The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 11, 2012

Gamesa scraps wind farm project

WINDBER — Developers have pulled the plug on the 60-megawatt Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm project.

“Because of a combination of factors, including uncertainty surrounding federal policies, Gamesa has decided to halt development plans for its proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm in Somerset County,” Gamesa Energy U.S.A. spokesman David Rosenberg said in a statement sent to The Tribune-Democrat.

The decision was celebrated by opponents who had been fighting the company for six years.

“I feel great because of the fact that we went up against insurmountable odds,” Shaffer Mountain resident Joseph J. Cominsky said Monday. “There is a pristine piece of wilderness that should be preserved and will be preserved.”

Cominsky was the first to raise concerns about the proposed 30-turbine wind farm in 2006, taking his message to township supervisors meetings in Ogle, Paint and Shade townships. Enlisting support, he helped opponents organize as Save Our Mountain and raise money for the fight.

Meanwhile he continued his impassioned pleas at township supervisors and Windber Area Authority meetings. He collapsed and was taken by ambulance from one Paint Township meeting.

“I had two heart attacks over this,” he said. “I should be dead.”

As opposition grew, hundreds came out to public hearings in June 2007 at Pitt-Johnstown and in August 2007 and again in August 2010 at Somerset Area High School.

An endangered Indiana bat found dead last September under a wind turbine near Lilly interrupted Shaffer Mountain’s permitting process while U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators reviewed the situation. Shaffer Mountain has an Indiana bat maternity colony and is on the same migratory pathway as the Lilly turbine, experts said.

Shaffer Mountain property owner Richard Bair said Gamesa’s decision to scrap the project will cost him as much as $750,000 over the next 30 years.

Bair blames the Fish and Wildlife Service’s pending ruling.

“A senior official told them the service would not give them a valid green light,” Bair said.

 

To read this story in its entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads