Love of $ is the root of all evil (BigWind)

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It seems more and more that the pursuit of money is the only justification left for building wind facilities.  In today’s issue, the article “Love of Money is the Root of All Evil” is included.  Maybe it will resonate with your experience or maybe you might like it share it with your elected officials.

A quote from the article states:  “This general affluence, however, brings neither an increase in human decency nor real happiness.  Instead, the more gadgetry we have, the more choices we have in the marketplace, the more economic security we have – if we have defined those as the center of our lives – the more desperately wretched we become inside.  Moreover, no one who makes money the center of his life is ever satisfied with what he has.  The lust for wealth is a narcotic just as insidious as heroin or pornography.  It consumes us.  We barter away everything that ought to matter in our lives and silently mock those things that truly matter, and we encourage the rest of us to mock those things as well.

 A letter to the Editor from a resident of Tipton County, Indiana amplifies the above quote.  Jane Harper writes, “Wind companies prey on counties with weak ordinances. Think about why they chose you. It’s nothing more than a business deal to them in order to make money and they care not about the chronic wounds of strife left behind. To most, the price of happiness and serenity and community cohesiveness is price-less, and no amount of money flashed in front of county leaders from a wind company “for the good of the county” will make a measurable positive difference in one’s daily lives.  So the “numbers” of what “wind” brings to the community are immaterial if you all believe that happiness does not have a price tag.”

 Do county commissioners, township trustees and school board officials understand that to most of their constituents, the justification of money coming into the community will not really make a “measurable positive difference in one’s daily life”  because the happiness of their constituents does not have a price tag?

Elsewhere in the news:

 

  • The Van Wert School Board writes an open letter to the community to justify why they are willing to barter away serenity and community cohesiveness in exchange for money saying, “Wind revenue is important to VWCS because it would allow the district to continue to meet prudent student and facility needs for a longer period, without going to the voters.”   How arrogant. What a lousy bargain.

 

  • The Sandusky Register reports on the annual bird migration across Lake Erie. “ In recent news, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology introduced a real-time animated bird migration map called BirdCast which shows actual nocturnal bird migration patterns based upon 23 years of U.S. NEXRAD weather radar surveillance observations. Only recently has the magnitude of nocturnal migration been realized, with many species flying great distances at night at altitudes dictated by species and weather conditions. As wind farms continue to be built and expanded without proper oversight concerning their locations, millions of birds and bats, including endangered species will suffer accelerated, unsustainable additive mortality rates, which continue to be hidden from the scientific community and by extension, the general public.”  On a small positive note, Lucas County Commissioners have agreed to support turning off all non-essential lighting during the migration.

 

  • In Hardin County, the Ada Exempted Village School District Board of Education has authorized legal action against two companies over their failure to remove an inoperable wind turbine on school district property.  The turbine was struck by lightning in 2016 and the developer has refused to repair it.  The turbine is inoperable and needs to be removed.  The taxpayers may get saddled with the expense if legal action fails. What about the ONU turbines? 2 out of 3 were not working in the past few years…
  • General Motors will buy 200 megawatts of wind energy from Ohio and Illinois wind farms in a move the company said will power 20% of its global energy use. The electricity will be generated by wind farms under construction in Ohio – including the 60 turbine 100-megawatt Northwest Ohio Wind Farm in Haviland – and Indiana. “They will enable GM to power all its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities with 100% renewable sources once the turbines come online by year’s end, according to the company”.    Haviland is a village of about 200 people located in Paulding County.  One commenter on this story noted “Nice project but misleading. Those GM plants will need on line generators to run 24/7 because the wind does not blow all the time…and the sun does not shine much of the time around here. Since corporations are willing to buy into this type of energy, the need for tax breaks has long since passed. All the tax breaks do is give these turbines unfair competition to the nuke and coal plants that provide the back up to run 24/7, not to mention tax revenue losses to local and state governments. These nuke and coal plants won’t run forever, but they still have useful life in them and employ a lot more people that wind turbines.”    The project is under construction in Blue Creek and Latty townships.
  • Icebreaker Windpower proposes to construct six wind turbines located approximately 8-10 miles offshore Cleveland. Each turbine would have a nameplate capacity rating of 3.45 MW, resulting in a combined generating capacity of 20.7 MW. The project would include an approximately 12-mile-long submerged electric transmission line to transmit the electricity generated by the turbines to Cleveland Public Power’s onshore Lake Road substation.  A public hearing on the project is scheduled for July 19 at 6 p.m. at Cleveland City Council Chambers in Cleveland City Hall.  An adjudicatory hearing in this proceeding will begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. Icebreaker is being aggressively promoted by a group called Windustrious Cleveland under the direction of Sarah Taylor who thinks filling up the Great Lakes with wind turbines will reverse climate change.

 

  • A mystery man from North Olmsted in Cuyahoga County by the name of Tom Schock writes a letter of support for the Dolan setback bill.  We don’t know who Schock is but he has been popping up in papers in different cities for a number of years advocating for reduced setbacks.  Schock was writing back when Cliff Hite was making efforts to reduce setbacks.  Readers should be aware that this fellow is kind of a career letter to the Editor writer and he is writing from a community that will never see a wind turbine.

 

  • A Seneca County couple writes a letter to the editor after being offered a good neighbor agreement.  The proposed contract would pay them $500 a year to waive adverse effects and comply with a confidentiality clause. They have filed a complaint with the PUCO.

 

  • The Ohio Country Journal distributed across Ohio to farmers and rural landowners waded into the setback controversy.  The reporter is a graduate of OSU and Benjamin Logan High School in Bellefontaine. Joel Penhorwood writes for the Ag community and lives on a farm in the Bellefontaine area.  In his article, Penhorwood coveys the money justification for reducing setbacks and granting PILOT echoed by Sen. Dolan and State Rep. Reineke of Tiffin. With respect to projects planned for Seneca County, Commissioner Holly Stacy is quoted saying “In order for our community to have the opportunities that others have had, what you’re hearing today is what we must do. We must have some change in the Ohio regulations for the wind industry. Otherwise that economic development can’t happen in the other sections of the state. Our county has had the local control, and we made that evident by previous commissioners putting the PILOT in place in Seneca County.” The article reinforces Dolan’s misguided belief that the ability to grant PILOT constitutes local control of wind development.

 

  • In Seneca County, the County Commissioners continue to hear from residents opposed to industrial wind development that would destroy their community and create safety issues. They were joined in their opposition by firefighters concerned about the ability of medical helicopters to reach people living near the turbines in the event of emergency. Again, instead of addressing the concerns of the people, Apex manager Dalton Carr defaulted to the money that could be generated saying “the area would realize at least $90 million in revenues, even if the devices don’t operate.” 

 

  • American Electric Power (AEP) expects to learn the fate of its 2GW Wind Catcher project by the end of June, later than it had hoped, although chief executive Nicholas Akins insists the wind farm could still be built in time to meet the production tax credit’s (PTC) deadline. Wind Catcher faces lengthening odds, not least because any further delays could make it difficult to build the 800-turbine wind farm by the end of 2020, in time to lock in the full PTC. Wind Catcher, among the largest advanced-stage wind projects in the world, would be built in the Oklahoma panhandle, and deliver power to AEP customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. GE Renewable Energy is the turbine supplier.

 

  • The Natural Resources Defense Council makes clear that the only acceptable energy policy for Ohio is full wind and solar.  They want clean nuclear energy phased out and they want gas shut down while bombarding the state with renewables.  NRDC even takes a shot at property line setbacks knowing that their plan is a non-starter with safe setbacks.

 

  • In sharp contrast to the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council’s blather stands the reality of energy development on the eastern side of the state. It’s a signature of where growth in new energy will develop in America and what it will look like. This section of northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania – with its abundance of natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales – has emerged as the fulcrum for the industry’s future.” “What attracts power generation projects to Ohio is the abundance of low-cost natural gas derived from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Across Ohio, 11 new combined-cycle electrical generation plants worth an estimated $10.5 billion are either recently completed, under construction or in the planning or permit stages. These plants will provide meaningful, reliable power in an area of the state familiar with power production.  These plants will not be spread across thousands and thousands of acres of rural Ohio benefiting a few and destroying the landscape for precious little more than public $ubsidie$.

 

  • In Indiana, the Farm Bureau recently sent out membership information identifying counties with the highest membership numbers. Four out of five of counties with the highest % of members either fought or are fighting wind projects. Indiana wind warriors think It is time to send the Farm Bureau a message. In Fulton County, many members of the Fulton County Property Rights group did not renew their membership or insurance with Farm Bureau following their fight, and they let IFB know it is because Farm Bureau supports wind energy in Indiana.

 

  • In Hopkinton, NY the county commissioner equivalent body voted 4-0 to adopt a new law calling for a setback requirement of five times the total height of a turbine from non-participating property lines, public roads, wind overlay boundary, non-WECS building, farm or commercial structures or any above-ground utilities, registered historical sites and the APA boundary.  The local law requires adherence to a maximum 40 dBA at the nearest non-participating property line, school, hospital, place of worship or building existing at the time of the application.

 

  • In Oswego County, New York, local officials will provide no property tax abatement for developer Avangrid Renewables’s proposed Mad River Wind Farm“Just out of the concern for fairness for the rest of the county taxpayers,” said County Administrator Philip R. Church. “We understand that there are a variety of concerns to the impacts of the region up there.”  “Why not get full taxation if they are going to go through with it?”
  • Reflecting the urgency of reducing costs as $ubsidie$ are phased out, Buffalo NY manufacturer, Moog Inc announced it will exit the turbine pitch control system business. “Moog executives had hoped to jumpstart the wind energy business by developing a new line of more reliable pitch control systems for wind turbines. By tapping into Moog’s motion control expertise and designing new systems that used fewer components, the company believed its products would save wind farm operators money in the long run by lasting longer and reducing operating and maintenance expenses. But Moog’s new products cost more upfront, and wind turbine manufacturers, mainly based in China, were reluctant to adopt new systems that would push up the price of their turbine systems at a time when the wind energy market is highly competitive, Scannell said.”

 

  • A study by the Energy Information Administration concluded total federal $ubsidie$ for renewable energy dropped to $6.7 billion by the 2016 fiscal year, a 56 percent decline from 2013. “Though even with the decline, renewable energy consisted of 46 percent of total federal energy subsidies. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry requested updated energy subsidy information as part of the office’s study on grid resiliency. Biofuels accounted for the largest share of 2016 energy subsidies in 2016, down from 77 percent in 2010 but up from 31 percent in 2013, largely due to the expiration of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit in 2011.” 
  • “TerraForm Power’s electric generation fell by 7.5% in the first quarter, after the US yieldco switched off 70 turbines at its Raleigh and Bishop Hill farms to investigate the collapse of a Invenergy-built GE turbine earlier this year.  In January, a blade at a GE 1.5MW turbine spinning at the 78MW Raleigh wind farm in the Canadian province of Ontario cracked and sheared the tower, causing the tower to fold in half. No one was injured.  TerraForm’s Stinebaugh says. “What we are seeing, though, is that within the renewable power sector, development is becoming more capital intensive – and there’s a number of developers looking to align themselves with people who’ve got greater access to capital.”

 

  • In an effort to appear fresh and informative, long time wind-industry consultant Ben Hoen and wind friends have dusted off their old “study” about public acceptance of wind facilities.  They posit “In general, we have observed that the media coverage of attitudes toward wind energy tends to be very anecdotal. Vivid stories of suffering dominate the discussion, which is often devoid of fundamental or methodical analysis of public opinion, the severity of the associated annoyances or even the extent of discontent among people living next to or near wind farms.”   Hoen’s work has been challenged for years because he threw people living within a 1,000 feet of turbines into a pool of people living as far as five miles away.  His work was diluted then and is more suspect now that turbines have dramatically increased in size.  We see this effort to drag out an old “hedonic model” to cover over the real stories of real people as shameless. But we are not surprised.  Do these folks think we lack any common sense?  Hoen also claims there is no property devaluation.

 

If Hoen and his gang would like to dredge up old reports, we can do that too.  A study from the London School of Economics places a value on the extent of devaluation experienced by property located near wind turbines due to the VISUAL IMPACT of the turbines.  Touché….

VW schools

Ohio birding

GM Ohio wind site

Ohio IceBreaker

Ohio setbacks

Ohio NRDC

NY Big setbacks

Pay FULL taxes BigWind

China makes most BigWind machines

Fed subsidies

Canada blade/tower collapse

Wind turbine objections

 

How much do turbines benefit (or hurt) Ohio schools?

How are the Ohio school turbines performing? Finally, we hear ‘some’ truth. First, USV was a disaster with and $800,000 liability created by the UNDERperforming turbine on their property. Their new superintendent saw the truth- the turbine produces too little energy and the energy is too expensive. He chose to switch to a traditional energy provider.  Second, is the Ada school district, where the cost to savings ratio is a “wash”. It is only a wash b/c the turbine was paid for by our taxdollars through a grant. It would be a loss, otherwise. At what point will their superintendent see that the maintenance costs outweigh the benfits? Finally, we take a look at Lincolnview schools. Their situation is entirely different that the previous 2 schools, because Lincolnview sits in the county within an industrial turbine site.  Taxpayer dollars, from all of us that live OUTside that district, and our state, have funded this project. Each industrial wind site costs us, the taxpayer, hundreds of millions of $ to build. Then, we pay them to produce power through the wind production tax credit. No other energy producer is given this gift. Mr. Snyder must be thankful that ‘we get the value off the turbine itself , not how much power they generate’ because the facts paint a dismal picture for NW Ohio wind energy. According to a federal site, the NW Ohio industrial wind sites produce LESS than 30% of the power that they are capable of producing. How many industries do you know that can survive by only producing 30% of what they told the public? None, unless the government supports you!  Finally, Mr. Snyder mentions what a great benefit it is for OSU to have purchased this wind energy and that it supports 20% of their energy usage. Baloney! That is just a lie. OSU purchased this energy because they wanted to ‘appear’ green to their students and they were probably given a tax credit or break from some grant. They could surely purchase energy from another supplier, cheaper, just like USV schools…

Superintendent Rector had quite the challenge when he first began.
“We had less than seven days cash remaining in our budgets,”…In a very short period of time he cleared out an $800,000 liability owed to the state from the former wind academy...
Rector spoke of the wind farm and academy which he believes led to large fallout in the community.
“Everybody did things with the best of intentions but it really tore at the heart of this community.”…
As for the two windmills on the school property, the negotiated price for their generated power costs more than what they can get directly from the local utility company. So far they have saved over one hundred thousand dollars by switching to a commercial provider.
“And money saved, is money made,” he stated as he looks toward a better future. “What is done is done. They’re not going anywhere. Will they eventually see a savings? That would be nice. By the same token we’ve been able to, through negotiation, bring costs down.”
Ada School districts acquired a windmill on their property during the same period taking advantage of grant funding during the alternative energy incentive program. Ada Superintendent Suzanne Darmer believes the cost to savings ratio comes out as a wash and everything is working fine.
“That was a onetime opportunity many years ago,” Darmer said. “When that came into place we had the opportunity to secure a grant through the federal government through the NexGen Company.”
Darmer further added, “It has not been a problem for us. We have regular maintenance, but nothing to speak of about them being down.”
The wind turbine is not an issue at the school, however, they do not have any plans to put in any more….
“I’d like to see enough windmills in Hardin County so that it’s giving back to the school districts.” said Superintendent Jeff Snyder at Lincolnview.
The Lincolnview school district has reaped the benefit of a $400,000 annual payment from the 42 windmills located there. Snyder said the program was developed from federal legislation and tax incentives for alternative energy and brokered by the Van Wert county commissioners. The county commissioners worked out the deal with the wind energy company, Iberdrola Renewable, a Spanish public multinational electric utility company. The company pays the school and the county directly.
“We get value off the turbine itself, not how much they generate,” Snyder said. “We don’t get any energy to run our school districts off our turbine. The turbine is putting power onto the grid for us to consume. What they try to do is to get people to buy into their energy in advance.”
Snyder says the Ohio State University (OSU) has already seen a tremendous savings with the locked in rate from their windfarm. He stated, “Twenty percent of all the power OSU uses is coming from this wind farm. They locked in their rate for the next twenty years.”
Snyder says the revenues generated from the windfarm greatly benefits the school and saves the taxpayers. Lincolnview received a mere $81,000 in funding from the state this year, which, by the way, won’t even pay for a school bus….
“We’re one of the first school districts to provide laptop devices to every student from kindergarten through 12,” he added, “We’ve started pre-engineering and bio-medical programs in high school, knowing we have this money for the next twenty years. It’s been a world of difference for our school district and we’re going to keep doing great things here because we have the opportunity to do that.”

Source: Ada Herald

Noisy turbine in Ada, Ohio- too little, too late, though?

Within the last month, a couple of articles appeared in NW Ohio papers, complaining about the noise from the Ada school turbine.  This is a separate turbine from the 3 that ONU have; however, ONU has issues, too, as 1 of the 3 has  NOT been operational for some time.  Is this too little, too late, though? Hardin county residents surely would have appreciated learning the facts below – sooner, before their farmers signed leases that will blanket their county with turbines.  Unfortunately, you will read below that the decibel measurements will be taken from the nearest property LINE. Our turbine setbacks in Ohio are from the nearest residence, NOT property line. Our legislators should be ashamed of this woeful setback inadequacy….Remember, the addition of our new FARMER tab on our blog site, to find problems that farmers can experience….

Michael Harnishfeger, Ada’s chief of police and zoning inspector, will be looking into whether or not the wind turbine on the Ada School property violates the village’s noise ordinance for turbines…

“The one out there the day I was out there was very loud,” Simmons said.
He said the noise was that of a loose bearing, or a grinding noise.
Councilman Jimmy Wilson, who lives near the turbine as well, said he too could attest to the loudness of the turbine from time to time.

“I live in the 200 block of Turner and from experiences and those of my neighbors, when the wind is from a certain direction at a certain speed, it’s pretty bad; you can almost feel the vibrations,” Wilson said….

“If we have ordinances that deal with this, we need to know that and we need to abide by those ordinances,” Fleming said. “If there’s something we can do or are obligated to do, then we need to do it and not just ignore these people like it’s going to stop. If it’s actually bearings, it’s only going to get worse.”
“At what point do we say, OK, we need to see if this falls within our ordinance’? Where’s the tipping point here?” questioned Councilwoman Cathy Cole.

Harnishfeger informed council that he will look into obtaining a decimeter to measure the noise level of the turbine. The measurement is to be taken at the nearest property line, according to Village Administrator Jim Meyer….

Ada to investigate noise from wind turbine | Kenton Times.

Ada, Ohio turbines are a nuisance to the neighbors

It is unfortunate, how quiet this situation has been, until now. Is it too late? And what about ONU and Ada schools? Will they respond in a kind manner to their fellow local taxpayer? Will they be a good neighbor? I thought their wind turbine ordinance had a decommissioning clause. It is definitely NOT good advertising for the University or the Village…

The impact of wind turbines
Editor’s Note: This first letter to the Ada Village Council from Carl Wilkerson of Ada was printed in the Ada Herald on March 10.
–––––
To the editor:
It has now been almost two years since I first complained of the noise from the wind turbine sited at the Ada Schools. Its constant grinding has again wakened me from sleep by vibrating the windows in my house.
I kept records at the mayor’s request as to when this type of thing was happening. Nothing was ever done about it. I was told that a woman from LaFayette was on top of this problem and the one at ONU that has never worked. It would be taken care of soon.
I was told by the mayor to report the noise to the police department when I heard it. I have done so on many occasions and still nothing has happened. A year later nothing has happened. The one at ONU is still not working. The one at the school is still grinding.
We were told that these turbines would be removed if they did not function or operate efficiently. They do neither and are still here. If the one out my back door is not going to be fixed can you at least get it turned off?
The mayor has heard it and walked away. School officials have hard it and walked away. The police have heard it and walked away. The lady from LaFayette that was on top of it never showed up.
I would like to see the city council do something about this problem. We will see if you walk away or never show up.

———————-

I would like to add the following to an editorial for the Kenton Times. Several Ada residents asked that I send it along to the Kenton Times because of the problems they will be having if the Logan and Hardin County commissioners allow nearly 200 turbines be built by British companies with free U.S. government funds and needless local tax abatements.
The catch is this. These turbines are twice the size of the ones in Ada (nearly 500 feet tall) and will affect all the properties east of Indian Lake to west of the Kenton airport and from State Route 67 to several miles south of Belle Center.
Nearly every home in that area will be in range of shadow flicker from those huge blades. The value of the properties will drop by about 35 percent. If and after they are constructed your recourse will be nothing. Just as it is in Ada.
When these turbines break down or stop producing at over 125 percent of what you can buy electricity for off the grid they will be abandoned and left for you to deal with. These people will declare bankruptcy, reorganize and go visit another sent of county commissioners.
Sadly, only the Logan County commissioners can save you now. Hardin County’s sold out a couple of years ago and don’t seem inclined to correct their mistake. After they get these 200 wind turbines up they will be back for more like hogs to the trough.
Enjoy the mess and flicker and noise! Maybe when the value of your property does down the county will lower your taxes.
Carl Wilkerson
Ada

via:http://www.kentontimes.com/reader-editorials/the-impact-of-wind-turbines/