BigWind ‘pouts’ as Ohio citizens gain a voice

Yesterday afternoon Representative Bill Reineke worked to get language that he drafted into the new version of current bill HB 6. This language establishes a local vote by effected Townships within a given industrial wind turbine project. This would happen only after the project goes through the currently in place process with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). Only if the OPSB grants a particular wind turbine project its build certificate would this proposed legislation apply. At that point a petition could be filed with the County Board of Elections that consists of 8% of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election would add a referendum vote within each affected Township.
This still allows projects to move forward if a given Township votes to support the industrial wind turbine project. A majority vote of 51% of voters would be required. Otherwise, the project would NOT be able to be built in that given Township due to a lack of supporting votes. This proposed legislation answers our pleas for more local control in the siting of industrial wind turbine projects.
The new language reads:”Establishes a procedure for electors in the unincorporated areas of a township to submit a referendum petition to approve or reject a certificate issued by the Power Siting Board for a wind farm that is to be located in whole or in part in the township. Provides that the certificate is invalid if rejected at the referendum by electors from all participating townships. Requires the Power siting Board to modify the certificate if not all participating townships’ electors reject the certificate. Applies the referendum only to Major Utility Wind Farms (50 or more megawatts) and Economically Significant Wind Farms (5 to less than 50 megawatts, except for those that are 5 to less than 20megawatts that meet certain requirements). (R.C. 519.214, 4906.10, 4906.101, 4906.13, 4906.20, 4906.201, 4906.203.)”
….

Wind energy experts are pushing back against a change made to the House energy bill, HB6, that allows municipalities to vote on wind farm projects. Opponents of the change say this will dramatically impact the wind industry. Listen Listening…

The referendum provision reflects ongoing local battles among landowners who do and don’t want wind turbines in northwest Ohio.

                                                 Map of Wind Energy Projects in Ohio

Dayna Baird, American Wind Energy Association, says developers already spend years and millions of dollars…

A few residents testified in committee that they want the ability to make the decision among themselves.

Environmental advocates say this creates an unfair process for wind energy compared to other energy sources…

https://www.statenews.org/post/energy-bill-adds-wind-farm-referendum-option-communities

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Reducing BigWind setbacks will squeeze people out

BigWind is working hard in the Ohio legislature to reduce turbine setbacks. One might ask what the title means? Turbines and People do not belong together and that is why we have setbacks. Setbacks are PROTECTIVE for Ohio residents and wildlife and property rights. Without them, we may as well live in the Wild West. Just how many turbines are we talking about? SEE THIS LINK FOR A GOOGLE MAP REPRESENTATION. IT IS SHOCKING!!

MAP OF PROPOSED TURBINES IN NORTHERN OHIO

It is poor policy to reduce setback distances while turbines are getting taller.
Larger rotor diameters mean longer throw distances!!
No other state or local jurisdiction in the nation is reducing setbacks.

At a minimum, the General Assembly should not take action while the Ohio Power Siting Board is in the middle of rulemaking on blade shear. Testimony about blade shear at the PUCO late last month indicated blade failures on current wind turbines in Ohio within the last three years have thrown debris over 1500 feet. The current setbacks are only slightly more than 1200 feet from a property line. Changing the setbacks to pre-2014 levels would allow the 650 foot turbines to be located much closer to your home than currently allowed.

Curiously, we wonder what documentation the sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill are relying on? Not only should our legislators be concerned about safety, but also the nuisance of noise, vibration, and shadow flicker. If they are successful in changing the setback, can citizens sue the legislators???

Logan county, Ohio says NO to BigWind, but it doesn’t matter…

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Yesterday Jason Dagger presented Innogy’s update to the Scioto Ridge Wind Project which is sited primarily in Hardin County with a spillover of approximately 10 turbines into Logan County. This is an OPSB approved project.
 As the 2016 Examiner report explains, EverPower declared they would not build in Logan County without the PILOT.  The Logan County Commissioners responded to their constituents and denied the PILOT in June, 2016. 
Recently Innogy purchased EverPower and the decision has been made to site turbines in Logan County without the PILOT.  Mr. Dagger informed the Logan County Commissioners yesterday that the intent is to include Logan County in the Scioto Ridge footprint. 
The goal of Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart is to finalize a Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) with Innogy which states the conditions they must follow when using our county and township roads.  Innogy has indicated they wish to add conditions to this agreement….
 Concerned citizens have been complimented on the respect and courtesy they displayed and the intelligent and targeted questions asked of Mr. Dagger.
Mr. Dagger’s vagueness and lack of response to those questions was obvious.
Commissioner Antrim invited Mr. Dagger to begin the meeting with his presentation.  At the conclusion of that presentation, Mr. Antrim responded that though you have updated us on these changes, Logan County’s position has not changed.  We do not want you here.
County leaders are working on an agreement with a wind turbine devel-oper that will cover the costs of damage to any county or township roads.

 

Innogy SE plans to begin site preparations for Scioto Ridge Project, most of which is in southern Hardin County.

However, much of the gravel and concrete is expected to come out of Logan County and there are plans to put up around eight turbines near Belle Center.

Jason Dagger with Innogy said state regulators approved the project for 172 turbines, but the project has been scaled back to no more than

107…

He spoke Thursday before the Logan County Commissioners, Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart, Logan County Engineer Scott Coleman and about two dozen oppo-nents of wind turbines…

Local officials cannot stop the development nor do they have control over the project. They can, however, develop an agreement to protect the county’s investment in roads…

Dagger said the $300 million proj- ect will be completed in 2020.

This year will focus on the infrastructure and turbine site development followed by turbines going up in the spring and summer of 2020…

Examiner article

Ohio Lake Erie fish NOT excited about potential BigWind addition

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Fish and Oil don’t mix. We find it incredibly sad that people are so incredibly misinformed about industrial wind energy. It is a large part of the ‘New Green Deal’. But, read below, and you learn that an industrial wind turbine is anything BUT clean.  400 gallons of industrial lubricants and 55 gallons of oil in EACH turbine. Think about that folks, the ‘New Green Deal’ can’t eliminate fossil fuels because BigWind NEEDS fossil fuels, inside their bellies, to function!!!!! Will the Ohio Power Siting Board see this? Probably not, their nickname, remember is the Say Yes to BigWind Board……

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The first freshwater wind-energy installation in North America could be coming to Ohio. While agreeing that a move to cleaner sources of energy is important, opponents say there’s not enough evidence that the benefits of the project outweigh the risks.

Final approval could come soon for Icebreaker, a six-turbine wind installation in Lake Erie, eight miles off Cleveland’s shoreline. Lake Erie Foundation board member John Lipaj noted it’s actually a pilot project for a massive, 1,500 wind turbine installation throughout the Great Lakes. The developer has said each turbine holds about 400 gallons of industrial lubricants and 55 gallons of oil, and Lipaj said that’s just not worth the risk.

“Lake Erie, which is the source of drinking water for 11 million people, isn’t the place to be building an industrial wind facility,” …

Cleveland article

BigWind in Seneca county, Ohio forced to press the Brakes (Delay)

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Seneca Wind Petitions The OPSB for a Two-Month Delay in their Project and Hearings

As many things have come crashing down around sPower in the last few months it appears that they are officially struggling to continue on with their schedule as they had originally planned. According to a document filed today on the OPSB’s website for the Seneca Wind Project, sPower has formally asked the OPSB to delay their Seneca Wind Project’s schedule by at least two months!

It appears that this is just another issue that sPower has encountered recently in their efforts to make this project work. It is certain that they are finally realizing just how difficult of an uphill climb this is going to be if they want to try and push their industrial wind turbine sprawl in Seneca County!

Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code (“OAC”) 4906-2-07(A) and OAC 4906-2-27(A), Seneca Wind, LLC (“Seneca Wind” or “Applicant”) and the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board (“OPSB” or “Board”) move the Board for a modification of the procedural schedule. Seneca Wind and Staff request that the procedural schedule be tolled in a manner set forth below in the memorandum in support. Tolling of the current schedule will provide Seneca Wind sufficient time to provide Staff additional information that it needs to complete its investigation….

OPSBlink

BigWind ‘Spinning’ the TRUTH

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The New Year is staring off with gusto!  A must watch video has been produced by the Seneca Anti-Wind Union coalition.  Everyone – we mean everyone should watch this video, share it on your social media, send it to your friends and think about ways your community can activate your neighbors.   Watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=pzg8qPOgI7s.

Next, educate yourselves about a memorandum filed with the PUCO by the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board in connection with Republic Wind in Seneca and Sandusky County.  Last February Apex filed an application for Republic Wind.  In May, the OPSB declared the application complete and ready for review.  In December, Apex filed a motion to change the turbine models and alter the array resulting in all proposed turbines being put in new locations causing changes to access roads and collector lines.  They also requested that the OPSB commence a hearing on the revised application in March, 90 days after submitting practically a whole new application.  The OPSB staff rejected the request citing the customary 60-day window to determine whether the amended application is complete.

Staff sees no need to rush the process.  Apex will ask the PUCO to overrule the OPSB staff. 

If one visits the Apex Republic Wind website, https://www.republicwindenergy.com/ , this is how Apex characterizes it’s amended application and the push to cut short the time period for careful evaluation:

‘“Great news! After months of diligent work to gather feedback from the community, we have found a few opportunities to amend our proposed turbine layout for Republic Wind. We have been working with OPSB to update our permit application for the project with this new layout, which we believe will be even more amenable to the members of the Seneca County community as a whole. We are glad to report that we do not anticipate this shift to delay our project, even with our request to extend the OPSB review process. We want to thank everyone who provided feedback for helping us create an even stronger Republic Wind project.”

Pure spin!  They call this significant amendment, an “update” and does their statement that they do not anticipate a delay mean they do not anticipate the PUCO will support the OPSB?  Something to watch!

Next up is Invenergy’s Hardin Wind project.  This project has not received opposition from the community.  It was approved in 2010 under the old setback rules measured from the neighbor’s house and has been  amended multiple times although it does not appear the OPSB ever required Invenergy to adhere to the new setbacks.  According to the docket in the case, construction started in 2016.   In order for Hardin Wind to secure 100% of the PTC, they would have to place the project in service within four years of commencing construction (2020).  In 2017, the media reported that AEP would purchase the power from Hardin Wind for its subsidiary, Appalachian Power serving West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. But unbeknownst to us, the West Virginia Public Service Commission denied the AEP’s request to buy the output of Hardin Wind last April.  The WV PSC said the cost of the power would impose an unnecessary increase in power bills and be a burden on taxpayers.  WOW!

“Appalachian Power’s push into renewables suffered a setback in April when the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) denied the company’s proposed purchase of two wind farms, one in Greenbrier County and another in Ohio. The PSC ruling stated that construction costs would cause an unneeded increase in power bills and a burden on taxpayers. The PSC decision followed a similar decision made by Virginia regulators in April.

The company had proposed to buy the Beech Ridge II Wind Facility in Greenbrier County and the Hardin Wind Facility in Ohio for more than $86 million.

Appalachianarticlelink 

We are not certain if much construction has actually occurred in the Hardin Wind project and we wonder if it will go forward without a contracted entity that will buy the expensive power. Notwithstanding, it is interesting to look back to 2017 when AEP announced it would purchase the power from Hardin Wind, At the time, Invenergy spun the project this way:  “Wind power’s declining costs and the extension of a federal tax credit “make the purchase of these wind facilities beneficial for customers, improve Appalachian’s fuel diversity, and increase the company’s flexibility to develop and offer renewable products for its customers,” Appalachian Power said in a statement.”  Guess not…..

Elsewhere:

Trouble in Paradise China.  “China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

China says NO to BigWind- Link

It has now been determined that the US emitted more CO2 in 2018 despite less coal and more renewables.  This is a very interesting article which shows that U.S. emissions reductions since 2007 were principally the result of the recession and lower energy use.  As the economy recovers and industry expands, renewables cannot contribute to CO2 emission reductions.  As increases in energy demand continue, more renewables are not the way to address emissions reduction…..

Recharge 

US 2018 CO2 emissions up despite less coal, more renewables

Research firm Rhodium Group reports the 3.4% increase was aided by the power sector with natural gas the main replacement for coal as electricity demand grew

By Richard A. Kessler in Fort Worth 09 January 2019Updated 09 January 2019

US CO2 emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, the largest increase in eight years, despite near-record coal plant closures and the addition of 7.9GW of wind and solar capacity through October, according to a preliminary estimate by research company Rhodium Group.

This compares with declines of 0.8% in 2017, 1.7% the prior year and 2.7% in 2015…

Total US emissions have generally declined since the Great Recession that began in 2007-08, in part because of lower electricity usage in the ensuing years but also from reduced carbon intensity of US energy supply as utilities switched from coal to natural gas and renewables…

Even though 14.3GW of coal capacity likely closed last year, the most since 14.7GW in 2015, additions of renewables fell far short of making up this shortfall as US electric power consumption surged year-on-year in a robust economy.

That raises questions about to what extent renewables can replace coal generation next decade and by extension, contribute to CO2 emission reductions…

 

BigWind FAILS in Hawaii. Will Ohio learn?

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Ohio will become a graveyard of industrial wind turbines, unless our citizenry educates themselves and others, about the realities of this industry. We canNOT rely on our legislators to protect us, as many have either been bribed by or have drunk the BigWind Kool-Aid.  Why is is that our legislators will not educate themselves about these realities? Why are they ONLY listening to the BigWind lobbyists, paid for decades, by our tax dollars??????? Maybe it is time for some new policitians, who know how to THINK…..

Recently, my wife and I were blessed with an early Christmas gift from our son. We spent a week in the beautiful state of Hawaii….I wish instead to tell you what I observed and discovered with relevance to the Hawaiian people’s experience with wind turbines.

At 7,000 feet above sea level, we stopped at a ranger station, and I had an interesting conversation with a young ranger who held a degree in biology from the University of Oklahoma….

When I asked about the wind turbines that rest silent and unmoving on the jetties close to the rugged seashores of the mountains, he responded with the following statement.

“We are more concerned with the ecology of our island than of wind energy. We have two species of bats that near extinction. That is more important to our people.”

He continued, “I am not an expert of wind turbines, but I do know they were installed around 2008, and they did not prove to be as efficient as they were advertised to be.”

We continued up the mountain to our destination, stopping at a sheep-shearing station around 9,000 feet for a meal. It was there our tour bus driver — another ranger, with a degree in wildlife management from UCLA — continued with his knowledge about the subject. He had listened quietly to the conversation that was engaged earlier in the day.

“The wind turbines are not cost efficient. When they stop working, the maintenance to repair them is not a good business move. Although we built them on shorelines where people do not live, their appearance is ghastly. Most of them remain still as they rust away. The big energy companies took advantage of the Hawaiian people.”

Broken promises:

The rusting wind turbines of Hawaii

A breathtaking sight awaits those who travel to the southernmost tip of Hawaii’s stunningly beautiful Big Island, though it’s not in any guidebook. On a 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken ‘Keep Out’ signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines….

Yet the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called “wind rush,” the world’s first major experiment in wind energy.

At a time when the EU and the British Government are fully paid-up evangelists for wind power, the lesson from America — and the ghostly hulks on this far-flung coast — should be a warning of their folly.

— By Tom Leonard, a correspondent for Hawaii Free Press (www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/6350/Broken-promises-The-rusting-wind-turbines-of-Hawaii.aspx)

Why do we not listen to the people in Hawaii, Indiana, Colorado, California, and New York when they warn us about the exploitations of wind energy companies? Is it the genuine desire to save our planet that makes us rush to hasty decisions created by outsiders? Is it the temptation of financial rewards for our family? It certainly cannot be based on research or history, for research warns of extreme danger and history speaks of consequences that result in regret as we rush to discover clean renewable energy…

Original article January 2019