Blowin' in the Wind

(AP) - A company based in Highland County wants to build 20 wind turbines on two ridges in the mountainous region.

Supporters of wind power say the ridges in scenic Highland County are ideal because of the strongest winds on the East Coast and a sparse population, about 42,000 according to the Census Bureau.

There is opposition to plans by the company, New Highland Wind, since three test turbines were installed in the past five years.

Carolyn Pohowsky, executive director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, says the wind farms will hurt the county's growing tourism industry. Some residents say that wind farms will spoil views and kill migratory birds.

The proposal must be approved by the county's board of zoning appeals and board of supervisors, then pass muster with the State Corporation Commission.

Don Sullenberger is chairman of the board of supervisors and executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. He says power from the wind turbines would be transmitted to West Virginia through lines owned by Allegheny Power.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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