Controversial windmills to be erected this summer

The controversial-but-approved windmill farm headed to Highland County will finish construction this summer, say the owners in a Roanoke Times story. The project–- which has been accused of threatening bats and migratory birds–- was the subject of a 2006 Hook cover story.

The developer, Highland New Wind LLC, points out that the site, an already bald mountain-top farm, won't require the usual deforestation and will make the county a net exporter of energy. However, UVA environmental sciences researcher Rick Webb takes a dimmer view of the project's enviro and financial credentials.

"It's getting ridiculous," says Webb. "This makes at least four or five times now that Highland New Wind spokesmen have announced that construction is imminent–- I think they are fishing for investors."

A message left with a Highland New Wind representative was not returned.

–-last updated 12:28pm, Tuesday April 13


I don't see why these windmill things shouldn't be incorporated in the commercial (as in commercial real estate) land scape, and along the interstate and major highways where traffic and development already naturally threaten wild life.

All of the areas I've mentioned are generally more windy because of lack of trees and steady traffic.

And they're already (in my opinion) generally ugly.

Why not take advantage of all of the above and use those areas for duel purpose- both as commercial and transportation areas and to generate electricity via windpower.

Every stand next to 29N and have a moment when the wind was unmoving?

I haven't.

Are bats and migratory birds flying into the multiplicity of huge high power transmission towers and wires? The arguments against wind turbines is flawed. One alternative suggestion was to improve the AC transmission lines. Does that mean more & bigger towers and wires to kill bats and migratory birds?

They will weed out the inferior bats and birds that cannot avoid the giant blades and will result in a stronger population for both.

'They will weed out the inferior bats and birds that cannot avoid the giant blades and will result in a stronger population for both."

I'm a bat fan myself, having researched them and understanding their importance to the ecosystem, including human's way of life. I wouldn't go as far as to say that those bats (or birds) who fly into the blades are "inferior" per se. What you're advocating stems from Darwinism and the theory of evolution, which has validity in many cases. Problem is, the modern human lifestyle, and all the things that go with it, has only been around affecting the environment for a relatively short period of time. When you look at how long bats (and birds) have been in the picture versus how long modern human interference has been here, it means that none of the critters out there have even been given a chance to "evolve" ie, adapt to us in time. And all these unnecessary deaths, be it bats and birds flying into windmills, critters being run over on roads, etc. etc. are a total waste. Critters aren't standing a chance, they haven't had any time to try to "evolve" and keep up before their numbers are being shaved down.

And just to note that I'm not a Creationist, but I do believe that people lacking in empathy like to hide behind Darwinism to justify and/or flippantly wave off environmental issues.

That's just my 2 cents. I'm neither for nor against this at the moment, I'd have to research the issue more before making up my mind.

Hooray, clean energy. 'Bout time somebody kept some of Oblabber's campaign promises.

We really are "Schizo nation". Remember the proposal for the big off-shore windfarm to be built on shoals near Nantucket and how Ted Kennedy fought it? Everyone seems to think sustainable energy is a great idea as long as the facilities aren't anywhere near where they live. Like the Big Savage Mt. windfarm near I68 in Pennsylvania, the Highland County site is perfect, yet folks who don't live anywhere near oppose it in synchronized knee jerk.

Notice locally Albemarle County has begun some talk about "allowing" small wind generators to be put up by individual users, but with height restrictions which amount to a functional outright ban since 35 feet is just too low.

Ha! You just complained about livestock that are being raised for the sole purpose of being killed and eaten having to have an extra bit of noise.

Things like this shouldn't be controversial.

Turbines in the Appalachian Mts. of West Virginia is a disaster for birds and bats, according to today's NPR Science Friday program. There are good places to site these turbines and bad places; this is deemned, by the speakers on today's program, to be a bad place for migratory birds and bats. They suggest that a better solution is improving transmission lines in this area and concentrating on parts of the country where wind turbines would not have such a negative impact on wildlife.

deleted by moderator

NPR, what a joke. The majority of energy comes from coal-burning. Where is their expose on how many birds and bats die from lung cancer from inhaling coal residue.

Give me windmills!

go windmills! cause who needs hawks and eagles, right? and how about the pesky nearby livestock that has to live with the constant noise? forget them! let them die a slow, stressfilled death.