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Windaction News Issue: September 11, 2013

By -- September 11, 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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Editor’s note – Renewable advocates worldwide point to Europe as proof of wind power’s success. This week’s issue includes several articles from Germany that expose a more painful reality that could change an election.


‘Significant’ fears over Atlantic Array wind farm – September 10
in BBC News – UK
Serious concerns have been raised in a report about a huge wind farm off the north Devon coast. A county council report says the project would have negative impacts on the landscape and might not have any economic benefits for north Devon. It would be among the UK’s biggest wind farms, with up to 240 turbines. more…
Duke Energy, some residents at odds over proposed wind farm – September 10
by Kristy Davis in WLWT TV – Kentucky
Questions about the project ranged from health concerns to the effect on livestock. Maysville Mayor David Cartmell said the biggest problem for him is aesthetics.”It’s been likened to the ‘War of the Worlds’, where you see those long-legged things out your back window,” he said. more…
Merkel faces election scrap over German energy shift – September 10
by Frank Zeller in AFP – Germany
Generous state incentives for solar, wind and biogas have driven up prices, which are now among Europe’s highest and set to rise 20 percent more next year, topping 1,000 euros annually for the average three-person household. …But Steinbrueck charged that “the management of this energy transition is a disaster … it is the biggest brake on investment we have.” more…
Falmouth tries again at turbine solution – September 10
by Sean F. Driscollin Cape Cod Times – Massachusetts

According to a report from Town Manager Julian Suso presented to the selectmen Monday night, there’s more urgency to their decision. The town is facing three lawsuits over the turbine operation, with more on the horizon.”There is an expanding risk that a court order will potentially take control of the matter and the town will be left with no reasonable and effective options,” Suso wrote. more…
German wind farm developer Windreich files for insolvency – September 10
by Maria Sheahan and Alexander Huebner in Reuters– Germany

“In talks with our investors it became clear that a change in management was a prerequisite for the successful continuation of talks,” Windreich’s new chief Werner Heer said.Windreich plans, builds and sells wind parks and is a key player in Germany’s offshore wind park expansion. more…

Wind plant needs buyers of electricity to get aloft – September 10
by Paul Hammel in Omaha World-Herald News- Nebraska

A small wind farm planned near this small town is ready to begin construction except for one major snag — no one, so far, wants to buy the electricity it will produce.The 22 farmers behind Burt County Wind LLC are trying to change that by convincing Nebraska utilities that they need to look past the slightly higher cost of the energy produced by small wind farms and consider the bigger economic impact. more…

Wildcat Wind Farm may make too much noise – September 10
by Ken de la Bastide in Kokomo Tribune- Indiana

Since it began operation in January, numerous complaints have been filed about the Wildcat Wind Farm in northern Tipton County. At least one is valid, said Steve Edson, administrator of the Tipton County Plan Commission. …Wildcat developer E.ON Climate & Renewables has until Sept. 24 to resolve the issue. more…
Some renewable energy providers giving up entering electricity market – September 10
in The Associated Press – Asia

Laying large-scale photovoltaic panels for power generation requires wide areas of flat, vacant land, ruling out urban areas. Land suited for wind farms, meanwhile, is often in the less populated Tohoku and Hokkaido regions in the north. While these areas have power delivery lines, their capacity is often limited due to low regional demand for electricity. more…
Grid-scale batteries work well for storing solar power, but not wind – September 9
in Science 2.0

“Ideally, the energetic cost of curtailing a resource should at least equal the amount of energy it cost to store it,” Dale said. “That’s the case for photovoltaics, but for wind farms, the energetic cost of curtailment is much lower than it is for batteries. Therefore, it would actually be more energetically efficient to shut down a wind turbine than to store the surplus electricity it generates.” more…
Brussels fears European ‘industrial massacre’ sparked by energy costs – September 9
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph – UK
Europe’s deepening energy crisis has for now replaced debt troubles as the region’s top worry, with major implications for the Commission’s draft paper on shale expected in October. The EU’s industry and environment directorates are pitted against each other. The new legislation could in theory stop Britain, Poland, and others going ahead with fracking. more…
Many oppose Mass Audubon turbine plans – September 9
by Marilyn Miller in Wicked Local Wellfleet – Massachusetts
C. Gilman of Dennis wrote to Prescott, “As a birder with ties to Cornell University and other ornithology organizations worldwide, I am shocked at the position that you have taken in support of the industrial turbine proposed to be erected at the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary. It is inconceivable to me that you and [Mass. Audubon] would endorse erection of an industrial turbine to dominate this pristine landscape and to disrupt the natural environment. more…
New England anti-wind farm groups oppose development – September 9
by Dan Seufert in New Hampshire Union Leader – New Hampshire
NH WindWatch is also worried that the problems of other states could occur in New Hampshire. Stories of health problems in other states include that of Luann Therrien, a neighbor to the Sheffield, Vt. wind project, who says her family has been suffering health problems – headaches, nausea, sleep disruption – from the noise of the project’s turbines for about a year. more…
Ocotillo residents’ woes continue: new dust storm, flooding, white sludge flow – September 8
by Miriam Raftery in East County Magazine – California
A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents’ concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community. At 4:40 p.m., a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy. more…
Proof windfarms will cut Scots house prices – September 8
by Ben Borland in Sunday Express – UK

The cottage was valued at £130,000, but after two years she was still unable to find a buyer. In June, when a woman withdrew an offer, she received an email explaining the decision, which reads: “Having spoken to Planning again, re the wind turbines, as 475 metres from the house is close, they have confirmed there will be a ‘whooshing’ noise and flicker. …My solicitor has contacted me this morning and said best avoid it and look for somewhere else.” more…
Washington court ruling keeps spin on Whistling Ridge Windfarm plan – September 7
by Sverre Bakke in Hood River News – Oklahoma

Nathan Baker, a staff attorney for FOCG, said the Aug. 29 Supreme Court decision “isn’t the final say in the matter.”“According to the Supreme Court, several issues are yet to be resolved, including wildlife mitigation and forest practices. In the words of the Supreme Court, these issues are not yet ‘ripe.’” Baker added, “Friends and SOSA will continue to participate in the public process on these and other unresolved issues.” more…

NVDA committee explores industrial wind impacts – September 6
by Jennifer Hersey Cleveland in The Caledonian-Record – Vermont

Proximity to industrial wind turbines is making people ill, and the state’s program to increase the use of renewable energy sources is a “sham.” That’s the message a committee exploring the impacts of industrial wind projects heard …The committee was formed by Northeastern Vermont Development Association following NVDA’s July 2012 recommendation that all industrial wind development be suspended for three years until more is known about its impact on local communities. more…
Wind power supply chain in trouble as turbine market contracts – September 5
in Renewable Energy World
In the U.S., the supply chain has been stressed by slack power demand, the shale gas boom and an ongoing boom-and-bust cycle resulting from continual policy uncertainty. Doubt about the last-minute extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) caused a drop in demand in 2013, as developers were unwilling to place new equipment orders without policy certainty. more…
Navitus Bay windfarm could “devastate” tourist industry – September 5
by Melanie Vass in Daily Echo – UK

Impact assessments carried out by the wind park developer state that up to a third of all visitors could be deterred from holidaying in the area during the three year construction phase.And once the wind farm is built and in operation, 14 per cent of visitors say the loss of view would prevent them from returning. more…

Semi carrying turbine base crashes in Washington Co. – September 5
in Salina Journal – Kansas
“There was a mechanical failure that caused the trailer to go into the median,” Cordry said. “Everything was totaled. The truck rolled over; the trailers were damaged and so was the load.” more…
White House hosts large meeting on eagle permitting for wind farms – September 5
by Phil Taylor in E&E News – USA
Conservation groups generally support a permit system that would require wind developers and the Fish and Wildlife Service to more accurately predict eagle impacts, but they argue too little is known about the long-term effects of wind farms to issue 30-year permits more…
Lacking state policy, local politics test the promise of wind energy in Oklahoma – September 5
by Joe Wertz in State Impact NPR – Oklahoma
Huffstutlar’s farm is now surrounded by the Canadian Hills Wind Farm. The couple hates the turbines: the way they look, sound and make them feel. The Huffstutlars say it’s impossible to hide from the 400-foot turbines on their neighbor’s land – even inside the house. Tammy says they’ve had to add blackout shades to several rooms to block the strobing effect of the shadow flicker that flashes through the windows. more…
County approves windmill distance – September 5
in Tooele Transcript Bulletin – Utah
“A half mile is still too close,” said Thomas Karjola, a Rawhide resident. “We have submitted to the planning commission and the commissioners plenty of research that shows that even within a half-mile there are health and noise problems, and a loss in property values. These things are huge and people just don’t want to live by them.” more…
Tribe fighting construction of Osage County wind project – September 5
by Mike Erwin in Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – Oklahoma

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has scheduled a Sept. 12 meeting with representatives from the Osage Nation and Wind Capitol Group, agency officials said.More than a dozen eagle-take applications have been filed with the federal agency since Wind Capital submitted its request in October 2012 – but, to date, no permits have been granted. Officials expect the Osage Wind application to be the first considered. more…

Wind power producers ask regulators for rate certainty – September 5
by Elwood Brehmer in Alaska Journal of Commerce – Alaska

Borgeson said that Golden Valley cannot justify buying wind power from Craft if it doesn’t beat the average production cost under current regulations.”We would love to have Mike Craft’s wind (power). It’s in the right spot, at Delta, to have power generated there,” he said. “It’s just got to be a fair economic deal – it’s got to work for both of us.” more…
Germany’s energy poverty: How electricity became a luxury good – September 5
in Der Spiegel – Germany
This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants — electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit. more…
Juwi files lawsuit against Tipton Co. Board of Zoning Appeal – September 5
by Ken de la Bastide in Kokomo Tribune – Indiana

The developer of the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm has filed a complaint against the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeal seeking judicial review of zoning decisions.The lawsuit filed this week by juwi Wind in Tipton Circuit Court also alleges the Board of Zoning Appeals violated Indiana’s Open Door law during a July meeting. more…

Wind turbine destroyed by wind – September 4
by Claire Carter in The Telegraph – UK

Two blades were ripped from the 18m high turbine in the Scottish Highlands and thrown up to 60 yards away after it was hit by 40mph gales. A third was left badly buckled.The incident has led to calls for all wind turbines to be removed from school playgrounds in the Highlands as the council’s safety trigger for turbines to be shut down currently stands at 80mph winds. more…

First Wind appeals rejection of Bowers Mountain project– September 4
by Nick Sambides Jr. in Bangor Daily News – Maine

A Massachusetts developer is appealing a state regulatory agency’s denial of its application to build a $100 million industrial wind site on Bowers Mountain in eastern Penobscot County, its spokesman said Wednesday.Lawyers for First Wind filed the appeal with the Board of Environmental Protection late Wednesday afternoon. more…
CAW has no intention of halting turbine – September 3
by Tracey Richardson in Owen Sound Sun Times – Canada

The CAW — or Unifor as it’s now known — has no intention of shutting down its wind turbine in Port Elgin after council formally requested it do so a week ago.Ken Bondy, the union’s national coordinator for health, safety and environment, said Tuesday he’s received notice of the Saugeen Shores resolution, but the turbine will not be shut down. more…
Scituate officials consider changes to wind turbine noise test protocols – September 3
by Jessica Trufant in The Patriot Ledger – Massachusetts
Wallace said the protocol, set by the board and the turbine owner, calls for sampling easterly or westerly wind from six different sites. The board next week will revisit whether tests should capture a southwesterly wind, when neighbors to the turbine say it is the loudest. more…
State wants GMP to pay for more research on Lowell Wind turbine noise – September 3
by Robin Smith in The Caledonian-Record – Vermont

“The department continues to believe that the identification and correction of noise-related problems is of paramount concern,” Commons stated in a brief submitted to the PSB this week. …
The lack of knowledge by GMP about snow impacts, along with Nelson’s health concerns, raised the question for the department of whether there were more violations last winter, which prompted the department to seek a stiffer penalty than originally sought, Commons stated. more…
Green-energy preferences via partnership status stalls – September 3
by Casey Wooten in Bloomberg Businessweek – USA
Bipartisan U.S. legislation to allow renewable-energy companies to use a type of partnership structure popular with oil and gas drillers has been stalled by debate over a green-energy tax credit. …”Of the Republicans who support it, some of them only support it on the condition that the subsidies that are [currently] given – the production tax credit – would be repealed or set aside as part of the bill passing.” more…
The Grid: Wind power generation growing, but transmission lags – September 1
by Paul Monies in The Oklahoman – Oklahoma
Billions of dollars in transmission lines will have to be built before the nation’s wind resources, which are concentrated in the center of the country, can be fully exploited by large population centers to the east and west. more…
Concern as wind turbines fail to produce power – August 31
by Adrian Pearson in The Journal – UK

Campaigners have called for a new era of openness as it emerges some ageing turbines are producing nowhere near the power originally promised.Opponents to wind farms say there is a growing risk of turbines not meeting energy demands or having reached the end of their useful life being left as a blot on the landscape until planning permission expires. more…
Divisive Goodhue County wind debate nears end – August 31
by Brett Boese in The Post Bulletin – Minnesota

The controversy often pitted neighbor against neighbor, but the battle appears near an end. New Era recently missed two deadlines with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to hold permit revocation hearings in October or November. That could put an end to an unprecedented five-year battle that’s included five lawsuits.”It’s like tearing a scab off in our community.” more…
State wants GMP to do more sound testing at Lowell – August 30
by John Dillon in Vermont Public Radio – Vermont

Geoff Commons is the department’s public advocate. He said the board heard credible testimony from Shirley Nelson, a neighbor of the Lowell project, that the turbine sound was harming her health, even at levels produced below the state standard. …We do get complaints about turbine noise, more or less regularly. And we think it would be appropriate to just basically get more information on the sounds. more…
$2.5 million to be refunded from subsidies for failed Nordex wind turbine plant in Jonesboro – August 30
by Max Brantley in Arkansas Times – Arkansas

Nordex announced earlier this year that, as a result of uncertainty in the wind energy market in North America, it would be consolidating its manufacturing in Germany and maintaining the Jonesboro location as its American base for service and warehousing and the Nordex Academy for training staff and customers. more…
French court rejects planned wind farm near Mont Saint Michel – August 29
in Agence-France Presse – France
A French court has ruled against a decision to set up a wind farm off the picturesque northern abbey island of Mont Saint Michel which could threaten the site’s UNESCO World Heritage status, a lawyer said Thursday. …The ruling was made in the middle of this month and decrees that one cannot just “set up wind turbines anywhere” one wishes, said Benoist Busson, a lawyer for the association. more…
Blowing in the Wind – August 27
by Jay Pateakos in South Coast Insider – Massachusetts

“Wind turbines carry uniquely disturbing low-frequency noises and over time, these noises cannot be tuned out, like white noise can. Wind turbine noise, in studies, has been shown to be the second-worst kind of noise, next to railroad shunting. Wind turbine noise … doesn’t allow a human being to relax.” more…


Aussie Restoration: The perils of a carbon tax and other lessons from Down Under – September 9
in The Wall Street Journal – Australia

A carbon tax is one of those ideas that economists love to propose but that turn out to be lousy politics. If Republicans want to toy with the idea, they had better be prepared to eliminate the income or payroll tax along with it. Otherwise voters will figure out that the politicians are merely looking for one more way to tap into their incomes, in this case by raising their electricity and other energy bills. more…
UMaine wind plan should be open to public scrutiny – September 8
in Kennebec Journal – Maine
When a proposal to get the state’s electric ratepayers to pay higher-than-market prices for power from an experimental offshore wind project comes sealed from public view, it’s natural to wonder why. That the proposal comes from a partnership involving the University of Maine, a taxpayer-funded institution, makes it even more curious. The public deserves to know what it may be buying, and competitors need to know that the process is fair. more…
A modest letter of ‘thanks’ to Iberdrola – September 2
in North Adams Transcript – Massachusetts

“Home invasion,” is a serious breach of somebody’s personal safety and the law steps in to protect the people in that home. Our homes have been invaded by sound and strobe lights and huge towering windmills and, for the most part, the officials who have the authority seem to shrug their shoulders and say, “So what?” and walk away.We can’t walk away. more…

Hearings on wind farms will be welcome – August 26
in The Oregonian Editorial Board – Oregon 
At the heart of the money problem is the state’s decision to award the project three tax credits with a combined value of $30 million rather than the single tax credit worth $10 million to which it was entitled. Shepherds Flat began as one project that subsequently was broken up into three pieces in an attempt to maximize state subsidies. more…


Macarthur Wind Energy Facility preliminary survey- August 2013
by Anne Schafer – Australia

This document explains the preliminary results of an anonymous self-reporting survey administered to households located within 10 kilometers of the Macarthur Wind Energy facility located near Penshurst Township in Australia. The findings of the survey demonstrate a significant size of the population experiencing negative impacts from the project. Excerpts of… more
Iberdrola violations involving Groton Wind project O&M building – April 24, 2013
by Buttolph et. al.
The Adverse Health Impacts of Industrial Wind Turbines: A Scientific Response to “It’s all in your head” – April 2013
by Raymond S. Hartman

In this paper by Dr. Raymond S. Hartman, Dr. Hartman critiques two reports that claim to provide scientific evidence regarding the adverse health effects of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs). Each paper attributes increased reports of adverse health effects to some form of mass hysteria. These research papers are fatally flawed,… more

Wind farms in Eastern Australia – Recent Lessons – January 8, 2013
by Paul Miskelly

Academic discussion continues as to whether a fleet of grid-connected wind farms, widely dispersed across a single grid network, can provide a reliable electricity supply. One opinion is that wide geographical dispersion of wind farms provides sufficient smoothing of the intermittent and highly variable output of individual wind farms enabling… more


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