"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wind Energy

Let me be clear, I am not a fan of wind energy.  Actually, it's not the energy that is generated from the wind that I take issue with; it's the wind turbines that are an eyesore.  We are promoting tourism as one of western Maryland's leading industries, yet we keep doting our mountain tops and beautiful vistas with these massive intrusions.  If I were a property owner at Deep Creek Lake, which is so beautiful, and these beautiful vistas were spoiled with wind turbines, I would not be happy.
Last week, I attended a Greater Cumberland Committee meeting and heard a presentation by David Friend of Laurel Renewable Partners on the Dan's Mountain Wind Farm Project.  David appeared to be a nice guy who loves his job.  However, with every word he spoke, I could hear my property value decline.  Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit.  The Wind Farm is to be located atop Dan's Mountain, and I live in the foothills of that mountain range.  We are far enough away (I hope) but as I drive down Route 220 and look up, it's hard to spot the cellphone towers atop the mountain.  I am sure that won't be the case when it is populated with anywhere from 17 to 25 three-hundred foot towers with turbines and blades sitting on top of the mountain range.  If I am not mistaken, the wind turbines will be south of the cellphone towers. (Fortunately for me, I am north of the cellphone towers).

The construction and erection process explained by David was interesting.  First, they have to build access roads to the top of the mountain.  They then have to dig a diameter of 50 feet, add steel and cement, then backfill.  Erection of the 300 foot tower then begins, along with construction of substations and collection systems.  If all goes well with permits and approvals, there will be a wind farm atop Dan's Mountain by early 2016.  

The good news associated with the wind farm would be local construction, operations and ancillary jobs, road improvements, lease payments to land owners, $1 million in tax revenue annually and Allegany County requires a $150K bond for decommissioning, although the cost to decommission is around $25K. Now for the bad news...........THEY ARE EYESORES!!!!  My guess is that this wind farm will become reality.  How can the County pass up $1 million in annual tax revenues?  Anyway, thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent.

No comments:

Post a Comment