Cohocton Wind Watch: February 2007
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Noise Radiation From Wind Turbines Installed Near Homes

Wind turbines are large industrial structures that create obtrusive environmental noise pollution when built too close to dwellings. This annotated review of evidence and research by experts considers the impact of industrial-scale wind turbines suffered by those living nearby. First, the paper includes the comments by some of the families affected by wind turbines, as well as coverage in news media internationally. The experiences described put a human face to the science of acoustics.

Second, the paper reviews research articles within the field of acoustics concerning the acoustic properties of wind turbines and noise. The acoustic characteristics of wind turbines are complex and in combination produce acoustic radiation. Next, the paper reviews the health effects that may result from the acoustic radiation caused by wind turbines, as well as the health effects from noise, because the symptoms parallel one another. Primarily, the consequent health response includes sleep deprivation and the problems that ensue as a result. In addition, this paper reviews articles that report research about the body's response not only to the audible noise, but also to the inaudible components of noise that can adversely affect the body's physiology. Research points to a causal link between unwanted sound and sleep deprivation and stress, i.e., whole body physiologic responses.

These injuries are considered in the context of Human Rights, where it is contended that the environmental noise pollution destroys a person's effective enjoyment of right to respect for home and private life, a violation of Article 8 of the European Court of Human fights Act. Furthermore, the paper considers the consequent devaluation of a dwelling as a measure of part of the damage that arises when wind turbines are sited too close to a dwelling, causing acoustic radiation and consequent adverse health responses.

The review concludes that a safe buffer zone of at least 2km should exist between family dwellings and industrial wind turbines of up to 2MW installed capacity, with greater separation for a wind turbine greater than 2MW installed capacity

New York Regional Interconnection

New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) is a group of investors, engineers, legal advisors, economists and environmental scientists proposing to build a transmission line that would bring energy from areas with abundant supply to areas with demand. NYRI is working with state leaders and communities to enhance public understanding of energy issues, support conservation and promote responsible energy production. NYRI is led by Richard Muddiman, President and CEO; William May, Project Manager; and Leonard Singer, General Counsel.

NYRI is owned by a consortium of investors led by American Consumer Industries (ACI), an investment holding company that specializes in environmentally sensitive power generation technologies and applications.

400 MW of Wind Capacity Produces O MW of Power

At noon today I checked how much power was being produced by the wind farms in Ontario. The govt. has this idea that if they spread the wind farms around the province wind farms will produce power. Their logic is that it has to be windy somewhere. Port Burwell = O MW Kingsbridge l = O MW Amaranth = O MW and last but not least Princefarm = O MW. Lets add that up now. 400 plus MW of wind capacity producing O MW of power at noon today.

Mr. Dwight Duncan our esteemed Energy Minster wants more wind power. Maybe it’s time Duncan and McGuinty had a brain scan. I think most of the wind in Ontario is blowing around between their ears.

Time to wake up people.

Time to raise a little hell………….or you can do nothing, but please don’t bitch and complain when your hydro bills go through the roof. This province doesn’t belong to McGuinty, Duncan or the wind industry, it belongs to you. Please act accordingly.

Remember when Bush said he knew what he was doing in Iraq. McGuinty and Duncan have ignored all the advice from the experts to follow their green dream and if it’s not stopped it is going to cost you and your children dearly.

Send an e-mail, write a letter or make a phone call.
If you own a plane a little sky writing might be a nice touch.
Get active!
There’s nothing on TV anyway
I am your Energy minister and I want more wind

Use domain name url for Reform Cohocton

New domain name url redirect to Reform Cohocton.

This address point to

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This is My Land...I can do what I want

That seems to be a common quote I hear from landowners that want wind turbines on their land. Well, gee, I have 9.5 acres of land. I think I'll set up a go-cart track. Run lights around the property, bright ones, so they can run all night. I love live music, so I will put a stage in the center of it all, with bands playing until 2am. Cap it all off every night with a fireworks display. Of course we'll sell beer and other drinks. I can do that....right? No? Why not?

Oh, yeah, there's this thing called "zoning ordinances." I forgot about those. What the heck are they for? They're keeping me from building that cool track with all that neat stuff, and of course the money I make turns into tax revenues, boosts traffic in the area, great for tourism, what's the problem? Oh, these "zoning ordinances" are set up for the "general welfare?" Do you mean it's not just about me and my wants, that I have to consider my neighbors? Well, there's a concept.

(click to read entire article)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound

This literary report [which was submitted to the U.K. Dept. of Trade and Industry] has combined a variety of study findings and concludes there is a case to answer when land based animals and freshwater creatures are exposed to noise at low Hz levels. [Appendix B is a table of creatures, from alligators to whales, and the documented effects of noise exposure.]

Because of the limitations of our hearing it would be easy to suppose that noises beyond our receiving range do not exist and should therefore be of no concern to us. Yet both very high and extremely low inaudible sounds may be harmful to us and other animals with similar but not identical ranges of hearing.

(click to read entire article)

Hamlin wind tower committee faces overflow crowd

Moratorium on tower placement to be considered

Questions, criticism and bewilderment characterized the exchanges made by attendees in the full-to-overflowing meeting room at the Town of Hamlin offices during the February 20 wind tower committee meeting. Several individuals called for the meeting to be canceled and rescheduled at a larger venue so those individuals who were forced to stand in the hall could hear and have their comments heard.

(click to read entire article)

A Brief Cost-Benefit Analysis of Industrial Windpower

Here's a cost-benefit analysis for a relatively small windplant with sixty-six 2.5 MW turbines for a combined rated capacity of 140 MWs. Each turbine will stand about 430 feet tall and will require around 15 acres of cleared land and infrastructure support. Spaced eight to a mile, the array would extend for over seven miles. With a generous capacity factor of 30 percent, this facility might contribute 42 MWs of electricity annually to the PJM grid, .000026 percent of the grid's annual production of 163,000 MWs—an amount that would be engulfed in the first minutes of our increasing demand for electricity (at two percent per year). If this power were generated by coal or nuclear, with capacity factors approaching 90 percent and with a predictable and constant stream of energy, it would service about 30,000 homes. However, because of the intermittent, unpredictable nature of wind, no homes would be powered by the wind industry. Given this limitation and the fact that industrial electricity must be consumed immediately, wind can generate only energy, not capacity, to the electricity grid.

Because of federal and state subsidies to the wind industry, corporate investors should expect:

  • $15 million annually from the sale of electricity, given state laws requiring utilities to purchase "green" energy at prices beyond competitive rates. The wind industry will likely charge utilities at least five cents per kW hour—twice the cost of coal. This cost will ultimately be borne by ratepayers.

  • Over $200 million leveraged over the ten year life of the wind industry's Congressional production tax credits, currently at 1.9 cents per kW hour. Since production tax credits will result in a deficit to the federal treasury, this loss will have to be made up by taxpayers.

  • Equity investors such as AES and Florida Power and Light will have access to wind's double declining capital depreciation schedule, paying off the capital costs totaling about $140 million in little more than five years. Altogether, publicly funded tax avoidance schemes reimburse wind developers as much as two-thirds of the capital costs of each wind turbine.

The wind company might employ three or four maintenance employees at a salary of about $18,500, with no additional benefits and no guarantee they would be county or state residents. Its contracts with property owners offer unsecured promises of a few thousand dollars per year. Its promises about adding millions of dollars annually to the local public treasury often often spurious public relations gestures, since the company can afford to retain accountants with a sophisticated knowledge of energy tax law who will find ways to offset any perceived tax obligation, as has happened with windplants in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Jon Boone Oakland, MD

The Top Ten False and Misleading Claims the Windpower Industry makes for Projects in the Eastern United States

1. Industrial wind developers are interested only in providing a public service. Their primary purpose is to take advantage of extraordinary income sheltering opportunities... More...

2. Windplants do not harm wildlife. Despite industry insistence this won't happen, it already has... More...

3. Windplants will reduce the mining/burning of fossil fuels and lessen dependence on foreign oil. The wind industry in the East will not put much of a dent in our reliance on fossil fuels. More...

4. Windplants are highly efficient and provide power for significantnumbers of homes. Wind technology is relatively feckless. More...

5. Locals who oppose the wind industry are NIMBYS. One of the most persistent hypocrisies from corporate wind... More...

6. Windplants will generate significant local revenue and increaseproperty values. ...two recently constructed windplants... have contributed virtually nothing to the local tax base. More...

7. The wind industry will create many local jobs. This is a cruel untruth, especially in economically depressed areas... More...

8. Wind technology is noiseless and creates few disturbances. Large wind turbines... create profound noise reverberations extending out... More...

9. Wind technology consists of "windmills" on "wind farms." The reality is that they are mammoth industrial factories... More...

10. Those who are concerned about windpower are not true environmentalists. The facts demonstrate otherwise. Notable environmentalists who have studied... More...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Turn: Don't sacrifice Northeast Kingdom to wind farm by Galway Kinnell

I am deeply indebted to the Northeast Kingdom, where I've drawn inspiration for almost 50 years: its woods, fields, ponds, hills, its people, its other creatures. Like most of my neighbors, I favor conservation and renewable energy. I have feared climate change ever since I saw early signs of it years ago. But I do not support the proposed UPC industrial wind facility.

Many in Sheffield have spoken out with clarity and eloquence against large-scale wind turbines. Their views have been resisted by people we expected to agree with us -- some legislators, environmentalists and advocacy groups, who have allied themselves instead with wind developers, wind speculators, and electric company officials. If you care about global warming, their litany is, you must put up with wind energy. They seem to see the Northeast Kingdom as a wind energy showcase, so they can take their stand against global warming painlessly, by having us in the Northeast Kingdom take that stand for them, painfully. It hardly matters to this coalition whether wind is viable here or not; or whether we want it or not; or whether wind turbines are suitable to New England at all; or whether a powerful conservation policy might not make this highly defacing technology unnecessary.

(Click to read entire article)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CV Comp Plan addresses resources by Janine Giordano

CHERRY VALLEY – The Draft Comprehensive Plan for the town of Cherry Valley has been completed and will be available for public viewing within the next week, with a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 26, according to Town Supervisor Tom Garrettson.

By law, the town is required to present the plan for public viewing 10 days prior to the hearing, Garrettson said. Residents will have the opportunity to view the plan at the Cherry Valley Library, the Gates Cole Insurance Office in Cherry Valley, the Cherry Valley Post Office and online at

(Click to read entire article)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Inconvenient truths about wind power

After attending a number of town meetings early last year about windfarm proposals, and reading portions of various Environmental Impact Statements, my wife and I concluded that the issues surrounding windfarms were far more complex than we had imagined and that we really did not understand them very well.

We shared this concern with some friends and neighbors and found that they had similar feelings. On a beautiful June after­noon we all came together to talk about what we might be able to learn if we worked together. We divided up the pertinent sec­tions of the DEIS for Windfarm Prattsburgh among the dozen or so participants with each agreeing to conduct some independent research and report on their findings. Since that first meeting many hundreds of hours of study and analysis have been carried out, and we have learned a great deal about the realities of com­mercial windfarms. It was with dismay that, time after time, we found that the claims made by the wind energy industry were either overstated or just plain false. Here is a summary of some of our findings.

Claim #1: wind will reduce reliance on foreign oil. The fact is that only 3 percent of our electricity is oil-generated, and much of that oil is domestically sourced. So, if wind were able to dis­place all of our oil-fired plants the impact would be less than 2 percent. However, since the unreliability of wind requires an equivalent amount of available conventional back-up capacity there would likely be no offset at all.

Claim #2: wind will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and slow global warming. With no reduction in fossil fuel usage (see above), there will be no reduction in C02 emissions. Regarding global warming, what if it turns out that C02 is only a minor factor in climate change? What if the current warming trend is being caused by natural cycles? This is perhaps the most signifi­cant of the inconvenient truths.

In September of 2005, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a non-profit non-partisan public policy research insti­tute, published a report entitled The Physical Evidence of Earth's Unstoppable 1,500-Year Climate Change". The author of this report, which can be found at, is S. Fred Singer, a well-credentialed environmental scientist. This report provides a wide range of clear and compelling evi­dence that climate change is not due to carbon dioxide emissions but that is a recurring natural cycle that is going to occur regardless of what we do.

Claim #3: wind energy is abundant, safe, clean and renew­able. First of all, wind energy is not abundant, at least in this area where winds tend to be light and variable. It is projected that useful electricity generated by turbines in the central Finger Lakes will be less than 10 percent of nameplate capacity. Regarding safety, there are a host of safety concerns associated with commercial windfarms. The one that we find most com­pelling is the potential adverse effect on the health of our citi­zens, particularly children and the elderly. There are also legiti­mate concerns regarding the effect of LFN on unborn children, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. Until more research is conducted it is not prudent to risk an increase hi fetal abnormalities or stillbirths. As responsible grandparents we would never permit our little ones to live anywhere near wind turbines. If these projects are built, we will not be living near them, we will be living among them.

Windfarms are a relatively clean source of power, but it takes about seven years for them to pay back for the pollution caused by turbine manufacture and windfarm construction. Wind is also a renewable source of energy, but since it does not displace other generating sources it adds no incremental value.

Claim #4: windfarms cause minimal harm to wildlife. The truth is that there have been no valid studies on the potential impact on wildlife. Studies paid for by the wind energy industry conclude, not surprisingly, that harm to wildlife is minimal. However, close examination of the study methodology and reported data shows that the studies are fatally flawed, and in many cases it looks as if the data was just made up. Developers have consistently refused to allow legitimate third party experts to conduct studies at existing windfarms because they really do not want to know just how significant the impact may be. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that stationery communication towers, on average, kill 1,000 birds, bats and raptors every year. It is logical to assume that the 500 turbines planned for this area will each kill a similar number or more. Of particular concern is our local bald eagle population (in DEC Region 8, there were 22 young bald eagles fledged this year). We have resident eagles that are seen daily over Naples, Prattsburgh, Italy, and Cohocton. The developers maintain that these majestic raptors do not exist.

Claim #5: wind power will reduce electricity costs. This is nonsense. Even the developers admit that wind power costs more than any other source. In Europe, which pioneered the production of wind power, one country after another is eliminat­ing wind subsidies because of the adverse effect expensive wind power was having on economic development. High electrical costs are one of the most serious barriers to economic develop­ment in Upstate New York Wind power will only raise those barriers.

Claim #6: wind power will promote economic development. The way that the wind projects are designed, there will be some positive economic value in the form of PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes), lease payments, and a small number of jobs. However, looking at the broader picture and drawing on studies from other areas it is our conclusion that the total economic impact will be decidedly negative. We estimated for Windfarm Prattsburgh that the net cost to the community over a 20-year operating life would be $141,000. The components of that loss are negative impacts on tourism and property values, avian mortality, resident health and safety costs, and unfunded decommissioning. Since there were some negative factors that could not be quantified we believe that our estimated loss is very conservative.

In addition to spending tens of millions in lobbying dollars, the wind industry has put together a very expensive and con­vincing marketing campaign that appeals to many noble motives of our citizenry. It really is a shame that much of what they claim does not pass objective review and analysis. For those hoping to make hundreds of millions in profits from the industrialization of our region, these certainly are inconvenient truths.

Brad and Linda Jones, Parish Hill, Naples

Monday, February 19, 2007

Cherry Valley Final Draft of Comprehensive Plan

State Supreme Court to hear Highland Co. wind energy case by By John Cramer

The Virginia Supreme Court will enter the national debate over wind energy for the first time this summer when it hears a challenge to the state's first proposed wind farm.

A lower court ruled in favor of the controversial Highland County project last year, but in an unusual step, the high court decided this week to hear the case directly rather than having it first reviewed by a three-judge panel.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in June. A ruling is expected in September.

The case is being watched nationwide by energy developers and conservationists as wind power expands from its traditional home in the West and Midwest to the Appalachian Mountains.

The dispute involves Virginia's first proposed industrial wind project -- 19 turbines along the West Virginia border -- and focuses on whether local land-use regulations were properly followed when Highland County officials approved it.

It's expected to set a precedent for procedures local governments use when considering wind projects.

"This case isn't about whether wind energy is bad or good," said David Bailey, a lawyer for the project's opponents. "It's a siting issue on the pristine ridges of one of the last, big undisturbed areas in Virginia. This is just the wrong place to put it."

John Flora, a lawyer who represents the project developer, Highland New Wind Development, could not be reached for comment.

In 2006, a Highland County District Court judge ruled that the Highland County Board of Supervisors followed proper procedure when it issued a conditional-use permit for the 400-foot-tall turbines. The judge also ruled that the project complies with the county's height ordinance and comprehensive plan.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments about those three issues.

Frank Maisano, a spokesman for Highland New Wind Development, said he is confident the lower court's rulings will be upheld.

"We hope the Supreme Court sends a strong message that frivolous lawsuits won't be accepted," he said.

On the regulatory front, a State Corporation Commission hearing examiner is expected to decide next month whether to issue a permit to build and operate the wind project.

Opponents say the turbines would kill birds and bats, harm tourism and ruin views while generating inconsistent energy that could power no more than a few thousand homes.

Supporters say the $60 million project could generate enough power for about 15,000 homes and about $200,000 in annual tax revenue to Highland County without harming the environment.

An idyll lost in turbines' humming by Jenna Russell

MARS HILL, Maine -- This year, when Steven and Tammie Fletcher took their traditional New Year's Eve walk to the top of Mars Hill, the crisp winter stillness mixed with something unfamiliar: the whoosh of the new windmills towering over the northern Maine mountaintop.

This is not how it was supposed to be, say the Fletchers and their neighbors on the north side of Mars Hill, where a 28-turbine wind farm, the largest yet built in New England, began operating in December.

Residents say that town officials and company representatives repeatedly assured them that the wind farm would be silent. Instead, they say, the windmills have disrupted their mountainside idyll. On days with low cloud cover, when the pulsing, rushing noise is loudest, wind farm neighbors say it can disrupt their sleep and drown out the rushing brook that was once the only sound here.

(Click to read entire article)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wind tower mishap snarls Route 1 traffic

High-tech wind power met old-fashioned road pavement Thursday as a truck hauling an 80-foot-long, 197,000-pound tube for a major power generation project in Mars Hill got stuck.

The driver's inability to make a turn from a road at Mack Point onto U.S. Route 1 resulted in the tube rolling off its trailer, damaging the road surface. Traffic was blocked for at least three miles.

About 50 tower sections resembling giant culverts 10 feet in diameter arrived by ship at Mack Point. They were put onto flat trailers designed for oversize loads.The sections are part of the $55 million Mars Hill Wind Farm project being developed by Evergreen Wind Power LLC.

At full capacity, the wind farm will generate 42 megawatts annually, enough to power 45,000 homes. At a more likely 35 percent production, it will provide electricity for 22,000 average Maine homes.

Evergreen Wind Power officials did not return telephone messages left Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, as the first truck climbed the hill on Trundy Road leading from Mack Point to Route 1, law enforcement officers and the town public works crew stopped traffic from both directions and redirected it around downtown Searsport.

The truck had planned a left turn, west toward Belfast, where the route would take the tower section to state Route 141 and eventually to Interstate 95, and finally to the Mars Hill area in Aroostook County.

Because of the angled turn, and utility poles on both sides of Trundy Road, the trucks were expected to do some forward-and-back maneuvering before getting onto Route 1. But before the driver could begin making the turn, the lower front portion of the trailer began scraping across the road surface, chewing up pavement and spilling the section onto the road.

Ben Tracy, a graphic designer for Hamilton Marine at the Trundy Road-Route 1 intersection, said the mishap got his and his co-workers' attention.

"We heard it. A bunch of us went down [to look at it]," he said Thursday afternoon.

A co-worker witnessed the first, failed attempt at a turn, Tracy said, and told his co-workers: "There's no way that's going to turn.

"Sure enough, the attempt failed, and the tower section rolled.

With the help of chains and giant payloaders from Sprague Energy, which operates the Mack Point port facilities, the tower section was put back onto the trailer, apparently none the worse for wear. The effort took several hours, though, Tracy said.

Further attempts at negotiating the turn, using different strategies and equipment, also failed, and the lead truck finally backed down Trundy Road and parked.

Another attempt is expected to be made today or Saturday.

The Mars Hill project is the first major wind power farm to be approved in Maine. When complete, it will be the largest such farm in New England.

Twenty-eight towers with turbines will rise 262 feet along the ridge of the mountain. Foundations for the towers already have been poured.

In the spring, the company unloaded 84 turbine blades manufactured in Brazil, each 125 feet long and weighing 15,000 pounds, from a ship at Mack Point. They were delivered by truck to Mars Hill.

The 82-foot-tall center and 98-foot-tall top tower sections, manufactured in Canada, were to be shipped by rail or truck to the Mars Hill site. The bottom sections are too wide at their base for rail shipment and so were brought by ship to Mack Point from a port on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The electrical generators, each weighing 60 tons, manufactured in Florida, were to be shipped by rail from Pensacola to Aroostook County.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Can Cohocton take this kind of excitement?

What is next? A hell-i-copter to ferry town officials !!!

Tilting at Wind Energy by William Tucker

And so an anti-windmill culture has arisen, also parading under the banner of environmentalism. They have names like "Windstop," "War Against Wind," "Vermonters With Vision," "Stop Ill Wind," "Save Our Allegheny Ridges," and "Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy." Most of them have now aggregated in Internet communities such as,, and (American Wind Energy Opposition).

"I started out a strong environmentalist supportive of alternate energy and concerned about global warming," says Jon Boone, a western Maryland resident who has become a prominent opponent of wind farms on the East Coast. "But the more I looked into it, the more I realized how insubstantial the claims of wind advocates have become."

(click to read entire article)

Comments on SDEIS Cohocton Wind Power Project by Brad Jones

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Town of Howard meeting rescheduled

Hello everyone,

I wanted to make sure you all knew that the Howard Town Board meeting that was scheduled for tonight was postponed until March 14, 2007. It was to be a very important one because it was Public Hearings for 3 very important local laws. Code of Ethics, Planning Board changes and The local Wind Energy Law, all of which will greatly impact the residents of the Town of Howard and even people within earshot and eyesight of Howard ( yes- all 3 in one night!). Everyone impacted should put it on their calendar now.


Donna Marmuscak

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

WSJ letter to the editor by Glenn Schleede

February 13, 2007

Editor, Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal’s February 12 article, “The New Math of Alternative Energy,” is deficient in many respects. Unlike its purported objective, the article does not provide a sound analysis of whether “going green” makes “economic sense.” The section on “wind energy,” for example, has four major deficiencies.

First, when attempting to compare the costs of electricity from various energy sources, the article fails to recognize that electricity produced from wind has less value than electricity produced from reliable generating units. Specifically:

a. Electricity must be produced at all times in the amounts required to meet customers’ demands because electricity cannot be stored in any appreciable amounts. In order to keep electric grids in balance in terms of supply and demand, grid managers must be able to control the output from generating units supplying the grid. Generating units subject to increased or decreased electricity production on command are called “dispatchable” units.

b. Wind turbines are not “dispatchable.” They produce electricity only when the wind is blowing within the right speed range. Their output is intermittent, volatile, and unreliable. Furthermore, wind turbines are most likely to produce at night and in winter when winds tend to be strongest – not on hot weekday summer afternoons in July and August when electricity demand is highest and electricity has its highest value.

c. Because wind turbines cannot be counted on to produce when electricity demand reaches its highest levels, they have virtually no “capacity value” to grid managers. Therefore, areas experiencing significant electricity demand growth will have to add reliable, dispatchable generating units whether or not they add wind turbines.

Second, the article purports to compare costs of electricity without acknowledging the full costs of electricity from wind. The article mentions only one of the huge federal tax breaks available to “wind farm” owners. There are many other tax breaks and subsidies. On a per kilowatt-hour basis, wind is probably now the most heavily subsidized of all energy sources for generating electricity. Hundreds of millions in tax breaks and subsidies are flowing to “wind farm” owners each year while, according to EIA, wind provided only 36/100 of 1% of US electricity in 2005 and is expected to provide only 89/100 of 1% of US electricity in 2030.

Wind advocates have publicly acknowledged that 2/3 of the economic value of a “wind farm” is from two generous federal tax breaks (i.e., Production Tax Credit and 5-yr 200% declining balance accelerated depreciation), and that tax breaks from some states may be worth another 10%. Subsidies worth additional millions to the wind industry include artificial markets created by state “Renewable Portfolio Standards” and “green energy” programs that permit “wind farm” owners to sell electricity at above market prices. Transmission lines built to serve “wind farms,” but with the costs charged to electric customers, are still another subsidy.

Still another part of the true cost of electricity from wind is the cost of keeping reliable generating units immediately available, but running at less than peak efficiency or in spinning reserve mode, to serve as backup for the intermittent, volatile output from wind turbines so that electric grids can be kept in balance.

Third, the article tacitly accepts spurious claims about the cost per kWh of electricity from wind that are made by the wind industry, IEA or EIA. Valid claims about cost per kWh require knowledge of (a) the capital costs of turbines and associated equipment, (b) the useful life of the wind turbines, (c) the amount of electricity that will be produced each year, and (d) the cost of operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing and decommissioning the “wind farms.”

Except for initial capital costs, all other factors used in estimating costs per kWh of electricity from wind are based on assumptions. In fact, unlike generating units using the “traditional” energy sources, none of the type of wind turbines now being installed have been in service long enough to have reliable track records of even 5 years.

Quite likely, the cost per kWh of electricity from wind cited in the article is based on an assumption that the wind turbines will have useful lives of 20 years. If, however, the useful life turns out to be 10 years rather than 20, only about half the expected number of kWh will have been produced. This means that the actual cost per kWh will be approximately twice the cost often claimed by wind advocates when they assume a 20-year useful life. Furthermore, “wind farm” owners will have less incentive to spend the money required to maintain wind turbines once the highly lucrative tax breaks run out (i.e., after 5 and 10 years), and costs of maintaining the aging turbines rise. Owners may even find it more advantageous to sell or abandon the turbines rather than spending the money needed to keep their performance from deteriorating.

Fourth, the article fails even to mention the adverse environmental, ecological, scenic and property value impacts of wind farms – all of which are key factors in the growing opposition to the construction of wind farms in the US – from Maine to Texas and Virginia to California and Washington – as well as in Europe.

Wall Street Journal readers deserve a higher quality of current research, objective analysis and discernment than is reflected in the “New Math” article.


Glenn R. Schleede
18220 Turnberry Drive
Round Hill, VA 20141-2574

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Turbine, power-line proposals connected by Andy McEvoy

The manner in which the citizens, politicians, business owners and residents of Oneida and Herkimer counties have organized to put a stop to the proposed New York Regional Interconnect transmission line has been inspiring.

Anytime a for-profit company wants to disrupt people's lives, take their property or cause pain and suffering in the course of its business, the people should pull together and fight it. Any revenue gained from such businesses should be recognized as "blood money." This should be stopped at the state and federal levels.

Not far away, in the towns of Fairfield and Norway, Atlantic Wind LLC has proposed an industrial wind turbine facility consisting of 60 to 70 wind turbines almost 400 feet tall, about three times the height of a power line tower. They estimate the projects nameplate capacity will be about 120 megawatts, (nameplate capacity is the power a turbine could produce under maximum-wind conditions) a very misleading number.

(click to read entire article)

No, President Bush did NOT state that wind could supply 20% of US Electricity

While officials in the US DOE spend millions of tax dollars each year to help the wind industry and pay for lobbying on behalf of wind industry projects, President Bush’s statements about wind energy seem to have become more measured. Perhaps White House and Executive Office of the President staff have cautioned him not to believe the claims from DOE and other wind advocates and to recognize the truly tiny role that wind energy will be able to play in supplying US energy requirements – and even that at great cost to taxpayers and electric customers.

(click to read entire article)

Some Towns Not Listening On Wind by Stephen Berg

Moresville Energy Center in Stamford (fronting for Invenergy LLC), encouraging placing industrial wind turbines, or IWTs, in the Catskills, is running advertisements promoting these 420-foot monsters as opportunities for children to experience "a cleaner tomorrow."

Its incentive comes from indecisiveness by town supervisors hesitating, even though their citizens have spoken out against IWTs.

One supervisor stands out against a sea of poor leadership and courage: Tom Garretson of Cherry Valley. The Freeman’s Journal in Cooperstown, applauding Mr. Garretson’s efforts against Reunion Power, wrote: "A freshman town supervisor, he firmly and courteously followed the logic of facts in the face of resistance from his family, his political mentor and longtime friends and associates."

(click to read entire article)

"Our purpose is to project potential noise into the community,"

UPC Group, backed by almost $1.8 billion in European financing, is nearing completion of a wind energy facility on Mars Hill, Maine. But the noise complaints have already begun, with just a few of the turbines operating. The Public Service Board hearings for UPC's project in Sheffield, Vt., is currently in progress. From the Barton (Vt.) Chronicle, February 1, 2007 (click the title of this post):
Until now the issue of noise, which some believe should be included in an aesthetic assessment [which has been a farce of denial, self-rationalization, andd dismissal of local sensibilities -- Ed.] has been relegated to studies from competing experts, who often challenge one another's methodology.

But last week, as complaints about turbine noise begins to surface from places like Mars Hill, Maine, where a UPC wind farm recently went on line, a debate has started to shape up over how much weight the board should give tests that measure noise.

On the stand testifying as a panel for UPC were sound experts Chris Menge and Chris Bejedke. They testified that tests they conducted in the area indicated that turbine noises would not have an adverse effect on the community.

"Our purpose is to project potential noise into the community," noted Mr. Menge.

Under the revised layout that cut the original project from 26 turbines to 16, Mr. Bejedke testified that although the new Clipper turbines are bigger, they will produce less noise on the order of one to two decibels. Testimony from the panel also indicated that noise levels would come well under existing Environmental Protection Agency standards. And at high wind speed, according to their testimony, the noise of wind through the trees would tend to mask the noise from the turbines.
[Three decibels is generally described as the smallest difference detectable by human ears in normal conditions, so "one to decibels" will hardly make a difference, especially since being taller the Clipper turbines will project their noise farther.]
Yet, under cross examination from Sutton's attorney, Mr. Hershenson, the panel acknowledged that noise complaints have surfaced in other host communities despite test results. Displaying an article written by Mr. Bejedke that appeared in a trade magazine, North American Wind Power, Mr. Hershenson cited passages showing that complaints over noise began airing as soon as the turbines came on line.

In Lincoln, Wisconsin, for example, the attorney noted that complaints surfaced even when the noise levels were in compliance with the permit. As a result, he added, a moratorium had been imposed throughout the county on wind farms.

Vermont has no standards for noise studies, but according to testimony, a Massachusetts public agency uses as a cap ten decibels over the measured background noise. [Emphasis added] No permit is awarded if the noise exceeds the cap.
[An increase of ten decibels is perceived to be a doubling of the noise level. It has been stated that community concerns generally begin around an increase of six decibels.]
Mr. Hershenson argued there are numerous locations in the Sheffield project where turbine noise would exceed the ten-decibel cap. That was an assertion that Mr. Bejedke rejected.

Argument Monday suggested there may be a bias at work when background samples are collected in rural areas that are quiet.

Most of the complaints at the Lincoln wind farm came during the night. According to expert testimony on the Sheffield project, none of the studies was conducted at night. Mr. Bejedke testified that most of the samplings were collected between 8:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.

However, Mr. Menge contended that if there were a bias, it would work against wind farms. Quiet background noises at night in the country, he said, "would require the wind turbines to be practically silent."
[Exactly! Not only is it quieter at night, sound typically carries farther. Wind turbines don't care if you're trying to sleep. In Oregon, the 10-dB limit was modified to use urban noise levels instead of those of the actual (i.e., rural) site -- this was done at the behest of wind developers, who, as Menge concedes, know that giant moving machines in a rural area will be distinctly, intrusively, and disruptively noisy. So, as with the "issue" of aesthetics, change the law when reality is in the way.]

Pitched as source of clean energy, ranchers say mills are an eyesore by THOMAS KOROSEC

JACKSBORO — The wind rustling the oak trees on the Squaw Mountain Ranch soon may be its undoing as a starkly empty, unspoiled corner of North Texas.

Riding the boom that last year pushed Texas past California as the nation's leading wind energy producer, a wind power company wants to scatter 100 turbines across an area roughly nine miles long and two miles wide, with at least a dozen of the 250-foot towers on the ranch.

"I'm not interested in having blinking red lights causing the Milky Way not to be as bright or to hear them when now I hear nothing up here except the sounds of nature," said ranch manager Dan Stephenson, explaining why the ranch declined to lease land for the project and objects to its neighbors leasing as well.

(click to read entire article)

Yes! Wind has it all wrong by Karl Palmiter

Is protecting your home and property from huge financial loss so a large neighboring landowner can make huge financial gains selfish? Yes! Wind thinks so!

Is protecting the wild animals, both big and small, like the bald eagles that are just starting to make a comeback from mans use of poisons from years ago, is that selfish? Yes! Wind thinks so!

Is protecting the very landscape that was zoned agricultural to keep our natural land from industry that would destroy it so it would be here for our great great grandchildren selfish? Yes! Wind thinks so!

Yes! Wind feels sacrifices have to be made as long as someone else is making them. Yes! Wind severely twists and distorts facts to fit their own agenda. Yes! Wind is a group of people trying to get those that are truly protecting the environment pushed out and industry in, not Global Warming, Not for the Environment, just for the all mighty Buck!

CWW is very much for Clean Safe Energy! We just are not gullible. Our homes and the environment are very sacred to us. We’ve done the research, research that proves wind farms are not reliable; they are very inefficient, that they pollute our environment from the start of putting concrete and re-rod into the ground. Wind Developers and their wind turbines are fraudulent! These turbines actually use power from the grid to turn those blades when the wind is not strong enough. That’s to give people like Yes! Wind the perception that they are producing power.

UPC Public Outreach Coordinator, Rick Towner, lies to people. He claims he will have the Lent Hill view of Wolcott’s farm for the next 20 years. He actually lives down in a valley, 1 ½ miles away from that view, he won’t see anything, but I sure hope he’ll hear them for the next 20 years. He misleads people by saying they might get free electric and that their taxes will go down. He’s even got some people convinced that the majority of people in the town of Cohocton are for this project. Even the Town Board knows better than that, which is why they won’t allow a vote.

Yes! Wind people say a person should be able to do what they want with their property, I suppose you supporters of wind turbines in town wouldn’t have a problem with your neighbors raising pigs, goats, maybe chickens and roosters, or maybe your neighbor putting up a 30’ privacy fence.

I do believe that’s why zoning laws were developed, to protect you from an inconsiderate, intrusive neighbor. Zoning laws to protect residential areas from commercial development and agricultural land from Industry.

UPC sold this scam to the people at Mars Hill in Maine, their town board apparently went for it hook line and sinker also. Now, the project is almost complete, and some turbines powered up and residents are thinking, oh my gosh what did we get ourselves into. The noise they were told wouldn’t be an issue at 40-45dbs, seems to be a BIG problem now. Cohocton Board is allowing 50-55dbs, so who is protecting the town of Cohocton, it sure is NOT our Town Board.

Karl Palmiter

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's Free, Plentiful and Fickle by Matthew Wald

Wind, almost everybody’s best hope for big supplies of clean, affordable electricity, is turning out to have complications.

Engineers have cut the price of electricity derived from wind by about 80 percent in the last 20 years, setting up this renewable technology for a major share of the electricity market. But for all its promise, wind also generates a big problem: because it is unpredictable and often fails to blow when electricity is most needed, wind is not reliable enough to assure supplies for an electric grid that must be prepared to deliver power to everybody who wants it — even when it is in greatest demand.

In Texas, as in many other parts of the country, power companies are scrambling to build generating stations to meet growing peak demands, generally driven by air-conditioning for new homes and businesses. But power plants that run on coal or gas must “be built along with every megawatt of wind capacity,” said William Bojorquez, director of system planning at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

(click to read entire article)

Debate Over Wind Power Creates Environmental Rift by FELICITY BARRINGER

OAKLAND, Md. — Dan Boone has no doubt that his crusade against wind energy is the right way to protect the Allegheny highlands he loves. Let other environmentalists call him deluded at best, traitorous at worst. He remains undeterred.

For four years or more, Mr. Boone has traveled across the mid-Atlantic to make every argument he can muster against local wind-power projects: they kill birds and bats; they are too noisy; they are inefficient, making no more than a symbolic contribution to energy needs.

Wind farms on the empty prairies of North Dakota? Fine. But not, Mr. Boone insists, in the mountainous terrain of southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland or West Virginia, areas where 15 new projects have been proposed. If all were built, 750 to 1,000 giant turbines would line the hilltops, most producing, on average, enough electricity to power 600 homes.

(click to read the entire article)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bovina wind survey finds concern by Dana Cudmore

The results of a survey on wind power by the town of Bovina released Monday night indicated most residents were concerned about turbines.

The survey, conducted in January, contacted all 870 of Bovina’s residents and asked for opinions on dozens of topics related to wind-power generation.

A survey last fall by the Alliance For Bovina, opponents of large wind turbines, asked two questions in a yes-or-no format.

Those results showed more than 80 percent of the town’s residents opposed the large, industrial turbines.

While the town survey’s results were less clearly defined, "a majority of people are concerned about wind turbines," Councilman Randall Inman said.

Like other Delaware County towns, Bovina officials are wrestling with a variety of issues and opinions as they consider laws to regulate wind-power generation for individual or industrial use.

There are no specific proposals for wind turbines in Bovina, but Chicago-based Invenergy has proposed a line of them along a ridge line between the town and its neighbor to the northwest, the town of Stamford.

Alliance members on Monday criticized the newly released survey commissioned by the town as "biased, confusing, and misleading."

But the town’s consultant, Tom Shepstone, called the survey "a pretty reliable instrument" that showed "a lot more agreement than disagreement" on the wind-turbine issue.

Attempts to contact town Supervisor Tina Mole by telephone Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Asked in the survey if wind farms would be an asset or a liability to the area, 387 said they would be a liability, while 115 said wind farms would be an asset.

The three-page town survey also asked residents if there were benefits to wind power and how strong their concerns were on several issues including impact on the landscape and noise.

Larry Karam, co-director of the alliance, said the town survey’s "confusing and biased nature makes it a disaster."

"It should be rescinded," he said. A petition created by the alliance has been posted on the group’s website, and Karam said 380 Bovina taxpayers and voters have signed it to protest the town survey.

Both surveys were expected to have reached all of the town’s taxpayers and voters, and both received a response rate of greater than 60 percent.

Both surveys show residents are mostly ambivalent toward smaller wind turbines, such as those that might be suitable for farm use, for example.

The alliance supports turbines that are 125 feet in height or less.

UPC pattern of business conduct - Is this the Public Good?

Docket No. 7156

Petition of UPC Vermont Wind, LLC, for a Certificate of Public Good, pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248, authorizing the construction and operation of a 52 MW wind electric generation facility, consisting of 26 wind turbines, and associated transmission and interconnection facilities, in Sheffield and Sutton, Vermont

Docket No. 6884

Petition of UPC Wind Management LLC for a Certificateof Public Good Pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248(j) forInstallation of Three Temporary Wind MeasurementTowers on or in the Vicinity of Hardscrabble Mountain in Sheffield, Vermont

LURC commissioners upheld rule of law

Congratulations to LURC commissioners for upholding the rule of law in their rejection of the proposed wind energy complex on Redington and Black Nubble mountains.

The Land Use Regulation Commission was created three and a half decades ago to keep the wild places in Maine wild. The law says new developments must “fit harmoniously into the existing natural environment.” There is no exemption for wind power.

It’s hard to imagine a site more in violation of the clear language of the statute. Or for that matter, what wouldn’t comply if this industrial complex should somehow be upheld by the courts as permissible. The proposal envisioned 30 four-hundred-foot-high, lighted turbines, some located just a mile from a 2,000 mile long national scenic trail.

To suggest as many have done that commissioners violated the law is absurd. The representative of the Attorney General’s Department at the decision meeting tried to be polite to the LURC staff, but his essential message was that it would have been extremely difficult and perhaps impossible to sustain the staff recommendation for approval should it be challenged in the courts. His comments essentially said that the staff was wrong when it claimed in news reports that the Attorney General staff had given it’s okay to the draft.

A key opponent of the project was the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, a tiny organization dedicated to protecting the trail from encroachment. MATC hired the lead opposition lawyer and paid the technical experts, investing, with help from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, $180,000 of scarce funds to oppose the wind energy application…

MATC members clear the blow downs, bridge the bogs, and cut the brush that make the Maine section of the trail the envy of trail clubs up and down the Appalachian mountains. These are not wealthy, elitist, NIMBYs. No volunteer group in Maine does more hard, on the ground work. Last year 200 MATC members contributed 20,000 hours of volunteer work on behalf of the trail. Each of the several votes by these people who know the trail best has been unanimous in opposition.

Pamela Underhill, director of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, said it most eloquently, telling LURC commissioners:

“I’m here because protection of this unusual and wonder-inspiring unit of our national park system matters deeply to me, to the National Park Service and to millions of Americans. I’m here because… it is a national treasure of immense proportion, and it is a gift to the American people – past, present and future – from the American people.”

She added, “The concerns of the National Park Service over the proposed Redington wind farm are based solely upon its location adjacent to one of the most remote and scenic sections of the Appalachian Trail. The National Park Service supports the development of renewable energy in appropriate locations with appropriate environmental protections. We have not opposed some half dozen proposed wind farms in some proximity to the Trail in locations where special Trail values would not be compromised.”

MATC also is not opposed to wind energy. Members voted just this month not to oppose the Kibby Mountain wind power proposal, though this project also would be visible from the trail. Why? Members recognized, rightly, that there is a vast difference between an in-your-face industrial development on ridges abutting the narrow trail corridor, and proposals involving distant ridges.

Global warming is a real threat that this country must somehow recognize and combat. But a token wind project adjacent to the 2000-mile Appalachian Trail is not the place to start. The many miles along the open Saddleback ridge line and north through the twin Crocker Mountains rank among the wildest sections of the entire trail. The Redington/Black Nubble proposal would reverse that happy situation. The trail would overnight become among the most developed sections.

There are many ways to combat global warming. The most critical is conservation. No amount of wind energy will be sufficient. We must somehow reduce our wasteful ways. The true NIMBYs are not those that would protect a national treasure. Rather they are those who are too lazy and selfish to make the slight effort needed to conserve. The NIMBYs are those who grasp at any excuse to maintain their effortless comfort.

Please remember, that it is still not necessary to destroy the last wild places in order to save our planet.

Bob Cummings
Phippsburg, Maine

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Golisano Firm Touts Wind Power In Chautauqua Co

Thursday, November 9, 2006 09:14 AM - WBEN Newsroom

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A company bankrolled by Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano met with residents in Westfield Wednesday night to present an overview of the ways wind farms could fuel economic dreams there.

At the invitation of Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Golisano's Empire State Wind Energy Co. unveiled themeselves to the public as a possible developer of southern tier windmills.
To hear more from the meeting, click on the audio link above for a report from WBEN's Steve Cichon

Golisano helps push new wind energy plan

Jan. 9--The Lake Ontario Town of Somerset, which passed two laws governing windmills last year, will hear about an unusual kind of wind energy proposal tonight.

Sabres owner Tom Golisano is one of the founders of Empire State Wind Energy, whose business model calls for cooperation with the host community, which would have the opportunity to eventually take control of the wind turbines.

We're in the business to make some money, but our objective and our focus does not revolve around that," said Keith Pitman, a co-founder and president and chief executive officer.

"The gist of what we're trying to do is capture that money that is made in the future [from wind-generated power production] and give as much as possible to the communities that host our projects."

Empire State Wind Energy proposes to do that by accepting the large up-front costs of developing a windmill -- typically $2 million to $3 million to build and install -- and entering into profit-sharing agreements with host communities once they are up and running.

Golisano originally opposed wind power, but Pitman said Golisano's opinion evolved.

"There was a lot of money we're going to be investing, a lot of the landscape that would be changed, yet what was anyone in this area going to have to show for it"" Pitman said.

That evolution was one of the reasons Golisano helped found the company, he said.

"Instead of simply complaining [about out-of-state involvement], he decided to invest in it and promote a solution."

Pitman said there are a few differences between his plan and others.

One, he said, is that the up-front costs are being assumed by a state company, and the ultimate benefits will be enjoyed by state residents.

Secondly, host towns would have the opportunity to take control of the projects. And third, host communities are involved from the beginning.

"It's always been [with other developers], "Here's my project, now will you approve it"' instead of "What project would you like to host in your community"' " he said.

Pitman's presentation is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 8700 Haight Road.

International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise

Description: 2nd International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise, to be held in Lyon, France on 20-22 September 2007.

This is the mailing list for this conference and is open for anyone to join. However only the organisers and moderators can post to this list.

A Problem With Wind Power by Eric Rosenbloom

Wind power promises a clean and free source of electricity. It will reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce the output of greenhouse gases and other pollution. Many governments are therefore promoting the construction of vast wind "farms," encouraging private companies with generous subsidies and regulatory support, requiring utilities to buy from them, and setting up markets for the trade of "green credits" in addition to actual energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) aims to see 5% of our electricity produced by wind turbine in 2010. Energy companies are eagerly investing in wind power, finding the arrangement quite profitable. A little research, however, reveals that wind power does not in fact live up to the claims made by its advocates [see part I], that its impact on the environment and people's lives is far from benign [see part II], and that with such a poor record and prospect the money spent on it could be much more effectively directed [see part III]. Links to aid the reader's own research are provided throughout this paper as well as at the end [see Links; off-site links will open to a new window]. Click here for an abbreviated version of this paper. Click here for an even briefer version (a handy model for letters). This paper is also available as a 7-page typeset PDF file (156 KB) -- click here.

Problems associated with wind turbines by Mr. Monfils, Lincoln Town Board Chairman

To Whom It May Concern:

One lesson learned from our experience with the process of the request for locating wind turbines in the Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County, was never to assume that what the Utilities or their private supporters tell you about the project is accurate. They put out information, which was beneficial to them and the project and downright wrong.

When dealing with the utilities or private companies, try to deal with one or two persons in charge. This avoids having to repeat your concerns and helps to avoid problems about who said what and who promised this or that about your concerns about the project. Get their promises in writing with guarantees about what they are promising. If their promises are not met, written penalties of appropriate, but substantial size must be provided and enforced. Written conditions and penalties are mandatory if you plan to accept the wind farm project.

Problems that are of strong concern, and problems that we had warned the utilities about but were assured that they would not occur are as follows: interference with T V reception, Microwave reception interference, depreciating property values, flashing red lights (FAA) interfering with nearby homes, wind turbine NOISE which interferes with neighbors sleep and their mental health, increased traffic, road damage, cattle being scared from rotating shadows cascading from the blades in a setting sun, rotating shadows in nearby homes, concerns about stray voltage, concerns about increased lightening strikes, environmental damage to birds, etc. etc. etc. But the proponents for wind energy will dismiss all of these concerns and tell you that they will not occur. THEY ARE WRONG. Ask the neighbors who are not property owners reimbursed by the utilities through lease agreements on their property or people who want to lease in the future. They will verify these problems.

If a town has zoning, establish written conditions with penalties to ensure that the utilities and companies follow the regulations of the local town zoning. Also, look into the establishment of a moratorium on the project so more time can be used to collect or research information about the concerns voiced in areas like Kewaunee County. These concerns are about the public health and safety of our residents and this grand idea of "sticking" these huge towers in near by residents is not a proven success story. It's a trial by ERROR! Only time will tell what the effects of this "EXPERIMENT" will be. This is especially true with the issues of noise, its effect on the neighbors, their mental health related to the noise and its disturbance, the effect of stray voltage on the nearby cattle, as well as other safety issues. Other concerns like the distractions of drivers from the rotating blades, increased lightening strikes in the areas of the towers (not to the towers directly because they are grounded), and other public health and safety issues need to be analyzed on into the future.

Once again, let me stress the importance of taking your time and asking the questions and researching the answers. Forget about deadlines, don't be intimidated by the attorneys of the utilities, their deadlines are their problem and don't make them yours. Once the turbines are up and operating the wind turbine noise will be there. It will not be constant and it may not be above the decibel level that they establish as a maximum, but it will be irritating, at any time of day or night and will vary in its intensity with the wind direction and speed. It violates the very basis of what a zoning ordinance is meant to protect - the welfare of the people who already live in that community. The responsibility of your zoning board and your town board is to protect the residents of your community. Further, these elected or appointed people are supposed to represent the will of the people. You the electorate must demand no less than that, and the town board and the zoning board must vote accordingly.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Pentagon's Cautious Tilt On Windmills - Washington Post January 29, 2007

Excerpts from "77w Effect of Windmill Farms on Military Readiness,*a report to congression­al defense committees from the of­fice of the director of defense re­search and engineering:

The Department of Defense strongly supports the development of renewable energy sources and is a recognized leader in the use of wind energy. As one of the largest consum­ers of energy, the Department is keenly aware of the budgetary pres­sures that recent increases in the cost of energy have created for all Amer­icans and continues to invest in the development of alternative energy sources. However, the Department is also mindful of its responsibility to Bigmtem its capabilities to defend the nation.

Consequently, the Department, as a result of this study, makes the fol­lowing conclusions and recommen­dations regarding the challenges and areas for further attention, in coordi­nation with other Federal agencies, to allow for construction of wind tur­bines while maintaining defense readiness capabilities:...

• Wind turbines in close proximity tomilitary training, testing, and devel­opment sites and ranges can adverse­ly impact the "train and equip" mis­sion of the Department. Existingprocesses to include engagementwith local and regional planningboards and development approval au­thorities should be employed to miti­gate such potential impacts.

• Wind turbines located in closeproximity to Comprehensive lestBan Treaty monitoring sites can ad­versely impact their ability to per­form this mission by increasing ambi­ent seismic noise levels. Appropriateoffset distance criteria should be de­veloped to mitigate such potentialimpacts....

•The National Weather Service (NWS) has the primary responsibili­ty to provide accurate weather fore­casting services for the nation. The Department defers to the NWS re-- garding identification of impacts wind farms may have on weather ra­dars and development of appropriate mitigation measures. The Depart­ment stands prepared to work with the NWS in this area on NWS identi­fied mitigation measures that have the potential to benefit Department systems....

Howard New York Informational meeting on Windfarms

Howard meeting - February 7, 2007 7:00 PM at Howard Community Center

Saturday, February 03, 2007


It has now been publicly acknowledged that the Bishop Wind Farm has been laid to rest (hopefully perpetual rest). A suitable monument would be welcome in any Town's historic cemeteries. This huge threat to our environment has been at least temporally defeated. However, the fact that a major battle has been won is ho guarantee that the this war is over.

SPC is committed to continued vigilance, but most importantly, we wish to thank all those who offered moral and financial support, attending critical meetings and Town Board Public Hearings, put signs in their yard, wrote letters and voted for a write in candidate, who probably would have been elected except for gross irregularities at the polls. THANK YOU.

Clearly, no thanks are due to the three members of the Town Board who turned a deaf ear to hundreds of Town property owners, in spite of majority opposition to the proposed wind factory. In the future, we hope the Town Board would be more responsive to town residents.

In the process of taking on the wind farm issue, SPG could not avoid running into a number of blatantly obvious problems in our community; lack of enforcement of the few local laws that exist; lack of any long term planning, vacant and unboarded buildings; lack of maintenance of Town owned property; lack of communication with citizens by the Town Supervisor, to name some of the obvious.

SPC will continue to remain ready to fight any new wind factory proposals. In the interim we will attempt to address other issues to the best of our ability. We know not everyone will agree on everything, but believe that if all work together, Springwater can improve; that we can be an even better place to live and a stronger, vibrant community, but it will not happen without citizen involvement.

P.O. BOX 128,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Construction of a wind energy facility on Mars Hill, Maine, a UPC project

Reply to letter from UPC Vermont Wind

Around Halloween, Leila LaRosa, the local face for UPC Vermont Wind, sent a letter to Sheffield and Sutton residents. UPC wants to erect 16 420-feet-high wind turbines, their blades each sweeping a vertical area of 1.9 acres, on ridges between Sutton and Sheffield and overlooking Crystal Lake in Barton. The letter was an attempt to refute worries about such industrialization of otherwise protected ridges and to assert that the project's value is worth the sacrifice.

"They ... ARE effective and they DO reduce our dependence on oil, gas and fossil uels.

"Effective? The only measure of success the industry presents is that they are built. They have never been able to show that wind energy on the grid actually reduces the use of other fuels. This is not surprising, because the variable, intermittent, and unpredictable wind energy only makes the rest of the grid work harder to balance it.

The letter insists that UPC will not limit access to the project area. They need to publicize the leases if anyone is to believe them. All the leases I've seen are indeed restrictive and make the landowner a caretaker to the wind company's control of the land.

The letter takes issue with the charge that miles of new roads will have to be built by saying that, yes, miles, of new roads will have to be built: 5.5 miles of them. These won't be logging tracks but heavy-duty roads that can bear 50- or 60-ton loads and accomodate 160-ft trailers. What will be the effect on the watershed? Flooding and erosion are likely. "Revegetation" is far from restoration, and in fact the roads would have to be kept usable for delivering new rotor blades and gearboxes, which fail quite frequently.

On taxpayer subsidies, The letter cites (very incorrectly) only one subsidy, the 1.9-cent per kWh production tax credit. There are also 5-year double declining accelerated depreciation and the ratepayer-supported market for renewable energy credits. In all, federal subsidies generally cover two-thirds of the developer's cost, and state subsidies may cover another 10%. Crucially, the subsidies do not require evidence of a reduction of other fuels, that is, an actual benefit to justify moving so much public money into private bank accounts.

As for the humble UPC company, who are its investors? What is their connection to the UPC Group of Italy?

On problems from low-frequency noise generated by giant wind turbines, the letter is exactly backwards. It is the denial of problems that is being challenged by the scientific community. The U.K. Noise Association and the French Academy of Medicine recommend that large wind turbines be no closer than one mile from any residence.

In addition, the audible noise will be at an unacceptable level for a rural environment. And the noise won't stop at night, when it will be carried farther.

At the same time that the letter tries to deny such negative impacts, it tries to divert attention to worse problems with other sources of energy, such as coal and nuclear. Nobody denies those serious problems. But it is a wind facility being proposed for Sheffield and Sutton. And wind energy does not reduce the use of other sources. It is not a choice between wind and something worse. Wind's negatives simply add to the negatives we already live with, and none are reduced.

UPC admonishes the people protecting their communities from a massive building project of doubtful value and obvious costs for "spreading misinformation." Again, they have it backwards. Misinformation is UPC's game.

Response to claims made by UPC Wind Partners by Eric Rosenbloom

UPC, the company proposing 26 400-foot-high wind energy machines in Sheffield and Sutton -- despite substantial opposition -- took out a full-page ad in the July 1 Caledonian-Record (page B4). This was in reponse to the 48 people that were not employees of UPC who testified at the June 26 Public Service Board hearing in Sutton -- all of them describing the project's many negative impacts and its lack of significant benefits. UPC's ad quotes Abraham Lincoln that a dog still has four legs even if you call the tail a leg. They then proceed to argue that the tail of their dog is indeed a leg. But, as Bill Clinton used to say, that dog don't hunt.

1. The Sheffield/Sutton wind energy facility will not help Vermont meet its energy needs. One third of the time, it will produce no energy at all. Another third of the time, it will produce at a rate well below its already low annual average of 20-30% of capacity. The largely unpredictable variability is in response to the wind rather than user demand. It is therefore mostly useless for meeting our energy needs.

2. Wind energy does not make the air cleaner. Because it is so variable, it does not displace the use of other fuels. Because it adds to the balancing burden on other sources, wind energy may even cause more pollution. No promoter has been able to show any evidence of reduced greenhouse gas emissions due to wind energy on the grid.

3. Property values and the tourist economy will obviously be affected. Twenty-six 420-ft-high machines -- turning, strobe-lit, and wump-wumping night and day -- are hard to ignore. A significant proportion of people with a choice will obviously buy or visit elsewhere. Every effort the industry has made to design surveys to show otherwise has been easily deflated.

4. Noisier than you think. Noise is the most common complaint from neighbors of giant wind turbines. It is an unnatural noise, compounded by a resonant aspect that can rattle windows and make some people ill. The noise is usually worse at night. While denying its significance, wind developers try to pay neighbors to sign "forbearance easements" to squelch complaints.

5. Green credits don't mean anything. The logic of renewable energy credits is sound for a more reliable source of energy. But wind does not displace other sources, so the companies are taking advantage of the extra revenue stream without having to show any actual benefit in return. There is no "New England 'green credits' program" as the UPC ad claims. Several states have renewable portfolio standards, whose requirements are met by showing green credits, but UPC can sell green credits, or tags, to anyone, anywhere. Vermont is, however, part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is indeed a "cap and trade" system. If the Sheffield/Sutton facility would not be involved in it, as UPC and Washington Electric Co-op insist, that's because it would have no measurable effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

6. Who gets the big subsidies? UPC cites only one minor source of the many subsidies for industrial-scale wind energy. The industry's own seminars describe how taxpayers can pay for two-thirds to three-fourths of the cost of erecting giant wind turbines. That's potentially several million dollars per machine. It is true that other energy sources are also heavily subsidized. Other sources, however, unlike big wind, provide useful energy.

7. UPC Wind Partners is a subsidiary of UPC Group, which is based in Italy. UPC Group was established by New Englanders, but in Italy. This dog of a project doesn't even bark convincingly. The Sheffield/Sutton project is, like all industrial wind facilities, a boondoggle whose only success will be the transfer of public money to private investors. The promoters cannot show any evidence to back up their claim of reducing greenhouse gases and pollution. That is the empty hat they are desperate to fill with full-page ads proclaiming "the truth." But their arguments are as puffs of air and don't have a leg to stand on.

Also see reply to letter from UPC, Nov. 2006 and clearance and construction at UPC's Mars Hill project.

Construction on Mars Hill, Maine

The tower height of these GE models is 262 feet, so it appears that the flat circle is at least 270 feet across -- almost the length of a football field -- or about 1.3 acres. The cut-and-filled area looks like another 3 times that, so the total physical footprint -- not counting the roads, transmission line rights of ways, and substation -- is at least 5 acres. This is repeated every 750 feet (about 7 per mile). The loss of interior forest habitat extends 250 feet farther from the edges, for a total loss of about 20 acres.

The loss of absorptive ground cover and the effects of roads is likely to cause severe run-off problems, including the silting up of brooks, a lowering of the water table, and even alteration of underground water flow -- serious problems where most people rely on wells for their water.

And that's just the surface. There's dozens of tons of concrete and rebar underneath the each tower, and, according to an Oct. 28, 2006, article in the Bangor Daily News, for the dozens of 2-1/2" rock anchor bolts holding the base of the tower "workers drilled 45 feet into the ground, made sure they had hit bedrock, grouted the bolts into the ledge, and then made sure they could withstand about 400,000 pounds of force."

The Mars Hill machines have a maximum generating capacity of 1.5 MW and a total height of 328 feet. The possible Clipper models now proposed for Sheffield and Sutton have a capacity of 2.5 MW and a total height of 418 feet. That means they will need even more space and more anchoring.

More pictures of Mars Hill can be seen at National Wind Watch.
Documentation of the destruction of Cefn Croes in Wales is also available.

Clipper Windpower Announces Sale of 200 MW of Liberty Wind Turbines To UPC Wind For Delivery In 2008

CARPINTERIA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) October 18, 2006 -- Clipper Windpower Plc today announced that it has completed a sales agreement with a subsidiary of UPC Wind for the supply of 200 MW of Clipper wind turbines to be delivered in 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, Clipper will deliver 80 of the company’s 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbines including wind turbine installation supervision, and provide operations and maintenance services for a period of five years.

(click to read entrire article)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fenner Blade Failure January 28, 2007

"The photo is taken at Fenner Wind Farm on Sunday, January 28th at 2 p.m. Unfortunately it was snowing and visibility was bad. Half the wind turbines were turning, the rest were not. The only thing that drew my attention to the site was the crane. As I looked closer, the blade at 6 o'clock is sheared off, what appears to be either material failure, lightening, I don't know."

Nothing of this has been reported through web-based news sources. We do not know how far the broken piece was thrown from the turbine.

This image is remarkable similar to the Searsburg blade break which occurred in Spring 2006 during the severe wind storm in New England/New York. A photo can be found at

Anti-wind groups cry foul by KRISTYN ECOCHARD

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The American Wind Energy Association recently predicted large increases in wind-power capacity in its 2007 outlook, but industry buzz doesn't faze the many staunch wind opponents.

Groups like National Wind Watch, Stop Ill Wind, War Against Wind, We Oppose Wind Farms, Industrial Wind Energy Opposition and many others in the United States and internationally are trying to get their message out about the negative aspects and effects of wind energy.

(click to read entire article)

Click on link to submit your SEC complaint on the
First Wind Holdings Inc. IPO public offering

TEN Reasons
Why the SEC should not allow First Wind to be listed on NASDAQ

First Wind Holdings Inc. 12/22/09 SEC S1/A IPO Filing

First Wind Holdings Inc. 7/31/08 SEC S1 IPO Filing

May 14, 2010 addition to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

August 18, 2010 amendment 7 to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

October 13, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

New October 25, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

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