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3/29/11 FOLLOW UP: Why did Invenergy cancel Brown County Project? Could it be that Wisconsin is COLD when you're naked? AND It's as bad down under as it is up here in Wisconsin: misery caused by living too close to wind turbines AND Follow the money to the green jobs and you may hit a dead end AND From quiet countryside to turbine 'hell': Neighbors tell their stories

Is there something we should tell the Emperor of Invenergy about his clothes? Nah. He knows.

NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: What are the real reasons Invenergy pulled out of the wind project proposed for Brown County?

Chicago-based wind developer, Invenergy, told the Public Service Commission they stopped the project because of the uncertain regulatory climate in Wisconsin. In the same letter to the PSC they contradict this statement by making it clear they will develop other projects in Wisconsin.

Another problem with this claim is that the Brown County project would not be impacted by the recently suspended wind rules. The size of the project meant the Public Service Commission -which has never said no to a proposed wind project- would be the sole regulatory authority for the project. 

Invenergy claims that strong community opposition to the project had no impact on the decision, but this is in keeping with an unwritten code of the wind industry: Never admit that community opposition has any impact. If you do, it will encourage other communities to fight back.

Another reason for stopping the project may be Invenergy's lack of a power purchase agreement. If they don't have a utility willing to sign onto a multi-year agreement to buy the power from the project, the project will be nearly impossible to finance.

In wind industry-speak, a wind project in this situation is called a "naked wind farm".

Although Invenergy and wind lobbyists keep spinning the cancellation of the Brown County project as a result of regulatory uncertainty, in February, Invenergy pulled out of another 'naked wind farm' that also had significant community opposition. Once again, Invenergy denies that the community opposition had anything to do with their decision, but at least in this case they do admit to being naked.

Invenergy pulls out of Belwood


February 2, 2011

Wind turbine project rights sold to TransCanada

In a new development in the battle over wind in Belwood, Invenergy LLC has pulled out and sold their ownership stake in the project to TransCanada Energy Ltd.

Following up on a tip that Invenergy was selling off their rights to the project, the News Express contacted their head office in Chicago, Illinois last week seeking comment.

Invenergy spokesperson Alissa Krinsky issued a prepared statement, reading: "TransCanada Energy Ltd. has re-acquired 100 per cent of the interest in the Belwood Wind Energy Project from Invenergy Canada.

Currently, a power purchase agreement for this green energy project has not been secured. As a result, the time lines for the potential future development of this project are not known."

That same statement is repeated on the company's former project website for Belwood at www.belwoodwindfarm.info. The site was changed and became active with that message as of Monday, Jan. 31.

Tom Patterson, the manager for power renewables for TransCanada Energy, is listed as a contact on the site. Calls to Patterson by the News Express seeking comment on the deal were not returned as of press time.

The switch came as news to the project's biggest critics, Oppose Belwood Wind Farm. Spokeswoman Janet Vallery said the first she had heard of the change came when the News Express called seeking comment.

"We've been fighting wind farms for almost a year now," she said. "As of today, we're opposing three different companies - wpd Canada, IPC and now TransCanada. Most of the community is appalled with the risks posed by those industrial wind turbines. We're fighting these companies, and if TransCanada has the desire to move forward against the community's wishes then we'll continue to oppose them."

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Residents of this Invenergy wind project in Fond du Lac county have similar complaintsWIND FARM INQUIRY IN BALLARAT: ANGER, TEARS AT HEARING

SOURCE: The Courier, www.thecourier.com.au

March 29, 2011


Giving evidence, fuelled at times by anger, frustration and tears, nearly 30 local residents spoke of ill-health, property devaluation, environmental damage and communities split by wind farm developments.

The wind industry had a day of reckoning yesterday when the Senate inquiry into wind farms held its Ballarat hearing.

Giving evidence, fuelled at times by anger, frustration and tears, nearly 30 local residents spoke of ill-health, property devaluation, environmental damage and communities split by wind farm developments.

Megan Read of the Western Plains Landscape Guardians Association called for an immediate moratorium on all proposed and approved wind farms until an independent health study was undertaken.

Ms Read was also one of many who said a national approach to planning and policy guidelines should be implemented to make all states consistent with federal regulations.

“The rapid onslaught of wind farm proposals and developments has affected thousands of regional Australians and many groups,” Ms Read told the hearing.

“Local short-term economic benefits are massively overwhelmed by loss of property values, population decline, job losses and restriction of agricultural business operations.

“Wind farms are not viable without government mandated and public funded subsidies.”

Ms Read called the spread of wind farms a “complete social injustice”.

“Social impacts included negative health effects from turbine noise and infrasound, breakdown in community connectedness, and the overall feeling of helplessness,” she said.

The hearing began with formal testimony from former Waubra residents Carl and Sam Stepnell and Noel Dean. They spoke of the onset of severe health problems after turbines were turned on.

Waubra operator Acciona also came in for criticism from Pyrenees Shire Council for a range of operational matters.

Council officer Chris Hall said changes were made to turbine design and height, and lights were added to turbines after planning approval and under secondary consent from then Planning Minister Justin Madden.

Mr Hall said council had received around 32 formal complaints of noise and health related effects from Waubra residents.

It is believed senators toured both Waubra and Hepburn wind farms earlier in the day, but these visits were closed to media.

Next Story

Video: Why is this wind developer smiling?

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SOURCE: Herald Scotland, www.heraldscotland.com

March 29 2011

by Harry Reid

Jim Guthrie looks out of his window, across the lovely wooded valley of the River Duisk.

Beneath his house a bridge crosses the river, carrying the A714 road from Girvan up to Barrhill.

Suddenly there’s a great roaring din. A huge 12-wheeled truck is having trouble crossing the narrow bridge, and then negotiating the sharp bend at the far side. Jim sighs and says: “At least that one didn’t smash the bridge. It’s been damaged so often, the council doesn’t bother to do the repairs any more”.

The A714 is a narrow, steep road but its A-road status makes it in theory suitable for all types of traffic. These days many very long trucks are using it because of windfarm developments in the area. Land needs to be cleared, and this often requires the felling of timber. Scarring new tracks are built across virgin country, and there is much disruptive construction work. Big loads – including the colossal turbines themselves – are transported up totally unsuitable roads.

Jim Guthrie is a retired Church of Scotland minister. Like so many Scots, he is all in favour of renewable energy. But local, harrowing experience has made him deeply sceptical about windfarms.

Through the recent severe winter, when there was a big demand for electricity, Jim monitored the turbines in his immediate area. He counted 73 days when there was little or no turbine activity. “The turbines don’t operate if there’s a hard frost, or if the wind speed is less than 15mph or more than 45 mph. So they simply don’t work for long periods,” he says. “Are they worth all the bother they cause? I don’t think so”.

With Jim is Claire Perrie, secretary of the local community council. She tells me: “I don’t think that people in Glasgow or Edinburgh understand what it’s like living near these things. And I don’t think some politicians understand what they’ve agreed to. The landowners and the contactors make a lot of money, the rest of us just suffer.”

She adds: “We’re going to have to consider direct action – and I never thought I’d say that – if the Breaker Hill windfarm goes ahead”.

There are already three large scale windfarms in this beautiful part of South Carrick. The proposed Breaker Hill development would add another 15 turbines to the 144 that have already been erected in a very compact geographical area. Scottish National Heritage insists that several windfarms should not be built close to each other, but developers have other ideas.

The vast Hadyard Hill windfarm, just three miles inland from Girvan, has 56 turbines built across gently undulating moorland. In the valley below live three generations of the Baldwin family.

Robert Baldwin shows me a video he has made of the creepy “shadow flicker” which blights his home. “This is bad enough, but what’s worse is the noise, when the turbines are operating at full tilt. They stop you sleeping, and we’re double-glazed. It’s like having a loud tumble drier on, a constant, grating, whooshing noise,” he says.

There is a proposal for a further windfarm to be built immediately behind his house. Soon he and his family could be literally surrounded by huge turbines.

Jim Guthrie says: “I worked in the shipyards before I became a minister, and then I had a rural parish at the time of foot and mouth ten years ago. But I’ve never felt as helpless as I do now. The most worrying thing of all for the folk around here is that their houses are losing value, fast. They reckon they won’t be able to sell them if they feel they have to get out.”

Some community projects have benefited from investment by windfarm developers. But in South Carrick tourism is a crucial industry, and this, obviously enough, is being adversely affected.

I would not say, as some do, that windfarms are just a scam. But they produce electricity only intermittently, they disrupt communities and rupture the environment. Surely wave and tidal power would provide far more power at far less social cost?

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