SVN and our partners support the development of alternative energy sources, including small and commercial scale wind energy, but not at the cost of natural, historic or cultural resources.
Industrial wind projects can lead to negative impacts in remote rural areas and along sensitive mountain ridgelines; noise and lights, forest clearing and road building for wind turbine towers and transmission lines, loss of wildlife habitat and rare plant communities, mortality to migratory and local birds and bats.
Industrial wind energy emerged as a major land use issue in the northern Shenandoah Valley in 2008, with unofficial reports that Freedom Works LLC of Harpers Ferry, WVA was considering plans to build a massive project (130 turbines, each 440-feet tall) along the spine of Church Mountain in Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties. The project has not moved forward at this time.
In March 2012, Augusta County supervisors approved a lease for land at the county landfill in Stuart’s Draft to Apex Energy LLC of Charlottesville for 20 to 30 turbines. The site has good access from I-81 and I-64, existing transmission lines, compatible land use and strong winds. See story: Wind energy firm seeks lease of Augusta County regional landfill (PDF)
SVNs work with citizens groups and local governments to ensure adequate zoning ordinances to address the benefits and impacts of the three scales of wind energy: small systems that serve a home, farm or business on site; medium-size systems that serve a cluster of homes, farms or businesses on site; and large industrial-scale commercial projects that generate power for sale off site.
Keep up with county zoning ordinances and find out how SVN and our partners are working to protect the region from irreversible harm and to promote smaller scale, lower impact wind development and avoid negative impacts from industrial wind projects.