wind turbines

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland environmental coalition is criticizing an amendment added to legislation by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris that they say could stop two offshore wind proposals near Ocean City.

The Maryland Climate Coalition said Wednesday the amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee this week would prohibit the Interior Department from approving project construction plans, despite six years of debate and approval by state lawmakers and regulators.

creative commons

Wind turbines off the Maryland coast just got a boost.

The Maryland Public Service Commission has awarded renewable energy credits for two projects that will be built in the waters just off the Ocean City.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the decision will allow U.S. Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy to begin construction of the turbines.   

It is expected to produce 368 megawatts of power.

The projects are expected to generate nearly $2 billion in spending for Maryland creating nearly 97-hundred jobs over the next 20 years.

creative commons

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Two companies have won the right to build windmills off the New Jersey coast to generate enough power for up to 1.2 million homes.

The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says the lease sales announced Monday will bring in nearly $2 million.

The companies are RES America Developments Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, and US Wind Inc. of Baltimore.

The lease sales cover nearly 344,000 acres of ocean floor.

creative commons

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A Texas energy company says it's shelving plans for a wind farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore amid opposition from state and federal lawmakers concerned about protecting jobs at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station across the Chesapeake Bay.
Pioneer Green Energy wrote to the Somerset County Commissioners last month that it was indefinitely suspending the project due to "unanticipated hurdles and roadblocks." Vice President Adam Cohen cited U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski's efforts to stall the project pending further study.

Tom Corser / creative commons

The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission has just approved the regulations that could pave the way for a major wind farm project.

It now goes to the County Commissioners for final approval.

The 3-to-1 vote gave the green light for the turbines to be 575 feet, that is, 175 feet higher than the previously agreed to.

The approval brings Pioneer Green Energy one step closer to building its 25 wind-turbine farm that would spread across thousands of acres between Marion Station and Westover in southern Somerset County.

creative commons

Pioneer Green says new recommendations to tighten restrictions on wind turbines would end plans for a wind farm in Somerset County.

This warning comes after the governor vetoed a bill in Annapolis that would have delayed construction for over a year so that a study could be conducted on the impact of the turbines on the radar at the military installation on the Patuxent River.

By a majority vote the Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission decided to lower the nighttime maximum noise level to 40 decibels, that is 15 decibels below the Maryland standard of 55.

official photo

Maryland lawmakers, environmental groups and wind energy advocates called on Senator Barbara Mikulski to pull non-binding language in the Defense spending bill that would delay the wind turbine project in Somerset County.

The provision calls on the Navy not to sign onto any agreement to develop the wind farms until the second phase of an MIT study is completed on the impact of the turbines on the Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A proposal to build a wind farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River could still be delayed until a study is complete, despite Gov. Martin O'Malley's veto of a bill that would have created a similar delay.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski has included an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would require the Navy-commissioned study to be completed to further evaluate how radar use at the base could be affected by the wind turbines.

There’s another hurdle for the Great Bay Wind Energy project in Somerset County.

The wind turbine effort still has to get approval from the County Commissioners before it gets underway.

In the last legislative session Governor Martin O’Malley vetoed a measure that would have delayed the project for over a year.

After meeting with the county commissioner last Tuesday Commissioner Charles Fisher told WBOC that the board needed more time to come up with an ordinance.

campaign facebook

Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig took a tour through Wicomico County yesterday, and Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with him to focus on some local issues ranging from the wind farm in Somerset County and environmental issues to economic development in the region.

official photo

Maryland state Comptroller Peter Franchot says Governor Martin O’Malley should veto legislation that would delay the construction of the wind turbine project in Somerset County by more than a year.

Franchot said the delay would have a profound impact on the local economy of one of the poorest counties in the state.

He pointed to more than 500 construction jobs, $44 million in tax revenues and $200 million in revenue from new investment.

With the overwhelming Senate vote to delay the $200 million wind project in Somerset County state Senator Jim Mathias said that this vote would be a $45 million loss for local residents.

Developers had hoped to move forward with construction of the Great Bay Wind Energy projection by next summer.

But the measure would delay that for another 15 months while a study is conducted to examine the impact of the wind turbines the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

A measure that would delay a wind turbine project in Somerset County by 15 months has made it out of the Senate Finance Committee.

The delay would allow for the results of a $2 million study on the impact of the project on radar at U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

In addition, the measure would limit the height of wind turbines at varying distances at varying distances from the naval base.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Eastern Shore Democrat Jim Mathias voted no saying the issues could be dealt with through existing state and federal laws.

official photo

Congressman Steny Hoyer made an appearance in Annapolis lobbying for a measure that would impose a 15 month delay on the Somerset County wind turbine project.

Speaking before a legislative panel the House minority Whip from Southern Maryland said the delay and study was needed to ensure that the wind turbines do not interference with the radar from the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Hoyer also provided a letter co-signed by Maryland’s two senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin supporting the legislation.

Legislation to delay the wind project in Somerset County could face a veto by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley as the state Senate prepares to take up the bill next week.

That's according to Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network during a teleconference with reporters yesterday.

"We don’t expect the bill to get to his desk to begin with, but if it does one would assume he being a vigorous opponent of the bill would be facing the prospect of a possible veto."

The Maryland legislature is one step closer to block a wind turbine project in Somerset County.

The House of Delegate voted overwhelmingly to impose height restriction on wind turbines at varying distances from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Southern Maryland.

It now moves to the state Senate.

What’s called the Great Bay wind project in Somerset County would be prohibited from being taller than a few hundred feet.

There could be a delay in putting up those wind turbines in Somerset County.

Representatives from the southern Maryland delegation in Annapolis told a committee hearing yesterday they were concerned the wind mills could cost jobs around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The House measure would prevent the state from approving the wind turbines that exceed a range of heights within the Atlantic Test Range used by the naval base.

The legislation would suspend construction of the 70 megawatt Great Bay wind project in Somerset County.

LEWES, Del. (AP) - The University of Delaware will start selling energy credits from a wind turbine on its Lewes campus to Delaware Municipal Electric Coop.

WMDT-TV reports that the three-year-old turbine typically creates enough energy to power 5,000 homes for an entire year. It's currently being used to power the Lewes campus.

BERLIN, Md. - The town of Berlin is finally moving forward with a new wind turbine.

WMDT reports that the turbine will be built behind Cropper's Towing Company off of Old Ocean City Boulevard.

It is designed to produce 50 Kilowatts of electricity, but officials say they won't know how much it will save the town, money-wise, until it's been in place for at least a year.

The town of Berlin is investing $4,500 in the more than $100,000 project, with the company designing the wind turbine absorbing the majority of the cost.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will be getting two 2-megawatt wind turbines to meet the energy needs of the campus.
The project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2014 and will contribute to Maryland’s goal of generating 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022.  

G. Dale Wesson…vice president for research and economic development told the Salisbury Dealy Times that the university expects faculty and students to be fully engaged in the effort as a research project.

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Maryland's attorney general has deemed a portion of a law aimed at putting distance between wind turbines and homes unconstitutional.

The Times-News reports that Attorney General Douglas Gansler wrote Gov. Martin O'Malley in May noting that a portion of the law is unconstitutional because it would give adjacent neighbors zoning authority.

Garrett County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator says the rest of the bill will proceed and be amended in the 2014 General Assembly session.


           An Ocean City family has been given the green light to install a set of  wind mills on the roof of their Boardwalk home.

            The three turbines will be the first in the resort on the roof of a single-family residence.

            The Villa Santa family has been trying to get permission to construct them on top of their 14th Street house over the last year.


            There are just a few days left for public input on the proposed wind turbine legislation in Somerset County.

            And residents are expressing concerns…that range from health issues to the impact on wildlife.

            Resident Tammy Truitt said she was concerned about health issues like the noise…that can affect sleep.

            Truitt pointed to a Website for National Wind Watch which listed problems like insomnia, headaches and nausea that have been reported by people who claim they live near wind turbines.