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Windaction News Issue: August 1, 2013

By -- August 1, 2013

Windaction.org’s periodic newsletter keeps readers updated on the latest news in the wind energy industry!

Industrial Wind Alert!
facts, analysis, exposure of wind energy’s real impacts

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Siemens CEO resigns; Wind power profits drop In Q3  July 31
in North American Windpower
In its Q3’13 financial results, released Wednesday, Siemens reports that its Total Sectors profit was EUR 1.3 billion, a 31% drop from EUR 1.8 billion in Q3’12. The company’s profits for its Wind Power division dropped from EUR 66 million in Q3’12 to EUR 22 million in Q3’13.
Fairhaven BoH allows turbines back on overnight    July 31
by Ariel Wittenberg in South Coast Today  –  Massachusetts
The 2-1 vote accepted a proposal by turbine developer Fairhaven Wind LLC that would maintain round-the-clock operation of the turbines except in wind conditions when the state’s Department of Environmental Protection found the turbines to exceed state noise regulations.
Champaign turbine fight continues   July 31
by Matt Sanctis in Springfield News-Sun  –  Ohio
The Ohio Power Siting Board has agreed to allow more time to review parts of its decision regarding the second phase of the Buckeye Wind Project, after Champaign County and local officials raised concerns about the proposal.
U.S. wind installations sink to zero in Q2   July 31
by Graham Clews in Windpower Monthly – USA
The new figures are even worse than Q1’s 1.6MW of new installations, effectively just one GE 1.6MW turbine.The next slackest period for wind power in the States was the first quarter of 2010, with 541MW of completed installations. The figure for the final quarter of 2012 was 8,380MW.
Adams planning commission delays wind farm decision   July 31
by LeAnn Eckroth in The Bismarck Tribune   – North Dakota

The Adams County Planning and Zoning Commission Monday tabled a decision on an application for a 75-tower wind farm in Duck Creek Township. The panel will consult with its attorney about legal issues raised and whether Thunder Spirit Wind’s application complies with the county’s land use plan.
Wind farm developer takes case to Tiverton   July 30
by Kevin P. O’Connor in Herald News  –  Massachusetts
Tiverton residents need only look across the Mount Hope Bay to see a cautionary tale. The $1 million turbine owned by the town of Portsmouth, R.I., is broken and stalled and visible on the western horizon.”Those of us who have been around for a while have seen the saga of wind energy.”
Judge invalidates townships’ wind-turbine restrictions   July 30
by Steven R. Reed in Lansing State Journal   – Michigan
John McGraw, a Troy lawyer who spoke on behalf of the townships during Tuesday’s hearing, said the attorneys for both sides will try to determine “over the next few days” if the project can go forward and whether Forest Hill Energy would even have to apply for a license.
Councils lose right to set distance limit on wind farms   July 30
by Daniel Martin in Daily Mail  –  UK
Councils will be banned from imposing minimum distance limits that would help protect communities from the scourge of wind farms.New planning guidance says local authorities will not be able to designate ‘buffer zones’ between properties and turbines.
Regulators: ‘repeated back-and-forth’ hurt FACW  July 30
by Mark Del Franco in North American Windpower  –  New Jersey
According to the BPU filing, the developer’s initial June 2011 project application materially changed after Fisherman’s notified the agency it was switching turbine suppliers several times. Originally, the BPU says the developer was considering three possible turbine manufacturers: Siemens, GE and China-based XEMC New Energy.
‘Green’ energy spurs need for more power lines   July 30
by Jim Malewitz in Stateline.org  –  USA
It isn’t easy to build power lines, particularly those that stretch across several states. A complex – and sometimes conflicting – patchwork of federal and state rules has delayed the completion of some projects and deterred investment.Now, some lawmakers are pitching an interstate compact to streamline that process and add renewable energy to the grid more quickly.
BP scraps sale of U.S. wind farm business   July 30
in Reuters   –  USA
British oil company BP has decided to keep its U.S. wind farm business, one of the largest in the country, after four months in which it failed to attract a bid the company could accept, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Turbine noise complaints could reach state AG’s Office   July 30
by Joe Gentile in Register Star  –  New York
Last February, the Ancram Town Board voted to strip Crocco and Gershon of the special use permits they received in 2010 from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Town Zoning Enforcement Officer Ed Ferratto handed Crocco a notice of violation, two months later, for his alleged dishonesty about the turbine’s noise level.
Wind farm proposed on Leslie Spit   July 30
by John Spears in The Star   Canada
A little-known renewable energy company claims to be working on a wind project at the base of the spit.Details of the proposal are sketchy, and the proponent is something of a mystery. But opponents of the project are already starting to rally.
5 dead in copter crash near Mehoopany Wind Farm   July 29
by Jerry Lynott in Times Leader  –  Pennsylvania
“But when weather becomes a factor, and I’m thinking about 9:30 , 10 o’clock last night when they said this may have occurred, it was very nasty and visibilities were quite poor,” Zampetti said. “Why the helicopter got into this area, no idea. But any time weather becomes a factor, you’re messing with disaster.”
Green levies on energy bills hit poor hardest, say MPs   July 29
by Steve Hawkes in The Telegraph  –  UK
Ministers were last night criticised for funding billions of pounds-worth of green schemes and climate change programmes through levies on household gas and electricity bills rather than recouping the money directly from taxpayers.The Government’s own estimates are that its policies will add 33pc to the average electricity price paid by households in 2020.
Lowell power curtailed despite high power demand   July 28
by Andrew Stein in VT Digger  –  Vermont
“There’s a limit to the amount of power we can transfer out of that area. … We always work to make sure the system runs in a reliable way. Having an event that could lead to a loss of customers is not a reliable outcome. So, we have to limit the amount of energy that the generators up in that part of the state are injecting into the network.”
Wind turbines make friends, enemies   July 28
by David Pepin in The Westerly Sun   – Rhode Island 
As a result of the public outcry against the turbine, North Kingstown’s council approved a moratorium on turbine development in December 2011, while another proposed turbine was in the planning stages.Dolan said the moratorium, which has been renewed on several occasions, will give the state Office of Energy Resources, which governs wind power, the opportunity to establish a set of regulations.
Flash flood in Ocotillo surprises photographer   July 27
by Joe Little in ABC TV 10 News   – California
The incident worries Pelley because he said it’s not natural. He said the BLM is part of a 42-mile network of dirt roads carved into the desert near Ocotillo so that work vehicles can get to a massive wind turbine installation operated by Pattern Energy.
Offshore wind just can’t gain traction in the US    July 27
in Sustainable Business   – USA

It seems that each time the US gets close to having its first offshore wind farm, the project gets scuttled.Even a tiny, 25 megawatt (MW) wind farm planned off the coast of Atlantic City has been rejected by New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities.
Wausakee Composites, Cuba City’s largest employer, closing   July 26
by Barry Adams in Wisconsin State Journal   – Wisconsin
“Wausaukee only recently learned that the primary customer served by the Cuba City facility was closing one of its facilities and would no longer be ordering component parts from Cuba City,” Trueman wrote.He also cited federal tax law changes and decreased investment in the wind energy industry.
Union Township: what to do with broken wind turbine   July 26
by Randi Shaffer in The Morning Sun   – Michigan
Unsure of what to do with its broken turbine, Union Township officials have tabled making a decision until the township consults with Central Michigan University.The north Skystream, a $16,634 grant-funded wind turbine installed for research purposes, no longer works, and the city is not sure why.
PGGM embroiled in conflict – Mexican windfarm  July 26
in Dutch News    – Mexico
Health service pension fund PGGM is embroiled in an investment in a wind farm project in Mexico that has turned sour, the Volkskrant reports. …The wind farm was due to be in operation this autumn but building has not yet begun because of a conflict with the locals who want the project cancelled.
Upper Cape Tech School scraps wind turbine   July 26
by James Kinsella in The Enterprise   –  Massachusetts
Mr. Dutch said he determined that the effort and expense of continually repairing the machine was not worth it, given that the machine was not functioning as a training aid and the small amount of electricity it generated.Further, Upper Cape Tech now is concentrating on teaching its students about solar power.
Vestas takes legal action in India over Nørremark deal  July 26
by James Quilter in Windpower Monthly   – Denmark
Vestas has filed lawsuits against the two Indian companies embroiled in the Danish company’s row with former CFO Henrik Nørremark.Vestas has filed the lawsuits in New Delhi’s high court against RRB Energy and ECO RRB for the return of money handed over by Norremark, in deals that were not sanctioned by the Danish company’s board.
Intervenors’ appeal moves forward; Deepwater delayed  July 26
by Stephanie Turaj in Block Island Times   – Rhode Island
“The OSAMP [Ocean Special Area Management Plan] Subcommittee’s [a CRMC subcommittee] vote to deny Intervenor status to the Plaintiffs in this contested case was a violation of the APA [Administrative Procedures Act], and beyond its legal authority, because … Plaintiffs met the standard for intervention, and at the time of the vote CRMC was acting on incomplete and defective applications, and pursuant to a defective Public Notice.”
Neighbors complain of Vt. wind woes   July 26
by Melissa Sheketoff  in WCAX TV   – Vermont
Reggie Johnson loves spending time in his yard. But since the turbines landed near his backyard, he says it’s been difficult to enjoy the outdoors.”We cherish the moments we have outside. It’s like a kid in a candy shop when you get the opportunity to come out when there’s no noise. It’s a blessed relief,” he said.
Insurance bill for renewables seen tripling to $2.8 billion    July 26
by Sally Bakewell in Bloomberg News
The increases will be driven by a move by the wind energy industry to generate more power from offshore farms and as more risk-averse investors such as pension funds enter the industry, the report for the world’s second-biggest re-insurer found. more…
Xcel, New Era reach agreement; lawsuit dismissed   July 25
by Brett Boese in Post Bulletin   – Minnesota

Xcel agreed to terminate the PPA contract without receiving any form of damage compensation. The two entities have been arguing, through PUC filings, over the arrangement for nearly two years. Previous Xcel paperwork has suggested that New Era could be held responsible for “significant” damages due to its alleged breaches of contract.
Tipton Plan Commission recommends moratorium   July 25
by Ken de la Bastide in Kokomo Tribune   – Indiana
The Tipton city Plan Commission is recommending the city council impose a moratorium on any wind farm development around the city until the end of 2014.The Plan Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend a moratorium be put in place until Dec. 31, 2014 so that the city’s wind farm ordinance can be reviewed and possibly amended.
FERC Commissioner: Wind subsidies must go   July 25
in Power Engineering   – USA

The wind power industry in particular, he said, is sufficiently mature to no longer need federal subsidies, which he said have the deleterious effect of distorting energy markets in harmful ways. “The wind subsidies are wreaking havoc, particularly on the nuclear fleet,” Moeller said.
Wind farm proposal divides Richfield Springs  July 25
by Joe Mahoney in The Daily Star   – New York
A review of a controversial wind-farm project that would bracket U.S. Route 20 is expected to be completed by Otsego County planners by, and the Richfield Planning Board could act on an application for a special permit, according to some officials, as early as Aug. 12.The wind project has divided town officials as well as town residents, with opponents saying the towering turbines would be noisy and emit flashing lights.
DEP staff: reject Carroll Plantation wind farm  July 25
by Nick Sambides Jr. in Bangor Daily News   – Maine

Staff members who reviewed the proposed wind farm said that it would have “an unreasonably adverse impact” on the views of eight lakes that are among 14 “Scenic Resources of State or National Significance” within 8 miles of the project site.
Two appeals launched against St. Columban wind project   July 24
by Susan Hundertmark in Seaforth Huron Expositor   – Canada
The notice questions the process for granting the REA since it does not require the director of the Ministry of the Environment to consider potential health effects and does not comply with the precautionary principle, “which is a principle of fundamental justice.”
Wind power falls short of targets   July 24
by Robert Jones in CBC News   – Canada
Production problems aren’t new. NB Power documents show the utility has failed to receive expected amounts of wind power every year since the first turbines came online in 2008 and now routinely budgets to receive less from the farms than they are supposed to produce. Currently, New Brunswick has 113 commercial windmills grouped in three separate locations, all of them installed between 2008 and 2010.
Desert Storm: Battle over Obama renewables plan   July 24
by Sam Pearson in National Geographic   –  USA| California
“We need a new model for the way public lands are managed that recognizes we can’t keep trying to divide the pie up between exploitation and preservation.” …The move to increase solar permits “just shows the utter blindness that there is in the administration,” said Blaeloch, of the Western Lands Project. “The ‘all-of-the-above’ approach-what kind of thing is that to say about what our energy policy is?” she said. “Let’s be a little more discerning.”
Compliant turbines draw noise complaints   July 24
by Courtney Lamdin in Milton Independent    Vermont
“People don’t become desperate to leave their homes for no reason or because it’s in their heads,” she said.”We have inflicted this technology on people … now they’re getting sick, and now people like David Blittersdorf are ridiculing them.”At what level when you have survey after survey finding the same symptoms do you start saying this is science?” Smith continued.
Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban   July 24
by Simon Johnson in The Telegraph   – UK
The intervention marks a straining in relations between wind farm companies and the First Minister, who has championed the rapid increase in onshore turbines in the face of growing fury from rural communities.A Daily Telegraph investigation last month disclosed how the Scottish Government has pressurised council planners across Scotland that they have set aside too little land for turbines.
Large wind turbine burns itself out   July 17
by Laurie Ritger in The Fond du Lac Reporter   – Wisconsin

The Forward Energy wind farm was constructed by Invenergy. The fire took place on a turbine located in the southernmost part of the project. Invenergy supplied a statement Tuesday that said its staff, along with local firefighters, were on scene of the fire that eventually burned itself out.
WDCS issues Statement of Concern on Offshore wind farms  July 16
in WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation   – UK
WDCS remains concerned about the impact that these large developments in the marine environment will have on cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). …habitat loss caused by the presence of the structures, WDCS is concerned about the high potential for cetaceans to be disturbed and displaced by noise introduced into their environment from the construction and operation of offshore wind farms, due to their high acoustic sensitivity.


My Turn: Revealing results on wind   July 31
in The Recorder   – Massachusetts
The symposium’s findings suggest that a majority of residents in the two most rural counties in Massachusetts distrust both the productivity claims made for wind power and the reasons given for installing it.Almost unanimously, they value local control over decision-making, and for several reasons cited above, most oppose further industrial-scale projects such as those recently constructed in the northern Berkshires.
Europe’s Renewable Romance Fades   July 30
in The Wall Street Journal   – Europe| USA
When intermittent renewables are small players in the grid, they can be easily absorbed. But as they reach European levels of penetration, the strain begins to show. …Lavish subsidies for wind and solar have changed Europe’s generation mix, but the costs have been high because the subsidy structure prioritized mass deployment rather than efficiency, reliability and innovation.
It’s time we learn what green energy costs states and cities   July 28
in Dallas Morning News   – USA| Texas
Ironically, while taxpayers and utility ratepayers are being hammered coming and going to subsidize alternative energy and efficiency programs, the most reliable and cost-effective energy sources, fossil fuels, are the brunt of both political scorn and proposed tax increases. …State legislators should press for those answers. We may be surprised at how much we spend for how little we receive.
Research: wind power is too good to be true   July 27
in Record Enterprise   – New Hampshire
The folks behind the development put on a good show. They send out happy looking ads, and buy favorable coverage in local newspapers that are more than happy to cash the check. But, like they say in any good crime drama-follow the money. These companies are not here to help the area. They are here to make profit. Period. And I would have no problem with that, if they were able to make a go of it without subsidies. But they can’t. The business model collapses without Federal intervention. That’s not the free market.
The wind industry has resisted demands from campaigners to investigate this problem further. For example, in Australia, the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has argued in a submission to the NSW government that low frequency noise not be measured.But if low frequency noise from turbines does not influence annoyance within homes, “then why should [the industry] be concerned?”


A proposed theory to explain some adverse physiological effects of the infrasonic emissions at some wind farm sites    July 31
by Paul D. Schomer, John Erdreich, James Boyle and Pranav Pamidighantam
This important published by acoustician, Paul Schomer and others provides an explanation for why some people are experiencing motion sickness and other ill-effects related to wind turbine acoustic emissions. This paper will be presented at the 5th International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise to be held in Denver, Colorado in…
This document details the land lease agreement between host landowners in Tipton County Indiana and juwi Wind LLC, the German company proposing to erect up to 94 industrial scale wind turbines for a total installed capacity of 150 megawatts. The full lease agreement can be accessed by clicking on the…
Minnesota PUC order on New Era (AWA Goodhue) Wind   July 26
by MN PUC   – Minnesota

The wind project formerly known as AWA Goodhue Wind received this final blow by the Minnesota PUC refusing any further extensions of the permit. The utility giant, XCEL has also canceled the power purchase agreement for the energy. Excerpts of the order are provided below. The full order can be…
Noise Test Procedure for Industrial Wind Turbines   July 17
by T.S. Thompson   – Massachusetts

This letter, submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) details the appropriate methodology for surveying turbine noise post-construction. The procedure was developed under the guidance of acoustician, Richard James of E-coustics Solutions. The criteria for compliance is specific to the Massachusetts state law regarding noise.


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