Ohio has a BigWin against (another) BigWind

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Hallelujiah! Congratulations to the people of Northern Ohio, who have tirelessly fought against BigWind for a very long time. There are still other projects they continue to fight, but this small victory is needed.  In particular, we recognize the wisdom exhibited by their county commissioners to revoke the Alternative Energy Zone, as these are magnets for taxdollarsuckingBigWind projects.  HB 401 and SB 234 are IMPORTANT for residents of Ohio, as they will give YOU, the landowner, the opportunity to consider if YOU believe a BigWind takeover is right/wrong for YOUR area…..

The Seneca Wind project that had been proposed in Seneca County has been suspended by sPower, its parent company, according to an sPower news release. The announcement was made Tuesday…

 

On Oct. 10, they sent a letter to the Ohio Development Services Agency in Columbus clarifying that Seneca Wind would not be grandfathered under the former AEZ. The project would be considered a new filing because the project has been withdrawn from OPSB consideration.

sPower’s decision to not refile the OPSB application will put the project on hold for an undetermined period, the release said, until next steps are defined by the company…

The release said the project would have provided enough clean energy to power nearly 60,000 homes per year. (bologna! We know this is not true. Their energy is on/off/on/off and must always be backed up by fossil fuels. You must look at the performance of other BigWind in Ohio, represented by the capacity factor- a mere 30ish% of what they claim)It was estimated that this project would have contributed more than $3 million annually (not true either, just ask Texas) to the local economy, the release said…

In a statement, Seneca Anti-Wind Union said, “… We still have multiple projects in our area that we oppose including both the Republic Wind and Emerson Creek Wind projects that are being developed by APEX.

“Going forward, we urge everyone to support Rep. (Bill) Reineke’s work in Columbus to pass HB 401 and SB 234, which are identical bills that would allow for a referendum on wind projects so that all local citizens can have input on such a major change to the fabric of their community,” the organization said. “The current process allows state regulators to make such decisions with no local vote, and that tends to motivate massive opposition.”

For more information on Seneca Wind, visit http://www.senecawind.com.

 

The Advertiser-Tribune

 

“Noncompetitive” BigWind can mock the taxpayer, again

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The US taxpayer has given the BigWindustry an amazing Christmas bonus now for almost 40 years. Congress is filled with wimps and liars. The President, although he has many accomplishments, should be ashamed that this deal was allowed to continue. The renewable industry mocks us, laughs at us, attacks us, and then we give them BILLIONS in SUBSIDIES.  What kind of recourse is there-or will there every be- for the taxpayer who knows the truth? …

I was told, repeatedly, that the wind subsidies would be allowed to expire. That the industry was ready to stand on its own feet. That there was no appetite to renew the production tax credit. I told them I would believe it when I see it. This is the part where I say “I told you so,” because guess what was tucked into the $1.37 trillion, end-of-the-year spending deal Congress passed before the holidays?

“Please don’t use those tired old arguments about how renewable energy can’t stand on its own without subsidies.”

 

That quote is from a recent letter to the editor written by former state lawmaker Ed Gruchalla, a Democrat who represented the Fargo-area’s District 45 in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013…

“All the project lacks is someone to step up and buy the power. What business or government entity wouldn’t want to include, clean, non-polluting energy use as part of their portfolio?”

I’d point out that utility companies have a duty to satisfy the real-world energy demands of our region, not the political whims of ideologues. Given that our regional energy grids are already chock full of intermittent power from wind farms, the demand for intermittent solar power is probably limited.

Speaking of wind power, and getting back to that quote, weren’t wind subsidies supposed to have expired by now?

That’s what I was told…

The wind energy companies argue that the construction is being driven by the markets and demand. A more likely explanation is that there was a rush to build these projects in order to capitalize on a subsidy which was set to expire last year. Wind companies had to break ground on their projects before the end of the year to get in on it…

In response to my writing, I got invited to a couple of sit-downs. One was with a couple of North Dakota lobbyists for the wind industry. The other was with the head of government affairs for one of the largest utilities in our region.

During both of these meetings, I was told, repeatedly, that the wind subsidies would be allowed to expire. That the industry was ready to stand on its own feet. That there was no appetite to renew the production tax credit.

I told them I would believe it when I see it.

This is the part where I say “I told you so,” because guess what was tucked into the $1.37 trillion, end-of-the-year spending deal Congress passed before the holidays?

A renewal of the production tax credit…

Still, if the wind industry really is ready to stand on its own feet, if Mr. Gruchalla is right and the subsidies argument about renewables is “tired” and “old” why was the PTC renewed at all?

At some point the PTC will need to end. When it does, I think we’re going to find out we built far more wind energy capacity than we really needed.

To comment on this article, visit www.sayanythingblog.com

Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator. Listen to his Plain Talk Podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RobPort.

 

Original INFORUM article

BigWind seeks to ‘silence’ Ohioans

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“What Susan Munroe and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce have in common is that they both represent a big business intent on transforming entire communities from agricultural/residential to heavy industrial without the consent of the local citizens. No other form of development transforms such large portions of local areas, 250 square miles and tens of thousands of people affected in the Seneca County area alone. When big business lobbies for voter suppression on such a large issue then as citizens we should be very wary of their intentions no matter which side of the wind decision we may be on“…Amen and thank you Mr. Feasel for your wise comments!

Business and environmental groups told state lawmakers Tuesday that subjecting proposed wind farms to votes of the people would likely kill the industry in Ohio.

“House Bill 401 is an alarming proposal that would take away landowners’ rights by subjecting wind energy development to a local vote that could result in the cancellation of a project after the permitting,” said Susan Munroe, economic development director for Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy and former president of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It pits neighbor against neighbor,” she told the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “It’s an attack on landowner property rights. No other development, much less energy resource development, has to endure this type of legislation at the local level.”…

The measure would allow voters living in townships to petition to place a referendum on the ballot to undo wind farm site approvals by the Ohio Power Siting Board. The effort is largely driven by opponents of several large wind farms in varying stages of development, with a total of 189 turbines, on farmland in Seneca, Sandusky, Erie, and Huron counties.

Paulding County has four wind farms totaling 182 turbines, a fifth under construction with 31 turbines, and a sixth in development, generating income that Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein said could not be duplicated by other development. A turbine will soon be built on his own property.

“It is our opinion that the referendum process in this case is just wrong,” he said. “We as commissioners receive far more calls on livestock operations than wind farms. Are we as a community going to permit other industries to be subject to a ‘do I like my neighbor?’ vote?”

Some committee members questioned why Paulding should be concerned given the support wind farms have received in that rural, sparsely populated county. Testimony on Tuesday was limited to those opposing the measure.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Nino Vitale (R., Urbana), noted that, as an energy source, wind farms take up thousands of more acres than, for instance, Lake County’s Perry nuclear power plant in Lake County.

That is a big impact difference when you’re talking about 120,000 acres versus a thousand acres,” he said. “Maybe that is where some of the tension occurs in terms of why is this coming up.”

Rep. Jon Cross (R., Kenton), who has a wind farm in his home county of Hardin, asked Mr. Klopfenstein whether some of the impact on the wind industry might be alleviated if the referendum took place prior to a siting decision by the state board rather than after approval….

Toledo Blade article

 

BigWind WILL die, and then new problems begin

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We have blogged about this before.  In order to build a turbine, there are hundred of gallons of oil, toxic chemicals, concrete, steel, etc. that is generated.  Turbines do not last forever and certainly, they do not last anywhere near that of a traditional nuclear or coal facility. What happens then? Recycled? NOPE, well maybe a small portion. The reality is that tens of thousands of machines and concrete will end up in landfills. Yes, landfills. Real green energy, huh! And, if you are a farmer and the BigWind company rolls belly up, who will pay for this? Will you feel safe farming below a dilapidated turbine? Of course not….

…Germany now has 29,000 wind towers. The nightmare of scrappage and decontamination has already started, with 250MW decommissioned last year. Close to 10,000 towers must be decommissioned by 2023. One tactic has been to ship the toxic parts and rubble to corrupt African states to deal with. As for the US, it will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material alone to dispose of by 2040, blades being a particularly enduring space-age construct. 

There’s some public-record material about decommissioning US wind farms, and it’s not reassuring. In Minnesota, the ten-year-old Nobles Wind farm has 134 turbines of about 1.5MW and is operated by Xcel Energy. Xcel estimates a cost for scrapping each turbine at up to $US530,000, or $US71million total. Each turbine has a tip height of 120 metres. Just to scrap one 40m blade involves crunching composite material weighing more than 6 tonnes. The turbines themselves contain a smorgasbord of toxic plastics, oils, lubricants, metals and fibreglass.

As American Experiment points out, even $US71million doesn’t finance a thorough clean-up. The contracts oblige Xcel to restore the land to a depth of only 4 feet, i.e. about one metre, whereas the foundations go down 5 metres. Moreover, underneath the 56 square miles of this Minnesota wind farm is 140km of cabling and pipes. The documents don’t say if the cables would stay or go. But Palmer’s Creek, another wind farm in Minnesota with 18 turbines, will be allowed to leave cables in situ below four feet.

As to local terms, the Australian Clean Energy Council says:

Decommissioning means that the wind turbines, site office and any other ancillary infrastructure is removed from the site, and roads and foundation pads are covered and revegetated, allowing land to be returned to its former use.’ Elsewhere the council says, ‘Typical landowner contracts require that the turbine is removed from its concrete foundation, and that the turbine site is covered in topsoil so that farming activities can continue. (My emphases. Would government greenies allow a decommissioned mine a similar latitude?)….

What if the Operator goes into liquidation? This is perhaps one of the major potential risks of entering into any wind farm agreement. If the company that you enter into the agreement with (or its successor if they sell the rights) goes into liquidation, then there may be insufficient funds to de-commission the plant, and therefore the items could be left in place, potentially in a state of disrepair. If the equipment had value it would probably mean that it would be removed. There is a real risk however that useless equipment could be left on the property at the end of the Lease.

Others add that landowners have no title over abandoned wind farm material and can’t even sell it to defray their own clean-up costs….

The decommissioning issue will generate a new set of horror stories in the decade to come. Count on it.

When wind turbines die link

 

Ohio BigWind COLLAPSE halts traffic

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Yet another example of WHY current Ohio BigWind setbacks are NOT safe for the public, particularly our schools filled with children. Unfortunately, some politicians prefer to listen to the $$ that BigWind waves (obtained via our taxpayer subsidies), rather than the constituents that reside amongst these industrial monsters…..

Roads in the harbor opened again on Friday after being closed for a day and a half due to potential danger from a damaged wind turbine.

The turbine was struck by lightning in 2017, which destroyed one of the turbine’s blades. The lightning strike also partially melted the turbine’s gearbox, City Manager Jim Hockaday said.

“When it blew hard enough on Wednesday, it broke loose whatever temporary kind of weld it had,” Hockaday said.

Contractors hired by the city locked the turbine’s blades in place on Friday, and Lakeside Drive was reopened after the procedure was finished.

The road closure was done because of “an abundance of caution,” Hockaday said.

Conneaut entered into an agreement with NexGen Energy Partners and Conneaut Wind for the purposes of adding a wind turbine next to the city’s waste water treatment plant. The school district also entered into an agreement with the same company for a turbine next to Conneaut Middle School.

The turbine at the wastewater treatment plant was struck by lightning in February 2017, destroying one of the blades and damaging the internal workings of the turbines. NexGen offered to repair the turbine, but only if the city entered into a new power purchase agreement with NexGen. At the time, NexGen said the new agreement would help offset the cost of repairing the turbine.

Conneaut filed suit against NexGen and Conneaut City Wind in 2018, according to court records, alleging that the companies had abandoned the turbine, and giving the city the right to demolish the turbine if NexGen and CCW did not remove it within 60 days. The case was dismissed at the request of the city in December 2018.

The school district has had issues with the turbine at CMS. It has has malfunctioned since it was installed, and NexGen has been in a years-long legal fight with the manufacturer…

 

Conneaut turbine article

Could BigWind affect the Quality of Your life? Hmm…

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Do you wonder if it is really true that BigWind could impact your quality of life? Aren’t most noise and infrasound claims ‘overstated’ and ‘exaggerated’?? Well, for those of us in Ohio, we don’t have to look far for the truth. Van Wert citizens made it VERY clear to local and state politicians that BigWind HAS impacted their quality of life.

And, just a little farther, over the Indiana line, BigWind is thriving…..or is it? Tipton county, approximately 1 hour North of Indianapolis, has planted many of the nuisances. Yes, they are nuisances.  Just click on the link, at the bottom, of this post. You will learn about individuals who say it sounds like planes overhead. Others claim it has divided families and their communities.  Even a county commissioner expresses regret over the choice to allow the turbines to be built.

And, finally, isn’t it always about the $? The power of the mighty dollar. What do the residents say about all of the ‘tax benefits’ now?The county received a large sum of $ upfront, but now they are only paid property taxes on each turbine. That $ is, by no means, a ‘windfall’.  Property values? DOWN, too. How would you like it if your home, where Americans place a majority of their asset wealth, was Devalued because of these industrial machines….

TriStatehomepage.com

 

BigWind needs MORE subsidies$$$!!!

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Dejavue’, BigWind wants more free money. That’s right, more of OUR money. $100B over 30 years has not been enough. Will this child every grow up and move out of mommy’s house? Nope. As explained below, the industry is addicted to our subsidies like people are to heroin…..

Last week the lobbying arm of the wind energy industry made an unsurprising, though somewhat embarrassing, announcement. It wants a longer lifeline with federal subsidies. So much for wind being the low-cost energy source of the future.

Less than a year ago, the American Wind Energy Association had with great fanfare issued a press statement that as Bloomberg reported: “America’s wind farms are ready to go it alone.” Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican who has strongly supported the wind industry since the days of federal support began in 1992, boasted that the wind industry has finally “matured” and that wind farms were “ready to compete.”

Never mind.

Big Wind’s change of heart was predictable because when this tax giveaway — which basically requires taxpayers to underwrite 30 percent of the cost of wind energy production — was first enacted, the renewable energy lobby promised that it would lift itself out of the federal wheelchair and walk on its own within five years. But like clockwork, every five years they have come back to Congress pleading for an extension — much like Oliver with his porridge bowl asking: “Please, sir, could I have some more.”

What was especially interesting was why Big Wind thinks it is deserving of “more.” The industry execs mentioned the tough competition from natural gas — which isn’t going away. Natural gas is today by far the most cost-efficient source of electric power generation in most markets. Thanks to the shale revolution natural gas prices have fallen by about two-thirds. This means that only with very generous taxpayer assistance on top of local mandates requiring local utilities to buy wind and solar power can green energy compete….

Over the last 30 or so years, the renewable energy industry has received well over $100 billion in federal, state and local handouts. Yet these are still fairly trivial contributors to America’s overall energy production — supplying somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of the nation’s total. The rational solution would of course be to eliminate all federal energy subsidies and simply create a level playing field among coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar and wind. But given the current anti-fossil fuels hysteria and the movement to promote green energy at any cost, the idea of creating an economically-efficient market for energy is about as likely as hell freezing over — which isn’t going to happen anytime soon because of global warming.

Given the powerful green movement’s lobby on Capitol Hill, don’t be surprised if the federal aid keeps pouring in…..

If so. Why must the subsidies continue ad infinitum? If $100 billion of taxpayer handouts hasn’t worked, what will?  

My hunch is that the lifelines Washington keeps tossing to the wind and solar industry have been more curse than blessing. Subsidies can be as addictive as heroin…

 

Subsidies needed for BigWind