BigWind blows hot air in Ohio

The Energy Generation Subcommittee continued its hearings on April 24th with more calls for reducing wind setbacks and more protests from wind and solar advocates who do not want to compete with more reliable and available clean energy sources.  The hearings can be seen on the Ohio Channel at http://ohiochannel.org/collections/ohio-house-energy-and-natural-resources-subcommittee-on-energy-generation .   We encourage you to go to the link at look at Part One at about 43 minutes to watch Michael Shellenberger’s testimony in favor of the bill.  Shellenberger has written prolifically Forbes magazine against wind’s gigantic footprint which destroys the landscape, habitat and the environment generally.     In Part Three at 1hr 45.36 Susan Munroe of Chambers for Innovation spews a bunch of nonsense about Blue Creek in Van Wert County and misrepresents the impacts of safe setbacks.  She claims on behalf of Paulding County that they want all the wind they can get.  

A revised Clean Energy bill will be introduced next week and hearings will resume before the full House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

On  Tuesday, the Ohio Power Siting Board conducted a “workshop” to determine whether rules should be established for blade shear.  The workshop can be viewed at:

Julie Johnson testified against a setback reduction and argued that the failure of OPSB to require incident reporting, independent investigation and public access to incident reports results in the inability of landowners and persons who sign Good Neighbor Agreements to give “informed consent” to the waiver of setbacks.  They can unwittingly impose risk upon others who may live on, work on or visit properties within the range of a debris field if a turbine fails.   Terry Rittenhouse pointed out in his testimony that while the wind companies claim that blade failure is an extremely rare event, Ohio has experienced a 100% failure rate with incidents occurring at Hog Creek in Hardin County, Blue Creek in Van Wert County and Timber Road in Paulding County.   In two incidents, fragments traveled further than the current setbacks.

Gary Biglin also spoke on behalf of those residing in Richland County near the Blackfork Wind project.  Dennis Schriener, a nuclear engineer who specializes in safety, spoke as well. Schreiner resides near the proposed Apex project called Emerson Creek in Huron County.   He described his efforts to find safety standard information and said it was not publicly available in the United States and that he had to secure information when he was out of the country in Brazil.  The information he obtained specified a safety setback of 1,640 feet.  We have seen this specification in Nordex materials.  

The workshop was disappointing in that  there was no give and take discussion.  It was similar to a public hearing where the Administrative Law Judge sits in silence and listens.  After the citizen testimony, no wind developer (if any were present) spoke.  Michael Settineri, the Vorys attorney who represents many wind developers, popped up and said he could not let the moment pass and encouraged the OPSB not to promulgate a rule because it might undermine investor confidence.  He suggested that any incident reporting be made a part of a certificate condition and remain a matter between the OPSB and the wind operator.   It was a foolish comment given the testimony.  The OPSB will now take the information provided to them and draft a rule.  The proposed rule will be subject to public comment before adoption.  This is a good step forward by the new leadership of the OPSB which has prior to now, ignored public safety.

Ohio House Democrats O’Brien and Skindell have introduced HB 223 to repeal existing property line setbacks.  Perhaps it is their intention to have the language folded into the Clean Energy bill since so many witnesses demanded it.  To date, Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, has rejected requests to consider setbacks in the Clean Energy bill.    A sampling of news stories related to the Clean Energy bill are included below….

In other news:

  • AEP is taking bids to set up energy purchase agreements for solar or wind facilities that are operational or coming online soon within the 13-state footprint of PJM. It will seek 10-year agreements for wind and solar projects online now as well as 15-year solar and 12-year wind agreements, for facilities that begin operation between 2020 and 2023, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
  • PV magazine says “As we’ve noted before, Ohio is not the first state that most people think of when they think solar. At the end of last year the state had only 202 MWdc installed, placing it in the bottom half of installed capacity nationally, and SEIA’s project database did not show any larger than 20 MW. Despite this humble start, Wood Mackenzie ranks Ohio as the top state in the Midwest for solar development over the next five years, and a look at the status of some of the leading projects explains why.”  “Six projects totaling over 1 GWac that have siting board approval, interconnection agreements and/or PPAs, suggesting that large-scale solar development is about to take off in a big way.”
  • Filings on the OPSB website show Republic Wind LLC and OPSB staff Friday requested a 90-day extension to allow the company more time to submit information for the staff investigation report.  Perhaps Republic is waiting to see if legislation to repeal property line setbacks is sneaked into the budget by Sen. Dolan, slips into the Clean Energy Bill or is passed as standalone legislation.
  • The FAA has awarded the state with a certificate of authorization allowing it test defense-related drone technology without reliance on a visual observer or chase aircraft. Typically, drones can only fly within the uninterrupted line of sight of the person operating the UAS, but the special waiver allows AFRL and the Ohio UAS Center, which is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s DriveOhio Initiative, to use SkyVision to test drones beyond the visual line of sight within a 200 square-mile parcel of unrestricted airspace near the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.   We wonder if this program would prevent turbine development in the area?

link: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/04/09/ohio-gets-ready-for-a-solar-boom/

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Has BigWind become a BULLY in Ohio?

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This week the Senate announced the members who will be serving on the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) has been appointed Chairman.  Wilson is a former bank CEO and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Vice Chair will be Sen. Rob McColley of Napoleon in Henry County who is an attorney. Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland)  is the ranking member.  Filling out the Committee are Republicans Brenner (R-Powell); Burke (R-Marysville); Dolan (R- Chagrin Falls); Eklund (R-Chardon); Hoaglund (R-Adena); M. Huffman (R-Lima); Peterson (R-Sabina); Rulli (R-Salem); Craig (D-Columbus) and O’Brien (D-Bazetta).

Several interesting issues have arisen in various forums this week.   A spokesperson for Innogy announced that they would be backing up wind developments onsite with batteries the size of semi-truck containers.  They propose to stack five of them one on top of the other to provide 5MW of back-up power to smooth out variable winds.  But their spokesperson claimed there would be no need to involve the OPSB because they would not meet the over 5MW for state regulation.  We fail to see how batteries installed at a wind facility would not be considered a part of the total project and therefore included in the total MW for the facility. And, how ‘green’ are batteries? We are told NOT to dispose of them in regular trash because of the risk of the acids.  What will they do with batteries the size of semis??

A question has arisen as to whether a tenant will be afforded adequate protection if a non-resident landowner/landlord signs a wind lease waiving setback restrictions.  Will the landlord be obligated to inform the tenant?  Does the landlord have a duty to ascertain whether the tenant family has any medical conditions? Does the tenant have any right to claims against the landowner if adverse impacts are experienced?  Setback waivers generally include agreements not to publicly complain about noise, shadow flicker and other nuisance effects.  Would the tenant be bound by such terms if they are not party to the agreement?

The Findlay Zoning Board of Appeals rejected an application for approval of two on-site wind turbines for an industrial facility.  The 400 foot turbines exceed Findlay’s height limits of 100’ for wind turbines. The existing turbines in the Findlay area at Ball and Whirlpool are in Allen Township which has no zoning.  The company seeking to erect the turbines was originally rejected by the Marion Township Zoning Board of Appeals. This led them to annex their 37-acre property into Findlay where they were met with another rejection.  The company may seek to overturn the decision in court.  Press reports indicate the turbines would be as close as 1000’ from neighboring residences.  In the Findlay, Ohio article, Jereme Kent of One Energy is quoted as saying, “We will have to evaluate our other legal recourses to resolve this”…I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a threat to those who were opposed to the turbines! City administrators assert there would be negative impacts on these properties. We hope the folks in Findlay are aware of what happened in Falmouth, MA.

The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum has gone into an over-spin condition with a new poll claiming widespread support for clean energy in Ohio.  (You might even call it a “mandate”. ☹)  The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in the D.C. area.  P.O.S. states on their website: “Public Opinion Strategies is one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms specializing in political, public affairs, public policy, and corporate positioning research. Our roots are in political campaign management. As such, our research is focused on producing data that compels decisions – to get results.”  Gee – seems like they admit their polls are designed to get whatever result the client wants. In this case, the objective is reduced setbacks measured from homes.  How noble.  

There have been several media reports covering the poll but it is unclear whether any reporter has actually seen the questions that were asked.  It appears that the attached memo was carefully crafted to “appear” as though it is presenting the questions but it is not.   Our question is when did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez join the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum?  Representatives of OCEF spent the week meeting with legislators to convince them they need to vote for renewables if they want to keep their elected office.  Meanwhile, newly elected Rep. Cross from Hardin County spoke to the Annual Indian Lake Chamber meeting and said that “quality of life is now Number 1 in attracting growth.”  Wonder if they took the survey?

A short video of an energy conversation with Bill Gates is worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1EB1zsxW0k

PILOT payments for the solar field in Hardin County were the recent subject of discussion with the County Commissioners.  No resolution was reached and there continues to be much uncertainty surrounding the PILOT program.  “County Auditor Mike Bacon had questioned if taking the productive farmland off the property tax charts would result in an increase to other taxpayers to balance the loss.  Klooster said the issue has been a major concern of Invenergy, who doesn’t want the solar field development to not result in “a penny of increase to anyone’s taxes.”  A public hearing on Phase II of the solar farm will be held on March 14 in Hardin County.

In other news:

 

  • Hardin County’s Upper Scioto Valley schools want to get rid of two turbines on their property.  One of the turbines does not work and the cost of a needed part is $100,000, which NexGen is not willing to pay unless USV extends its contract for services.   “But the board and administration questioned why it would be interested in doing that since the amount they pay per kilowatt to NexGen is double the cost paid by the district on the commercial electric grid.  “It is cheaper for me to have them not working,” said Treasurer Stacy Gratz.”….How many schools across the state know this reality?

 

  • “American Electric Power (AEP) is paying $551m in cash to acquire full or partial interests in 724MW of US wind projects from Sempra Energy, continuing an aggressive drive to add capacity since the spectacular collapse last year of its 2GW Wind Catcher project. The deal, expected to close next quarter, includes Sempra’s 100% stake in the 100MW Apple Blossom wind project in Michigan and 78MW Black Oak Getty facility in Minnesota.  The remaining 546MW comprises projects that Sempra jointly owns with BP Wind Energy: Auwahi Wind in Hawaii, Ridge 2 Wind in Kansas, Mehoopany Wind in Pennsylvania, Cedar Creek 2 Wind in Colorado and Fowler Ridge 2 Wind in Indiana.”

 

  • Supporters and opponents of the Lake Erie Icebreaker project are sounding off about whether the benefits outweigh the risks of putting wind turbines in the lake. “Final approval could come soon for Icebreaker, a six-turbine wind installation in Lake Erie, eight miles off Cleveland’s shoreline. Lake Erie Foundation board member John Lipaj noted it’s actually a pilot project for a massive, 1,500 wind turbine installation throughout the lake. The developer has said each turbine holds about 400 gallons of industrial lubricants, and Lipaj said that’s just not worth the risk. “Lake Erie, which is the source of drinking water for 11 million people, isn’t the place to be building an industrial wind facility,” Lipaj said. “Build the wind turbines onshore; build them where farmers need that extra income. It just makes so much more sense and it’s better for the lake.”   The Ohio Power Siting Board could decide on the project at a hearing February 21.

 

  • The United States Senate has voted to approve a large measure protecting public lands.  One provision of the bill is a bird measure sponsored by Ohio Senator Rob Portman that will provide $6.5 million each year through 2024 on conservation. Portman said hundreds of bird species migrate through Ohio each year, making Lake Erie a popular bird watching destination. The Senate approved the bill in a 92 to 8 vote. The House of Representatives has not yet taken it up. “Protecting and conserving these bird populations is critically important and I am pleased the Senate approved this bipartisan legislation,” said a statement from Portman. “I’m looking forward to this legislation being signed very soon.”    It remains to be seen whether the OPSB will consider this federal legislation when deciding the Icebreaker project.

 

  • In Tippecanoe County, Indiana has decided that industrial wind development will no longer be allowed. “Wind turbines are not appropriate for our county,” said Julie Peretin. Speaking on behalf of several Tippecanoe County residents who share the same concern Peretin said,  “We are too densely populated and we have some of the best farm ground in the state.”   “Wind farms are a great economic opportunity for rural areas and areas with declining populations,” said Murtaugh.  “Our population is constantly growing, our economic development activities are escalating, to tie up that type of ground for up to 50 years is way premature,” said Murtaugh.  “A commercial developer who just kind of sweeps in, the potential to cause harm to a community cannot be understated,” she said.

 

  • The aggressive left-wing group “Checks & Balances” had a complete meltdown over the citizens in NW Ohio (aka “fossil fuel operatives”) who are effectively using social media to speak out against industrial wind.  You can read C&B’s incomprehensible screed at https://checksandbalancesproject.org/van-wert-wind-development/.  We find it interesting that they blame citizen groups, such as our own, for Apex pulling out of NW Ohio, yet Apex said NOTHING like this when they left.  Read the Apex article here
  • Why did Apex leave VW Ohio?

 

  • Google re-confirms its data center investment in New Albany as well as an opioid addiction program in Dayton.

 

  • An Illinois School Superintendent challenges Apex on a misleading marketing campaign concerning a wind development’s  “windfall” for local schools. “I feel the school district should only be taking a stance on any issue that has a direct impact on the schools. The other political issues people are having when it comes to the environmental impact, etc., I as Superintendent of the school district should not be making any statements on those issues. So we are absolutely neutral on this issues and we will just see how it plays out, but I just felt that I needed to clarify any perception people in the community might have that this would be viewed as a windfall for the school district,” says Ptacek.

 

  • The authors of a 2016 study found steeply diminishing returns when a lot of battery storage is added to the grid. They concluded that coupling battery storage with renewable plants is a “weak substitute” for large, flexible coal or natural-gas combined-cycle plants, the type that can be tapped at any time, run continuously, and vary output levels to meet shifting demand throughout the day.   Building the level of renewable generation and storage necessary to reach California’s goals would drive up costs exponentially, from $49 per megawatt-hour of generation at 50 percent to $1,612 at 100 percent. And that’s assuming lithium-ion batteries will cost roughly a third what they do now.  These forces would dramatically increase electricity costs for consumers.  “You have to pause and ask yourself: ‘Is there any way the public would stand for that?’”   The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum would say “YES!” 

 

Findlay vs OneEnergy

Polls

Yet another poll

Cleveland poll

Kenton questions $ behind renewable

AEP

Lake Erie questions arise

Indiana BAN on BigWind

Battery problems w renewables

USV school

 

 

BigWind ‘Spinning’ the TRUTH

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The New Year is staring off with gusto!  A must watch video has been produced by the Seneca Anti-Wind Union coalition.  Everyone – we mean everyone should watch this video, share it on your social media, send it to your friends and think about ways your community can activate your neighbors.   Watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=pzg8qPOgI7s.

Next, educate yourselves about a memorandum filed with the PUCO by the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board in connection with Republic Wind in Seneca and Sandusky County.  Last February Apex filed an application for Republic Wind.  In May, the OPSB declared the application complete and ready for review.  In December, Apex filed a motion to change the turbine models and alter the array resulting in all proposed turbines being put in new locations causing changes to access roads and collector lines.  They also requested that the OPSB commence a hearing on the revised application in March, 90 days after submitting practically a whole new application.  The OPSB staff rejected the request citing the customary 60-day window to determine whether the amended application is complete.

Staff sees no need to rush the process.  Apex will ask the PUCO to overrule the OPSB staff. 

If one visits the Apex Republic Wind website, https://www.republicwindenergy.com/ , this is how Apex characterizes it’s amended application and the push to cut short the time period for careful evaluation:

‘“Great news! After months of diligent work to gather feedback from the community, we have found a few opportunities to amend our proposed turbine layout for Republic Wind. We have been working with OPSB to update our permit application for the project with this new layout, which we believe will be even more amenable to the members of the Seneca County community as a whole. We are glad to report that we do not anticipate this shift to delay our project, even with our request to extend the OPSB review process. We want to thank everyone who provided feedback for helping us create an even stronger Republic Wind project.”

Pure spin!  They call this significant amendment, an “update” and does their statement that they do not anticipate a delay mean they do not anticipate the PUCO will support the OPSB?  Something to watch!

Next up is Invenergy’s Hardin Wind project.  This project has not received opposition from the community.  It was approved in 2010 under the old setback rules measured from the neighbor’s house and has been  amended multiple times although it does not appear the OPSB ever required Invenergy to adhere to the new setbacks.  According to the docket in the case, construction started in 2016.   In order for Hardin Wind to secure 100% of the PTC, they would have to place the project in service within four years of commencing construction (2020).  In 2017, the media reported that AEP would purchase the power from Hardin Wind for its subsidiary, Appalachian Power serving West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. But unbeknownst to us, the West Virginia Public Service Commission denied the AEP’s request to buy the output of Hardin Wind last April.  The WV PSC said the cost of the power would impose an unnecessary increase in power bills and be a burden on taxpayers.  WOW!

“Appalachian Power’s push into renewables suffered a setback in April when the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) denied the company’s proposed purchase of two wind farms, one in Greenbrier County and another in Ohio. The PSC ruling stated that construction costs would cause an unneeded increase in power bills and a burden on taxpayers. The PSC decision followed a similar decision made by Virginia regulators in April.

The company had proposed to buy the Beech Ridge II Wind Facility in Greenbrier County and the Hardin Wind Facility in Ohio for more than $86 million.

Appalachianarticlelink 

We are not certain if much construction has actually occurred in the Hardin Wind project and we wonder if it will go forward without a contracted entity that will buy the expensive power. Notwithstanding, it is interesting to look back to 2017 when AEP announced it would purchase the power from Hardin Wind, At the time, Invenergy spun the project this way:  “Wind power’s declining costs and the extension of a federal tax credit “make the purchase of these wind facilities beneficial for customers, improve Appalachian’s fuel diversity, and increase the company’s flexibility to develop and offer renewable products for its customers,” Appalachian Power said in a statement.”  Guess not…..

Elsewhere:

Trouble in Paradise China.  “China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

China says NO to BigWind- Link

It has now been determined that the US emitted more CO2 in 2018 despite less coal and more renewables.  This is a very interesting article which shows that U.S. emissions reductions since 2007 were principally the result of the recession and lower energy use.  As the economy recovers and industry expands, renewables cannot contribute to CO2 emission reductions.  As increases in energy demand continue, more renewables are not the way to address emissions reduction…..

Recharge 

US 2018 CO2 emissions up despite less coal, more renewables

Research firm Rhodium Group reports the 3.4% increase was aided by the power sector with natural gas the main replacement for coal as electricity demand grew

By Richard A. Kessler in Fort Worth 09 January 2019Updated 09 January 2019

US CO2 emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, the largest increase in eight years, despite near-record coal plant closures and the addition of 7.9GW of wind and solar capacity through October, according to a preliminary estimate by research company Rhodium Group.

This compares with declines of 0.8% in 2017, 1.7% the prior year and 2.7% in 2015…

Total US emissions have generally declined since the Great Recession that began in 2007-08, in part because of lower electricity usage in the ensuing years but also from reduced carbon intensity of US energy supply as utilities switched from coal to natural gas and renewables…

Even though 14.3GW of coal capacity likely closed last year, the most since 14.7GW in 2015, additions of renewables fell far short of making up this shortfall as US electric power consumption surged year-on-year in a robust economy.

That raises questions about to what extent renewables can replace coal generation next decade and by extension, contribute to CO2 emission reductions…

 

Shocked-Ohio Supreme Court says NO to BigWind

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Our featured article is the recent decision, by the Ohio Supreme Court that “Altering a wind farm’s construction timeline is an “amendment,” and a proposal for a 91-turbine farm must return to state regulators for an extension, potentially subjecting the facility to stricter state rules...” Hallelujah!!! See more of this article at the bottom.

As the new General Assembly gets underway and Governor-elect DeWine puts together his Cabinet, there are a couple of things to note.  Current Senate Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Randy Gardner of Bowling Green has been tapped to be the new Chancellor of the Dept. of Higher Education.   His move to the Cabinet will open a vacancy in the 2nd Senate District.  If the Republicans appoint a replacement from the House, it is possible that Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), Rep. Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) or Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) could be chosen.   Sen. Gardner was a co-sponsor of Dolan’s setback bill.

Another Cabinet appointment is former Rep. Dorothy Pelanda of Marysville who will become the Director of Agriculture.  Pelanda has always voted with the wind industry.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on the legislative priorities of the incoming leadership in the Ohio House and Senate. One of Senate President Obhof’s five priorities is to “Overhaul energy laws. Obhof said he would like a comprehensive review of all of the energy laws. Examples of laws that could be changed are the renewable standard and the wind turbine setback rule.”   We are not certain what that means but we hope it means that he would be willing to give local citizens a voice in approving siting.  House Minority Leader, Rep. Fred Strahorn of Dayton also listed setbacks as a legislative priority.  “As part of encouraging higher-paying jobs, Strahorn would like to change the wind turbine setback law, which he believes would encourage more wind energy companies to invest in Ohio and create jobs.” 

In the meantime, a big case is being considered at the PUCO.  Go to http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?Caseno=18-0501&link=DI to file a public comment in opposition to AEP.  Many environmentalists and radicals have organized comment letter campaigns in support of AEP’s plan to build 500MW of wind and 400 MWs of solar.  But the staff of the PUCO has testified that AEP has failed to demonstrate the added generation is needed.   The Ohio Consumer’s Council and the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association have taken a similar position.   Furthermore, the PUCO staff stated that “a demonstration of customer preferences that are increasingly shifting towards renewable energy is insufficient to establish a need of utility scale wind and solar investment.”   AEP had tried to assert that consumers are clamoring for more renewable energy.  Our observations have been that many polls do not give reliable results because the people questioned do not understand the implications of building more renewables.  The Natural Resources Defense Fund, Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council and others are working hard in support of AEP’s proposal. Opponents need to speak out.  AEP hopes the PUCO board will override the staff. Hearings begin next week.

In other news:

  • AEP is seeking approval to build 1.2GW of wind and has filed a request for proposals that is among the biggest ever seen in the US wind market, with Louisiana-based SWEPCO looking for projects qualified either for the full or the 80% PTC – meaning they would need to be on line by the end of 2021.  The projects must be at least 100MW in size and located within territory overseen by grid operator SPP in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas or Oklahoma, the areas served by SWEPCO. Proposals are due in March 2019.

 

  • Bill Gates has issued his annual letter and in the section on energy, Gates maintains  “Solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing”.  He goes on to discuss his support of nuclear energy.
  • Some years ago, Canada’s  Dr. Robert McMurtry and his wife Jane worked to develop a video about the harms of wind.  Jane McMurtry passed away recently.  In memory of Jane McMurtry, wind warriors everywhere are revisiting their important video.  See No Safe Space (video).

 

  • EverPower is the subject of litigation in West Virginia where three complaints were filed against New Creek Wind in federal court alleging negative effects on the health and well-being of several residents. “Specifically, while the plaintiffs are outside on their property, they are confronted with irritating and unabated audible noise which significantly limits the use and enjoyment of their property and results in annoyance, along with other symptoms…” one of the complaints states. The New Creek Mountain Sportsman’s Club claims its members suffer from headaches, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, hearing problems and other issues while on the hunting lodge’s property.  The plaintiffs claim the wind turbines have affected the serenity, ambiance, wildlife viewing and aesthetic nature of their properties.  The defendants knew or should have known their wind turbine project would interfere with the use and enjoyment of the plaintiffs’ properties and would result in negative physical and mental harm, according to the suits. When the plaintiffs are walking around their properties, depending on which way the turbine blades are configured, negative effects occur the closer they get in the direction of the wind turbines, according to the suits. The plaintiffs claim the wind turbines are a nuisance and that the defendants were negligent.”  Two separate lawsuits were filed 2017 as well. 

 

  • Amid hundreds of graphs, charts and tables in the latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) released last week by the International Energy Agency, there is one fundamental piece of information that you have to work out for yourself: the percentage of total global primary energy demand provided by wind and solar. The answer is 1.1 per cent. The policy mountains have labored and brought forth not just a mouse, but — as the report reluctantly acknowledges — an enormously disruptive mouse.  This report should be profoundly embarrassing to the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, which has virtue-signaled itself to the front of a parade that is going nowhere, although it can certainly claim genuine leadership in the more forceful route to transition: killing the fossil fuel industry by edict.”
  • Wind developers continue to sell off projects to recycle capital.  Reports of sales include EDPR, Invenergy, Avangrid and Enel Green Power.

 

  • A federally funded survey of East Coast beachgoers found building utility-scale wind turbines within the typical range proposed by federal officials won’t repel most vacationers.  University of Delaware professors George Parsons and Jeremy Firestone undertook the 1,200-person survey for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and NOAA by showing respondents in 20 states a visual simulation of a wind farm with 100 6-megawatt turbines. The simulation included views of turbines placed as close as 2.5 miles from shore, far closer than the range contemplated by BOEM for most lease areas, and as far away as 20 miles, the BOEM range’s upper boundary. “The most salient finding is, the closer the turbines are to shore, the larger the negative impacts would be,” said Parsons.   Brilliant.  And 2.5 miles is the closest being evaluated.

  

Altering a wind farm’s construction timeline is an “amendment,” and a proposal for a 91-turbine farm must return to state regulators for an extension, potentially subjecting the facility to stricter state rules, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

The Supreme Court voted 5-2 that the Ohio Power Siting Board improperly approved a request by developers of the Black Fork Wind Energy Project to extend the date to begin construction from January 2017 until January 2019. Opponents of the farm, which would be located in portions of Crawford and Richland counties, contend the siting board allowed the company to use a procedure to evade new “setback” rules imposed by the General Assembly, which would require more distance between turbines and property lines…

The opinion noted the board approved Black Fork’s request just weeks before the new setback law took effect, and the outcome of deadline extension request could change.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French, and R. Patrick DeWine joined Justice DeGenaro’s opinion.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Patrick F. Fischer wrote that the board properly interpreted state law, which led it to conclude an amendment is required only when there is a “change in the facility.” Other changes, such as a construction deadline, can be changed by a less-formal procedure, in this case, by a motion, he maintained.

Justice Terrence O’Donnell joined Justice Fischer’s dissent.NO SURPRISE HERE!

Justice Kennedy also wrote a concurring opinion, which both supported the majority’s reasoning and raised objections to Justice Fischer’s dissent. She wrote that the law applies to more than a change in a facility, noting that “the legislature did not hide substantive limitations on the amendment of a certificate in a provision that specifically addresses when ‘the board shall hold a hearing.’ ” Rather than limit the types of changes that constitute an amendment, she explained, the hearing provision “simply distinguishes a category of applications to amend a certificate—those proposing a change in the facility—in which a hearing similar to the one required to be held upon an initial application may not be required.”

Ohio court news

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

 

What does the election mean for BigWind in Ohio?

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By the time the next edition of Wind News is published, the election will be over and everyone will be sorting through the results to derive meaning. Election Day is the due date for Reply Comments to the Ohio Power Siting Board’s draft rules. The General Assembly will swing into its year-end session and tackle the mandate freeze while developers will press to revise property line setbacks. On the national level, wind developers will be racing to secure full access to the federal Production Tax Credit before December 31st. One thing feels certain with the election of Clinton…wind turbines could spread like a wildfire across our great lands.

One of the races we will be watching is in Vermont where Iberdrola is trying to buy an election by promising to pay residents of two towns where the Stiles Brook Wind Project is proposed to be built. “ Iberdrola has said such benefits are common at its energy projects. But Stiles Brook opponents cried foul, equating the partnership payments to a bribe.” The Vermont Secretary of State, Jim Condos, asserts “In a democracy, a ballot item should pass or fail on its own merits and not because of cash incentives.” He worries that payment offers “could conceivably invite a bidding war between competing ‘partnerships’ on every controversial ballot item.” “There is what’s legal and there is what’s right, and those are not always the same thing,” Condos wrote.”

In other campaign news, we were amused by the Midwest Energy News story – Midwest is published by RE-AMP whose members include The League of Conservation Voters and Ohio Environmental Council. The article whines about the campaign spending by fossil fuel groups as opposed to the penniless greenies who just want a better world (albeit one presumably without heat or light). When the LCV announced earlier this year that it would coordinate efforts in Ohio with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters said, “Our environment should not be a partisan issue, and preserving it should not be controversial.” We juxtapose this story with one from Energy and Environment News headlined: Green groups spend over $100M; LCV hits record level. “In a separate announcement, the Sierra Club revealed today that major environmental organizations — including itself, LCV, NextGen Climate Action, EDF Action, the NRDC Action Fund and Environment America — expect to spend more than $100 million on the 2016 cycle.” We suspect a vast left-wing conspiracy. 

Following the money, there has been recent press accounts of Amazon’s purchase of the Scioto Ridge project in Hardin County developed by EverPower. We thought it might be good to reflect on this for a moment as we think about where Governor Kasich stands with respect to the renewable mandate. We know that Amazon’s cloud computing operations use an enormous amount of power and they seek to comfort the green crowd by offsetting their power use with renewables, and specifically wind. What was Amazon’s price for locating in Ohio? Many claim Amazon insists on access to renewable power and perhaps Kasich promised to support the mandate so that Amazon could appease the green lobby. What would Kasich get in return? According to press reports in 2015, Amazon’s location in Ohio would cause all Ohioans to be subject to sales tax on any purchases made through Amazon.com. “Amazon said it estimates it will collect between $150 million and $300 million annually in Ohio sales taxes that are currently the responsibility of consumers to keep track of and pay.” Given that Ohio sales tax revenue has been lagging, that is probably a big deal to the Gov. Ohio also provided $81 million in incentives to Amazon. Too bad the folks in Hardin County had to subsidize Amazon’s electric bill, too.

A million here, a million there and pretty soon you are talking about money. “AEP American Electric Power Company Inc. plans to spend $1 billion on the renewable energy business, in part with funds from the sale of some Ohio power plants. The Columbus-based electric utility is dipping its toe in the sector, as it expects a capital outlay of $17.3 billion from 2017 to 2019, AEP said Tuesday.” “It has formed two related subsidiaries, one that focuses on smaller-scale wind and solar projects and the other focused on larger projects. AEP Onsite Partners is a “behind-the-meter” company, contracting with, for example, a grocery story that wants solar panels on its roof. Customers include schools, hospitals and businesses.” “AEP Renewables is in charge of what AEP CEO Nick Akins describes as “utility-scale” projects. These are the wind and solar farms whose power output is sold via long-term power purchase agreements to other utilities, cities and corporations that demand their businesses run on clean energy.” We’ll take solar, please.

But our favorite for the week is the idiotic letter to the Dispatch Editor from the Ohio Christian Coalition in support of renewable energy and “reworking wind-turbine setback limits.” Perhaps we could introduce these Christians to Moses and the Ten Commandments. We are thinking specifically of the 10th Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.” If nothing else, wind developers covet the homes, yards, fields and skies of non-participating landowners, known in their own Agreements as “Good Neighbors”….

Thursday November 3, 2016 5:00 AM

Conservative leadership from Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly has produced a business-friendly, job-creating environment in Ohio. I was encouraged to read the Oct. 24 Dispatch.com article, “Report: State support of clean energy could add jobs, cut consumer costs.” The article outlined the economic benefits that clean energy will provide to the Ohio economy.

A striking statistic included the claim that Ohio stands to add enough clean energy jobs to fill Ohio Stadium by 2030 should the General Assembly do the responsible thing and come to a common-sense, “all-of-the-above” energy solution for Ohio.

Conservatives should always be in favor of creating jobs and cutting costs, and that is exactly what a conservative approach to clean-energy reform can provide for millions of Ohioans.

So what does conservative clean energy reform look like? The Ohio Christian Coalition is joining conservatives from around Ohio to advocate for increasing the use of renewable energy by 5 percent in the next five years and reworking wind-turbine setback limits.

Common-sense, conservative energy reform is a winning issue for conservatives across Ohio.

Tyler Duvelius
State director
Ohio Christian Coalition
Columbus

Big Bad Wolf (BigWind) is trying to blow up Ohio’s economy!

 

“Little pig, little Pig, let me come in.”

“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

In this case, the Big bad wolf of industrial wind is determined to blow Ohio’s economy to pieces with the help of the Kasich Administration. But we “little people,” like the little pig, are building strong arguments to protect our homes and families. 

The pressure is building on the legislature concerning the mandates. We urge you to read the article below that indicate a showdown is coming. Governor Kasich appears more determined than ever to veto any continuance of the mandates or any effort to eliminate them. What would that mean? Ohio currently gets 2% of its electricity from renewables. If the freeze is lifted, Ohio utilities would have to secure 3.5% by the end of 2017 or face fines. This is coming in the face of considerable publicity from Ontario, Canada as to how renewables have increased rates and wrecked their manufacturing economy. Similar stories are reported from Wisconsin.

AEP wrote a notable column in the press about their preference for the PUCO to have – no pun intended – all the power to do whatever they want so that Ohio will have a predictable regulatory environment. They seem to reject the notion that Ohio is a part of a regional power system. Julie Sloat, president and COO of AEP Ohio is quoted as saying “Instead, Ohio needs to take control of its future by ensuring that the state has a diverse mix of power generation resources that protect Ohio jobs and the tax base. Ohio’s energy future needs to provide a more stable and predictable environment for business development and enable more investment in power plants – including wind and solar – within Ohio’s borders, while still allowing for customer choice.” Forget it. AEP’s position appears to be one which invites the people of NW Ohio to be trampled and its migratory flyways transformed into a new kind of ‘highway to heaven’ for birds.

The Ohio Power Siting Board’s comments period on proposed rules for siting industrial turbines closes on Monday, October 24th. The OPSB’s website notes: “In May 2016, the OPSB initiated a new rulemaking docket in case number 16-1109-GE-BRO for the purpose of issuing for formal comment proposed revisions to Ohio Administrative Code 4906-4-08. In an entry dated, September 22, 2016, the OPSB issued proposed rules in amended Ohio Administrative Code 4906-4-08 and newly proposed 4906-4-09. The OPSB requests that interested persons submit comments on the proposed rules by October 24, 2016, and reply comments by November 8, 2016. At the conclusion of the comment-and-reply comment period, the OPSB will issue final rules to be reviewed by the legislature before taking effect. Specific information on the proposed rules can be accessed at http://www.opsb.ohio.gov/opsb/index.cfm/Rules/.

One excerpt from the proposed rules speaks to setbacks as follows:

(2) For wind farms only, the applicant shall provide a map(s) of at least 1:24,000 scale showing the proposed facility, habitable residences, and parcel boundaries of all parcels within a half-mile of the project area. Indicate on the map, for each parcel, whether the parcel is being leased by the applicant for the proposed facility, as of no more than thirty days prior to the submission of the application. Include on the map the setbacks for wind turbine structures in relation to property lines, habitable residential structures, electric transmission lines, gas pipelines, and state and federal highways, consistent with no less than the following minimum requirements:

(a) The distance from a wind turbine base to the property line of the wind farm property shall be at least one and one-tenth times the total height of the turbine structure as measured from its tower’s base (excluding the subsurface foundation) to the tip of a blade at its highest point.

(b) The wind turbine shall be at least one thousand, one hundred, twenty-five feet in horizontal distance from the tip of the turbine’s nearest blade at ninety degrees to the property line of the nearest adjacent property at the time of the certification application.

(c) The distance from a wind turbine base to any electric transmission line, gas pipeline, hazardous liquid pipeline, or state or federal highway shall be at least one and one-tenth times the total height of the turbine structure as measured from its tower’s base (excluding the subsurface foundation) to the tip of a blade at its highest point.

(d) Minimum setbacks from property lines and residences may be waived in the event that all owners of property adjacent to the turbine agree to such waiver.

We understand that the proposed rules also require that setback waivers be in writing, and the developer must notify the property owner of the setback requirements and why the property is subject to the minimum setback requirements. The waiver must apply to subsequent owners or tenants of the property, and must be recorded in the County Recorder’s office.

With respect to noise, the proposed rules adopt the +5 dbA over background standard but do not use the recommended L90 measurement which is the accepted form. It is also silent on low frequency noise. Noted acoustical expert, Rick James along with audiologist Jerry Punch have recently released a peer reviewed paper Wind Turbine Noise and Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence that Wind Turbines Pose Risks. Both James and Punch have testified as expert witness on behalf of UNU in the Buckeye Wind project being developed by EverPower. Rick has asked that we share the link to the paper with you. We encourage everyone to read this paper that specifically rebuts 12 false claims by the wind industry regarding impacts to health. The authors recommend that distances separating turbines and residences generally should be in the area of 1.25 miles. They also caution that setbacks for physical safety do not protect against adverse health effects. This makes the standard for acceptable sound levels critically important because they can provide support to the property line setbacks currently required in the rules. James and Punch favor a standard ranging from 30-40 dBA, which is consistent with the recommendation of nighttime noise levels by the World Health Organization.

Finally, we recommend to your attention an outstanding summary of impacts from industrial wind turbines in Canada. Did you know “Earthworms are absent around turbines. (it is thought to be from the vibration in the ground). Farms need the three types of earthworms to keep the land fertile for crops. No worms, no crops.” Go to http://www.windontario.ca/ for more great, but disturbing information….

How much of Ohio’s electricity is powered by renewable energy?

Five percent? Ten?

According to the most recent annual report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it’s 2 percent.

In other words, 98 percent of the energy powering Ohio’s lights, stoves, air conditioners and so much more is created from nonrenewable sources, like coal and natural gas.

Is that OK? And if not, should state government do anything about it?…

Seitz’s view on clean energy regulations

1. The senator’s view on climate change.

“My view on climate change is that the climate has changed for millions of years and continues to change. I think there may be a contribution from manmade sources.”

2. Seitz: This is about cost.

During a 45-minute interview on the topic, Seitz said, “this is not about renewable energy” and “this is not about coal. … Since everyone is for clean energy and thinks it’s free, we thought it would be a good idea to disclose on their bill just how much we are paying for this stuff … By golly, here we are at the lower reaches of it (3 percent) and we’re going to 12.5 percent on renewables, and we have bill increases of about 9 percent. We’re not trying to protect the utilities here, we are trying to protect the ratepayer … I recently read that wind and solar prices would decline by 59 percent by 2026. So my answer is: We’ll buy it in 2026.” Note: Seitz made clear that he meant an increase of 9 percent on the “generation” portion of people’s utility bills, not the total cost.

2. Renewable energy companies are already getting a tax break.

“Federal taxpayers, which include you, me and everybody I guess but Donald Trump, are paying them a 30 percent subsidy now,” Seitz said, referring to the renewable electricity production tax credit. “Why do you (companies) not only need this generous tax break and require the states to mandate that the utilities buy your overpriced stuff?”

3. Ohio isn’t a good state for solar and wind.

“Natural gas is what we have in Ohio. We are not a particularly good sun or wind state. There are places where that makes a great deal of sense – extremely windy and extremely sunny places.”…

4. Senator asks why create state rules until we know what will happen with the federal Clean Power Plan?

“Under the Clean Power Plan, the federal government mandates to reduce carbon dioxide by 30 some percent by 2030. … Why would we subject Ohio businesses and Ohio residents to escalating costs under the 2008 state mandate until we know how these mandates sync up?”

What did Gov. John Kasich say in Texas?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently sat down with CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit Texas Tribune Evan Smith for The Texas Tribute Festival in Austin, Texas. They spoke about a wide variety of issues facing America, energy and the environment were two of them.

Evan Smith: You, I believe, have said climate change is …

Kasich: I think it’s real. I don’t want to overreact to it, but I think it’s real.

Smith: You know, the mere fact that you say those words, that’s a controversial thing.

Kasich: Look, look. You know, when you get to be in public life, where you get responsibility, put your hands on the wheel and drive the car. What am I supposed to do? Take a poll? Who’s going to like this or that? Now look, when I say I believe there’s climate change, what do you do about it? I’m not for shutting down all this fossil fuel, I think this is extreme.

Smith: You did advocate for a tax on hydraulic fracturing, did you not?

Kasich: Yours (in Texas) is higher than ours, and I’d like to get ours higher so I can cut my income tax, instead of you taking all my liquids out of my state and living high on the hog here in Texas, you know. I like you, but I don’t like that idea. What I’m saying is, I think we need everything. Look, the Tesla is an amazing car. Are we going to get a breakthrough in battery technology? If we do, it will change everything in this country. I believe in solar and wind and all that, but let me tell you, I believe in fossil fuels, as well. With coal – clean it. Dig it, clean it and burn it. Nuclear power, you know … I think there are a lot of people who are extreme, but this environment needs to be managed. I believe this Earth was given to us by the Lord, and we have an obligation to take care of it, but not worship it….

 

Source: Ohio produces less renewable energy than Kentucky. Is that OK?