Ohio testifies against (HB 114) BigWind in a BigWay

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Yesterday was a huuuuggge day at the Statehouse where rural landowners from
Champaign, Van Wert, Seneca, Huron, Richland, Allen, Hardin and Logan
Counties assembled to provide opponent testimony against the proposed
setbacks in Sub. H.B.  114.   Fifty-three separate testimonies were
submitted for the record and twenty of them were presented verbally by a
great group of people including a Van Wert County Commissioner. All
testimony can be downloaded or viewed on the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee website at
http://www.ohiosenate.gov/committees/energy-and-natural-resources/document-a
rchive .   The room was packed and those who made the long trip to Columbus
left quite an impression on anyone who saw us fill the main floor and the
balcony. We spent 3 1/2 hours stating our concerns and Chairman Balderson was kind enough to let everyone say what they came to say without time constraints.

We rebutted the notion that Ohio’s setbacks were the most restrictive in
the nation by showing that the universe of states to which we can be
compared is just four states.  If H.B. 114 is passed with 1.2x turbine
height setbacks, Ohio will have the third least protective setbacks in the
nation with South Dakota (46th in population rank) and Wisconsin being worse
than Ohio.  Wisconsin measures 1.1x turbine height to the property line and
1,125′ to the residence.  The Wisconsin Town Association adopted a
Resolution a few years ago calling for a Moratorium on further wind
development and the Brown County Board of Health deemed them to be a human
health hazard.

We presented a powerful testimony documenting the property losses
experienced inside the Blue Creek Wind project.   We uniformly presented
opposition to measurement from anything but the property line and opposition
to any reduction in current setbacks.  We all demanded that people inside a
project footprint have a vote in whether or not a project should be
approved.  One opponent actually lives inside Blue Creek.  She described
the awful nuisance effects and said there were times she had to leave the
area.

Senator Dolan was ready with questions we suspect were prepared for him by
the wind lobby.  He was essentially the only one speaking on behalf of wind.

*       Sen. Dolan said OPSB siting was unique in the US and makes Ohio’s
wind siting the most professional, responsive and protective in the nation.
He said no other state has what we have. But OPSB’s siting decisions
routinely wind up in the Ohio Supreme Court because they are flawed. Both
county and township governments have been intervenors and their concerns,
like the citizens,  have been disregarded.  OPSB has not adopted all the
siting rules they were required by law to adopt; they have no standard for
Low Frequency Noise; they do not enforce the law requiring property line
setbacks for amended certificates; they deny requests for safety manuals and
on and on.   One Supreme Court  Justice once opined that   “Where there is
no rule, there can be no violation, and there will be no need for an
amendment.”  That seems to us like the OPSB philosophy.

*       One point in our testimony that should be reinforced is that, in
almost every other state, the setback is established via local zoning
ordinance.  In 27 states, there are numerous issues that state Public
Utility or Public Service Commissions evaluate when processing an
application for a wind project certificate but setbacks are not one of them.
(In some instances, the developer can appeal to the state Public Utilities
Commission if they object to the local zoning.)  When other state
governments issue a certificate, they simply verify the application complies
with the local setback and that  a local zoning permit has been issued. That
is what the National Conference of State Legislatures’ survey reveals.
Moreover, it reveals that almost every local zoning ordinance measures
setbacks from the property line irrespective of differences in distance.
Even AWEA’s setback  chart confirms this.

*       Sen. Dolan continues to assert that granting PILOT constitutes local
control even after testimony that EverPower’s representative told the family
of a witness they intended to build without PILOT. Dolan
attacked the witness saying she was spreading “hearsay” that was not
credible.  Dolan tried to get Julie to agree that there was no longer a
project in Champaign County because EverPower had been denied PILOT.  She
said she did not know that to be true.    Another thing to consider is that
an increasing number of developers are building the wind facilities and
selling them – to corporations; to other wind companies and to utilities.
These developers will not have to pay the tax because they won’t own the
project anymore.  Any company with a deep pocket and desire to appear green
(think Amazon or AEP) can afford to pay.

*       Sen. Dolan continues to assert the “two-pronged” setback – from the
property line and the residence addresses our concerns.  This is absolutely
laughable but it continues to have some kind of traction with legislators.
The only thing that matters is the distance from the property line. Anything
beyond that is irrelevant. The nuisance effects cross the line onto the
property on which these people pay taxes.  Although we continue to  say it
is trespass zoning and that the participating property-owner is given an
easement and compensated while the non-participating property owner carries
the burden, risks loss of property value and becomes a prisoner inside his
own house.

*       Sen. Dolan asked a witness if she would be willing to have the County Commissioners make the decision on approving a wind farm.
She said “no”.  She said some Commissioners are leaseholders.  (They also
have a conflict of interest in accepting the discretionary money which is
part of the PILOT and which can fund their own salary increases.) She
asserted the only acceptable thing would  be a vote of the affected people
inside the footprint.  It came through pretty clearly that local voters need
a voice.  A Van Wert County Commissioner stated that, even if the
people in the affected area do not have an opportunity to vote, the
Commissioners would take a straw poll anyway and that would guide them.
He also made the important point that giving local control to the
voters forces the wind companies to negotiate.  Right now they have no
incentive to negotiate and they ignore the concerns of the local community.
Related to that, he said in Paulding County the wind developer provided
a $5,000 bond to dismantle the Timber Road project.  That exposes the county
to a future liability that they probably will never be able to afford to
address.

*       Sen. Dolan asked us to acknowledge that the 2,300′ property line
setbacks adopted in Rush County, Indiana meant that a wind project could not
be built.  We said that was the choice of that community.  Further noted, Allen County, where Fort Wayne is located, voted to ban wind turbines. Noted, too, was the manager of the Blue Creek Wind Farm chose to live in Fort Wayne where he and his family would not be exposed to wind turbines. One size does not fit all.  Why
should it matter that a wind project would need to go elsewhere where they
can be accommodated?   It should be obvious to everyone that it is wrong to
facilitate a hostile takeover of a community.

*       We understand part of the reluctance to permit local zoning comes
from the Farm Bureau who thinks regulation in a rural area is the camel’s
nose under the tent and will legitimize future rural regulation such as for
hog farms.  That issue was squarely addressed in the testimony of our witness
 who said anyone who chooses to live in the country accepts that there might be pests and unpleasant odors from animal farm operations. But NO ONE expects to live inside an industrial power plant.  The farm lobby should not get away with conflating hog farms and industrial wind despite their continuing to call them “farms”.

If HB 114 were to pass in its present form, Ohio would become the dumping
ground for developers who want to site turbines ‘on the cheap’ near
transmission, rather than in more remote locations that have higher
transmission costs but fewer people.

As all of the debate continues, we are seeing more courts upholding
challenges from people who anticipate problems with proposed wind
developments.  There is recent court-related activity from Indiana, West
Virginia, Minnesota, Kansas and New York.

As noted above, Ohio does not have a standard for low frequency noise which
is below the threshold of hearing but can harm you.  We cannot see x-rays or
ultraviolet rays yet we understand exposure to them can harm us.  LFN is
harmful even though we cannot see it.  One opponent submitted written
testimony on this issue and we also recommend a good video to watch for a
better understanding of LFN at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=194&v=ZXCZ3OyklrE .

Thank you to all who traveled and submitted testimony! veryone should feel proud to Every single person mattered —democracy in action!!

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BigWind challenges Life Flight in Ohio

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The Apex turbines that have been proposed in Van Wert, Seneca and Sandusky counties will be approximately 600 feet high. How many lives could be lost or impacted if BigWind forces Life Flight to alter their flight paths???? Local residents deserve the right to vote on these projects!!

A potential 200 Megawatt Wind Farm with dozens or perhaps hundreds of turbines has been proposed for Eastern Seneca County and Southern Sandusky County.

But a group of concerned citizens want more say in where the wind turbines could go…

The Seneca Anti-Wind Union is a group of property owners who feel the economic needs of the county are outweighing the needs of these property owners.

“Money, money talks and so, when we’re talking about property rights, quality of life, that sort of thing; from a politician’s standpoint, that just doesn’t stack up to money,” said Greg Smith, member of the Seneca Anti-wind Union.

The group also has health and safety concerns, as Nate Blaser, fire chief for Bloom Township said the 600 foot tall Turbines would act as a wall that air ambulances would have to fly around on a day where there’s a low cloud base.

That’s because the proposed turbines in this project range from over 450 feet to just under 600 feet, far larger than other wind turbines in northwest Ohio.

“The ceiling height, or the window that they can fly into on a cloudy day is effected by the wind turbines. The wind turbines are much larger than what we’ve seen in other parts of the state,” said Bloom Township fire chief Nate Blaser.

The group wants to allow impacted residents to have a voice in the matter, which is why they oppose current Ohio House Bill 114, which would reduce the current turbine setback, allowing them to be built closer to private property.

“Right now, the local county has their hands tied, and the residents don’t have any say…

 

Link

It’s been a great week for BigWind in Ohio

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It has been a crazy week at the Statehouse.  The picture is becoming just a little clearer to us and it seems that the bill which Sen. Beagle drafted as Sub. HB 114 was NOT what had been expected.  Many were surprised that there was any setback language in the bill at all.  Equally surprising was the restoration of mandates even though the mandated amounts were reduced.  The House had worked hard to change the mandates to goals.  The Senate undid their good work.  All is up in the air.  

In the meantime, HB 604 was referred to the Public Utilities Committee for Sponsor testimony this coming Tuesday afternoon.  HB 604 changes the property line setbacks and it makes the PILOT program for tax abatement permanent.  It is not known whether there will actually be hearings on the bill after Rep. Strahorn (D-Dayton) gives his remarks next week.  One gossip sheet report we saw this week said:

“John Kasich, Ryan Smith, and their allies have fervently embraced well financed left coast, left wing organizations that are pushing solar and wind for Ohio.  At the same time, they are fervently opposed to both coal and nuclear power. As far as they are concerned every coal and nuclear plant in Ohio can close and consumers, investors, and taxpayers can be damned. Householder and his allies believe in more of an all of the above approach versus an either-or approach on energy issues.  They know that energy demand in Ohio and across the nation is increasing swiftly and we need coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind to meet the demand inexpensively.  They believe that Ohio remaining a low-cost energy producer is absolutely crucial to growing our economic base.” 

Tuesday morning, Conservatives for Clean Energy is holding a press conference at the Statehouse presumably to stage a theatrical act to convince Republican lawmakers to move swiftly on Sub. HB 114 or even SB 238 before summer recess.  An  article from earlier this year from the Washington Examiner lambasting the Conservatives for Clean Energy: “There is nothing ‘conservative’ about the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, which appears to be little more than a front group for purveyors of wind and solar power, who will stop at nothing to keep their industry from having to stand on its own two feet. And that includes presenting themselves as conservative when, in fact, they are garden-variety hustlers looking for a handout.”

Apex has weighed in on Sub HB 114 saying, “The bill includes local engagement requirements, such as public meetings and letters to all adjacent landowners, and preserves ‘local control’ through county government consideration of property tax treatment for wind facilities,” Mr. Goodwin said. “We encourage the legislature and Governor Kasich to approve this measure before the summer recess to allow billions of dollars of investment from utility-scale wind development in Ohio to proceed.”   Ridiculous!  Every community facing the threat of wind knows that unwitting leaseholders are signed up long before the projects become public.  A requirement that public notice be given 60 days before filing with OPSB is laughable.  Public information meetings are also currently required and anyone who has ever been to one knows they are worthless and project maps on display show no roads or boundaries.  Finally, the notion that the County Commissioner’s authority to abate taxes has NOTHING to do with local input on setbacks or the ability of a community to determine if a project is a net benefit or a net harm.

Finally, we thought we would refresh your memories on what Senator Dolan said about his bill last winter when interviewed: “The setbacks were moved to a distance that really made it nearly impossible for wind farms to develop economically,” Dolan said”  Dolan may be telling the truth here.  Projects could be built if wind developers were willing to pay neighboring landowners enough money to sign a Good Neighbor Agreement.   Would it cost them a little more? Probably.  But taking it on an uncompensated basis by the action of the legislature would be more “economical”.  We guess that it really is just another handout to prop up the business.

In other news, just when BigWind convinces you that Ohio setbacks restrict their business

  • When Amazon, recently, announced a new facility in Madison County that will employ 1,500 people, Rep. Bill Seitz was quick to point out to his colleagues that “One of the most easily debunked arguments made by advocates of reduced wind turbine setbacks and for the retention of renewable mandates is that such is needed to attract companies like Amazon”.

 

  • Likewise, a solar company announced plans to open an office in Central Ohio despite no special mandates or handouts.  “A growing North Carolina business specializing in solar energy and roofing is planning a new office in Worthington.  Power Home Solar…as it looks to establish a market in Central Ohio. It says it ultimately looks to employ 65 to 70 in its local roofing operations. It’s looking to hire a mix of back-office staff, salespeople and installers. Founded in 2015 in Mooresville, North Carolina, the company has been listed on the Inc. 500’s list of fastest growing private companies.”

solar news

setback changes

look out!

 

 

Apex Clean Energy handed big ‘blow’ in Van Wert, Ohio

 

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The Van Wert county overwhelmingly said NO to a county commissioner who strongly supported  Apex Clean Energy!  The same occurred, across the border, in Cass County, IN…

The TRUTH is hard to hide and it is out. BigWind is a bully across America. It divides families and communities and damages our energy security b/c it is an intermittent energy source that must be backed up 100% of the time. People are becoming educated….

Do you think our legislators are paying attention???? Columbus should be, particularly before they sign a new law that shortens our setbacks!!!

Love of $ is the root of all evil (BigWind)

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It seems more and more that the pursuit of money is the only justification left for building wind facilities.  In today’s issue, the article “Love of Money is the Root of All Evil” is included.  Maybe it will resonate with your experience or maybe you might like it share it with your elected officials.

A quote from the article states:  “This general affluence, however, brings neither an increase in human decency nor real happiness.  Instead, the more gadgetry we have, the more choices we have in the marketplace, the more economic security we have – if we have defined those as the center of our lives – the more desperately wretched we become inside.  Moreover, no one who makes money the center of his life is ever satisfied with what he has.  The lust for wealth is a narcotic just as insidious as heroin or pornography.  It consumes us.  We barter away everything that ought to matter in our lives and silently mock those things that truly matter, and we encourage the rest of us to mock those things as well.

 A letter to the Editor from a resident of Tipton County, Indiana amplifies the above quote.  Jane Harper writes, “Wind companies prey on counties with weak ordinances. Think about why they chose you. It’s nothing more than a business deal to them in order to make money and they care not about the chronic wounds of strife left behind. To most, the price of happiness and serenity and community cohesiveness is price-less, and no amount of money flashed in front of county leaders from a wind company “for the good of the county” will make a measurable positive difference in one’s daily lives.  So the “numbers” of what “wind” brings to the community are immaterial if you all believe that happiness does not have a price tag.”

 Do county commissioners, township trustees and school board officials understand that to most of their constituents, the justification of money coming into the community will not really make a “measurable positive difference in one’s daily life”  because the happiness of their constituents does not have a price tag?

Elsewhere in the news:

 

  • The Van Wert School Board writes an open letter to the community to justify why they are willing to barter away serenity and community cohesiveness in exchange for money saying, “Wind revenue is important to VWCS because it would allow the district to continue to meet prudent student and facility needs for a longer period, without going to the voters.”   How arrogant. What a lousy bargain.

 

  • The Sandusky Register reports on the annual bird migration across Lake Erie. “ In recent news, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology introduced a real-time animated bird migration map called BirdCast which shows actual nocturnal bird migration patterns based upon 23 years of U.S. NEXRAD weather radar surveillance observations. Only recently has the magnitude of nocturnal migration been realized, with many species flying great distances at night at altitudes dictated by species and weather conditions. As wind farms continue to be built and expanded without proper oversight concerning their locations, millions of birds and bats, including endangered species will suffer accelerated, unsustainable additive mortality rates, which continue to be hidden from the scientific community and by extension, the general public.”  On a small positive note, Lucas County Commissioners have agreed to support turning off all non-essential lighting during the migration.

 

  • In Hardin County, the Ada Exempted Village School District Board of Education has authorized legal action against two companies over their failure to remove an inoperable wind turbine on school district property.  The turbine was struck by lightning in 2016 and the developer has refused to repair it.  The turbine is inoperable and needs to be removed.  The taxpayers may get saddled with the expense if legal action fails. What about the ONU turbines? 2 out of 3 were not working in the past few years…
  • General Motors will buy 200 megawatts of wind energy from Ohio and Illinois wind farms in a move the company said will power 20% of its global energy use. The electricity will be generated by wind farms under construction in Ohio – including the 60 turbine 100-megawatt Northwest Ohio Wind Farm in Haviland – and Indiana. “They will enable GM to power all its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities with 100% renewable sources once the turbines come online by year’s end, according to the company”.    Haviland is a village of about 200 people located in Paulding County.  One commenter on this story noted “Nice project but misleading. Those GM plants will need on line generators to run 24/7 because the wind does not blow all the time…and the sun does not shine much of the time around here. Since corporations are willing to buy into this type of energy, the need for tax breaks has long since passed. All the tax breaks do is give these turbines unfair competition to the nuke and coal plants that provide the back up to run 24/7, not to mention tax revenue losses to local and state governments. These nuke and coal plants won’t run forever, but they still have useful life in them and employ a lot more people that wind turbines.”    The project is under construction in Blue Creek and Latty townships.
  • Icebreaker Windpower proposes to construct six wind turbines located approximately 8-10 miles offshore Cleveland. Each turbine would have a nameplate capacity rating of 3.45 MW, resulting in a combined generating capacity of 20.7 MW. The project would include an approximately 12-mile-long submerged electric transmission line to transmit the electricity generated by the turbines to Cleveland Public Power’s onshore Lake Road substation.  A public hearing on the project is scheduled for July 19 at 6 p.m. at Cleveland City Council Chambers in Cleveland City Hall.  An adjudicatory hearing in this proceeding will begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. Icebreaker is being aggressively promoted by a group called Windustrious Cleveland under the direction of Sarah Taylor who thinks filling up the Great Lakes with wind turbines will reverse climate change.

 

  • A mystery man from North Olmsted in Cuyahoga County by the name of Tom Schock writes a letter of support for the Dolan setback bill.  We don’t know who Schock is but he has been popping up in papers in different cities for a number of years advocating for reduced setbacks.  Schock was writing back when Cliff Hite was making efforts to reduce setbacks.  Readers should be aware that this fellow is kind of a career letter to the Editor writer and he is writing from a community that will never see a wind turbine.

 

  • A Seneca County couple writes a letter to the editor after being offered a good neighbor agreement.  The proposed contract would pay them $500 a year to waive adverse effects and comply with a confidentiality clause. They have filed a complaint with the PUCO.

 

  • The Ohio Country Journal distributed across Ohio to farmers and rural landowners waded into the setback controversy.  The reporter is a graduate of OSU and Benjamin Logan High School in Bellefontaine. Joel Penhorwood writes for the Ag community and lives on a farm in the Bellefontaine area.  In his article, Penhorwood coveys the money justification for reducing setbacks and granting PILOT echoed by Sen. Dolan and State Rep. Reineke of Tiffin. With respect to projects planned for Seneca County, Commissioner Holly Stacy is quoted saying “In order for our community to have the opportunities that others have had, what you’re hearing today is what we must do. We must have some change in the Ohio regulations for the wind industry. Otherwise that economic development can’t happen in the other sections of the state. Our county has had the local control, and we made that evident by previous commissioners putting the PILOT in place in Seneca County.” The article reinforces Dolan’s misguided belief that the ability to grant PILOT constitutes local control of wind development.

 

  • In Seneca County, the County Commissioners continue to hear from residents opposed to industrial wind development that would destroy their community and create safety issues. They were joined in their opposition by firefighters concerned about the ability of medical helicopters to reach people living near the turbines in the event of emergency. Again, instead of addressing the concerns of the people, Apex manager Dalton Carr defaulted to the money that could be generated saying “the area would realize at least $90 million in revenues, even if the devices don’t operate.” 

 

  • American Electric Power (AEP) expects to learn the fate of its 2GW Wind Catcher project by the end of June, later than it had hoped, although chief executive Nicholas Akins insists the wind farm could still be built in time to meet the production tax credit’s (PTC) deadline. Wind Catcher faces lengthening odds, not least because any further delays could make it difficult to build the 800-turbine wind farm by the end of 2020, in time to lock in the full PTC. Wind Catcher, among the largest advanced-stage wind projects in the world, would be built in the Oklahoma panhandle, and deliver power to AEP customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. GE Renewable Energy is the turbine supplier.

 

  • The Natural Resources Defense Council makes clear that the only acceptable energy policy for Ohio is full wind and solar.  They want clean nuclear energy phased out and they want gas shut down while bombarding the state with renewables.  NRDC even takes a shot at property line setbacks knowing that their plan is a non-starter with safe setbacks.

 

  • In sharp contrast to the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council’s blather stands the reality of energy development on the eastern side of the state. It’s a signature of where growth in new energy will develop in America and what it will look like. This section of northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania – with its abundance of natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales – has emerged as the fulcrum for the industry’s future.” “What attracts power generation projects to Ohio is the abundance of low-cost natural gas derived from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Across Ohio, 11 new combined-cycle electrical generation plants worth an estimated $10.5 billion are either recently completed, under construction or in the planning or permit stages. These plants will provide meaningful, reliable power in an area of the state familiar with power production.  These plants will not be spread across thousands and thousands of acres of rural Ohio benefiting a few and destroying the landscape for precious little more than public $ubsidie$.

 

  • In Indiana, the Farm Bureau recently sent out membership information identifying counties with the highest membership numbers. Four out of five of counties with the highest % of members either fought or are fighting wind projects. Indiana wind warriors think It is time to send the Farm Bureau a message. In Fulton County, many members of the Fulton County Property Rights group did not renew their membership or insurance with Farm Bureau following their fight, and they let IFB know it is because Farm Bureau supports wind energy in Indiana.

 

  • In Hopkinton, NY the county commissioner equivalent body voted 4-0 to adopt a new law calling for a setback requirement of five times the total height of a turbine from non-participating property lines, public roads, wind overlay boundary, non-WECS building, farm or commercial structures or any above-ground utilities, registered historical sites and the APA boundary.  The local law requires adherence to a maximum 40 dBA at the nearest non-participating property line, school, hospital, place of worship or building existing at the time of the application.

 

  • In Oswego County, New York, local officials will provide no property tax abatement for developer Avangrid Renewables’s proposed Mad River Wind Farm“Just out of the concern for fairness for the rest of the county taxpayers,” said County Administrator Philip R. Church. “We understand that there are a variety of concerns to the impacts of the region up there.”  “Why not get full taxation if they are going to go through with it?”
  • Reflecting the urgency of reducing costs as $ubsidie$ are phased out, Buffalo NY manufacturer, Moog Inc announced it will exit the turbine pitch control system business. “Moog executives had hoped to jumpstart the wind energy business by developing a new line of more reliable pitch control systems for wind turbines. By tapping into Moog’s motion control expertise and designing new systems that used fewer components, the company believed its products would save wind farm operators money in the long run by lasting longer and reducing operating and maintenance expenses. But Moog’s new products cost more upfront, and wind turbine manufacturers, mainly based in China, were reluctant to adopt new systems that would push up the price of their turbine systems at a time when the wind energy market is highly competitive, Scannell said.”

 

  • A study by the Energy Information Administration concluded total federal $ubsidie$ for renewable energy dropped to $6.7 billion by the 2016 fiscal year, a 56 percent decline from 2013. “Though even with the decline, renewable energy consisted of 46 percent of total federal energy subsidies. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry requested updated energy subsidy information as part of the office’s study on grid resiliency. Biofuels accounted for the largest share of 2016 energy subsidies in 2016, down from 77 percent in 2010 but up from 31 percent in 2013, largely due to the expiration of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit in 2011.” 
  • “TerraForm Power’s electric generation fell by 7.5% in the first quarter, after the US yieldco switched off 70 turbines at its Raleigh and Bishop Hill farms to investigate the collapse of a Invenergy-built GE turbine earlier this year.  In January, a blade at a GE 1.5MW turbine spinning at the 78MW Raleigh wind farm in the Canadian province of Ontario cracked and sheared the tower, causing the tower to fold in half. No one was injured.  TerraForm’s Stinebaugh says. “What we are seeing, though, is that within the renewable power sector, development is becoming more capital intensive – and there’s a number of developers looking to align themselves with people who’ve got greater access to capital.”

 

  • In an effort to appear fresh and informative, long time wind-industry consultant Ben Hoen and wind friends have dusted off their old “study” about public acceptance of wind facilities.  They posit “In general, we have observed that the media coverage of attitudes toward wind energy tends to be very anecdotal. Vivid stories of suffering dominate the discussion, which is often devoid of fundamental or methodical analysis of public opinion, the severity of the associated annoyances or even the extent of discontent among people living next to or near wind farms.”   Hoen’s work has been challenged for years because he threw people living within a 1,000 feet of turbines into a pool of people living as far as five miles away.  His work was diluted then and is more suspect now that turbines have dramatically increased in size.  We see this effort to drag out an old “hedonic model” to cover over the real stories of real people as shameless. But we are not surprised.  Do these folks think we lack any common sense?  Hoen also claims there is no property devaluation.

 

If Hoen and his gang would like to dredge up old reports, we can do that too.  A study from the London School of Economics places a value on the extent of devaluation experienced by property located near wind turbines due to the VISUAL IMPACT of the turbines.  Touché….

VW schools

Ohio birding

GM Ohio wind site

Ohio IceBreaker

Ohio setbacks

Ohio NRDC

NY Big setbacks

Pay FULL taxes BigWind

China makes most BigWind machines

Fed subsidies

Canada blade/tower collapse

Wind turbine objections

 

Ohio BigWind contracts acknowledge turbine problems

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Didn’t BigWind, recently, DENY that these contracts act as any sort of gag clause? YES, companies have told the public that they welcome and encourage feedback about issues related to their projects…except that they don’t.  In NW Ohio, one company has even promoted the fact that there are virtually no complaints associated with their project.  Gee, we now know why!  Unfortunately, our legislators are unaware of this reality and think everything is ‘rosy’ if constituents reside in an industrial wind park.  Also, important to note is the SETBACK WAIVER component of this agreement.  Legislators take note!! We applaud these individuals and pray their concerns are shared amongst many…..

As adjacent landowners to a proposed wind turbine site, we have been given a 13-page good neighbor contract that is titled “Wind Farm Neighbor Easement And Setback Waiver Agreement” that is intended to serve as an incentive to be cooperative with the Seneca Wind farm project. If we sign it, we get a whopping $500 signing bonus and $500 per year, but we have to waive our right to file a claim for damages related to any of the stated “effects,” which in the contract is worded as an “effect easement.” If we sign the contract, we also agree to a “setback easement” which states that the turbine can be located anywhere on the adjacent property, even closer than what the current state setback rule specifies.

The contract also includes a confidentiality clause where we cannot disclose the terms of the agreement to anyone. What is there to hide?

The defined “effects” using Seneca Wind’s own terms include “audio, visual, view, light, shadow flicker, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic, ice, or other weather created hazards or other effects of any kind. …” This sure seems like a self-admission that these negative side effects do in fact exist…..

 

http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/2018/05/good-neighbor-contract/

(Yet another) Turbines costing Ohio taxpayers $

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Yes, this article is a Two-for-One! There are 2 turbines in this community that have failed to perform their duties. For this Ohio community, however, the cost to the taxpayer is significant AND an eyesore. We have blogged about these turbines in the past and we are sorry to say that this article offers no resolution for this community.  Unfortunately, this community is learning the hard way, that BigWind OFTEN sells (and resells) their turbines.  What if this situation happened to a farmer with a turbine on his land?  What if someone was seriously injured or killed? This scenario is simply tragic and it will not be the last time it occurs….

The city of Conneaut has not ruled out legal remedies regarding the wind turbine at the lakefront that has been inoperable for more than a year, Law Director Kyle Smith said this week…

At issue is the 400-kilowatt turbine adjacent to the city’s sewage treatment plant severely damaged by a lightning strike in February 2017. The blast shattered one of the turbine’s blades and heavily damaged its generator, officials said last year.

Smith said the city is still trying to track down the rightful owner of the towering turbine. The machine was installed in 2010 by NexGen Energy of Colorado, but it appears another company has taken ownership, Smith said…

“We’re writing the company involved and not getting much in the way of a response,” he said. “It’s been difficult to get a response.”

In 2010, the city entered into a 10-year contract with NexGen for a turbine to help power the sewage treatment plant. Last year, NexGen told the city it wanted to stretch the contract to 2030 to raise the money necessary to fix the turbine, officials said at the time.

NexGen estimated the cost of repairs at $250,000, city administrators said.

The contract included slight kilowatt-per-hour increases into the contract years, administrators said. In 2016, the last full year of the turbine’s operation, NexGen charged the city $59,000 for the electricity it produced.

 The city is charged only when the turbine is producing power, officials have said…

A larger turbine at Conneaut Middle School, erected by NexGen at about the same time, never performed as expected and resulted in a lawsuit…

Link to article