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Ashe County Wind Farm, NC

STATUS:  Killed

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Ashe County Commissioners; Friends of Ashe County; Local residents

PROSPECTS:  Unlikely

BACKGROUND:  In 2006 Northwest Wind Developers, LLC filed for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for an electric generation facility consisting of 25-28 windmills in Ashe County, North Carolina.  As planned, the wind farm could generate enough power to serve about 15,000 homes. 

The project quickly ran into opposition from local residents.  Opponents of the project have stated that it “raises many environmental, economic and aesthetic concerns.”  Others voiced concerns about noise, potential risks to birds, and disruption of service roads, and decreased property value. 

Northwest was allowed additional time to revise their application because of a variety of deficiencies in the application.  Northwest missed the deadline to submit a revised application.  Friends of Ashe County, a local opposition group, filed a motion asking for dismissal of the application.  This request led the Utilities Commission to issue a show cause order to Northwest.  The developer filed a letter with the Commission asking for a “conditional certificate” for the project because he was unable to get funding for studies and other preliminary work needed for the application.  The Friends of Ashe County filed a response to the letter, arguing “the undisputed record in the docket demonstrates that “the Applicant has not satisfied the minimum prerequisites of the statue to permit conditional approval and that issuance of a conditional approval for the sole and express purpose of obtaining financing is not a sufficient basis for the Commission to issue conditional approval.” 

On July 26, 2007, the Commission dismissed Northwest’s application because the application was incomplete.  The dismissal was made “without prejudice,” which means the company could refile an application for the project in the future.  Northwest was unable to secure bank financing without the backing of the commission.

SOURCES: Mountain Times: http://www.mountaintimes.com/mtweekly/2007/0125/windfarm_ashe.php3;
High County Press: http://www.highcountrypress.com/weekly/2007/01-18-07/public_hearing.htm;
Regency Properties: http://regencypropertiesnc.com/articles_145_Wind-Farm-Application-Dismissed.html?archived=true&type=activerealtync&subtype=area;
Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2646996820070726

Last updated November 23, 2010