Archive for the ‘Canadian wind power’ Category

No future for wind in Ontario

March 2, 2009
Editor:
Received this story from a reader this morning. I had to rub my eyes several times before I could believe what I was reading and in the Toronto Star no less.
Someone that understands electrical generation writing the truth about wind generation. Wow!
I and thousands of others have been saying the same thing for years. All the articles until the last few days seem to be written by one “green group” or another pushing wind and telling us about their vision.
All I can say is try heating your home or running your business on a vision.
Put the scrubbers on the coal plants and build a nuke- cost 10 billion and it will provide clean reliable energy for the Province. (C02 is not a pollutant)
The vision 60-80 billion ( money that is not going to health care, education, agriculture or many other places the money would be better used)  and the air won’t be any cleaner.
The truth is getting out but will this be enough to stop the madness presently found at Queens’ Park. Don’t forget both the Conservatives and the NDP have bought into and have been promoting this same “MAD” vision.
I have included the emails for all MPP’s in this Province at the end of the article. Take a minute and send them your thoughts.
Remember between 50 and 70 billion will wasted on the “Mad Vision” That doesn’t count the millions or billions wasted to date in the massive promotion of this “Mad Vision”
Wind is and always was about the creation of carbon credits. Not cleaner air.
The “Green sales pitch” has run out of Air, Wind and Gas
.
No future for wind in Ontario

PATRICK CORRIGAN/TORONTO STAR

Need for support from gas-powered plants means it’s also not even very green
Mar 02, 2009 04:30 AM



The Ontario government says its new Green Energy Act, if passed, will help Ontario become “North America’s leader in renewable energy.”

But since most of this new renewable energy will be from wind, it may not be the smartest move for Ontario because its large hydro and nuclear capacity is not compatible with wind generation. Wind requires natural gas-fired generation for support and natural gas will be a most precarious fuel for Ontario.

The future of industrial wind power in Ontario is tied to natural gas-fired electricity generation and that, as will be seen, is unsustainable. The Ontario power grid needs flexible support to keep supply and demand in balance, and providing this support will be made more difficult when we add the vagaries of wind.

Although nuclear units can handle the daily and weekend changes in electricity demand, they have limited capability for the kind of frequent power-up and power-down requirements that would be needed for this support. Furthermore, hydroelectric plants may not always be available due to fluctuations in water supply and water management agreements.

Even without restrictions on nuclear and hydro, it makes little economic sense to run reliable suppliers of steady power, with high fixed costs and low operating costs, at reduced output to support the expensive, intermittent and varying output from wind farms.

So, with coal being phased out by 2014, natural gas-fired generation will have to be used to support wind. Due to the simultaneous demands of home heating and electricity generation in the winter, that may lead to gas shortages. So some of these plants may be dual fuelled with gas and oil, which is not a pleasant thought.

The Ontario government is putting too much faith in natural gas for electricity generation, as the United Kingdom did with its “dash for gas” from the North Sea in the 1990s when gas was cheap. Now the U.K. is in terrible shape with its gas running out and the threat of power shortages in the next decade.

There is no long-term future for gas-fired generation in Ontario because of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, rising costs, the demands on gas for other uses (in the tar sands, the chemical industry, home heating, exports to the United States), declining reserves, the questionable security of foreign supplies or, in short, the waste of a premium non-renewable resource just to generate electricity.

Since Ontario’s wind generators require natural-gas-fired generation for support, this creates an uncertain future for wind turbines and their transmission infrastructure that one day will not be compatible with a nuclear/hydro powered grid. Nor is there an environmental benefit to adding wind to a clean nuclear/hydro grid.

There is an alternative to building more natural gas-fired power plants in the Greater Toronto Area and other locations to replace the coal-fired stations. That is to increase the arbitrary limit on nuclear from the 14,000 megawatts imposed by the government. Bruce Power showed its willingness to build new nuclear power plants last October when it asked the nuclear safety regulator for a licence to prepare a site at Nanticoke, in addition to new units at the Bruce site.

The government’s power plan envisages nuclear supplying 40 per cent of electricity demand by 2027. This should be raised to more than 70 per cent, with hydro supplying most of the remainder. If there is no market for nuclear-generated electricity during off-peak and overnight hours (for power exports, recharging electric cars, producing hydrogen and/or compressed air for generating clean peaking power and other uses), the plants can reduce their output to meet the demand. This means that even if practical wind energy storage were available, wind still would not be needed on a future all nuclear/hydro grid.

The demand on the grid from recharging electric cars should not be underestimated. The president and CEO of French nuclear giant Areva said that it would take an additional 6,400 megawatts of electricity if just 10 per cent of France’s cars were electrically powered. That translates into about 1,700 megawatts (two Darlington-size units) for Ontario.

In France, the nuclear energy share of electricity production is about 78 per cent from its 58 reactors, with the balance divided nearly equally between hydro and fossil, and with the nuclear units able to meet daily changes in electricity demand. Sweden has a grid the same size as Ontario’s but with almost all nuclear/hydro generation.

Wind has no long-term future in Ontario and will be more of a hindrance than a help to the grid’s reliability. The Ontario Energy Board should take a good hard look at the government’s Integrated Power System Plan, eliminate wind and promote cleaned-up coal-fired stations operating past 2014 until sufficient nuclear is online to avoid the building of anymore unsustainable gas-fired plants.

The technical, economic and environmental issues associated with wind power have not been fully explored. Let’s hope the Ontario Energy Board will give them due consideration when it reconvenes so that money can be put where it will do Ontario the most long-term good.

Donald Jones is a professional engineer, now retired after 35 years of CANDU system design.

Comments on this story are moderated

From the Toronto Star
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jim.wilson@pc.ola.org,
elizabeth.witmer@pc.ola.org,
john.yakabuski@pc.ola.org
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Man decries 'intimidation tactic' Critic of Wolfe Island wind plant issued cease-and-desist order

September 12, 2008

What can I say – Industry and govt. working together = citizens take a back seat.

Posted By JENNIFER PRITCHETT WHIG-STANDARD STAFF WRITER

   

The Calgary-based company building a $410-million wind plant on Wolfe Island has issued a cease-and-desist letter to a citizen it claims is spreading “false and defamatory statements.”

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. sent the letter in connection with a statement made by Wolfe Island resident Chris Brown, an outspoken

critic of some aspects of the project.

Brown, a local musician, is one of a handful of citizens who sit on a community liaison committee Canadian Hydro set up last year to answer local concerns about the project.

Brown regards the letter as an attempt to gag critics of the project.

“It’s an intimidation tactic,” he said.

Brown said he isn’t against wind power or the Canadian Hydro project on Wolfe Island. He does want to see the 86 turbines that are being erected there placed in areas where they won’t impact wildlife or people.

The cease-and-desist letter goes back to an e-mail Brown sent to former St. Lawrence College president Volker Thomsen and others, following an international wind energy conference at the college in June.

Brown said he hoped “the examples brought to light by the conference can prevent Wolfe Island from becoming an autopsy of grid monopoly and community exclusion.”

Canadian Hydro took exception to his comments, saying they suggest the firm “has no respect for the environmental and regulatory process and fails to consult with the community.

“Canadian Hydro has conducted itself in a responsible manner throughout the approval process,” stated the cease-and-desist letter.

The letter, written by Canadian Hydro’s Toronto-based lawyer Paul B. Schabas, warns Brown of the possibility of future legal action.

“Should you persist in this course of conduct, please be advised that our client will proceed against you and pursue all legal and equitable remedies available to it without further notice being provided to you. Kindly govern yourself accordingly,” Schabas wrote.

When theWhig-Standardrequested an interview with Canadian Hydro about the letter, the firm issued a short statement from Geoff Carnegie, its development manager for the Wolfe Island project.

In it, Carnegie wrote that Brown’s “claim of community exclusion overlooks three and a half years of community consultation by Canadian Hydro, as documented in the Environmental Review Report.

“The purpose of our letter to Mr. Brown was to insist that he act responsibly and utilize the relevant facts in his arguments.” Brown said he refuses to be quieted. “I will continue to exercise my right

to free speech and advocate for a full and transparent public review of this project, just as I will continue to participate in the community liaison group to ensure proper communication between proponent and citizenry,” he wrote in a response to Canadian Hydro.

The Kingston Wig Standard

Wind energy unreliable, says E.On

September 1, 2008

Editor

E.ON, based in Duesseldorf, Germany, is one of the world’s leading energy companies
They should know – they build wind farms. Germany is in the process of building over 20 new coal plants.

Source: Energy Digital

Wind energy is so unreliable that even if 13,000 turbines are built to meet EU renewable energy targets, they could be relied on to provide only seven percent of the country’s peak winter electricity demand, according to a leading power company E.On.

E.On has argued that so little wind blows during the coldest days of winter that 92 percent of installed wind capacity would have to be backed up by traditional power stations.

Full story at Source: Energy Digital

Ted Cowan, Ontario Federation of Agriculture – Warns Farmers to be Careful When Dealing with the Wind Industry

August 19, 2008

Ted Cowan, a researcher with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture Farm Policy Research Group.

Ted Cowan cautioned farmers and landowners on lease agreements, providing an updated list of 30 recommendations from the OFA.

“I’ve seen over 30 leases, and there are problems with every one,” said Cowan, who outlined key considerations necessary to protect the rights of the farmers contemplating a wind power lease agreement.

“Don’t sign a lease until you have considered the choices and determined what is best for your farm operation for the next 20 years,” he said.

Cowan said some wind power companies are not giving a fair share of their profits, typically around 2 per cent, noting that the OFA recommendations call for a rent of 3 per cent for the first eight years, then going up to 8 or 10 per cent. The OFA also suggests that farmers contact their power distribution company to acquire their own right to connect.

Farmers were also cautioned on assessment and tax implications.

“It’s your farm – it’s your taxes,” said Cowan, noting that the landowner was ultimately responsible for taxes on their property. In addition, Cowan said there was no guarantee that the provincially imposed caps on assessments and taxes would remain in the future.

“I don’t know, taxes could be 50 times of what they are right now,” he said.

Outside of lease and legal considerations, there was detailed mention of more serious problems encountered by farmers with nearby wind power installations at the first meeting.

Cowan said a farmer had lost some cattle due to problems from stray voltage encountered right after a wind power development was commissioned, an incident that came to the attention of the OFA at the end of last year. Cowan declined to state the location of the incident, except to say it was in Ontario.

“If you put your hand on his barn wall you will have 83 volts going through your body,” said Cowan, who noted that voltage has a greater effect on cattle because of their large body size, causing changes in the animals watering and feeding habits.

“Yes, it could be a problem here,” said Cowan, speaking of Essex County’s numerous municipal drains and notorious wet soils, which can act as conductors of stray voltage.

To make the matter worse, Cowan said the farmer had not been getting help from the power companies or his municipality.

“Typically, it was who can run away from the responsibility the fastest,” he said.

The Essex Free Press

TheTruth About the Wind Industry – Al Gore- David Suzuki- and Boone Pickens are full of hot air

July 20, 2008

An estimated 1,200 bats, most of them probably just passing through Montana, were killed after striking wind turbines at the Judith Gap Wind Farm between July 2006 and May 2007, according to a post-construction bird and bat survey.


Judith Gap Wind Farm taking toll on bats, birds
Alberta, Montana

National security set to win wind battle
England, U.K.

Windfarm bid knocked back
England

Meeting gives wind turbines a guilty verdict
Ontario

Cuomo investigating alleged ‘dirty tricks’ in in local windmill projects; Two WNY companies under investigation
New York

N.D. regulators: wind projects may endanger cranes
North Dakota

Residents rejoice as council reject plans for new wind farm
Wales

Umholtz shows his opposition to wind farm; State’s attorney threatens legal action against Tazewell County
Illinois

Fines are sought over turbines
Illinois

Residents wary of wind farm idea
New York

Visit National Wind Watch for world wide wind news

Canadian Hydro Developers deny resident’s lawsuit claims

April 12, 2008

Editor:

Wind farms and transformers erected too close to peoples homes cause noise problems. It’s that simple. Expect to see many more law suits in the future.

Both the Wind Industry and the MOE continue to ignore any noise or health study that would require wind farms to be erected at safer distances.

People continue to suffer noise and health issues and the MOE and the Wind Industry continues to ignore them.

When you see a turbine, understand what it is. It is not clean, green  renewable energy. It is the continuation of the Enron Scam.

Enron and the Environmental Movement

.

Canadian Hydro Developers deny resident’s lawsuit claims

A commercial wind farm operator in Melancthon is asking the court to dismiss a $1.25 million lawsuit brought against it.

Canadian Hydro Developers says its transformer in Amaranth “has not produced excessive or disturbing noise at any time,” as claimed by a neighbour.

Paul Thompson filed the lawsuit in February seeking compensation for damage and special damage from Canadian Hydro Developers and property owner Hendrika Broeze. Canadian Hydro leases land from Broeze for its transformer.

Thompson claims noise from the device has caused “substantial and unreasonable interference” with his home and industrial equipment repair business since it began operating in early 2006.

His claims have not been proven in court.

The transformer handles electrical flow from the Melancthon I Wind Project, which includes 45 wind turbines.

Canadian Hydro recently received approval from the Ontario Municipal Board to move ahead with the second phase of the project — 88 more turbines and a second transformer to be located on the same property as the first.

During the OMB hearing, Canadian Hydro announced plans to swap out the existing transformer with a quieter model. The second transformer is also to be of the quieter variety.

“Since the transformer began commercial operations … Canadian Hydro has undertaken, and continues to undertake, significant efforts to further reduce potential sound emissions from the transformer,” offers the statement of defence.

Those efforts include noise monitoring and construction of a sound barrier around the transformer perimeter.

“Since that time, all noise level measurements taken near the transformer and on neighbouring properties have been compliant with noise guidelines issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment,” the defence continues.

In his statement of claim, Thompson acknowledges the acoustic barrier has lessened the transformer noise. However, he says it continues to interfere with his sleep and is the source of stress and tension in his life.

The Amaranth man further maintains transformer noise has rendered his property, which has been in his family since the 1800s, “undesirable, or significantly less desirable,” therefore decreasing its value.

The developer insists that if there are damages from the transformer, which it denies, those damages are the result of Thompson’s “abnormal sensitivity” and suggests he has failed to mitigate those damages.

“Canadian Hydro has undertaken … significant efforts to further reduce potential sound emissions….”

Canadian Hydro statement of defence

By Richard Vivian, Staff Writer

The Orangeville Banner

11 April 2008

Texas Power grid narrowly averted rolling blackouts

February 28, 2008

 Editor:
Never let reality get in the way. Dalton McGuinty our fearful leader in Ontario says

“Wind turbines: We are investing heavily in those, but again, those are an expensive form of electricity and they’re not reliable, because sometimes obviously the wind does not blow”.

But he won’t let reality get in his way. No sir, not Dalton

He wants to cover Ontario with wind farms regardless of the facts.

Power grid narrowly averted rolling blackouts

Operators of the state power grid scrambled Tuesday night to keep the lights on after a sudden drop in West Texas wind threatened to cause rolling blackouts, officials confirmed Wednesday.

At about 6:41 p.m. Tuesday, grid operators ordered a shutoff of power to so-called interruptible customers, which are industrial electric users who have agreed previously to forgo power in times of crisis. The move ensured continued stability of the grid after power dropped unexpectedly.

Dottie Roark, a spokeswoman for the power grid, said a sudden uptick in electricity use coupled with other factors and a sudden drop in wind power caused the unexpected dip. As a result, grid officials immediately went to the second stage of its emergency blackout prevention plan.

“This situation means that there is a heightened risk of … regular customers being dropped through rotating outages, but that would occur only if further contingencies occur, and only as a last resort to avoid the risk of a complete blackout,” the State Operations Center said in an e-mail notice to municipalities.

Known as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the quasi-governmental agency that manages the power grid must ensure that power generation and power use remain constantly in balance. Otherwise, the whole grid can go dark, and the result is a systemwide blackout.

According to ERCOT, those interruptible customers who lost power Tuesday night had it restored by 9:40 p.m.. The interruptible customers are generally industrial businesses that pay less for electricity in exchange for an agreement that they will let ERCOT cut their power during shortages.

Some wholesale energy prices also spiked Tuesday evening — especially in West Texas. ERCOT also reported that the drop in wind power led to constraints on the system between the north part of the state and the west.

Kent Saathoff, vice president for system operations at ERCOT, said Tuesday’s event illustrates the inherent challenges associated with using wind power. Because the wind sometimes stops blowing without a moment’s notice, engineers at ERCOT must remain nimble enough to respond to resulting instability on the grid, he said.

“There is a major workshop going on at our office right now to discuss these very issues,” Saathoff said.

Although he said the emergency event was rare, it is not unprecedented. On April 16, 2006, for instance, a much more serious shortage prompted rolling blackouts across much of Texas. ERCOT officials at that time also ordered power curtailments for the state’s interruptible customers.

That 2006 event was prompted largely by scorching heat coupled with a shutdown of several generators for spring maintenance. This time the shortage was prompted largely by a near-total loss of wind generation, as well as a failure of several energy providers to reach scheduled production and the spike in electricity usage.

ERCOT reported that wind power production plummeted Tuesday evening from about 1,700 megawatts to about 300 megawatts. A single megawatt is enough electricity to power 500 to 700 homes under normal conditions.

The emergency procedures Tuesday night added about 1,100 megawatts to the grid over a 10-minute period, according to ERCOT.

Some critics have said that wind power, although providing a source of clean energy, also brings with it plenty of hidden costs and technical challenges. Besides requiring the construction of expensive transmission lines, the fickle nature of wind also means that the state cannot depend on the turbines to replace other sorts of generators.

“This is a warning to all those who think that renewable energy is the sole answer [to the state’s power needs],” said Geoffrey Gay, an attorney representing Fort Worth and other North Texas municipalities in utility issues. “We can’t put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to any form of generation. We need to consider the cost and the reliability issues, in addition to the environmental impact.”

Susan Williams Sloan, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association, said those technical challenges are not insurmountable. She said part of the solution is to locate turbines in diverse areas of the state. “When the wind is not blowing somewhere, it’s always blowing somewhere else,” she said.

Sloan also said that technological advances will make it easier in the future to forecast wind energy.

About 4,356 megawatts of wind turbines are currently installed in Texas, she said.

By R.A. Dyer
Staff Writer

Star-Telegram

Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes

February 1, 2008

 Watch the video

— Regulations being considered for wind turbines in Union Township would make a proposed wind energy project in the township impossible, the wind developer said this morning.

Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes and 1,000 feet from property lines, according to a proposed wind ordinance presented to the Town of Union Plan Commission on Thursday night.

The town’s Wind Turbine Study Committee was charged with investigating wind turbines and writing a proposed ordinance to regulate them.

Curt Bjurlin, Wisconsin project developer for EcoEnergy, said he is disappointed with the draft ordinance because he said it is “far more restrictive” than the state’s model draft ordinance.

“I think the town leadership realizes the people in the town and surrounding area greatly desire the need to have renewable energy,” he said.

The proposed setbacks leave “very, very little land” available, he said, “and certainly not enough for a renewable energy project.”

Bjurlin said EcoEnergy staff will work with town officials and residents to answer questions.

“We’re dedicated to building this project and moving forward,” he said.

The recommended setbacks are the absolute minimum, committee chairman Tom Alisankus stressed, because the committee’s research suggested distances of up to 12 miles.

The town board appointed the seven-member committee in September, and it has met nearly every Saturday since. The town board imposed a stay on construction of large wind energy systems until August.

EcoEnergy is proposing to put three 397-foot tall wind turbines in the township. Wisconsin Public Power would buy the energy to be used by Evansville Water and Light customers.

A town attorney will review the committee’s recommendations, and the plan commission will discuss the ordinance at its Thursday, Feb. 28, meeting and likely hold a public hearing at its March 27 meeting.

Committee members worked hundreds of hours, and committee member Jim Bembinster visited wind farms as far away as Wasco, Ore., Alisankus said. The committee’s results are summarized in a 318-page report, along with a 25-page draft ordinance.

Members looked through thousands of pages of documents and only considered information that was peer-reviewed or cited by reputable sources, Alisankus said. Doing so eliminated any influence from members’ personal feelings, he said.

Committee members started with the state’s model draft ordinance, which Alisankus said left a sour taste in their mouths. They sent an open records request seeking the scientific and medical documentation used to develop the state’s model ordinance, which has an “aura” of state approval, he said.

“The committee was shocked to receive a response to this open records request that in fact there was no scientific or medical documentation used to create the model draft ordinance,” he said.

Instead, the state sent them 11 pages, most of which were notes from meetings used to write the ordinance. It appeared the ordinance was written predominantly by a Florida power company, Alisankus said.

In Ontario it appears rules governing wind farms were written predominantly by CanWEA (added by blog editor)

The committee also invited stakeholders to participate and sent lists of questions to the companies involved.

“We were not particularly pleased with the responses we got,” Alisankus said. “In one case, even though there were scores of questions, we only received five answers back.”

Setbacks and sound were key to the committee’s work, he said.

“If you control … the setbacks and the sound levels appropriately, there should be no issue with ultimate construction of these turbines, at least with respect to the health and safety boundaries that we had to live by,” he said.

The state’s model ordinance makes the “assumption” that a 1,000-foot setback is OK, Alisankus said.

EcoEnergy plans its projects to have at least a 1,150-foot setback, Bjurlin said.

But the majority of the scientific and medical documentation the committee found recommended a minimum of one-half mile from homes, Alisankus said.

Their research came from the World Health Organization, audiologists, physicists, acoustical engineers, doctors and residents, he said.

“The whole problem area that a lot of people have been focusing a lot of time on can be solved by proper siting and proper testing ahead of time,” he said. “If the community does that and if the wind industry goes along with that, there shouldn’t be too many issues left over beyond that.”

WIND COMMITTEE

Members of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee are Tom Alisankus, chairman; Renee Exum, secretary; Scott McElroy, Jim and Cathy Bembinster, Mike Leeder and Sue Pestor.

ORDINANCE HIGHLIGHTS

Under the Town of Union Wind Study Committee’s recommended draft ordinance:

— Wind turbines must be sited at least one-half mile from the nearest home, business, school, daycare facility, church, hospital and other inhabited structures.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet from the nearest property line and at least five times the rotor diameter from the property lines of all adjoining property owners who have not granted an easement for a lesser setback.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet or three times its total height from any road, railroad, power line right-of-way and above-ground public electric power line or telephone line.

— Applications for a wind energy system must include—in part—a pre-construction noise survey within a 1-mile radius of each proposed turbine location, a sound study, an environmental study, ice and blade throw calculations plans, a shadow flicker and blade glint map, a stray voltage and ambient voltage test/plan and a fire prevention, emergency response and rescue plan.

— Limits would be placed on the sound produced by turbines as measured from the outside of the nearest residence and other inhabited structures.

REGULATION LIMITS

Wind turbine ordinances can only regulate turbines in regard to public health and safety, said Tom Alisankus, chairman of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee.

Alisankus said the committee could not address:

— Necessity of a meteorological tower to gather data in a proposed site

— Impact on farmland

— Divisiveness in communities

— Impact on property values

— Decommissioning of turbines

— Other alternative energy sources

Watch the video

Gazette Xtra

ENVIRONMENTAL AND WILDLIFE GROUPS CHARGE INDUSTRY BIAS

January 17, 2008

Editor:
The same thing is going on here in Ont. Both gov., and industry get away with too much.  Where is the media?  Before you buy your next newspaper, magazine or turn on the TV news, ask yourself a question, who is your media working for?
If you don’t think you are getting honest, even, two-sided information from your media, then stop supporting that media, both with your dollars and your eyes.

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.windaction.org/releases/13645

ENVIRONMENTAL AND WILDLIFE GROUPS CHARGE INDUSTRY BIAS IN KEMPTHORNE’S SELECTION OF MEMBERS FOR HIGH-LEVEL COMMITTEE ON WIND POWER AND WILDLIFE

Membership of Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee violates FACA

WASHINGTON D.C. (January 17, 2008) – In a letter submitted today (http://www.windaction.org/documents/13651), environmental and wildlife groups [1] called on Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to revamp the membership of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The current membership violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs the establishment of federal advisory committees.

“Secretary Kempthorne has clearly skewed the composition of the committee in favor of the industry representatives while ignoring leading experts on critical wildlife impacts,” said Eric R. Glitzenstein of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, the law firm representing the groups. “This is precisely the kind of committee composition that the Federal Advisory Committee Act was designed to prohibit,” he added.

he Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice and recommendations to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in developing effective measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities (see Fed. Reg. 72:11373 (March 13, 2007)). Secretary Kempthorne announced the appointment of 22 people to the committee on October 24, 2007.

Under FACA the committee must have balanced points of view represented and the functions to be performed, and will not be inappropriately influenced by any special interest. In their letter, the groups assert that the committee’s overall composition clearly violates FACA in several ways.

* No committee members possess research expertise or publication record regarding bats, nor direct knowledge or experience involving bat interactions with wind turbines.

This is a glaring omission in light of recent reports[2] and Congressional testimony [3] on the issue of massive bat mortality at wind energy facilities. For example, a recent study estimated that up to 111,000 bats may be killed [4] every year should only 3,868 MW of wind turbines be constructed within the Mid-Atlantic Highlands regions of VA, WV, MD, and PA. As of today, in those states, there are over 6,300 MW of wind turbines under study for interconnection to the regional electricity grid.

* The committee lacks the requisite expertise regarding bird impacts, especially with respect to effects on migratory birds using the Appalachian mountain ridges in the eastern U.S., despite the fact that dozens of planned wind projects are slated for this part of the country.

* No committee members have significant research, scientific, or regulatory experience with wind energy development and associated wildlife impacts resulting from onshore wind projects in the eastern U.S.

According to the letter, these scientific and technical omissions are especially troubling in light of the many individuals on the committee who either expressly represent or are clearly aligned with the interests of the wind industry.

The groups call on Secretary Kempthorne to appoint appropriate experts to the committee who are experienced in wind energy development in the eastern U.S., where thousands of industrial wind turbines are proposed, and many are already in operation. Several highly-qualified candidates who applied for committee membership but were not appointed are listed in the letter. Their expertise includes both bats and birds and extensive knowledge of nocturnal migration. In addition, the groups encourage the appointment of experts with research experience in forest fragmentation impacts, particularly in the eastern forest region.

CONTACT:

Kieran Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 275-5960

Eric Glitzenstein, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, (202) 588-5206

Lisa Linowes, Industrial Wind Action Group, (603) 838-6588 (llinowes@windaction.org)

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[1] Center for Biological Diversity; The Humane Society of the United States; Hawk Migration Association of North America; Industrial Wind Action Group; D. Daniel Boone; Maryland Conservation Council; Save Our Allegheny Ridges; Friends of Blackwater Canyon; Protect the Flint Hills; Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power; Green Berkshires, Inc.; Juniata Valley Audubon; Ripley Hawk Watch; Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; and Wildlife Advocacy Project.

[2] http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11935

[3] http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=32&extmode=view&extid=47

[4] http://www.windaction.org/documents/11179

The Dangers of Wind Power

August 24, 2007

From the Editor:

Ontario and most jurisdictions in North America seem unwilling to learn from the mistakes of others. It is very easy to build clean cost effective electrical systems but our governments keep on chasing the wind dream. The dream will turn out to be a nightmare for the system operators, the farmers who lease their land, the people living near the wind turbines and last but not least the ratepayers who will get hammered with ever rising hydro bills.

The fields will end up as junk yards of rusting broken down turbines . The investors will come out on the good end because the wind industry is a tax scheme not an electrical system.

The report below should help you understand the reality of the wind industry. 

 

[ News Watch Home ]

Wind turbines continue to multiply the world over. But as they grow bigger and bigger, the number of dangerous accidents is climbing. How safe is wind energy?

It came without warning. A sudden gust of wind ripped the tip off of the rotor blade with a loud bang. The heavy, 10-meter (32 foot) fragment spun through the air, and crashed into a field some 200 meters away.

The wind turbine, which is 100 meters (328 feet) tall, broke apart in early November 2006 in the region of Oldenburg in northern Germany — and the consequences of the event are only now becoming apparent. Startled by the accident, the local building authority ordered the examination of six other wind turbines of the same model.

The results, which finally came in this summer, alarmed District Administrator Frank Eger. He immediately alerted the state government of Lower Saxony, writing that he had shut down four turbines due to safety concerns. It was already the second incident in his district, he wrote, adding that turbines of this type could pose a threat across the country. The expert evaluation had discovered possible manufacturing defects and irregularities.

Mishaps, Breakdowns and Accidents

Read the full report