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MONTCALM TOWNSHIP – Assembly for the primary time since January, the Montcalm Township Planning Fee picked up the place it left off beforehand – trying to wrap up the township’s amended wind energy ordinance.

With Chairman Richard “Dick” Karnatz recused as a consequence of a battle of curiosity and newly appointed Planning Commissioner David Jacobsen absent from his first assembly as a consequence of a private subject, the fee’s three remaining members – Vice Chairman Jeff Dolphin, Robert “Bob” Hemmes and Township Board Liaison Jessica Shearer – spent nearly all of Tuesday’s two-hour assembly making remaining revisions on amending the wind ordinance.

The Planning Fee has been engaged on amending the ordinance since August 2020, and whereas Dolphin stated in January that the ordinance was practically able to be submitted to the Township Board to then subsequently be reviewed by the township’s authorized counsel, that notion that had but to come back to fruition was solidified by a vote of the Planning Fee on Tuesday.

The movement, which handed unanimously, got here after commissioners made two minor adjustments to the draft model of the ordinance.

The primary change got here within the type of addressing a minimal setback requirement for personal generators – versus industrial generators – altering the setback from “4 occasions top of turbine” to “should fall inside property traces.”

The second change addressed the phrase “adjoining” within the ordinance when referring to nonparticipating land house owners with regards to setbacks of business generators on properties.

Each modifications have been accredited by way of unanimous votes.

Different highlights within the ordinance left unchanged since January embody:

• Setbacks of generators on taking part properties from 4 occasions the tip top of a turbine to 1,250 ft from the closest inhabited welling.

• Setbacks of generators from non-participating property house owners at 4 occasions the tip top of a turbine from the property line of a non-participating property proprietor.

• 500-foot most turbine top.

• No shadow flicker on any non-participating properties (with exception of waivers).

• Extra restrictive fencing necessities, to be consistent with present safety fencing ordinance necessities.

Following legal professional evaluation, Dolphin stated the ordinance will seemingly land again within the arms of the fee for some potential remaining amendments.

“It’s going to go to the township board for subsequent month after which there’ll most likely should be some refinement,” he stated.

“It should go to the board, go to a lawyer, and are available again right here,” Shearer added.

Throughout public remark, a lot of residents introduced forth issues relating to the potential growth of generators locally. Moreover, Shearer learn aloud written correspondence she had obtained within the type of a couple of dozen postcards, despatched to her by township residents, all in favor of Apex Clear Energy’s proposal to assemble a wind farm.

Nonetheless, as Shearer didn’t determine the names of those that despatched the postcards, it was ultimately revealed by Pine Township resident and Apex Clear Energy Trufant workplace supervisor Laurie Johnson that the postcards have been a part of a coordinated effort by Apex to have present land lease signers and supporters of wind energy attain out to their township officers.

“I’m presently working with Apex and might reply the query in regards to the playing cards,” Johnson stated. “The individuals who signed (land leases) with their property, we mailed them these, in order that these folks can specific themselves to the board, simply in writing. We did make it a bit simpler for them. The those that despatched these playing cards, they’re actual folks. They’re additionally from individuals who simply help the undertaking. They’re expressing their views, similar to folks specific their views right here on the conferences.”

Following this revelation, a number of members within the viewers demanded that the fee ask the township board to advertise the idea of surveying property house owners to obtain a township-wide opinion on generators.

“If I lived in Montcalm Township, I might come unglued about not having a survey,” Pine Township resident Leslie Rydahl stated. “It’s completely unfair, and this isn’t private in any respect in opposition to Laurie, however Apex has limitless {dollars} to spend on postcards, open homes, demonstrations and the residents are left at your mercy. When you don’t put out a survey, you’re simply going to have just a few of us who come right here month after month. That’s not truthful to those that even know what’s occurring but.”



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Planning permission refused for Wicklow wind farm due to nearby Air Corps activity

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Swiss wind park ordered to scale back to protect birds


Credit score:  The proposed website is just below 2.5 kilometres from Coolmoney Defence Forces camp. |

Seán McCárthaigh |

www.thejournal.ie
~~

Planning permission for a brand new wind farm in Co Wicklow has been refused due to the hazard it will pose to navy plane concerned in coaching and operational flights close to the Glen of Imaal.

An Bord Pleanála has rejected an attraction by renewable energy agency, ABO Wind Eire, towards the choice of Wicklow County Council to refuse it planning permission for a wind farm consisting of 5 generators with a most blade tip peak of 165 metres throughout a 60-hectare website on Kilranelagh Hill in south Wicklow close to Baltinglass.

Wicklow County Council had solely refused the challenge planning permission due to issues about its environmental and archaeological impression.

Nevertheless, the board stated the proposed improvement can be situated in an space that had been recognized by the Division of Defence as being of essential significance for the operational necessities of the Irish Air Corps.

It famous the placement was used as a protected holding space for navy plane earlier than getting into a dwell firing spherical space within the Glen of Imaal.

The board noticed that the Division of Defence had said that the world was utilized by Air Corps helicopters and fixed-wing plane that will be flying as little as 250 toes above the bottom.

It concluded that the wind farm, if allowed, would adversely have an effect on the power of the Air Corps to function within the neighborhood of Coolmoney Camp which is lower than 5 kilometres from the proposed website of the windfarm improvement.

“It’s thought-about that the proposed improvement would endanger or intervene with the protection of plane,” the board dominated.

It additionally refused planning permission for the wind farm on the premise of its location in an space of archaeological stays and monuments of nationwide, regional and native significance, which is especially recognized for its hillforts.

The board stated the challenge would end in important bodily and visible impacts on the heritage and archaeology of the world and its panorama.

ABO Wind Eire had argued that the challenge was justified on the premise that it will assist Eire to satisfy its local weather change targets on lowering greenhouse fuel emissions by eradicating virtually 64,500 tonnes of CO₂ emissions every year.

It identified that it had already diminished the deliberate variety of wind generators from 9 to 5 and any visible impact of the wind farm can be “low impression”.

“The wind farm won’t trigger a critical harm to the cultural or instructional worth of monuments listed on the Document of Monuments and Locations,” it said.

The corporate additionally proposed that excursions of the archaeological websites can be organised which might be supported by the event of a heritage path which it had proposed as a part of its planning software.

ABO Wind Eire stated it was additionally keen to supply annual funding in direction of native initiatives by way of archaeology and cultural heritage research and a group profit fund which might be value as much as €130,000 every year.

The corporate additionally maintained the windfarm would adjust to all statutory aviation necessities in addition to with the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority pointers on wind generators.

It argued the event wouldn’t battle with the close by navy firing vary and there was no want for the restrictions proposed by the Division of Defence.

Plans for the wind farm had additionally been opposed by the Division of Tourism, Tradition, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports activities and Media due to its impression on the archaeology of the world, whereas An Taisce claimed it will signify “a big and inappropriate intrusion” on the panorama.

The Division of Defence had said that the Air Corps believed that no wind generators needs to be situated inside 5 kilometres of navy installations.

Over 230 submissions had been made to the council in regards to the wind farm, together with one with a petition containing over 1,100 signatures.

Fianna Fáil Cllr John Mullen noticed that the event of a wind farm may “flip an unspoilt rural upland panorama into an industrial panorama in a way that may solely be described as environmentally devastating”, in line with RTÉ.

Celtic religious group ‘Temple of Éiriú’, which describes itself as working towards “indigenous methods of the Earth”, referred to as the Kilranelagh space a “sacred place” the place any improvement would impression on their non secular practices.



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Crowding the skies | Wind Energy News

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Swiss wind park ordered to scale back to protect birds


Credit score:  Impression of wind energy on golden eagles heard by Carbon County commissioners |

By Joshua Wooden |

The Saratoga Solar |

Could 19, 2022 |

www.saratogasun.com
~~

As wind energy initiatives proceed to blow into northern Carbon County, varied entities have sought to find out the impacts it has or may have on wildlife.

In 2021, the Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) had thought-about a moratorium on any energy initiatives within the Shirley Basin space. The dialogue of this moratorium got here following a presentation from the Wyoming Recreation and Fish Division relating to a research of wind energy challenge impacts on the Medication Bow Pronghorn Herd Unit. That moratorium finally failed on a 2-3 vote.

On Could 3, one other presentation was made earlier than the county commissioners. This one was made by Mike Lockhart—a former worker of the US Fish and Wildlife Service—relating to impacts on golden eagles. Lockhart, who labored for 33 years for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, mentioned he was conducting the research on behalf of his former employer and the US Geological Service.

“Wind energy in Carbon and Albany counties is already very in depth … and it’s already inflicting substantial hurt to golden eagles and different wildlife that’s largely missed. Personally, I’m against any new energy improvement in these areas,” mentioned Lockhart. “I feel there’s sufficient and there are greater than ample locations in different elements of the US that may help wind enlargement with out threatening excessive wildlife values.”

The golden eagle is essentially the most broadly distributed species of eagle, starting from the northernmost a part of Alaska down into Mexico. In accordance with Lockhart, the Shirley Basin and Laramie Basin are a very powerful areas in North America for the raptor.

“One of many issues we’ve decided, completely, is that Shirley Basin and Laramie Basin are maybe the 2 most vital focal areas for Golden Eagles within the nation. They’re massively vital they usually help a resident breeding inhabitants, a non-breeding resident inhabitants,” Lockhart mentioned. “Additionally they function a migration hall and help over-wintering birds by way of the winter.”

A big raptor, an grownup golden eagle ranges in measurement from 26 to 40 inches in size and has a wingspan between 5 ft, 11 inches and seven ft, 8 inches. In accordance with Lockhart, roughly 113 golden eagles had been captured and collared with both a PowerTrain Know-how (PTT) collar or a International System for Cellular Communication (GSM) collar. The previous is the standard radio collar which tracks actions whereas the latter can present extra information, however solely uploads that information when in proximity of a mobile tower. Of the raptors which had been collared, 80 of them had been related to wind energy initiatives, mentioned Lockhart.

The knowledge gathered to this point has proven the three largest mortality components for golden eagles have been car collisions, windmill strikes and electrocution. In accordance with Lockhart, it was nonetheless unclear as to why windmill strikes had been occurring with golden eagles. One speculation he introduced up, nevertheless, referenced actions within the southwest through which folks had been in a position to fly planes subsequent to or close to golden eagles and shoot the raptors. Lockhart mentioned he believed as a result of the golden eagle had advanced to be the “hardest issues within the air” they weren’t afraid of anything within the air.

Lockhart was not shy about his criticism of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service throughout his presentation. A number of occasions he mentioned the entity was fiercely protecting of golden eagles when he labored for them however had appeared to grow to be much less involved of their survival with reference to wind energy initiatives. The questions he had relating to the entity’s involvement with wind energy initiatives included:

• How are they addressing golden eagle mortalities with wind energy?

• How are they serving to to website wind energy farms away from excessive worth habitats for eagles?

• How are they wanting on the impact of clustered wind farms on Golden Eagles?

“It’s an fascinating query and, sadly, it’s one which I feel they’re doing a particularly poor job on and have punted on the entire problem of eagles and wind energy,” mentioned Lockhart. “Their administration relies completely retroactively.”

In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—beneath the Obama Administration—up to date federal tips to permit for wind energy corporations to function excessive pace generators for as much as 30 years. Whereas wind and different energy corporations might kill as much as 4,200 bald eagles annually with out penalty, golden eagles might solely be killed if companites took steps to reduce losses based on a Could 4, 2016 Related Press article.

In accordance with Lockhart, continued development of wind energy improvement within the Shirley and Laramie basins could be additional detrimental to the golden eagle populations which both lived round or used these areas. He instructed the commissioners most golden eagle nests usually had one egg, because the golden eagle doesn’t usually lay a number of eggs.

Data from the Audubon Society states golden eagles will usually lay between one and three eggs, however by no means 4 or extra eggs. Lockhart additionally mentioned the golden eagle ages slower than most different birds. The primary time younger golden eagles take their first flight, based on the Audubon Society, is when they’re about 60 to 70 days previous. Golden eagles are among the many longest residing raptors on the planet, with some having lived so long as 31 years in North America.

As a result of restricted variety of eggs golden eagles lay and the longevity of the species, Lockhart instructed the BOCCC he believed the general affect of wind energy initiatives within the basins could be detrimental. Including he believed the federal authorities didn’t wish to tackle this problem, he mentioned he believed the commissioners had been one of many decision-making our bodies which might take this info under consideration.

Whereas sympathizing with Lockhart, the commissioners said a bigger consideration of their position was that of personal property rights. Different issues, particularly on the state degree, included encroachment of wind energy initiatives on core sage grouse areas, based on Commissioner John Espy.

The Board of Carbon County Commissioners may have met on Could 17.

The following assembly of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners might be at 9 a.m. on June 7 on the Carbon Constructing – Courthouse Annex in Rawlins.



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Eminent domain bill won’t stop Grain Belt

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Swiss wind park ordered to scale back to protect birds


Credit score:  By Greg Kozol |

Information-Press NOW |

St. Joseph Information-Press |

www.newspressnow.com
~~

Ted Rogers stands close to his entrance porch and gazes previous the lengthy gravel driveway that stretches out to State Route A. The Buchanan County farmer says, to nobody specifically, “it’s coming.”

Nothing that occurred on this yr’s legislative session modifications his premonition concerning the Grain Belt Categorical and its affect on the home that his mother and father moved into in 1955. He’s lived there since 1984.

“It’s going to run proper previous the home,” Rogers mentioned. “Let’s simply say we’re apprehensive.”

Grain Belt Categorical is a high-voltage, direct-current transmission line that can ship wind energy from western Kansas to inhabitants facilities east of the Mississippi River. Its 780-mile route cuts by eight counties in north Missouri, together with a few of the 230 acres that Rogers farms close to Faucett. Landowners like Rogers have fought the undertaking for greater than a decade at county fee conferences, with state utility regulators and within the Missouri Common Meeting. They have been notably incensed that Invenergy Transmission, a non-public firm in Chicago, might use eminent area to construct Grain Belt.

This spring, the legislature handed a invoice that clamps down on the usage of eminent area for transmission strains. The laws, now headed to the governor’s desk, requires an organization or an investor-owned utility to pay 150% of market worth for an easement on agricultural property. It additionally requires a undertaking to ship a proportional quantity of energy to Missouri in order that it doesn’t simply use rural counties as an energy superhighway on the way in which to greater cities.

However Home Invoice 2005 contained the next phrases: “These provisions won’t apply to functions filed previous to Aug. 28, 2022.”

Meaning Grain Belt, granted regulatory approval in 2019, is grandfathered in.

“We thank our many supporters for his or her tireless efforts in making certain that this laws acknowledged the authorized rights of Grain Belt Categorical as a beforehand authorized undertaking that can proceed ahead towards full building,” mentioned Nicole Luckey, senior vice chairman of regulatory affairs for Invenergy, in an announcement. “Missouri lawmakers introduced stakeholders collectively round this vital legislative compromise, which is able to profit Missouri households, farmers, staff and companies for many years to return.”

That’s not how Rogers sees it.

“I’ve a tough time with the Legislature proper now,” he mentioned.

Bittersweet victory

Missouri Farm Bureau helped lead the push for modifications to Missouri’s eminent area legal guidelines. Garrett Hawkins, the president of Missouri Farm Bureau, mentioned the invoice’s passage represents a bittersweet victory as a result of it marks a step ahead for safeguarding landowners and making certain extra of a public profit, particularly with multi-state transmission tasks involving for-profit corporations.

Nevertheless it has little affect on the one undertaking that began the controversy.

“What we are able to say with certainty is that the combat that was led by these landowners, coupled with our group and others, has put Missouri in a stronger place as we glance to the way forward for energy transmission,” he mentioned. “When future tasks come, we all know that Missouri should obtain a profit for a undertaking to ensure that eminent area authority to be granted.”

Grain Belt will affect 570 landowners in Missouri. It has additionally began to take reluctant landowners to court docket, submitting condemnation petitions to achieve involuntary easements to their property. In April, a Buchanan County choose granted Grain Belt’s petition of condemnation in opposition to Bradley Horn of Gower. Horn couldn’t be reached and his legal professional didn’t return a name for remark.

Invenergy mentioned it has reached voluntary agreements on 74% of the route in Kansas and Missouri and has made court docket filings “as a final resort” on 14 thus far.

One of many largest factors of rivalry about Grain Belt is whether or not the transmission line gives sufficient public profit to justify the usage of eminent area to take non-public property. The undertaking will transfer 4,000-megawatts of electrical energy from Kansas to the Indiana border. It’s a direct-current line, so the ability can’t be transferred to the native grid with no converter station.

Hawkins mentioned he doesn’t assume Grain Belt would have been capable of meet the proportional profit necessities outlined in HB 2005. These new guidelines, for instance, would require 25% of the ability to be supplied to Missouri if 25% of the strains undergo the state.

“We must always not simply be a pass-through hall for a undertaking,” Hawkins mentioned.

The Grain Belt undertaking first proposed 500 megawatts of the transmission line’s capability for Missouri. Invenergy now says a mixed 2,500 megawatts will go to Kansas and Missouri.

“Grain Belt Categorical will present no less than $12 million in annual energy financial savings to Missourians throughout the state whereas strengthening America’s energy independence by connecting hundreds of thousands of shoppers to domestically produced, inexpensive and dependable energy,” the corporate mentioned.

A glance forward

One factor either side agree on is that the eminent area invoice may have a much bigger impact on future tasks.

Hawkins mentioned rural communities aren’t against green energy. This received’t be the primary time some firm desires to generate wind energy within the Nice Plains and promote it out east. These caught in between deserve some safety, he mentioned.

“This grid that we take pleasure in has been constructed on the backs of farmers and landowners for many years,” he mentioned. “As the way forward for energy transmission unfolds earlier than us and as extra tasks come down the road, we’re not going to face in the way in which of energy safety. We must always count on and are owed a extra stage taking part in subject in negotiations.”

Hawkins mentioned he is aware of grid operators are extra high-voltage transmission tasks in Missouri.

Rogers isn’t wanting on the massive image. He’s simply looking to the horizon, the place 150-foot poles could possibly be erected on his property. He wonders what the long run holds for his farm, his property and his life.

“Farming, it’s in my blood. All the time has been,” he mentioned. “There’s nothing else that mattered. I don’t assume we might reside on the town.”



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