Ohio BigWind news is spinning fast

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Events are spinning fast in the world of wind.  In just one short week, much occurred in Ohio…

Seneca/Sandusky County

Apex requested the OPSB hearings on Seneca and Sandusky County’s Republic Wind be postponed while they “amend” their project.   Speculation as to the reason behind the delay and the amendment include uncertainty over the outcome of hearings on HB 114 and whether property line setbacks will be reduced.  Apex had anticipated the bill would be passed last spring, but setback changes remain unresolved.  That being the case, it is believed Apex does not have the necessary Good Neighbor Agreements to move forward with their original plan.  There is also talk of Apex moving the location of some turbines out of hostile townships to more welcoming townships. In the event the legislature gives township voters the right of referendum, would taking turbines out of the hostile townships ease Apex’s entry into Seneca County? 

We understand further that two of the Seneca County Commissioners sought legal representation concerning the Republic Wind Project including the existing Alternative Energy Zone designation.  Township trustees also sought legal counsel for the purpose of intervening in the case before the Ohio Power Siting Board.   The County Prosecutor’s Office believed they would be unable to simultaneously represent the opposing interests of the County and the Townships and so the County hired its own lawyer.  They hired Michael Settineri of the Vorys law firm who represents almost all of the wind developers in the state. WOW! 

Apparently, Commissioner Mike Kerschner, who has been sympathetic to people of Seneca County never had a chance to object or participate in discussion about this move.  Something is definitely rotten Seneca County.  Radio ads are also being broadcast in NW Ohio against Kerschner by the ‘Economic Prosperity Project’.  Readers may recall last March when this group sent out a mailer urging that “Republican legislators need to STAND UP to Bill Seitz” because “He is using his influence to prevent $4.2 billion from being invested in Ohio wind energy.”   The address associated with the Economic Prosperity Project was registered to Innovation Ohio, a liberal think tank run by former Speaker Budish’s Democrat chief of staff, Keary McCarthy, and former top Strickland administration policy chief Jeannetta King. The “Economic Prosperity Project” is a new corporation registered to a former Strickland administration operative, too.

While these political shenanigans are playing out in Seneca County, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray is making the rounds in support of wind.   Cordray visited One Energy in Findlay where he expressed his support for wind. Next week he will be joined on the campaign trail by former President Obama.   It is noted also that Cordray appears to be currying favor with farmers who oppose stricter controls on manure disposal in order to clean up Lake Erie.

Huron County

In Huron County, the Greenwich Windpark project has been sold to a company called Swift Current Energy.  A group of mostly Ivy League investment bankers looking to make a bunch of money.  A series of articles below tracks a bit of history surrounding Swift Current.  Readers may recall last year General Motors announced that it would purchase wind from two projects. One project was Northwest Ohio Wind in Paulding County and the other was HillTopper in Logan County, Illinois.   The HillTopper project was a controversial project in Illinois where the original developer agreed to make payments to nonparticipating landowners on an annual basis and to establish a property value insurance program that would be managed through the Logan County tax assessor’s office to compensate homeowners should they experience a loss in the value of their property after the wind farm becomes operational.  

The project never moved forward until recently when Swift Current purchased it and since late 2016 worked to redevelop the HillTopper project, including adding new project participants; redesigning and re-permitting the project; contracting the energy on a long-term basis; and raising financing for the construction and operations of the project. Enel Green Power is managing construction for the project and will be the long-term owner and operator of the wind farm.  The HillTopper project has not been without some local controversy.  We wonder if Swift Current will also seek to sell Greenwich energy output to GM.   It is interesting to see that they were not deterred in buying a troubled Illinois project and getting it up and running by re-engineering the whole project.

In Ohio’s 13th Senate District, Rep. Manning is seeking to swap his seat in the House with his mother who is term limited in the Senate.  This appears distasteful on its face.  Neither Rep. Manning nor his mother, Senator Manning, have seemed interested in or sympathetic to the wind setback concerns of their constituents in Huron and Lorain Counties.   We were interested to read about Rep. Manning’s opponent in the Senate race, Sharon Sweda.   Ms. Sweda has served as president of the Lorain County Association of Realtors, chairman of the board for the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors and district vice president for the Ohio Association of Realtors.  How would she respond to a question about the property value of a home where a neighboring 600’ wind turbine’s nuisance effects trespassed onto the homeowner’s property while also sitting within the strike zone for flying blade fragments?  Someone should ask her on the record! She has nothing to lose by siding with the folks in the Greenwich Windpark footprint.

Lake Erie – Icebreaker

LeedCo and their Enviro buddies are making waves in Lake Erie over the Icebreaker project.  Over the objections of many wildlife advocates who protested the placement of wind turbines in the middle of one of the world’s most important migratory flyways, the OPSB staff recommended approval of the project with conditions.  In response, the backers of the Lake Erie wind farm and environmental and trade groups have agreed to proposed stipulations for the project in an Agreement.  In addition to Icebreaker, parties signing onto the prospective plan include the Ohio Environmental Council, the Sierra Club, the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters and the Business Network for Offshore Wind.  Now, in an effort to get the OPSB to back off the recommended stipulations, LEEDCo. Vice President of Operations David Karpinski says the stipulations  “make the project un-financeable and therefore are fatal conditions.” 

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Litigation

We hope the OPSB stands its ground and we also hope that they are aware of what is happening in other states with respect to the protection of migratory birds.   The battle over the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has expanded again, with eight states including New York and California filing a new lawsuit challenging the Interior Department’s scaled-back interpretation of the law’s reach.  In the suit filed this week, the states’ attorneys general assert Interior’s action endangers birds and “harms the states’ sovereign, ecological, and economic interests in robust federal protections of migratory birds from industrial and other human activities,” among other problems. Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland and Oregon also joined in the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The lawsuit, as part of an effort to demonstrate that the states have the requisite legal standing, further asserts that “scientific, recreational, and birdwatching opportunities and aesthetic benefits … directly or indirectly generate economic activity and tax revenue for the states.”  

 Maybe Ohio’s Attorney General, Mike DeWine, who is seeking to become our next Governor ought to join the other 8 states in protecting Ohio’s greatest natural resource.  How about it?  No doubt the AG’s staff are currently advising OPSB on how to address the pushback on the recommended stipulations which Icebreaker finds objectionable.  We think this is a BIG DEAL….

**and finally, if you are new to our site and haven’t heard, please read through our past few blogs. On August 26th, a Van Wert, Ohio turbine blade exploded. A 10 foot piece was launched at least 800 feet away….legislative decisions could impact YOU someday!**

 

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(Life sucks) In the Shadow of Wind Farms

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This is a very comprehensive study, investigating individuals from all over the USA, regarding the negative effects of living in the shadow of BigWind…

A six-month GateHouse Media investigation found that wind developers representing some of the world’s biggest energy companies divide communities and disrupt the lives of residents forced to live in the shadow of their industrial wind farms.

Reporters interviewed more than 70 families living near three dozen current or proposed wind farms. They also spoke to 10 state and local lawmakers, read hundreds of pages of public-service-commission records about wind projects, reviewed court filings in seven wind-related lawsuits and inspected lease agreements from at least eight wind farms.

GateHouse Media also identified through public documents and media reports an additional 400 families living near industrial wind turbines that have publicly complained about shadow flicker, noise, health problems and/or misleading statements by wind companies in an effort to solicit land agreements.

The investigation found that companies convince landowners to sign away their property rights for generations based on the promise of potential profits and the minimization of potential problems associated with wind turbines.

Those problems include shadow flicker, loud noises and low-frequency vibrations that have driven dozens of families from their homes. Many of them claim to have suffered serious health issues from the turbines before departing. Some say they’ll never be the same.

The wind industry has known about these issues for years – many of its contracts contain clauses acknowledging these effects – but it denies turbines affect human health, even as complaints mount nationwide.

Landowners often overlook potential problems until it’s too late. Many who sign contracts can’t terminate the agreements, even if they later beg for relief from what they deem intolerable living conditions. Some covenants bar people from suing or even publicly criticizing the projects.

Those who don’t sign agreements can face the same impact of living near wind turbines erected on neighboring properties. But they receive no compensation for the shadow flicker, noises and vibrations…

Wind developers have settled more than a half-dozen such cases nationwide, even while admitting no wrongdoing. Among the companies to settle is Michigan-based Consumers Energy, which owns Lake Winds Energy Park. The Shineldeckers were among several neighbors who sued the company…

Proposed wind projects also have fractured rural communities across America, pitting neighbor against neighbor in fights over property rights and money.

Many worry about the impact these turbines will have on their homes – some families interviewed have moved out of their houses after wind farms started operating; others have stayed but suffer from shadow flicker, noises and vibrations.

Elected officials tasked with voting on these developments have, in many cases, signed their own contracts with the wind companies, raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Cary and Karen Shineldecker in their Mason County, Michigan, home. | Lucille Sherman | GateHouse Media

Among the investigation’s findings:

• Despite a growing chorus of complaints, the wind industry has expanded largely unopposed. Ten years ago, less than 300 industrial wind farms dotted the U.S. landscape. Today, more than 1,000 exist. Much of the growth has been funded by American taxpayers. Billions of dollars in state and federal incentives have made wind farms so profitable that companies are racing to develop them before the handouts disappear.

• Industrial wind turbines generate countless complaints nationwide about sleep disturbances, migraines, nausea, ear pressure, blurred vision, tinnitus and heart palpitations. Rampant reports about such effects from the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin, prompted the local Board of Health to declare the turbines a human health hazard.

• Wind industry officials have denounced people who complain about these symptoms, calling them misinformed or “anti-wind.” Some wind companies offer money or other concessions to frequent complainers, often in exchange for silence and a waiver for turbine-related claims. “I call it a shut-up clause,” said Jim Miller of South Dakota, who refused to sign such an agreement with Florida-based NextEra.

• Wind developers have used what some landowners describe as misleading tactics to get their contracts signed. Attorneys asked to review several such contracts called them one-sided, giving wind companies sweeping control over people’s property with few rights for the landowner.

• Wind farms have divided communities across America. Contracted landowners eyeing profits spar with neighbors opposing turbines near their backyards. Lifelong friendships can end. Families sometimes fray. Hopkinton, New York, resident Janice Pease said she stopped talking to relatives who support a proposed wind farm in their town. Pease adamantly opposes it.

Turbines from the Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County, Wisconsin, churn in the late afternoon sun. | Arturo Fernandez | GateHouse Media

WIND INDUSTRY DENIES CLAIMS

GateHouse Media reached out to seven wind energy companies, including some of the nation’s largest, and two nonprofit groups that support the wind industry. Those representatives denied almost all of the investigation’s findings.

Every wind industry official interviewed said that relatively few people complain about wind turbines compared to the thousands of Americans living peacefully among the structures.

“We have 1,300 turbines in operation across the United States,” said Duke Energy spokeswoman Tammie McGee. Except for one wind farm in Wisconsin, “we don’t see these types of complaints at our other turbines.”

Many of the people who do complain, several representatives said, are well-known among industry insiders and comprise a small but vocal group of anti-wind activists…

When asked about the studies that do establish a link, those same wind officials disputed the validity of those papers and the credentials of the researchers…

People might be annoyed by wind turbines, several wind representatives said. But they’re not getting sick from them…

Rather than divide communities, they said their projects improve the lives of all residents. Some towns hold festivals commemorating their wind farms. Enyo Renewable Energy Principal Christine Mikell mentioned the Wind Fest in Spanish Fork, Utah, which hosts a nine-turbine wind farm.

“We have hundreds of landowners who are pleased to have us come to their communities,” said Bryan Garner of Florida-based NextEnergy Resources, the biggest wind energy producer in America with more than 100 wind farms…

 

Communities can also benefit financially from wind farms. The construction of these multi-million-dollar projects employs hundreds of temporary workers and adds new, taxable revenue to local and state coffers…

FORCED TO MOVE

As the wind industry continues to expand, so do its critics.

Hundreds of residents nationwide have claimed industrial wind turbines make them sick. Several families say the structures have forced them from their homes…

“People don’t give up their homes for no reason,” Ed Hobart said, responding to claims the symptoms were all in his head. “It had financial and emotional and health impacts on me and my wife that we will never be fully recovered from.”…

When the sun passes behind those blades, it creates a strobe-like phenomenon called shadow flicker that can disorient and nauseate those forced to live with it….

But even as complaints mount across the nation, the wind industry steadfastly denies turbines impact human health.

“We are aware of some of the cases where individuals come to believe that wind turbines are the cause of their health concerns, and we feel great sympathy for anyone who is suffering from illness of any kind,” said Dahvi Wilson of Apex Clean Energy, which owns several wind farms nationwide.

But, Wilson said, science doesn’t support their claims. And until it does, the company will continue to build wind farms based on current best practices.

The wind industry frequently cites a 2014 Health Canada study that found no direct association between health problems and wind turbines. The study involved more than 1,200 residents in 18 wind farms.

But the same study also found wind turbines “highly annoy” about one in 10 people, especially those living closest to the structures and those exposed to turbine noises exceeding 35 decibels.

That annoyance is “statistically related” to reports of migraines, tinnitus, dizziness and high blood pressure….

Researchers using low-frequency meters have found a link between wind turbines and “sensations of uneasiness and personal disturbance,” as well as “extreme pressure” and “headache or nausea or dizziness.”

One of the first to do this was Neil Kelley, a now-retired scientist from the National Wind Technology Center in Denver. The U.S. Department of Energy and NASA hired Kelley three decades ago to investigatecomplaints about their wind turbine near Boone, North Carolina.

Kelley and his colleagues determined after extensive testing that “the annoyance was real and not imagined,” the result of acoustic impulses.

Kelley did not return calls for comment.

LIKE MOTION SICKNESS

These acoustic impulses – or low-frequency sound waves – stimulate parts of the inner ear responsible for balance, motion and spatial orientation and that they provoke symptoms similar to motion sickness, some researchers say.

“If you’re sitting still and something is causing the same fluids to move, your brain doesn’t know that it’s a false signal,” said Rick James, an acoustical engineer who has written papers on the subject. “But you open your eyes and say, ‘I’m sitting still, but I feel like I’m moving.’”

The Minnesota Department of Health noted the phenomenon in 2009 paper. It found low-frequency waves cause more problems inside a house than outside because, rather than block the pulsations, the walls amplify them.

Darlene Mueller wept as she described how turbines in the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, sickened her inside her home…

 

DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD

But some wind farm residents who spoke out about their problems said the industry belittles them. It dismisses their complaints as unfounded or labels them troublemakers, multiple people said.

It has silenced many of their neighbors whom they said suffer the same symptoms but fear the consequences of speaking out…

After Cary Shineldecker went public about his experience in Michigan’s Lake Winds Energy Park, an energy company executive singled him out at a meeting several states away.

Mike Blazer of Chicago-based Invenergy claimed to know Shineldecker’s medical history. He told a crowd in Clear Lake, South Dakota, that Shineldecker’s health woes stemmed from alcohol use, obstructive sleep apnea and an irregular heartbeat – not wind turbines…

Shineldecker said he was stunned to learn about the incident from an attorney who attended the meeting. He said he has neither sleep apnea nor alcohol problems and never received a diagnosis for those problems.

“All I ever had to go on was my integrity and honesty and work ethic,” Shineldecker said, “and then to be belittled and treated like some whack-job psycho liar is kind of unbelievable.”

Iowa wind farm resident Terry McGovern said he faced disparagement by Apex Clean Energy.

The Virginia-based company accused McGovern of holding “a personal anti-wind agenda” and claimed he would spread misinformation and generate unfounded fear of wind energy ahead of a public presentation he gave.

Apex made the claims in a July 2017 letter it sent to landowners discouraging them from attending the presentation, held near the site of its proposed Upland Prairie Wind farm in northwest Iowa.

McGovern denies holding an anti-wind agenda but is publicly critical of the industry and its business practices. His Iowa Wind Action Group calls for greater setbacks for industrial turbines to protect human health.

“Instead of focusing on the issues, they try to discredit the person,” McGovern said. “That way, they can avoid talking about the facts.”..

 

 

via In the Shadow of Wind Farms

Time to cut through the BigWind bull in Ohio…

Reading below, you would ‘think’ that the Mercer county engineer did something odd, by notifying county residents that BigWind was, again, prowling in the area. The reality? Apex, which apparently now wants to be called, ACE, SCHEDULED A MEETING WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, MID MONTH…ACE has, since this, CANCELLED their meeting.  Their failure to build in S Van Wert county has NOTHING to do with setbacks- that’s a political ponzi scheme- instead, ACE can’t get to a substation because educated land owners refuse to give them the rights. They are having to ‘renew’ leases because this reality has stalled their plans….plans to desecrate the landscape, plans to destroy bird/bat habitat, plans to harm the health of some neighbors.  There is no doubt that ACE WANTS to acquire more land- ALL of the BigWind companies do!….
Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart claims Apex Clean Energy has been attempting to secure land rights from property owners in northern Mercer County for wind turbines, without notifying the public or local governments.
Company representatives, though, told the newspaper they’re not actively seeking any new properties in northern Mercer County at this time.
“Because your livelihood and the well-being of your land is important, I would like you to be aware of this proposed large scale industrial wind turbine project that Apex Clean Energy is attempting to develop and how you, as landowners, can help protect your land,” Wiechart wrote in a news released he issued on Friday afternoon.
Local officials, Wiechart said, have limited to no authority when it comes to regulating “large landscape-altering projects.”
“Instead, this authority currently resides with the Ohio Power Siting Board,” Wiechart wrote. “The only real and tangible method to preclude a landscape altering development across a multiple township area is for the company (Apex Clean Energy) to be unable to acquire land rights in a geographic foot print to site.”
Weichart requested that all landowners approached by ACE, or any other wind development company, educate themselves about the “significant rights” they are granting before signing any contracts…
“We’re renewing leases, but we’re not really aggressively pursuing anything,” Moser said. “Right now nothing’s happening because of the setbacks at the state level, so there’s not going to be anything happening in Van Wert or Mercer County until the legislation figures things out at the state level.”…
“Currently Apex has invested over $19 million in Ohio, so it’s hard to keep investing when you can’t build,” Moser said. “We don’t really want to put a lot more money out there until we know what’s going to happen with (the legislation), so we’re just kind of on hold. I think there’s just people trying to stir the pot in Mercer County, to be honest.”…
Steve Caminati, senior manager of strategic engagement at ACE, also said the company was not looking to acquire any new properties in northern Mercer County at this time. He wondered aloud if there might be confusion concerning old land leases, but did not elaborate further, saying he needs to look into the matter.
“With the current state setback requirements, this project is pretty much on hold,” Caminati said.

Source: Official claims wind company seeking land for turbines | The Daily Standard Stories

BigWind’s ‘OILY’ secret spills out

Unfortunately, many people are MIS informed about the cleanliness of renewable energy.  Industrial wind turbines are anything BUT clean and green.  In reality, each turbine has thousands of moving parts that must be lubricated with hundreds of gallons of oil.  This oil, much like in your car, must be ‘changed’ every so often, but how? By building a crane, on site, that can reach to the top of the mighty high nacelle.  This crane compacts soil and costs a lot of $ to transport to the site. Industrial wind turbines are manufactured from machines that USE oil, they are transported to the jobsite by vehicles that USE oil, and they then USE oil to lubricate their parts. Additionally, they utilize hundreds of pounds of rare earth elements, fiberglass, etc….all items that generate toxic, dangerous conditions for individuals.  The only ‘green’ that these machines generate are in the form of tax credits for the international companies that own them.  If you reside in NW Ohio, please feel free to inform Senator Cliff Hite of these truths, as he is an avid supporter of BigWind. The wind turbines in NW Ohio should begin to show similar problems as they age…

Wind turbines were planted along a strip of Mexico’s southern coast to make the country’s power industry cleaner. Now they’re spilling oil.

 In the town of Juchitan last month, a clean-up was under way around a generator owned by Electricite de France. Workers wearing goggles and masks were scrubbing off a copper-colored lubricant that dripped down from the turbine. They’d wrapped cloth around its base, to absorb further leakage, and stuffed contaminated soil and stones into plastic trash-bags.

Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places….

He said oil from Acciona’s turbines never reached the ground, and the company is working on a fix: a sheath for the gearbox which will prevent the lubricant from running down the mast or onto the blades.

Gamesa Corp Tecnologica, which made the EDF turbines used at the Juchitan wind park, said oil leaks occur with “relative frequency” and operators are equipped with “spill kits” to deal with them. Most leaks are contained, though “small amounts habitually” spill from the turbines, the company said in an emailed response to questions….

Source: Wind-power pollution: turbine oil seeps into the land in Mexico

pic source: http://www.romania-insider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/oil-barrel.jpg

Senator Cliff Hite, why does BigWind always trump my property rights?

Ohio Senator, Cliff Hite, is proposing to reduce the BigWind setback, which is currently 1,125 feet from a property line. BigWind argues 2 points: the setback is too large and it should be from a residence, not a property line.  We have an important question to ask Senator Hite and the industry, “Why should YOUR rights supersede those of Ohio citizens?”  It seems to us, this is is bass akwards.  Additionally, a couple of arguments are easily made: #1 We have viewed hundreds of ordinances (all across the globe) and Ohio’s setback is NOT restrictive- there are plenty that are greater and in many cases, setbacks increase after an area has allowed BigWind to build there.  #2 Ohio law always establishes setbacks from the property line.  Let’s be consistent.   BigWind is getting significantly LARGER/TALLER/FASTER.  Each tower holds the equivalent of 3 buses on a stick that can spin well over 100 mph.  Shouldn’t Ohio residents be protected? Has our legislature forgotten that 1 of the turbines in N Van Wert blew apart its blades, very early after being turned on? Milo Schaffner reported that pieces flew approximately 1000 feet away from the tower.  Our setback does NOT account for the continued vertical rise of these industrial machines.  Our setback does NOT provide extra protections for a non-participating property owner (as below). Why does Senator Hite value the rights of BigWind OVER Ohio constituents?

A group of about 18 people attended the last Clay County Supervisor’s meeting, where they sought answers regarding planned wind turbines in Clay County….

 

An audience member in the back shouted out that 1,200 feet from a residence is the requirement in current Clay County ordinance….

“You can read through the county zoning ordinances that are talking about setbacks and some things like that and other issues that deal with those. You probably need to have your hands on those things,” Matthews said….

 

“Why should we suffer, and deal with the noise, and the lights? … I’ve put everything into my acreage, and now I don’t have the serenity of my acreage. My closest neighbor is a mile away, and for all of a sudden these windmills, 1,250 feet from my house, would be the most destructive thing imaginable. … I’m just sick to my stomach about it. I’m hoping that you guys can do something, if you can’t stop them, lets work on the setbacks away from our acreage. Let’s go study how close we can hear these things. If it’s three-quarters of a mile away and you can hear them, that’s too close to shove it next to a person like me. … The amount of people here is small because we’re a mile away from each other, but we gotta sit here and think about the setbacks and how close we shove them to people like me that are enjoying Clay County, our beautiful area, (because) to throw these in (will) ruin these acreages and in my mind end my life,” Lux said.

Janice Swanson, of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights, also made an appearance to the supervisor board to share information regarding current national changes in setbacks regarding wind turbines and raised concern over any rights infringement that wind turbines might cause for Clay County’s rural property owners….

Source: Community News: Citizens meet Supervisors over turbine concerns (4/18/17) | Storm Lake Pilot Tribune

Apparently, BigWind can afford to ‘buy votes’, but not pay taxes

 

In Ohio, BigWind such as Avangrid (formerly Iberdrola in Van Wert), Apex and Everpower INSIST on a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) deal -or else- they refuse to build.  This occurred in Logan county, when the PILOT was refused by the county commissioners…Everpower, said ‘see ya’.  Hmmm, the story below makes you question whether or not that is actually true. Why? Apparently, BigWind CAN afford to bribe residents.  If you can afford to not only bribe residents, but also INcrease your so-called-donations to communities/projects, then can’t you afford taxes? We don’t know about you, but we would LOVE to DONATE money to various causes and NOT PAY TAXES, too…..

Opponents of the Stiles Brook Wind Project say the developer’s attempt to sweeten the deal for towns ahead of Election Day amounts to buying votes.

This week, Spanish renewable energy producer Iberdrola sweetened the pot for residents of Windam and Grafton by increasing payouts to the two towns and allotting Windham residents a personal annual payment of $1,162 per voter….

“Setting aside a large pot of money that is promised to registered voters, only if the vote on November 8th goes Iberdrola’s way, seems to me to fit the definition of a bribe,” Nancy Tips, a spokesperson for the opposition group Friends of Windham, said in a statement….

Though Iberdrola also reduced the proposed wind farm from 28 turbines to 24, it would still be the largest wind turbine project in Vermont. Iberdola said the reduction was a response to community feedback and showed the company’s respect of residents’ voices.

In the new compensation proposal for Windham, Iberdrola would hand over annual payments of $150,000 for local volunteer programs, charities, or scholarships. The company would also pay $395,000 in property taxes — a figure over half the town’s budget. A supplemental payment of $105,000 would go to the town, and $350,000 would be allocated to registered voters.

No breakdown of Grafton’s compensation is yet available, but it too is increasing, from $285,000 annually to $500,000….

Both groups have approached the Attorney General’s office to investigate whether Iberdrola’s proposal is legal.

Anna Vesely, co-director of Grafton Woodlands Group, says Iberdrola’s corporate tactics to pressure voters are “outrageous.”…

“Not only does this scheme reek of unethical payoffs, undue influence on the upcoming vote, and general big corporation deceit, but let’s not forget the irreversible environmental impact and devastation to 5,000 acres of pristine Vermont ridgeline forest,” said Windham property owner Dan Carluccio.

“In the end it’s the people of Windham, Grafton and other nearby towns who will suffer, regardless of the money factors. In essence, we are the losers. The real winners will be Iberdrola, Meadowsend Timberlands and whichever big city gets the power generated by this senseless project. Surely it will not benefit the people living in the shadow of the 500-foot wind turbines.”

Source: Opponents of proposed wind farm say developer deal is vote buying – Watchdog.org

WOW, AWEA can’t do basic math

In Ohio, BigWind is/has building/proposing projects that consume, on average 16,000 acres each. Now, if we look at Blue Creek, alone, there are 152 turbines. 16,000 divided by 152 is 105 acres/turbine.  Obviously, each turbine does not take up 105 acres, but when you include setbacks, homes, roadways, communities, etc. AWEA is blatantly WRONG.  You canNOT extrapolate acreage based on the actual, physical consumption of land by the industrial wind turbine.  According to Ohio’s average land consumption of 16,000 acres, our math shows that the AWEA assumption needs to be revised to be multiplied by 141!! In this case, the mass of Rhode Island x 141 = 169,200 square miles…LARGER THAN THE SIZE OF CALIFORNIA.  And, does this actually power America? NO, because we need MORE coal and MORE gas to ‘backup’ the intermittency of the turbines….

…The Supreme Court put a hold on enforcement of the plan in February to allow legal challenges to it to be resolved in court. If the Court of Appeals rules that the government can legally enforcement the plan, the country will have to start using a lot more renewable energy (like wind and solar) — and much less coal — by the year 2030.

Part of the plan calls for the creation of incentives to encourage states to build wind farms. Though the US invested $14.5 billion in wind-power project installations last year, wind farms still provide less than 5% of the nation’s energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

But what would a US powered only by wind actually look like?

To answer that question, AWEA’s manager of industry data analysis, John Hensley, did the following math: 4.082 billion megawatt-hours (the average annual US electricity consumption) divided by 7,008 megawatt-hours of annual wind energy production per wind turbine equals approximately 583,000 onshore turbines.

In terms of land use, those 583,000 turbines would take up about the total land mass of Rhode Island, Hensley says, because wind projects typically require 0.74 acres of land per megawatt produced….

Source: Here’s how much of the US would need to be covered in wind turbines to power the nation