What is Iberdrola and ODNR HIDING?

Iberdrola and Van Wert tout the Blue Creek Wind Farm as the best thing since sliced bread. If it truly is, then why do they continue to hide data? The numbers reported below by Black Swamp are tragic. Many of the kills are migratory birds which confirm the fears that the turbines are, in fact, tall enough to interfere with the migratory flyways. This is a must read. We think any self-respecting community would refuse to heap “enormous” local taxpayer subsidy on such projects. And, with respect to bird kills, we do not think Van Wert is an exception. These results will likely be replicated in every other area where industrial wind is built. And, remember, you may not ‘care’ about birds, but you SHOULD care about bats. They are absolutely vital to our farmers, as they consume pests. Less bats = more pesticides = more expensive and dangerous foods….

Here in Ohio, some environmental organizations are promoting the Blue Creek Wind Farm–Ohio’s largest–as an amazing success story. They are putting a great deal of resources into their promotion of this wind farm, with slick videos, social media campaigns, etc. But here’s something very important to consider.

Environmental organizations are promoting Ohio’s largest wind farm with absolutely no idea what the operation’s post-construction bird / bat mortality studies show. Why, you might ask. Because the company refuses to release the data. BSBO been fighting them for this data through the legal system for nearly two years, and they have refused to turn over the data citing “trade secrets.” …

On January 7th, members of the BSBO staff met with representatives from Iberdrola and the Ohio Division of Wildlife to discuss the data they’ve refused to release. ODNR and BSBO attorneys attended the meeting, as well. The company continues to refuse to release the data; however, they were willing to share limited information from the post-construction mortality studies. Even with a limited view, the results were shocking.

In this wide-open, barren landscape, where we would have speculated birds would be safe. Quite frankly, we were shocked at the results.

2012
40 species were killed at the facility
In 2012, Horned Lark and Killdeer were the top two birds killed at the facility…
Of the species presented to us from the studies, we estimate 30% of mortality represented migratory birds. Meaning, these turbines are high enough to be in the active flight path of birds migrating over the open areas in western Ohio.

2013
41 species were killed in 2013
In 2013, Horned Lark, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Killdeer were the most frequent birds killed at the facility
And in 2013, at least 35% were migratory species.

Summary
Among the birds killed by the project were Golden-winged, Black-throated Blue, and Black-and-white Warblers, Philadelphia Vireo, Sora, and Semipalmated Sandpiper
Lapland Longspur and American Tree Sparrow were also included on the mortality list, and this is without any winter surveys conducted, the time when these species would be in flocks and most vulnerable.
When we asked about bat mortality, the response from Iberdrola was “Bats were more prevalent than birds.”

We concluded the meeting with Iberdrola continuing to refuse to release all data and study methodology…Our Freedom of Information Act request for complete data will stand until we’ve assessed the merit of the redacted data. We have not yet received the data…

via:  www.bsbo.org/responsible-wind-energy.html

 

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What are bats worth to our farmers? More than BigWind!

As Halloween approaches, we have scary news for Ohio farmers who want to lease acreage to BigWind. Bats are already under assault d/t the white nose fungus, but turbines are a close 2nd. Estimates range between 600,000-1 million bats are killed every year by wind turbines. What will industrial turbines do, in the long run, to your family legacy? How much money do you want to spend on insecticides? Do you think it is responsible for you to accelerate the use of pesticides? You should think twice before signing a new lease when you consider how detrimental industrial wind turbines are to the bat populations. A new study published by the National Science Foundation finds that bats contribute over a billion dollars in value to corn farmers in preventing crop damage.  Boston University previously reported the economic value of bats as $72 per crop acre in avoided pesticide costs. Union Neighbors United (Ohio) is continuing its challenge to the USFWS rules for threatened and endangered bats….

In the grassy cornfields of Southern Illinois bats are on the hunt for insects, and according to new research, farmers have more than a billion reasons to be grateful for it. 

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today confirms that bats play a significant role in combating corn crop pests, saving more than $1 billion a year in crop damages around the world. Bat Conservation International funded the two-year experiment in cornfields near Horseshoe Lake in Southern Illinois, conducted by graduate student Josiah J. Maine and his adviser at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Justin Boyles….

“The main pest in my system was the corn earworm, a moth whose larvae cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage to corn, cotton, tomatoes, and many other crops,” Maine said….

Keeping the bats out meant pests, such as the corn earworm, were largely free to reign havoc on the corn crops….To ensure only bats were excluded by the exclosures Maine moved the structures twice daily so birds could forage normally.

After analyzing the results, Maine said he found nearly 60 percent more earworm larvae inside the exclosures – protected from the hungry bats – than in the unprotected control areas. He also found more than 50 percent more corn kernel damage per ear in the corn inside the exclosures.

“By consuming crop pests, bats have tremendous ecological impacts in crop fields. Based on the difference in crop damage I observed, I estimated that bats provide a service to corn farmers worth about $1 billion globally” Maine said.

In addition to controlling pest populations, bats were also found to suppress pest-associated fungal growth found in corn— a money-saving agricultural service not reflected in Maine’s suggested estimate.

“This was sort of a serendipitous discovery of this research,” Maine said. “I found that [bats] seemed to be suppressing the population of crop pests and thereby suppressing the abundance of the toxic fungus and also the toxins produced by that fungus.”….

Source: Bats Worth More Than $1 Billion to Corn Industry | Agweb.com

Will BigWind destroy Ohio’s agriculture?

As BigWind attempts to sprawl across Ohio, what impact will it have, long term on these communities? See our next blog for one scary outcome….Greenwich Wind has filed a request for a rehearing with the OPSB. The matter of setbacks and compliance with Ohio law remains an issue along with the OPSB’s failure to establish rules implementing Ohio law.

In another county, Blackfork Wind’s new owner appeared before the Richland County Commissioners to talk about their plan to build in 2017 and sell into the PJM system where numerous states are subject to renewable mandates. Blackfork has been purchased by a company out of CANADA. The local community is continuing to oppose the project…

 ….The group that opposes the wind farm is planning to appeal the board’s latest decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
In addition, the group may file yet another request with the board to seek a rehearing.
Those decisions appear to mean that construction of the project cannot begin anytime soon.
The Greenwich Windpark LLC project, planned for just north of Huron County’s southern border, calls for putting up 25 wind turbines that would be about 490 feet high….

Kevin Ledet, the chairman of Greenwich Neighbors United, the group fighting the wind farm, said Friday that his group has instructed Columbus attorney Samuel C. Randazzo to proceed with an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. The appeal must be filed within 60 days of the Ohio Power Siting Board’s latest decision.
Ledet said he and other landowners near the proposed wind farm did not realize the scope of the project at first.
“This is zoned agriculture,” he said. “If you really want to be honest, this is an industrial power plant being superimposed on an agricultural community.”…


Greenwich wind farm opponents plan to appeal. By Tom Jackson at the Sandusky Register 9/12/15

Source: All Updates

Bats need to get OUT of Ohio before BigWind slices/dices them

The US District Court in Washington, D.C. has ruled in EverPower’s favor on their plan to ‘protect’  endangered species Indiana bats.   The Court found that the US Fish and Wildlife Service was justified in issuing an incidental take permit and that the permit was consistent with the requirements of the law.   Why is this an important case?   Union Neighbors United and the Conservation Law Center at Indiana University were concerned that EverPower will not take the ‘maximum’ protective steps to prevent fatalities prior to proposing mitigating steps like buying land in Preble County for bat habitat.  This interpretation could set a national precedent that threatens all endangered species if applicants for kill permits are not required to take the maximum preventive steps required by the law.   The attorneys at the Conservation Law Center are studying the decision and will recommend next steps.   In the meantime, EverPower spokesman Michael Speerschneider was quoted as saying, ““We still do think the project has a lot of support in the community and we think it will bring a lot of benefits,” Speerschneider said. “We are still working to make it a reality.”    

We think the news coverage was a bit sloppy.   Reports state the Indiana bat does not live in Champaign County but only passes through.   This is not correct especially in view of the documentation of three maternal roost colonies in the project area that were a part of Invenergy’s records but which EverPower destroyed when they acquired Invenergy’s assets.   Bats do live in area but they do not live here year-round.  Irregardless, they play a very important role in Ohio’s agriculture business. The approved preventive plan is complicated and requires running different turbines at different speeds during migration periods.  The fact that EverPower will be monitoring its own compliance remains troublesome as well.  EverPower may be EverPowerful, over bats at least, afterall

A U.S. District Court judge ruled a federal agency was within its rights when it issued a take permit to a proposed Champaign County wind farm that critics said could harm an endangered bat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an incidental take permit to the Buckeye Wind Project in 2013, allowing the wind farm to kill a limited number of bats over the life of the project under specific conditions. But Union Neighbors United, a group of area residents, filed a complaint arguing the federal agency did not follow strict enough standards in granting the permit, among other arguments….

 

Take permit ruling favors Buckeye Wind Project | Urbana, OH News | www.daytondailynews.com.

What does an electric Co-op (and engineer) think of BigWind?

We have shared the opinion of some Ohio co-op’s opinions in the past with you. Here is another from a state with tremendous BigWind presence and it is authorized by a professional engineer.  Additionally, many of the links on our website show you countries and states battling rising electricity rates, that are attributable to BigWind. Note, below, that the mission of an electric co-op is long-term, low-cost reliable electric service. Isn’t that what all of us ‘should’ desire for our homes, businesses, hospitals and manufacturing? Please share with skeptical friends….

THE ROLE OF WIND ENERGY IN AGRICULTURE A COOPERATIVE’S POINT OF VIEW…

UNDERSTANDING ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES

  • We are not-for-profit entities
  • Electric rates are based on cost of service, not on a return on investment
  • Member consumers are the cooperative’s owners
  • Consumers elect a governing board of directors from their members
  • The mission is long-term low-cost reliable service...
  1. WIND ENERGY IS NEGATIVE LOAD TO A UTILITY
    • Intermittent capability to generate energy
    • Does not provide Capacity or base load energy
    • Compares favorably with intermediate and peaking variable costs
    • Increases system volatility and costs…
  1. PROPOSED NET METERING
    • Net metering is a concept where a customer can use the utility system as a “bank” or “battery” to store and withdraw energy (at no cost to the customer)
    • Often described as a system where the meter can run backwards when customer generates more energy than needed
    • The problem is that the product taken out costs the utility much more than the benefit of the product put in
    • Net metering is not currently available in Kansas but is currently being discussed
    • Coops opposition to net metering is an issue of fairness

o Why should the utility be forced to pay retail cost (transmission,generation capacity and energy) to receive only wholesale energy? o Why should some customers be advantaged at the cost of other customers on the system?

    • Would probably not advantage a commercial customer with a

      demand/energy rate structure

    • Could benefit cost recovery for residential customer-generators

      FINAL COMMENTS

…pursuing a 25×25 renewable energy goal (similar to Ohio’s legislation that mandates renewable energy)

However, intermittent renewable energy does not, and cannot, cure the shortage of economical base-load generation