The recent news that Apex Wind Energy, a Charlottesville company, is huntin' and peckin' at the Augusta Regional Landfill as a possible wind farm should be applauded and encouraged by residents of Augusta County as well as the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. If studies prove favorable, Apex may lease plots on the landfill to build 15 or so wind turbines, providing a multi-use function at what is basically a single use facility (there is a law enforcement shooting range at the site). The lease will provide a new revenue stream to cash strapped local governments and the wind farm will be a showcase of government/business partnerships and highlight the potential of renewable energy right here in the Shenandoah Valley.
Landfills have a finite lifespan and there are limited uses once the site is closed. Many landfills are simply capped and closed and never used for any productive purpose. We've all heard landfills being converted and having a new and different life - for example Mount Trashmore, a Virginia Beach park, and some localities have installed solar panels at closed landfills. The wind farm would provide a "forever" use for the Augusta Regional Landfill that wouldn't necessarily preclude other potential development that might arise in the future.
Apex has considerable experience in wind power technology having worked on projects in 21 states and seems to be a growing and successful firm. Over the past two years Apex has acquired interests in various renewable energy companies and recently raised $10 million in venture capital. In short, Apex isn't some unproven start-up without a solid track record.
As the Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, Tracy Pyles, noted, "We would be able to take what is a huge burial site and turn it into a revenue producer for our county. That's just win-win across the board." I'd say it is something to crow about!
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