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Windmill farm should be built, but caution urged

Finding relatively clean sources for energy isn't easy.

That's why we think the proposed Tucker County windmill farm, which would generate enough electricity to power 20,000-25,000 homes and provide a significant economic boost to the county, is a good idea.

But while we like the idea, we have to admit there are some aspects to the project that concern us.

Tucker County is rich in pristine land, and has grown its economy through tourism. Plans to hopefully turn Blackwater Falls State Park into a national park are worth pursuing.

That's why we're glad to see the Public Service Commission, under the direction of Charlotte Lane, proceed cautiously in regards to this project.

The PSC has held several public hearings, including two in Tucker County, where many residents spoke for the project and no one spoke against the project, according to Lane.

Thus far, several conservation groups have campaigned against the project. The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy believes the 311-foot-high windmills -- 79 in all -- would be an eyesore. Others are concerned the huge 100-foot windmill blades would be hazardous to birds.

Those are legitimate concerns.

But we also believe that there should be ways to limit the potential damage while reaping the benefits of a clean energy source and a huge economic boost.

The PSC should continue to work with the developer, Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp., to find a safe, effective, environmentally-friendly solution that allows for this worthwhile investment in the future of Tucker County.

John G. Miller

Telegram Editorial Board member

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