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Thread: Regulation of wind generation towers

  1. #1
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Regulation of wind generation towers

    Anyone out there got some examples of how these things are being handled in Development Plans and Zoning By-laws.

    I'd be particularly interested in Canadian examples, but would gladly review examples south of the border or elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    public utility or private?

    Our state statutes preempt local regulation of private power windmills.

    The public utility ones I've seen done have been handled by conditional use, and have been restricted with large setbacks (apparently it is uncommon but they do throw a blade from time to time). Our state statutes allow the Public Service Commission (the state utility regulators) to trump any local regulation that they deem overly burdensome.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Regulation of Wind Generators

    The situation ypou describe in your state is pretty much the same for us up here in Manitoba.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Try contacting someone at the Northwest Michigna Council of Governments at www.nwm.org.

    I know there are some wind generators located along the shores of Lake Michigan in Emmet County, you can see them as you cross the Mackinac Bridge on your way from th U.P. to the L.P. I just saw them a couple weeks ago.

    Additionally, I have seen articles in the local newspaper in the 6 months about a strong anti-wind generator movement up in this area.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Whatever county in CA 29 Palms and surrounding area is should be able to help you out. They are everywhere out there.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Try contacting the government of PEI, they are in the process of getting ready for a wind farm. Sorry, i don't have a contact name or department, but it is PEI, just call the central switchboard and they will get you to the person you need.

    As always, I'll look for a link.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  7. #7
    maudit anglais
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    We've got one in Toronto, along the waterfront - and another out in Pickering. I'll try to chat with one of the planners to find out what the regs might have been.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    here are links to pei's wind generation web site

    http://www.gov.pe.ca/development/ec-info/index.php3 (provincial government)

    http://www.awts.pe.ca/ (proponent)
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    If you want to see how nasty a public dispute can become about wind farms, look at Massachusetts. A company wants to build a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound. The rich people are angry that they will be able to see the steel structures from their monstrous "cottages." I hope they lose in court and the farm gets built.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Originally posted by Greenescapist
    If you want to see how nasty a public dispute can become about wind farms, look at Massachusetts. A company wants to build a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound. The rich people are angry that they will be able to see the steel structures from their monstrous "cottages." I hope they lose in court and the farm gets built.
    This annoys me to no end. These are the people who want to shoot down every development proposal because of "environmental" reasons. When something comes along that can help produce electricity with few externalities these same people argue that they might see little specks 20 miles off shore.

    Off topic statement: Cape Cod is an overrated area.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Originally posted by Seabishop
    Off topic statement: Cape Cod is an overrated area.
    Agreed! Who wants to spend their vacation sitting in traffic with pushy suburbanites from MA, CT, NY and NJ anyway? Not me. I'd rather go to the mountains or the Maine coast.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    There is a wind farm in nearby Madison County, NY.

    Contact the Madison County Planning Department for information on what local regulations were in place at the time it was developed.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
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    Does anybody regulate individual Wind Generation Towers rather than wind farms? We have some people in more populated areas (not small town but not really rural either) who want to have a windmill on their property to reduce their power bills.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Gurnee has a bunch of them 30 miles west of him. He might have some observations.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Thanks To all

    Thansk to all who responded with links and leads on info related to the regulation of wind generation facilities.

  16. #16
    I did some research on this in the US about 2 years ago. First most of the wind generation is occurring in the county outside of city limits. Out in the county I didn't find any community that regulates the location/design of the wind turbines or wind farms.

    I thought it was a very interesting issue and was a bit surprised that noone was regulating this from a zoning perspective.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Have you searched Vivisimo using "zoning for wind generators"
    this link seems most promising

    www.mrsc.org/Subjects/Planning/energy/E-wind.aspx
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    If you're interested in New Zealand's approach, NZ's Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority has a good, comprehensive overview available online:

    "Guidelines for Renewable Energy Developments : Wind Energy
    This report examines wind power technologies, gives advice on managing environmental effects, and information on obtaining necessary consents. There are numerous graphics throughout."

    I can't provide a direct link but you can get to it via www.eeca.govt.nz then Energy Wise Renewables > Guidelines for Renewable Energy Developments: Wind Energy > one file

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Originally posted by Seabishop
    This annoys me to no end. These are the people who want to shoot down every development proposal because of "environmental" reasons. When something comes along that can help produce electricity with few externalities these same people argue that they might see little specks 20 miles off shore.

    Off topic statement: Cape Cod is an overrated area.
    You clearly haven't seen the pictures of coastal wind turbine farms in Europe. They aren't 20 miles off the coast - more like a couple hundred yards or less and range in height from 200 to 300 feet. They are some big suckers.

    =Bob

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Originally posted by rcf
    You clearly haven't seen the pictures of coastal wind turbine farms in Europe. They aren't 20 miles off the coast - more like a couple hundred yards or less and range in height from 200 to 300 feet. They are some big suckers.

    =Bob

    Some on shore in Denmark.


    This would be a different story . . . or maybe not. They've got to be somewhere and they're not as bad as a power plant. My feeling is that these people on the Cape think they have a special right to be protected from wind turbines while the rest of us don't.


  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Originally posted by cowley.11
    I did some research on this in the US about 2 years ago. First most of the wind generation is occurring in the county outside of city limits. Out in the county I didn't find any community that regulates the location/design of the wind turbines or wind farms.

    I thought it was a very interesting issue and was a bit surprised that noone was regulating this from a zoning perspective.
    We regulate them in San Diego County. The small ones we just have some regulations about height, setback, etc. and don't require a permit but the medium sized one require an administrative permit and the large ones require a use permit and aren't permitted on a parcel under 5 acres.

    =Bob

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    For wind farms, does anyone know how building and zoning departments set review and inspection fees? I've read some general information about fees assessed on a per turbine basis and other fee schedules basing in on the extent and complexity of the electrical inspection. Others charge fees if certain types of studies are needed, i.e. noise assessment, avian and wildlife impacts, etc.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist
    Agreed! Who wants to spend their vacation sitting in traffic with pushy suburbanites from MA, CT, NY and NJ anyway? Not me. I'd rather go to the mountains or the Maine coast.
    My Chamber of Commerce thanks you as do the New Hampshire toll booths...lol

    The delay on the bridge to my island is alot better than the ones to the Cape - I remember those trips - ouch

    but on topic: I'm looking to put in an allowance for them in my town as part of the comp plan so I'll take anyone's model reg's too...

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    In the windy land of Kansas I have some potential regs sitting here ready to go to the planning commission.

    I am just pinch hitting here for now. So I have not even looked at them to know if they make any sense or not but guess I better get up to speed before the meeting.

    Personally, my opinion, Let them put them up!!!!!!!!!!
    If farmers are worried about loosing the Ag, I think we can give up some land for such a renewable resouce. I would do it in a heart beat over building any new nuclear plants or coal generated electric plants. Give it up, we have alot of wind out here and alot of wide open spaces.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  25. #25
    Is a wind farm defined as a utility? Can local zoning regulate utilities?

    (I know the answers here, I'm wondering about where y'all are ... )
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

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