FAA clears Gamesa’s wind farm in Pennsylvania (66 MW)

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that a proposed Gamesa Energy USA wind energy project that would put 30 wind turbines atop an ecologically sensitive ridge on Shaffer Mountain in Somerset County would not create an aviation hazard.

The FAA had issued "notices of presumed hazard" in November for 15 of the 404-foot-tall wind turbines, but subsequent aeronautical studies have determined that the structures would not exceed obstruction standards or adversely impact air space and flight routes above the Allegheny Front ridge.

The FAA "determination of no hazard" issued Jan. 21 for all 30 of the proposed wind turbines on the 22,000-acre wind farm was announced by Gamesa Wednesday.

Alyssa Edwards, Gamesa project developer for the Shaffer Mountain wind power project, said the determination is one step in an ongoing permitting process.

The wind turbine project has drawn opposition from a local citizens group, Sensible Wind Solutions, the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society, because of its proposed location. 

 If the wind power project is built, it would have a maximum electric power generation capacity of 66 megawatts, enough to power 30,000 homes.