Nedpower's continuing blundering puts them in strong contention as the World's Worst Wind Power Project. If it was not so sad it would be funny. Their grasp of a what a carbon neutral foot print is would make Al Gore cringe.
Here's the easy "How to run a wind farm project like Nedpower" 20 point check list:
1) First find a remote mountain location next to a national heritage sanctuary site (Canaan Valley)
2) Impress the local authorities with talk of massive tax revenues and construction contracts
3) Skirt and skimp local regulations by using what waivers you feel expedient
4) Sign-up local landowners to dubious contracts with promises of large monthly rental revenues
5) Deflect local nature group concerns by staging cursory impact assessments using a university professor who you put on the mountain side for a couple of days.
6) Avoid any open public debate by posting notices in obscure papers and places and busing in your own supporters and employees to pack any mandated public hearings.
7) Once project is approved - beginning construction in the fall when few local residents are left around and construction labor is cheaper.
8) Completely wreck local state access roads using them to bring in your heavy equipment. Don't risk having to build your own temporary roads or contractors equipment on your roads.
9) Ensure you locate turbines as close to facilities, roads and existing residences as possible. Maximize the human impact profile so local people know they are contributing to solving global warming by their own sacrifices for the planet. Ignore Federal siting regulations were necessary.
10) Buy all your equipment and turbines from as far away as possible. Preferably 5,000 miles or more!
11) Ship everything through a port that is at least 250 miles from your construction site - that way every part incurs a 500 truck mile minimum delivery over mountain roads that really punish trucks and gas mileage.
12) Cut 10 miles of extra wide access roads to make sure you strip the maximum number of acres of existing trees and habitat to really disrupt wild life and boost your carbon foot print.
13) Select a site that is on the annual migration routes for birds to ensure the maximum hazard factors apply to rare and at risk species.
14) Select a site that has significant bat populations because bats are known to be at high risk from large turbine blades.
15) Endanger the financial viability of the project by purchasing equipment that is 30% more expensive than local alternatives.
16) Alienate local politicians by buying everything from a foreign country thus making it impossible for them to back you.
17) Furlough your construction teams for weeks at a time (see #10 buying parts from 5,000 miles away) so you incur huge equipment rental costs on cranes and other heavy equipment and make the work teams feel insecure so you can hire them for the least money.
18) Bring in a high profile partner like Shell Oil so the Nedpower executives can make big windfall payments and local authorities can be all placated.
19) Make sure that you compromise your position in any law suits brought against you by following items 1 through 18.
20) Continue to make glowing executive pronouncements about the project and how green it is even as it hits more installation delays, environmental issues and cost overruns.
The executives at Shell Oil can hardly be pleased at having a partner like Nedpower show case their environmentally green credentials with wind power projects as badly executed as this one.