Thursday, April 17, 2008

After protests from residents, Maryland governor bars wind turbines on state-owned land

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has blocked a plan to build a commercial wind turbine farm on state-owned land in the western part of the state, reports Rosalind Helderman of The Washington Post: "Speaking at a scenic overlook in the Savage River State Forest in Garrett County, O'Malley said the state remains committed to exploring renewable energy sources but said the wind energy industry should look to other land for large-scale wind farms."

The announcement affected only one current project, a plan to build 100 turbines, each 400 feet tall, within two state forests in Garrett County. Residents had opposed the plan, saying they worried the construction would damage the protected landscape. Those favoring the project "said they would press ahead with plans for commercial wind farms on private land," Helderman writes. "O'Malley noted that private land as well as property owned by local jurisdictions or the federal government would not be affected by his decision."

A bill recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly requires 20 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2022. O'Malley has not acted on the bill yet. (Read more)

No comments: