Entries in wind farm contracts (35)
1/21/12 Wind Industry says farming communities + industrial wind turbines = true love. In Ontario, 37,000 farming families just aren't feeling it.
FARM FEDERATION WANTS BLOCK ON WIND POWER
By Lee Greenberg
via Ottawa Citizen, www.ottawacitizen.com
January 21, 2012
Plans to dot Ontario’s countryside with wind turbines should be shelved, says the province’s largest agricultural organization.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is calling on the government to properly address a range of concerns, including the health effects of turbines, before it issues any more permits for development.
“A lot of these issues haven’t been resolved,” says Mark Wales, president of the OFA. “It’s really dividing rural communities and that’s not healthy, that’s not good.”
In a statement Friday, the OFA identifies numerous concerns with wind power, including its inefficiency, excessively high prices and inadequate rules on the distance of turbines to the nearest home.
They’re also pushing the government to give power back to local municipalities.
The provincial Liberals took siting authority away from municipalities because of concerns over NIMBYISM (“Not In My Back Yard”).
“We elected not to give all 440-plus municipalities in the province of Ontario a veto,” says Energy Minister Chris Bentley. “Because the natural result of that would be that no projects would proceed.”
New wind turbines are massive steel structures that stand as tall as 146 metres – higher than most modern skyscrapers.
The OFA is not targeting solar power, or any other less intrusive form of green energy encouraged by Ontario through 2009 legislation.
Wales denies the new position is a knee-jerk reaction against wind.
“Our members are telling us we need to come out strongly,” he said. “The time is now to slow the process down and get it right. There’s so much divisiveness in the rural community, you can’t have a healthy discussion, you can’t find the right solutions.”
Provincial regulations state all turbines must be 550 metres away from the nearest home.
Wind opponents believe low-frequency noise from the turbines disturbs sleep and causes a range of other conditions, including anxiety, de-pression and even hypertension causing heart disease.
Bentley says the OFA helped the government come to that decision. He also says the health concerns “have been reviewed by Ontario’s medical officer of health, the federal health Canada officer (and) a number of tribunals.”
Bentley added that a current review of the legislation could result in more changes, including ways to ensure “greater local input.”
The OFA represents 37,000 farm families across the province. In a statement, the Canadian Wind Energy Association said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the OFA’s position.
“We will continue to provide fact-based answers to ensure Ontarians have the information they need to make informed choices as Ontario moves toward a cleaner, stronger and affordable energy system,” the lobby said in the statement.
The new OFA position comes just days after a couple in Stayner, Ontario, announced a lawsuit against a nearby farmer who leased some land to a wind company. John and Sylvia Wiggins say they have been unable to sell their $1.15 million 48-acre horse farm since the new project was announced.
5/29/11 Oh, THAT'S what a wind lease 'gag-order' looks like AND Component failure timeline and other delights: From the wind industry's point of view: pesky O&M costs biting into profits
WHAT'S BLACK AND WHITE AND YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?
Sorry. I signed a wind lease. I can't discuss it.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Better Plan has been collecting copies of wind leases for the last few years and has yet to find one that didn't contain a confidentiality agreement ---also known as a 'gag order'
Landowners who share wind leases are taking a clear risk, but more are coming forward anyway. One farmer who shared his contract said, "I don't care anymore. I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."
The section below is copied from a wind lease contract that came our way. The landowner who signed it agreed to allow noise, vibration, shadow flicker and any other disruption the turbines might cause to take place on his property. If he has problems with these things he can't talk about it because the gag order requires that he:
Not to talk about the contents of lease to anyone.
Not to talk about the construction or operation of the turbines.
Not not speak to reporters or anyone in the media or issue statements or press releases unless the wind company gives the landowner their written permission.
The landowner also had to agree that the gag order would still apply long after the turbines are gone. This line says it all: "This section shall survive the termination of expiration of this lease" It means this gag order is forever.
The landowner can talk to his lawyer or accountant and certain others about the contract but only after they agree to a gag order too.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CONTRACT:
(Landowner) shall maintain in strictest confidence, for the sole benefit of (wind developer) all information pertaining to the terms and conditions of this lease, including, without limitation, the construction and power production of the wind farm.
Without first obtaining written permission from the (wind developer), (the landowner) shall not issue any statements or press releases or respond to any inquires from news media regarding such matters.
(Landowner) shall maintain the strictest confidence, for the sole benefit of the (wind developer) all information pertaining to the terms and conditions of this lease, including, without limitation, the financial terms hereof.
This section shall survive the termination of expiration of this lease.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit sharing or disclosing information with any party's (lawyer) accountants or current or prospective investors, purchases, lenders or as required by law, provided that the party sharing or disclosing such information requires the recipient to maintain the confidentiality of such disclosed information
Wind Energy Update: Wind Farm O&M - Best Practice On Cost Containment Elusive
The constantly evolving wind turbine market means that new components must continually be demonstrated, with little assurance of their availability five years down the track in the event of component failure.
Posted on: Monday, 23 May 2011
SOURCE: "Wind Energy Update" VIA PR WEB
When it comes to turning a profit throughout the lifecycle of a wind farm, just a one percent improvement in operations and maintenance can make a huge difference to the bottom line, according to the latest Wind Energy Update Operations & Maintenance Report 2011.
(PRWEB) May 23, 2011
When it comes to turning a profit throughout the lifecycle of a wind farm, just a one percent improvement in operations and maintenance can make a huge difference to the bottom line, according to the latest Wind Energy Update Operations & Maintenance Report 2011. [Click here to download report]
The challenge, however, is how to achieve that one percent improvement in the face of operations and maintenance (O&M) costs that are double or even triple initial projections.
O&M costs under-estimated
On the basis of an exhaustive industry survey, the latest report finds that wind farm return on investment is around -21 percent. This underperformance is attributable to over-estimation of power production and underestimation of O&M costs say the report’s authors.
In the early days, the industry had costed out O&M at roughly 0.5c/kw over a turbine’s 20-year life. But as newer models and their respective components continued to flood the market, this has turned out to be far from the reality.
The report highlights that wind O&M costs can now be expected to increase on average 253 percent over the 20-year life of the various wind machines.
“Given that every wind turbine comprises an average of 8000 components, it is not surprising that higher-than-expected rates of component failure continue to plague the industry,” say the report's authors.
Understanding the root cause
The constantly evolving wind turbine market means that new components must continually be demonstrated, with little assurance of their availability five years down the track in the event of component failure.
Of even greater concern is that, if not properly addressed early on, component failures can persist through new product generations. It is therefore vital, despite pressure from competitors to continuously push the boundaries on nameplate capacities, that both the onshore and offshore industries adopt a backwards compatibility approach when evolving each model.
A thorough understanding of failure trends can also provide a basis for the best O&M practices for a given system, say the reports authors.
Sketching a component failure timeline, the authors characterise earliest wind turbine designs (1987-91) by their gearbox failures, while wind turbines built between 1994-99 are characterized by electronic power failures.
Turbines manufactured between 2000-2004, again exhibit problems with generators and gearboxes. More recent models are plagued with issues linked to retrofits.
But there is a silver lining. Some component suppliers to the OEM wind turbine market view the aftermarket as a new, long-term opportunity.
“Advances in turbine design may make certain parts obsolete, but with a typical projected turbine life of 20 years or more, the aftermarket will provide ongoing spares demand for these suppliers for some time to come”, says the report.
The report also notes that in the long-run, as the wind industry matures and begins to validate the success of condition and performance monitoring systems, as direct drive turbines replace gear-box driven turbines, and as the industry begins to collaborate on O&M, reductions in long-term O&M costs are the most likely scenario.
1/30/11 Have you reached out and touched your Legislators today? AND Wind Industry: A 50 story tall turbine 1250 feet from your door will have no impact on you property value. Realtor: Wind farm houses don't sell. AND Looking here, looking there: How many Green Jobs has Big Wind created?
HAVE YOU REACHED OUT AND TOUCHED YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS TODAY?
Just a phone call is all it takes to do your part to help give rural Wisconsin an 1800' setback between industrial scale wind turbines and landowner's property lines.
Better Plan encourages you to take a moment right now to contact Governor Walker's office to thank him for his wind siting bill, (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE BILL) which provides for a setback of 1800 feet between wind turbines and property lines. Let him know you support this bill.
AND! CALL THE LEGISLATORS ON THE COMMITTEES BELOW
AND! Then call your own legislators.
And then, please accept our thanks and the thanks of many in rural Wisconsin for your help.
Office of the Governor, (608) 266-1212, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Scott Fitzgerald (Senate Majority Leader, Juneau), 266-5660, Sen.email@example.com
Representative Jeff Fitzgerald (Assembly Speaker, Horicon), 266-3387, Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Suder (Assembly Majority Leader, Abbotsford), 266-2401, Rep.email@example.com
Members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations.
-Chairman Senator Rich Zipperer (R) Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-9174 Capitol 323 South
-Vice Chair Senator Neal Kedzie (R) Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
(608) 266-2635 Capitol 313 South
(608) 266-2502 Capitol 409 South
Senator Fred Risser (D) Sen.email@example.com
(608) 266-1627 Capitol 130 South
Senator Jon Erpenbach (D) Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
(608) 266-6670 Capitol 106 South
PLEASE CONTACT ALL OF THESE MEMBERS OF THE
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND UTILITIES
Representative John Klenke (Vice-Chair) Representative Kevin Petersen Representative Gary Tauchen Representative Thomas Larson Representative Erik Severson Representative Chad Weininger Representative Josh Zepnick Representative John Steinbrink Representative Anthony Staskunas Representative Brett Hulsey
SOURCE: Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.
Jan 29, 2011
By David Giuliani,
Jan. 29--SHABBONA -- A real estate agent says many of her customers don't want to live near wind farms, which has caused home values to drop in those areas.
Beth Einsele of Beth Einsele Real Estate in Shabbona said she has shown her share of properties near Lee County wind farms. She said the houses there can't sell for as much as similar homes in other areas of the county.
Earlier this week, County Assessor Wendy Ryerson presented numbers to the county's ad hoc committee on wind turbines, arguing that the Mendota Hills wind farm, started in 2004, hasn't affected nearby home values.
Einsele, a Realtor, took exception to Ryerson's analysis.
"She doesn't look at comparable sales of similar properties. That's not her job. Her job is to see to it that there are fair prices for the assessments," Einsele said. "She does a good job. But she is being used by the County Board to promote their agenda."
Einsele said she has seen firsthand the effects of turbines on home sales.
For instance, a property on Bingham Road in eastern Lee County is surrounded by turbines. It was put on the market in November 2005, and didn't sell until March 2008 for $265,000, she said. Five similar properties -- a few miles away but not near wind farms -- sold much quicker and for well more than $300,000, according to the Realtors' Multiple Listing Service.
Einsele also said she got a bad reaction when she had an open house for a property near a wind farm.
"Out of nine families that came that day, seven asked, 'What are those things? What do they do? How come they're so noisy?'" she said. "That parcel remains on the market today."
In response to Einsele, Ryerson said she tries to walk a "fine line" in providing information to decision makers.
"I try to make sure the information I give out is based on fact, not emotion," she said. "I personally have nothing to gain whether or not we put in another wind project."
Her analysis focused on the area near the Mendota Hills project, looking at home sales in the townships of Brooklyn, Willow Creek, Viola and Wyoming. According to Ryerson's office, the four townships recorded 45 home sales in 2002, with a median home price of $102,400.
The median price increased over the years to $150,000 by 2007, with annual homes sales ranging from 43 to 72.
But in 2008, the median sales price dropped to $107,500, with only 30 sales. In 2009, the office recorded the same number of sales, with the median price further falling to $101,000.
Ryerson contended that the drop in prices had more to do with the declining home market in the area than wind turbines.
She said she understood the argument that fewer buyers interested in a property likely would impact a home's value. But she said nothing in her data demonstrates any effect from the Mendota Hills project on nearby properties.
John Thompson, president and CEO of the Lee County Industrial Development Association, wouldn't take a position on wind farms' effect on home values.
But he said the turbines have helped Lee County's economy. They bring more property tax revenue to government coffers, employ many people during the construction phase, and give farms that allow turbines extra income, he said.
The county's ad hoc committee is supposed to provide recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals on new wind regulations. In September, the County Board enacted a moratorium on new wind energy development while the zoning board drafted new rules.
The moratorium is set to expire Feb. 15. County Board Chairman Jim Seeberg has said he is opposed to extending it.
Wind farm opponents say the turbines are noisy, bothersome and unsightly.
FACTS ABOUT GREEN JOBS CREATION ELUSIVE AS THE WIND
Source: MacIver News Service
Although they are touted and promoted by policy makers and opinion leaders across the state, accurately defining and keeping track of ‘green jobs’ has proven nearly impossible in Wisconsin.
Take, for example, ‘green jobs’ associated with the wind industry.
“Clean energy technology and high-end manufacturing are Wisconsin’s future,” Governor Jim Doyle said in his final State of the State address. “We have more than 300 companies and thousands of jobs in the wind industry.”
That statistic is impossible to verify.
The State of Wisconsin does not track those companies nor the jobs within the industry. When contacted, the Office of Energy Independence (an agency created by Governor Doyle in 2007) directed MacIver News to Wisconsin Wind Works, a self-described “consortium of manufacturers representing the wind manufacturing supply chain within Wisconsin.”
The advocacy group maintains an online wind energy-related supply chain database, although a routine examination of the data proved just how unreliable the figures are.
When the online, searchable database was utilized earlier this summer, it listed 340 companies in Wisconsin connected to the wind industry, a fact which, without additional investigation would appear to be in line with the Governor’s statement. However, further examination showed many of those companies were not currently serving the wind industry and were only listed because they someday could serve the wind industry.
For example, the database listed 38 manufacturers, but only 24 of them have anything to actually do with the wind energy sector presently.
Of those 24 Wisconsin manufacturers, only eight were categorized as primary suppliers. Another four companies were listed as both primary and secondary suppliers. A MacIver News Service reporter contacted all eight primary suppliers and the four companies listed as primary/secondary suppliers in our initial query and what we found further eroded the credibility of Governor Doyle’s claims.
When contacted, the companies listed as both primary and secondary suppliers all described themselves merely as secondary suppliers. That means they produce products that are not exclusive to the wind energy. For example, Bushman Equipment manufactures lifts that move heavy pieces of equipment, which, among many other uses, can be used to handle wind turbines.
Wisconsin Wind Works’ database is not only generous with the number of companies within their supply chain it associates as being primary suppliers, there are issues with the actual job numbers listed for each company as well. Many of the figures are either inflated, the jobs are not located in Wisconsin, or they cannot be tied to wind energy.
For example, Rexnord Industries was one of the eight Wisconsin manufacturers listed in our query as directly serving the wind energy industry. The database shows the company has 6,000 employees. Yet a Rexnord official told the MacIver News Service that the company only has 1,500 employees in Wisconsin, and only five of those have jobs which are directly tied to the wind industry.
Wisconsin Wind Works’ database says Orchid International has 600 employees, but a company spokesperson told MacIver it only has 150. Amsoil Inc. in Superior has 236 employees listed in the Wisconsin Wind Works database, but a company representative told the MacIver News Service that only 6 of them work on wind energy-related products.
In all, at the time of our search, the database claimed 7,632 jobs among the eight manufacturers that were current primary suppliers to the wind industry. Yet, the MacIver News Service was only able to identify 31 jobs at those companies which were specifically tied to wind energy related products.
Manufacturers told MacIver News that other employees might work on wind-related products occasionally, but it does not represent the bulk of their workload.
Another 1,077 workers are listed among the secondary suppliers and we did not investigate that claim.
VAL-FAB, one of the companies listed as both a primary and secondary supplier, explained to MacIver News that it initially had high hopes for the wind energy industry that never materialized. The company specializes in fabrication for the energy sector.
William Capelle, Director of Business Development at VAL-FAB, said “At first we thought we might be able to manufacture the actual towers, but it turns out 90 percent of those are imported from Spain.”
Since the MacIver News Service first examined the Wisconsin Wind Works database, the number of companies listed has increased to 360. A reporter attempted to contact the organization for comment about the veracity of their data, but Wisconsin wind Works, which solicits members by selling itself as the “preferred partner of wind energy professionals,” did not respond.
They are, however, holding a Wind Energy Symposium in Milwaukee on October 13th.
Meanwhile the Office of Energy Independence continues to pursue the Doyle Administration’s green energy policies. As Doyle said during his final State of the State address, “anyone who says there aren’t jobs in the clean energy economy had better open their eyes.”
There is no doubt that some jobs in the wind industry exist in Wisconsin. The accurate number of these ‘green jobs’ is proving to be, at best, elusive
Representatives of Doyle’s office did not respond to repeated request for comments regarding the information contained within this article.
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY RAN IN SEPTEMBER OF 2010
By Bill Osmulski
MacIver News Service Investigative Reporter
1/5/11 Tattoo of the day: She REALLY digs wind turbines AND PSC lays welcome mat for wind developers on backs of rural Wisconsin residents AND Document links to the papers presented at the first international symposium on wind turbines and health impact
This new tattoo is only 30% efficient CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE
STRONG GUST FOR WIND FARMS?
A new rule could make it easier to build wind-energy projects in Wisconsin
January 4, 2010
By Craig Reber
A wind-siting rule that took effect in Wisconsin on Jan. 1 could open the door to wind farms in southwest Wisconsin.
The rule provides a path for obtaining a permit to build a wind farm -- as long as the project developers abide by the guidelines established by the state Public Service Commission. If a township or other municipality opts to regulate a wind-energy power system, its ordinances can't be more restrictive than the PSC's rules.
Basically, the PSC's rules trump any local ordinances.
In southwest Wisconsin, the new rule could pave the way for the development of the proposed White Oak wind project by Wind Capital Group that includes parts of Smel-ser, Hazel Green and Paris townships. The project has been on hold for more than two years.
"We believe that passage of the PSC's rule will certainly set the conditions in place that make development of wind facilities much more possible in Wisconsin," said Tom Green, Wind Capital senior manager of project development. "In reviewing the new rule and applying those rules to their plans for White Oak, they will have a better idea moving into the future of the viability of the project."
Ron Brisbois, Grant County Economic Development director, said the new law will allow communities to plan and give wind developers the freedom to create wind-farm strategies.
"That was what everybody was waiting on," Brisbois said of the White Oak project and another in northern Grant County. "This should allow them to move forward to secure financing and implement the design of the full layout of where the turbines will go."
"It's important," said Joe Alt, of rural Cuba City and a participant in the White Oak project, discussing the new rule. "It's definitely going to help get a wind farm going."
The White Oak project has its opponents, and the Smelser Township supervisors enacted a moratorium on wind farms in 2009. Foes said siting has and always will be the main concern of numerous Smelser Township residents. Some sought an 1,800-foot minimum setback requirement to minimize what they call the "noise, safety and health risks" to their families and their houses. Others cited concerns about falling property values because of the size and location of the towers, usually as high as 400 feet.
"We're just sitting in neutral right now," said Smelser Supervisor Arnie Rawson, who voted for the moratorium and who hadn't seen the new wind-siting rule as of Monday afternoon. "We are very open-minded on it, but we have to be careful to weigh in both sides."
Gabe Loeffelholz, Smelser Township chairman and a former state legislator, said there still are residents in favor of the moratorium. He isn't one of them.
"I don't know what lies ahead," Loeffelholz said, "but whether it's ethanol, solar power, or wind turbines as an alternative source of energy, I say go for it."
That's what former Gov. Jim Doyle and state lawmakers did previously. In October 2009, Doyle signed a bill (2009 Wisconsin Act 40) that called for state regulators to come up with statewide rules for wind farms that specified the conditions a local government entity could impose on the installation or use of a wind-energy system. The state Wind Siting Council formulated the rule after numerous public meetings, hearings, discussions and fine-tuning.
Earlier this month, the commission adjusted the requirements on two issues of critical importance to the wind industry: setback distances and compensation to neighboring residents, called a "Good Neighbor" payment.
Initially, the rule did not specify a definite setback distance between turbines and residences neighboring the host property. Now, municipalities cannot establish a setback distance on non-participating residences that is less than 1,250 feet.
Alt said the new rule allows for the owners of non-participating residences within a half-mile of a wind turbine to receive monetary compensation from the wind system owner.
"It's fair to everybody," he said.
If the wind farms move forward, Brisbois said both the participating townships and Grant County will receive revenue. Participating landowners will receive a new source of farm income from the leases on the wind turbines.
"This is an opportunity that not a lot of townships in Wisconsin have," he said. "It's somewhat unique. You can't just plop down a wind farm anywhere. You have to have the wind and the substations."
Author: Society for Wind Vigilance
Abstracts from the international symposium held October 29-31, 2010, Picton, Ontario, Canada, by courtesy of the Society for Wind Vigilance, Ontario. Click on a title to download the complete presentation. Or click here to download them all in a 16-MB zip file.
FRIDAY 7:00-9:30 pm
Session I: No Rules, No Caution, No Accountability
NO GLOBAL STANDARDS
[ view online ]
Abstract: The rapid expansion of the wind energy industry globally has resulted in governmental authorities at different levels responding to opposing pressures to create or modify regulations and planning guidelines for the siting of utility scale wind turbines. Siting guidelines for health, safety, cultural and natural heritage were reviewed and compared. The results indicate wide ranges of siting standards are being adopted. Government authorities have employed a variety of criteria, resulting in significant variation in the spatial separation between wind turbines and sensitive areas as well as the intensity of the development. Separation distances in many jurisdictions are less than those recommended by health professionals suggesting some in the population are at risk. Current trends in government planning and regulations are discussed.
John Harrison, PhD
IT’S PURE PHYSICS
[ view online ]
Abstract: The setback of wind turbines from homes and other sensitive receptors is determined by national and local regulations. These regulations specify a maximum noise level at the receptor and make use of sound propagation models. The models account for spherical spreading of the sound generated by the turbine, refraction of sound by wind speed and temperature gradients, absorption of sound energy by the atmosphere and the ground, and reflection of sound by the ground. In practice, the resulting setbacks result in considerable annoyance, sleep deprivation and consequent health problems for a significant proportion of people living among the turbines. The talk will review deficiencies in the regulations and limitations in the modelling.
Rick James, INCE
HOW WE GOT HERE
[ view online ]
Abstract: What was learned in the 1980′s was forgotten in the 1990′s and set the stage for the Wind Turbine Boom of the 2000′s. But the pillars of the position, that wind turbines are safe for use near people’s homes, are falling. An overview of the key arguments presented by the wind industry’s trade associations and their representatives who support their position will be discussed.
SATURDAY 8:30-10:00 am
Session II: What Clinicians Need to Know
KEY NOTE SPEAKER:
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
DEFINING A SYNDROME
[ view online ]
Abstract: Wind Turbine Syndrome. Consider that no government, and certainly no health agency, anywhere on the face of the earth believes in it. Nor does the wind energy industry, which ridicules it as preposterous, telling sufferers they’re hysterical and making up their symptoms. Primary care physicians generally look the other way and plead ignorance or indifference. The media, meanwhile, treats it as an entertaining sideshow. How does one perform credible clinical research in the face of such massive and systematic denial, cover-up, and apathy? Where the research population is often silenced by “confidentiality clauses” or the fear of alienating neighbors and relatives — and potential buyers — should they reveal that their homes are acoustically toxic and, frankly, uninhabitable. Welcome to the past six years of my life. This morning I’m going to explain how I navigated this surreal landscape, employing the instruments of population biology, clinical medicine, and ethnography — along with the services of a first rate guardian angel.
Alec Salt, PhD Cochlear Physiology, MSc, BSc Biology
INFRASOUND: YOUR EARS HEAR IT BUT THEY DON’T TELL YOUR BRAIN
[ view online ]
Abstract: The ear is far more complex than a microphone. It actively amplifies high frequency sounds, so you hear them better, and likely works to actively cancel out infrasonic sounds, so that you don’t hear them. So, it is wrong to regard the ear as insensitive to infrasound. Indeed, measured electrical responses from the ear with infrasound can be larger than those for sounds in the acoustic range and these responses may alter function in a variety of ways. They may also be transmitted to the brain by subconscious pathways that do not represent “hearing”, but affect some people in other ways, such as by causing the sensation of “fullness” or perhaps disturbing sleep. It is therefore physiologically possible that prolonged exposure to the moderate levels of infrasound generated by wind turbines could have detrimental effects on people, mediated by unheard physiological changes in the ear. This work supported by NIDCD/NIH, grant number DC01368, 2005-2010.
SATURDAY 10:30-12:00 am
Session III: Cause and Effect
Arline Bronzaft, BA, MA, PhD
CHILDREN: CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE
[ view online ]
Abstract: Research linking loud sound to hearing loss in youngsters is now widespread, resulting in the issuance of warnings to protect children’s hearing. However, studies attesting to the adverse effects of intrusive sounds and noise on children’s overall health and psychological well-being have not received similar attention. This, despite the fact, that many studies have demonstrated that intrusive noises, e.g., from passing traffic or overhead aircraft, adversely affect children’s cardiovascular system, memory, language development and learning acquisition. While some American schools have received funds to abate noises from intrusive aircraft, many schools still expose children to the noises from passing traffic and overhead aircraft. Additionally, homes and schools expose youngsters to the impacts of interior noises as well. Discussion will center on the harmful effects of noise on children, what has been done to remedy the problem, and what needs to be done further to lessen the impacts of noise, including low-level vibrations.
Christopher Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD
THE TORMENT OF SLEEP DISTURBANCE
[ view online ]
Abstract: The most common complaint of those exposed to industrial wind turbine noise (WTN) is sleep disturbance. Many of the other symptoms, fatigue, headache, nausea, memory problems and tiredness are probably secondary to sleep disturbance. Sleep is by the brain and for the brain. It’s principal purpose seems to be the consolidation of memory. Loss of sleep, in the short term, causes daytime sleepiness, fatigue, problems with memory and thought processes and, in the longer term an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. There is now a large body of evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that sleep is disturbed and health impaired by wind turbines at distances up to 2km, at noise levels claimed to be safe by the industry.
SATURDAY 12:30-1:30 pm
Session Working Luncheon
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
[ view online ]
Abstract: Over the past decade, the global wind sector has experienced phenomenal growth thanks largely to the industry’s ability to portray itself as “green.” But that growth will be difficult to sustain for several reasons: the industry has overstated its ability to deliver meaningful savings with regard to carbon dioxide emissions; it faces a growing backlash from landowners irritated by noise and flicker caused by the turbines as well as from ratepayers who are learning the high costs of “green” energy; and finally, the industry must compete, particularly in the US and Canada, with low natural gas prices for the foreseeable future.
SATURDAY 2:00-3:30 pm
Session IV: Research and Motion
Michael A. Nissenbaum, MD
DELETERIOUS HEALTH EFFECTS ARE UNDENIABLE
[ view online ]
Abstract: In the Real World: Adverse Health Effects Related to Industrial Wind Turbines – Controlled Studies at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine. Following reports of adverse health complaints among residents of Mars Hill, Maine, a pilot study was undertaken to provide information to the Public Health Subcommittee of the Maine Medical Association in the first half of 2009. This represented the world’s first controlled study of adverse health effects related to industrial wind turbines. Adverse effects are real, and significant. The findings from this pilot study will be discussed. Since the pilot study was completed, a larger, more detailed and standardized controlled study has been undertaken at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, utilizing validated questionnaires. Preliminary findings from these will be presented.
Carl V. Phillips, PhD
THE ABSENCE OF HEALTH STUDIES PROVES NOTHING
[ view online ]
Abstract: The claim that there is no evidence of negative health effects from wind turbines near residences is clearly false since there are ample credible reports of people experiencing problems. Many of these offer compelling case- crossover data, with individuals experiencing changes in symptoms when changing the exposure. But to the extent that we do not have as much data as would be ideal – which is certainly the situation – the problem is the failure to carry out the optimal studies. Obviously the lack of evidence resulting from the lack of studies is not informative. We should demand affirmative evidence about what risk exists, and make decisions that admit and consider whatever is found. Industry should pay for independent research but failing that, creative solutions are called for. I hope to develop a self-administered research tool for collecting case-crossover data that could be used by any interested community.
SATURDAY 4:00-5:30 pm
Session V: The Consequences – Violation of Social Justice
Carmen Krogh, BSc Pharmacy
A GROSS INJUSTICE
[ view online ]
Abstract: “I trusted the wind energy companies.” “I can’t believe the government is doing this to me.” Those experiencing symptoms feel victimized by the very systems that would normally protect them. The lack of social justice hurts deeply. Many families are affected by the industrial wind turbines sited too close to their homes. In some cases Ontario families have abandoned their homes to protect their health. Some have had to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of a buy out of their homes by the wind developer. Their grief is exacerbated by the emotional toll, disturbed living conditions, loss of enjoyment of their homes and property, and financial loss and the negative impact to the health of their families.
Eric K. Gillespie, LLB
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE LAW
[ view online ]
Abstract: The advent of large-scale industrial wind turbine (IWT) projects has brought with it many legal challenges but also opportunities. Families, communities and municipalities are more aware of the risks posed by IWTs. At the same time, legal options are starting to be pursued that may lead to local resolutions of issues, or potentially provincial, national or even international changes. These legal strategies include (i) private litigation brought by individuals, (ii) public interest litigation raising broader issues; (iii) by-laws, resolutions and other steps taken by local government, and (iv) administrative hearings outside of the court system. All of these areas will be reviewed, using Ontario as a case study but with examples of how communities around the world are also responding.
SUNDAY 8:30-10:00 am
Session VI: Social Marketing – Disinformation
Dale Goldhawk, Broadcaster
MEDIA AND PRE-EMPTIVE STEREOTYPING
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Abstract: I believe that advocacy journalism, used sensibly and carefully, backed up by proven facts and presented with passionate conviction, can influence and even change public policy. I am in my 43rd year as a journalist and have seen it happen countless times. And it happens at any stage in a war against policy, dumb laws and stubborn champions of bad ideas. Advocacy journalism was a major triggering factory that stopped a dump site project, even after the hole had been dug, getting ready for the garbage that never came. And this was a project where we were told it was a “done deal” and that nothing could be done to stop it. There are no done deals with projects that are counter to the best interests of people — and that includes wind turbines. Advocacy journalists would do well to remember the prescriptive words of Mohandas Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Ross McKitrick, PhD
COAL KILLS: WHERE ARE THE BODIES?
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Abstract: This presentation will look at the evidence regarding the health effects of coal-fired power generation in Ontario. The Ontario government maintains that the risk is large enough to necessitate shutting down the two major coal-fired generating stations in Southern Ontario and replacing them with, among other things, wind turbine installations. I will explain the nature of the Lambton and Nanticoke generating facilities and the network of thermal power plants in the northeast corridor of which they are a part. I will also explain their air pollution control features and the potential effects on Southern Ontario air quality from eliminating these plants, as estimated in the province’s own cost- benefit analysis. I will then discuss observed air pollution trends in Ontario since the 1960s and show that the claims that current air pollution levels result in thousands of cases of illness and death are not supported in up-to- date, peer-reviewed literature.
Brett Horner, BA, CMA
ANNOYANCE: A CLINICAL MISNOMER?
VOW (VICTIMS OF WIND)
Conclusion: Government Policy for Renewable Energy implementation overrides adverse health concerns. Until 3rd-party human health research is conducted to determine safe setbacks and noise levels from industrial wind turbine facilities, including risks of electrical pollution, further development should cease and existing sites mitigated or decommissioned.
Barbara Ashbee and contributors globally
POLICY AND POLITICAL PROCESS: The Consequences
These comments are a compilation drawn from personal communications and interviews of those suffering ill health from the onset of industrial wind turbine operations. Their frustration and loss of social justice is apparent. Any compassionate member of society cannot help but be moved.
Elizabeth E. Wheatley, PhD
AN INTEGRATIVE CURRICULUM FOR THE WINDS OF CHANGE: Advancing Critical Thinking About the Michigan Wind Rush
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The Global wind industry is colonizing more and more of rural, wild, and coastal America with its expansive fleet of colossal, propeller-style wind turbines. Michigan has emerged as a favored target among wind developers for further deployment of industrial wind zones, given its legislative mandates for ever-increasing production of “renewable” energy, its vast swaths of agricultural land, extensive coastlines, and the absence of statewide health or safety regulations pertaining to wind energy generation. This presentation summarizes a university-level integrative curriculum designed to inspire and encourage undergraduate students’ critical thinking about the implications of wind energy development for Michigan citizens and communities. The curriculum addresses cultural, political and economic forces shaping wind energy development in Michigan, compares various forms of electricity generation methods and their impacts on humans, animals, and ecosystems; and reviews the emerging evidence of adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines in light of sociological theories of reflexive modernization as well as “popular” epidemiological struggles over socially contested environmental disease. The curriculum is a work in progress and is offered in two parts. Each part of the curriculum is offered as one of several themes addressed in two courses I teach: Part I: Social Problems; and Part II: Sociology of Health Care.
Lorrie Gillis, Protocol Administrator, and Carmen Krogh, BScPharm
THE RELATIONSHIP OF INCREASED MOOD ALTERATIONS AND INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES: Implications and Social Justice (WindVOiCe – Wind Vigilance for Ontario Communities)
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Industrial wind turbine projects became operational in rural Ontario, Canada, in 2005. Within a short period of time, residents near the projects reported noticing adverse health effects. By 2008, reports of health problems became more common and had been associated with the advent of Industrial Wind Turbines. In some cases Ontario families have abandoned their homes to protect their health. Government vigilance and long term surveillance programs for industrial wind turbines do not exist in Canada. Volunteers in various affected communities organized and funded an Ontario-based vigilance health survey to capture and document the array of adverse health effects being reported. Reports are now being received from other jurisdictions. Wind Vigilance for Ontario Communities (WindVOiCe) is a community-based self-reporting health survey based on the principles of Health Canada’s Canada Vigilance Program designed to monitor suspected drug reactions. This survey is ongoing. WindVOiCe respondents report altered quality of life. Sleep disturbance is the most common health complaint. Other symptoms include but are not limited to inner ear problems, cardiac concerns, and headaches. Respondents report in the comments section of the survey, anger, frustration, and loss of cognitive functions such as inability to concentrate, ‘foggy thinking’ and short term memory loss. Depression anxiety and stress are common. The symptoms of adverse health effects reported are consistent with other surveys and research conducted by clinicians such as Harry, Pierpont, Nissenbaum. Parents have responded on behalf of their children and indicated adverse reactions such as vomiting, nausea, nose bleeds and headaches. In the comments section of the survey, some respondents describe their emotional toll. They describe disturbed living conditions, loss of enjoyment of their homes and property, and financial loss due to the negative impact to the health of their families which further contributes to increased stress levels. Informal discussions with respondents indicate some family members grieve deeply. These include those who suffer adverse health effects, those who had to abandon their homes, and those who had to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of a buy out of their homes by the wind developer. They feel victimized by the very systems that normally would protect them. The lack of social justice hurts deeply.
THE PROBLEMS WITH ‘NOISE NUMBERS’ FOR WIND FARM NOISE ASSESSMENT
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Conclusions: Personal perception of a sound is investigated through assessment of personal noise sensitivity, personal perception of the characteristics of the sound and observable adverse health effects. Noise includes vibration in any form that can be “felt” by a person. There is, in my opinion and despite the differences in opinion as to cause, considerable agreement between the parties – residents, clinicians and acousticians – as to observable health effects from unwanted sound. There are clear and definable markers for adverse health effects before and after the establishment of a wind farm and clear and agreed health effects due to stress after a wind farm has started operation. It is the mechanism of the physical or mental process from one to the other that is not yet defined or agreed between affected persons, clinicians and psychoacousticians. There has, however, been considerable work recently (May-June 2010) on the possible mechanism between infrasound and adverse health effects.
Christopher Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD
WIND TURBINE NOISE, SLEEP AND HEALTH
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Summary: Section 1 sets out my expertise in sleep medicine and physiology, my brief from CFA, the scope of the report and source material. Section 2 reviews the basic physiology of sleep. Noise can disturb sleep by causing awakenings, which are remembered and arousals, which are not recalled but are more likely. Both disrupt sleep making it unrefreshing. Research on the effects of wind turbine noise has concentrated on remembered awakenings and has thus underestimated the effects. Inadequate or poor quality sleep has many health consequences apart from daytime sleepiness and fatigue. These include obesity, poor memory, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly may be at greater risk. Section 3 reviews research on wind turbine noise, sleep disturbance and health. These include the major contributions of van den Berg and Pedersen and the dose-response relationship derived from their data. Also considered are the Salford study and the Hayes McKenzie Partnership study commissioned by the DTI. Recent major reports by WHO and RIVM are reviewed, both of which mandate lower night time noise levels than are permitted by ETSU-R-97. Predicted external turbine noise should not exceed 35dB to avoid disturbance to sleep and 40dB to avoid risks to health. Experience of existing wind farms mandates a setback of at least 1.5km in order to avoid disturbance to sleep. It is concluded that there is compelling evidence that wind turbine noise can and does disturb sleep and impair the health of those living too close and that current guidance is inadequate protection. Section 4 reviews the means of mitigating wind turbine noise to prevent sleep disturbance. It is concluded that external turbine noise levels of less than 35dB(A) or a setback of at least 1.5km of the turbines is necessary to prevent unacceptable levels of sleep disturbance and potential risk to health. Section 5 reviews UK planning guidance and argues that the evidence presented constitute material considerations. Section 6 presents the conclusions of the report. Section 7 lists the documents cited in support of this paper.
SUBMITTED SLIDE SHOW
Author: U.S. Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research
It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning and adversely affecting health and longevity. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research concluded that although clinical activities and scientific opportunities in the field are expanding, awareness among the general public and health care professionals is low, given the magnitude of the burden. The available human resources and capacity are insufficient to further develop the science and to diagnose and treat individuals with sleep disorders. Therefore, the current situation necessitates a larger and more interdisciplinary workforce. Traditional scientific and medical disciplines need to be attracted into the somnology and sleep medicine field. Renewed and revitalized commitments to the field from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), academic health centers, private foundations, and professional societies are essential to ensure appropriate public and professional awareness, education and training, basic and clinical research, and patient care. Finally, the fragmentation of research and clinical care currently present in most academic institutions requires the creation of accredited interdisciplinary sleep programs in academic institutions.
- The National Academies
- Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research
- Board on Health Sciences Policy
- Independent Report Reviewers
- Organization of Academic Health Centers
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Sleep Physiology
- 3. Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders
- 4. Functional and Economic Impact of Sleep Loss and Sleep-Related Disorders
- 5. Improving Awareness, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Sleep Disorders
- 6. Ensuring Adequate Diagnosis and Treatment: Access, Capacity, and Technology Development
- 7. Opportunities to Improve Career Development in Somnology
- 8. Bolstering Somnology and Sleep Disorders Research Programs
- 9. Building Sleep Programs in Academic Health Centers
12/4/10 What part of NO don't you understand? Wind farm strong arm tactics continue in spite of local ordinances
NATIONAL WIND PURSUES MINNESOTA PROJECT
SOURCE: Dolan Media Newswires, dailyreporter.com
December 2, 2010
By Arundhati Parmar,
Minneapolis — Despite being rebuffed twice by state regulators, National Wind is not ready to withdraw from its proposed wind project in Goodhue County.
A frustrated executive said the wind development firm will try to get a speedy resolution within 60 days so National Wind can begin its 78-megawatt project next year.
“We are looking for every way possible to move forward,” said Chuck Burdick, senior wind farm developer at Minneapolis-based National Wind, which is developing the project on behalf of AWA Goodhue LLC. “We also are trying to protect the significant investment that has already been put in the project. Between $5 million and $6 million has already been invested.”
Burdick said he is frustrated the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is not holding other wind projects in the state to the same “unreasonable standard” that AWA Goodhue faces.
The project has run into stiff local opposition from residents worried about the negative health effects of living too close to wind turbines. Goodhue County adopted a strict local ordinance in early October requiring that each of the 50 turbines be at a distance of 10 rotor diameters — in this case, 2,700 feet — from the homes of landowners who have not leased land to the project.
“Last week, the PUC approved two site permits with a 1,000-foot setback,” Burdick said. “There’s a level of absurdity at this point.”
That 10-rotor setback would kill the project, lawyers for AWA have told the PUC, appealing to commissioners to ignore the local ordinance and allow construction.
The PUC commissioners referred the case back to the Office of Administrative Hearings, which this summer compiled volumes of information from both sides on the scientific evidence of whether noise and shadow flicker from the rotating turbines have negative health effects.
Once again, the case is pending.
Burdick said company lawyers are trying to get the contested hearing expedited so the matter is resolved in the next 60 days. Burdick said he is open to a compromise with the county and has contacted some commissioners, but the response has not been encouraging.
One of the points of compromise is to relax the 10-rotor requirement in favor of a stronger noise pollution requirement, Burdick said.
In an October meeting, before the ordinance was approved, many residents said the county should adopt a 10-rotor setback because that was the only way to protect them from the effects of large wind turbines.
Many rejected the notion there was a cost-effective way to measure the sound emitted and enforce the noise requirement.
The County Board had considered strengthening the sound requirement to 40 decibels from 50, the state maximum.
But a county resident said that is not acceptable.
“The World Health Organization recommends 35 decibels or less at nighttime,” said Barb Stussy, a Minneola township resident who has opposed the project. “The 40 decibels, as a compromise, does not address the nighttime noise.”
COUNTY FACES ANOTHER WIND LAWSUIT
SOURCE: Hays Daily news, www.hdnews.net
By Gayle Weber,
More than two dozen landowners in Ellis County and a prospective wind developer have filed a federal lawsuit against the Ellis County Commission over zoning regulations approved in August.
The suit, McClelland et al v. Ellis County Board of Commissioners, was filed Sept. 29 and amended Tuesday. Summonses were issued in the case Tuesday.
The amended complaint alleges the county’s zoning regulations, “if enforced, would prohibit plaintiffs from developing the wind rights on their properties.”
Nearly all of the plaintiffs in the case have entered into agreements to develop wind energy on their properties, according to the lawsuit.
The suit calls the adoption of the regulations “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.” It also alleges the zoning regulations would deprive landowners of valuable property rights in a potential wind development and violates plaintiffs’ rights as granted in the state and U.S. constitutions.
The plaintiffs, who have requested a jury trial in Wichita, are asking for the U.S. District Court in Wichita to declare the zoning regulations void.
The plaintiffs also have asked for damages of $75,000, but the plaintiff’s attorney declined to clarify this morning if that amount is per plaintiff or a lump sum.
The plaintiffs are being represented by a trio of attorneys at Depew, Gillen, Rathbun and McInteer, Wichita.
The Ellis County Commission adopted new regulations Aug. 30. Those include increased setbacks and notification and protest petition areas in wind developments. A 40-decibel noise limit also was imposed in the wind energy regulations.
Commissioners voted 2-1 to adopt the regulations.
“It wasn’t scientific,” Commission Chairman Perry Henman said in August of setbacks, which were increased from 1,000 feet from residences to 10-times-the-tip-height.
“It was just a compromise of all the stuff that we’ve gone through for two or three years. I thought that would be sufficient for me, the least I could go without having a bunch of noise regulations,” Henman continued.
However, noise regulations were adopted also, and Commissioner Glenn Diehl said he hoped the new regulations would keep Ellis County out of a lawsuit.
“We had a 2,000-foot setback, and we ended up in court,” he said in August. “We already ended up in court. We already know what happens.”
Diehl and Henman voted in favor of the regulations, with Commissioner Dean Haselhorst dissenting.
A group of landowners in Hays Wind LLC’s proposed project southwest of Hays sued Ellis County in district court in 2008 over setbacks in the project. As the result of mediation, setbacks were increased from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet. The conditions of mediation in the lawsuit were settled earlier this year.
* * *
Plaintiffs named in the new federal suit include:
Thomas and Martha McClelland, Kathleen Staab, T. Warren Hall, Stanley and Katrina Staab, Darrell Schmeidler, Kurt and Janel Staab, Gary Deutscher, Francis Staab, Todd and Jody Staab, Brian and Tonya Staab, and Harold and Virginia Kraus, all of Hays; Ernest Pfeifer, Kathy DeSaire, Verlin and Carol Armbrister, Gene and David Bittel dba Bittel Farms Partnership, Honas Farms LLC, Alvin and Margaret Armbrister, and Steven and Jeri Homburg, all of Ellis; Deanna Miller, Victoria; and Invenergy Wind Development LLC, Chicago.