As our region continues to ponder the concept of wind energy and as technology and support for renewable energy increases, it will be important that Shenandoah County to have ordinances in place to minimize any impacts building wind turbine towers and transmission might pose to the region.
Shenandoah Forum Host Series of Wind Energy Forums
- Forum on Wind Energy on Shenandoah Ridgelines On June 17, 2008, the Forum hosted a forum on wind energy to learn about the pros and cons of installing wind turbines along the Valley's ridgelines in the George Washington National Forest. Presentations included an industry representative, environmental consultant and expert on federal legal issues involved and opportunities for public involvement. More than 350 residents attended ... clearly this is an issue that captured the interest of the community.
- Workshop on Local Wind Energy: On March 2, 2009, Shenandoah Forum held a workshop on local wind energy options. Targeting county officials and community members, this workshop looked at the technical specifications and impacts of three scales of wind energy turbines: for individual homes and small businesses, for larger businesses and agricultural uses and utility scale.
In early December 2008, FreedomWorks, LLC submitted a proposal to install 3 meterological towers in the George Washington National Forest. Wind and other meterological data collected from these towers would be used to support the installation of future wind turbines along the Forest ridgelines.
George Washington National Forest Denies FreedomWorks' Proposal
On April 2, 2009, Maureen Hyzer, Forest Supervisor for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, denied acceptance of FreedomWorks' proposal. The denial was based on two factors. The first factor was their intentions of constructing 131 wind turbines don not comply with the Revised George Washington National Forest Management Plan. The second factor is they did not provide sufficient rationale for why the use of national forest system land is necessary. It is important to note, this decision does not preclude future wind proposals from being considered by us or the possibility that wind turbines may someday be permitted on National Forests' in Virginia or West Virginia.
Shenandoah Valley Network Issues Wind Energy Report
SVN commissioned Land Use Planner John D. Hutchinson to report on wind energy in the Shenandoah Valley. Covered topics include: proposed wind projects in Virginia, local responses to wind projects, and planning and zoning for wind projects in Virginia. The report also includes a model wind energy ordinance for the Shenandoah Valley.