Beware of the BigGreen Monster

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The hated and completely phony Conservatives for a Clean Energy Future have announced their 2020 Clean Energy Champions:  State Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), Reps. David Greenspan (R-Westlake) and Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), and Paulding County Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein are the winners. They join that distinguished group of previous green energy toadies including state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and Reps. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville), Jon Cross (R-Kenton) and Laura Lanese (R-Grove City), whom the Lansing-MI-based group commended for continued support of clean energy. The way we see it, these are likely the folks that will give the good people of NW Ohio the hardest time in killing off mandates, protecting property line setbacks and saving clean reliable nuclear energy.  

Do you enjoy reading our blog? Then go to our homepage, scroll to bottom and sign up for email alerts TODAY. We go DARK in 2 days and will no longer be on any social media platform…..The second item of note is the $green$ crowd’s initiative to hold three “hearings” on repeal of HB 6.  The stated purpose is to “ensure the public is part of the discussion” since it does not appear at this point that public testimony related to the repeal of HB6 will invited in the Statehouse.  Of course, this “public testimony” is entirely in support of the repeal of HB6, reinstatement of mandates and the obliteration of NW Ohio.  It was reported that lawmakers listening to the testimony last Wednesday included Reps. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland), Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood). Organizations sponsoring the hearings include Alliance for Climate Education, Audubon – Great Lakes, Black Environmental Leaders, Clean Fuels Ohio, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Evangelical Environmental Network, Green Energy Ohio, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, Sierra Club and Solar United Neighbors.

ICEBREAKER – Just two weeks after overcoming a major state regulatory hurdle, a federal judge in the District of Columbia levied yet another setback for a plan by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) to build the region’s first offshore wind farm on Lake Erie.  A U.S. District Judge on Tuesday, Oct. 20, ruled in favor of opponents of LEEDCo’s Icebreaker project, granting a stay that prohibits the U.S. Department of Energy from dispersing more than $40 million for the construction of six turbines about 8 miles off the coastline of downtown Cleveland. The ruling by Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, stems from two bird conservancy organizations claiming “alleged harms from the presence and operation of the wind turbines,” which, according to the court filings, “could harm birds, which, in turn, will allegedly impact the recreational interests of Plaintiffs’ members.”   Hope springs eternal and we hope this is but another of many small cuts that will eventually kill this wretched project.

COULD IT GET WORSE IN THE GREAT LAKES ?–  Encouraged by a white paper released this past summer by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Gov. Cuomo may pursue offshore turbines in Lake Erie to meet the state’s goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030.  In the white paper, NYSERDA called for a feasibility study to “explore and confirm” the potential benefits of offshore wind in the Great Lakes.  By clicking on the article link below, readers can access the white paper.  Japan’s Mitsubishi believes that development constraints on the Atlantic coast may make Lake Erie more attractive for development.

CORPORATE APPETITE FOR RENEWABLES IS INSATIABLE –  According to a new report, corporate-driven power purchase agreements will account for about 20% of all large-scale renewable power additions through 2030.   More than any nation, the US has a growing portion of new renewable energy projects being built to meet demand coming directly from the C&I sector.  “Fueled by shareholder and consumer activism, and the opportunity to hedge power costs and corporate renewable targets, companies are increasingly making the connection between a specific project and a specific facility’s power demand.” The US represents more than 60% of the global market for corporate-driven renewables procurement.”  Of the 220 companies actively procuring or planning to procure renewables here, more than 160 have specific targets and over 140 of them have a 100% renewables goal by 2050. “  The question is whether or not the Ohio General Assembly will give local communities the right to say whether or not they would like to sacrifice their quality of life and local economy to feed the “green” PR appetite of companies that will NEVER bring jobs to their markets. We imagine there are any number of legislators who would feel important if a FaceBook lobbyist took them out for a dinner and drinks to argue for more aggressive renewable policies, including reduced setbacks.

RAINING WIND BLADES –  It seems that everyday more blades are falling off towers.   Some are brand new, some have been “near” lightning strikes, most seem to be Vestas, and on and on.  One thing we can say for certain is that blade failure can no longer be considered a “rare” event.   We noted, too, that in most cases, all turbines were shut down and incrementally brought back on in a conservative manner following inspections.  In a statement reported below, Vestas stated that “These inspections are being conducted in accordance with Vestas’ established lightning inspection protocol of turbines in the event of lightning strikes that occur within a specific set of parameters including proximity, intensity, and other environmental factors. Together with the customer, Vestas experts are per standard practice conducting a root cause analysis into the Beaver Creek blade break,” the statement said. The OEM noted that it has around 75,000 installed turbines globally and blade damages rarely occur. “But like other large-scale industrial structures wind turbines do incur damage.  “The key focus for Vestas and the industry therefore is to ensure safe operations, and conduct solid processes to handle any incidents and determine what caused the damage and eventually get the affected turbine safely up and running again.” The Danish OEM giant had already launched an investigation earlier in September of an Ohio blade failure involving a V150 turbine at a wind farm operated by EDPR. “   We continue to believe Ohioans remain at risk from blade failures.

SOLAR COMING TO PJM IN A BIG WAY – The North American unit of EDF Renewables has closed an agreement to buy an up to 4.5GW pipeline of solar developments throughout the area of the PJM transmission system in the US from utility-scale developer Geenex.  The PJM area covers 13 states of the US North-East, Mid-West and South, as well as the District of Columbia. The transaction will accelerate EDFR’s growth in the area to meet the growing demands of corporate and utility customers.

MEET HEXAGON ENERGY – A large solar array is being developed in Lee County, Illinois by Charlottesville, VA-based Hexagon Energy.   Hexagon is a neighbor and close friend of Apex and should be regarded in the same manner as Apex.  In fact, the developer is a bit of a family operation in that at least three members of the Hantzmon family run the place.  Will Hantzmon joined the company after a stint with Apex where he worked to develop wind projects in places where they weren’t welcome. It appears that the Illinois solar project may not be welcome either.  “The density of this project is extreme for what the area currently has,” Steward resident Mark Peterson said. “We’ve had 150 years of agricultural use, and now we’re going to in some cases have [parcels] 600 acres of panels.” Peterson asked how the project would blend with the community. Hantzmon said the area already has exposure with energy production with wind turbines, and they’re taking several steps to benefit the community and ease issues neighboring landowners would have, including additional work to mitigate drainage concerns, having setbacks of at least 300 feet from homes, and setting up not-for-profit organizations to benefit the Lee and Steward communities. Each village would receive $25,000 a year with 2.5 percent annual increases, and the boards would be appointed by local leaders. Lee County Zoning Administrator Dee Duffy asked Hantzmon to clarify that the energy produced wouldn’t necessarily power Lee County homes but would be sold to a large utility, which he confirmed.  The company has leases with 24 landowners spanning about 6,000 acres, and Ali Huss, of Lee, asked how many landowners lived within the footprint of the project, saying that most are tenant farmers. Hantzmon said only three landowners live within the project area, and there’s around 55 residences.   Neighbors to that project voiced concerns that there wasn’t enough due diligence with potential property value impacts and drainage, the solar ordinance needed revising, and that large solar projects would change the agricultural standing of the county.”    Sounds like the same old same old to us!


State House news (various)