OPPOSITION: Citizens and local officials
BACKGROUND: The project is located near Frostburg, Maryland. The project consists of 25 turbines. The developer of the project is Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, LLC, which is a subsidiary of U.S. Wind Force. These turbines will generate 60 megawatts of energy, which is enough energy to provide power to 13,000 homes. The $142 million project will offer tremendous economic development opportunities for Western Maryland. It will create 150-200 construction jobs, a small number of permanent operations and maintenance jobs and inject, on average, more than $400,000 in property tax revenues into Allegany County.
In March 2009, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) granted the developer a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity exemption. The exemption means the developer will not have to go through a lengthy regulatory review process originally designed for electric power plants. A state law passed in 2007 allows wind-power projects of less than 70-megawatts to obtain such exemptions. Many citizens are upset about the exemption and feel that the developer simply wishes to bypass the full review process and “fast track” the project. Some local residents, who are in favor of legislation that would place steep limitations on industrial wind energy projects in the area, feel that the project simply wasn’t a good fit for Allegany County.
Although the project received PSC approval in 2009, it was stopped by zoning ordinance changes made by the County Commission. “It’s not abandoned by any stretch,” said David Friend, VP of U.S. Wind Force. “At the end of the day, we still have a huge investment there, and we’re not ready to give up on that project just yet.”
SOURCES: U.S. WindForce: http://web.uswindforce.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6&Itemid=7
Times News http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_059231839.html
U.S. Windforce http://web.uswindforce.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55:exemption-certificate-news-release&catid=2:news&Itemid=13
Cumberland Times: http://times-news.com/archive/x1540450936
Allegany Treasures: http://alleghenytreasures.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/seven-years-after-permit-approval-savage-mountain-md-industrial-wind-plant-scrapped-due-to-lack-of-interest/
Last updated November 16, 2010