BigWind ‘kicked to the curb’ in Nebraska

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Yet, another example, of a BigWind setback being EXPANDED….well beyond Ohio. But you would never hear of this if you only listened to the BigWind lobbyists in Ohio, where the industry cries that our setback hinders their growth….that our setback is too restrictive…that there is no danger or problem with having 600 foot industrial wind turbines as neighbors.  Read below, and you will see that Nebraska has become wise. Setbacks have been expanded to 2,700 feet and banned in another. Congrats!…

Wind turbines will not be dotting the Stanton County landscape anytime soon.

The Stanton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to approve a land use matrix that did not allow for wind developers to purchase conditional use permits – effectively preventing any wind farms from attempting to build in Stanton County…

 

The Board also passed regulations extending the setback requirements for a windmill to 2,700 feet and capping the potential noise generated at 50 decibels. These requirements would only matter if the Board retracted the ban on wind permits in the future…

 

via Stanton County Bars Wind Development Sandhills Express

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(Yet another) county pursues INcreased BigWind setback…wake up, Ohio legislators!

Yet again, we find an area that is experienced with BigWind, now seeking to INcrease the distance between turbines and property lines. Yet, Ohio wants to DEcrease the distance? Well below any measurement mentioned below. All of this comes down to $ from BigWind. We will never know if deals were made, unbeknownst to the public, between BigWind and certain individuals…which explain the lack of common sense from certain legislators. Read below, and you will find excellent arguments for INCREASING the  safety setbacks.  That’s right, SAFETY setbacks, something many legislators seem to forget…

Members of the public on Monday night urged Ford County Board members to consider, among other measures, the need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes….

Ann Ihrke told board members that it was their duty to protect the “health, safety and welfare of all citizens of the county.” She presented board members with a packet containing a letter written by attorney Brent Holmes concerning many of the issues citizens have complained about, such as the inadequacy of the county’s 1,500-foot setback for non-participating landowners.

Numerous studies by independent professionals recommend a 2,500-foot setback between a wind turbine and the property lines, not the foundations of structures, of non-participating landowners, Ann Ihrke said.

Such studies also reveal numerous health problems when turbines are allowed too close to homes, including frequent sleep disturbances when sited closer than 2,500 feet.

Ann Ihrke also questioned whether the county’s ordinance governing wind farms adequately protects the county from liability if turbines need to be removed. She noted that there will be no new revenues generated for the purpose of demolition, adding that the county may be stuck having to pay for decommissioning if the companies that have owned and operated Ford County’s wind farms become defunct or bankrupt before turbines need removed…

Ted Hartke, a licensed professional land surveyor and licensed professional engineer in Illinois, said he has concerns about wind farms after living near a wind turbine in neighboring Vermilion County. He and his family moved due to problems with wind turbines being too close to their home, and they finally were able to sell their house…

“You guys already have problems,” Hartke told the board. “There is a safety manual that says in case of a fire or malfunctioning turbines, the employees of the wind company are supposed to run upwind a minimum of 1,640 feet. If my house or my land is within 1,640 feet from my property line to the wind turbines, that’s the distance they are to run upwind from. So if you are downwind, I seem to think that the distance should be about 2,000 feet.”…

“Your only job as a county board is to protect all of your citizens,” Hartke said.

Meanwhile, Leo Weber, a road commissioner for Rogers Township, said there remain issues with the repair of roads used in constructing the Kelly Creek Wind Farm.

“We have a meeting set up to go back to our attorney to assess what our next steps will be,” Weber said, “and we look to the board to get any support they can extend our way to get this resolved.”

Weber said the owner of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm — EDF Renewable Energy — has “failed to uphold the road-use agreement” it made with his township and others.

“Roads that our school buses travel on are dangerous,” Weber said. “There are deep drop-offs where a truck got too far to the edge and rolled over. … Five miles (of roads) in Ford County are not fixed correctly.”

Weber also told the board that as a taxing body, his township was given inaccurate information a year ago on the assessed valuation of land in the wind farm’s footprint. That error or omission, he said, cost Rogers Township $12,000 of revenue that it could have captured, and it cost the Tri-Point school district $44,000.

 

via Public urges Ford County Board to strengthen wind-farm rules Paxton Record

What every Ohioan should know about BigWind (as a new neighbor)

If you live in Ohio, you should share these truths (from Indiana) with your legislators. Legislators who are STRONGLY considering SHORTENING the distances between an industrial wind energy turbine and your home.  And our governor supports this nonsense! BigWind lobbies hard and they are extremely well funded, so it is vital that you educate yourselves and SHARE your opinion with your legislators….

As a Tipton County property owner, I did extensive research on the possible effects of having Industrial Wind Turbines. Our county was the first to attempt to have the turbines located close to residential homes and communities. Recently, I read Wind Watch online regarding Fulton, Miami, and Cass counties being interested in having a windfarm. I would like to pass along some findings of over 1,000 hours of research regarding this situation.

I first thought these things were green, non-toxic, and would be great for the environment…

Some counties have changed their setbacks due to health risks. Whitley County is now a half mile from the property line. Noble County has a 3,960 foot setback, and a noise limit not to exceed 40 decibels at 1,000 feet from a turbine, and requires that a tower’s blinking lights be shielded. Tipton County’s setback is now 2,640 feet from a residence. Many other counties have a complete ban on wind farms. If there were no risks, why would all these counties be putting in stricter ordinances??The World Health Organization recommends a minimum setback of 5,280 feet for children, elderly, and the chronically ill. The International Standards Organization recommends community noise limits of 35 decibels during daytime, and 25-30 decibels at night. Many European nations with more than two decades of experience with windfarms have setbacks of 3-5 miles. Denmark’s setback is four times the total height, and Holland’s is 3,280 feet.

Our County Commissioners were initially touting that “everyone was happy in Benton County” with the IWT’s. I sent a letter to the editor of the Lafayette Journal Courier stating I would like input from anyone regarding the impact of their turbines.

I received numerous replies (some anonymous) and others asking me not to use their name.

The following letter is from an individual who supplied her address in Fowler, Ind. My husband and I visited their home, and experienced all of her claims first-hand. Most people who visit Benton County wind farms have appointments set up for a tour with the Benton County Wind Farm EDC. We wanted to go on our own.

Here is the letter:

“I live in Benton County. Feel free to come to visit us. We are right in the heart of the wind turbines. They surround our house. I DO NOT like having them so close to our house. When they put them in, our road was so busy I could not even go walking that summer. The noise REALLY bothers me, and I have never gotten used to it! Depending on which way the wind is out of, you can hear the noise in the house. It seems worse in the winter. I believe it’s due to the density of the air. This time of the year the “FLICKER” effect is really bad in the morning and in the evening. You feel like you always need to duck as you see the blades going around. When my son-in-law visits, he always asks how we can stand that. We feel we should be compensated. The landowners get paid for the rental of their land but we get no compensation and we were here first! When it is all said and done, the commissioners should have made the set back a lot further from the houses. We would still have the noise but at least we wouldn’t have the FLICKER effect. I wish I had known all this before they were put in. Everyone just kept on saying they will be good for the community. They are, only if you are a landowner. They don’t care at all about homes in the community. Then they wonder why nobody wants to live in Benton County. Don’t know that I want you to use my name because we, as well as many others, have received threats and property damage when we’ve complained, but feel free to use this information.”

Here is another letter:

“In response to your letter to the editor, Thursday, February 14, in the Journal Courier, this information may be what you need. Personal property value will fall like a rock. Benton County houses located within the wind farms are selling for whatever the owner can get. Many land owners where these wind generators are located do not live in the county. The average age of the lease owners is retirement age…

The companies brag that the local economy will boom, but that is temporary until the company is done installing these monsters. They tout that they will create hundreds of jobs, but that is not true either. The companies bring their own machinery operators, and in the end there might be 5-6 people that maintain the turbines, or are guards, or both.

In Benton County, this happened because few people knew about the turbines until it was way too late to do anything about it. This is how the companies manage to get this done everywhere. A decision of this magnitude should be decided after a debate over property values, who is responsible for that loss, and other issues such as blinking lights, noise, which is nauseating, and the strobe effect from shadow flicker.”…

http://www.rochsent.com/Content/Local-news/Local-news/Article/Windfarm-neighbor/15/31/26003

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The relationship between Ohio and BigWind is now unknown

As more information is made public about the predatory practices of former Ohio Senator Cliff Hite there is talk of possible of criminal charges.   We have no idea what the outcome will be but think that Cliff Hite is now safely in the rearview mirror of Northwestern Ohioans.  So the question becomes NOW WHAT?  Will SB 188 remain viable? Who will succeed Hite?   Who will take up the crusade to destroy the northwestern quadrant of the state?

Hearings on SB 188 have been suspended for the moment.   Let us remember and share with our friends, that  “Setbacks are a ZONING issue.”

By modifying setback measurement to habitable structures rather than property lines, the adverse effects of shadow flicker and noise are allowed to burden the neighboring property of the non-participating landowner.  The consequence of this trespass is an uncompensated easement for nuisance.   No other industry in the entire State of Ohio enjoys such a right of easement.  Only industrial wind energy.   Eminent domain would be a more fair action because at least the neighbor would be compensated.  This point can be reinforced by showing that wind developers, like Invenergy, call their Good Neighbor Agreement a “Wind Farm Easement Agreement”:

Invenergy contract language states:

“1.          Grant of Effects, Sound and Shadow Easements. Owner hereby grants and convey to Developer an exclusive easement on, over, under and across all of the Owner’s Property to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversions systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference. “

Developer project maps defining the reach of turbine effects readily illustrate cases where an absentee landlord with a Good Neighbor Agreement is compensated for effects which will never be felt while the neighboring property owner who does live on his land would experience the effects but receive no compensation if setbacks are measured from the home.   Senator Balderson found these materials to provide credible support for our position and encouraged us to make this case with members of his committee.  We intend to follow up over the coming weeks.

At this juncture, we believe the law as currently in effect should remain untouched.   The only circumstance in which we could see a modification of the current law would be if the residents of an impacted township voted affirmatively to make a modification.

Without their champion, former Senator Hite, the industry is going to the know-nothing/adoring media to hammer away at the renewable mandates and the property line setbacks.  InsideClimate News, a left-wing enviro publication wrote a scathing article which was also published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Pointing a finger at legislators, like Bill Seitz, as being a tool of fossil fuels and they accuse any organization critical of wind as being biased, untruthful and funded by rich anti-wind groups.  Sounds like the mirror image of AWEA, Sierra, EDF, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Greenpeace and the developers.   An excerpt from  InsideClimate News states:

“Seitz despises wind turbines, and his dedication to rolling back Ohio’s energy standards stems in part from his passionate opposition to wind power. In fact, the only reason he voted for the standards back in 2008, he said, was a promise by the Senate president that he could write the language on turbines. Over time, Seitz has been behind restrictions that have wiped out any large new projects. “There will be no wind farms!” he said, with satisfaction.

 Turbines, Seitz said, take up too much room, don’t work when the wind doesn’t blow, and are not a good fit for his district, in the far corner of the state where it borders Indiana and Kentucky. His neighbors love spending time in their yards and don’t want any turbines wrecking their “view sheds,” or chopping up bats and birds, he said. And it doesn’t help matters that “it seems to be a cabal of urban millennials who love wind [power] and want to inflict the damage on rural landscapes—stick it out there in the country where all the bumpkins can’t do anything about it. That’s not very nice. So I’m not a big fan of wind.”

 Commenting on the story, Ned Ford, activist and perennial witness on behalf of renewables, wrote:

Seitz has harmed Ohio’s renewables not by his attacks on the standards, but by his promotion of the 2014 change to the wind siting rules.  The original rules were fine, but the 2014 rules make it nearly impossible to find a large enough property in Ohio to build wind.  Ohio’s wind setback rule is by far the most restrictive in the nation.  (Fake News!)…When we defeat the Republicans and Ohio has all the wind it wants Representative Seitz won’t need to look at a wind turbine ever, because his district is an urban one, and there won’t be any need for wind generation in urban areas to keep Ohio’s cities powered with clean and cheap electricity.  Farmers who lease land to wind turbines double their revenue per acre and lose only 5% of the useful land.  (More Fake News)

Additional articles speak to HB 114 which continues to be heard in the House Public Utilities Committee chaired by former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp.  HB 114 would do away with renewable mandates.  In that regard, Governor Kasich who harbors thoughts of another Presidential run, seems to be more aggressively in favor of wind and solar which is, in the opinion of many, intellectually dishonest. One business journal writes:

“Ohio’s wind energy setback restrictions are also hindering the ability of businesses to access cost-effective renewable energy. Lifting this barrier to wind energy development through proposals such as Senate Bill 188 will make Ohio more attractive to new investments and help the state capture new jobs and tax revenues.  …   Gov. John Kasich understands that keeping the state open to renewable energy development is critical to drawing businesses to Ohio. The governor recently said, “it is critical that we continue developing the renewables, because, believe me, at the end of the day, if the Facebooks and the Googles and the PayPals and the Amazons think that we are not committed to renewable energy, they will not come here. Period, end of story.”

The above statements are absolutely false.  Ohio is a choice state and anyone who wants renewable energy can obtain it.  Moreover, we note that no industrial plant like Honda, Whirlpool or Ball has been prevented from building on-site wind turbines.   It is distressing that Governor Kasich is willing to perpetuate an untruth presumably to make millennials think he is pro-environment.

But it seems society and the media is corrupt from every point.   In Indiana, Apex is trying to convince elected officials that a 60 decibel noise limit is scientifically proven to be acceptable.  Included is an enjoyable article about the Mars Candy company and their extensive peer-reviewed research.  It sounds just like the wind developers when speaking of their “peer-reviewed” science on noise or cleaning carbon from the environment.  We leave you with this thought thanks to Mars:

“[Funding cocoa science] is quite clearly a sales thing to sell more chocolate because [the studies] suggest it’s not all that bad for you,” Coe said. “Chocolate companies can say they have scientifically proven that chocolate will lower your blood pressure, keep you from heart attacks.” …But Big Chocolate’s foray into nutrition research is a great case study in how industry can steer the scientific agenda — and some of the best minds in academia — toward studies that will ultimately benefit their bottom line, and not necessarily public health….Since then, mainly through the company’s scientific arm Mars Symbioscience, established in 2005, it has flooded journals with more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers….

 

With scare studies, policy drafts and political donations, industry groups turned Ohio lawmakers against policies they once overwhelmingly supported….

Source: InsideClimate News: How Fossil Fuel Allies Are Tearing Apart Ohio’s Embrace of Clean Energy

Don’t call yourself a ‘conservative’ if you support BigWind!

BigWind is like the plague- it has invaded everywhere, including the conservative political groups; however, it is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Conservative thinking represents wise monetary policy, not fat subsidies. BigWind’s  job creation numbers are deceptive and their influence on electricity rates are hidden. A recent discussion of both Europe and Australia’s electricity grid and costs are staggering…BigWind is making electricity UNaffordable for the average family AND business. Let us now allow this scam to continue here, in the USA. It’s time to talk about the truths with your families and your political representatives. There is great information on our site and many others. Become informed and share the truth!

But the Conservatives for Clean Energy event was just another sign of the increasing politicization of green energy….

North Carolina businessman Jay Faison founded Clear Path Action, with offices in Charlotte and Washington, D.C., to sway conservatives to champion renewable energy as a core principle. Clear Path spent $3 million on 15 GOP congressional candidates in the 2016 election cycle.

American Wind Action has made homegrown jobs the theme of television commercials airing nationally. The issue advocacy organization has plainly stated its purpose: To endorse political candidates who are strong proponents of wind energy and work to defeat their opponents. The North Carolina Sierra Club has produced YouTube videos, as well.

Even the Christian Coalition, no stranger to politics, is in on the action. It views renewable energy as an obligation to be good stewards of the planet. This month it held its third annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit with Young Conservatives for Energy Reform in Washington, D.C. The group urged immediate action to protect national, economic, and family security, with homegrown renewable jobs.

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute whose books and articles on the energy sector have been widely quoted for two decades, is dismissive of the renewable energy jobs numbers.

“Job creation is the last refuge of the subsidy seekers,” he said. “There are tens of millions of dollars at stake in government subsidies.”

The “fat subsidies” Bryce scorns include the federal renewable production tax credit. It’s $24 per megawatt hour for many wind and solar projects, and it can be claimedover 10 years. The subsidy is set to expire in 2020. But a majority Democratic Congress could repeal that sunset.

The total wind tax giveaway to date tops $176 billion. The subsidy itself costs twice the market price of natural gas, a wind energy competitor, Bryce said.

“It’s collapsing the wholesale market for electricity. It’s distorting the market,” he said.

Bryce took aim at the Amazon Wind Farm, whose 104 turbines span Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, and Avangrid Renewables, (formerly Iberdrola), its Spanish developer, as an example of what’s wrong with the subsidy cronyism.

“Iberdrola gets the tax credits, which is what they’re all about because they can sell the tax credits for cash. Then they’re using turbines that aren’t made here, and they’re creating effectively no jobs,” Bryce said.

“Amazon gets to claim, wrongly, that their data centers are using clean or green electricity” from the wind farm, Bryce said.

Bryce agreed with Carolina Journal reports that found the electricity generated in North Carolina has no physical connection to Amazon’s data centers in northern Virginia….

While the wind energy sector is growing, Wiser and his co-authors of the 2016 report concluded that was due in large part to the renewable production tax credit and state-driven incentives such as Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards created by North Carolina and 28 other states. The REPS require public utilities to buy higher-cost renewable energy at a set percentage of its fuel source….

Source: ‘Home grown’ claims of renewable energy industry questioned – Carolina Journal

BigWind ‘amendments’ should garner attention in the Ohio legislature!

In an astonishing turn of events, Sen. Cliff Hite has suffered his own personal “setback” and has resigned from the Ohio Senate following an accusation of sexual misconduct.  Hite was the primary driver of legislation to reduce industrial wind turbine setbacks and return their measurement to the foundation of the property-owner’s home as opposed to his/her property line.  We will keep you posted on what will happen next.  It would seem odd to us that a bill could move forward if there is no sponsor.

Two days ago, EverPower filed its fifth amendment to the Scioto Ridge project in order to introduce the possible use of larger turbine models.    We question whether this request will be considered an “amendment” to the Scioto Ridge Project which would trigger property line setbacks.    The timing of the filing was certainly a coincidence.  Did the appearance in the Senate that SB 188 was moving right along give Scioto Ridge the confidence to go forward with their amendment?  Did they know that on the same day, they would lose their biggest advocate in the Senate?   The Hite bill repeals the requirement that EverPower lose its “grandfathered” status if they file an amendment to the project.  This raises all kinds of questions.   We note the application for the amendment claims the turbine manufacturer can control shadow flicker and limit it to 30 hours and that it can similarly manage noise output.   Generally this means stopping the turbine when 30 hours of flicker are reached or manipulating the blades when atmospheric conditions increase noise.  Both of these strategies decrease production and $.

Irregardless, this filing should trigger attention by Ohio Senators, especially in light of the SB 188. Why? As some senators have been swayed by BigWind to shorten the BigWind setbacks, turbine heights have more than doubled in the past 10 years alone!  This impacts neighboring properties MORE with shadow flicker, noise, ice throws etc and SHOULD result in greater SAFETY setbacks for Ohioans!

We do want to correct an error from the last issue of Wind News.   Current setback law requires 1125 feet plus the length of one blade from a property line. That’s about 1300 feet or about 2.6 times the height of a 500 foot tall wind turbine. This happens to be about 400 m which is in the ballpark of the safety manuals.   The setback today IS NOT measured in a multiple of turbine height.  Such a formula would protect neighboring property owners when models with taller turbines and longer blades are substituted for currently approved turbines.  The Skindell bill proposed a multiple of 1.1 x tower height plus blade and the Hite bill proposed 1.2x tower height plus blade length.  These both fall short of the 2.6x or 1300 feet of the existing setback.  The 1300 feet is derived by adding a setback of 1,320 feet with a 195 foot blade.

 

 

Will Ohio legislators believe BigWind or look to the TRUTH that has happened in Minnesota?

Ohio legislators have a couple of BigWind legislation pieces to vote on, in the upcoming weeks.  Informed, educated Ohioans do NOT want BigWind in their backyard, for a variety of reasons. However, most legislators don’t really care about doesn’t directly affect them.  Below, is a prime example of how BigWind AFFECTS ALL OF US.  Ohioans, like Minnesota, enjoy the benefits of cheap electricity.  Yes, our electric bills are rising, but they are nowhere near many Americans pay for electricity.  Ohio does not need BigWind and neither do our bills.  Below is proof that BigWind WILL RAISE ELECTRICITY RATES for ALL Ohioans.  Senator Cliff Hite refuses to acknowledge these truths…

In recent years, the state of Minnesota has pursued a series of increasingly aggressive renewable energy and “clean energy” policies that cost electricity consumers billions of dollars, without achieving its ambitious environmental protection goals….

Historically, Minnesota enjoyed the advantage of relatively cheap electricity, with rates typically 18 percent less than the national average. However, since spending an estimated $10 billion on building wind farms and billions more on new and upgraded  transmission lines, Minnesota has lost this competitive advantage with little to show for it, except higher electric bills. As electricity generation from carbon free wind approaches 20 percent of total generation, Minnesota has not experienced any appreciable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to the U.S. average.

This report evaluates Minnesota’s energy policy and reaches five main findings that buttress one conclusion: Minnesota’s aspirational energy policy is a grand exercise in virtue signaling that does little to reduce either conventional pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

Minnesota has lost its advantage on electricity pricing. Between 1990 and 2009, the retail price of electricity in Minnesota was, on average, 18.2 percent lower than the national average. However, in just seven years, this price advantage has completely disappeared. February 2017 marked the first month the average retail price of electricity in Minnesota rose above the U.S. price. (Data are available dating back to 1990.) If in the past seven years Minnesota would have maintained its historic price advantage versus the rest of the country, the state’s consumers would have paid nearly $4.4 billion less than what the actual cost of electricity turned out to be.

Minnesota’s energy policy primarily promotes wind power. Minnesota’s energy policy emphasizing renewable energy is mostly an electricity policy, which represents only about 40 percent of the state’s total energy consumption. Because Minnesota’s geography is not suitable for large-scale solar power, it aims, to date, for only modest increases in solar. As such, Minnesota’s energy policy is primarily a wind-energy policy.

Minnesota’s energy policy is failing on its own terms, as it has not achieved a significant reduction in CO2 emissions….