A bill approved Thursday provides for more regulatory review for anyone seeking to start generating power by windmill.
The issue surfaces after efforts to pursue two such projects in northeastern Kentucky. Mason County Judge James Gallenstein appeared before the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee. “We’ve had two windmill companies look at Mason County. Both have met opposition because nobody knows anything about them. When you don’t know anything about them or how they’re regulated or what they’re gonna be doing, then obviously there’s people who don’t want them under any circumstances,” said Gallenstein. Kentucky Resources Council Director Tom Fitzgerald says the bill calls for public service commission review and early public hearings for these types of energy projects. He says such a project would include an array of windmills. Fitzgerald says proposed reviews could ease community worries and help further such options for alternative power. “It actually could streamline and creates an invitation to these projects that we have now a coherent process for reviewing and approving these projects. So, I think it could help streamline properly cited projects,” said Fitzgerald. Tom Fitzgerald says he knows of no current windmill operations in Kentucky. But, he says recent studies show higher elevation locations do offer an opportunity for harvesting wind power.