BigWind requires ‘magical’ math to make sense in our energy grid

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It has been a momentous week in many ways.   Seneca Wind developer, sPower, officially withdrew its application and the OPSB granted the withdrawal on August 15th.  But this is not the first time this ill-fated project has been withdrawn.   In a previous incarnation, Seneca Wind was owned by Exelon who filed a pre-application notice in 2016 and then withdrew in 2017.   Exelon sold to sPower in 2017 and sPower filed a new application at that time.  Many are wondering if history will repeat itself and sPower will sell the project to a different developer like Apex. 

As proposed, the Seneca Wind project was to have a total nameplate capacity of 212 megawatts and consist of up to 77 wind turbines, access roads, electrical collector cables, laydown yards, an operations and maintenance facility, meteorological towers, a substation, and a 138-kilovolt (kV) electric generation transmission line to connect to AEP Ohio Transmission Company Inc.’s existing Melmore Substation.  The OPSB entry granting the withdrawal notes in a footnote that the 138-kV transmission line will be the subject of a separate filing with the Board.   Hmmm.   That looks suspicious to us.

In its entry, the OPSB describes the project as consisting of approximately 56,900 acres of leased land in Seneca County, consisting primarily of existing farmland.   This, to us, is another problem for the future.  In defining the area, one might agree that, on an acre by acre basis,  farmland is the predominant land-use compared to acreage upon which a home sits.  But is it fair to describe a rural-residential area as farmland?  It appears to us that the description used by OPSB without further detail, is misleading and unfair to the community whose opposed the project on the basis of population density.  That would be people – not livestock.

Transmission is a key aspect that communities should not ignore.  The OPSB lists two transmission projects in the pre-application stage: 19-1073-EL-BTX for Emerson Creek in Huron and Erie Counties  as well as 19-1066-EL-BTX for Republic Wind in Seneca County.   The Emerson Creek transmission line will be a 345 kV overhead line that will be approximately 9 miles long.  The Republic Wind line is planned to be an approximately 7-8 mile line located in Seneca County, Ohio and is needed to connect the proposed Republic Wind electric generation project to the electric grid.  It does not appear that public hearings on these projects have been held.

Happily, the Erie County, Groton Township Trustees submitted a Resolution to the OPSB opposing the Apex Emerson Creek project.  They join Oxford Township which is also on record opposing Emerson Creek.  Norwich Township has filed for intervenor status.    Moreover, the Seneca County Commissioners amended their previous Resolution dissolving the Alternative Energy Zone designation and added language that includes: “The Seneca County Commissioners withdraw all previous support of the Seneca Wind, Republic Wind or any proposed wind turbine projects to the maximum extent allowed by law. 

According to reports we have received, Lake Erie’s LeedCo Icebreaker project attorneys have tried to bar testimony from Dr. Jeffrey Gosse who recently retired from a thirty+ year career with US Fish & Wildlife serving as our USFWS Region’s Energy Coordinator.  In his testimony Gosse states “I have substantial professional experience and expertise in conducting avian radar and bat acoustic studies.”   DrJGosse  The testimony makes the point that:

 

“The Current Record and the Pre-Filed Testimony do not present any indication that Icebreaker has identified a specific technology that it proposes to use for pre- or postconstruction radar monitoring for birds and bats, or for post-construction collision detection for birds and bats, much less that Icebreaker has performed any validation testing of any such proposed technologies and presented the testing results to the Board. As a result, there is no basis for the Board to make findings and determinations as to the probable environmental impact of the Project on birds and bats as required by R.C. 4906.1 0(A)(2), or that the Project represents the minimum adverse environmental impact to birds and bats as required by R.C. 4906.1 0(A)(3). “

 

At the same time, we learn the US  Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it is considering Endangered Species Act protections for the lake sturgeon.  This should also support opposition to building wind turbines in Lake Erie. 

 

We also attach today a copy of a lengthy article entitled Inconvenient Energy Realities. It is a “must read” for all wind and solar warriors as well as government officials.   “Regardless of one’s opinion about whether, or why, an energy “transformation” is called for, the physics and economics of energy combined with scale realities make it clear that there is no possibility of anything resembling a radically “new energy economy” in the foreseeable future. Bill Gates has said that when it comes to understanding energy realities “we need to bring math to the problem.Inconvenient Energy Realities

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ohio gets ‘messy’ when ‘clean energy’ (BigWind) plays ‘dirty’

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Thank you to the Toledo Blade, for covering ‘the rest of the story’. It is rumored that BigWind is steaming mad about this article and they are using muscle to get it retracted. Would you please take a moment to send the news site a thank you? Getting the truth out can be very hard….

We are led to believe that the fictional Madge and Gladys types could be sitting at the regionally-famous local café here, discussing Seneca County politics.

They fawn all over two county commissioners who are supporting the wind turbine project that would spread more than 80 towers across the farmland to the east, with a potentially devastating impact on bats, bald eagles, migratory birds, and the rural landscape. The duo chatter on about the wind business bringing “millions in new revenue to our county” and being a boon to schools, roads, and construction jobs.

Then the sludge barrel is opened, and the spin machine is set to turbo. Commissioner Mike Kerschner, a Republican who opposes the current arrangement with wind energy companies, then gets blasted by the pair of apron-wearing, county fair pie-baking mavens. “I guess Kerschner is against good jobs, better schools, and lower taxes,” they conclude in the radio spot. Giggles follow.

This is clean energy playing dirty.

I don’t know Mike Kerschner, but I’ll assume he likes good jobs, better schools, lower taxes, puppies, rainbows, and occasionally helping an elderly woman cross the street. His mortal sin is pulling back the curtain on a big wind project and asking just what the Wizard of Oz is doing back there.

The radio ads, which saturated the air waves in recent weeks, are the product of a Columbus-based entity with the seemingly innocuous name Economic Prosperity Project. Follow the dusty, purposely circuitous trail further, and you’ll find a Florida-based outfit named Strategic Image Management was paid $20,600 to concoct the radio ads. On its website, one Strategic Image Management employee brags about successful efforts “where TEA Party candidates were used to syphon Republican votes in swing districts to help Democrats retain or flip seats.”

Economic Prosperity Project keeps its financiers confidential.

The firm sPower is the Salt Lake City-based entity behind the Seneca Wind project.

Dan Williamson, senior vice president of Paul Werth Associates — a public relations firm for sPower — said sPower in no way funded the radio campaign, adding they want nothing to do with such an attack on Mr. Kerschner.

“While the commissioner has his position, we respect it,” Mr. Williamson said. “He is a fine public servant and not only would we not run an ad like that, we do not support an ad like that, and we denounce it.”

https://players.brightcove.net/1146616445001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5841949793001

The effort is even swampier when you consider the potential damage that 80-some giant turbines could inflict on bald eagles, migratory birds, and bats. Wind energy companies hire their own experts, conduct their own studies and carefully carve out their own conclusions….

“The data that has been gathered is junk,” said Shieldcastle, who throughout his 30-plus years as a wildlife biologist has focused his work on avian research. “This is the same ballgame that is going on with every wind farm project — the data is trash. There is nothing to support their claims of little impact. They are not answering the questions they are supposed to answer, and basically they are getting away with everything they can.”…

He is not a lone voice in the wilderness with his concerns about where wind turbines are placed.

Bats gain little attention since they do their work under the cover of darkness, devouring billions of insects and saving the agricultural industry loads of money in pest control. But experts fear they could be the most frequent victims of long blades slicing through the night air. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation reported that in just two months, the turbines at the Backbone Mountain wind farm chopped up some 2,000 bats…

And then there is the human impact. Some Seneca County farmers signed wind turbine leases years ago when they were sold by John Deere. That paper changed hands a few times before landing in sPower’s portfolio, and the prospect of one farmer’s 650-foot tall wind turbine casting its huge King Kong erector set shadow over a neighbor’s rural estate has created a schism of tension and resentment across the wind project’s 25,000-acre footprint in Scipio, Venice, Reed, Bloom and Eden townships…

“This wind project will change Seneca County to look like Seneca County on mars,” said Jim Feasel, a retired builder who owns an 800-acre farm in the county but turned down significant financial overtures to put wind turbines on his property. “I just couldn’t do that to my neighbors.”…

The group opposing the wind project contends that, along with the destructive impact on birds and other wildlife, the monetary incentives that sPower will receive are too high a price to pay for what the county landowners will lose in quality of life. They quote investment guru Warren Buffett, who said: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

Shieldcastle, the research director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in nearby Oak Harbor, who said his organization has not been contacted by the wind companies to consult on potential bird and bat impact, said the torches and pitchforks are appropriate when citizens raise questions about wind farms.

“I’m glad to see people are standing up for themselves because it is becoming more and more obvious that these companies are trying to bully and intimidate anyone who opposes them or even asks questions,” he said…

 

Toledo Blade

15 reasons to kick BigWind away from Lake Erie

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15 Reasons to Reject Wind Turbines in Lake Erie

 

·         Special financial treatment for the wind industry, along with Ohio’s mandate that renewable energy be included in utility companies energy mix, have artificially propped up LEEDCo. It has received $50 million in taxpayer subsidies.

o   “(We) get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reasons to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit” – Warren Buffett

 

·         Contrary to LEEDCo’s statements, wind energy is high cost electricity because turbines spin only when the wind blows, roughly 35 percent of the time. Sixty-five percent of the time they are non-productive.

o   Hidden costs come from base load back-up fossil fuel systems that must remain on standby to fill the gaps. Base load systems are designed to run continually, not to be taken offline and restarted to fill in for intermittent wind energy making them more expensive to operate, too.

 

·         Environmentally, turbines destroy hundreds of thousands of bats and birds annually, including protected bald eagles and golden eagles. LEEDCo turbines in Lake Erie will violate the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

o   A study of one northern California wind farm found it kills about 60 eagles and 2500 other raptors annually . . . The Tennessee Wildlife Federation reported that in just two months the Backbone Mountain wind farm sliced apart 2,000 bats . . . PacifiCorp Energy’s paid a $2.5 million fine for violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act by killing 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds at its wind farms. . Duke Energy paid a $1 million fine for killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at its Wyoming wind farm, and more.

·         Wind turbines will spoil the pristine natural horizon of Lake Erie. Cape Wind, which planned to build turbines off Massachusetts, was cancelled after 14-years of planning due to broad public opposition, including lawsuits claiming the project would harm property values, tourism and fishing.

 

o   Lake Erie, once called a “dead lake”, is now a thriving fishery, source of drinking water, and home to countless waterfowl especially the comeback of bald Eagles along the shoreline. It is an internationally important migration route. The BSBO, American Bird Conservancy & National Audubon Society believe that by insisting that LEEDCO completes bird & bat studies through the right process and the right science, it will prove that turbines shouldn’t be built in Lake Erie.

 

·         Icebreaker is a serious environmental threat to Lake Erie and the drinking water it supplies. First, the turbines are certain to stir up and release toxins during their construction and thereafter.

 

o   For decades, multiple toxins, including PCBs, dioxin, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic were filtering into Lake Erie and now rest in the lake bottom sediment. Moreover, the Army Corps of Engineers dumped toxic sediment from the Cuyahoga River into Lake Erie for decades. There is an unacceptable risk of stirred up toxic sediments while installing LEEDCo turbines and 12-plus miles of cables. There is also legitimate concern over what else could be stirred up from Cleveland’s heavy industrial past when the lake bottom is disturbed.

 

·         Wind turbines contain 400-plus gallons of industrial lubricants in their gearboxes. Those lubricants need to be changed and gearbox seals fail sending oil into the lake below. Even worse, exploding and burning wind turbines are commonplace. When this occurs, burning turbines will create toxic emissions polluting the lake below.

 

o   Research shows about 120 wind turbines catch fire each year – ten times the number reported by the industry. Fires are a problem for the industry, impacting energy production, economic output and emitting toxins, casting a dark shadow over the industry’s “green” credentials. Wind turbines catch fire because highly flammable materials such as hydraulic oil and plastics are in close proximity to machinery and electrical wires. Winds will quickly fan the fire.

o   To see turbines explode, just go to YouTube and search: “wind turbine fires”

 

·         LEEDCo is set to sell the turbines to Fred. Olsen Renewables (a Norwegian multi-national). Olsen will then sell the electricity from Icebreaker to Cleveland Public Power, Cuyahoga County and others who have prematurely agreed to buy at a rate that’s certain to be much higher than other available sources.

 

o   The cost to construct and maintain an offshore turbine is 3 to 4 times higher than an onshore installation, and Ohio ratepayers will ultimately be stuck with the bills. Icebreaker is projected to cost a total of $126 million to construct, resulting in capacity of 20.7 MWh. For comparison, the “Steel Winds” onshore project near Buffalo cost about 75% less and generates more power capacity. Imagine changing out the lubricants or replacing a gear or blade in high waves or during the winter. They will produce no power until spring at the earliest.

 

 

·         LEEDCo admits Icebreaker is the “demonstrator” project leading to Olsen building as many as 1,400 to 1,600 more turbines in Lake Erie (and likely other Great Lakes) and that will threaten the Ohio’s tourism success and reduce property values.

 

o   A view of 479-foot spinning industrial blades runs contrary to the views many seek for their vacations. A study by North Carolina State University documented over 50 percent of vacationers would not rent a vacation home if wind turbines were in view. The other half would insist on a discounted rate to compensate for the lost view. Moreover, home buyers pay a premium for location and view. But property values have been shown to decrease where views are diminished by wind farms. That triggers a reduction in property tax revenues.

 

·         LEEDCo’s contention that there is widespread approval for Icebreaker is refuted by a Cleveland Plain Dealer study that showed 57.87 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Icebreaker, and many more had no opinion.

 

·         LEEDCo’s inference that some 400 public meetings it says it has held shows approval is simply unsupportable.  Holding a meeting does not confirm approval, and may, in fact, demonstrate the opposite. Evidence is clear the general public has not been made aware of the costs or dangers inherent on Icebreaker.

 

o   For example, LEEDCo’s recent meeting at Cleveland Yacht Club was one where the audience raised many of these questions and LEEDCo’s CEO Lorry Wagner couldn’t answer or rebut major questions.  As a result, the audience came out in clear opposition to Icebreaker/LEEDCO/Fred. Olsen’s project.

·         LEEDCo’s claim that Icebreaker will result in many good jobs is nothing more than fantasy.

o   The US’s first offshore project of five expensive turbines at off Block Island created a few hundred temporary construction jobs and only about six permanent ones – these at a cost of $290 million! In addition, Block Island cost about $150,000 per powered household, a monumental waste and a factual argument against offshore wind value.

 

.   Decommissioning and Disposal issues are additional threats to Lake Erie waters.

 

o   The useful life of a turbine is less than 20 years. They must then be decommissioned and removed. In California, for example, there are thousands of industrial wind turbines that have been abandoned and are falling apart. LEEDCo has no plan to address such an issue. Moreover, if the “demonstrator” project fails to exhibit its effectiveness as a reliable supplier of electricity (as is widely predicted), LEEDCo will be long gone leaving no plans to remove them. Indeed, many of the wind farms built in Europe 20 years ago will lose their government subsidies in 2020 and there are no funds or provisions to remove dead turbines.

 

.   There will be a need for “No Boating” security zones to protect the wind farms just like existing security zones around power plants and similar infrastucture. But these new bans on boating and fishing access will encompass dramatically larger wind farm areas, potentially eliminating hundreds of square miles for recreational boating and fishing.

 

o   In addition, Icebreaker’s power cables will be on the floor of the lake, crossing Cleveland’s main shipping channel. If more turbines are eventually built in the lake, freighters dropping their anchors may run the risk of striking the cable areas in the same way dragging anchors are known to hit underwater oil pipelines elsewhere.

.    A recommendation by the OPSB staff to eliminate overnight operations from March 1 to Jan. 1 unless it can prove to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the OPSB that Icebreaker’s the six turbines don’t kill migrating birds and bats is ludicrous.

o   The recommended 2-year radar study of migrating birds must be mandatory, not optional, and results required to be made public at least annually. While the accuracy of such a radar study is questionable given the size of small birds, etc., this and other science-based studies should be required. Up until now, extremely poor studies are being conducted, and the conclusions they reach are not based on sound science. For example, they’ve concluded there were no birds. But they were looking at a time when birds were not moving!

Conclusion:

The Ohio Power Siting Board’s mission is defined as supporting: “sound energy policies that provide for the installation of energy capacity and transmission infrastructure for the benefit of the Ohio citizens, promoting the state’s economic interests, and protecting the environment and land use.”

Going green is fine, but not appropriate in every circumstance or in every locale. In certain places, harnessing the wind just carries an unacceptable environmental risk and unjustifiable price tag. In the case of Icebreaker, the OPSB, ODNR and OEPA must meet their charge to protect the environment and Ohio’s most treasured natural resource, Lake Erie.

Rick Graham

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

 

(Big)Wind NOT a boon for ALL Van Wert county, Ohio, residents

Wind not a boon for all Van Wert County residents

This letter is in response to Jason Dagger’s guest perspective concerning a PILOT for Logan County. Van Wert County went through this just a few years ago and we know the local Van Wert Chamber of Commerce director, Susan Munroe(currently employed by ALLEN COUNTY), is active in promoting wind energy for both Iberdrola and Apex. We are unsure how promoting wind energy around the country is a part of her job in supporting the local prosperity of our community. Yes, the construction of an industrial wind site brought temporary jobs for the months it was under construction, When construction was finished only a few positions were established for the maintenance of these turbines. The Blue Creek project manager has not even bought a home in our community nor has he moved his family here although there are plenty of residences for sale under the windmills. We were also told when we built the new schools that the industries would be impressed and decide to locate here. It hasn’t happened. We even have a mega-site that is ready for occupancy and no one seems to be interested in that either.

What we have had instead are landowners who were leased from at different rates. Decommissioning bonds set at, I believe, $5,000 per turbine in Van Wert County vs. $75,000 in Paulding County. Farmers whose crop yields will never be the same again because of the destruction of massive cranes traveling across farm drainage. Roads will never be close to original condi- tion. Many homeowners suffer from headaches, nausea, sleep deprivation etc. The Blue Creek wind project refused to hand over post-construction reports on bird and bat kill even though an area exterminator has to clean under the windmills before the coyotes do. Expect massive bird kill as Ohio is on many migratory routes. The bald eagle is starting to be re-established in this area and what a shame it will be if this protected bird is destroyed by wind energy.

Two of the county schools have reaped benefits and are almost giddy at what wind energy has provided them. They seem to forget where the money originated. You and me. Now some of the poorer districts around the state want their share. What is to stop Columbus from taking from the rich districts to give to the poor? Sounds like Robin Hood.

Now there is “buyer remorse” by those who leased their valuable farms. They are promised where the meteorological towers and turbines will be placed, but it is never where they say because the landowner has given his property right over to the wind developer. He can’t even park his wagons on the drive back to the tur- bine to fill them during harvest even though he owns the land. There is something about a no interference clause. You can’t even build on your own property without permission nor plant trees.

Wind energy is like a very attractive woman, but anybody who has a relationship with her ends up with extremely serious social issues.

http://www.examiner.org/images/WebEdition/041916_BEweb.pdf

 

Feds must LIKE mosquitos and crop pests…

The hypocrisy is astounding. Other producers are fined $millions for taking endangered species, but BigWind is given a pass, EVERY time. And, the phrase “kill more than 60 endangered bats during the next 25 years” is laughable. We know these blades THROW birds/bats well beyond the radius that BigWind uses for their statistics. It is just a matter of time before Midwest crops are adversely affected by the massive bat kills and our use of pesticides is dramatically increased. How do Sierra Club members sleep at night? 

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering an industrial wind farm’s application to kill more than 60 endangered bats during the next 25 years.

Little Electricity, Many Kills

At the price of killing dozens of endangered bats, the proposed wind farm is not expected to produce much electricity. Operating at peak capacity during ideal wind conditions, the wind farm will produce about 5 to 10 percent as much power as a conventional coal or natural gas power plant. The wind farm is expected to operate at peak capacity less than a quarter of the time. Backup coal and natural gas power plants will have to continue operating even while the wind is blowing, in order to quickly ramp up and down to compensate for minute-by-minute and second-by-second wind variance. The ramping up and down of coal and natural gas backup power plants will reduce their efficiency and cause them to emit more pollution per megawatt of electricity generated than would be the case without the wind farm.

The wind farm seeks a permit to kill endangered Indiana bats and Virginia big-eared bats. Both species are endangered and experiencing rapid declines in numbers.”

via Feds Consider West Virginia Wind Farm Permit to Kill Endangered Bats | Heartlander Magazine.