wind turbines

Photo courtesy, a bloodspot out of Seattle, Oregon

Pioneer Green Energy wanted to build 25 of those giant, white windmills just offshore of Somerset County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. But opposition became too stiff, The Texas-based energy company scrapped the $200 million project.

Opponents say they were protecting Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County on the Western Shore. It’s a bit north and on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay from the proposed wind turbines.

Maryland counties

St. Mary’s County is green in the lower left. Somerset County is red in the lower right.

The Baltimore Sun reports the turbine plan came crashing down this way:

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) vetoed an attempt to block the wind mills last year, but then U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) was able to use the federal route to delay it for a year. That stay was about to expire when the Maryland legislature took up the mantle, once again, on legislation to block the project permanently, this time with a newly-elected Republican in the Governor’s seat.

Meanwhile, Republican commissioners in Queen Anne’s County on the Middle Bay complained that the machines might disrupt migrating water fowl.

Even Washington College in Chestertown got in on the opposition. The college’s interim president said the wind turbines would ruin the view, even though the college is 162 miles up the Chester River and is nowhere close to overlooking the Bay.

And as for the naval station that led to all the protective outcry? They’re mum on the project. The base hasn’t commented publicly on the issue. Their news releases for the past year have been more concerned with notifying the public about noise alerts due to their planes zipping through the area.

Naval Air Station Patuxent

Photo courtesy Naval Air Station Patuxent facebook page

Pioneer Green Energy has now set its sights on developing a solar energy project in Somerset.