Archive for the ‘windpower generation’ Category

Another One Bites the Dust

March 28, 2008

Editor
They burn, they explode, they make noise, they make little electricity when you need it, and they drive people from their homes. No wonder the Green Fanatics like them so much.

Stupid people pushing stupid ideas.

Smoke pours from the top and bottom of one of the wind turbines at the Ewington Wind Farm near the Heron Lake exit north of Interstate 90 Wednesday morning. The Brewster and Okabena Fire Departments responded to the scene, but upon the advice of Suzlon Wind Energy officials, the fire was allowed to burn itself out. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

These are the type of bastards we're dealing with:

March 11, 2008

Editor
This showed up via an email from a concerned citizen. Might shed some light on how the wind industry really thinks about you and your family. They don’t come across here as the environmentalists they like to portray themselves as. God help the bats, birds and the people who suffer from the abuse dished out by the wind industry with the backing of corrupt govt. Tax avoidance and carbon credits is the name of the game. They don’t give a damn about the environment.

     wind turbines towering over farm

        click  photo to enlarge

Notes from Wind Power Finance and Investment Summit, II

kirbymtn.blogspot.


blogger.com

Wind Power Finance and Investment Summit, Feb. 7, 2008, San Diego, Calif.
*Session: Strategic Wind Developers’ Perspective on Wind Development*


*Moderator:*

Tim Callahan, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
*Panelists:*

Eric Blank, Executive Vice President, Development Division, Iberdrola USA

Sam Enfield, Wind Energy Development, PPM Energy

Declan Flanagan, CEO, Airtricity North America

Peter Duprey, CEO, Acciona Energy North America
*Where in the United States is the growth [of the wind sector] expected to continue?* The Midwest looks good, although nimbyism and lack of transmission are restraints there. Lack of transmission on the Great Plains is a drawback. The Northwest has issues with transmission as well, although deals are in the works to make it happen. There are premier sites in this region.
*What regions of the United States are more difficult to develop and why?* *Landowners are understanding more about the industry.* Upstate New York is “not a reality”. 70% of construction in 2007 was on sites 100 MW or bigger. This trend will continue. A 30 MW project costs as much as a 100 MW project because of the mobilization costs, making these smaller projects less feasible.
*Are there regions in the United States that are over-built?* West Texas is reaching saturation but will continue to grow as new transmission is built.
*What are the major constraints and challenges to expansion in the industry?

* Turbine manufacturers are sold out though 2009. Developers have to settle for second and third choices for equipment. The scarcity of turbines is hurting the smaller players and it will continue to get tighter for them. It is also putting more stress on marginal projects.
In 2001 there was one manufacturer in the U.S. Now there are seven. These new entrants are hampered by a lack of subcontractors and suppliers as well as a competent workforce. The industry is still competing with traditional generation, which is also slowing things down.
*Is a Federal RPS necessary for the industry to continue growing?*Absolutely. “If this doesn’t happen in the next administration we can all start looking for other jobs.”
*Is the extension of the PTC necessary for the sector to continue growing?*If it doesn’t happen in 2008, and be retroactive to 1/1/08, it will set the industry back two years. “If we don’t get at least a one year extension of the PTC in 2008, projects will shut down for lack of financing.” “Tax credits are always taken from somewhere else that is getting them. We are getting a stronger ‘pushback’ from those who stand to lose them [oil and gas interests].” “We have bipartisan support but the extension has always been attached to legislation that fails for some other reason.” “It is hard to spend money when there is doubt about the future of the industry.”
*Are all the best sites (Class II) developed or being developed? Are less desirable sites economically feasible?* “The low hanging fruit from a siting perspective has already been picked.”
*Is off-shore a realistic possibility in the United States?* These projects are quite expensive, especially the further from shore and deeper they are.
*Is transmission becoming a significant constraint to development, and if so, how can this constraint be overcome?* “Transmission is the biggest restraint to development. We need to go to larger projects to justify new transmission costs.” This will be a problem for a while. The question of who will pay for new transmission is a tough political issue.
*Are NIMBY issues becoming more prevalent? How does a developer overcome these challenges?* “*Nimbys are cropping up everywhere, especially in the East. It is a cottage industry. Friends of this and friends of that are very effective at networking and putting out pseudo-science. They are still fighting on a project by project basis, however.” “A new AWEA guidebook will be out soon that deals with how to fight nimbys.” “**National Wind

Watch*<http://www.wind-watch.org/>

* is very sophisticated and is helping local groups get organized.”
Baby boomers seeking second homes and realtors are a huge threat to development, especially in New England. They have the resources to mount campaigns against projects. It’s better in the Midwest and the Rocky Mountain regions where communities are dependent on local projects.

Expansion is easier also.*
*Is the industry still grappling with environmental considerations, or have these become more manageable?* *Bat problems are turning out to be a serious issue. Fifty or sixty kills per turbine are significant numbers and are causing concern. “Fortunately, bats are not charismatic creatures so this doesn’t carry any weight.”*

kirbymtn.blogspot.




German experience with wind power

March 10, 2008

 

The Annual (2005) Wind Report for E.ON Netz
An account of the German experience with wind power.

Vital information for those interested to know where our money is being wasted,
or diverted into somebody else’s pocket….

The full document ENE_Wind Report 2005 is quite long, but summarised in Summary.pdf

to download, right-click on title, then “save as”… to view immediately in browser, just click on title

E.ON Netz, (the company which owns Powergen) is one of Germany’s largest electric grid operators. It serves a population of 20 million people living in 40 percent of Germany’s land area. It runs 32,500 kilometers of high voltage power lines, and is responsible for integrating 7,000 megawatts of wind power, nearly half of that installed in all Germany, which has more wind power installed than any other country, including the United States and Denmark.

One of E.ON Netz’s most notable conclusions is that wind energy cannot replace conventional power stations to any significant degree.
In the words of the report, “In order to guarantee reliable electricity supplies when wind farms produce little or no power, eg. during periods of calm or storm-related shutdowns, traditional power station capacities must be available as a reserve. This means that wind farms can only replace traditional power station capacities to a limited degree.” (page 9).
Furthermore, the report says that as more wind power is built, its capacity to replace conventional power sources, never more than 8 percent, actually declines. (page 9). In other words, E.ON’s experience shows conclusively that those who expect wind power to prevent a nuclear build up, or to reduce the need for gas and coal stations, have been seriously misled.
This is astounding! That company – perhaps the major player in the windfarm business – is openly declaring that wind power can not deliver the goods when it comes to reducing emissions or producing reliable electricity for our national needs!

Amongst the many questions that inevitably arise:

  • This huge windfarm company recognises that windfarms are essentially useless
    so where does that leave us?
  • Why is this country not learning something from the German experience?
  • Why do windfarm companies continue to force their useless product on to us?

The answer to the last question is obvious enough: quite simply “they do it for the subsidies and for the money”. And they get lots of that! But of course we’ve got lots of money to spare – haven’t we?
Perhaps the self-styled “green” fundamentalists would care to answer the other questions… if they can, or dare…

26 new coal plants in Germany

According to Der Spiegel, Mar. 21, 2007, Germany is planning 26 new coal-fired electricity plants. And according to the New York Times, June 20, 2006, 8 are on a fast track for completion by 2010 or so.

No breeze: the day the wind died in Texas

February 29, 2008

 Editor:
4,600 megawatts of wind power in Texas was producing only 1700 mw before the wind dropped and the 1700 mw became 300. In Ontario we have the same problem. It was cold today -10c and at 1pm the 472 megawatts of installed wind power was producing only 8 megawatts. If we had built a 472 mw nuclear plant we would have had 472 megawatts available. Regardless of how many wind turbines are installed there is no way to count on them to produce power when required. Wind turbines push up the cost of electricity without any real benefits. So, the question is, why are we building them?

Carbon credits and Tax Shelters

No breeze: the day the wind died in Texas

Texas, a model of wind power’s potential, now is a model of wind power’s pitfalls too.

Minders of the Lone Star State’s electricity grid had to cut power to some offices and factories Wednesday evening when the wind dropped—and with it, electricity produced from the state’s many wind farms. The green juice slowed from 1,700 megawatts to the trickle of 300 megawatts.

”A cold front moved through, and the wind died out,” said Dottie Roark, spokeswoman for the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which runs most of the state’s power grid. “That happens.”

Oh, well. Now that wind is big enough to be a real part of Texas’ electricity mix, the state is coming to grips with one of wind power’s biggest problems: the power flows only when the wind blows.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but this glitch for wind power occurred the night before the House voted on a renewable-energy bill — a vote in which the Texas delegation mostly voted against more renewable-energy subsidies.

Nuclear, coal- and gas-fired plants run almost all the time. As efficient as wind turbines have become in recent years, they still need the wind to work. And reliably predicting just when the wind will blow is still tough, despite plenty of fancy technological advances.

Wind usually falls off with rising temperatures. But a sudden gust of cool weather can do the same. The people running the electricity grid need to stay on their toes to throw other forms of power on line when wind falters.

“Renewables are a very intermittent source of electric supply,” says Larry Makovich, managing director at Cambridge Enegy Research Associates, a Boston-based energy consultancy that recently published a bullish report on the prospects for renewable energy. “What you saw in Texas is a very dramatic example as to why that is the case.”

This problem is only going to get bigger for Texas. The state has 4,600 megawatts of wind power. If wind blew all the time, that would be the equivalent of more than three nuclear plants. The state now is considering additional wind farms that could boost that figure ten-fold, say Texas’ grid operators. That is, when there’s a breeze.

Matthew Dalton
Dow Jones Newswires

Posted by Jeffrey Ball

Environmental Capital – WSJ.com

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

Exploding VESTA Wind Turbine in Denmark

February 26, 2008

Editor:
Ontario can use this to attract tourists.
Hell, put up a map of the turbine locations and take bets on which turbine will blow up next.

Fun for the whole family!

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

February 13, 2008

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

The need for proper setbacks in Chatham-Kent between wind turbines and homes and natural settings was voiced loudly Tuesday by Chatham businessman Harry Verhey.

Verhey told Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club members — of which he is a member — that he isn’t challenging the use of wind turbines, but is convinced there is an urgent need to determine setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“The recent proliferation of industrial wind projects will have a negative impact on the community,” he said. “The massive size of industrial wind turbines conflicts with the scale and character of the Chatham-Kent landscape.”

Verhey said the improper siting of industrial wind turbines will result in the loss of the scenic rural landscape, wildlife habitats and migration routes, peace, quiet and health of our citizens and future economic development opportunities.

Verhey made his comments while introducing Chatham-Kent planning official Ralph Pugliese, the club’s guest speaker.

“We are a unique community and cannot follow provincial minimum setback guidelines of only 250 to 600 metres,” said Verhey.

He said there is a need to come up with new setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“I love this community, its people, the rural landscape and the lifestyle available to us here,” said Verhey. “It’s my hope we will all be able to feel the same way in the future.”

Verhey noted Chatham-Kent is playing host to applications for the installation of hundreds of industrial-sized wind turbines.

“These turbines are of monstrous proportion,” he said. “The Greenfield Ethanol plant stack in Chatham is 260 feet high. The proposed turbines are nearly 400 feet high — as tall as a 40-storey apartment building.”

Verhey said there are many questions regarding how wind turbine developments will affect the surrounding area.

“Will property values decrease, will it stop new construction and future housing developments near by, is wildlife at risk and are there negative health affects?” he asked.

Verhey said he’s convinced the public is unaware of wind turbine developments in Chatham-Kent, planned locations for each turbine and any associated adverse affects.

“We need to evaluate the landscape of the potentially-affected areas, consult with the public and develop a criteria for the public input process,” he said.

Verhey said ads run in local papers by the proponents of wind farms aren’t enough — “for the most part the public is unaware of turbine developments and locations.”

He said significant cultural heritage landscapes, important bird areas, which include wetlands and staging areas, shorelines, the Thames River valley, small rural community’s areas for future development and rural homes need to be protected.

Club member Paul Roy of Pain Court said there is a need for the municipality to hold public meetings to help clear up the confusion that exists about wind turbines.

Larry and Linda Reaume of Erie Beach, club guests, said they would never have purchased their “dream” home at Erie Beach if they knew wind turbines were going to be erected in their backyard.

“We looked for a place to buy for years and finally settled on a home near the lake in south Chatham-Kent in 2006,” said Larry Reaume. “We had no idea the area was ripe for wind turbines.”

Source C-K News 

Wind turbine noise

February 7, 2008

A short video

Our Life is Hell

Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

February 6, 2008
Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

[ News Watch Home ]

“Understanding Sound Associated with Industrial Wind Developments”, was the theme of the presentation by Rick Bolton, Engineer & Sound Specialist, and sponsored by Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood (CHRN), on Wednesday, January 30, at Perry’s Masonic Temple.

Though Wednesday’s inclement weather prohibited attendance by many from outlying areas, citizens and Town Board members from Perry, Gainesville, Leicester, and Orangeville were there. Mr. Bolton’s presentation was designed to convey a basic understanding of the complexities of sound, effects on humans, and flaws in current analysis standards being employed by wind developers in the U.S.

Mr. Bolton began by explaining that sound associated with wind turbines is an extremely complex issue, and one that needs thorough analysis. “Sounds are waves – just like light and water,” he said. These sound waves are measured in deci-Bels (dB, or dBA – A-weighted deci-Bels – most closely imitate the human ear).

“Human audibility is extremely sensitive,” he said. “In fact, far more sensitive than anything we can use to record sound electronically. While the human ear can detect to 0 dBA, the lowest range even the most expensive noise meters can measure is 14 dBA.”

Elaborating on the factors that can amplify sound, Bolton pointed out:

1.) Sound can propagate for over a mile, and even further over water;

2.) Sound gets worse in water (i.e. – ice, fog);

3.) Low frequencies can double sound by refraction off hard surfaces (hillsides, snow-pack);

4.) ‘Wave Coherence’, created by a number of turbines together, amplifies sound;

5.) When the wind is blowing, it can refract noise from the elevated source-point downward;

6.) Sounds below 30 Hz, termed ‘infrasound’, create serious health problems (turbines have been indicated as being a strong source of ‘infrasound’)

7.) Ice-loading on the front edge of turbine blade tips disturbs air flow around the blade, creating turbulence, and increasing sound.

8.) Modulation occurs when the blade compresses air as passing the mast of the turbine, and is worsened by large groups of turbines’ blades not operating in sync. (Bolton has never seen modulation addressed in any wind developer provided studies.)

Bolton explained the many ways wind developers methodology is flawed. Field measurements are not done correctly (i.e. – improper microphone placement, no justification for sampling sites, etc.); accurate samplings need to be done for a full year to account for seasonal variations, but aren’t; and computer prediction models wind developers rely on are inadequate because they don’t account for modulation, coherence, refraction, and icing.

Facts contained in Perry’s DEIS from the sound study done by Horizon for Perry were brought up that highlighted Bolton’s point that sound studies being done are totally inadequate: “5 monitoring locations; Survey was carried out over roughly a 3-week period; Unfortunately, 3 primary & 2 backup instruments were destroyed by water infiltration, so octave band data could not be collected for ALL positions for the entire 3-week survey; There were a number of periods of either inclement weather or low wind speeds – conditions that are not generally useful; General conditions of temperature, barometric pressure, & wind for the survey period are shown in plots below as observed at DANSVILLE, NY – some 20 miles southeast of the site.”

Illustrating and explaining his points with numerous charts and graphs that were part of his presentation, he also included examples and measurements from homes that had been abandoned by their owners due to the resulting life-altering health effects of living too close to turbines. Not surprisingly, these health problems have been linked to sleep disturbances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that sound level should not exceed 30 dBA for a good night’s sleep. WHO also unanimously agrees that noise levels greater than 42 dBA create sleep disturbances, and that disturbed sleep has serious health effects.

Bolton explained that rural country settings currently enjoy extremely quiet night-time noise levels of 20 – 30 dBA. However, wind developers typically propose 50 dBA as acceptable noise levels at property lines of neighboring homes to their industrial wind installations. They do so despite the fact that the NYS DEC recommends no more than a 6 dBA increase over existing night-time ambient noise levels.

“Every 6 dBA is a perceived doubling of sound, or loudness,” Bolton said. When you understand this, you can begin to understand the problems that are occurring from siting these facilities far too close to people’s homes in rural areas. Bolton’s research suggests that 3,000′ – 5,000′ setbacks from the nearest property line should be the rule of thumb.

Neither citizens, nor the town officials being rushed through zoning, siting, and approval processes by wind developers truly understand the vast difference between 30 and 50 dBA until it is too late. Bolton stressed the importance of “getting it right” before allowing industrial wind facilities to be built, since mitigation after the fact is not available. He has yet to see wind developers do any follow-up studies for those now experiencing problems. They simply ignore them.

Bolton also explained that NY Townships are perpetuating flawed methods by accepting, and placing in their ordinances, the 50 dBA sound levels being submitted by wind developers, without demanding justifications – despite the fact that this is contrary to SEQR rules. NYS DEC’s Environmental Conservation Rules for SEQR state that the noise pollution potential must be evaluated at each affected “receptor”.

NYS DEC’s Program Policy, “Assessing & Mitigating Noise Impacts”, states: “When a sound level evaluation indicates that receptors may experience sound levels or characteristics that produce significant noise impacts, or impairment of property use, the Department is to require the permittee or applicant to employ necessary measures to either eliminate, or mitigate, adverse noise effects.”

If our townships fail to hold developers accountable to required standards, “we will lose the privilege, and precious asset, of having the peace and quiet of the country,” he said.

Mr. Bolton then took questions from the crowd. In response to questions asking what he thought of being “surrounded” by up to 23 turbines within 1.5 miles of their homes, he answered, “I would be VERY concerned if I were you.”

When asked if he has conducted any studies in the Perry area, Bolton replied that he had. Those who attended Perry’s Public Hearing October 16, 2006, will remember Mr. Bolton adding his comments, and handing in the study he did for Perry to the Board that evening. (Mr. Bolton’s comments on the Noise Issue can be found in the Comments to Perry’s DEIS under H-1, pages 1-24.)

By Mary Kay Barton

Batavia Daily News

Senators cut renewable electricity rule from energy bill

December 11, 2007

From the Editor
This looks like what might turn out to be good news. Now the wind industry won’t be able to claim the 15% renewable requirement. I sure hope this passes.

Update: it Passed

Wind Companies tax credits dropped by H. JOSEF HEBERT AP

Tax breaks for a wide range of clean energy industries, including wind, solar, biomass and carbon capture from coal plants, were part of the tax package that was dropped. Senate Democrats earlier also abandoned a House-passed provision that would have required investor-owned utilities nationwide to generate 15 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

(Click to read entire article)Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to bring an energy bill back to the floor on Thursday, after dropping a provision that would have required utilities to generate a portion of their electricity using renewable energy sources.

“We’re not going to be able to keep in the bill the renewable electricity standard,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today. “That’s too bad.”

Senate leaders were still working on the tax provisions for the bill this afternoon, but Reid said the bill would cost about $21 billion, about the same as the House version.

Last week, the House passed an energy bill that included the renewable electricity language as well as a tax package that would hit the oil and gas companies up for more than $13 billion in higher taxes.

The renewable electricity provision would have required utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, although 4 percentage points could be made up through greater energy efficiency.

However, utilities in the South had warned they would not be able to meet that standard and would be forced to pass along higher costs to their consumers. And the White House had threatened to veto the bill over that issue.

The bill’s crown jewel — a requirement the nation’s fleet of cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans achieve an average 35 miles per gallon by 2020 — has broad, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and particular enthusiasm in the Senate.

Proponents argue that requirement would save the nation 1.1 million barrels of oil a day in 2020, comparable to about half the oil the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf.

The bill would propel development of technologies to tap sources of “cellulosic” ethanol made from switchgrass, cornstalks and other non-food crops by requiring the nation use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.

The legislation would set new energy efficiency standards for appliances such as dish washers and washing machines and phase out the current generation of energy-inefficient, incandescent light bulb.

By David Ivanovich

Houston Chronicle