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Windaction News Issue: October 23, 2013

By -- October 23, 2013

News and information from
The WindAction Group

facts, analysis, exposure of industrial wind energy’s real impacts

Recent Articles

Great Lakes ice shouldn’t stop wind turbines but will increase costs, engineering professor says

(23 Oct) USA | Michigan – Already offshore wind production is three times the cost of onshore wind farms such as the Consumers Energy Lake Winds Energy Park now producing electricity in Mason County south of Ludington, according to MAREC Director Arn Boezaart. Factoring in the cost of engineering wind tower protection against the ice is… MORE

‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ blamed for mysterious symptoms in Cape Cod town

(22 Oct) USA | Massachusetts – They filed an earlier nuisance complaint against the town in July 2012, but the judge granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss on Dec. 3, 2012. “The heart of the issue is that they have been pushed off their land,” said Mannal. “They have erected these enormous industrial-scale turbines — larger… MORE

Cherokee residents file suit to block wind farm

(22 Oct) Alabama – Cherokee County residents have filed a lawsuit to block the proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain, according to official court documents. This is the second suit filed against the developers, Pioneer Green Energy. Etowah County property owners who live near the proposed sites filed a similar lawsuit Aug. 1. MORE

MP calls for compensation

(20 Oct) Australia – Member for Hume Angus Taylor says rural land owners who’ve had their properties devalued by neighbouring wind farms deserve to be compensated. His comments come follow the publication of a preliminary report into the issue, which showed properties across the region that adjoined either energy developments or proposed energy developments… MORE

Wind farms are in the wrong place, says Energy Minister

(20 Oct) UK – The rush to develop on-shore wind farms is “over” and has damaged the renewable energy agenda, the Energy and Climate Change Minister said. Mr Barker promised that future wind farms would be developed off-shore, the Mail on Sunday reported. “We put certain projects in the wrong place,” he said. MORE

A limit on wind power

(20 Oct) Alaska – Mr. Craft is circulating a flyer claiming that Delta Wind will save GVEA members $4 million a year. But the numbers don’t add up. First, AEP wants 12.5 cents per kWh for its wind — 25 percent higher than power from GVEA’s Eva Creek Wind farm. Second, Mr. Craft has… MORE

Wind farm foiled family’s Italian dream

(20 Oct) UK – “We were contacted by the estate agent and he basically informed us there was no point in having this property on the market while this application was going through – it would be almost impossible to sell.” The family spoke to other estate agents and all said their home was… MORE

Let’s not hand over our community to Everpower/Allegany Wind

(20 Oct) New York – Everpower/Allegany Wind representatives have already violated their contract with the town of Allegany numerous times. Then, rather than completing the required study for the project changes they demanded, they brought not just one, but two costly lawsuits against the town. Do we really want to allow these individuals, already acting… MORE

More than 150 vehicles take to Hwy. 402 for mass rally against wind turbines

(20 Oct) Ontario – “Premier Wynne, you will learn we are a tough crowd to deal with when we are pissed off,” activist anti-turbine firebrand Esther Wrightman told a post-convoy rally of about 300 in Strathroy. “We will not be bullied and terrorized any more.” MORE

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility — I am a resident

(20 Oct) California – “Our desert home is not really a home any longer, it is just a place to fight wind turbine syndrome, since the turbines crank out profits for huge investment companies and CEO’s get big bonuses while the uninformed public is forced to subsidize and allow production tax credits for a… MORE

NRG Energy to buy Edison Mission Energy for $2.64 billion

(19 Oct) USA – NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), the largest independent U.S. electricity producer, agreed to buy most of the assets of Edison International (EIX)’s bankrupt Edison Mission Energy for $2.64 billion to expand its coal and wind holdings. MORE

California poised to adopt first-in-nation energy storage mandate

(18 Oct) California – On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote on a groundbreaking proposal that would require PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to collectively buy more than 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage by 2020 — roughly enough electricity to supply nearly 994,000 homes. The… MORE

Bird migration routes coincide with high wind potential in Wyoming

(17 Oct) Wyoming – “Seventy-three percent of those places with good potential for wind energy development have high overlap with important migration areas,” Pocewicz says. Wind energy’s impact on bird populations, particularly migratory birds, has been a controversial subject as wind power has grown nationwide. There’s no recent data on how many birds are… MORE

Companies question whether Maine wind project met state bid requirements

(17 Oct) Connecticut | Maine – Other projects in the same bid were disqualified based on lack of site control, including one that made it all the way to the final stage in the process and was recommended, like the EDP Renewable project. The two companies, which submitted bids that weren’t chosen by the state, first… MORE

Tipton County windmill farms pit neighbors against each other

(17 Oct) Indiana – “This has probably been the most divisive issue I’ve ever seen in this county,” explained Tipton County Planning Commission President Jason Henderson. “It’s pitted neighbor against neighbor and people who would wave to each other, now don’t talk to each other.” MORE

Environment: Commission takes Bulgaria to Court for failing to protect endangered species

(17 Oct) Europe – The European Commission is taking Bulgaria to Court over its failure to protect unique habitats and important species. The case concerns the Kaliakra region, a migratory route and resting place for highly endangered species, where large numbers of wind turbines and other developments have been authorised without adequate assessments of… MORE

Nature Conservancy joins Osage Nation fight against Osage County wind farm

(16 Oct) Oklahoma – Mike Fuhr, state director of The Nature Conservancy, met with Osage Nation leaders Tuesday during the National Congress of American Indians at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa to sign a memorandum of understanding that they would work in tandem to protect prairie lands in Oklahoma. MORE

‘Cuisinarts of the Sky’ continue to dodge environmental laws

(16 Oct) USA – How does the wind industry get away with it? The short answer: good lobbyists and a sympathetic administration that cares more about continuing subsidies than protecting birds. According to lobbying disclosures, in 2011, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) lobbied Congress, the White House, and the Interior Department on the… MORE

Bird discovery threatens closure of 50MW project

(16 Oct) Europe – A Spanish court has ruled null and void local authority permits granted to a 50MW wind plant, partly owned by Italian utility Enel, that has been in operation for three years. Avian group SEO Birdlife brought the case to court. It discovered the regional government of Castile and León had… MORE

Wind farm being torn down for scrap

(16 Oct) UK – Campaigners said the turbines “turned the area into an industrial graveyard” as they celebrated news of the removal of the rusty machines, which will be used as scrap metal. Locals said they had blighted the landscape and hadn’t worked for three quarters of the time they had been at the… MORE

1 wind farm entered service in Q3, but 7,562 MW now under construction

(15 Oct) USA – Only 43 MW of wind capacity was brought online in the third quarter of 2013, continuing a yearlong trend of minimal wind capacity installations in the U.S., but construction activity is ramping up as the industry seeks to tap into the extended production tax credit. The first three quarters of… MORE

Energy experts at ISO NE conference: Go slow on renewables

(15 Oct) Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont – “If you get it wrong, bad things happen,” Nicholas Miller, a senior director at General Electric’s energy consulting arm, said about developing the grid in accordance with renewable energy growth. “Germany didn’t see 20 Gigawatts with a ‘G’ (of solar) coming in in 24 months. They got their interconnection rules… MORE

Vermont wind farm blows down home values

(15 Oct) Vermont – The members unanimously agreed that the sound of the turbines– any sound– was enough. “It’s a noise that’s a constant sort of noise. I once described it as if you’re on a coastline and way off in the distance, there’s a freighter going by and you hear the engine going–… MORE

Statoil cancels $120 million offshore wind project in Maine

(15 Oct) Maine – Adrienne Bennett, LePage’s press secretary,  released a news statement Tuesday afternoon that reaffirmed the governor’s opposition. “The Administration has been perfectly clear through the regulatory process that the term-sheet offered by Statoil was ironclad in its cost – placing a $200 million burden on Mainers by way of increasing electric… MORE

Landowner To Ontario wind developers: ‘You guys did a lousy job’

(15 Oct) Ontario – “You guys did a lousy job,” Don McCabe, vice president at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, told attendees as a panelist during the recently concluded Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference and Exhibition. …Some rogue developers have come into the province and hastily staked their claim and often underestimated the… MORE

Despite impending permit denial, First Wind signed contract for Bowers Mountain wind project

(15 Oct) Maine – First Wind argues that its project complies with existing law. If it’s not successful, First Wind could face penalties stemming from its deal with National Grid. While the deal is complicated with various opportunities for First Wind to extend milestone deadlines toward completion of the project, the bottom line is… MORE

California’s alternative-energy program under scrutiny

(14 Oct) California – “Suddenly, you look up and there are literally hundreds of millions of dollars going into investments that produce marginal benefits,” said state Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), a member of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. “You know the tale of Robin Hood? Well, this is robbing the ‘hood,” he said…. MORE

Energy costs widen gap in competitiveness

(14 Oct) UK – Consumers are less willing to foot the whole bill for policies to mitigate global warming. The shift in the debate is most conspicuous in Germany, where the Energiewende – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s historic drive wind and solar ­– has left German consumers with among the highest prices for electricity in… MORE

Wind farms win few fans

(14 Oct) Australia – Rural landholders across Australia may face a disappearing pool of buyers and plummeting values of up to 60 per cent because of neighbouring wind farms, a new, independent report has established. Most reports so far have not produced evidence that rural land holdings have been impaired by wind turbine development…. MORE

Lesser prairie chickens down by half in one year

(13 Oct) Kansas | Missouri | Oklahoma – In 2012, there were an estimated 34,000 lesser prairie chickens across their grassland range, which includes portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Kansas is home to about half the country’s lesser prairie chicken population. This year’s survey showed the bird’s population has declined by about half, down to… MORE

Wind-farm sites need close look

(13 Oct) British Columbia – Between 100 and 150 of these machines will be installed, likely on ridge tops where the wind is strongest. That would be a serious imposition on some of the loveliest scenery in our province. …No one knows how to deal with the unsightly aspect of wind farms. Visual pollution can’t… MORE

Ohio wind farms praised by some, criticized by others

(13 Oct) Ohio – Northwest Ohio has had wind farms in operation for about three years. Some are not happy with the wind farms, while others think the arrival of alternative-energy companies is the best thing that could happen to the region. …”We were told that the noise was minimal and that light flickers… MORE

NPPD board rejects plan to purchase more wind power

(13 Oct) Nebraska – These developers have been flooding NPPD with unsolicited proposals, hoping the state’s largest electric utility would commit to long-term purchase agreements before the federal production tax credit available for the projects expires Dec. 31. Proponents of the wind plan pointed to the income tax credit — $23 per megawatt-hour for… MORE

Wind farm subsidies generate £900m for Britain’s big six energy suppliers

(13 Oct) UK – An analysis of the industry’s figures shows that Britain’s largest energy firms received almost £900 million last year through a consumer subsidy added to household bills. The subsidy is worth £200 million more than the income from the electricity actually produced by Britain’s wind farms. In total, the big six… MORE

Navitus Bay wind farm has “more holes than Swiss cheese” say Dorset councillors

(11 Oct) UK – Consultants commissioned by the county council expressed ‘disappointment’ in a report to the committee that NBDL would not submit 70mm or 75mm focal length single frame printed images that would provide a clearer picture of what the development would look like. They said the wind farm could not be sited… MORE

European utilities CEOs urge end to renewables subsidies

(11 Oct) Europe – The CEOs of 10 utilities companies, which together own half of Europe’s electricity generating capacity, are calling for an end to subsidies for wind and solar energy, which they say add too much power to a market already struggling with overcapacity. MORE

Wind developers plan to seek tax deal soon

(11 Oct) Ohio – Jack Van Kley, an attorney for Union Neighbors United, said despite the revenue, taxpayers would be providing a tax break to a private company if the PILOT payment is approved. UNU is made up of a group of residents who are opposed to the project. “Certainly, if this project were… MORE

Fighting Climate Change by Killing Eagles

(11 Oct) USA – For some environmentalists, the threat of climate change is so great that we must allow wind turbines to kill bald and golden eagles. The argument I’ve heard is that renewables, including wind energy, will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Less carbon dioxide reduces the threat posed… MORE

Jet fears for wind farm

(11 Oct) UK – In the consultation response Claire Duddy from the MoD said: “The turbines will be within the overlapping low flying areas of 13 and 20T where flight as low as 100ft is authorised. In conjunction with operations at RAF Spadeadam, aircraft are responding to air defence threat systems and the addition… MORE

Huron County wind turbines will double in number

(11 Oct) Michigan – “By sometime next year, we should have 328 wind turbines in Huron County because of what has been approved and what is under construction,” Smith said. “Ninety-eight turbines are currently under construction.” At the end of the year in 2012 there were 160 wind turbines in Huron County.  MORE

German ‘land of industry’ jeopardized by green push, lobby says

(10 Oct) Germany – Germany will threaten jobs and hamper growth if it persists with expanding renewable energy at the current pace, a chemical lobby said. Continuing with uncapped subsidies to renewable developers and removing aid for companies that use a lot of energy risks 211 billion euros ($285 billion) in gross domestic product… MORE

Homeowner says Green Mountain wind turbines noisy, caused damages

(10 Oct) West Virginia – In November or December 2011, the turbines produced noises and pulsations, according to the complaint. The complaint further states the noises and pulsations from the turbines cause annoyance, mental and emotional injuries, physical pain and decreased property use and enjoyment.  MORE

Recent Documents

Illinois School Superintendent Letter: Turbine noise creating health problems for students

(image)(8 Oct) Illinois – This letter, which was read at the Vermilion county board meeting on Monday, October 8, 2013, was written by William C. Mulvaney, the Superintendent of Schools for Armstrong Township High School and Armstrong-Ellis CUD #61 in Illinois. The project is Invenergy’s California Ridge with 134 turbines in Vermilion and Champaign counties. … MORE

Assessing wind power cost estimates

(image)(1 Oct) USA – This document examines the cost of wind power after considering federal subsidies and the effect the subsidies on market energy prices. The conclusion of the document is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. MORE

Infrasound, human health, and adaptation: an integrative overview of recondite hazards in a complex environment

(image)(1 Sep) – This important paper examines infrasound and its capacity to affect human health. The paper confirms that moderate strength correlations occur between the incidences of infrasound and reports of nausea, malaise, fatigue, aversion to the area, non-specific pain, and sleep disturbances when pressure levels exceed about 50 db for protracted periods…. MORE

The impact of wind turbine developments on surrounding rural land values in the Southern Tablelands, N.S.W.

(image)(1 Sep) Australia – This 33-page study released by Australian real estate consultant and registered valuer, Peter Reardon, provides sales evidence demonstrating that wind farms are negatively impacting property values. Mr. Reardon’s work examined the effect of more than 3000 turbines either in operation or proposed for construction across New South Wales in Australia…. MORE

Noise complaints at Heritage Garden Wind

(image)(8 Oct 2012) Michigan – This letter was submitted to the Delta County Michigan Building and Zoning Board in reference to noise eminating from the Heritage Garden Wind farm, a 28 megawatt (14 turbine) energy facility sited in Garden Township. The project became fully operational in September 2012 but by October 2012 complaints of noise… MORE




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