such as the Cumberland Chase that Jeff Metz and his partners are planning will have the life span of 50 to 100 years.
Since Dan’s Mountain Wind Force has increased the project by 32.7 MW for a 70 MW project, you should rescind your letter to the PSC that said you were in favor of the project. It is time for you to be beholden to the citizens of Allegany County, and put us on the top of your list.
K. Darlene Park
These comments made by K. Darlene Park at the Feb. 27 meeting of the Allegany County Board of Commissioners meeting were released to the Times-News as a reader commentary.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding