Ohio should revise BigWind law to pay for home DEvaluation, like New York just did!

Mathew McConaughey said it best, “alright, alright, alright”!  Look at the setbacks, along with the protections to a village and property owners. Apex, however, is cringing at these changes and they do NOT want to see them repeat here, in Ohio. We can dream, though…

The Somerset Town Board approved a local law Wednesday amending the zoning code regarding commercial and industrial wind energy conversion systems, like the one being proposed in Apex’s Lighthouse Wind project.

Under the revised law, no commercial or industrial wind conversion system can be placed within 1,500 feet of any residential district boundary line or the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

Setback requirements now mandate that any wind turbines constructed in the town would have to be at least twice their height in distance from any property line or building. That excludes adjacent property lines of project participants. The law also requires any turbines be set back 1,500 feet or two times the turbine’s height from any public road or highway, and 2,000 feet from any residence or other commercial or industrial turbines. Turbines may not be within a half-mile of the boundary of the village of Barker.

The law has an amendment which requires a turbine’s owner to reimburse residents within two miles of each turbine if they see their property values decline as a result of proximity to the turbine…

Source: Somerset amends wind energy zoning law  | Local News | lockportjournal.com

Wind turbine partially falls down in Thumb; no injuries

All the while, the turbines are getting MUCH taller, in excess of 600 feet are proposed for a Great Lake area, and these companies want to SHORTEN our Ohio setbacks…all so they can grab more taxpayer $ handouts. This picture explains why greater setbacks are absolutely essential to protect people!! The wind gusts were ONLY 45 mph. If a blad shears, pieces will fly hundreds, if not thousands of feet away….

A nearly 400-foot wind turbine has partially collapsed in a field in the Thumb.

The turbine, part of Exelon Wind Generation’s 32-turbine Harvest Wind Farm, fell about 5:20 a.m. Thursday, Oliver Township Supervisor Larry Krohn told the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe.

…The National Weather Service reported wind gusts up to 45 mph in the area.

Source: Wind turbine partially falls down in Thumb; no injuries

How Big will the turbines be, planted next to you, in Ohio? Bigger than you think…

 

No sooner had we written about the prospects for the Clean Power Plan, Justice Scalia died and now there is much speculation about his successor and whether the U.S. Senate will hold hearings on any nomination that might be made by President Obama. We cannot speculate on what will happen but thought you should know the constitutionality of the Clean Power Plan hangs in the balance. In some states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, the Governor has ordered that no further work on the CPP be undertaken while in Kansas and Missouri, the legislatures are working to halt activity. Ohio waits to hear what happens next.

In advance of a major Wind Operations and Maintenance conference coming up in Texas, a report has been issued reviewing issues that are arising as the fleet of wind turbines deployed across America age. The numbers are sobering and should give any community thinking about approving a wind facility second thought. Principal findings include:

• Bearing failure/ repair & maintenance focus set to double by 2017

• Original Equipment Manufacturers could lose 15% share of the O&M market by 2020

• Condition Monitoring Systems & Analytics investment to increase 1/3 by 2017

• Optimization of power generation, not cost cutting the real driver of investment (63/37%)

This means among other things, the noise from turbines is going to get a lot louder as the turbines age and are in need of gearbox repair. Also, repowering existing turbines with longer blades will increase. Moreover, those turbines that cannot be viably repowered will be decommissioned (or left to rust in the fields). Finding Q13 “What is the single biggest focus for you over the next 12 months?” was decommissioning.

What does “optimization of power generation” mean? It means taller turbines and longer blades and it should mean longer setbacks. We think the giants are coming to Ohio. The FAA reviews all potential structures that exceed 200 feet in height for possible air traffic obstruction. Recently, they have reviewed a wind development planned for Bellevue for turbines listed at 660 feet! Bellevue straddles Erie, Huron and Sandusky Counties. We include an article about this sort of monster below with a link to the monster movie showing its construction.

Going back to the Operations and Maintenance issues, our colleague, Tom Stacy, advises us to think about them in the context of annually increasing renewable energy mandates. Tom says, “Consider the implications of annually ratcheting energy market share mandates with a total schedule term longer than the lifespans of wind turbines. The deployment rate must increase markedly in later years of the program when new turbines are required to meet both replacement of old machines as well to meet annual benchmarks. And all this to produce randomly timed energy without firm capacity – dictating redundant infrastructure that includes necessarily underutilized conventional power plant assets. “

With respect to the setbacks defined in law, the notion of having the minimum be defined as a formula like 3xtower height plus blade length would be more desirable than a fixed number like 1,250 feet from a property line. In the case of the 660’ turbines, the minimum would then be 1,980’. That is a significant difference.

If you haven’t read the blog from, yesterday, please see that Kevon Martis, Director of Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, has teamed up with Senator Seitz to challenge those who would seek to override the property line setback law through HB 190. They coined the phrase “trespass zoning” and have written a terrific opinion piece for the Ohio media. They conclude by saying: “Good neighbors don’t trespass. If Big Wind wants to be a good neighbor in rural Ohio, it needs to abandon its demand for trespass zoning.” The Lima News has printed the article and we hope the papers in Van Wert, Bellefontaine, Urbana and Springfield follow suit. We believe it was distributed to all of them.

Notwithstanding all of the above, on February 18th, Trishe Wind filed an Amendment to the next phase of the Blue Creek project in Paulding County proposing larger turbines and seeking to be considered under old rules that measure setbacks from homes even though Amendments to previously approved projects are supposed to be subject to the revised setbacks.  Looks like that ole “optimization of power generation”! Attention! Trespass Zoning coming to Paulding County…again!

  Enercon E126 – The Most Powerful Wind Turbine in the World

 

 

This video shows why Ohio needs significant turbine setbacks!

It is absolutely ludicrous that BigWind should be allowed to bully our legislators into shrinking our turbine setbacks (House Bill 483), as Apex/Everpower/Iberdrola are rumored to be doing. The setback is, currently, only 1250 feet from a property line. Watch this turbine fall, and you would wish that length to be significantly FARTHER! Turbines are only getting taller and blades only getting longer, yet the setbacks remain the same. Add some wind to this fire and catastropic damage could ensue to structures and property, fields and woods nearby…

https://www.facebook.com/AgricultureTechnologies/videos/1305115356180828/

 

Source: (1) Renewables Versus Fossil Fuels Facts and Myths

Is Blade Erosion the next Achilles heel for BigWind?

Although Gearbox failure is the most expensive/catastrophic problem with industrial wind turbines, it sounds like blade problems are gathering momentum. Perhaps, this is why blades are constantly ‘down’ when we drive through the Van Wert, Ohio area? Let us remind you that BigWind is lobbying the Ohio legislators to REduce our turbines setbacks from the current 1,250 feet from a property line. Pay attention to the rotation speeds mentioned below…250 mph!! Anything, no matter how small, flying off of a blade that rotates this fast, will easily travel well beyond 1,250 feet.  This, along with the noise and vibration considerations, is why HUNDREDS of counties, states, and countries, around the world, have setbacks GREATER than ours in Ohio…

Studies have consistently shown that erosion can lead to a loss in annual energy production (AEP) of up to 20% on severe cases. This figure is hard to ignore, and highlights the ROI benefits that can be achieved from paying close attention to erosion. The heart of the issue is the fact that wind blades come into contact with various elements in the air at rotation speeds up to 250 mph, leading to erosion in the form of pitting, gouging and delamination of the edge of the blade. This erosion not only compromises the integrity of the blade, but also impacts its aerodynamic efficiency, causing a significant loss in AEP. This loss can be compounded by the downtime necessary to make repairs to turbines, so owners have important motivations for protecting blades against erosion and making repairs quickly. In severe cases of erosion can even lead up to blade replacement which can get very expensive….Source: Effective Ways to Prevent Wind Blade Erosion

BigWind leaseholders in Michigan have regrets

How many of you think that all residents living INside industrial wind sites are happy? You need to listen to this Youtube video from residents & leaseholders in Michigan. Will this happen to our neighbors in Ohio? Remember, BigWind is now lobbying, in Ohio, to reduce our 1,250 foot setback and give the decision-making rights to our county commissioners….

Two Michigan residents share their experiences living inside utility scale wind plants. One is a long time supporter of wind energy and another is a man who has leased his ground to wind developers. Both now have profound regret….

https://youtu.be/ps6tJMSXKic

 

 

Ohio BigWind doesn’t have ‘their ducks in a row’

The Dayton and Springfield papers report on HB 190 to give County Commissioners the opportunity to reduce the setbacks currently provided in the law. UNU notes that only the opportunity to reduce – not lengthen – setbacks is proposed. If current setbacks are the MINIMUM, we can only conclude that to reduce them would put families in harm’s way. We encourage everyone to watch the video shot earlier this month when a wind turbine failed in Germany and a 176 lb “fragment” was thrown 1, 670 feet. This short video gives an excellent overview of the debris field. We are reminded of the blade failure in 2012 at the Timber Road II wind farm in Paulding County. Blade Throw

A Windlab representative and the attorney for Greenwich Neighbors United appeared at a recent Township Trustee meeting to address the fact that 62% of the turbines in the Greenwich Wind project do not meet minimum setbacks and waivers have not been secured. The OPSB has approved the project despite Windlab’s failure to obtain setback waivers. GNU will appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. So, is Ohio ‘out of step’ with the rest of the country/world with our current setbacks?

In Boone County, Illinois an ordinance was passed that all wind turbines must be placed at a minimum of 2640 feet from a PROPERTY LINE. Waivers are allowed, which can reduce the turbine setback down to 1,500 feet from a residence ONLY if the host or neighbor agrees to the wind energy company’s waiver. 1,500 feet from a residence is the minimum distance allowed. The waivers would be negotiated with individual neighbors and land owners. Setbacks from roads or easement are now set at twice the turbine height. “Mainstream Renewables was attempting to develop a wind farm in Boone County, but tonight’s vote by well-informed county board members effectively rejected the wind industry’s claims that industrial wind turbines were merely “annoying” and not necessarily “harmful” at distances less than 0.5 miles from property lines. Mainstream Renewable’s attorney, James Griffin, tried to make claims that the setback waiver would be “unconstitutional,” but the Boone County State’s attorney did not support his argument.”   Boone County setback

In Falmouth, MA where the wind turbines have been a source of ongoing headaches for local government and residents, it now comes to light that the City government was advised by Vestas that the noise ratings of the turbines would be substantially higher under certain conditions and that the manufacturer had concerns about safety from ice throw. The 2010 letter which has just come to light states “The manufacturer also needs confirmation that the Town of Falmouth understands they are fully responsible for the site selection of the turbine and bear all responsibilities to address any mitigation needs of the neighbors.” It is hard to fathom why it took five years for this letter to be made public.

We provide information on the wind turbine siting rules for Freedom, Maine where “To protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Freedom, Turbines shall be set back from the property line of any non-participating land owner a distance of no less than 13 times the turbine height.” That would be about 4,000 feet for a 300’ turbine. The noise measurements are standard 5 decibels over background and shadow flicker is limited to 10 hours a year.  Maine setback ……

A developer of wind energy said Tuesday she’s excited to begin construction of a wind turbine park in rural Greenwich and looks forward to the project generating money for the community.

But Jensen is way ahead of herself, according to an attorney for a group of rural Greenwich residents opposed to the project.

“They don’t have all their ducks in a row,” said the attorney, Sam Randazzo of the Columbus-area firm McNees Wallace & Nurick. He represents the group of residents calling themselves Greenwich Neighbors United.

The lawyer, who specializes in energy and Jensen were in the same room following a Greenwich Township Trustees meeting on Tuesday. After the township officials met, Randazzo explained to a roomful of residents who oppose the project that Jensen has work to do before construction can begin.

Jensen listened to Randazzo without expressing noticeable outward signs of disapproval.

Randazzo has said out of the project’s 25 turbines, 62 percent violate the minimum setback requirements, amounting to “at least 100 (affected) property owners.”…

Source: ‘They don’t have all their ducks in a row’