Archive for the ‘farm turbine news’ Category

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

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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)

###

[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

From worst to first in wind generation

February 6, 2007

From worst to first in wind generation

Greenhouse gases up 90% from coal stations


Feb. 1.Climate change is real. It’s a serious concern to Canadians and it’s great to see these issues becoming more prominent in recent media coverage. The study by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance points to mismanagement and poor planning by the former Conservative government between 1995 and 2002.That government did not invest in clean, green power. Instead, it belched out more power from dirty coal plants. Under their watch, emissions rose by more than 125 per cent.The McGuinty government brings a different approach. In three years, we have reduced Ontario’s reliance on coal plants by more than 32 per cent. We’ve gone from worst to first when it comes to wind generation.And we’ve invested in new province-wide energy conservation programs that are producing results – and that means cleaner air for all of us.While so many other jurisdictions are expanding their reliance on coal, we’re reducing ours. Ontario stands as the only jurisdiction in the world not building more coal-fire generation, but phasing it out.
Duncan and McGuinty still don’t get it. Even the UK is backing off on-shore wind.

“Power cut for clean energy
A scheme designed to encourage the use of renewable electricity sources is set to be ditched amid claims it is expensive and inefficient. So how can Britain’s fight against climate change be resuscitated?
By Tim Webb
Published: 28 January 2007
And now, the Renewables Obligation scheme, enshrined on April Fools’ Day 2002, looks set to be abandoned.Ofgem wants the scheme, which is being reviewed by the Government in its current Energy Review (to be published in April), scrapped.”

No country has ever proved any significant emission reduction with wind. Why are countries like Germany going back to coal?
They need reliable power. Wind can’t do the job. Wind farms, on the other hand, have caused many problems for people living near them, and have also cost jobs because of high electrical costs. Duncan and McGuinty have no excuse, other than stupidity. Instead of doing what the lobby groups wanted, and that includes David Suzuki, they should have investigated wind energy and it’s problems in other countries. We all want clean energy, but it has to work and be cost effective.

David Suzuki was always a kind of hero of mine. He is however, way off base promoting wind farms. Wind was and still is workable to power a house or cottage off grid. Wind was never designed to power the grid.

We’ll eliminate coal as quickly as we can, and replace it with gas, which is extremely price sensitive, balanced with the need to ensure a continued, reliable supply of electricity. Not

Dwight give it up. Your energy plan is a failure. Face the facts


Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister of Energy, Queen’s Park

EPCOR is not responding to the public's concerns.

January 27, 2007

The wind industry and the govt. say that the windmills aren’t noisy and there is no stray voltage problem.  The wind industry and the govt. continue to ignore the problems caused by their poorly sited wind farms. The recommendations for setbacks in most of the world are now 2km. In Ashfield they are a mere 400 meters.

The people near the Epcor Kingsbridge 1 wind farm have been suffering from stray voltage, noise and flicker since the wind farm went into sevice last March. To date there has been no resoulution of any of the problems.

Another problem that has been brought to light by the people living in the wind farm is that the wildlife, deer, geese,ducks and other birds seem to have moved away from the area.

The wind industry and the govt. must think that if they keep saying that there are no problems, you the taxpayer will continue to believe them. To say that people are complaining for the sake of complaining or that they are complaining because that didn’t receive any money is, like the wind industry itself, ludicrous.

Epcor had the gall to ask for permission to go ahead with Kingsbridge 11 and then has the audacity to complain that they are being held up because of council.Below is an excerpt from the Lucknow Sentinel

Township asks EPCOR to address public’s concerns
By Sara Bender
Wednesday January 24, 2007

Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council is not pleased that

EPCOR is not responding to the public’s concerns.
“EPCOR is not coming through with the information we have asked for,” said Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek, following council’s Jan. 16 meeting.

Van Diepenbeek said the public continues to address concerns to council of noise and of EPCOR not responding to their concerns. He said township resident Ross Brindley has also expressed concerns of stray voltage in his barn which he says were not there until after the wind turbines were built.
See this week’s Lucknow Sentinel for the full story…

Wind Turbine Setbacks-UPDATE Sept.11 2007-

January 25, 2007

From the editor

Manitoba gets the first realistic setback in Canada. The people in Manitoba fought back and instead of a 500 meter setback they now have a more realistic 2000 meter from their property lines. In Ontario the setbacks are from the residence, not the property line, which makes the 450 meter setback in the Municipality of Kincardine and most other places even more ludicrous and unacceptable. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone everywhere to fight for their and their neighbors rights.

You don’t have to put up with this crap.

Rural Municipality of Cartier Manitoba
Some residents voiced their displeasure with the project at the public hearing. Rasmussen said most residents were concerned about the distance turbines would be located from property lines according to the zoning bylaw.

The bylaw passed first reading by a 5-1 council vote in June. Since then, set back guidelines for erecting the turbines changed from 500 metres from neighbouring property lines to 2,000 metres.

Read the rest of the story and get inspired

Riverside County-CALIFORNIA-Restrict the placement of wind turbines within 2 miles of residential development unless the applicant supplies documentation that the machine(s) will not produce low frequency impulsive noise.

Turbines too close to homes-Ms. Lucas, speaking for the Guardians, told the hearing commissioners that the 70 wind turbines proposed for the hills southwest of Makara, each 125 meters tall, were too large to put within two kilometers of any residence. International research showed it was “general protocol” to allow a 2km buffer, even with smaller turbines.

In NZ there were no consented wind energy developments with more than a handful of houses closer than 2km. (Source-Walkato Times)

Australia-To avoid adverse noise impacts on the amenity of the surrounding community, wind farm developments should include sufficient buffers or setbacks to noise sensitive premises. As a guide, the distance between the nearest turbine and a noise sensitive building not associated with the wind farm is to be 1km. These guidelines provide that wind farm developments should be constructed and designed to ensure that noise generated will not exceed 5dB(A) above the background sound level or 35dB(A) using a 10-minute LA eq, whichever is greater, at surrounding noise-sensitive premises. (Source-Guidelines for Wind Farm Development, Planning Bulletin, Western Australia)

Australia-Wind Farm Under Scrutiny. The Myponga/Sellicks Hill wind farm will be scrutinized after claims that developer TrustPower plans to move seven of the turbines within one kilometer of dwellings. (Source-The Times)

(1600 metres in Germany, 1800 metres in Holland).

It was Alves-Pereira’s initial research, published in numerous scientific journals, which prompted the French National Academy of Medicine, earlier this month (March 2006), to call on the French government to stop all wind turbine construction within 1.5 km of people’s homes. You should understand that VAD is well established in the clinical literature; it is not conjectured. It has been amply documented and is readily detected by a variety of diagnostic tests.

What’s wrong with Ontario Canada!

First, the relatively small size of private land parcels in Ontario will present a challenge for developers due to the number of stakeholders that may perceive impacts. Windpark development may become uneconomical if municipal setbacks created to address these “perceived” concerns reduce the usable land area, thus eliminating the economics of scale necessary to develop a project.*
*14c) The Industry does not recommend that a set of standard bylaws be adopted with respect to setbacks or other municipal zoning issues.*

*”The above can be understood to mean, that if “safe setbacks” are mandated, it will make it uneconomical to site wind farms in Southern Ontario”

Setbacks in Ashfield township 400 meters

Setbacks in Municipality of Kincardine 350 meters

“Ontario’s strict sound guidelines ensure that turbines are located far enough away from residences .” What Ontario guidelines? Every municipality is left to figure it out for themselves. Chatham Kent: 300 m, Amherstburg 600 m.

Meanwhile worldwide, in countries that have learned from their mistakes, these distances are increasing due to health, quality of life and safety issues (1600 metres in Germany, 1800 metres in Holland).

You should make people aware, Mr. Hornung that CanWEA is lobbying to remove setbacks altogether in southwestern Ontario due to the small land parcels.

 

Is the Ont. govt. ignoring health issues and the right of property enjoyment for economies of scale. That’s what it sounds like to me. The wind industry is always using the term “perceived” concerns. The concerns that people have are real not “perceived”.

Dalton and Duncan need a reality check. The rights of the people of Ont. are far more important than a bunch of useless windmills.

Germany has more windmills than anyone else. They are building 8 new coal plants because wind isn’t working for them. The Danes don’t want them either, their govt. is forcing them on their people. Why? They have 30.000 people working in the industry.

“We simply cannot continue to lead the world in the field of wind-power technology if we don’t even make room for wind parks in our own country,” Connie Hedegaard, the environment minister for Denmark said“.

Dalton and Dwight or Dumb and Dumber you be the judge

 

Letters From Wind Farm Neighbors

January 14, 2007

Letters From Wind Farm Neighbors

These letters are from NY. We are presently gathering letters from people in Ontario. The experience of living near wind turbines in Ontario appears to be the same as those of our neighbours to the south.
Are the wind companies and your govt. telling you the truth? 

 

Rodger Hutzell, Jr., Meyersdale, PA

13 February 2005

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you in regards to living near an industrial wind turbine facility. This facility is located in Somerset County near Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. The facility has been operating since December 2003.

Since this facility has been up and running, my family and I have experienced noise nuisance issues, specifically when trying to go to sleep at night. The noises are greater during the winter months. The noise appears to correlate to a continual droning sound. When awakened at night, there are times that it is impossible to get back to sleep due to the threshing sounds produced by the wind turbines. After the first few weeks of the initial operation; I began to experience difficulty with sleep patterns. My family physician was consulted regarding this issue with difficulties falling alseep. I was prescribed sleeping medication.

The noise nuisance issue continues to exist. February 2003, I was in my yard running my chain saw and the drone of the wind turbines could be heard over the sound produced by the chain saw. I was never made aware of any type of noise nuisances produced by these industrial turbines prior to their construction.

My lifestyle has changed since this operating industrial facility was erected within near vicinity of my residence. I fear that my real estate value has decreased due to the noise nuisance and deterioration of the scenic mountain ridges that surround my residence.

These industrial facilities and landowners should be held accountable and liable for any all nuisances that affect local and adjacent property owners.

Sincerely,

Rodger A. Hutzell Jr.
327 Ridge Road
Meyersdale, PA
15552

click link for more letters

http://www.savewesternny.org/docs/letters.html 

Landowners be Aware

January 13, 2007
Signing it all away for crumbs from the table

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From Kirbymtn blogspot

“A copy of a boilerplate easement agreement between a windfarm developer and a landowner has crossed my desk. Those who have already seen such contracts have remarked on the irony of landowners defending their right to do what they want with their own land against the considerations of their neighbors but signing away that very right to the wind company.”

“The contract is for 2 years, and then 20 years once a turbine is installed, with the developer retaining the option to extend it another 30 years after that. Of course, the developer can terminate the deal at any time. The owner can’t.”

for more information click link
http://www.savewesternny.org/landowners.html

Although this information is from NY State it is still important

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