FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2012
Roanoke County Wind Project Delayed, Stalling New Job Creation in Virginia
Developers cite uncertainty about federal support for wind in backyard of Griffith, Hurt, Webb and Warner
Roanoke, Va - Yesterday, Invenergy announced they are delaying a proposed wind energy project in Roanoke County that was slated to build 15-18 wind turbines on Poor Mountain as early as this year. The project would have provided an economic boost in the region, including creating short and long-term jobs, generating local tax revenue and producing enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 8,500 Virginia homes, according to the company.
Instead, the project has been delayed until 2015 with developers citing uncertainty about federal support for wind power as local legislators including Rep. Goodlatte (VA-6), Rep. Hurt (VA-5), Rep. Griffith (VA-9) and Sens. Webb and Warner debate the Production Tax Credit – a federal incentive program that supports job creation through wind energy development.
Despite strong bi-partisan support for the credit, the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has failed to bring it up for renewal, causing a potential cascade of laid off workers and halting progress on exciting new projects such as this one in Roanoke County.
The project would have been a significant wind development opportunity in the state, adding to the 75,000 jobs currently supported by the wind industry nation-wide.
“Virginia's politicians should be in DC fighting to renew the Production Tax Credit in order to help create jobs, not sitting idly by while critical new projects like this one get put on the back burner,” said Glen Besa, Virginia Chapter Director of the Sierra Club.
Nearly 40,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs could be lost between now and the end of December due to the failure of Congress to address the crisis and renew the credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
“The idea that in 2012, in this state, in this economy, Congressional leaders are sitting on their hands and looking the other way while an economic crisis hits the wind industry is irresponsible. We need the Virginia Congressional delegation to work together to protect jobs in the wind industry before we lose real jobs at facilities like General Electric’s Salem plant that makes wind turbine parts,” added Besa.