(Another) school wind turbine BROKEN in Ohio

This is beginning to feel like ‘Deja Vu’.  BigWind is notorious for maintenance issues (just ask Van Wert residents who live near the turbine graveyard), but they are often kept quiet from the public.  Some BigWind sites are even known for repairing at night, so the public is not aware! At schools, however, this can be no secret, because taxpayers eagerly hope that BigWind will save the district lots of $….this rarely happens, but breakdowns are commonplace.  Even Honda had to replace a new turbine (less than 4 years old!)  Are our legislators paying attention to this reality????? Nope, so make sure you are and you are willing to tell them!…..

Ontario Local Schools board of education will enter into mediation with Rock Road Wind to resolve a dispute over the company’s wind turbine at Stingel Elementary.

“It’s been broken for nearly a year, and we want to get it resolved that that thing gets fixed,” board of education president Sam VanCura said. “According to the contract, it’s not our liability to fix it.”…

The turbine has sat idle since November 2016, when its transformer stopped working.

In April, the school board refused to approve a contract amendment proposed by Rock Road Wind under which the energy company would agree to replace the faulty transformer and the district would agree to keep buying power from Rock Road Wind for six more years after the current contract expires.

At the time, school district officials argued the energy company defaulted on the contract and demanded the company uphold the current contract by fixing the turbine without the assurance of a contract extension.

The turbine still has not been fixed, prompting the district to move forward with plans to remedy the situation…

Source: Ontario schools to enter mediation over turbine issue

Republican Ohio Senators assault rural Ohioans

None of these Ohio Senators reside inside the projected map of an industrial wind turbine footprint. They have NO business making the rest of us, either….it’s time for Senator Hite to take a hike!….

Recently state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, joined Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, in his all-out assault on the quality of life and property rights of rural residents in Ohio by agreeing to sponsor shorter setbacks for wind turbines in Ohio…

Apparently 1,125 feet to a person’s property line is too restrictive, according to the wind industry. The senators want that to be measured to our homes. When is anything sited to a person’s home in an agriculturally zoned area?It’s easy to hide behind the blanket of living in a city, and inflict something upon Ohio’s rural communities with big government policies.

 Why should the setback be shorter than turbine manufacturers’ recommended safety setback of 1,300 feet? They recommend their own technicians not be within 1,300 feet of an operating turbine, but it’s all right for Ohio’s rural residents to be well within that when it is measured to our homes…

Source: Letter: State shouldn’t determine setbacks – Opinion – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH

Watch out! “Hite-Way Robbery” coming to Ohio!

Ohio’s energy policy and the issue of setbacks continues to be the hot topic as the wind lobby uses the remaining days of summer to build their case in the media and with lawmakers that industrial wind setbacks should be measured from the foundation of the neighbor’s home rather than their property line.   We hope that our readers will be visiting with their lawmakers who are home in the district for the month of August to advocate for retaining the current property line setbacks and requiring a vote of the people before changes can be made.  This will be the focus of setback debate in the fall and your legislators need to know what their constituents want. After all, it is your community that will be impacted and you don’t need some guy from Chagrin Falls telling you what’s good for you.   Against that backdrop, the following news is well worth noting:

 

  • Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp who now represents Allen County and his hometown of Lima has been tapped to succeed Rep. Bill Seitz as the Chair of the House Public Utilities Committee.  Cupp should take quite a personal interest in the topic of setbacks since it will likely affect his constituents.  Notably, Cupp remarked in an interview that “We’ll take these issues as they develop and try to build as much consensus as possible and make decisions on what’s the best public policy where consensus isn’t possible,” he said.   We can guarantee there will not be consensus on wind setbacks and we hope the “best public policy” means a voice for the residents of townships affected by wind development.

Chagrin Falls Republican Senator Matt Dolan has announced he will co-sponsor with Cliff Hite a bill to roll back setbacks from property lines.   Dolan’s family owns the Cleveland Indians and it is unlikely he will ever be required to “eat his own cooking” as they say.   Rumors are flying around that Hite might want to make a run at Senate President and maybe Dolan is looking to polish his image with Hite.  Otherwise,  Dolan’s arguments in favor of mandates and unacceptable wind siting don’t hold up.  He claims Ohio business and industry needs a certain and reliable policy.   Ohio’s policy today lets the consumer choose what they want.  What could be more certain than that?

 

  • A commenter who opined on the Hite-Dolan wind proposal article states “Wind power companies in Ohio at least are free to build within the safety code, but they will need to lease more land to achieve the setbacks required. This costs money, so they are appealing to the politicians to change the law and effectively give the use of unleased land to the wind power companies for free.  1300 feet of setback from the property line is now on the low side of such measures, western states have moved their setbacks to 2500 feet and more. They have lived with wind farms much longer than we in Ohio have. A study by the University of Michigan strongly supports the distance of 2500 feet, once again from the property line to minimize the impacts of wind turbines on neighboring land and homes.  I am all for renewable energy, but let’s do it safely and fairly. It makes the politicians feel powerful and generous when they give our rights away, but theft by any other name is still — theft.   (Hite-Way Robbery!)

 

  • Flying in from the Far Left (or perhaps the moon) is Harvey Wasserman.  Harvey will be remembered by many who sat through the renewable energy mandate hearings nearly a decade ago as the whacko who roamed the halls of the legislature in a moon suit wailing that without a renewable mandate we were all going to die.   Harvey is now claiming wind will die along with the rest of us if industrial turbine setbacks are not shortened. He also claims “Farmers in the region strongly support wind-energy projects. The footprint of a utility-scale turbine covers up just an acre of land. Farmers who host them lose a small fraction of their agricultural productivity, and access roads to build turbines can temporarily cost some crop space. But in many cases, once the windmills are in, farmers just plough over and plant those strips of soil on the usually safe bet that not much will go wrong. Once installed, the turbines provide farmers with substantial lease payments that can even exceed what they make from actually raising crops other than electricity.”   Earth to Wasserman, come in please….farmers do not strongly support wind-energy projects!

 

  • A letter written from the Navy to a U.S. Senator has come to light and confirms the military’s concern with wind turbines near airfields.  ““The general conclusion of the study confirmed that primary radar detection may be significantly degraded in airspace immediately above wind farms and in some cases beyond the windfarm,” Balocki wrote. “When flying in such areas of degraded primary radar coverage, there is increased risk to Navy pilots from civilian aircraft operating without active transponders.” The letter stated that the Navy and wind turbine developers can’t agree on a way to mitigate the interference of wind turbines, the service branch would recommend the Secretary of Defense object to future industrial wind turbine development near bases.

 

  • An excellent but very long article titled: Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar by Gail Tverberg reports that “the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not really stand-alone devices when it comes to providing the kind of electricity that is needed by the grid. Grid operators, utilities, and backup electricity providers must provide hidden subsidies to make the system really work.  This problem is currently not being recognized by any of the groups evaluating wind and solar, using techniques such as LCOE, EROI, LCA, and EPP. As a result, published results suggest that wind and solar are much more beneficial than they really are. The distortion affects both pricing and the amount of supposed CO2 savings.”   Click on the link below to read the full article.

 

  • In contradiction to the above, the Lawrence Berkley Lab claims “50% Rise in Renewable Energy Needed to Meet Ambitious State Standards” and they go on to say that this insane notion is doable and affordable through aggressive state renewable portfolio standards.

 

  • Meanwhile, “American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) announced a $4.5 billion project yesterday that includes a massive wind farm and a new power line to help send renewable energy to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.  The project, called Wind Catcher Energy Connection, could provide close to 9 million megawatt-hours of new wind energy to consumers in the four states annually, AEP said.  AEP will be working with Invenergy on this project and we are just happy they are working in Oklahoma and NOT Ohio.    Maybe there was something to those lyrics from the classic musical: “Ooook-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain; And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain.”

 

  • In Chautauqua, New York where EverPower is developing the Cassadaga Wind “Farm” the League of Women Voters held a public debate between the anti-wind community and the Sierra Club.  The article is an interesting read and the claims of the Sierra spokesperson were classically untrue wind-speak  (aka “blowing smoke”).  No wonder the developer didn’t participate and left it to a surrogate.  No one would want to be accountable for what the Sierra representative claimed.

 

  • And in West Virginia, EverPower is being sued by residents near the New Creek Wind “Farm” who claim that from day one, “Beginning Nov. 1, 2016, and continuing on a daily basis, when the plaintiffs are outside on their properties, they are constantly confronted with irritating and unabated audible noise that significantly limits the use and enjoyment of their property and results in annoyance, along with headaches, hearing problems, anxiety, irritability and other symptoms, according to the suits.  The plaintiffs claim inside their homes, they experience disturbed sleep, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, nervousness, joint pain, an inability to clear ears, fatigue, vertigo, depression, tinnitus, irritability and anger. The presence of the defendant’s business so close to their homes has substantially and unreasonably negatively affected the plaintiffs quiet use and enjoyment of living in a previously tranquil rural/wilderness country setting, according to the suits.”

 

The one thing we can conclude from today’s news is that we in Ohio are not alone.

 

BigWind preparing for battle against the Ohio legislature

We have been warning about this scenario for some time.  They are planning to lobby our legislature HARD with millions of $ from lobbyists and marketing campaigns.  Are you prepared? Do you want to see BigWind spread, like a plague, across our great state? Please use the contact form if you are interested in helping us protect our properties…

Renewable energy’s struggle to grow in Ohio is expected to resume this fall following years of political battles over state energy mandates.

Legislation amending how close a wind turbine can be to adjacent property not part of a wind farm is planned by Republican state senator Cliff Hite of Findlay…

Hite in June proposed new language for the budget bill that would have based turbine set back on the height of a turbine and the length of its blades. The language disappeared in final House and Senate negotiations…

“If you invest $100’s of millions of dollars in 2017 and 2018, [you need to know] the rug is not going to be pulled out from under you in 2021. That’s the message we have to send,” Dolan said during an energy roundtable discussion sponsored by the Great Lakes Brewing Co. and the Advanced Energy Economy Institute….

Lawmakers also in 2014 tried to eliminate the mandates, but under threat of a veto from Gov. John Kasich, decided to “freeze” them for two years while they studied the issue. In 2016, the same GOP leaders managed to pass a proposal making the standards voluntary for another two years — a bill which Kasich then vetoed.

“Ohio will be behind [in coming decades],” said Dolan. “The next generation of CEOs will ask, ‘Where is our energy coming from?’ Is it the most efficient? Is it reducing our carbon footprint? That will be a decision that Ohio will be behind on if we don’t act quickly.”…

 

Source: Wind turbine setback, battles over green energy rules expected in Ohio legislature (photos) | cleveland.com

BigWind is MORE expensive than we even imagined!

How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for supporting services associated with actually putting the electricity on the grid? This question comes up in many types of evaluations, including Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Energy Payback Period (EPP).

I recently gave a talk…As you might guess, my conclusion is that the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not really stand-alone devices when it comes to providing the kind of electricity that is needed by the grid. Grid operators, utilities, and backup electricity providers must provide hidden subsidies to make the system really work.

This problem is currently not being recognized by any of the groups evaluating wind and solar, using techniques such as LCOE, EROI, LCA, and EPP. As a result, published results suggest that wind and solar are much more beneficial than they really are. The distortion affects both pricing and the amount of supposed CO₂ savings.

One of the questions that came up at the conference was, “Is this distortion actually important when only a small amount of intermittent electricity is added to the grid?” For that reason, I have included discussion of this issue as well. My conclusion is that the problem of intermittency and the pricing distortions it causes is important, even at low grid penetrations….

 

This means that if we really expect to scale wind and solar, we probably need to be creating packages of grid-quality electricity (wind or solar, supplemented by various devices to create grid quality electricity) at an acceptably high EROI. This is very similar to a requirement that wind or solar energy, including all of the necessary adjustments to bring them to grid quality, be available at a suitably low dollar cost–probably not too different from today’s wholesale cost of electricity. EROI theory would strongly suggest that energy costs for an economy cannot rise dramatically, without a huge problem for the economy. Hiding rising energy costs with government subsidies cannot fix this problem.

Distortions Become Material Very Early

If we look at recently published information about how much intermittent electricity is being added to the electric grid, the amounts are surprisingly small. Overall, worldwide, the amount of electricity generated by a combination of wind and solar (nearly all of it intermittent) was 5.2% in 2016. On an area by area basis, the percentages of wind and solar are as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Wind and solar as a share of 2016 electricity generation, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. World total is not shown, but is very close to the percentage shown for China.

There are two reasons why these percentages are lower than a person might expect. One reason is that the figures usually quoted are the amounts of “generating capacity” added by wind and solar, and these are nearly always higher than the amount of actual electricity supply added, because wind and solar “capacity” tend to be lightly used.

The other reason that the percentages on Figure 1 are lower than we might expect is because the places that have unusually high concentrations of wind and solar generation (examples: Germany, Denmark, and California) tend to depend on a combination of (a) generous subsidy programs, (b) the availability of inexpensive balancing power from elsewhere and (c) the generosity of neighbors in taking unwanted electricity and adding it to their electric grids at low prices.

As greater amounts of intermittent electricity are added, the availability of inexpensive balancing capacity (for example, from hydroelectric from Norway and Sweden) quickly gets exhausted, and neighbors become more and more unhappy with the amounts of unwanted excess generation being dumped on their grids. Denmark has found that the dollar amount of subsidies needs to rise, year after year, if it is to continue its intermittent renewables program.

One of the major issues with adding intermittent renewables to the electric grid is that doing so distorts wholesale electricity pricing. Solar energy tends to cut mid-day peaks in electricity price, making it less economic for “peaking plants” (natural gas electricity plants that provide electricity only when prices are very high) to stay open. At times, prices may turn negative, if the total amount of wind and solar produced at a given time is greater than the overall amount of electricity required by customers. This happens because intermittent electricity is generally given priority on the grid, whether price signals indicate that it is needed or not. A combination of these problems tends to make backup generation unprofitable unless subsidies are provided. If peaking plants and other backup are still required, but need to operate fewer hours, subsidies must be provided so that the plants can afford to hire year-around staff, and pay their ongoing fixed expenses….

The other major anomaly is the need for a lot of quick “ramp up” and “ramp down” capacity. One time this typically happens is at sunset, when demand is high (people cooking their dinners) but a large amount of solar electricity disappears because of the setting of the sun. For wind, rapid ramp ups and downs seem to be related to thunderstorms and other storm conditions. California and Australia are both adding big battery systems, built by Tesla, to help deal with rapid ramp-up and ramp-down problems.

There is a lot of work on “smart grids” being done, but this work does not address the particular problems brought on by adding wind and solar. In particular, smart grids do not move demand from summer and winter (when demand is normally high) to spring and fall (when demand is normally low). Smart grids and time of day pricing aren’t very good at fixing the rapid ramping problem, either, especially when these problems are weather related…

 

With the strange demand pattern that occurs when intermittent renewables are added, standard pricing approaches (based on marginal costs) tend to produce wholesale electricity prices that are too low for electricity produced by natural gas, coal, and nuclear providers. In fact, wholesale electricity rates for supporting providers tend to diverge further and further from what is needed, as more and more intermittent electricity is added. The dotted line on Figure 2 illustrates the falling wholesale electricity prices that have been occurring in Europe, even as retail residential electricity prices are rising.

Figure 2. European residential electricity prices have risen, even as wholesale electricity prices (dotted line) have fallen. Chart by Paul-Frederik Bach.

The marginal pricing scheme gives little guidance as to how much backup generation is really needed. It is therefore left up to governments and local electricity oversight groups to figure out how to compensate for the known pricing problem. Some provide subsidies to non-intermittent producers; others do not.

To complicate matters further, electricity consumption has been falling rapidly in countries whose economies are depressed. Adding wind and solar further reduces needed natural gas, coal, and nuclear generation. Some countries may let these producers collapse; others may subsidize them, as a jobs-creation program, whether this backup generation is needed or not.

Of course, if a single payer is responsible for both intermittent and other electricity programs, a combined rate can be set that is high enough for the costs of both intermittent electricity and backup generation, eliminating the pricing problem, from the point of view of electricity providers. The question then becomes, “Will the new higher electricity prices be affordable by consumers?”

The recently published IEA World Energy Investment Report 2017 provides information on a number of developing problems:

“Network investment remains robust for now, but worries have emerged in several regions about the prospect of a “utility death spiral” as the long-term economic viability of grid investments diminishes. The still widespread regulatory practice of remunerating fixed network assets on the basis of a variable per kWh charge is poorly suited for a power system with a large amount of decentralised solar PV and storage capacity.”

The IEA investment report notes that in China, 10% of solar PV and 17% of wind generation were curtailed in 2016, even though previous problems with lack of transmission had been fixed. Figure 1 shows China’s electricity from wind and solar amounts to only 5.0% of its total electricity consumption in 2016.

Regarding India, the IEA report says, “More flexible conventional capacity, including gas-fired plants, better connections with hydro resources and investment in battery storage will be needed to support continued growth in solar power.” India’s intermittent electricity amounted to only 4.1% of total electricity supply in 2016.

In Europe, a spike in electricity prices to a 10-year high took place in January 2017, when both wind and solar output were low, and the temperature was unusually cold. And as previously mentioned, California and South Australia have found it necessary to add Tesla batteries to handle rapid ramp-ups and ramp-downs. Australia is also adding large amounts of transmission that would not have been needed, if coal generating plants had continued to provide services in South Australia.

None of the costs related to intermittency workarounds are currently being included in EROI analyses. They are generally not being included in analyses of other kinds, either, such as LCOE. In my opinion, the time has already arrived when analyses need to be performed on a much broader basis than in the past, so as to better capture the true cost of adding intermittent electricity.

Source: Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar | Wind Energy Impacts and Issues

Yet, another, state INcreases the BigWind setback to 1/2 mile from a home

As BigWind prepares to lobby the Ohio legislature to shorten the wind turbine setbacks, South Dakota INCREASES their setbacks to one-half mile from a home. Have you been told that Ohio’s setbacks are too restrictive? This is just another example, proof, that is a lie…

Voters upheld rules for wind turbine setbacks on Tuesday that renewable energy boosters say will stop all wind energy development in Lincoln County.

The vote was 57-42 percent in favor of a requirement that all turbines be placed at least a half mile from all habitable dwellings in the county.

Heavy turnout from southern Lincoln County was the deciding factor, with universal support for the stricter setbacks in every city south of Tea, and the precincts closest to the proposed footprint of a 150-turbine project saw turnouts of up to 57 percent – rare for a special election…

Source: Lincoln County votes down wind backers