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5/6/11 The 'rare' occurance that keeps happening: Shattered turbine blade in DeKalb IL wind project AND Down Under it's the same as Up Over: Wind turbine health concerns AND Wind Turbines are (NOT) for the birds AND Dirty green deal: Lawsuit filed against major turbine maker



May 6, 2011

By Caitlin Mullen

SHABBONA – Officials with NextEra Energy said a broken blade on a wind turbine has been removed and the cause of the shattered blade will be investigated. With weight limits on county and township roads this spring, NextEra spokesman Steve Stengel said Thursday that the company had to wait until those weight postings were removed before a large truck with a crane could drive on the roads to get to the blade, at Shabbona Road between Keslinger and Gurler roads.

The DeKalb County Highway Department removed its spring road posting signs for county roads April 8, which had restricted traffic weighing more than 33,000 pounds, County Engineer Bill Lorence said.

Stengel, who said broken blades occur occasionally, with one happening in May 2010, said the blade was removed in the last 1½ weeks. It shattered in mid-March. The company has operated 145 turbines in DeKalb and Lee counties since late 2009. A group of local residents called Citizens for Open Government is opposed to the wind farm and is suing to have it shut down


READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT SOURCE: Stock & Land, sl.farmonline.com.au

May 6, 2011

Alan Dick

A doctor campaigning on the claimed health impacts of wind farms has called for a halt to construction of wind turbines within 10 kilometres of housing until independent research is conducted.

She said research was needed, particularly on the impact of infrasound – sound below the level of normal human hearing.

Dr Sarah Laurie, medical director at the Waubra Foundation, made the call in her submission to the inquiry by the Senate Community Affairs Committee into the social and economic impact of rural wind farms.

(The Waubra Foundation was formed to generate independent research on the health effects of wind farms, in response to reported problems associated with the Waubra wind farm near Ballarat, Victoria.)

The inquiry has received almost 900 submissions and become a battleground of competing views on the value of and need for wind farms and on health impacts.

Many submissions from landholders speak of negative health effects.

But other landholders, wind farm developers and “green” organisations have talked up the need for wind farms as alternatives to burning of fossil fuels in electricity generation, and some landholders hosting wind turbines have emphasised their benign nature and the importance of the guaranteed income they provide.

Dr Laurie told the committee numerous doctors around the world who had conducted studies on their patient populations had reported health problems since wind farms started operating near their homes.

“There is absolutely no doubt these turbines, particularly at some developments, are making nearby residents very sick, and that their symptoms worsen over time.”

“This is resulting in people abandoning their homes and farms, if they can afford to.”

Dr Laurie said the “strong hypothesis” among concerned doctors, acousticians, physiologists, physicists, psychologists and others around the world was that one of the mechanisms causing ill health was low frequency sound and infrasound.

She said episodes of sleep disturbance and waking in a panicked state were being experienced by people living up to 10 kilometres from existing wind developments in South Australia and NSW.

She said research was needed to measure infrasound concurrent with indices such as sleep and blood pressure in affected residents when turbines were operating, and to compare results when the turbines were not operating.

However, wind farm companies and others, including the Australian Psychological Society, have dismissed suggestions of negative health effects from wind farms.

The latter in its submission said the Senate committee should take into consideration the “robust evidence base” which suggested wind farms did not present any major health risk,

The APS said local opposition to wind farms could be understood in terms of “place protective action”, and recommended use of “psychological principles” to explain and promote the benefits of wind farms.

The NSW Government in its submission said the World Health organisation had concluded there was no reliable evidence that sounds beneath the hearing threshold produced physiological or psychological effects.

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READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT THE SOURCE: The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk

May 6, 2011

By Charlene Wilson,

A Fife falconry could be forced to close if plans for three wind turbines on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy take flight.

Robin Manson, who works at Elite Falconry, which has been based at Cluny since 1998, said the business would not survive if the plan goes ahead, as the area would no longer be safe for the facility’s 37 birds to take to the skies.

The proposals for three 300ft wind turbines at Begg Farm, on an area of land parallel to the A92, have yet to be submitted to Fife Council but were brought to the attention of Mr Manson and Elite Falconry owners Roxanne Peggie and Barry Blyther by concerned community council members.

Mr Manson said, “We feel quite let down because the company behind the proposal, I and H Brown Ltd, have not given us any information about it or made contact with us about these plans yet they are planning on doing something pretty much on our doorstep that they must realise will be at the detriment of our business.

“Here at our centre we train hawks, falcons, eagles, vultures and owls to fly and behave in a trained and controlled state while retaining their natural instincts and behaviour, however they will simply not be able to fly if there are wind turbines nearby — it would be too dangerous for them because when a bird flies into a turbine, it is sure to either die instantly or suffer a slow, agonising death.

“We take great pride in our work at the centre and when you have birds worth potentially around £6000 it’s simply not an option for them to fly near such a dangerous hazard.”

Mr Manson said although the safety of the birds is his main concern, he also thinks the turbines would be a blight on the town’s landscape.

He said, “I’ve seen a computer-generated image of what they are expected to look like and they completely dominate the skyline of Kirkcaldy and basically just look like an eyesore.

“I am actually a qualified architect and did some investigations into wind turbines as part of my studies and I know that to put three on the site in question would be of no benefit to the community, only the landowner.

‘Hard to recycle’

“I’ve done a lot of research on the issue and when wind turbines first came out 10-15 years ago in places like Germany they were very popular, however now the same people who put them up are taking them down as it has come to light that, ironically, they could be bad for the environment long-term due to the material they are made of being very hard to recycle.”

“Also they only last for around 20 years and are very expensive to manufacture so it takes a long time before any profit is made on each one, which, it could be argued, almost defeats the purpose.

“The bottom line is Elite Falconry has been here for 13 years and we have built up a good reputation in the area but if these turbines go up, we will be forced to close.”

As well as visiting schools and putting on displays, the centre has the responsibility of trying to breed golden eagles by mating its two resident birds — among only a handful in the UK able to breed naturally.

There are also other birds in breeding programmes, with the latest egg hatching being that of a tiny baby falcon, and eight great grey owl eggs due to hatch in a month.

A spokesman for I and H Brown Ltd said they welcomed public feedback regarding their plans and that ornithology would be one of a range of subjects covered and taken into account in their environmental impact assessment.

Next Story


READ ENTIRE STORY AT THE SOURCE: Northern Colorado Business Report, www.ncbr.com

May 6, 2011

By Steve Porter

The lawsuit, filed March 18, alleges that four of Vestas’ top officers – Bent Erik Carlsen, chairman of the board; Ditlev Engel, president and CEO; Henrik Norremark, executive vice president and CFO; and Martha Wyrsch, president of Vestas Americas – deliberately made false and misleading statements in press releases and financial reports.

DENVER – Vestas Wind Systems, one of Northern Colorado’s biggest employers with manufacturing facilities in Windsor and Brighton and another in Pueblo, is facing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver over accounting practices.

The suit alleges the company posted misleading information about its 2010 earnings that resulted in financial losses to pension fund investors and others who purchased Vestas stock based on the information.

The lawsuit was filed by the City of Sterling Heights (Mich.) General Employees’ Retirement System and accuses Vestas and some of its chief officers and directors with violations of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit alleges that, during the “class period” between Oct. 27, 2009, and Oct. 25, 2010, the defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the company’s financial revenues and earnings, as well as its fiscal year 2010 financial guidance.

As a result of those alleged actions, the lawsuit contends that Vestas’ American Depository Receipts and ordinary shares traded at artificially inflated prices throughout the time period.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to be determined by the court. Attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking other Vestas investors who purchased securities during the class period to join in the suit.

Those involved with filing the lawsuit, including Darren Robbins of San Diego-based Robbins Geller Rudman and Dowd LLP, did not return telephone calls for this story. Walt Hessel, pension fund administrator for the City of Sterling Heights, about 20 miles northeast of Detroit, also declined to comment.
“We have ongoing litigation so it’s not appropriate for us to comment at all,” Hessel said, although he did acknowledge that about 500 active and retired employees are included in the pension fund.

Chief officers singled out

The lawsuit, filed March 18, alleges that four of Vestas’ top officers – Bent Erik Carlsen, chairman of the board; Ditlev Engel, president and CEO; Henrik Norremark, executive vice president and CFO; and Martha Wyrsch, president of Vestas Americas – deliberately made false and misleading statements in press releases and financial reports.

“These claims are asserted against Vestas and its officers and chairman of the board who disseminated materially false and misleading statements during the class period in the company’s financial reports, press releases and analyst conference calls,” the lawsuit states.

“Because of their positions with the company, and their access to material non-public information available to them but not to the public, the individual defendants knew that the adverse facts alleged herein had not been disclosed to, and were being concealed from, market participants and that the positive representations being made were then materially false and misleading,” the suit further states.

According to the suit, Vestas failed to implement a new accounting policy that was to go into effect no later than Jan. 1, 2010. It would no longer allow the company to recognize revenues from wind projects that were contracted or under construction but instead must be deferred until the installation was complete.

The new policy, known as IFRIC 15, was not implemented by Vestas until Nov. 22, the suit alleges.

The suit states that on Aug. 17, Vestas issued its second quarter 2010 results and “downwardly revised its 2010 financial outlook for revenue and earnings, admitting that hundreds of millions of Euros of wind systems contracts expected to be recognized in 2010 – particularly in the United States – must be deferred.”

“As such, the company decreased its 2010 revenue guidelines from $7 billion Euros to $6 billion” Euros because “revenue associated with firm and unconditional orders could not be recognized during fiscal 2010,” according to the suit. It also noted that market reaction to the Aug. 17 disclosure was “swift and punitive,” with the value of both its ADRs and ordinary shares dropping by 22.5 percent in one day.

Defendants benefitted?

The lawsuit further alleges Vestas admitted on Oct. 26 that it had failed to implement IFRIC 15 and that its 2010 financial statement would require corrective action.

The suit says that “after defendants’ fraud was revealed and absorbed by the market, investors sold their Vestas securities in mass, reducing the price of the company’s securities by 57 percent from their class period high.”

The lawsuit contends that the actions by Vestas’ officers “allowed the top officers and director of Vestas to obtain millions of Euros in salary and incentive-based compensation during the class period.”

Vestas spokesman Peter Kruse issued a statement saying the company would fight the lawsuit. “The company has reviewed the complaint with its legal and other advisers and believes that the complaint is without merit. The company and the individual defendants intend to defend themselves vigorously.”

When called for a follow-up comment, Kruse said he had “nothing to add to the statement of March 21.”

As of May 2, Vestas had not filed a reply to the lawsuit.

Vestas reported in February that it had received a total of 15 North American orders for wind turbines in 2010, a record for the company that employs about 1,600 people in Colorado.

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