Apex suspends but does not end efforts to develop industrial wind Turbine facility in Kent

January 5, 2016

To Keep Kent Scenic Supporters:

In December Apex Clean Energy announced that they are suspending their efforts to develop an industrial wind turbine power generator in Kent County, and because “they have listened closely to community feedback” are instead changing their plans to develop a solar energy project. They filed a CPCN application with the Maryland Public Service Commission on December 14 for a 370 acre 60 MW solar array to be located on the west side of Route 290 between Chesterville and Galena, just south of the railroad tracks, and the detail in this application indicates they have been working on it for at least 6-8 weeks.

While these actions are positive for those of us who have been opposed to the wind turbines, there remain significant areas of concern: (1) Apex has not yet indicated they would cancel their wind leases for the 3000-4000 acres they have under contract. While they themselves may not move forward with a project, they are free to sell the leases so that someone else can do so. We are therefore seeking assurances that the threat of wind power generating plants in Kent County be removed. (2) Apex has indicated that they are moving ahead with the solar application, but should it fail, they are reserving the right to go back to a CPCN application for wind. Until they make the decision to forego wind completely, we cannot be sure this threat is removed. (3) With the current national push for renewable energy, the recent extension of the wind and solar tax subsidies by Congress, and the continuing Maryland mandate to develop renewables in the next five years, other companies may be tempted to initiate wind projects in Kent County in the future. We are therefore also concerned that a long-term solution that would prevent this possibility be developed and are exploring alternative ways to do this.

We need to recognize that Apex did not make this change out of any altruistic motives, but because they ran up against much more opposition than they expected when they proposed the wind project. Therefore every person who signed a petition, lent a hand in spreading the word to the residents of the County, put up signs, and donated money, should be proud that your efforts have led to this change of plans by Apex LLC. The board of Keep Kent Scenic sincerely appreciates the ongoing support that was given by the community, The Kent County Commissioners, Washington College, Queen Anne’s Conservation Association (Jay Falstad), the Kent County Farm Bureau, the Town Council of Galena, The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, the Talbot County Commissioners, The Dorchester County Council, The Kentmore Park Homeowner’s Association, and the 36th district Delegates and Senator.

It is too soon to declare victory. We need to continue to be vigilant to make sure that the final outcome is beneficial to our community, and the future of Kent County.

The KKS Executive Committee