MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A south Alabama county commission voted unanimously to block a company from installing wind turbines on Tuesday.
The Baldwin County Commission passed two ordinances to ban wind energy farming. One ordinance applies to areas of Baldwin County that fall within zoning regulations, and the other applies to unincorporated areas, AL.com reported (http://bit.ly/1eqihen ).
The commission was concerned about a plan from Virginia-based APEX Wind Energy to build a wind farm in the county consisting of about 40 turbines.
"I have had dozens of emails from around the country from people that say, 'You don't want this in your backyard,'" said Tucker Dorsey, commission chairman.
Officials have said concerns included noise pollution from the turbines, the size of the turbines and dangers they may have posed to flocks of migratory birds.
The commission passed a 180-day moratorium in February to block construction of the wind farm — and any other wind-operated facilities — while they considered the potential impacts.
The turbines the company was looking to build would have been between 520 and 590 feet tall from the base of the tower to the tip of a fully extended blade.
APEX Development Manager Wade Barnes said it's unfortunate that the commission chose against allowing individual landowners to decide whether or not to allow their property to be used for wind farming.
"In instituting a ban on wind energy, Baldwin County has sacrificed an opportunity to boost local economic development, and it has given up the chance to capitalize on a local energy resource that is clean, cost effective, abundant and homegrown," he said.
Former pharmaceutical scientist Dave Perry said he wanted the commission to extend the moratorium by a month or two to continue considering the possible impacts and long-term effects the ordinances could have.
"Twenty-five or 30 years from now we all may be dead, but the next generation may want to embrace this," Perry said. "They will have look at this ordinance and will have to make changes to this. Let's try to get it right the first time."