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

Advertisements

Why should YOU care that BigWind kills bats?

All of us should care about bats, because our food depends on their consumption of pests. BigWind slaughters large numbers of bats. How many? It is hard to tell b/c BigWind has a reputation for ‘clearing’ the area of carcasses before the counters arrive. In NW Ohio, Iberdrola has sued to BLOCK them from releasing their kill data. Many people know the honeybees are in trouble, but few understand the importance of the bat. Share the info below with a farmer…

A secret war is waged above farmland every night.

Just after dusk, high-stakes aerial combat is fought in the darkness atop the crop canopy. Nature’s air force arrives in waves over crop fields, sometimes flying in from 30 miles away. Bat colonies blanket the air with echo location clicks and dive toward insect prey at up to 60 mph. In games of hide-and-seek between bats and crop pests, the bats always win, and the victories are worth billions of dollars to U.S. agriculture.

Bats are a precious, but unheralded friend of farmers, providing consistent crop protection. Take away the colonies of pest killers and insect control costs would explode across farmland. And just how much do bats save agriculture in pesticide use? Globally, the tally may reach a numbing $53 billion per year, according to estimates from the University of Pretoria, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), University of Tennessee, and Boston University.

A 2006 study proposed bats saved cotton growers $74 per acre in pesticide treatments across eight Texas counties…

Maines built a canopy system to prevent bats from accessing particular sections of corn at night…He kept the vigil over two years, sliding the big curtain at the given dusk hour from May to late September to cut off bat access to earworm moths. The results? Maines was astonished.

He found a 50% reduction in earworm presence in control areas and a similar reduction in damage to corn ears. Not only did bats suppress earworm larvae and direct damage to corn, they also hindered the presence of fungal species and toxic compounds. “Globally, we estimate bats save corn farmers over $1 billion annually in earworm control,” Maines says. “It’s an incredible amount when we’re only considering one pest and one crop. Bats are truly a vital economic species.”

Would producers see greater crop protection with more bat habitat? In general, researchers don’t know how many bats fly over a single acre of farmland at night….

Paul Cryan, a USGS research biologist at the Fort Collins Science Center, says of up to 45 bat species in the U.S., 41 to 42 eat nothing but insects. “Our U.S. bats are small — 10 to 20 grams. They have voracious appetites and eat half or all their body weight each night. Pest control value to agriculture is certainly in the billions of dollars per year.”…

Cryan coauthored a seminal 2011 paper, Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture, suggesting the loss of bats would cost U.S. agriculture at least $3.7 billion per year. “We’re typically scared of the dark, but bats shouldn’t be a part of that association. They’re such a beneficial and important part of the environment and farmland protection.”

Source: Bats Save Billions In Pest Control | Agweb.com

Are farmers (and others) ‘pawns’ in a BigWind game of chess?

 

Farmers beware. Michigan counties are in the midst of a huge battle against BigWind because (now) informed people are complaining of noise, property devaluation, etc. and there is absolutely NOTHING the elected officials can do about it. WE are all pawns in a BigWind game. If you play chess, you know the pawns are helpless, sacrificial lambs…

BAD AXE — Huron County is paying the price locally for national policy on wind power and fracking, according to a county commissioner.

“We’re pawns in a very big game,” John Nugent told the Board of Commissioners this week…

And anyone who signs a contract allowing wind turbines on their property should read the contract, he said.

“If you do sign a lease, make sure to read it over really careful, and have an attorney go over it,” he said.

“One person was complaining to me about the wind turbine contract and I said, ‘You should have read it. You’re the one who signed it. You agreed to it. You didn’t read it?’” Bodis said.

“(They) said it was seven pages. All the more reason to read it,” he said.

Commissioner Sami Khoury said that people were signing leases based on word of mouth, and not reading them nor taking them to an attorney.

“(Wind developers) take advantage of the trusting nature of people — especially people in Huron County — who really are good-hearted people,” Nugent said. “They take advantage of that trust factor and do not pay them a fair amount.”

Nugent said each turbine brings in $300,000 to $400,000 annually in revenue.

“And the landowner gets ($10,000)?” Nugent said.

“It’s disproportionate,” he said. “And then we fight to get the tax money from (the developers). It’s criminal what we’re dealing with. It’s not criminal in the real sense, but it’s damn irritating,” Nugent said.

Bodis pointed out that landowners have signed contracts, and now want the COUNTY to resolve their problems.

“They signed the contracts,” Bodis said. “And now that there’s issues. It’s coming before this board to resolve issues because they signed a contract.”

Source: Commissioner says we’re pawns in wind game

BigWind bat slaughter continues= BEWARE farmers

We have several important wildlife issues to bring to your attention. This is A LOT to digest but please stick with us and please send comments on two pending federal proposals noted below.

New science is proving that proposed wind industry strategies to avoid or minimize bat kills are not sufficient to protect the survival of the species. Whether you are concerned about the prospect of additional costs to farmers in pesticides or the threat of the Zika virus, it is crazy not to be very concerned about the loss of bats through the proliferation of industrial wind. As the Scientific American article below reports, wind turbines have now surpassed white-nose syndrome as the leading cause of bat mortality. Union Neighbors United continues to await a decision in the US Court of Appeals in its case which alleges EverPower’s Habitat Conservation Plan is not sufficient to protect endangered or threatened bat populations in Champaign County.

With respect to development of wind in and along the shores of Lake Erie, we urge you to read the interview with Kim Kaufman of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. In 2013, the BSBO sought bird mortality data from the Iberdrola Blue Creek Wind Farm since it was located in a relatively remote, flat area where one would not expect significant bird mortality. As Kaufman relays in the interview: “The company refuses to turn over the data, citing trade secrets. In a closed-door meeting, the company did provide a list of birds killed over a two-year period, but refused to allow us to see the study methodology. The raw data was shocking. Even in this barren landscape, where we would have expected bird morality to be low, the turbines are still killing an alarming number of birds. Forty-one species were killed at the facility in 2012 and 2013. A disturbing percentage were migrating birds such as Golden-winged Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, and Golden-crowned Kinglet.”

The end of the comment period for the Midwest Habitat Conservation Plan is coming up on July 14th. “When finalized, the Multi-Species HCP will authorize incidental take that results from wind energy development activities within the covered lands throughout the 45-year term of the plan. Approximately 18,000 megawatts of existing wind facilities and 33,000 megawatts of new wind development are proposed to be covered under the plan. Measures to avoid and minimize incidental take include siting facilities away from important or high-use wildlife areas and adjusting turbine operations, in addition to several other avoidance and minimization measures.” The Indiana Bat and the Northern Long Eared Bat are two species of concern that are present in Ohio.

One of the strategies to prevent bat kills is for the wind operator to adjust the cut-in speed so that turbines will not start to spin until the wind is blowing at a speed where the bats are unlikely to be flying. The cut-in speeds proposed by Buckeye Wind and approved by USFWS fall between 5.0 m/s (11.2 mph) and 6.0 m/s (13.4 mph). However Research by scientists conducted at Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana, shows (1) that a cut-in speed of at least 6.5 m/s (14.5 mph) is potentially the most effective cut-in speed for reducing take of Indiana bats and (2) that a 6.5 m/s (14.5 mph) cut-in speed is significantly more effective at reducing bat fatalities than a 5.0 m/s (11.2 mph) cut-in speed. Please file a comment demanding that all initial Habitat Conservation Plans must start at a 6.5 m/s (14.5 mph) cut-in speed during migratory periods. Based on monitoring results, wind operators can appeal for cut-in speeds to be lowered but they must earn that right. It does little good to start out with an inadequate cut-in speed resulting in high bat mortality and then increase the speed after the fact. These are protected species and they have a right to be accorded the maximum protection. Wind developers do not want to provide these protections because they may decrease revenue in areas (like Ohio) where wind resources are marginal to begin with. Don’t let them get away with it!

The draft habitat conservation plan and draft environmental impact statement are available for review at http://www.midwestwindenergyhcpeis.org. Public comments will be accepted through July 14, 2016. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2015-0033. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before submitting your comment.
By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Regional Director, Attn: Rick Amidon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437–1458.

In your comment, please specify whether your comment addresses the draft multi-species HCP, the draft EIS, or both….

Industry plan to reduce deadly effects of blades may not be enough, some scientists say…

Much of this slaughter—the greatest threat to animals that are a vital link in our ecosystem—was supposed to end last year. In 2015, with great fanfare, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade group, announced voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives. Conservationists praised the move.
But some scientists say this promise falls short. The industry plan claims to reduce bat deaths by 30 percent, but holding the blades in check just a little longer could reduce deaths by up to 90 percent or more, a decade of research indicates, and would do so with little additional energy loss. A research review published in January of this year found that wind turbines are, by far, the largest cause of mass bat mortality around the world….
Bats eat insects, saving farmers billions of dollars in pest control each year, but they generally do not get much attention. No one was even looking for bats under turbines until 2003, according to wildlife biologist Ed Arnett, currently a senior scientist at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. But on routine checks for dead hawks and eagles under West Virginia turbines that summer, surveyors found an estimated 2,000 dead bats. The discovery prompted creation of the Bat and Wind Energy Cooperative – a consortium of federal agencies, the wind energy association and Bat Conservation International. The consortium hired Arnett in 2004 to conduct the first major studies of why turbines kill bats and to find solutions.
In what is now considered a classic study at the Casselman Wind Project in Somerset County, Pa., in 2008 and 2009 Arnett “feathered” the blades in the evening hours of bats’ critical fall migration period. Feathering involves turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate. Arnett feathered blades at wind speeds of five to 6.5 meters per second, slightly above the cut-in speed – the speed at which the turbines connect with the power grid—now typical in the industry, which is 3.5 to four meters per second. Delaying the cut-in speed reduced bat deaths by 44 to 93 percent, depending on the night studied and conditions. And delaying turbine starts until slightly higher wind speeds during this two-month migration period, Arnett estimated, would only reduce annual wind energy production, by less than 1 percent. A flurry of research by other scientists followed, showing feathered blades and higher cut-in speed saved more bat lives than other proposed solutions.
Paul Cryan, a bat biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and a co-author of the January bat mortality review, praised the industry’s voluntary guidelines as an important first step. But like Cris Hein, he worries about the ongoing impact of turbines on bat populations. “Bats are long-lived and very slow reproducers,” he says. “Their populations rely on very high adult survival rates. That means their populations recover from big losses very slowly.” He questions whether bats can handle such damage year after year.
Defending the wind turbine policy, John Anderson, AWEA’s senior director of Permitting Policy and Environmental Affairs, says the guidelines were just a first move, not necessarily the last. “The initial step was to find that sweet spot between reducing our impact while maintaining energy production levels that make a project economic,” he says.
To date, however, the industry has resisted feathering at speeds higher than what the guidelines recommend….

Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), part of the bat consortium, is weighing in on the debate, and it appears to be following the conservation research. In a draft Habitat Conservation Plan covering eight Midwestern states the FWS proposes raising turbine cut-in speeds to five or 6.5 meters per second to protect three bat species listed (or being considered for listing) under the Endangered Species Act. One such species is the Indiana bat. To date, few other bat species are officially listed as endangered, including those most frequently killed by turbines. And the FWS can only require action by a wind facility if it has proof that the facility killed an endangered Indiana bat, a difficult task without close monitoring….

Source: Bat Killings by Wind Energy Turbines Continue

NW Ohio BigWind ‘slices-n-dices’ our bats (&hides data). Farmers beware!!

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.18.16 PM

Unfortunately, these statistics are not surprising. There is no such thing as ‘responsible’ wind energy. Wind energy is not clean, not green, not safe for humans/birds/bats/wildlife and not a reliable source of power. What impact will this information have on the area farmers? Those effects may not be seen for years, but you can bet that the pesticide usage WILL increase, as our natural bug-eaters are slaughtered. What impact will that have for us? Certainly not anything good…

June, 2016: UPDATE
Iberdrola File Court Injunction to Prevent Ohio Department of Natural Resources From Turning Bird and Bat Kill Data

After months of requesting and receiving extensions on the initial April 1 deadline, Iberdrola has filed an official court injunction to prevent Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife from turning over the Blue Creek Wind Facilities Post-construction bird and bat kill data.
Read the official complaint HERE. (go to site for that link, please)

Damning Evidence of the Number of Bats Being Killed at Blue Creek Hidden in the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan…

Within the 587 page document, were tables listing the number of bat fatalities at wind facilities. Take a look at these. We know that Blue Creek killed an Indiana Bat, as that is part of the public record. So, by powers of deduction, we know that the facilities listed as “Template 1” and “Template 20” (highlighted in yellow) represent Blue Creek. Compare the number of bats killed there to all the others listed. The numbers are staggering. …

March, 2016: UPDATE

BSBO’s battle for the post-construction mortality data from the Blue Creek facility has now entered its third year. While the company refuses to submit data to us (citing “trade secrets”), in a 2014 meeting with IR executives, they informed us that the facility killed 40 species of birds in 2012, and 41 species in 2013. We have no idea how many total birds were killed, nor do we know the search methodology.

While U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sided with IR on our Freedom of Information Act request, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has continued to press IR to allow them to release the data to us. On March 18, 2016, ODNR attorneys sent a letter to IR informing the company that they had just two weeks to file an injunction, or ODNR would release the data to us.
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. …

Ohio, we have some work to do.

BigWind uses ‘Pixie Dust’ to advertise ‘wind technician jobs’ for America

 

Please click on the bottom link to read her entire analysis. It is enlightening…

The American Wind Energy Association (‘AWEA’) claims big wind had a spectacular 2015, but we looked past the slick advertising and found the same boastful AWEA rhetoric, this time with extra pixie dust applied….

The industry touted 15,000 jobs added in 2015 bringing the total to 88,000, including 1,800 new manufacturing positions.[1]

Impressed? Don’t be.

For one, AWEA continues to be the primary source of wind-related employment statistics so it’s impossible to validate the claims. Second, the figure represents modeled, not actual jobs, and typical for AWEA, it bundles all types of jobs into the one number including direct, indirect and induced. The induced wind job belongs to the guy who landed part-time work serving coffee at the local diner to transient wind workers at a nearby construction site.

These figures are more abstract and inherently unreliable but a convenient way to inflate job numbers. If Navigant’s 2011 wind study is any indication, induced jobs likely represent up to 26% of AWEA’s 2015 job number.

The table below shows how AWEA’s total and manufacturing job numbers have expanded and contracted since 2007.

Year Jobs: Total Jobs: Mfr MW Installed
2015 88,000 21,000 8,598
2014 73,000 19,200 4,854
2013 50,500 17,400 1,084
2012 80,700 25,500 13,131
2011 75,000 30,000 6,810
2010 75,000 20,000 5,212
2009 85,000 18,500 9,997
2008 85,000 20,000 8,363
2007 50,000 10,000 5,258
**Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and AWEA annual wind market reports

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has started tracking some wind-related jobs which helps add context. For example, AWEA pitched that wind turbine service technicians now represent the fastest growing occupation in the U.S. BLS data concurs, but also states (and AWEA ignores) that “few people are employed as wind turbine service technicians, and even with the fast projected growth rate (108%), the occupation is only projected to add 4,800 new jobs” by 2024. Wind service technicians numbered 4,400 in 2014. “In contrast,” BLS adds, “maintenance and repair workers, general, is projected to increase 6.1 percent but add 83,500 new jobs.”

When stacked against employment in the electric power generation sector, wind represents just 2% of all jobs with fossil and nuclear dominating at 91%. On a per megawatt basis, wind offers just 0.05 full-time positions.[2]

Finally, if AWEA publicly released its breakdown of direct and indirect jobs, we’re likely to find the 15,000 new positions did not translate into net job creation for 2015….

Demand for electricity in the US has declined 5 out of the last 8 years and, overall, has dropped 4.4% since 2008. If economic market signals mean anything, no one should be building new generation except to replace retiring capacity units. Since wind is an energy, not a capacity resource, it’s not the right fit for replacing retirements, no matter what AWEA hopes the public will believe.

But for big wind, the economics don’t matter. Thanks to federal subsidies, RPS mandates and long-term power purchase agreements, developers are paid to construct turbines regardless of power market signals. In this scenario, the only economic concern is whether there’s a buyer for a project’s power long-term. As long as the 30% federal investment tax credit is an option, finding the best wind resource with adequate transmission capacity isn’t even that important….

Source: WindAction | Correcting AWEA’s 2015 Spin

(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