Change in landscape is coming to Mt. Storm
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bawalker
June 24, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Some of you on here may have already heard about the proposed Mt. Storm windmill project from news articles last fall and through the winter. I can say that the project is now underway full scale.

Two weeks ago I was contracted to do IT work for the manufacturer of the windmills at their Mt. Storm location. This was my first time actually knowing about what was happening with windmills in that area. When I was finished up doing work each of the days, I drove the back road to see the rolling hills at the very edge of the Appalachian front dotted with white towers and cranes amongst the background of forest.

From what I learned by workers at the site, several hundred 400' tall windmills will be dotting the very eastern edge of the Appalachian front along Rt. 93 and Rt. 42 in and around the Mt Storm area. I couldn't be exactly sure but some maps show towers going as far south as Davis.

When driving around the Mt. Storm lake area after completing my work, around 200' of the towers are already in place with cranes positioned around numerous towers. The turbines are sitting on the ground beside them waiting for the rest of the towers to be erected for completion.

What this means to everyone is that come next winter, those of you who goto Timberline or Canaan via the Scherr route will see 20-40 windmills as you crest across the top of the mountain by the BP gas station. Many more will be seen along Rt 93 as you drive past the power plant onto Davis.

I actually expect that when these are finished within the next 8-10 months, that those of you who see the Mt Storm powerplant from Corridor H going to Moorefield will also see mini towers dotting the spine of the mountains there.

I have pictures which I will be uploading here shortly.
Roy
June 24, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I just bought wind credits from my wife's job. I guess I can say I contributed to the project.
crunchy
June 24, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
last time I was at the CV ski area it was a clear day and I could se these way off in the distance which I never knew existed before. are they the same ones?



I think Cooridor-H is supposed to go thru Mt Storm eventually also?

btw, my real estate agent mentioned that there have been alot of people coming in from out of town to work on the project that are looking for long-term rentals like 3 to 6 month terms.
yellowsnow
June 24, 2007
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
No objection from me.

No Crunchy, those are not the same. These will be at the intersection of 93 and 42 around the BP station. As bawalker says, construction has been underway for some time now.
I've gotten several long term rentals from Dominion guys working on various outages and projects at Mt. Storm station over the years. It's possible you'll see some rental activity from the windmill project.
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bawalker
June 24, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Here are pictures from Grassy Ridge Road where some towers are. This road is less than 2 miles past the BP station on the left off of 93.



























Roger Z
June 25, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Interesting... thanks for the photos Brad! After these go up, maybe CV and TL can pull a Vail and say they are getting exclusively green energy.
bawalker
June 25, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
From what I heard, this issue is still in the courts and that the buyer (Shell/NED Power) is pushing forward ignoring that it's still in the legal system. I did do a little research that the landowners and conservation groups took Shell Power to court due to the amount of bird/bat deaths associated with 400' towers. As well as the towers being on or very near residential properties with those residents not wanting the constant rushing sound of the turbine blades spinning.

The interesting question is, does this power generated get sold along side the Mt. Storm coal fired power or where is it going exactly?
comprex
June 25, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
I think it's time we did a little research.

What's the snow like downwind of the towers?
ubu
June 26, 2007
Member since 05/11/2005 🔗
40 posts
Thanks for the pics bawalker. I'm glad you posted this, it would have been quite a shock to see the construction without knowing what was going on. Any idea if this is this at all connected to the new roadwork going on across 93 from the BP station?
bawalker
June 26, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I believe it may be connected. I noticed that there are *many* access roads being created for the different tower locations. In fact after turning past the BP station onto 93 towards the lake, immediately on the left was trees cleared out with 18wheelers parked with more tower sections to go upto a tower I saw there. I can't say for sure if that is the case at the spot you are mentioning, but I would be willing to bet it probably is.
Roger Z
June 26, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
The interesting question is, does this power generated get sold along side the Mt. Storm coal fired power or where is it going exactly?


Ah, you've touched on one of my favorite subjects from the old world of power transmission. The interesting thing is, NO ONE really knows how our transmission system works. My favorite apocryphal story of this is one time a new power plant was built in North Carolina, and when they turned it on the power went out in upstate New York. No one knows why.

Once electricity is generated and thrown into the grid, connecting the power that comes out of a receptacle to the source of generation is (at this point) physically impossible. In other words: even if you're paying for clean energy, you could be getting your power from the dirtiest oil-fired plant in Texas, or you could be getting it from Three Mile Island, or a wind farm, or a combination of the three. Granted the contract dollars flow correctly (you pay your bill and it goes to a green company), but the actual source of energy is a complete mystery.

So, the two conclusions from this? One, we've created a physical system that we don't even understand, which is kind of neat when you stop and think about it; and two, CV and TL could *say* they're getting their energy from these wind plants, but from a physical perspective who knows (just like Vail and Aspen- it's sort of a marketing ploy).

I'm just one step shy of my screed as to why we need more power lines, so I guess I'll stop now. \:\)
kwillg6
June 26, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
Although I think and, when possible, buy green, the visual pollution of these structures is tremendous. \:\( I think of my trips out west to California and remember seeing literally thousands of this type of "green power" turbines in the western Sierra foothills. It still hasn't made a difference to the smog factor on the west coast, however maybe they have prevented it from getting worse.
kwillg6
June 26, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
BYW, with the talk here in northern/central VA of the potential of rolling black/brown outs w/o the construction of additional transmission lines I expect to see more of the wind farm generation plants up and down the Apps.
bawalker
June 26, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Honestly the best way to curb the pollution factor with the coming online of wind generated power or such is to take off a dirty electric company. For example if these windmills in Mt. Storm were to generate the equal or greater megawatts that the Mt. Storm coal fired plant was able to, then logic would suggest to take the coal fired plant offline. Thus the electricity production stays the same but then there is a 100% difference for power coming from that given area.

Obviously we know that won't happen because population is growing and the electrical needs are growing faster than the powerplants are being built or green technology is being developed. Thus if something 'green' comes online, it will work side by side with the dirty electric plants. In which case, maybe the best solution would be to curb dirty power plants coming online or preventing permits from being granted for those while the windmills, solar power and other technologies are given priority until they out number coal based ones.

Regardless, we made our decisions as a nation 80+ years ago on how to get electricity, and now we are stuck with the consequences that we just can't walk away from. Be it the pollution factor and the fact that we are so dependent on electricity that we just can't take the dirty ones offline without and equal or greater replacement.
tempfishnski
June 26, 2007
Member since 09/16/2006 🔗
66 posts
I think they are BUTT ugly & have no place in a pristine Mtn envirement!! A friggen shame to have to see those monstrosoties among the beautiful green natural background....Shameful. You Da Man crunchy!!!! I havn't Cked this site in a while & just caught the fact that we are now on the same page... CONGRATS..& Long live CV & the WV Alps!!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 27, 2007
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,925 posts
They are a bit ugly and kill birds and bats, but it's sustainable energy, and these things can come down as quickly as they went up. They do not cause irreparable damage like mountaintop removal. Symbolically, WV must be a pioneer in new energy sources because the alternative (more coal) will be devestating to the state long-term, not to mention the environment.
Roger Z
June 27, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
How would wind power in the Sierra foothills affect smog in the Los Angeles basin? Unless they replaced a coal plant in the LA basin, they'd have no impact whatsoever on smog, since the primary source of smog is local- particularly vehicles.

I don't see how a subdivision going up the side of a mountain at Timberline, a condo development where there used to be farmland or open space in the Valley, a new highway to get to the resorts, cellphone towers, the existing steam plume from Mt. Storm Lake, or a new ski resort at Mount Porte Crayon is any less "visible pollution" than a wind turbine. Seems to be some selective outrage here.
kwillg6
June 27, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
I meant to refer to the San Fernando Valley (basin) where the smog does settle in and is very thick up to around 5k in elevation. The LA basin has it's own unique situation with the majority of it's haze a result of it's proximity to the Pacific and the winds or lack thereof as well as the auto/bus/truck exhaust.

Now as far as the visual pollution to which I refered is evident everywhere, however, the wind farms are constructed on the ridges. Although unique and a green solution to our energy needs they do present clutter to otherwise pristine views. The same could be said for the monoliths constructed in and around Grandfather Mountain in NC where butt ugly hotels and condos were constructed without concern for the the natural beauty of the place. It's the same in and around Massanutten, T-line, Deep Creek and other resort areas where a dollar can be made. The real blight on the land are the cell towers you mentioned. It seems that every mountain or hill along a major highway has one or two. A lot of localities are now getting smart about the cell tower trend and have ramped up zoning requiring such towers to be "concealed" or otherwise be less conspicuous.

No selective outrage....just my own sadness \:\( to see us spoil the natural beauty of our land in order to make a buck.
jimmy
June 27, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Roger since you bring it up I'm outraged i tell u about a cupple of things......first why do they keep building roads so more cars and pipples can sit in traffic and make more smog inplaces like the LA BAsin; once traffic gets bad enough maybe then they'll ride the bus or move somewhere that u can breathe the air and drive the 20 miles to/from work in less than an hour each way....... the other thing that outrages me, really i came to realize this from lurking on that Hidden Valley thread, this global warming thing did not start soon enough, or was it that the last ice age lasted too long? anyways just think how nice it would be if the mountains in the mid-atlantic still had the extra 617.34 (average) verticle feet that the glaciers scraped off of the top of them. Ya i tell you that global warming may be the only thing saving the wasatch from the same fate!
kwillg6
June 27, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
Gad zook! Jimmy, u r brilliant! That's the answer to it all. No more roads. Then when people can't get to where they r going. they won't go and we won't need any more cars which means no more GW gasses, and then with wind farms, no more coal burning power plants, and then GW will end and we can ski 24/7/365 and, and, and..... wait a minute. How will we grow tomytoes and potatoes if it just snows???? I really like my BLTs so just
never mind.....
I could reallly use a summer beer right now.
jimmy
June 27, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Simple soulutions from simple pipples. Let me no anytyme i can b of service

While we're on the subject has anyone noticed my spelling hax dropped to bushwackerinpa's level, sum of u oldtimers remembr butchwacker? His spelling got notically worst when he moved to Utah and i'm justwendering if i culd bhe contributid to alta tude sickness?
Roger Z
June 27, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well, either way, unless the wind power has substituted for a fossil fuel power source in the basin of reference, it won't have an effect on smog, particularly since everyone is driving everywhere because they didn't listen to Jimmy. \:\)
fishnski
June 28, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Take a good postcard shot of Stowe as it is now....& then Imagine a pic of Mount mansfield without a ski area but with big huge windmills all across...BARRRFFFF. Chalets..slopes $ chairlifts all make for a pleasant mountain scene....windmills got to go. Even if they are easily broken down as John says, the reality is that once up it will take a long hard fight to get them to do it!...Selective outrage? How would you like to Take an expensive vacation to Cancun or Hawaii with all the condos & high rise Hotels & the beautiful beach & Palms packed with these monsters?!!? The Condos & Hotels fit in..but those Butt Ugly windmills got to GO!
tromano
June 28, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Jimmy, BWiPA is still around he posts on epic and TRG allatime. We young kids learned to read by teh phone-ikz. Which means if it sounds rihgt to us than it iz good enuff 4 yoo. ;\)

I <3 wind farms. I want to be able to ski with my grand kids and stuff.
Roger Z
June 28, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
The Condos & Hotels fit in


Uh-huh. That's what makes skiing at The Canyons so pleasant. All those natural 8 million dollar homes butting up against the slopes, the roads you have to ski over and under to continue down the trail. Ah, yes, nature at its' finest. Nothing like the pristine sound of a chainsaw running with some Radiohead cranking across the landscape. When I think Rocky Mountains, I think ear splitting music and dump trucks grading land for poolside patios. But not windmills. Windmills are bad!!!
fishnski
June 28, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Ok Roger..Once you've made up your mind on a subject there is nothing that can be said to change it...you just dig in your heels & refuse to budge...Soooo..Can we at least make them in a Camo color & isn't there enough room at the base of those "Thangs" to build an eff Apt? You could have Palm leaf wings on the ones at the beach with little cabanas at the base! We could learn to fix some really good Bird & Bat BBQ Too..All you can eat!...Sounding better?
bawalker
June 28, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
wooooo I've started a thread that indirectly ressurects GW. Considering it's not been overbearing hot mostly just humid here, I'll say for the summer time, GW doesn't exsist. \:\)
jimmy
June 28, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Originally Posted By: comprex
I think it's time we did a little research.

What's the snow like downwind of the towers?


Whales I'd bet.

These windmills are really, whatis it, a paradox?? U'd think since there green, well really ther white but a sourse of green energy so, they seem to stir up a lot of outrage with folks who u'd think would appreciate that. Takes 400 of them to replace one average size fossil fired plant.

Roger mentioned the mystery of the grid; for every kW that goes into the grid is there any way of knowing how much comes out. What kind of transmission losses are there?

Has the US spent the last 20 years with it's head in the sand rather than continue developing nuclear energy?

Will Canaan Valley receive 200" of snow next season?

Will JohnL wear a helmet next year?

Will jonjon get busted agin for his celebratorie display in the middle of duntun Davis next week?

Stay tooned, i usually am.
Roger Z
June 28, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Ok, Andy, I'll humor you. "OH MY GOSH, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT A TURBINE WOULD LOOK LIKE ON THE TOP OF MOUNT MANSFIELD!!! ANDY'S POINT IS IRREFUTABLE, I MUST SUBMIT!!!" Happy now?

Given how many ridgelines and hills I've hiked across, I'm pretty sure I've spent a helluva lot more time than you have wondering what a windmill would look like on the horizon and how that affects one's experience with the outdoors. As a matter of fact I was just contemplating that from a hill-line in central Kansas this weekend (another place high on the "let's build windmills here" list). I'm just not willing to expect the world- with all of it's real and perceived needs- to bend over backwards to accomodate my aesthetic tastes. And, frankly, even if you got me to agree 110% with you tomorrow, it would make absolutely no difference whether those windmills got built or not. All it'd do is tie me emotionally to something I can't control. So there's two things- I try not to argue about issues based on aesthetic preference, and I try not to invest emotional energy on things I can't control...

...unless it's Virginia Tech football, because every fan knows that if you root hard enough your team WILL win. \:\) Right Jimmy?
fishnski
June 29, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
You got it Jimmi... the Nuke thing is the million dollar question. That & refineries......Canaan is on track for a 200" year Ave!...The Jon Jon & Meyer house seems to be an explosive subject.....Will making the green windmills green increase the killing of the birds/bats? Will Johnf go bird watching at the base of these green killers? Johnl should wear a helmet.. & Roger is confused.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
June 29, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
Replying to the whole thread, not to anyone in particular;

A friend, skier, businessman in CV who can identify himself if he reads this forum and wants to do so, suggested a policy that would greatly reduce public opposition to WV windfarms. Suppose that the power company donated 0.1% of their profits from the windfarms to public education in WV. It isn't much and granted they pay taxes already, but this would be a voluntary gesture of good will. Think of it. WV has poured out its timber and coal riches to the world and what has it gotten in return? The workers get horrible working conditions and the lowest wages that the vipers of the timber and coal industries can get away with. And when the resources are gone these guys walk away leaving an environmental and economic disaster behind. Everything has its cost, but I think the cost of the windfarms is a good deal less than the costs of the timber and coal industries.
Roger Z
June 29, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Denis- is the opposition to windfarms from locals or move-ins/second home owners? If the latter, they're not likely to care much about such a gesture, just see it as "buying off the rubes."

West Virginia probably has a minerals tax like most mineral-rich states do... or they should. If wind is a resource WV has in abundance, they could think about extending the minerals tax to that. Better, though, would be to turn to other states for role models. Wyoming has a gazillion dollar (plus or minus) surplus right now, and is using the state surplus to take care of deferred infrastructure projects and, more importantly, pump up energy research into clean and emerging technologies at their university. Their goal is to become one of the leading advanced energy research areas in the world. Germany used a similar model in the Ruhr region. I think WY is also currently building the world's largest supercomputer at U-WY, which they're also going to use for climate study (if I remember right).

But can the local guv'mints be trusted to do the right thing? I think a better model might be if the windfarms provided direct dividends to the local population- perhaps through a promise to employ a certain percentage of locals and provide continuing education as part of the employment package, or work directly with the local community college to develop a better job training program, or something like that. Something that combines human and community development with the project and eliminates as many middlemen as possible.
tromano
June 29, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I don't mind wind mills from an aesthetic perspective. They are certainly better than looking at a coal power plant. I would think that providing clean energy and a cooler environment would out weigh having to look at a few wind mills in the eyes of skiers at least...
crunchy
June 29, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: bawalker


The interesting question is, does this power generated get sold along side the Mt. Storm coal fired power or where is it going exactly?


I was told the power is going to the DC area, go figure
tromano
June 29, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Our trans mission system is all weird. Basicly they can't control where their power goes once it hits the grid.
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