Wind developer drops project, citing state regs

Source: William Thornton, Birmingham News • Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014

New wind energy regulations in Alabama caused a wind farm developer to abandon two projects in the state, the company’s attorney said.

Pioneer Green Energy attorney Charlie Stewart said the Texas-based company dropped plans for two wind farms after the state passed a wind energy bill that limited the noise that wind farms can produce. The rule also requires wind projects to have a larger setback from nearby properties.

“The bill was basically a moratorium on wind turbine developments,” Stewart said. “The company lost a lot of money, spent a lot of years studying the project, had a lot of studies, and was prepared to go forward.”

The planned wind farms in Cherokee and Etowah counties would have cost a combined $200 million.

Wind energy critics cheered Pioneer’s decision.

“I think this is a great example of ordinary people with determination and a certain amount of political cooperation successfully standing up to defend their community,” said Shannon Mackey, an opponent of the projects (William Thornton, Birmingham News, Aug. 20)