It looks like the Albemarle Planning Commission is going to maintain their prohibition on windmills at their meeting on Tuesday. County staff has recommended that the county revisit the topic in two years and, in the meantime, study how other localities in Virginia have handled any problems that they might present. Sean Tubbs covered the PC meeting on this topic in May, and found that there was significant disagreement among commission members about how to move forward. So the solution that the county has come up with is to continue to prohibit this form of renewable energy.
JMU conducted a study of wind energy on Buck’s Elbow a few years ago and found that it’s a great source of wind energy. The Southwest Mountains and the whole eastern slope of the Blue Ridge are excellent locations for windmills. My latest power bill was breathtaking, a result of Dominion’s latest price hike. I’ve looking hard at installing a Skystream, since I live in up in the Southwest Mountains, though I guess that’s not going to happen. If you’re interested in relying less on coal and foreign oil, and want to consider small wind, check out JMU’s Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative. But that’s about all you’ll be able to do, I guess. (Unless you’ve got an in with your representative on the Planning Commission.)