Wind Energy in Virginia

windmill at Yorktown during British surrender, 1781
windmill at Yorktown during British surrender, 1781
Source: James Peale, Washington at Yorktown After Surrender, 1781

Since colonial times, wind has been utilized in Virginia for transportation, pumping water, and powering equipment.

In the future, high-tech windmills may be assembled in wind farms on Virginia's mountains and offshore to generate electricity, helping utilities meet Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). The capacity of wind to generate electricity is now forcing local, state, and Federal officials to define what places are appropriate vs. "off-limits" for modern wind turbines.

For 400 years, from the 1500's into the 1900's, the Spanish, French, English, and other Europeans used the kinetic energy in wind to sail from Virginia back and forth to the Caribbean, Africa, or Europe.

Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed were sailing ships at Jamestown, 1607
Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed were wind-powered ships that brought English colonists to Jamestown in 1607
Source: National Park Service, Sidney King Paintings

Since the English settled Virginia successfully in 1607, rural Virginians also have used wind to draw water up from wells and to power manufacturing facilities, such as mills that ground wheat into flour.

Pumping and powering grist mills required that the windmill be located directly next to the facility - gears and belts could not transmit the mechanical energy more than about 100 feet. In Tidewater, windmills located on bluffs next to the river, as in Yorktown, could maximize the opportunity to catch a steady breeze.

windmill at Yorktown, shown on French map in 1781 The old windmill tower at Yorktown much in disrepair prior to 1840
the windmill tower at Yorktown, shown on a French map in 1781, was "much in disrepair" prior to 1840
Source: Library of Congress, map by Sebastian Bauman, 1781 and
National Park Service, Yorktown's Main Street - Illustrations

Windmill Creek in 1862
Windmill Creek at Yorktown, in 1862
Source: Library of Congress, map by Robert Knox Sneden, 1862

the windmill at Yorktown, as seen from looking west on Main Street
the windmill at Yorktown, as seen from looking west on Main Street
Source: National Park Service, West View of Main Street (painting by Sidney E. King)

Today, almost all labor-saving devices in the home, office, or manufacturing plants use electricity that is generated far away from the site where the power is used. A handful of existing wind turbines convert wind energy to electrical energy, including one 10kW turbine at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center.

More wind-powered turbines are planned in the mountainous regions of Virginia, and in the Atlantic Ocean east of the shoreline. Demand for more electricity is expected to increase along with the state's population. As more people are born in or move to Virginia, total demand for electricity in Virginia will climb - even if conservation efforts ultimately reduce demand/person.

The one-time infrastructure costs of building turbines and electrical transmission lines in remote areas is high, but the annual cost for fuel (wind...) is free. Even though electricity generated by wind costs more than electricity generated from coal, hydropower, or nuclear facilities, there are still customers for wind-generated electricity.

In addition to Federal tax advantages, some states are adopting Renewable Portfolio Standards that mandate a certain percentage of electricity generated or purchased within the state come from renewable sources. Urban regions not in "attainment" with Clean Air Act standards (such as Metropolitan Washington) seek credit for purchasing "green power" to meet pollution standards.

Virginia has defined voluntary (but not mandatory) Renewable Portfolio Standards in the 2010 Virginia Energy Plan. The state's Renewable Portfolio Standard is limited to investor-owned utilities, so it excludes electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and industrial co-generation plants. The standard also excludes nuclear energy from the baseline. The optional target is to obtain 15% of the remaining sources of electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025.1

Virginia annual average wind power
Virginia annual average wind power (note the Class 5 potential in Highland County)
Source: Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States

Classification schemes to evaluate potential wind energy vary. A "Class 3" location by one organization might be categorized as "Class 6" by another scheme. The Virginia Wind Resource Map summarizes the wind potential of the state at 50 meters above the ground, in simple language:2

Several areas of the state are estimated to have good-to-excellent wind resource. These include the Atlantic coast along the Delmarva Peninsula and the Virginia Beach area, the ridge crests in the north-central part of the state, and ridge crests near the borders of West Virginia and North Carolina.

Ridges in the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Appalachian Plateau physiographic provinces - and the open water region off the Outer Continental Shelf - are clearly the areas with Class 3 and higher winds that could power a modern turbine. The Piedmont and the Coastal Plain have fewer locations with high wind potential.

The greatest potential for generating electricity from wind energy in Virginia is to locate turbines in the mountains (a proposed wind farm in Highland County received the first zoning approval in Virginia). The potential for wind turbines to be located offshore (east of the Eastern Shore/Virginia Beach), producing electricity at anything but research scale, is lower.

Utilities seeking to generate electricity for sale look for at least Class 3 or higher zones, where wind speeds exceed 12.5 mph. Wind power maps often show speeds measuring "wind density," where Class 3 speeds are about 15 mph. Wind density accounts for the decline in atmospheric density at higher elevation; thinner air generates less power when pushing against a turbine blade.

farm windmill
traditional farm windmill, good for pumping water up from a well
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory Photographic Information eXchange

The energy potential of a wind turbine increases dramatically as wind speed increases. The maximum energy output of a turbine at full speed is far greater than the likely production at average speeds... and the wind does not blow 24 hours/day, either.

Wind energy is often measured at 50 meters (164 feet) above the ground, but turbines on towers may be placed higher. Wind speed next to the ground is reduced by friction with vegetation and the surface of the ground. In engineering terms:3

there is often a layer of high wind shear between 10 and 50m height above ground due to the influence of trees.

To maximize wind speed that turns blades, windmills involve tall towers. If a turbine blade can be extended on a tower as much as 400 feet above the ground, the wind currents will be faster and steadier. The vertical distribution of wind speeds is not a simple "higher is always better" equation, but typically a tall windmill has greater potential to convert more wind energy into electrical energy, and produce more electricity at a lower cost.

However, a tall windmill will also be more visible from a distance; wind energy projects create scenic impacts. A turbine placed on a rooftop will not generate the same energy as a turbine on a 30-meter (100 feet) tower, but zoning in most residential areas blocks homeowners from building tall towers (and often blocks ham radio enthusiasts from building a tall antenna).

Areas zoned for commercial or industrial use may permit tall structures, however. Raising turbine blades far above trees on towers 150-400 feet tall increases the potential windpower that could be captured, but makes the turbines very obvious intrusions on top of forested mountain ridges. In addition, new transmission lines will require cutting new swaths through the forests, creating visual scars.

wind energy potential in Highland County, Virginia
Source: Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative: Virginia Wind Resource Map with VWEC Activities, Wind power density at 50 meters

there are no major transmission lines in Highland County, so distribution costs are a deterrent to locating any generating facility (incuding wind turbines) there
there are no major transmission lines in Highland County, so distribution costs are a deterrent to locating any generating facility (incuding wind turbines) there
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory -
United States Annual Wind Resource Potential

Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can be used to identify environmentally-sensitive locations that would stimulate objections to a proposed wind energy "farm" of multiple turbines:

On land, the taller mountain ridges in Virginia are the most attractive locations for electricity-producing wind turbines. Wind speed on the ridges is usually higher than in the valleys. Because the jet stream typically flows north of Virginia, windmills are feasible on low ridges in the northern part of the state. The closer to the North Carolina border, the higher the Virginia ridge must be to intercept strong and steady winds in all four seasons of the year:4

Generally speaking, the elevation at which the mountaintop wind resource becomes attractive for wind projects increases from about 400 m (1300 ft) in the north to about 1100 m (3600 ft) in the south. This trend reflects the decrease in winds aloft as one moves south of the main path of the jet stream.

An exception to the pattern may be the mountains at the outlet of the Roanoake [sic] valley, such as Roanoake [sic] Mountain and Windy Gap, which at a height of 500-800 m (1600-2600 ft) are well below the elevation that would be expected to have good winds in this part of the state. The valley appears to form a channel for winds flowing out of the mountains. That channeling effect is predicted to increase the wind resource on exposed high points within and just outside the valley.

buffer zones of environmentally sensitive areas and Class 3 wind zones
buffer zones drawn around sensitive environmental areas to identify Class 3 wind areas that may be more/less suitable for turbine locations
Source: Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative, A Landscape Classification System: Addressing Environmental Issues
Associated with Utility-Scale Wind Energy Development In Virginia

Most wind energy projects in the mountains are located on private lands. Energy companies would rather pay a private landowner and go through a county planning process than request a permit from the USDA-Forest Service to place turbines on National Forest lands. Wind energy projects intended to generate power for sale must also get a certificate from the State Corporation Commission. Federal forests have existing stakeholders and land use plans that define primary uses for specific areas, and changing the designated uses to include wind turbines has been a difficult process.

wind energy potential in Virginia
would you buy stock in an energy company (or support an environmental organization) that planned to generate wind power along the Fall Line?
Source: Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative, Landscape Classification System For Virginia

Birds and bats are threatened by onshore wind farms. A proposal in 2005 to build turbines on a ridge in Highland County exposed the conflicts between tourism-based businesses and those who support wind farms. Multiple lawsuits were finally resolved in 2007 in favor of Highland County's rezoning. The wind farm, which would be the highest in the United States at over 4,200 feet, could have 20 towers as much as 400 feet tall. However, after the approvals were finalized no towers were built.5

Even within states with the climate and topography to generate a lot of wind energy, the locations for windmills are often in rural areas - requiring unsightly power lines to the urban areas creating the demand for power. As discussed in the Congressional debate:6

Proponents of a mandatory RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standard] say, Just buy wind power from wind generators in other states. Sounds easy enough, but how do we get that power to the state? Wind turbines obviously have to be built where the wind is. These locations are usually remote and far from our cities where the electricity is most needed. In most every instance, there is insufficient transmission capacity to move that power to where it is needed.

In early 2006, Community Energy, Inc. revealed its interest in building a wind farm in Patrick County. The immediate result was a decision by the local officials to tighten zoning restrictions. The new rules ensured that a special review process would be required, and a wind farm could not be constructed without clear approval from the county:7

The company is looking at ridges around the county, but it has focused largely on Belcher Mountain, near Meadows of Dan, and Bull Mountain, near Patrick Springs. Officials expect the turbines would be comparable in size to those proposed in Highland, which, if built, would stand slightly taller than Roanoke's Wachovia Tower. The project will require approval from state and federal agencies, but because Patrick County has no zoning ordinance, the county's say extends only to whether it grants the company a building permit. On Monday, however, the Patrick County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to pass an emergency ordinance that would prohibit the construction of any structure more than 100 feet in height...

A 2010 proposal by Invenergy Wind Development to build 135-meter high towers (443 feet) on Poor Mountain in Roanoke County generated conflict regarding the noise/visual impacts vs. economic/environmental benefits of wind-generated electricity. The Roanoke Group of the Sierra Club conditionally endorsed the project, acknowledging that the benefits of generating renewable energy at the site outweighed the predicted environmental impacts. Landowners objected to the towers, and Invenergy chose to delay rather than construct the project.8

Poor Mountain southwest of Roanoke, showing planned locations of up to 18 turbines on ridgetops
Poor Mountain southwest of Roanoke
showing planned locations of up to 18 turbines on ridgetops
Source: Invenergy Wind Development, Poor Mountain Site Map

After Dominion acquired 2,600 acres on East River Mountain in Tazewell County near Bluefield and leased additional land, it proposed building towers up to 400 feet high to create the Bluestone River Wind Farm. The utility company initially partnered with BP Wind Energy on a joint effort to construct the 80-megawatt commercial wind farm on East River Mountain, and to build a similar Mill Creek Wind Farm at Black Mountain in Wise County on the Virginia-Kentucky border.

Dominion's plans to build the Bluestone River Wind Farm on East River Mountain were blocked by a ridgeline protection ordinance adopted in 2010 by the Board of County Supervisors in Tazewell County
Dominion's plans to build the Bluestone River Wind Farm on East River Mountain were blocked by a ridgeline protection ordinance adopted in 2010 by the Board of County Supervisors in Tazewell County
Source: ESRI, ArcGIS Online

The Mill Creek Wind Farm project was projected to generate up to 150 megawatts of electricity, depending upon final design. Wise County officials easily endorsed the proposed Mill Creek Wind Farm in 2009. Local environmental groups, including the Clinch Coalition and the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition, also endorsed the renewable energy project. Those groups opposed mountaintop mining of coal in southwestern Virginia and West Virginia. In 2009 they saw wind-generated electricity as an alternative to completing the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County, which was fueled predominantly by coal.

Public support was less supportive of the Bluestone River Wind Farm in Tazewell County. The towers would affect scenic vistas, and the county was seeking to expand tourism as employment dropped in the coal mines. Tazewell County had no zoning ordinance in 2009, but county supervisors adopted a tall structure ordinance in 2010 to limit structures taller than 40 feet of certain ridges.

Virginia Electric Power (a subsidiary of Dominion) purchased 2,600 acres in Tazewell County and leased other lands for a commercial wind farm
Virginia Electric Power (a subsidiary of Dominion) purchased 2,600 acres in Tazewell County and leased other lands for a commercial wind farm
Source: Tazewell County, Tazewell GIS Mapping Website

In 2011, local delegates serving in the General Assembly blocked an effort to revise state law to override the county ordinance and allow the utility company to build the wind farm despite local opposition. State legislators did pass a law that limited the effect of future local ordinances to protect ridgelines, but declined to retroactively repeal Tazewell County's use of its land use authority.

In 2011, BP Wind Energy took full control over the proposed wind farm project in Wise County. Dominion took over responsibility for the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm in Tazewell County.

The 2008-13 economic recession delayed action on both projects, but in 2015 Dominion made clear that it wanted to build the Bluestone River Wind Farm at East River Mountain in Tazewell County. That triggered new local efforts to establish a zoning ordinance for just the Eastern District of the county, where the commercial wind farm would be located. Such an ordinance would establish a stronger legal mechanism to affect or block the proposal.9

the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm spurred efforts in 2015 to adopt a zoning ordinance in the Eastern District of of Tazewell County
the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm spurred efforts in 2015 to adopt a zoning ordinance in the Eastern District of of Tazewell County
Source: Tazewell County, Draft Eastern District Zoning Ordinance (February 12, 2015)

In 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell articulated a goal of making Virginia the "energy capital of the East Coast" and included windpower in his plans. Research and planning for offshore wind projects were starting to be followed by investment, with the expectation that wind-generated electricity can compete with traditional sources - especially if coal prices climbed, as international customers such as China increased demand for coal faster than mines could increase supply.

Then the fracking boom increased supplies of natural gas and energy prices dropped. By 2015, there were still no commercial wind farms in Virginia, but onshore project proposals advanced faster than offshore projects.

Despite the lowered cost of fossil fuels, Apex Clean Energy leased 7,000 acres on North Mountain near Eagle Rock and proposed the $150 million Rocky Forge Wind Project. The 25 turbines, placed in a Y-pattern following the ridgelines, could generate 80MW of electricity. The location was attractive because of the 15-20mph winds and the remoteness from neighbors.

The 200 acres with turbines would be a mile away from the closest home. Nonetheless, some county residents filed suit to block the project and prevent low-frequency noise from affecting their quality of life.

simulation of Rocky Forge Wind from its closest neighbor
simulation of Rocky Forge Wind from its closest neighbor
Source: APEX Energy, Bringing Clean Energy Home To Virginia

The Federal Aviation Administration initially ruled that the towers would be a harzrd to aircraft, since they would be taller than 499 feet. The Federal agency reversed the decision after concluding there were no airports nearby that would cause aircraft to fly low, using visual flight rules.10

One major advantage to the North Mountain location was the ability to use existing transmission lines on North Mountain. The Rocky Forge site did not require cutting new paths through the woods for distribution lines, which would have generated greater opposition from environmental groups concerned about the impacts of forest fragmentation.

the proposed Rocky Forge Wind project could link to the grid through existing electrical transmission lines (red line) at the southern end of North Mountain
the proposed Rocky Forge Wind project could link to the grid through existing electrical transmission lines (red line) at the southern end of North Mountain
Source: ESRI, ArcGIS Online

Botetourt officials responded by adopting a local ordinance for locating wind towers, allowing commercial wind farms with a Special Use Permit. In 2015 Apex Clean Energy built two test towers almost 200' high to assess the potential on North Mountain in more detail.

The revised county zoning ordinance authorized approval in areas zoned for agricultural or forest use of towers up to 550 feet tall (which would exceed the height of the tallest building in downtown Roanoke). The ordinance defined how close tall towers could be located near houses, and required that the noise of spinning blades not exceed 60 decibels beyond the property line. Local county supervisors received strong public comments, including the following:11

from a supporter: Every time I see a wind turbine I think of a smoke stack that is not there...

from an opponent: The top of North Mountain will look like an amusement park...

When Botetourt County was poised to approve the Special Use Permit authorizing final construction of the Rocky Forge wind turbines, the supervisors in neighboring Rockbridge County asked for a delay. The opponents of the windfarm had failed to convince the officials in Botetourt County that the proposal should be blocked, in part because most residents in that county lived to the south and would not see the towers.

Residents in Rockbridge County would have their vista affected. The Rockbridge Area Conservation Council helped generate opposition to the Special Use Permit, but local government has authority over local zoning. The Rocky Forge site was not located in Rockbridge County, so the supervisors there were limited to asking for special consideration of their concerns by Botetourt County because the counties were neighbors.12

mountain ridges in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province attract proposals from wind energy companies
the Rocky Forge Wind Project was near Rockbridge County, but Apex Clean Energy needed zoning approval from officials only in Botetourt County
Source: Apex Clean Energy, Rocky Forge Wind Project Profile

In 2015, Apex Clean Energy also proposed the Pinewood Wind project in Pulaski County. The company proposed to build a 180MW commercial wind farm on 17,000 acres of property owned by the Boys Scouts and used for summer camps and organized retreats. Pulaski County had amended its zoning ordinance in 2010 to control the location of commercial wind farms, limiting noise levels to 55 decibels but imposing no pre-set limit on the height of towers.13

the Pinewood Wind project in Pulaski County, proposed by Apex Clean Energy in 2015, would be located on property owned by the Boy Scouts east of Claytor Lake
the Pinewood Wind project in Pulaski County, proposed by Apex Clean Energy in 2015, would be located on property owned by the Boy Scouts east of Claytor Lake
Source: ESRI, ArcGIS Online

The State Corporation Commission regulates the rates charged by investor-owned utilities in Virginia. The state has granted those utilities a monopoly on providing electricity within their service areas. There is no price competition for buying electricity for residential use; homeowners can not switch to another utility in the same way they can chose to buy food from a competing supermarket.

Wind-generated electricity may be renewable with free fuel, but the initial costs to create a wind "farm" are high. To ensure reasonable rates, the State Corporation Commission must approve new generating plants that will be included in the "rate base" of Dominion Power or Appalachian Power.

If the costs of electricity from wind turbines would end up higher than the cost of electricity generated from other sources, the State Corporation Commission normally would not authorize the prject. However, the General Assembly has declared that using renewable energy from wind and solar (as well as the coal-fired Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center) is "in the public interest."

In the best case scenario for sustainable energy advocates, research would demonstrate electricity from wind will drop below the costs to generate electricity from fossil fuels. The construction costs for wind turbines that generate electricity only intermittently may be relatively high, compared to the cost-per-megawatt for baseload plants running on fossil fuels. That high, one-time cost may be offset by the low costs to operate wind turbines over the life of a wind farm since the fuel is free.

If those economics become clear, then the State Corporation Commission would authorize Dominion Power to build wind farms. Virginia would transition to renewable energy sources, and existing power plants that create carbon dioxide and other pollutants would be closed over time.

The changing economics of renewable energy sources create a financial risk for investors in utilities. If wind, solar, or other new alternative fuel technologies could out-compete fossil fuels and nuclear power quickly, then Dominion Power might have to close existing power plants even before the end of their useful life.

In the worst case scenario for the utility shareholders, the State Corporation Commission would not approve rate increases to offset the "stranded costs" of prematurely-closed facilities, reducing the value of Dominion Power's stock.

Such a scenario would require rapid development and implementation of wind, solar, and other technologies and/or substantial reduction in the demand for electricity through conservation, with a transformation of the electrical generation system in 10-30 years. If widespread adoption of alternative fuels could be delayed for several decades, then Dominion Power could amortize its investment in existing power plants by the year 2050 at the latest.

Links

after the Civil War, windmills in Northampton County were abandoned and the sails rotted away
after the Civil War, windmills in Northampton County were abandoned and the sails rotted away
Source: Library of Congress, A Peninsular Canaan in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (May 1879)

References

1. "The Virginia Energy Plan," Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, July 1, 2010, http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/VAEnergyPlan/2010-VEP/VEP-2010.pdf (last checked October 17, 2011)
2. Department of Energy - Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, "Virginia Wind Resource Map," www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica/maps_template.asp?stateab=va (last checked June 11, 2006)
3. Wind Resource Maps of Virginia, 2002, p.3, http://vwec.cisat.jmu.edu/documents/Virginia%20Wind%20Mapping%20Report.pdf (last checked November 5, 2009)
4. Wind Resource Maps of Virginia, 2002, p.2, http://vwec.cisat.jmu.edu/documents/Virginia%20Wind%20Mapping%20Report.pdf (last checked November 5, 2009)
5. "Wind farm approved for rural Virginia mountain range," the Roanoke Times, December 28, 2007 (last checked October 17, 2011)
6. "Congress takes up debate on wind energy," The Recorder, June 23, 2005 http://www.therecorderonline.com/index.php?id=145 (last checked June 11, 2006)
7. "Wind may be asset in Patrick County," Roanoke Times, April 14 2006, www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-60907 (last checked June 11, 2006)
8. "Opposing winds: Feelings about Poor Mountain wind farm might depend on proximity to turbines," The Roanoke Times, June 12, 2011 http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/289595 (last checked October 17, 2011)
9. "Southwest Va. energy summit focuses on the here and now," Bristol Herald Courier, March 22, 2011, http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/southwest-va-energy-summit-focuses-on-the-here-and-now/article_b3226766-f06a-5ec3-b770-71009e3fd7c6.html; "Wind turbines in Tazewell County: Dominion objects to ordinance," Bluefield Daily Telegraph, June 13, 2015, http://www.bdtonline.com/news/wind-turbines-in-tazewell-county-dominion-objects-to-ordinance/article_2dfe8af2-1163-11e5-b07e-9349caa80d56.html; "After coal, Appalachia to wind farm proposal: ‘It is insulting, really’," Washington Post, August 20, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/after-coal-appalachia-to-wind-farm-proposal-its-insulting-really/2015/08/20/68349002-3091-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html; "Environmental groups back wind farm," Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 9, 2009, http://www.richmond.com/business/article_0ef2dd24-e057-5d83-b92a-2cff2f16b1df.html; "Coal Plant Opponents Embrace Wise County Wind Plans," Chesapeake Climate Action Network, June 4, 2009, http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/coal-plant-opponents-embrace-wise-county-wind-plans/; "Protecting ridgeline ordinance," Bluefield Daily Telegraph, February 1, 2011, http://www.bdtonline.com/news/local_news/protecting-ridgeline-ordinance/article_8e430c6e-d4cd-56ea-892f-f627c884bbc9.html (last checked August 23, 2015)
10. "FAA gives clearance for wind farm atop Botetourt County mountain," The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com/business/faa-gives-clearance-for-wind-farm-atop-botetourt-county-mountain/article_6a96afde-ae46-5c16-ae71-d4922b200333.html (last checked November 1, 2016)
11. "Botetourt County to consider wind turbine ordinance," The Roanoke Times, February 8, 2015, http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/botetourt-county-to-consider-wind-turbine-ordinance/article_8f3cb722-e422-59fa-b9c5-87d1dda5c3da.html; "Wind turbine company seeks Botetourt County's approval for test towers," The Roanoke Times, July 29, 2015, http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/wind-turbine-company-seeks-botetourt-county-s-approval-for-test/article_7dcd5e3f-614e-5aad-b7bd-b2acbf94c9c8.html; "Wind energy company erects test towers on Botetourt County mountain," The Roanoke Times, August 26, 2015, http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/botetourt_county/wind-energy-company-erects-test-towers-on-botetourt-county-mountain/article_77d404b2-b34b-541c-984b-7caffd30ccd7.html; "Botetourt County supervisors OK wind turbine regulations," The Roanoke Times, June 23, 2015, http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/botetourt-county-supervisors-ok-wind-turbine-regulations/article_d2753268-36ec-54ce-92ff-7696260642ee.html; "Wind farm could be an economic windfall for Botetourt County," The Roanoke Times, December 9, 2015, http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/botetourt_county/wind-farm-could-be-an-economic-windfall-for-botetourt-county/article_f7e05087-5435-550c-aff6-9368f0045d04.html; "Botetourt planners recommend approval of wind farm proposal," The Roanoke Times, January 11, 2016, http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/botetourt-planners-recommend-approval-of-wind-farm-proposal/article_4a4f2bb2-e7ec-514b-a818-a02c90e9a3de.html (last checked January 12, 2016)
12. "Rockbridge County asks Botetourt to delay wind farm action," The Roanoke Times, January 25, 2016, http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/rockbridge-county-asks-botetourt-to-delay-wind-farm-action/article_43572d03-335c-55ef-bc47-ebe5cce5a6ba.html (last checked January 25, 2016)
13. "Pulaski County eyed for wind energy project," The Southwest Times, February 12, 2015, http://www.southwesttimes.com/2015/02/pulaski-county-eyed-for-wind-energy-project/ (last checked August 27, 2015)

until the Civil War, international transportation was based on wind energy
until the Civil War, international transportation was based on wind energy
Source: Illustrated London News, The City Quay, Richmond (May 31, 1862)


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