Does BigWind actually reduce Honda’s energy consumption? NOPE

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In Union County, Honda speaks out about its two wind turbines – which are owned by an LLC that does not appear related to Honda.  According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.  “The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”  This statement is also interesting from the perspective of Ohio’s energy efficiency mandates.  Is Honda saying that not taking steps to meet efficiency requirements, they are in compliance with the law by using on-site wind??????…Another interesting note is that BOTH turbines had SIGNIFICANT repairs, in the past couple of years, including replacing bearings. Blades and nacelles were removed to accomplish this, no easy task. As for today? In all of this NW Ohio wind, 1 was intentionally turned off.  Was today simply another day of ‘routine service’? Hmmmm……

At the beginning of 2014, Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America (HTM) welcomed a pair of wind turbines at its Russells Point, Ohio, facility. Fast-forward five years, and the machines are generating more than 10% of the electric needs of the plant…

According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.

“The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”…

Owned and operated by a ConEdison Solutions subsidiary, RP Wind LLC, the project comprises two GE 1.7 MW turbines, which, importantly, are sited in favorable wind conditions, according to Schmitt, who points out that the location is “near the point of the highest elevation in the state of Ohio.”

With blades 160 feet long and towers 260 feet high, the GE machines generated approximately 8,300 MWh of electricity during HTM’s last fiscal year, translating to nearly 11% of the electric needs of the plant, which makes Honda transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive components….

Moreover, the project is benefiting the local electric cooperative’s grid, says Schmitt, who explains the turbines are “boosting local power production, especially in times of increased demand.”

In the past five years, HTM has discovered no “unforeseen outages or malfunctions,” notes Eric Mauk, Honda North America’s corporate communications specialist, adding that the only downtime has been due to “routine service.”...

honda

 

Honda article

(Another) school wind turbine BROKEN in Ohio

This is beginning to feel like ‘Deja Vu’.  BigWind is notorious for maintenance issues (just ask Van Wert residents who live near the turbine graveyard), but they are often kept quiet from the public.  Some BigWind sites are even known for repairing at night, so the public is not aware! At schools, however, this can be no secret, because taxpayers eagerly hope that BigWind will save the district lots of $….this rarely happens, but breakdowns are commonplace.  Even Honda had to replace a new turbine (less than 4 years old!)  Are our legislators paying attention to this reality????? Nope, so make sure you are and you are willing to tell them!…..

Ontario Local Schools board of education will enter into mediation with Rock Road Wind to resolve a dispute over the company’s wind turbine at Stingel Elementary.

“It’s been broken for nearly a year, and we want to get it resolved that that thing gets fixed,” board of education president Sam VanCura said. “According to the contract, it’s not our liability to fix it.”…

The turbine has sat idle since November 2016, when its transformer stopped working.

In April, the school board refused to approve a contract amendment proposed by Rock Road Wind under which the energy company would agree to replace the faulty transformer and the district would agree to keep buying power from Rock Road Wind for six more years after the current contract expires.

At the time, school district officials argued the energy company defaulted on the contract and demanded the company uphold the current contract by fixing the turbine without the assurance of a contract extension.

The turbine still has not been fixed, prompting the district to move forward with plans to remedy the situation…

Source: Ontario schools to enter mediation over turbine issue

BigWind graveyard or birthplace? Van Wert, Ohio

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On Hoaglin Center Rd in Van Wert, Ohio this BigWind graveyard and birthplace exists. Some believe it is a graveyard because damaged blades seem to appear, regularly, as if they are being changed out at night. This is also a birthplace, as the replacement blades regularly move in/out of this lot (via train).  The Van Wert industrial turbine site is a mere 5 years old, to have this problem. Although the gear box is an achilles heel of this industry, it appears as though blades are a problem, too.  This seems mighty expensive, doesn’t it, for regular maintenance??????? Unfortunately, for the resident who posted the ‘noisy turbine’ in Van Wert, these blades have not gone to fix her backyard problem….

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!

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