BigWind ‘Carbon laundering’ and Green washing in Ohio

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We ran across an interesting concept this week concerning the term ”carbon neutral”.   It is used to justify Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and other schemes for the purpose of evading responsibility for carbon emissions.   It has been suggested that “carbon laundering” might be a more accurate term since it has distasteful associations with “money laundering”.   So when FB, Google or other tech companies say they are carbon neutral because they bought Renewable Energy Credits from a wind developer, they are really engaged in “carbon laundering” to make it look like they are powered by renewable energy.  Lock ‘em up!

There is some interesting legislative news to report this week.  Rep. Haraz Ghanbari of Perrysburg in Wood County has been selected to represent the 3rd Ohio House District.  Following this appointment,  Ghanbari was named to replace Rep. Kris Jordan on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.   Rep. Jordan was also replaced on the Subcommittee on Energy Generation by Rep. Jon Cross of Kenton of Hardin County.  We would like to point out that Hardin is also a county that has rescinded its Alternative Energy Zone designation. We neglected to include Hardin last week.

 

The OPSB approved the Willowbrook Solar facility, a 150 MW project by Open Road Renewables covering 1,762 acres of land in Brown and Highland Counties.  The project was backed by AEP which filed a 20 year commitment to buy power from Willowbrook. A second 300 MW solar facility in Highland County is  being developed by Hecate Energy and AEP intends to purchase this as well. AEP is forecasting $200 million in consumer savings over the life of the 20 year renewable energy purchase agreement (REPA) but says residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would see an immediate increase of 28 cents per month in their bill.

 

A new statewide group has announced its formation.  The Ohio Consumers Energy Alliance describes themselves as a statewide, non-partisan consumer advocate focused on keeping electricity rates low through diversifying Ohio’s energy portfolio.  In a press release, the Director of the Alliance said “”Consumers have opinions about our state’s energy but are seldom heard over the noise of utility lobbyists and industry leaders,”. “Our role is to be the megaphone for the voice of consumers.”  “The alliance is opposed to bailing out Ohio’s old, uneconomical nuclear plants by assessing a fee from every electric consumer in Ohio,” Belz said of the FirstEnergy proposal. “This does not move Ohio forward.”   The group said it will look to recruit members from around Ohio and engage decision-makers through grassroots activities including letters, phone calls and visits.  “We formed this group because for far too long the needs of the consumers have been largely ignored when it comes to energy matters,” said Belz. “Decisions about energy and electric costs have been made by legislators and the special interests who are supporting those legislators. It is now time for consumers to have a way to voice their opinions on these critical matters.”

Okay – this is an anti-nuclear group and we doubt they are seeking to diversify Ohio’s energy portfolio with more fracked oil and gas or coal but who knows?  Against this backdrop, we include in this issue a number of calls for greater adoption of nuclear energy to combat climate change.   These calls do not come from the Consumers Energy Alliance.   It is rumored that a “clean air”  bill will be introduced this week in the General Assembly.  We will have a report on this as we learn more but there is sure to be lots of discussion.  

An absolutely outstanding article co-authored by Michael Shellenberger in Forbes is a must read.  In Why Renewables Advocates Protect Fossil Fuel Interests, Not The Climate, he pulls back the covers on groups like Sierra, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

In other news:

 

  • The Toledo Blade gives extensive coverage to wind developments in Van Wert and Paulding Counties.  Wind warriors are kind of written off as NIMBYs although Jeremy Kitson gets some ink.  We see a lot of irony in the new Lincolnview Community Center with the latest bells and whistles that provides a place for the community to recreate.  It is too bad they need to be indoors.  Maybe if they had to be outside, they would care more about their natural environment.

 

  • A judge presiding over the litigation in Paulding County against the State of Ohio for changing the 2014 setback law by inserting language in a budget bill has ruled that Seneca County homeowners can intervene in the suit.  The homeowners are asking that the suit be dismissed and that the law measuring setbacks from the property line be upheld. 

 

  • On Thursday, Seneca Wind, LLC and the OPSB staff filed a joint motion to suspend the hearing schedule to allow additional time for Seneca Wind to provide information required for the staff to complete its report of investigation. The OPSB will establish a new hearing schedule at a later date.  It is unclear what the information requested is.  It could be military aviation interference as well as other aviation issues including aerial spraying for cover crops to comply with the state’s efforts to clean up Lake Erie, the number of karst areas and underground water flow concerns, and so forth. The list could be long.  We note that sPower is represented by a very high-powered PR firm in Columbus, Paul Werth & Associates.

 

  • The Editors of Seneca County’s Advertiser Tribune wrote an Editorial favoring taking a time out on granting PILOT for wind projects.  Seneca recently rescinded its Alternative Energy Zone designation but two previously approved projects  will receive the tax abatement if they go forward as planned. “As for other potential projects — and other parts of the county are ripe for wind development — county commissioners and residents should take a wait-and-see approach to allowing energy-zone benefits. Wait until current projects are built, and see whether we want more of them.”

 

  • In Lordstown, Ohio (home to the closing GM plant) two smaller turbines are coming down.  They are not operating but continue to spin in the wind. One local citizen said. “It sounds like a helicopter is landing.” When the turbines were installed in 2011, the village was told to expect them to generate enough electricity to reduce the electric bill for the village hall by $300 to $500 per month. Hill said the actual amount of savings was “about $550 per year.”  “They didn’t pan out,” Hill said. “We said just get rid of ‘em and get them out of there.”

 

  • President Trump took off after wind energy in several public forums recently, even going so far as to claim that the noise from turbines causes cancer.  U.S. Senator Grassley, who is wind’s chief proponent in the Senate, called Trump’s remarks “idiotic”  while the New York Times spun a bit of its own fake news and magical thinking  to rebut Trumps claims.

 

  • One reason for wind developers to avoid bat habitat is that mitigation of bat fatality requires curtailment of the wind turbines during certain periods.  This results in reduced production and less revenue.  Now a new bat avoidance technology is being developed and tested in Illinois.   “Results from trials at EDF Renewables’ 175MW Pilot Hill development in Illinois, where a spread of 15 ultrasonic acoustic systems were installed on turbines last year, showed an overall improvement in AEP of almost 2% and a reduction in bat fatalities of an average of 67%.  Testing of NRG’s system — which generates ultrasonic waves out to the blade-tips that “jams” the bats echolocation frequency and so prompts them to forage in airspace outside the wind farm site — was conducted at the 103-turbine development over three months, with a five-metre per second cut-in speed applied at the deterrent-equipped turbines.”

 

  • Democrats in the Congress are urging the House Ways and Means Committee to reinstate and extend the Production Tax Credit for wind and solar.  Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is among the signers of a letter of support.

 

  • In Illinois, the legislature has passed a bill that provides that only a county may enact zoning regulations for wind farms in the rural parts of a county, outside the zoning jurisdiction of incorporated cities, even in counties that don’t have countywide zoning regulations.  The bill is aimed at Douglas County, where a Houston-based company, EDP Renewables North America LLC, plans build a 200-megawatt wind farm, known as the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm.  Townships with their own stricter zoning could be overruled by the new law.  Local officials lobbied against the bill, arguing that it would strip them of local control, but that argument largely fell on deaf ears.   This is not a good sign!

 

  • Wall Street Journal  “Many environmentalists have changed their minds about nuclear energy over the past decade. While the share of energy produced by solar and wind has grown rapidly, nuclear remains America’s largest source of clean, zero-emissions electricity. Anyone seriously interested in preventing dangerous levels of global warming should be advocating nuclear power.”

 

  • Wisconsin Public Radio: Setting aside the ambitious Green New Deal and its goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, Congressional Democrats are sectioning off portions of that resolution to deliver more moderate measures that might find greater support.  But largely missing from these proposals and the Green New Deal itself is nuclear power.  Paul Wilson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison nuclear engineering professor, disagrees, saying nuclear can play a role in the reduction of carbon so long as the U.S.’s current fleet of about 100 nuclear power plants is maintained and innovation in the field — such as building smaller reactors that are less expensive — is supported.  Including nuclear power in a national energy policy also would help give the industry a sense of direction, Wilson said’’’

 

  • Energy Central:  A major step forward in congressional support for the next generation of nuclear reactor technology took place this past week with the introduction in the Senate of the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), It is seen by an across- the-board coalition of nine nuclear industry organizations as an important step in creating a comprehensive blueprint to bring these designs to fruition. A key voice is Bill Gates who tweeted “I can’t overstate how important this is.”

 

  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette:  Former PA Governor Tom Ridge writes “Nuclear is the nation’s and the commonwealth’s most abundant source of clean energy. Nuclear plants emit no greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They provide “baseload” power, which means they reliably run 24/7 — and for 18 months to 24 months without refueling. Nuclear is a critical component of a resilient electricity grid, which is essential to national security. Our security depends on energy sources that are stable and diverse to consistently meet demands from critical customers such as military bases and government facilities.”  By taking the commonsense approach of amending the AEPS statute to include nuclear energy, we can blend Pennsylvania’s competitive market structure with environmental protection, provide thousands of family-sustaining jobs and contribute to our national security.”

 

  • Also under development in Washington by Sen. Mo Udall (D-New Mexico) is a bill to establish a federal renewable or clean energy mandate.  We do not know if it will include nuclear….

Renewable Advocates Protect Fossil Fuels

Cash cow

Statehouse News Monday, April 1, 2019 Paulding, Seneca residents At Odds in Wind Setback Lawsuit

Suspended hearing for Wind

Seneca delayed again

Time Out

Lordstown failed turbines

Trump steps up attack on ‘cancer-causing’ wind power-US president also asserts wind turbines destroy property values and are a ‘graveyard’ for birds By Richard Kessler in Fort Worth 03 April 2019Updated 04 April 2019

Sen. Grassley calls Trump comments idiotic

Trump fact checked

RECHARGE US bat deterrent trials show rise in energy output –Annual energy production from wind farms in bat-infested regions could be upped 2% and turbine-strikes reduced an average 67%. by Darius Snieckus 03 April 2019Updated 03 April 2019

Democrat renewable momentum

wind zoning to governor

We NEED nuclear

Nuclear at the table

Nuclear boost bill

Nuclear must be supported

Revive renewable mandate

 

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Thumbs Down to Ohio BigWind Alternative Energy Zone

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A great victory was achieved this week for the warriors of Seneca County when two of the three County Commissioners voted to repeal the county’s designation as an Alternative Energy Zone.  Seneca County now joins Van Wert as a county which has repealed their designation.  Remaining AEZ counties include Sandusky, Delaware, Franklin, Putnam, Paulding, Hardin, Clinton, Noble and Summit.  Recently, requests to approve individual PILOT requests were turned down in Logan, Huron and Erie Counties.  Had these counties been designated AEZ, tax abatement and PILOT payments would have been automatically granted. 

Dale Arnold and the traveling Farm Bureau circus made an appearance in Urbana this week to tout the latest “ag commodity” – solar energy.  Harvest away.  We are still waiting to farm coal and gas, maybe raise a little nuclear. Among the points reported to us by attendees were that many of Ohio’s 33 solar companies have left the state because permitting is difficult; solar projects under 50 MW are subject to local zoning;  10 solar projects are in the OPSB pipeline; and permitting can take between 36 and 48 months.

PILOT is apparently important to solar developers.  According to a summary report written in 2010 by the law firm of Bricker & Eckler, PILOT “significantly reduced the state tax burden on renewable and advanced sources of energy generation, such as solar, wind, co-generation, and clean coal. Under the old laws, taxes on solar and wind were estimated to be approximately $115,000 and $40,000 per megawatt (MW), respectively – rendering Ohio a less competitive marketplace for deployment of these technologies.” Current PILOT law reduces the tax burden on qualifying projects to $6,000 to $9,000 for wind and $7,000 per MW for solar.

At the very bottom of this issue of Wind News is a very readable publication by Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute.  We think it will make you laugh out loud as Mills explains the physics of energy and shows why there is no possibility that the world is undergoing— or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.” Mills takes on wind, solar and battery storage.   One example: “The annual output of Tesla’s Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1,000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand.”  The US routinely maintains two months of stored energy to meet demand in the event of emergency.  You do the math.

An interesting bill was introduced recently.  HB 126 would bar an action challenging an act for violation of the one-subject rule if it is commenced later than 275 days after the act’s effective date.  This has applicability to the lawsuit filed in Paulding County by wind leaseholders and AWEA against the state which alleges current setbacks violate the Ohio Constitution because they were included in a budget bill in 2014.  HB 126 would forbid a lawsuit like the one filed in Paulding County unless it was filed 275 after it was enacted.   Rep. Seitz is a co-sponsor of this bill.

 

In this week’s news:

 

  • The Icebreaker Wind project in Lake Erie received important approvals from the Ohio EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to commence construction.  We wonder if these turbines will be granted PILOT and, if so, what entity would have the authority to grant it?

 

  • The General Assembly is getting closer to the introduction of legislation to promote low and no carbon energy generation.  Rep. Jamie Callender, who chairs the House Public Utilities Committee, is leading the effort and says, “We’re looking at promoting lower emissions not just with nuclear but also solar and wind and also with other types of generation here in Ohio,” he continued. “How can they take what they’re doing and move it to be clean? We’re being very cautious to the extent we cannot play favorites but come up with a global solution that helps everyone move toward lower carbon emissions.”  Callender is a self-proclaimed fan of renewables. He expects legislation to be introduced in early April, possibly as early as this week.

 

  • Kevon Martis swats back at Rep. Casey Weinstein’s comments reported last week about wind turbine setbacks not being a matter of safety concern in that all generation carries risk.  “Any risk of wind turbine failure must be added to the risks of gas extraction, transportation and power generation because wind generation is wholly dependent upon the gas resource. It is not a replacement for those resources. Thus your colleague’s comparison collapses.”

 

  • North Carolina could permanently ban big wind-power projects from the most energy-intensive parts of the state’s Atlantic coast, but a state senator said Wednesday the move is necessary to prevent hindering military training flights.  Legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Harry Brown would prohibit building, expanding or operating sky-scraping wind turbines within about 100 miles from the coast. The bill would apply to the area that stretches from the Virginia border to south of the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base.

 

  • In Ohio, the General Assembly has ignored and avoided the issue of wind turbine interference with military training routes but perhaps that could come to an end.  An assessment of the Seneca Wind project states “Considering the low altitudes associated with these routes, it is possible that wind development could have an impact on military operations. It is possible that these routes are used frequently by aircraft from Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base and other nearby units. If this is the case, the originating activity of these routes may object to proposed wind development within the route boundaries. The units may also object to any wind development over 499 feet AGL due to the likely increase to the minimum cloud ceilings required to fly the routes.”  This study and its concerns should be of importance to any community near a military airfield including Wright-Patt.  The study is attached.

 

  • Another great article on the renewables scam focuses on Georgetown, Texas – part of the 100% renewable gang.  “Like other places said to be 100-percent reliant on “renewable energy,” Georgetown doesn’t actually have its own wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass resources powering it. It simply pays an upcharge for electricity that is said to come from renewable sources. If the green communities and businesses actually did use all renewables, it would likely be very easy to tell: On calm nights the lights would go out. A very few locales in the nation might have the geological features necessary to keep the lights on when renewables fade — such as hills and water that allow a sizeable hydroelectric dam — but most don’t.”   Of course, the 100-percenters have figured out a slick way to get around these physics truths: They pretend.   The 100-percent renewables scam is being sold to us by the government, the utility companies, and the towns and businesses that participate. The “scam” buys goodwill with the duped public and is not only good public relations, it’s also an easy route for them. But as with most governmental interference in the free market, the public ends up taking it in the pocketbook.

 

  • The scammers and pretenders are forming a trade association.  Imagine that.  Companies from a variety of industries — including Walmart, General Motors, Google and Johnson & Johnson — are forming a trade association to represent firms that purchase renewable energy and remove barriers that make it complicated to shift away from carbon.  The new organization, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, is building on years of work between corporations and climate advocacy nonprofits. Currently, about 200 companies, cities and universities are involved. Miranda Ballentine, the CEO of the new trade group, says the organization will help push energy markets and public policies to make it easier to actually choose to buy green energy.   This story from National Public Radio actually states: Many companies have set green energy targets as part of overall sustainability efforts — whether out of a sense of corporate responsibility or in the pursuit of positive PR.    And don’t forget the blackmail/extortion from those “climate advocacy nonprofits”!

 

  • The US DOE is about to waste some more taxpayer dollars to advance offshore, distributed and ‘tall’ wind across the lower-50 states. DOE is looking at supporting 140 meter towers.  That is a 459’ tower before measuring the blade.

 

  • The Grain Belt Express appears to be moving forward again under the management of its new owner, Invenergy.

It continues to be an active climate, in Ohio, filled with ‘constant change’…..

Seneca County commissioners voted 2-1 Thursday to “sunset” the alternative energy zone put in place in 2011 by a previous board. The AEZ will end June 30….

Phasing out the AEZ in about three months does not affect the Seneca Wind or Republic Wind proposed projects, but would mean the AEZ is not automatically in place for companies that might propose new wind projects after June 30…

Commissioner Mike Kerschner changed his vote since the November vote was taken.

“The fact is that if we rescind it we then have the power within this group of negotiation,” Kerschner said. “It puts a lot more power on this group.”

He said Erie and Huron counties also have rescinded their AEZ programs…

Chris Aichholz, spokesman for the local anti-wind organization, said “We consider today’s decision by the commissioners to rescind the alternative energy zone another achievement. These types of successes only come as a result of our tireless efforts to educate the community on the industrial wind turbine projects being proposed for our county.”

He said the group has been asking for the AEZ to be rescinded for almost a year.

Original article

About Ohio nuclear

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

First Energy Solutions to Lawmakers: Time Running Out to Save Nuclear Plants

Kevon Martis

North Carolina

The Renewable Energy Scam

Walmart,GM,Google want more renewables.

Recharge

US opens wallet to offshore, rural and ‘tall’ wind

Department of Energy earmarks $28m with eye on ‘significant opportunities’ for cost reductions

By Darius Snieckus

28 March 2019

Corporations promise more renewables

No timeline for $2.3bn US Midwest wind link despite state OK

Invenergy says still ‘premature’ to look at construction schedule for 4GW Grain Belt Express after regulatory boost

By Richard Kessler in Fort Worth

26 March 2019

Mark Mills of Manhattan Institute **********

 

Could a BigWind lease put your family at risk for a lawsuit?

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Since BigWind slithers into an area, before it is announced to the public, you should educate your neighbors, now, about the risks of signing BigWind leases. Could you/they be at risk for future lawsuits? Maybe. We have blogged about this scenario in Indiana, once before. Will it become more common? Would it cause stress to the property owners? Absolutely! Leases should be scrutinized by a professional with experience…..

Receipt of a mechanic’s lien against their property in the amount of $68,995.75 has caused some property owners in Arkwright a fair amount of confusion and, at least initially, a significant amount of stress.

On March 15, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, the law firm representing Specialties Company, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed mechanic’s liens against real properties in Arkwright under lease agreements with wind company EDP Renewables. According to lien documents, Akrwight Summit Wind Farm, with consent from the property owners, engaged the services of subcontractor White Construction, Inc., also of Indiana.

White Construction “was engaged to furnish labor and materials for earthwork, excavation and backfill of soil, and soil stabilization and modification, for the improvement of the Premises.”

Although the work has been completed, the mechanic’s lien says that White Construction has not been paid in full. “The total agreed price and value of labor and materials furnished under contract with White Construction, Inc., 3900 East White Avenue, Clinton, IN 47842 was $6,109,037.28 of which $3,548,568.30 remains unpaid and the total amount allocable to the Premises and which this lien filed is $68,995.75.”...

After speaking with the wind company, Norton contacted the OBSERVER by phone later on Wednesday. “I spoke to one of the vice presidents of EDPR. It’s a dispute between contractors, but beyond that they couldn’t talk about it. They are aware of the situation. It’s a legal matter,” Norton said.

In recent years, mechanic’s liens have been filed against other property owners with wind company lease agreements. In a similar 2016 case, AUI Construction Group v. Louis J. Vaessen, a subcontractor on the wind project, AUI, was responsible for the construction of the foundation and the tower on Vaessen’s property. In AUI’s subcontractor’s agreement, wind company GSG 7 was listed as the owner for the wind turbine. At the end of the project, AUI claimed it was owed $5.9 million from another subcontractor involved. AUI received partial payment, but was owed a remaining balance of $3.18 million. Although AUI received a partial award to settle the dispute, the subcontractor soon filed bankruptcy, leaving approximately $1 million unpaid. AUI attempted to collect the unpaid amount from the Vaessens in the form of a mechanic’s lien.

In a landmark decision, the Illinois appellate court ruled in favor of the property owners, whose lease agreement allowed an easement for a structure on their property. Further, the court determined that the property owners did not receive a direct benefit from the turbine — only from the lease money ($7,500 annually) from the wind company. Because the wind turbine was the property of the wind company, who directly benefitted from the energy generated by the turbine, they were held responsible for the amount of money owed to AUI.

Although the court ruled in favor of the landowners, the case raises serious questions regarding the lien rights of subcontractors and property owners’ liability. Many contractors, subcontractors and suppliers are engaged in order to create just one wind farm, which can leave several opportunities for payment problems or disputes. What protections do subcontractors have when the property owner is not the one benefitting from the project? Who becomes responsible for monies owed if a party involved in a wind project files for bankruptcy? While answers to these questions may differ based on the specific terms of property owners’ lease agreements, the case is a reminder for all parties involved to read — and understand — the fine print….

 

Arkwright article

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

 

What would Ohio farmer do with this ‘rare’ BigWind event?

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Why is it that something, BigWind touts as ‘RARE’, seems to be occurring so darned often?? We have blogged about countless fires. This nacelle (middle of machine) is described as being as large as a school bus and we know the blades to be longer than a football field.  People, mistakenly, do not realize the size and danger of these machines.  We liken it to walking the strip in Las Vegas.  A casino may ‘appear’ to only be a block away, but our view is distorted because of the size. The walk ends up being much farther away.  Turbines ‘appear’ to be small machines, from a distance, but in reality, they are very large industrial machines.  Such machines do NOT belong next to a child’s playground or a home! Imagine if this fire had occurred in Ohio during a summer? The fire would have spread like a wildfire out West!…..

A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the scene…there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.

“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”…

Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground….

Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged…

Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.

“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.

Original article

What is the TRUTH about USA emissions?

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What is the truth about emissions? Not what you think, if you only listen to the climate activists of today (and BigWind) Go to our EPA website and you can easily click on tabs and see emissions from the 70s to today. These charts show the largest ‘supposed’ climate changers.  Private industry and innovation are changing processes and making great strides in the reduction of emissions. Additionally, remember that the USA has largely converted to natural gas, which burns very clean fuel.  The same cannot be said for a majority of other countries across the globe, however.  Irregardless, we do not demonize the fuel sources that have propelled the USA into prosperity. We thank the businesses like nuclear/clean coal/natural gas which are the backbone of a vibrant economy!!….

Power Plant Emission Trends

EPA collects detailed sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission data and other information from power plants across the country…

Note that we recently changed the formatting of this page to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The content of this page has not changed.

Download charts and a summary of EPA’s 2018 emissions data.(36 K) Get the free Excel reader.

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides Emissions, 1997-2018

Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions have decreased from 2.57 million tons in 1997 to 0.44 million tons in 2018. Electricity use, measured in heat input, has increased from 10.59 mmBtu in 1997 to 11.04 mmBtu in 2018.Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions have decreased from 2.57 million tons in 1997 to 0.44 million tons in 2018. Electricity use, measured in heat input, has increased from 10.59 mmBtu in 1997 to 11.04 mmBtu in 2018.

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides Emissions Changes, 1997-2018

US EPA

Does BigWind actually reduce Honda’s energy consumption? NOPE

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In Union County, Honda speaks out about its two wind turbines – which are owned by an LLC that does not appear related to Honda.  According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.  “The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”  This statement is also interesting from the perspective of Ohio’s energy efficiency mandates.  Is Honda saying that not taking steps to meet efficiency requirements, they are in compliance with the law by using on-site wind??????…Another interesting note is that BOTH turbines had SIGNIFICANT repairs, in the past couple of years, including replacing bearings. Blades and nacelles were removed to accomplish this, no easy task. As for today? In all of this NW Ohio wind, 1 was intentionally turned off.  Was today simply another day of ‘routine service’? Hmmmm……

At the beginning of 2014, Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America (HTM) welcomed a pair of wind turbines at its Russells Point, Ohio, facility. Fast-forward five years, and the machines are generating more than 10% of the electric needs of the plant…

According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.

“The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”…

Owned and operated by a ConEdison Solutions subsidiary, RP Wind LLC, the project comprises two GE 1.7 MW turbines, which, importantly, are sited in favorable wind conditions, according to Schmitt, who points out that the location is “near the point of the highest elevation in the state of Ohio.”

With blades 160 feet long and towers 260 feet high, the GE machines generated approximately 8,300 MWh of electricity during HTM’s last fiscal year, translating to nearly 11% of the electric needs of the plant, which makes Honda transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive components….

Moreover, the project is benefiting the local electric cooperative’s grid, says Schmitt, who explains the turbines are “boosting local power production, especially in times of increased demand.”

In the past five years, HTM has discovered no “unforeseen outages or malfunctions,” notes Eric Mauk, Honda North America’s corporate communications specialist, adding that the only downtime has been due to “routine service.”...

honda

 

Honda article