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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Winds of politics put proposed Crab Orchard wind farm on hold

Plans to build a large wind-farm of turbines to create electricity have been put on hold for now according to the project's owner Apex Clean Energy.

The project was first announced 18 months ago and while it was initially praised for the economic development, property tax revenue and construction jobs it would bring in, it quickly gained a strong opposition, especially from Fairfield Glade residents. With signs and t-shirts, those opposed to the wind farm protested on the courthouse lawn and brought their voice to the county commission and other legislative bodies.
These wind turbines above Oak Ridge are smaller
then the ones Apex had planned to construct 
above Crab Orchard.

Protesters, many from Fairfield Glade, came
out for several months when the County
Commission met. 

Earlier this year, the Tennessee General Assembly put all such projects on an 18 month moratorium so new rules could be formulated.
A map showing tentative locations for the wind farm.

Apex issued a statement on the project, “Based on current market conditions and the project’s fundamental qualities, we have decided not to make this significant investment at this time. Our work on the Crab Orchard Wind project will be therefore suspended until market conditions change to make the project more competitive.”

Apex public affairs manager Kevin Chandler confirmed the project was currently on hold.

A report prepared by the Howard Baker Jr. Center on Public Policy at UT estimated that the effect on the state's gross domestic product (GDP) of the project's construction would total $76.4 million with $27.3 million centered on Cumberland County. The operation of the project was estimated to increase the state's annual GDP by $2.9 million and Cumberland County by $1.4 million. The study was funded by Apex Clean Energy.

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