BigWind finally admits ‘Wind resource is limited in Ohio’

Finally, a large industrial wind turbine company, NextEra, admits that Ohio is a terrible place for wind turbines. Tell your friends this truth!! Go to the HOME page of our website and you will see just how bad. BigWind has only been here for the free ride on our tax dollars, and now that SB310 is indefinitely ‘frozen’, times are tougher for parasites. On the positive side, read our blog from yesterday, highlighting the announcement of 2 new natural gas plants in Ohio, that will produce hundreds of good jobs and clean, reliable power!! This is encouraging news for other counties struggling with similar plights…

One of two large wind energy projects proposed for the northern reaches of Crawford County is no longer going forward.

The Honey Creek Wind Farm, which had been in the preliminary stages of development since 2011, would have consisted of about 115 wind turbines spread across 14,000 acres of leased land in Crawford County’s Lykens and Chatfield townships, as well as Bloomville, Bloom and Venice townships in Seneca County.

However, the developer behind the project, NextEra Energy Honey Creek Wind LLC, is pulling out….

“Wind resource is extremely limited in Ohio; there are not many project sites with the wind resource necessary to support a utility-scale project. The convergence of sufficient wind resources, sufficient transmission capacity and interested landowners willing to lease their land — all are needed for a viable wind energy project,” NextEra said in a motion before the Ohio Power Siting Board in 2011….

 

Source: Proposed wind farm in county halted

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Greenwich Neighbors United Applauds Ohio’s decision to PAUSE BigWind

GREENWICH NEIGHBORS UNITED APPLAUD ENERGY MANDATE STUDY COMMITTEE’S REPORT

Greenwich Neighbors United (GNU), a group of property owners who joined together to coordinate efforts to voice concerns about a proposed industrial-sized wind turbine park in Huron County, applauds the report of the Energy Mandate Study Committee which recommends that there be no further escalation in the mandates until the impact of federal requirements are better understood. GNU had submitted a letter to the Committee on March 10, 2015, urging a repeal or indefinite suspension in the escalation in of Ohio’s electricity mandates. (A copy of the letter is below.)

The Energy Mandate Study Committee was created by Sub. SB 310 of the 130th General Assembly and consisted of a bipartisan panel of members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate along with the chairperson of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. The Committee was tasked to study Ohio’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction mandates and the hidden taxes that the mandates force Ohio’s electric consumers to pay. After six months of testimony, members of the Committee released their report stating that the current pause in any further escalation in mandates and there hidden taxes should continue indefinitely due to the ongoing uncertainty over the federal government’s Clean Power Plan. The report said, “Prematurely enacting legislation to comply with a federal rule that may never go into effect seems irrational and could saddle Ohio ratepayers with extraordinary and unnecessary costs.” Without further action by the General Assembly, the mandates and their hidden taxes will begin to escalate each year beginning in 2017.

Kevin Ledet, Chairperson for Greenwich Neighbors United, said “We are pleased that the members of this Committee looked at all the facts, heard hours and hours of testimony, and sided with Ohio ratepayers. Mandates are extremely expensive, they hit poor people the hardest and the citizens of Ohio are the ones paying the tab while for-profit wind manufacturers reap the benefits.” Ledet said, “I’m glad the Committee made recommendations that benefit Ohio citizens, and I’m glad GNU participated in the process.” He cautioned that the report is not enough to protect consumers. “Now we urge the General Assembly and Governor Kasich to act quickly to prevent the resumption of the escalation in the mandates, their hidden taxes and the massive subsidization of wind farm developers that occurs through the mandates and at customers’ expense” he added.

MEMORANDUM

TO: Members of the Ohio Energy Mandate Study Committee

FROM: Kevin Ledet, Chairperson, Greenwich Neighbors United

Cc: Governor Kasich, Ohio Power Siting Board

DATE: March 10, 2015

RE: Energy Mandates/GNU’s Story

I am writing on behalf of Greenwich Neighbors United (GNU) to urge the Ohio General Assembly to repeal or indefinitely suspend the annual escalation in compliance quantities specified as part of Ohio’s energy mandates, including the renewable mandate. GNU is a large and growing group of local property owners who have joined together to coordinate our efforts to voice concerns about a proposed industrial-size wind farm in Huron County. The proposed wind farm that brought forth our concerns and the formation of GNU is described in Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), Case No. 13-990-EL-BGN.

In the summer of 2014, many residents of Greenwich began to understand the real significance of the proposed wind farm development that would be erected in our backyard. The developer had filed an application for a certificate with the OPSB and was seeking authorization to install 25 wind turbines, each 490.5 feet tall with rotor diameters of up to 383 feet, and covering 4,650 acres of land. As we started to learn more about the dangers and harmful impacts of the developer’s invasion plans, members of our community began to frantically write letters and e-mail messages to the OPSB, many of which you can find in the “public comment” section of OPSB’s case file. Unfortunately and as the OPSB was moving the certificate application along quite quickly, it took us a while to realize that our concerns and interests were less likely to be taken into account unless we hired an attorney and intervened in the OPSB proceeding. We are a group of neighbors, many of us farmers, who did not understand the OPSB’s formal process or that the concerns expressed in our letters and e-mail messages might be ignored by the OPSB unless we became a “party” to the case. However, we did know that the wind farm that was being proposed would ruin our tranquil rural community and deprive us of our fundamental rights to hold and enjoy property. Along the way, we began to realize that that the OPSB was not looking out for us and it was going to be up to us to make sure our concerns were addressed before the for-profit wind farm developer was allowed to move forward.

As we came to better appreciate the risk of not being a party in the OPSB proceeding, we found a lawyer who was willing to help us at a cost we could afford. He filed a request to allow one of the affected property owners and our members to intervene after the intervention cut-off date so that we might have the rights of a “party”. He urged the OPSB to find that there was “good cause” to allow the late intervention. Despite the support we received for this motion from members of the public, this intervention request was rejected at the urging of the wind farm developer. And then the OPSB issued a decision authorizing a certificate without one mention of the safety and other concerns expressed in the hundreds of letters and e-mail messages that were submitted to the OPSB. With the help of our attorney and our determination to make sure that our concerns were addressed, we filed an application for rehearing contesting the OPSB’s decision. In the several months since we filed the application for rehearing, the OPSB has not addressed the legal and other issues we raised in our application but it did grant rehearing for the purpose of giving it more time to consider the issues we raised in our rehearing application. At this point, no decision has been made.

Over the past nine months, our neighbors have joined together to try to protect our beautiful, peaceful and safe community from being destroyed by a wind farm developer. Along the way, we have learned that:

1) The consistent and loud noise of wind turbines can cause health issues, including migraine headaches, vertigo, nausea, tinnitus, and sleep deprivation;

2) Birds and bats that help us manage bugs and pests are killed by the blades of the turbines;

3) Wind farms destroy the value of land and homes that are located near the windfarm;

4) Wind farm developers do little, if anything, to proactively disclose the details of their proposed projects to the property owners and local officials most negatively affected by their proposals and engage in leasing practices that can be predatory;

5) As we were writing to the OPSB and urging the OPSB to address our concerns, the OPSB staff, the wind farm developer and the Ohio Farm Bureau were, without any notice to us, working on a settlement agreement which ignored our concerns, a settlement agreement that was filed with and eventually adopted by the OPSB;

6) The so-called “benefits” provided to schools by wind farm developers do not overcome the destruction of the local tax base and the local community that is caused by wind farms;

7) There are safety issues, such as ice throws, turbine fires, and catastrophic turbine failure that can damage property, injure members of our community and injure people driving on roads near the wind farm property;

8) Local fire departments including our volunteer fire department do not have the equipment to address a turbine fire including fires caused by a lightning strike and, absent prudent setbacks, dry grain fields can rapidly spread a turbine fire to dwellings and other property;

9) The OPSB has approved wind farm proposals that treat the minimum setback requirement contained in Ohio law as though it is a maximum setback requirement and allowed developers to move forward even though most of the proposed turbine locations violate the minimum setback requirement contained in Ohio law.

10) The OPSB ignores the fact that the turbine manufacture’s minimum safe distance specification may be greater than Ohio’s minimum setback requirement.

11) The OPSB has not, since 2008, promulgated the rules that are, according to Section 4906.20(B) of the Revised Code supposed to contain reasonable regulations regarding wind turbine “… location, erection, construction, reconstruction, change, alteration, maintenance, removal, use, or enlargement and including erosion control, aesthetics, recreational land use, wildlife protection, interconnection with power lines and with regional transmission organizations, independent transmission system operators, or similar organizations, ice throw, sound and noise levels, blade shear, shadow flicker, decommissioning, and necessary cooperation for site visits and enforcement investigations”; and,

12) The OPSB is, contrary to the plain language in Section 4906.20 (C) of the Revised Code and despite protests from at least one legislator, allowing wind farm developers to evade the minimum setback requirements without the developer securing a waiver of the minimum setback requirement from ALL owners or property adjacent to the wind farm property.

GNU was formed to help educate the community and public officials about the risks of wind turbines and the developers who place profits above local interests. We have done this on our on time and at our own expense. We have held numerous public meetings, bake sales, raffled off home-made pies, held a chili rally, distributed yard signs, put informational brochures in pizza boxes, and held a soup and song event all to educate the community and raise funds to make sure that our concerns are responsibly addressed before a wind farm developer is allowed to invade and exploit our community.

Throughout our learning process, we have heard from experts on the subject of wind turbines and how harmful they can be on a community and how inefficient they are when it comes to producing electricity or helping the environment. As this committee studies the current energy mandates, we wanted you to know about our story and the degree to which real people with concerns about wind farm developments within or near their communities are struggling to get their concerns addressed in a timely and responsible fashion. We are a community, made up of mostly farmers, who have educated ourselves on wind turbines.

Based on the things we have discovered and our experience with the OPSB, we respectfully request that your report recommend that the General Assembly either repeal or indefinitely suspend any further escalation in the energy mandates compliance quantities. Allowing the annual escalation in the mandates, including the renewable mandate, to resume in 2017 before there are adequate substantive and procedural safeguards in place AND it is clear that the safeguards will be properly applied by the OPSB and other agencies will result in other communities around Ohio having to endure what we have been through.

As importantly, our state and Nation should not be subsidizing wind turbine developers and as taxpayers and electricity consumers, we should not be forced to provide financial support to wind farm developers that our invading our communities with little or no regard for the property rights which are supposed to be protected by our state and federal constitutions. .

Attached is our application for rehearing that was filed at the OPSB, along with many articles and letters to the editor that have been printed in our local papers.

We would be happy to host a local meeting of your Committee to let you see firsthand what is being proposed in our community and to let hear from the Ohio citizens who are paying a high price as a result of Ohio’s arbitrary portfolio mandates.

We hope this information is useful and we thank you for your consideration of our comments.

http://www.greenwichneighborsunited.com

Why did Ohio continue to FREEZE BigWind? Follow the $$$$$$$$

cost of Ohio's RE Rider

‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ is such a wise phrase from The Wizard of Oz and so pertinent today…Just change yellow to green! Review the chart above, to see the average monthly cost of a renewable energy mandate, to Ohioans and our industry. Does this added expense make our industry MORE competitive with other states and foreign countries? NO  Does this added expense raise the cost of living for our residents? NO  Does this added expense raise the likelihood that our industry will INcrease their hiring? NO. Read an excerpt below, that states the most obvious reasons why our legislators could not continue to give BigWind significant ADvantages to build in our great state. Bravo to our legislators….

…The Study Committee heard testimony from Ryan M. Yonk, Ph.D. of Utah State University. Dr. Yonk, along with five individuals from Utah State University, published a comprehensive report in April 2015 entitled “Renewable Portfolio Standards: Ohio.” That report concluded that Ohio’s renewables mandate will lead to the following:21

  •   Significant increases in fiscal and economic costs between now and 2026
  •   A $1,920,000,000 burden on Ohio ratepayers
  •   A $52,000,000 decrease in investment
  •   A decrease in personal disposable income of $258 million in 2026
  •   An increase in the unemployment rate by 10%, which equates to 29,366 jobs

    The Study Committee did not receive any definitive data from the PUCO on the projected future costs of the energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates. In a letter from the PUCO to the Study Committee dated September 14, 2015, the PUCO stated that they do not currently have the capability to independently forecast the costs of implementing the energy efficiency mandates in future years with a high level of significance….

via: http://emsc.legislature.ohio.gov/Assets/Reports/emsc-final-report.pdf

NASA says NO to Ohio BigWind!!

NASA has some of the brightest engineering minds in the world. They state the reality of this industry below, “…elimination of the Production Tax Credit, extension of renewable energy generation projects for Ohio public utilities, the low price of REC’s, and relatively cheap fossil fuel (natural gas) have diminished the present economic climate for a wind farm.”  That is a very polite and politically correct way of stating what has been obvious to us for years. Wind energy is not cheap without the government propping it up with our tax dollars! Now, are our legislators smart enough to see this truth, too??? What will the energy mandate committee decide to do???….

The wind farm that NASA has talked about building for years at the space agency’s Plum Brook Station has been delayed and may never be built….

NASA Glenn spokeswoman Lori Rachul said agency officials have cited several reasons for their current lack of interest.

“Market analysis and feasibility studies had indicated a favorable climate for wind resource development, but elimination of the Production Tax Credit, extension of renewable energy generation targets for Ohio public utilities, the low price of Renewable Energy Credits, and relatively cheap fossil fuel (natural gas) have diminished the present economic climate for a wind farm. Until the economics improve, the wind farm project is on hold,” she said….

Source: NASA wind farm put out to pasture

If (BigWind energy in OH) is so cheap, why do we have to FORCE peop’s to buy it?

A group of environmentalists and others, like the Farm Bureau, who are pushing for reinstatement of the renewable mandates have completed a tour of the state and issued a report that is getting a lot of media attention. In addition to pushing for reinstatement of the mandates, they are demanding repeal of property line setbacks established last year to protect property owners. Siting has never been considered by the mandate committee and it would be surprising to see it included in the Mandate Committee’s report . And as for the mandates, Senator Seitz is quoted in the Columbus Business First as saying ““I don’t think we’re likely to resume our march up Mandate Mountain, but I also don’t think we’re going to repeal where we are right now,” he said. “Let things unfold the next three years due to turbulence created by the U.S. EPA.” “Those that believe these things are important should be given every opportunity to put money where their mouth is,” he said. “Loud and clearly.”…

We aren’t quite sure how to interpret all of this but it could mean the Committee will recommend that those who want to use more renewable energy could do so on a voluntary basis and pay for it themselves instead of forcing higher costs on ratepayers and taxpayers. This would be an outcome we could live with for now….

…Ohio’s Energy Future Tour, a coalition of business groups and environmental advocates, issued a report on Wednesday calling on the state to lift a “freeze” on benchmarks for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to make other changes that embrace clean-energy technologies….

There are two laws at issue.

• First is Senate Bill 310, passed last year, which placed a two-year freeze on state rules that require utilities to buy certain amounts of renewable energy and to meet targets for reducing energy use. The law has several other notable provisions, including a repeal of a rule that says utilities must buy half of their renewable energy from sources within the state.

• Second is a change to rules addressing placement of wind-energy turbines, a modification that was inserted into a larger budget bill last year. The change puts more distance between turbines and nearby buildings, which has the effect of reducing the number of turbines that can be installed for some projects….

Sam Randazzo, a Columbus lawyer for industrial businesses and a supporter of last year’s legislation, says the report is making requests that would lead to an increase in utility bills. He says the authors are straining their credibility when they argue that renewable energy is affordable and good for the economy, and also argue that renewable-energy mandates are necessary.

“If it’s so cheap, why do you have to force people to buy it?” he asked.

The legislative committee will issue its recommendations, and then it will be up to the General Assembly to decide what to do next. If lawmakers take no action, the freeze would lift next year….

Source: Clean-energy advocates want Ohio to alter course

Are Wind Turbines the new American ‘Anchor babies’?

EIA

As I sit watching a TV exchange between Donald Trump and reporter about the politically INcorrect phrase, ‘anchor babies’, wind turbines come to mind.  The wind turbine industry, predominantly headquartered OVERseas, has planted roots here, thousands of them, funneling our taxpayer dollars and producing very LITTLE electricity for our grid. Will they somehow, now claim, that they are ‘victims’ of climate change? It appears as though our climate change has greatly reduced their already dismal performance…and it IS significant. According to the EIA, capacity factors in the US West, have been as low as 10%.  Again, we ask the question, how many industries can survive if they produce 10% of what they promised? This industry advertises their maximum output of energy, if they spin 24 hrs x 7 days per week, but then they sometimes produce zero? Sometimes, they produce 10% of that number? NO INDUSTRY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR COULD SURVIVE with these facts. Why isn’t this considered FRAUD?…

Lower-than-average winds in the western United States in the first half of the year have cut into production and revenues at wind farms there, according to company data. Now, the industry is trying to figure out how it will deal with variable weather in the future….

For example, Pattern Energy Group Inc., which owns wind farms in Texas, California and elsewhere, reduced its expected 2015 output by 5 percent in a statement in April. Low winds have reduced its production by 15 percent in the first six months of 2015, according to SEC filings….

“The phone in our office is ringing off the hook, with people asking what happened, what does it mean, how usual is it, what is the prediction for the future,” he said. “And then the light bulb goes off: Where do I build my next set of projects to mitigate this?”…

Wind Power Must Now Contend with Extreme Weather – Scientific American.

and http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22452#

If the purchase of BigWind’s energy is economical, then Ohio should NOT have to mandate it!

The activist environmental group, Environment Ohio (aided by the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists), has made claims about alleged harms to the Ohio area due to the mandate freeze.  In their report, designed to lobby for reinstatement of the mandates, Environment Ohio projects losses to every Ohio county caused by the mandate freeze and property line-based setbacks.   Sadly, the Dayton Daily News and Springfield News Sun report this stuff as fact even though it is not credible. 

Environment Ohio fails to detail the full costs and benefits behind their ‘alleged’ $218 Million in lost savings. It does not matter who pays for renewable energy facilities. It only matters what they cost and the value of what they produce over time (see TStacy article comments for detailed example). 

Every business views energy costs as a bottom line issue and any smart business is constantly looking for ways to be more efficient because savings improve the bottom line.  Mandates are not needed to force businesses to do something they would do anyway.  Mandates can, however, force a company to do something that does not make sense from a return on investment perspective.  Mandates, subsidies paid by ratepayers and taxpayers, and predatory industries that threaten the public with unfounded claims and scare tactics aren’t the answer….

A recent report argued Ohio’s freeze on renewable energy standards has put the state’s clean energy industry at risk while state legislators study current laws.

Ohio Senate Bill 310 froze the state’s renewable energy mandates for two years and created a panel to study whether to change the state’s energy laws. But in the meantime, that legislation has cost the state jobs, as well as about $218 million in energy savings, according to a recent report by Environment Ohio, an environmental advocacy group.

The report estimated SB 310 has cost Clark County about $3.6 million in energy savings since it was enacted, and could cost about $29 million by 2025 if the freeze were made permanent. It argues if the freeze continues, the Dayton metro area would miss out on electricity savings worth $251 million by 2025, enough electricity to power about 175,000 homes for a year.

The report also cites Ohio House Bill 483, which increased the property line setback requirements for new wind farms in the state. The report noted that this law made it harder to develop wind farms like those proposed for Champaign County, and argued legislators should reinstate the renewable mandates.

Several state legislators, including Ohio Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), could not be reached for comment regarding the freeze. But Faber and other lawmakers have said in the past that while Ohio’s renewable energy laws might make sense, the rules needed to be reviewed to ensure they are working to benefit consumers.

The state’s previous laws were potentially flawed, and needed to be reviewed, said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He said the freeze will help legislators find a better balance than the previous standards…

Renewable energy freeze costly to state, area | Springfield, OH | www.daytondailynews.com.