Imagine 1 turbine every 10 miles across the ENTIRE state of Ohio!

Last week, the Senate Public Utilities Committee resumed hearings on Sub. Senate Bill 58 to modify the energy mandates. Excerpts from 1 of the testimonies is below.  The testimony of Kevon Martis notes that to fulfill the Ohio renewable mandate would require 6,765 MW’s of installed wind capacity with a generous capacity factor of 30%.  That translates into 4,000 1.7MW G.E. turbines or one turbine per every ten square miles across the entire State of Ohio.   When you consider that commercially viable wind resources are only present in less than 5% of Ohio’s land mass, it means fulfillment of the mandate would eventually obliterate certain counties. What would this do for future economic growth? Future residential growth and property taxes? This scenario is a nightmare, but not as much as the one noted below. Our pitiful setbacks from residences, instead of property lines, means that children can end up playing in a dangerous area – an area that the industry considers necessary to mandate that their workers wear hardhats and steel toed boots.  In some cases, this area could even be located on a school property, where we believe our children should be “safe”…

Testimony of Joshua J. Nolan, Esq., IICC…

As an attorney licensed in both Ohio and Michigan, I have represented individuals, farmers, wind turbine lease holders, and non-profit corporations whom are faced with questions surrounding industrial wind turbines.  Some of those clients have sought my counsel prior to the construction of any turbines in their area, whereas other have attempted to take action only after their landscape has been altered forever.  When possible, I volunteer my services to help educate others of the dangers of improperly sited industrial wind turbines….

As this panel is undoubtedly aware, the constitutionality of Ohio’s in-state generation mandate is highly questionable.  Although stated in dicta, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made it crystal clear that in-state generation mandates like those contained in Michigan’s P.A. 295 (which is substantially similar to Ohio’s SB221) are viewed as unconstitutional encroachments upon Congress’ exclusive authority to regulate interstate commerce.  If, as Judge Posner stated, “Michigan cannot, without violating the commerce clause of Article 1 of the Constitution, discriminate against out-of-state renewable energy,” neither can Ohio.

Because of this unconstitutional in-state generation mandate, SB221 was successful in creating a market for renewable energy where none existed.  However, many Ohio residents have paid a steep price to create that market.  Because SB221 demands that Ohio produce a certain amount of renewable energy, regardless of its suitability for producing such energy.  Ohio residents have been forced to deal with the consequences of an industry ill-suited for its environment due to population density and questionable wind resources.  These factors have led to the improper and unsafe siting of industrial wind turbines throughout rural Ohio, without due regard for their impact on existing residents….

SB 221’s unconstitutional in-state generation mandate is the reason that children (whom have not even left their own yards) are forced to live and play inside the danger zones within which turbine manufacturers require their own employees to wear hard hats and steel toe boots.  And that same constitutional in-state generation mandate is used as a shield to defend against claims from those whose lives have been disrupted by noise pollution and sleep deprivation following the forced placement of industrial wind turbines next to their home….

To be clear, the need to end this oppression of Ohio’s rural residents is neither a Republican, nor a Democratic issue.  It is not a Conservative or a Progressive issue.  This is an issue that crosses all races, religions, creeds, colors, and yes, even political parties.  Low frequency noise emitted by industrial wind turbines knows no color, race, or gender.  Shadow flicker does not distinguish on the basis of income or one’s belief in the proper role of government.  A chunk of flying turbine blade debris will not alter its flight because the adjacent landowner voted Democratic in the last election….

Is Iberdrola being “hypocritical” or just making a “critical” error?

Yesterday, this blog mentioned that European exec’s were calling for an end to the distorting subsidies for wind power; that group includes the CEO of Iberdrola, developer of wind farms in NW Ohio. Ironically, however, it is the Iberdrola US rep, Eric Thumma, leading the charge against Ohio SB 58 – in other words, he is trying to save the special treatments and incentives for wind. (testimony at the Ohio Gen Assembly 10/2/13)

The following is part of the WSJ article, about Europe, referenced at the bottom of the page..Top executives of companies that provide half of Europe’s electricity production capacity on Friday called on politicians to end “distorting” subsidies for wind and solar power, saying the incentives have led to whopping bills for households and businesses and could cause continent-wide blackouts…Speaking at a news conference here, chief executives of 10 energy producers also urged European Union authorities to compensate electricity companies that agree to maintain spare capacity on standby—a practice that helps increase the security of Europe’s highly interconnected power grid.

The executives, from utilities including Germany’s E.ON, France’s GDF Suez and Italy’s Eni SpA, blamed rising power prices on policies introduced at the turn of the century, when most European governments sought to promote renewable energy…

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Germany, France, Italy and some other EU countries began subsidizing solar and wind power in an effort to minimize the region’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and to reduce power prices.

“We’ve failed on all accounts: Europe is threatened by a blackout like in New York few years ago, prices are shooting up higher, and our carbon emissions keep increasing,” said GDF Suez CEO Gérard Mestrallet ahead of the news conference…

Under the subsidy mechanisms, wind and solar power producers benefit from priority access to the grid and enjoy guaranteed prices. In France, for instance, even as wholesale prices hover around €40 ($54) a megawatt hour, windmill electricity goes at a minimum of €83 a megawatt hour, regardless of demand….

The system certainly lured investors into wind and solar power projects. Germany now has 60 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity—about 25% of the country’s total power-generation capacity. But the guarantees mean households now pay about 29 euro cents a kilowatt-hour, up from about 14 cents a kilowatt-hour in 2000.

The CEOs said the subsidy mechanisms became deeply flawed in 2008, when the financial crisis hit and many European countries descended into economic recession. Although demand for electricity stalled or fell in some countries, pushing down wholesale electricity prices, investors kept plowing money into new wind and solar power capacity thanks to the guaranteed tariffs for renewables.

Meanwhile, electricity prices continued rising. On average, after-tax power prices rose 17% for households and 21% for businesses in Europe over the past four years, according to Eurostat data.

To cope with overcapacity, utilities decommissioned or mothballed some of their fossil-fuel power plants that had become unprofitable to operate. Over the past four years, 51 gigawatts of gas-fired capacities have been idled across Europe, Mr. Mestrallet said.

“That’s like wiping out half of France’s power-generation capacity, or those of Belgium, the Czech Republic and Portugal combined,” he said.

Analysts say the trend is dangerous because, unlike renewable wind and solar sources, which are intermittent, gas-fired plants are a key element to improving the reliability of the grid because they can be turned on or off at short notice. Some fear that Europe is now ill-equipped to weather a cold spell.

“The importance of renewables has become a threat to the continent’s supply safety,” Colette Lewiner , an energy analyst at Capgemini consultancy, warned in a report released this week. “There could indeed be a blackout.”