Entries in wind wisconsin (11)
5/27/11 The making of the BBC's Windfarm Wars AND Miserable because of turbine noise? Tough luck, whiner. Live with it.
FROM THE U.K.
WINDFARM WARS: FILMING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY DEBATE IN DEVON
May 24, 2011
When I convinced the BBC to commission Windfarm Wars, call me naive, but I had no idea it would take seven years of my life to deliver. And doubtless most of the people we've followed with the camera over all those years didn't figure their lives would evolve this way either.
And, over that time, the whole question of how the country best provides for its burgeoning energy needs in a sustainable way has, quite simply, become more and more tortuous. Toxic even.
Windfarms divide opinion like few other topics. They are beautiful to some, eyesores to others.
They are free sustainable energy or expensively inefficient. They desecrate the landscape, or they protect its future existence.
For a filmmaker treading into this minefield, the antagonism between incoming developers and the local residents they seek to convince can be most difficult to negotiate.
It would be sited four-and-a-half miles from the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park, in the shallow valley of Den Brook.
I started as the film's executive producer, largely office-based, but with a director and small team on location.
But, seven years later, I had become the sole production member the budget could still afford to have on location, shooting on my own to see the story through - and the windfarm had still not been built
Early on, we were lucky enough to gain access to all sides of the Den Brook dispute, from developers RES, to landowners and protestors alike, and to the council and council planning committee.
As the story went on, and on, over the years, this access widened to include lawyers and barristers, expert witnesses, and the planning inspectors involved in public inquiries.
Maintaining everyone's commitment and involvement over the long years of the process demanded confidentiality and tact.
Each side had to trust that we would not tell the other things that only we knew.
Windfarm Wars was originally commissioned as a single film - an observational documentary. We would follow whatever happened, wherever developments took us.
By the time the commission fell into place and the director of the first film, Olly Lambert, arrived in Devon, RES had already held their introductory exhibitions, where they showed the residents of the nearby villages what the windfarm might look like and where it would be situated, and answered their interests and concerns.
Feelings for and against the windfarm were already running high.
It's difficult to gauge the true feelings of a whole community. One of the ways is to go by those who have bothered to write letters to the council.
When the closing date came, the council had 402 letters and 3,000 questionnaires in objection and 31 letters in support.
We roughly assembled the material as we went along but each time a viewing with the BBC had come due, it was apparent that a chapter may have finished - but the big story was still unresolved.
Luckily they had the vision to keep running with it. Eventually it became a four-part series. BBC channel controllers have come and gone while waiting for it to materialise.
At times, as long waits for the next part of the planning or legal process had to be endured, it was tempting to wrap up the project, but I wanted everyone involved in the whole process to know it was being documented very publicly, and that it would be seen through to the end.
And, as concerns about global warming, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the security of energy supplies became more and more acute over the years, the project gained in significance, and just had to be seen through.
What emerged is what I hope some people will see as a unique social record of how one of the nation's key dilemmas has unfolded in the early 21st century.
The four films unravel as a narrative story, and while viewers think they may know where they stand initially, a fair few may well change along the way.
Windfarm Wars will no doubt raise tempers, and for some of the many people who've taken part it will be difficult viewing - not least to see how we've all aged through the process.
Perhaps it will be difficult too, because all sides may need to confront and acknowledge mistakes, to review how they could have done things better.
For many, it's clearly been a journey that's taken courage, commitment and faith in the search for what each perceive to be the truth - the best way forward for the good of all. There may be regrets.
I hope, though, that the end product of the process of documentation has been usefully revealing and thought provoking, and that it will, in time, repay the commitment that many gave to the project. We'll see - soon enough.
Jeremy Gibson started as executive producer and also worked as series producer of Windfarm Wars.
WIND TURBINE NOISE ANNOYING 'FACT OF LIFE' PROVINCIAL LAWYER SAYS
READ ENTIRE STORY AT THE SOURCE: Postmedia News, www.ottawacitizen.com
May 27, 2011
By Lee Greenberg
A government lawyer fighting off a major challenge to wind energy in Ontario says the foremost health impact complained about by detractors is not a medical condition at all, but a “fact of life.”
Frederika Rotter cast aspersions on the term “annoyance,” which opponents describe as a critical health condition caused by giant wind turbines, which emit noise that, they say, causes a number of other physiological effects, including sleep disturbance, headache, irritability, problems with concentration and depression.
“Annoyance doesn’t equal ‘serious harm to human health,’ ” Rotter told an Environmental Review Tribunal panel Thursday. “You could be annoyed by your neighbour’s screaming. Everyone suffers from annoyance.”
Eric Gillespie, a lawyer for an antiwind group hoping to keep industrial wind farms out of the province, argued Thursday that the government didn’t adequately consider the adverse effects of wind turbines on human health.
The hearing is an attempt by Gillespie and the grassroots anti-wind organization he represents to appeal an eight-turbine wind farm run by Suncor Energy Services Inc. in southwestern Ontario known as Kent Breeze. The project in Chatham-Kent is to be the first under Ontario’s Green Energy Act, the 2009 legislation designed to encourage wind, solar and other renewable energy projects in the province.
The legislation is lauded by environmentalists but has stirred controversy in rural communities, which, under the new law, have lost the power to determine where the massive turbines will be placed.
While wind energy is generally supported from afar, it generates substantial opposition in host communities. The Green Energy Act was designed to combat that NIMBYism by centralizing the decision-making process.
A large group of angry rural residents joined together in response and funded the current case against Kent Breeze.
While Gillespie, the group’s lawyer, couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the health effects of turbines -saying it could be low-frequency noise, infrasound (not audible to humans) or even visual appearance -he compared the situation to a restaurant serving contaminated food.
The restaurant would be closed, he said, before health authorities determined whether it was “the tomatoes or the fish” that caused the food poisoning.
“We don’t wait,” he said. “We act.” Rotter accused Gillespie of building a spurious, scattergun case against turbines. “The bulk of his evidence is speculation and fearmongering,” she said.
The government lawyer said many of the anti-wind group’s “experts” were in fact advocates.
They include Dr. Robert Mc-Murtry, a notable orthopedic surgeon and former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario who became interested in turbines when an installation was proposed near his residence in Prince Edward County.
Rotter said McMurtry and two other physicians relied upon by Gillespie were members of local wind opposition groups as well as an international group that opposes wind turbines.
The research the doctors conducted was not in their field of expertise and was based on “biased and selective evidence,” she said.
“It was done to prove a thesis they already had in pursuit of making their case.”
Gillespie concluded his submissions by stating the Chatham-Kent wind farm, if allowed to go ahead, “will cause serious harm to human health.”
Rotter disagreed, playing down the impact the turbines will have on its neighbours.
“Noise is noise,” she said. “We all live with it. It’s not harmful at the volumes that will be generated at Kent Breeze. Whether you’re annoyed by it is another story.”
The panel will decide on the case by July 18.
4/12/11 Lien on me: company puts lien on properties of turbine hosting landowners AND Another one bites the dust, and then ANOTHER one bites the dust: How many 'unique' incidents does it take to equal a problem?
NOISE, DISTRACTION AND LITIGATION:
CONTROVERSY OVER HARDSCRABBLE WINDFARM
SOURCE: Utica Daily News, uticadailynews.com
April 10 2011
Dana C. Silano
“It’s gone to the credit bureau – if I wanted to sell my house, I couldn’t,” Jim Salamone said. “And I can’t get a loan. This is what happens when things aren’t done right.”
FAIRFIELD-LITTLE FALLS, April 11, 2011 — They’re a colossal sight – towering metal giants with blades as long as airplane wings humming in the rural fields of Central New York.
But for residents in Fairfield who already felt they’d been deprived of a fair say in construction, the windmills are nothing but an expensive, loud nuisance.
“We should have been able to vote on them,” said resident Carol Riesel. “We were never made aware until the deal was almost done – it’s makes me so angry. No one had a voice in this — the board members listened and looked and moved on to the next business.”
And so it was, that through the summer and fall of 2010, Iberdrola Renewables constructed the Hardscrabble Wind Farm.
Now, Riesel, who lives at 797 Davis Road, and other residents say the giant windmills are nuisance to their community.
Riesel said many of the town residents are in agreement that windmills are ugly, scary and loud.
“It interferes with my life,” she said. “Now the beautiful landscape is gone. They’re 500 feet tall! And to live underneath them is unbelievable. They’re within 1,000 feet of my property and I hate them. My anxiety is sky-high.”
Nearby, neighbor Monique Consolazio said from her home at 1183 State Route 170, the effects of the windmills – particularly one that stares into her kitchen window, dubbed Turbine 33 – are ‘maddening.’
“It’s like living in an insane discotheque,” Consolazio said. “When the sun hits the blades at a certain angle, you get a strobe-light effect. And the blades throw their black shadows across the house, the field, everything, while the strobe light effect is going on.”
That’s hard for Consolazio, who said she moved to Fairfield nearly 18 years ago, after she was widowed, to live a simple life. Now, she said, she can’t even watch basic television. Her TV is in constant pixilation, which is so annoying that half the time, she shuts it off and doesn’t bother to watch. And the noise is like listening to the highest volume of ‘an old-time coffee grinder,’ she added, making a noise that signified the sound: ‘GRIND! SWISH! GRIND! SWISH!’
“I was told by a representative (of Iberdrola) that they were sorry about that, and what I should do is do the same thing they did in World War II — get shades and black out my windows,” she said in disbelief.
A red blinking light atop each tower shows itself to air traffic, but Consolazio said the company never put the promised ‘sleeve’ over it so it wouldn’t bother land dwellers.
“No one’s taken responsibility for that,” she said.
Jim and June Salamone live at 820 Davis Road. They have for many years.
Jim said he and his wife were shocked and angered when last Wednesday, April 6, they received a certified letter in the mail from Saunders Concrete Company indicating they, along with 33 other property owners, had a lien placed on their property. That’s the company that poured the concrete bases that root the windmills to the ground, residents explained to Utica Daily News.
Why legal action against the residents? Saunders Concrete’s attorneys, Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith in Syracuse, did not immediately return messages from UDN, and neither did the company’s Vice President, Tracy Saunders.
In the letter, it was indicated that out of a project worth $2,165,304.40, Iberdrola’s contractor, Mortenson Construction, still owed the company $1,946,284.10. The properties listed in the lien notice all had windmills on their property – except, at least, the Salamones.
“It’s gone to the credit bureau – if I wanted to sell my house, I couldn’t,” Jim Salamone said. “And I can’t get a loan. This is what happens when things aren’t done right.”
The Salamones discovered they were listed as participants – that’s someone who hosts a windmill, wires and cables, or other parts of the wind farm project – in 2009 when friend and neighbor Andrew McEvoy noticed his name listed in some documentation.
“If Andy didn’t find it, I never would have known,” Jim Salamone said. “This is what happens though when things aren’t done right.”
From there on out, he added, the Salamones tried nine times in vain to get their name removed from anything that indicated they were participants in the project. For the record, participants are awarded annual ‘pay’ for hosting, they said.
“The landowners didn’t realize what they were signing, they just wanted the money,” Jim Salamone said.
Iberdrola spokesman, Paul Copleman, indicated in a statement that the concrete company, acted rashly, and alongside Mortenson, they were working to remedy the issue.
While we cannot discuss the specifics of the dispute, Iberdrola Renewables has a commitment and obligation to remedy this issue on behalf of the property owners who had a lien placed on their property and are acting to remove the liens as quickly as possible. While mechanics liens are not uncommon in construction contracts, we believe that Saunders had other avenues available to resolve their dispute with Mortenson, and by pursuing a mechanics lien they have unnecessarily involved the landowners involved in this project as well as several that are not even part of the project.
Iberdrola Renewables is working as quickly as possible to resolve this matter and remove the liens. We have been in contact with the affected landowners and will be working diligently with Mortenson Construction to secure a resolution.
Mortenson has started the process of obtaining a bond that will remove the liens from the individual property owners.
The Salamones will likely hire a lawyer, acknowledging how costly it could become, to fight the lien. They’re hoping they can at least be compensated for what they feel turned their lives upside-down.
“How am I going to get this off my credit score?” Jim Salamone asked. “I want it clean again! What happens if they don’t correct this and they go bankrupt? I have nothing to do with this and I’m right in the middle of it.”
And while Iberdrola indicated its company agreed that a lien was a hasty move to make, that doesn’t get them off the hook, Jim Salamone said. Neither does the letter of apology they sent the couple shortly after the lien letter.
“This is bad business,” he said. “They’re not even looking at what they’re doing. And they’ve got so much money they can buy their way out of it. What are we going to do?”
Companies Say ND Wind Turbine Accident Unique
SOURCE: Associated Press
April 11, 2011
By Dale Wetzel
Experts said a North Dakota wind turbine's rotor and blades crashed to the ground because they weren't properly aligned with a power shaft atop the turbine's steel tower, which caused the rotor's connecting bolts to fail.
The March 14 accident north of Rugby will prompt more frequent inspections of other turbines, said Scott Winneguth, director of wind plant engineering for Iberdrola Renewables Inc. of Portland, Ore.
Winneguth told North Dakota's Public Service Commission that investigators were unsure whether the problem resulted from the turbine's operation or reflected an assembly flaw.
He said the accident was "very out of the ordinary" and "a singular event" that did not indicate a broader problem.
"I can assure you, for the near term, that we will check for bolt integrity and misalignment on a much more frequent basis than our normal maintenance activities would entail," Winneguth told the three North Dakota commissioners, who are responsible for regulating large wind energy projects.
Normal maintenance procedures, Winneguth said, "are not designed to detect this sort of misalignment."
Commissioner Kevin Cramer said Monday the information would be useful in evaluating future requests for locating North Dakota wind farms.
"They seem to have figured out what created the failure on the one turbine," Cramer said. "I'm certainly encouraged they didn't have a bunch of other ones to report to us."
The turbine was one of 71 that make up an Iberdrola wind energy project in Pierce County, in north-central North Dakota, that is capable of generating 149 megawatts of power.
The turbine was first put into commercial service in December 2009, Mark Perryman, an Iberdrola managing director for field services, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The turbine's rotor, which has three long blades, is attached to its main power shaft with 48 bolts. The connecting surfaces of the rotor hub and main shaft were not properly aligned, which eventually caused the bolts to fail, said Winneguth and Duncan Koerbel, an executive for the turbine's manufacturer, Suzlon Wind Energy Corp.
Winneguth said the 70 turbines in the Rugby project were subsequently inspected and each of their 3,360 bolts checked. Seven bolts on four of the turbines were replaced as a precaution.
Koerbel said the 70 turbines resumed operation within a week. The affected tower was dented by a falling blade, but it should not need to be replaced, he said.
No one was injured in the accident, which happed around noon on March 14, and Iberdrola officials said the company's emergency response plan worked well.
Koerbel told the AP that the exact cause of the misalignment wasn't known, but that North Dakota's harsh winter conditions did not cause the bolt stress. He said he was not sure how long it took for the problem to develop.
"We cannot pin it on one specific thing," he said.
Suzlon has about 7,600 wind turbines in operation worldwide, including about 1,800 of the S88 model involved in the Rugby accident. There are about 1,100 S88 models operating in the United States alone, Koerbel said.
WIND TURBINE CRASHES TO THE GROUND
April 11, 2011
A wind turbine came crashing down near Western Reserve High School in Berlin Center on Sunday.
The piece of the turbine that fell was one of three installed at the school back in 2009. The company that makes the equipment is out of Scotland, they work with an Indiana company.
The turbines supply about 40-percent of the school's electricity.
No official word on what caused the turbine to fall. However, officials say it may have been the result of fatigued bolts.
A crew out of North Jackson climbed the other two towers to make sure there were no structural problems with either of them.
The area's been taped off. No one was hurt.
EXTRA CREDIT: Why some members of the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council say "Safety is a Relative Term"
4/1/11 How Green is a Bat Killing Turbine? Dead bats mean more corn borer larvae, more pesticides and lower crop yields AND When wind developers say MAKE ME: Invenergy ignores PSC's requests for latest bird and bat post construction mortality study AND It's April Fool's day but this is no foolin'--- Where wind developers have been prospecting in Wisconsin
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: According to numbers in a previous bird and bat post construction mortality study paid for by Invenergy for the Forward Wind project located near the Horicon Marsh, the turbine related bat-kill numbers are staggering: it appears that well over 10,000 bats have been killed in just three years of the Forward project's operation.
The turbine related bat kill rate in Wisconsin is ten times higher than the national average and the second highest in North America. Yet nothing is being done about it. In fact, the Public Service Commission can't even get Invenergy to submit a long-past-due required mortality report.
Who ya' gonna call?
Better Plan has contacted the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, Bat Conservation International and a multitude of journalists with this information but so far no one has moved to look more closely into this story.
Meanwhile, bats are being slaughtered by the thousands in Wisconsin wind projects. Horton may hear a Who but at the moment environmentalists and media aren't taking any calls from Horton.
DEAR EMPEROR OF INVENERGY, STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE: THE PSC WANTS TO KNOW WHY YOU WON'T RELEASE YOUR LATEST POST CONSTRUCTION BIRD AND BAT MORTALITY STUDY
"Agency staff has repeatedly requested the required reports. To date, no satisfactory explanation has been received for their delay nor a firm date established for their submission. At minimum, submittal of the final report is required to comply with the requirements of the Commission’s Final Decision for this docket. Please submit the required reports."
-PSC's letter to Invenergy dated 3/25/2011
FROM: DAN SAGE at the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN
TO: MIKE COLLINS, INVENERGY LLC, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
DATE: MARCH 25th, 2011
Dear Mr. Collins:
In the Commission’s Final Decision on July 14, 2005, Forward Energy LLC (Forward) was required to conduct post-construction bird and bat studies in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Data collected from these studies were to be submitted to agency staff on a quarterly basis. In addition, Forward was required to conduct a population viability analysis with associated sensitivity analyses for bat populations.
As a means of complying with the Commission’s Final Decision, three study plans were reviewed and approved by agency staff. These studies included a bird use, a bat use, and a bird/bat mortality study. Within each of these plans was an agreed-to timetable for field study and report submittal.
Forward initiated field studies in July 2008. The bat use and bird use studies ended in November 2009. Data collection for the mortality study ended in May 2010. The last report received from Forward summarized data collected through February 1, 2010. Forward has not submitted a report summarizing the data collected during the period of April through May of 2010.
Additionally, the final report has not been submitted. The final report is required to contain at a minimum the following items:
Summary of all field data collected during the years of 2008, 2009, and 2010;
Comparison of pre-construction and post-construction relative abundance and diversity of birds;
Impact gradient analysis of bird use and behavioral data relative to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge;
Analysis of the changes in pre-construction versus post-construction avian habitat;
Analysis of the type and number of bats that use the Forward airspace compared to the bat fatality estimates resulting from the wind turbines;
Mortality estimates incorporating scavenger and searcher efficiency rates using the best available estimation formulas and reported as avian and bat fatalities per megawatt per year and per turbine per year;
Additional analyses including comparing the mortality at control sites to the mortality at turbine sites and correlation analyses between mortality and weather, turbine locations, turbine operating status, and bird and bat activity.
Agency staff has repeatedly requested the required reports.
To date, no satisfactory explanation has been received for their delay nor a firm date established for their submission. At minimum, submittal of the final report is required to comply with the requirements of the Commission’s Final Decision for this docket. Please submit the required reports.
If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact Marilyn M. Weiss by telephone at (608) 241-0084 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
/s/ Dan Sage
Gas and Energy Division
NOTE: Click on the image below to watch a video about Invenergy's Forward Project wind turbines alongside Wisconsin's famed Horicon Marsh and near the Neda Mines, home to the largest bat population in the state.
BATS WORTH BILLIONS TO AGRICULTURE:
PEST-CONTROL SERVICES AT RISK
April 1, 2011
BOSTON, -- Thomas Kunz, Warren Distinguished Professor in Boston University's Department of Biology, has coauthored an analysis published this week in the journal Science that shows how declines of bat populations caused by a new wildlife disease and fatalities at industrial-scale wind turbines could lead to substantial economic losses on the farm.
Natural pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year, and yet insectivorous bats are among the most overlooked economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America, noted the study's authors, scientists from the University of Pretoria (South Africa), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Tennessee, and Boston University.
"People often ask why we should care about bats," said Paul Cryan, a USGS research scientist at the Fort Collins Science Center and one of the study's authors. "This analysis suggests that bats are saving us big bucks by gobbling up insects that eat or damage our crops. It is obviously beneficial that insectivorous bats are patrolling the skies at night above our fields and forests—these bats deserve help."
The value of the pest-control services to agriculture provided by bats in the U.S. alone range from a low of $3.7 billion to a high of $53 billion a year, the authors estimated. They also warned that noticeable economic losses to North American agriculture could well occur in the next 4 to 5 years because of the double-whammy effect of bat losses due to the emerging disease white-nose syndrome and fatalities of certain migratory bats at wind-energy facilities. In the Northeast, however, where white-nose syndrome has killed more than one million bats in the past few years, the effects could be evident sooner.
"Bats eat tremendous quantities of flying pest insects, so the loss of bats is likely to have long-term effects on agricultural and ecological systems," said Justin Boyles, a researcher with the University of Pretoria and the lead author of the study. "Consequently, not only is the conservation of bats important for the well-being of ecosystems, but it is also in the best interest of national and international economies."
A single little brown bat, which has a body no bigger than an adult human thumb, can eat 4 to 8 grams (the weight of about a grape or two) of insects each night, the authors note. Although this may not sound like much, it adds up—the loss of one million bats in the Northeast has probably resulted in between 660 and 1,320 metric tons of insects no longer being eaten each year by bats in the region.
"Additionally, because the agricultural value of bats in the Northeast is small compared with other parts of the country, such losses could be even more substantial in the extensive agricultural regions in the Midwest and the Great Plains, where wind-energy development is booming and the fungus responsible for white-nose syndrome was recently detected," said Kunz.
Although these estimates include the costs of pesticide applications that are not needed because of the pest-control services bats provide, Boyles and his colleagues said they did not account for the detrimental effects of pesticides on ecosystems or the economic benefits of bats suppressing pest insects in forests, both of which may be considerable.
The loss of bats to white-nose syndrome has largely occurred during the past 4 years, after the disease first appeared in upstate New York. Since then, the fungus thought to cause white-nose syndrome has spread southward and westward and has now been found in 15 states and in eastern Canada. Bat declines in the Northeast, the most severely affected region in the U.S. thus far, have exceeded 70 percent. Populations of at least one species, the little brown bat, have declined so precipitously that scientists expect the species to disappear from the region within the next 20 years.
The losses of bats at wind-power facilities, however, pose a different kind of problem, according to the authors. Although several species of migratory tree-dwelling bats are particularly susceptible to wind turbines, continental-scale monitoring programs are not in place and reasons for the particular susceptibility of some bat species to turbines remain a mystery, Cryan said.
By one estimate, published by Kunz and colleagues in 2007, about 33,000 to 111,000 bats will die each year by 2020 just in the mountainous region of the Mid-Atlantic Highlands from direct collisions with wind turbines as well from lung damage caused by pressure changes bats experience when flying near moving turbine blades. In addition, surprisingly large numbers of bats are dying at wind-energy facilities in other regions of North America.
"We hope that our analysis gets people thinking more about the value of bats and why their conservation is important," said Gary McCracken, a University of Tennessee professor and co-author of the analysis. "The bottom line is that the natural pest-control services provided by bats save farmers a lot of money."
The authors conclude that solutions to reduce the impacts of white-nose syndrome and fatalities from wind turbines may be possible in the coming years, but that such work is most likely to be driven by public support that will require a wider awareness of the benefits of insectivorous bats.
The article, "Economic importance of bats in agriculture," appears in the April 1 edition of Science. Authors are J.G. Boyles, P. Cryan, G. McCracken and T. Kunz.
NEXT STORY: WHERE ARE THE WIND DEVELOPERS PROSPECTING IN WISCONSIN?
Wisconsin wind project locations: proposed, existing and being built:
WIND DEVELOPERS HAVE BEEN SPOTTED IN:
Town of Lincoln
Town of Bayfield
Towns Glenmore, Greenleaf, Holland, Morrison, Wrightstown
Invenergy's Ledge Wind project (currently on hold)
Emerging Energy's Shirley Wind project (Town of Glenmore. Now under construction)
Towns of Brothertown, Charlesburg, Chilton, New Holstein, Rantoul, Stockbridge
We Energies Glacier Hills project (under construction)
Towns of Arlington, Cambria, Leeds, Randolph and Scott.
Invenergy is prospecting south of Prairie Du Chien
Town of Springfield
According to news stories, Wave Wind was looking for a contract with WPPI to buy the power. The outcome of negotiations between these two parties is unknown as of September 2010
Towns of Herman and Rubicon
Town of Clay Banks
FOND DU LAC COUNTY
Towns of Ashford, Brownsville, Byron, Eden, Empire
Cuba City, Towns of Hazel Green, Paris, Plattville, Smelser, Patch Grove, Mt. Hope
GREEN LAKE COUNTY
Town of Green Lake
Town of Montfort
Town of Casco
Towns of Belmont and Seymour
Towns of Mishicot, Two Creeks, Two Rivers
Town of Centerville Developer: Spanish company www.urielwind.com
Towns of Ridgeville and Wilton
Town of Kaukauna
Town of Freedonia
Towns of Center, Janesville, Spring Valley, Magnolia, Union
Landowner contracts in the Towns of Magnolia and Union originally secured by EcoEnergy have been sold to Spanish wind giant Acciona . Acciona says it has suspended the project because of low wind resource. However, they still own the project and can sell it.
Town of Rhine
ST CROIX COUNTY
Town of Forest
Town of Arcadia
Town of Ettrick
Town of Westby
Towns of Addison, Nabob, and West Bend
3/30/11 This just in: Press Release from Midwest Energy says they're suspending their Big Wind game until rules are final in our state
According to MWE President, Stefan Noe, it no longer makes sense to invest significant development capital in a state that appears to be closed to the wind energy business. “Most states are clearly open for renewable energy development and the economic development dollars and jobs that come with it. So long as there are states rolling out the welcome mat it doesn’t make sense to devote significant dollars to a state that is creating unreasonable roadblocks for wind development.”
Noe cites the recent suspension of PSC 128 by the Wisconsin Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules as the most convincing evidence that Wisconsin is not interested in working with the highly lucrative wind energy industry. PSC 128 was the culmination of almost 2 years of work by the Wind Siting Committee and resulted in some of the most restrictive and detailed wind siting rules in the country. Although restrictive, these rules created a workable compromise between the wind industry and a range of stakeholders.
“Our four projects alone represent more than $600 million of capital investment in Wisconsin and more than 400 construction jobs and 40 permanent high-tech jobs. The industry as a whole has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry for the state. These projects also generate millions in local landowner payments and local government revenues, cash flow that is sorely needed in Wisconsin’s rural communities.” Noe said.
Midwest Wind Energy, LLC is a leading developer of utility-scale wind farms in the Midwest and Great Plains with seven projects totaling 649 megawatts currently in operation. MWE has an additional 5000 megawatts of projects in its development pipeline.
3/30/11 Wind rules head back to PSC under new Chairman AND Down under or up over, it's the same old song: secretive wind developers keep tearing up rural communities
PSC TO START OVER ON WIND SITING RULES
March 30, 2011
by Steve Prestegard
For the second time in less than a year, statewide wind siting rules developed by the state Public Service Commission were sent back for more work.
Tuesday’s vote nullifies the rule developed last year and requires the commission to start over.
Last year the PSC modified the rule slightly but not enough to satisfy groups who have mobilized to block wind farm developments, including the large Ledge Wind project in Brown County that developer Invenergy canceled last week.
At issue is how close turbines may be erected from nearby properties. Wind farms in Wisconsin have used setbacks of 1,000 feet from nearby homes, in the case of the Blue Sky Green Field wind project in Fond du Lac county, and 1,250 feet, in the case of the Glacier Hills Wind Park now under construction in Columbia County.
But opponents of wind farms, concerned about noise and shadow flicker from turbines, are seeking much bigger setbacks, and Gov. Scott Walker this year proposed a bill that would establish setbacks of 1,800 feet from a property line — which would mean even farther from a nearby residence.
Tuesday’s vote came one day after Gov. Scott Walker appointed a fellow Republican, former state Rep. Phil Montgomery, to chair the state Public Service Commission.
The wind siting issue will be among the key decisions facing Montgomery, along with a proposed biomass plant We Energies has sought to build at a Domtar Corp. paper mill in North Central Wisconsin.
Montgomery will start his term Monday, succeeding commissioner and former state Sen. Mark Meyer.
The bill that was introduced and passed by the committee on Tuesday would give the PSC six months to come up with a new wind siting rule. But the PSC won't have to meet that deadline until six months after the bill is passed, signed by Gov. Walker, and published, said Jason Rostan, the legislative committee clerk.
The Legislature’s joint committee for review of administrative rules voted Tuesday to punt the thorny issue of how close wind turbines should be from nearby properties back to the state Public Service Commission.
The committee voted 5–3 to introduce the bill along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats against. The same committee had voted earlier this month to block the PSC wind siting rule from taking effect.
Tuesday’s vote essentially ends development of the rule it drafted last year, and requires the commission to start over on a new one.
Wind energy developers said they wanted to see the rule go into effect because it gave developers guidance on how to proceed with investments in wind projects.
But Republicans sided with wind-farm opponents and the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Towns Association, which considered the PSC rule to favorable to wind-industry interests and too restrictive from a property rights perspective.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: This story could have been written about any Wisconsin community targeted by wind developers: Sneak into a community and offer the big landowners big money to agree to host turbines and most importantly keep their mouths shut about the plan. These moves are straight from the wind developers playbook.
PUTTING THE WIND UP THEM
SOURCE: Goulburn Post, www.goulburnpost.com.au
March 30, 2011
by Alby Schultz
There was a public meeting in the small town of Boorowa in my federal electorate of Hume a short while ago.
A good percentage of the population packed the ex-services club to hear first-hand about the rumours swirling through the community that this area was to be the site of a massive wind generation project.
There were audible gasps from the audience as it was revealed that the project was indeed real, that it would span some 35 kilometres and involve the construction of more than 100 turbines.
There were more gasps when it became apparent that the wind energy developer had actually been in negotiations with some of their neighbours for many months.
The meeting heard that the farmers who had been quietly persuaded to host the turbines would reap tens of thousands of dollars in rental a year.
They heard about pilots who wouldn’t fight fires or dust crops if they had to fly in the vicinity of the giant swirling blades.
They heard about possible health effects for those on neighbouring land ranging from heart palpitations to migraine headaches.
But this is not an argument against wind power. It is also not a criticism of farmers who have struggled through a decade of drought and see the way clear to make some alternative income.
There may indeed be areas where wind turbines can be built and where the impact is minimal. But there are many areas where they should not be constructed. As things stand though I truly fear our rural social capital – as fragile as our topsoils – is in places being chopped to pieces by turbine blades.
We need to start by calling a spade a spade. These turbines are not ‘farming’. That is Orwellian nonsense. This is industrial scale power production in green clothing. These are major commercial developments and should be considered in the same way as any major development.
A decade ago wind turbines were almost human in scale. But the turbines which some of the Boorowa farmers will have built near their homes (the closest will be just over a 1000 metres away) are truly gargantuan. If one of these turbines was standing on Sydney Harbour, its blades would be well clear of the top of the Harbour Bridge.
I warrant that should a neighbour decide to build a two storey extension overlooking the backyard of one of these Sydney bureaucrats there would be an immediate cry of “you can’t destroy my amenity and land value like that!”
And yet when a farming community raises concerns about mega turbines they are labelled ‘nimbys’ (not in my backyard).
Local decision making must be put back into prime place. At present it is hopelessly biased towards the developer. The state government boasts that large wind developments are considered ‘critical infrastructure’ and given the red carpet treatment with a guaranteed four month approval processes.
Communities are provided just 30 days to digest and provide comment before the Minister gives the project a tick. Better still the states should all revisit the National Wind Code which the Howard Government proposed in 2006 and which they rejected.
The code would have seen legislation eventually produced right around the country better protecting local community rights.
Wherever large wind generation projects arrive the plot is predictable. A wind company identifies an area with good wind resources and reasonably close to the national grid. They begin quiet negotiations with landowners.
In my view, these power companies preying on landholders who in most case have had no cash-flow as a result of nine years of heartbreaking drought. Well down the track others in the community find out.
Those who have done the deals face bitterness and anger. Those who missed out feel betrayed and angry. Sydney based bureaucrats need to understand the impact this has in small rural communities.
There is precious little interaction when you live on a property an hour or more from your rural centre – perhaps just at special events or football or cricket matches. Wind turbine money in my electorate has poisoned those relationships.
Families stop talking to each other. Animosity and bitterness run deep. Whole rural farming communities are fractured and it lasts for years. The NSW Industry Department’s website says that whilst planned or operating wind power installations in NSW will deliver 960 megawatts at present there is potential to grow that to 3000 megawatts (a 300 per cent increase)!
The implication of that for rural communities in Hume, and elsewhere, are truly frightening unless we give local communities far more say over whether or not they want wind turbines of this scale in their area.