BigWind ‘spins’ the TRUTH at Ohio House

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Last week the Ohio House Energy Generation Subcommittee heard a presentation from Dayna Baird Payne on behalf of AWEA and Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of several wind developers and the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC).  They asserted that there was an effective moratorium on new wind development in Ohio due to what they believe are restrictive setbacks measured from property lines.  As a result, they complained that this situation could force Ohio to become a net importer of renewable energy.   Given that Ohio prides itself on being a “choice” state where energy users can choose any kind of power they prefer from throughout the PJM system, being a “net importer” of renewable energy is only an issue to developers who want to force projects in Ohio’s rural communities. If their assertions are true, then why are there so many BigWind projects in planning stages???

When asked by Committee Co-Chairman Michael O’Brien how Ohio’s setbacks compare with other states, Payne acknowledged that some states do regulate at the county level but the “industry norm” is 1.1 times the turbine height from the property line – which was the law prior to 2014.   It strains credulity to think that standards adopted a decade ago when turbines were half the size they are today would still be considered the “industry norm.”  And while the wind industry may hold that 1.1x turbine height is their standard, no community would adopt it as their standard. 

 

It was reported that Co-Chair Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) challenged Payne’s claim that the wind industry generated 96,000 megawatts (MW) last year.  She then had to admit her figure did not reflect actual output, and that wind farms generally operate at a third of their “nameplate” capacity. O’Donnell went even further saying it might be as high as 40%.   Payne added that she did not know whether wind generation contributes to the capacity market operated by PJM.  Yeah, sure.  Generally we understand that PJM assigns a value of 13% to wind.  PJM will be the next Committee presenter and that question will be cleared up.

 

O’Brien asked about the offshore Windbreaker facility underway in Lake Erie, and O’Donnell said competition is “fierce” for offshore wind developments, especially on the eastern seaboard.  To compare, or better, to “confuse” enthusiasm for offshore wind in the ocean with the Windbreaker project in Lake Erie is misleading.

 

While wind was making its case to the legislature, the Ohio Democratic Party was unveiling their “Ohio Promise” agenda designed to address numerous education, human services, environmental and social justice concerns.  A list of priorities is reported below and, of course, along with gender equity, increased minimum wages and mandatory overtime pay is “ loosen wind farm restrictions.”

 

Distributed to all members of the House and Senate Energy Committees was the Michael Shellenberger article on the destruction of the landscape by wind and solar as well as an article from the National Review.  Rep. Seitz points out to his colleagues that while much of the NR article “is a well-deserved deconstruction of the “Green New Deal”, the portions that I have circled also indicate that renewables are not the answer. As that article notes, only 13 states allow all customers a choice of electricity supplier– and we are one of them. The author makes the point that in customer choice states, customers have an option to select clean energy and that is why I have long maintained that renewable portfolio mandates are unnecessary as those who wish to make these choices are perfectly free to do so now, absent the heavy hand of government. “

 

Counties considering granting PILOT should give serious consideration to the experience of Oklahoma communities where a five year tax abatement program for industrial wind has wreaked havoc.  An important report included below recounts that lobbyists for the wind industry have been handing out brochures touting the millions of dollars in property tax revenues that Oklahoma schools and counties have received as a result of wind farms being built in their jurisdictions.  “But there’s something those brochures don’t say: Most of those property tax payments to date have not been paid by wind company owners. Instead, they’ve been paid by Oklahomans whose income tax and other tax payments have been used to reimburse school districts and counties for revenue lost due to a five-year property tax exemption granted to wind farm owners by the Oklahoma Legislature. New wind farms no longer qualify for that exemption, which is being phased out. There’s something else those brochures don’t say: Once the five years of exemptions are over, wind companies have been sending lawyers to county courthouses to file tax protests and lawsuits contending the value of their equipment is worth hundreds of millions of dollars less than the values assigned to them by county assessors.” 

 

Some of those lawsuits have dragged on for years, leaving millions of dollars in disputed tax payments sitting in escrow while some school districts have struggled to make bond payments and pay operating expenses.

A good example is Comanche County, where the owners of Blue Canyon Wind Farms have tax protests pending covering five consecutive years.  EDP is the developer of Blue Canyon Wind as well as the Timber Road projects in Paulding County. The Paulding County Commissioners designated the county as an AEZ eligible for PILOT.  It will be interesting to see what EDP does when the Timber Road PILOT expires.    

 

Elsewhere:

 

OPSB reschedules the adjudicatory hearing for Republic Wind Farm for June 3rd.  A local hearing to receive comments is scheduled for May 14, 2019, from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Bellevue High School, 200 Oakland Avenue in Bellevue, Ohio. Republic Wind is an Apexproject.

 

In the Seneca Wind project, a judge denied sPower’s request for a temporary injunction that would have allowed it to have access to properties where owners believe the leases have expired.  “In his eight-page ruling, the judge said the Ohio Constitution “places great importance on the rights of property owners” and had little sympathy for sPower’s argument that it was running out of time to keep the project on schedule because of annual restrictions on clear-cutting that take effect March 31 to protect endangered bats. Although sPower only came into possession of signed leases a few years ago, the judge noted that it and its predecessor had more than a decade in most cases. The company asserts there was a clause that automatically renewed the leases after the initial 10-year contracts had expired.”  The issue concerning the validity of the leases will be heard in court at a later date.

 

MaterResource featured an article on a letter that audiologist Dr. Jerry Punch sent to the OPSB in January concerning the potential impact of Seneca Wind on a client with severe vertigo.  Punch’s assessment of the situation for  his client is grim.   Punch points out that “In the 2009 guidelines, the World Health Organization (WHO)  recommended that average, A-weighted noise levels outside a residence, designated as LAeq, outside, not exceed 40 dB to avoid substantial annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other adverse health effects. It established limits specifically for wind turbine noise for the first time in its most recent guidelines, [3] recommending that noise emissions from turbines not exceed 45 dB Lden.  The Lden metric penalizes evening and nighttime noise levels by 5 and 10 dB, respectively, relative to daytime levels, and a level of 45 dB Lden is equivalent to an Leq of 38.3 dB. Levels between 38-40 dB Leq are in agreement with those recommended by Dr. Paul Schomer, a prominent acoustician who is the former Director of the Standards Division of the Acoustical Society of America.”

 

In Findlay, Ohio (home of former Senator Cliff Hite) plans to build one or two 400-foot wind turbines southeast of the intersection of Crystal and Bigelow avenues were rejected by the Findlay City Planning Commission.

“The action was a foregone conclusion after the city zoning appeals board last month denied One Energy’s request for a variance from city laws setting a 40- to 100-foot limit on wind turbines. Crystal Avenue residents have denounced the proposed wind turbines as an eyesore which would sink their property values and flicker shadows into their homes. They also have expressed concerns that the wind turbines would harm their health. One Energy may next challenge the city in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.”

 

An April 3rd date has been sent for the new public information meeting on the Apex  Emerson Creek Wind Project.  The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Bellevue VFW, 6104 U.S. 20.  This meeting was ordered after the first meeting was held in a private venue and a wind opponent was forced by the Sheriff to leave at Apex’s request.   Following lawmaker complaints, the OPSB ordered a second public meeting.  Apex continues to assert it followed all regulations governing a “public” meeting.

 

Kaleab Mammo-Jegol, the state director of the US Youth Climate Strike, is working to make Ohio commit to 100% renewables as part of a social justice platform.  Conveniently, this radical group is supported by the fake Conservative Energy Forum whose director, Tyler Duvelius remarked,  “The Constitution guarantees property rights” for people to use and lease their property as they see fit, Duvelius said. “The Constitution does not guarantee a right to a view,” he added when asked about opponents’ nuisance claims.”  Kaleab Mammo-Jegol and Tyler Duvelius have now found common cause.

 

While the Youth Climate circus was playing out in Ohio, the county presidents of the Ohio Farm Bureau were in Washington visiting US Senator Portman who explained that the Green New Deal would be disastrous to farmers : “We can do better in terms of energy efficiency and that is a great way to reduce emissions but also to add more jobs. We should be able to use technology and innovation better and we are starting to do that. I support legislation to give our power companies incentives to be able to capture carbon and sequester it and start a carbon market. Finally I will say that people who are really serious about climate change ought to look at nuclear power. There are advanced nuclear power technologies out there. It is emissions free,” Portman said. “There are ways we can make sure we have the base power we need. We have solar and wind. We have it in Ohio and we like it, but sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. You need to have that base power also. We have two nuclear plants in Ohio and they are both aging. We need newer, safer, more innovative plants that are much more efficient. There are lots of things that can and should be done and we are doing some of them, but to take up the Green New Deal and put that on the American people and the American farmer would be disastrous. It would increase everyone’s costs of electricity dramatically.”

 

In Ireland, Seven Cork families could be on course to receive damages after a wind farm operator admitted liability in a High Court action over noise pollution.  The case is next listed for hearing on April 25, and will be closely observed by many of the families living in close proximity to wind farms and who claim that there should be a greater distance between homes and turbines.  “Planning regulation around wind turbines remain governed by 2006 guidelines which allow companies to build turbines within 500m of private dwellings. Updated guidelines stipulating how far wind turbines should be set back from residential homes are three years overdue. These guidelines will also deal with noise and ‘shadow flicker’ from the turning blades. Up to 7,000 submissions were made in the public consultation process that followed the issuing of draft guidelines by the then minister for housing Jan O’Sullivan, which set down a mandatory minimum setback of 500m “for amenity considerations”.  [1,640’] The draft guidelines also set a maximum day and night noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy development, measured outdoors at the home nearest to the wind turbine. The guidelines also stipulated that there should be no shadow flicker at home within 10 ‘rotor diameters’ of a turbine.”

 

The left-wing NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has proposed a grand bargain for saving Ohio’s nuclear plants.  The want to trade short term support for a long term commitment to transition Ohio to 100% renewables.  They claim “Ohio will be left behind our neighboring states throughout the Midwest if we do not have strong policies for a transition to the clean energy economy. We should be leading, not swimming against the economic wave that is lifting up other states; and not protecting Wall Street speculators but investing in local renewable energy generation and all the benefits for Ohio that would come with it.”  Many people consider the NRDC and Sierra to be domestic terror organizations.  Why on earth would policy-makers let them determine Ohio’s energy policy?

 

Some Ohio renewable energy advocates and lawmakers who are being asked to support saving the nuclear plants have some significant items on their wish list for any compromise agreement.  “At the top is a repeal of 2014 restrictions on wind farms. The law has the effect of limiting how many turbines can be placed in a project area, which has slowed development. “We don’t like bailing out nuclear plants, but we don’t rule out supporting a package if the package on balance is a good one for consumers and the environment,” said Rob Kelter, a senior attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center.”

 

Developer EDP surfaces again in Illinois where they are suing a township that adopted strict siting provisions.  In addition, they are promoting legislation to restrict wind farm regulations outside of a municipality to the county alone, excluding townships.   Ohioans should be on guard for any pre-emptive moves advanced by the wind industry in the context of a setback compromise.  We know where EDP stands.

 

Minnesota farmers are fighting against industrial wind and express remorse for prior support.  “Given the choice, no sentient being would ever tolerate an industrial wind turbine anywhere near their home or property. Merrily wrecking rural communities wherever it goes, the wind industry is facing real, red-blooded American resistance across the Midwest. In this piece from Minnesota’s The Globe, locals lament the day the wind industry rolled into town.”

 

The last article addresses the ever growing community of opponents to renewable projects.  The author feels opponents should be recognized and basically run over.   This is an inside the beltway perspective that is unable to appreciate why anyone would turn down the money to host wind or solar.  They really do not get it.  sPower commissioned a poll to measure support for a solar project in Virginia. They got the results they wanted but the reality was quite different and locals sought to block the project.  The article tries to understand if climate denial is the reason for opposition – they might as well blame the Easter bunny.  This is proof of a profound inability of urban elites to appreciate the value of rural living.  It is an article worth reading if for nothing more than the enjoyment of learning that when the San Bernardino chapter of the Sierra Club decided to support a ban on all renewables, the nationals ordered them to stand down.  Instead, they changed their name and kept on fighting.

House Democrats roll out new ‘Ohio promise’ agendaBy Jim Siegel
The Columbus Dispatch Posted Mar 14, 2019

OPSB reschedules adjudicatory hearing for Republic Wind FarmCOLUMBUS, OHIO (March 14, 2019)

Judge: Landowners don’t have to let Seneca wind farm company on propertyTom HenryBlade Staff Writer MAR 13, 2019

Judge denies wind farm company injunction in Seneca County By Jonathan Monk | March 12, 2019 at 5:29 PM EST – Updated March 12 at 9:34 PM

Wind Turbine Syndrome

Findlay

Bellevue, Ohio

Wacky Ohio youth

Ohio senators and climate change

school finance problems

Wind farm admits liability

Ohio’s grand bargain

nuclear bailout?

Illinois legislation

Minnesota meltdownRural landowners air opposition to industrial wind farms
The Globe
Julie Buntjer
27 February 2019

nontraditional alliances

 

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Why BigWind CAN’T save the Planet

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From the Time Magazine ‘Hero of the Environment’ and President of Environmental Progress, Michael Shellenberger shares the TRUTH about BigWind in a simple, sensible format.  You don’t need a PhD to understand the logic of his arguments. He was recently featured by Tucker Carlson for his insights. We hope you will pick up on some of these truths and share them with your friends, family and, of course, your legislators….

…After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.

In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.

I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward…

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.

The first was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, and are opposed by local communities and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.

Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.

Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions…

Other problems didn’t seem like such a big deal, on closer examination. For example, after I learned that house cats kill billions of birds every year it put into perspective the nearly one million birds killed by wind turbines.

It seemed to me that most, if not all, of the problems from scaling up solar and wind energies could be solved through more technological innovation.

But, as the years went by, the problems persisted and in some cases grew worse….

Despite what you’ve heard, there is no “battery revolution” on the way, for well-understood technical and economic reasons.

As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. What house cats kill are small, common birds, like sparrows, robins and jays. What killsbig, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.

In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with…

As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.

You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have to spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural…

Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.

There’s been a lot of publicity about how solar panels and wind turbines have come down in cost. But those one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.

Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S. It’s the same story in Germany, the world leader in solar and wind energy. Its electricity prices increased 50 percent between 2006–17, as it scaled up renewables.

I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.

Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.

Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.

Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too…

Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.

A single Coke can’s worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.

All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like warehouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly…

But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly,kill more people than nuclear plants.

In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.

It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.

But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike…

Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct

I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.

Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?

 

It’s a first! Ohio BigWind can be profitable without the PILOT tax abatement

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We blogged about this, yesterday, and now want you to ‘view’ it from a different perspective….Less than a dozen industrial wind energy turbines should be located in Logan county, BUT Innogy is now claiming they will build DESPITE NOT BEING GIVEN A PILOT.  (Remember, this is the company that bought out Everpower. Everpower had given their word that they would NOT build in Logan county w/o the PILOT) What does this mean? After more than 3 decades of taxpayer ‘gifts’ (hundreds of millions of $$$), one BigWind company has decided they can finally afford to pay a few taxes.  BigWind wants to spread across our great state like an algae bloom – if your area is being pursued, make certain that your county commissioners know that the time is right to say NO to giving BigWind a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes).  Let them pay their fair share! 

…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 expects there will be much less than that built.

He spoke Thursday before the Logan County Commissioners, Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart, Logan County Engineer ScottColeman and about two dozen opponents 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 project will be completed in 2020…

Bellefontaine examiner

 

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 disaster in Massachusetts hits national stage

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This is why we make efforts to educate you. This is why our SETBACK laws are important and why they should be INCREASED.  This is what BigWind does NOT want you (or our legislators) to know. Falmouth, MA is one of many communities with citizens that complain about detrimental health effects from turbines. But this is not our only plea. Turbines will NOT cause the closing of 1 coal/natural gas plant.  Turbines must always have backup power, readily available in a fraction of a second, to generate energy when the wind slows or doesn’t blow at all.  Why plague our great land, with thousands of industrial machines, knowing this truth??????????

…”The Wall Street Journal published a scathing editorial on the experience of Falmouth, Massachusetts, which spent $10 million on wind turbines and it’s been a disaster” Rep. McClintock said at the hearing.  “That small town went deeply into debt to finance them.  The townspeople couldn’t bear the noise, the constant flickering of light as 400-foot windmills turned and property values plunged 20 percent….”

in comments below-

The town of Falmouth between 2010-2012 constructed 2 Vestas V-82 type 1.65 Megawatt wind turbines….

The Falmouth Board of Health Dept meeting minutes for 6/11/2012 shows 63 people/respondents spoke. Of those 47 people reported health effects from the turbines.  41, or about 85% reported sleep disturbance, 25 reported stress, 21 reported mental health problems, 2 reported suicide attempt or ideation…

The resident homeowners living around the commercial industrial wind turbines were left to fend for themselves hiring attorneys while state and town officials attempted to outspend them in court to keep the turbines operational.

Falmouth resident Barry Funfar a Marine Vietnam veteran who flew over 100 missions on Huey helicopters enjoyed his garden until the wind turbines started operation.

Diane and Barry Funfar had to remortgage their home 3 times to cover the cost of their attorneys during 8 years of court hearings.  They were awarded $75,000 in an insurance settlement, a far cry from their entire life savings and years of mortgage payments.

Betsy and Neil Andersen, according to news reports spent near $100,000, including legal fees, appraisal fees and witness fees defending their health and property.

A Falmouth woman who spent years living in her basement away from the noise and spending money on lawyers had to give up and sell her home.

There are up to 200 residential homes around the Falmouth wind turbines in which residents reported sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, a rapid heart rate, and panic attacks….

 

Falmouth

Vroom, start your engines to watch BigWind race in Ohio

The General Assembly is now fairly organized and will be starting its work soon.  The vacancy created when Bowling Green’s Senator Randy Gardner left for a cabinet position with Governor DeWine will be filled by former-Rep. Donna Gavarone who is an attorney and with her husband is the co-owner of a restaurant, Mr. Spots, in downtown Bowling Green.  A new Rep. from the district will now be named.

Speaker of the House Larry Householder has announced the members of the House Energy & Natural Resources Committee.   The new Chairman will be Champaign County’s Nino Vitale of Urbana.  Vice Chair is Darrell Kick of Loudonville.  Republican Members are Brian Baldridge of Winchester; John Cross of Kenton; Brett Hillyer of Uhrichsville; Kris Jordan of  Ostrander; Dick Stein of Norwalk; and Scott Wiggam of Wooster.   The Ranking Minority Member is Sedrick Denson of Cincinnati. Democrats serving on the Committee are Glenn Holmes of McDonald; David Leland of Columbus; Michael O’Brien of Warren and Casey Weinstein of Hudson.

The Energy & Natural Resources Committee will also have a subcommittee that will deal with Energy Generation.  It will be co-chaired by Reps. Stein and O’Brien. Republicans Baldridge and Jordan will be joined by Democrats O’Brien and Holmes on this sub-committee.   Rep. Jon Cross is the President and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance.  Hardin County is the home of several wind developments as well as the state’s largest proposed solar development.  This should ensure spirited debate on renewables!

Elsewhere, an industry publication reported that most tech-savvy teenagers would easily be able to access a wind farm’s control system and shut it down, due to the poor cybersecurity of standard SCADA communication technology. According to a leading expert in the field,  hackers pose a significant risk on energy sites and the owners’ pockets.   A Vestas representative said that communications with control centers are often so vulnerable that a wind operator may not even be aware the cause of a shutdown was a hacker.  Not very comforting!

Word is that the US wind repowering market is going to be where the action is this coming year.  AWEA reports 3.5 GW were repowered in the 2017-2018 period.  NextEra is one of more active repowering developers. Developers can requalify an existing project and receive 10 additional years of federal subsidy if they invest 80% of the project’s value in new equipment like nacelles and longer blades.

Two Editorials from the Wall Street Journal were notable with respect to renewables.   One editorial looks at the costs of the California wildfire which caused PG&E to declare bankruptcy.  Some believe that renewable mandates required the utility to divert money from keeping transmission lines clear and at the same time, invest in high-cost purchases of mandated renewables.  If PG&E is permitted to cancel their wind and solar contracts, it could be devastating to the developers.  The other WSJ Editorial addresses the costs to Falmouth, MA after a court agreed their wind turbines imposed nuisance effects on neighbors and ordered the city to dismantle them at great cost. 

The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, one of the fake groups created by the environmental activists, has written to Rep. Seitz to convey their 2019 priorities.  Of course, reducing the setbacks for wind turbines once again tops the OCEF list.  Rep. Seitz’s response points to the recent experience in Ford County, IL and concludes with saying: “For a long time, I have wondered who funds the Conservative Energy Forum. I have never gotten an answer, but I highly doubt it is true conservatives. I am more than happy to work with you on your other priority of encouraging distributed generation, but arguments intended to revisit the current Ohio law that protects neighbors against the undue intrusion of 500-600 foot tall towers with moving parts is a nonstarter.”

In other news:

 

  • The Columbus Dispatch editorializes that “Ohio needs to encourage renewable-energy development — or at least stop sabotaging it.”  This is presumably a misguided reference to wind setbacks.

 

  • The “Checks & Balances Project” another shadowy group pushing renewables has focused their latest salvo on Van Wert County asserting that Van Wert is withering while Paulding County is prospering due to wind development that has raised Paulding’s bond rating.  They also take aim at Save Our Skyline saying “There is an echo chamber of anti-wind groups in Ohio that are tied together by Save Our Skyline, a repository of anonymous blog posts and disinformation, owned by an anonymous group of supposedly “concerned citizens from Ohio.”  Pathetically, C&B tries to say citizen advocates are a front group for the fossil fuel industry.  I guess it takes one to know one since all the renewable advocates are, in fact, funded by left-wing activists while the folks back home have no funding and a lot of sweat equity.  

 

  • An OPSB public hearing will take place in Tiffin on April 23rd.  In the meantime, Seneca Wind’s developer was denied an effort to move forward with pre-construction work. A number of leaseholders claim their leases have expired and sPower has no right to enter their property. The case will now be heard on its merits on February 22nd.

 

  • In Highland County arguments were made against the proposed AEP solar facility on the basis that the utility had no need for the power and AEP consumers should not be required to absorb the cost of unnecessary generation.

 

  • Lake Erie’s Icebreaker opponents were encouraged by a decision in New Jersey where the PUCO stated: “The petitioner’s overestimation of net economic benefits and lack of data to validate its estimates, creates a scenario where rate-payers carry a disproportionate amount of the investment risk.” “This basis for the rejection by New Jersey’s PUCO mirrors our position that the proposed turbine farm in Lake Erie off Cleveland, called Icebreaker, will also fail to provide a net benefit,” said Michelle Burke, executive director of the Boating Associations of Ohio.” 
  • A bill  in the Nebraska legislature from State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, would require any counties that allow the construction of new wind turbines to regulate their placement, noise and decommissioning. And for two years, while counties developed guidelines, wind turbines would need to be at least three miles away from a home.

 

  • In New York, the state siting board  has objected to an Invenergy application on the basis of noise.  “In October 2018, the World Health Organization issued new noise guidelines and — for the first time — specifically referenced community exposure to wind turbine noise.”  Citizens argue that all projects must now meet WHO guidelines including Innogy’s proposed project. An important argument makes an ethical case against allowing higher noise exposure in residences on the property of participating land owners related to the exposure of tenants and children who are not party to a turbine lease agreement.

 

  • Poland is thinking about easing setback restrictions where communities agree to do so.  Currently Poland operates under the 10H rule, which stipulates that no turbines can be erected within a distance equal to ten times its blade-tip height from a neighbouring property…..what’s this?? 10x?? But, Ohio has short setbacks, according to BigWind?!?

 

  • The wind industry is recommending developers make better and more aggressive use of social media to combat anti-wind opponents.  “The threat is evolving and collectively, as wind companies and the media, we need to find a way to fight it…”  Really?  Fight citizens who are trying to protect their homes because they might cause injury to the employees of the developers.  How ironic.
  • There is speculation that wind prices may spike in the near future because trends indicate less supply available to purchase once the ITC and PTC are stepped down. 

And, finally, what about the recent polar vortex? How did renewable energy fare? Again, we ask, if environmentalists and BigWind force the closure of fossil fuel plants, how will we stay warm?????????…….

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The wind farms erected across the central U.S. over the past decade were supposed to provide cheap power during the blustery winter months. But they were never designed for cold like this.

As a life-threatening freeze brought temperatures that may reach all-time record lows in the Chicago area Thursday morning, heating demand surged and power suppliers were forced to start up older coal and natural gas facilities that only operate on an as-needed basis. One of the reasons why is that wind-power generation has plummeted.

“It’s just too cold for a lot of wind farms,” Adam Jordan, director of power analytics at Genscape Inc., said in an interview. “They can get damaged in weather like this.”…

The situation highlights a weakness of renewable power…

For now, coal is temporarily supplying about half the electricity needs in the two grids that serve most of the affected region…

Two companies — DTE Energy Co. in Detroit and Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. — have asked customers to turn down their thermostats to take pressure off systems struggling to meet demand.

Xcel, which gets almost a fifth of the energy on its system from wind, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about its wind-farm operations. NextEra Energy Inc., the largest U.S. renewable-energy provider, and Invenergy LLC, a Chicago-based independent power producer with wind farms in the region, also didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment after regular business hours…

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