Second company discontinues wind energy project

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Associated Press

Posted on May 25, 2014 at 2:10 PM

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A second company has notified officials in northeastern Kentucky that it has discontinued research on a possible wind energy project in the area.

The Ledger-Independent (http://bit.ly/1k26Tai) reports NextEra Energy Resources sent a letter earlier this month to Mason County officials to let them know an analysis of the project is being discontinued due to a new state law and a move for stricter local laws.

The move came about a week after Duke Energy Renewables announced that it was discontinuing a proposed wind turbine project Mason and Fleming counties near the community of May's Lick.

A letter from that company said officials decided to explore other possibilities after finding that the wind project had a "marginal" likelihood of success.

Both proposals had caused controversy in the surrounding communities.

The letter from NextEra was in response to a request from Mason County Attorney John Estill, who asked the company to hold a public hearing on the proposed project under authority of a new state law.

In the letter, NextEra Energy Resources counsel Mark D. Goss said the project was still in early development.

"As you and many others in Mason County know, NextEra has spent the better part of four years and considerable resources analyzing the possibility of constructing a wind energy project in Mason County...The results of these analyses have been promising so far and NextEra was moving diligently toward a decision concerning project viability and the refinement of a project site plan that, hopefully, would have been acceptable to all involved," the letter states.

However, he said the company wasn't ready to hold a public hearing at which highly sensitive and proprietary information would have been disseminated.

"That fact, taken along with the Mason County Planning and Zoning Commission's proposed action to put into place very restrictive setback provisions for wind turbines, leads NextEra, as it would any reasonable person, to the conclusion that the citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky, especially those in Mason County, do not want wind-generated power built under any reasonable, responsible circumstances. This is an unfortunate turn of events, and in NextEra's opinion, a bad decision for the citizens and taxpayers of Kentucky and Mason County."

He said the company could reverse its decision if state and local officials change their minds.

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Information from: The Ledger Independent, http://www.maysville-online.com

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