Highland Co. wind farm advances

Virginia's first proposed wind farm cleared another hurdle this week, netting a recommendation for approval by a State Corporation Commission examiner, according to a story by the Associated Press. The 19-turbine project slated for Highland County would cover a ridge with 400-foot-tall turbines to produce electricity in a supposedly clean fashion.

The SCC hearing examiner acknowledged what critics have said, that the Highland New Wind Development poses a risk to birds and bats, but he hopes that a monitoring plan devised by the developer and Virginia's Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will limit the carnage.

Already, a judge had dismissed a claim from some adjacent landowners. The AP story says that two additional hurdles remain: approval by the full SCC and the Virginia Supreme Court, which will hear a protest of the County's zoning decision. The wind project was the subject of the Hook's March 16 cover story.