Wednesday, December 28, 2011

£10m cost of turning off wind farms

The rules meant that some renewable energy companies were paid more to switch off their turbines than they would have received from ordinary operations

Official figures disclosed that 17 operators were paid almost £7 million for shutting down their farms on almost 40 ­occasions between January and mid-September. Continuing to make payments at that rate would lead to householders paying out £9.9 million in 2011 for operators to disconnect their turbines from the National Grid.

The scale of the payments triggered a review of the rules on so-called constraint payments. The payments are made when too much electricity floods the grid, with the network unable to absorb any excess power generated. The money is ultimately added on to household bills and paid for by consumers.

Last year, only £176,788 of such payments were made, but changes in the way the National Grid, which supplies energy to retail companies, “balances” the electricity network have meant a huge expansion in their use.

The rules meant that some renewable energy companies were paid more to switch off their turbines than they would have received from ordinary operations.

In September, it was disclosed that £1.2 million would go to a Norwegian company that owned 60 turbines in the Scottish Borders, thanks to a period of unusually high wind during the spring. Because of the rising cost, the National Grid “balancing” system could now be overhauled to reduce the use of constraint payments.

Constraint payments have added to political and public hostility to onshore wind farms.

A growing number of Conservative MPs are opposed to Coalition plans to increase the number of wind turbines. Ministers say Britain needs more “renewable” energy generation to reduce the dependence on gas imported from Russia and the Middle East.

Chris Heaton Harris, a Conservative MP, said the unpopularity of wind farms was eroding support for all sorts of renewable power. “I know from my mailbag and from the number of emails I receive every day on the matter that people are turning against renewables of just about every type because wind turbines are, among other things, so badly sold,” he said.

“Onshore wind generation requires a 100 per cent back-up of carbon-burning technology or nuclear energy, should the wind not blow, and in addition to the devastation of the visual environment there are the problems of noise and flicker. They are the wrong renewables choice.”

The turbine industry says that constraint payments are a sign of problems with the National Grid, and not the turbines themselves. Charles Hendry, an energy minister, confirmed the latest payments, and said the system the National Grid used to calculate the fees was being reviewed.

“Reducing or increasing the output of generators is a normal part of National Grid’s role to balance supply and demand, and it will pick the most cost-effective way to deliver what is required,” he said.

“However, the recent requirement to use wind farms to manage the system has raised questions as to whether the current market-wide balancing arrangements for wind are appropriate.

“National Grid has launched a consultation to seek views on the issues involved.”

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Wind Cohocton Clipper Turbine Failure

Wolfe Island, Transformed by Wind Power

Click here to listen to the audio download of the news item...

Most experts agree we need to move toward renewable energy to save the planet. Giant wind farms are already up and running across America - from the high deserts of California to the North Country's Tug Hill Plateau. And from coast to coast, communities have been divided over wind power development. Supporters around the nation imagine wind providing clean energy--and green jobs--for generations to come. But wind farms have a downside. In 2009, dozens of wind towers were installed on Wolfe Island on the Canadian side of the border, just where Lake Ontario feeds into the St. Lawrence River.

The turbines rise like thirty story buildings.... transforming the landscape and sharply dividing a once sleepy farming community. This audio collage, produced by Chris Trimmer and Aleksandra Bragoszewska of Kingston, Ontario for Front and Center captures the low roar of the turbines and the dissonance they've spread in the community.

Friday, December 23, 2011

French scientist creates Wind Turbine Syndrome

The following video is worth watching. (Ignore the annoying 15 sec. ad at the beginning.) It gives you an appreciation for why people get seriously sick when they’re around wind turbines.

The video is a dramatization of work done in France in the 1960s by an electrical engineer named Vladimir Gavreau, who stumbled upon “infrasound” in his laboratory, and, once he recognized its formidable properties for causing debilitating illness, began developing an “infrasound” weapon for military use. (It’s unclear how far Gavreau’s “weapon” progressed, in terms of further development and use. Yes, it’s well known that infrasound is used as a weapon; what’s unclear to me is how much of the current technology was pioneered by Gavreau.)

Be that as it may, notice the symptoms experienced by Gavreau and his assistants. Their symptoms are the result of vestibular dys-regulation (saccule and utricle: inner ear organs of balance, motion, and position “sense” sending misinformation to the brain)—described perfectly, half a century later, by Dr. Pierpont in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”

“Luckily,” wrote Gavreau in his journal, “we were able to turn it off quickly. All of us were sick for hours. Everything in us was vibrating: stomach, heart, lungs. All the people in the other laboratories were sick, too. They were very angry with us.”

Gerry Vassilatos, a high school science teacher and writer of popular science, describes Gavreau’s experience as follows. While I can’t vouch for the point-by-point accuracy of his narrative, Vassilatos does accurately convey that Gavreau and his team blundered upon infrasound, which they then worked to adapt to military purposes.

Basically, Gavreau and his team fortuitously discovered a Wind Turbine Syndrome Machine which they tried to harness as a weapon. Except for one insurmountable problem: They couldn’t control its deadly emissions.

This puts Gavreau about 40 years ahead of the wind developers, with their Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) Machine—1600 feet from your front door, dear reader. Like Gavreau, they, too, can’t control its deadly emissions. Unlike Gavreau, they are dishonest about that inconvenient truth.

The central research theme of Dr. Vladimir Gavreau was the development of remote controlled automatons and robotic devices. To this end he assembled a group of scientists in 1957. The group, including Marcel Miane, Henri Saul, and Raymond Comdat, successfully developed a great variety of ro­botic devices for industrial and military purposes. In the course of develop­ing mobile robots for use in battlefields and industrial fields, Dr. Gavreau and his staff made a strange and astounding observation which not only interrupted their work, but became their major research theme.

Housed in a large concrete building, the entire group periodically experienced a disconcerting nausea, which flooded the research facility. Day after day, for weeks at a time, the symptoms plagued the researchers.

Called to inspect the situation, industrial examiners also fell victim to the malady. It was thought that the condition was caused by pathogens, a “building sick­ness.” No such agencies were ever biologically detected. Yet the condition prevailed. Research schedules now seriously interrupted, a complete exami­nation of the building was called.

The researchers noticed that the mysterious nauseations ceased when cer­tain laboratory windows were blocked. It was then assumed that “chemical gas emissions” of some kind were responsible for the malady, and so a thor­ough search of the building was undertaken.

While no noxious fumes could be detected by any technical means, the source was finally traced by building engineers to an improperly installed motor-driven ventilator.

The engineers at first thought that this motor might be emitting noxious fumes, possibly evaporated oils and lubricants. But no evaporated products were ever detected.

It was found that the loosely poised low speed motor, poised in its cavernous duct of several stories, was developing “nauseating vibrations.”

The mystery magnified for Dr. Gavreau and his team, when they tried to measure the sound intensity and pitch. Failing to register any acoustic readings at all, the team doubted the assessment of the building engineers. Never­theless, closing the windows blocked the sense of nausea.

In a step of bril­liant scientific reasoning, Gavreau and his colleagues realized that the sound with which they were dealing was so low in pitch that it could not register on any available microphonic detector. The data was costly to the crew.

They could not pursue the “search” for long time periods. During the very course of tracking the sound down, an accidental direct exposure rendered them all extremely ill for hours. When finally measured, it was found that a low intensity pitch of a fundamental 7 cycles per second was being produced. Furthermore, this infrasonic pitch was not one of great intensity ei­ther.

It became obvious that the slow vibrating motor was activating an infra­sonic resonant mode in the large concrete duct. Operating as the vibrating “tongue” of an immense “organ pipe,” the rattling motor produced nauseat­ing infrasound. Coupled with the rest of the concrete building, a cavernous industrial enclosure, the vibrating air column formed a bizarre infrasonic “amplifier.”

Knowledge of this infrasonic configuration also explained why shutting the windows was mildly effective in “blocking the malady.” The windows altered the total resonant profile of the building, shifting the infrasonic pitch and intensity.

Since this time, others have noted the personally damaging effects of such infrasonic generation in office buildings and industrial facili­ties. The nauseating effects of exposure to a low intensity natural or manmade infrasonic source is now well appreciated.

Dr. Gavreau and his research team now carefully investigated the effects of their “infrasonic organ” at various intensity levels and pitch. Changing the spring tension on shock mounts, which held the fan motor, it was possible to change the pitch. Various infrasonic resonances were established throughout the large research building. Shutting the windows blocked most of the symptoms. When the window was again opened, however weak as the source was made, the team felt the nauseating effects once again.

In the business of mili­tary research, Dr. Gavreau believed he had discovered a new and previously “unknown weapon” in these infrasounds. Aware of the natural explosives by which infrasonics are generated, Dr. Gavreau began to speculate on the ap­plication of infrasonics as a defense initiative. The haphazard explosive ef­fects of natural infrasound in thunderclaps were quite effective in demon­strating what an artificial “thunder-maker” could do. But, how could a thun­derclap be artificially generated in a compact system? These thoughts stimu­lated theoretical discussions on the possibility of producing coherent infrasound: an infrasonic “laser.”

The first devices Dr. Gavreau implemented were designed to imitate the “accident” which first made his research group aware of infrasonics. They designed real organ pipes of exceedingly great width and length. The first of these was six feet in diameter and seventy-five feet long. These designs were tested outdoors, securely propped against protective sound-absorbent walls. The investigators stood at a great distance. Two forms of these infrasonic organ pipes were built. The first utilized a drive piston, which pulsed the pipe output. The second utilized compressed air in a more conventional manner.

The main resonant frequency of these pipes occurred in the “range of death,” found to lie between three and seven cycles per second. These sounds could not be humanly heard, a distinct advantage for a defense system. The effects were felt, however. The symptoms come on rapidly and unexpectedly, though the pipes were operating for a few seconds. Their pressure waves impacted against the entire body in a terrible and inescapable grip. The grip was a pressure which came in on one from all sides simultaneously, an enve­lope of death.

Next came the pain, dull infrasonic pressure against the eyes and ears. Then came a frightening manifestation on the material supports of the device itself. With sustained operation of the pipe, a sudden rumble rocked the area, nearly destroying the test building. Every pillar and joint of the massive struc­ture bolted and moved. One of the technicians managed to ignore the pain enough to shut down the power supply.

Dr. Gavreau and his associates were dangerously ill for nearly a day after these preliminary tests. These maladies were sustained for hours after the device was turned off. Infrasonic assaults on the body are the more lethal because they come with dreadful silence. The eye­sight of Dr. Gavreau and his fellow workers were affected for days. More dangerously were their internal organs affected: the heart, lungs, stomach, intestinal cavity were filled with continual painful spasms for an equal time period.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shirley Wind Project

Orangeville Clear Skies group disappointed by wind farm OK

Last week’s approval of the Stony Creek Wind Farm comes as a disappointment to its opposition.

“This was a rare opportunity for a very competent government agency to get to the bottom of what skeptics of industrial wind power have saying for some time, that wind farms are unlikely to ever make a significant contribution to New York’s electricity needs,” said Attorney Gary Abraham, who represents Clear Skies Over Orangeville. “That was CSOO’s position in the PSC proceeding.”

The state Public Service Commission on Friday gave the go-ahead for the wind farm that will house up to 59 electricity-producing wind turbines, as long as it receives an independent certification the turbines will function as intended.

The authorization also allows Stony Creek LLC to begin site development for a two-acre substation and connect into a 230-kilovolt transmission line owned by New York State Electric & Gas.

“CSOO is of course disappointed with PSC’s decision,” Abraham said. “Particularly troubling is the agency’s decision to waive a ‘deliverability study’ requirement it imposed on large wind farms like this one in 2009.”

“The requirement was developed to address the likelihood, as PSC found in 2009, that new wind farms in either of the two concentrated areas of wind farm development in New York would not be able to deliver their electricity, either because transmission line limits could not handle the surge of several wind farms at one time, or because a new wind farm would displace electricity generated by another wind farm, or by no-emissions hydropower plants.”

“The two areas of concentrated wind farm development are the north country and Wyoming County,” Abraham continued. “As a result of the requirement, all wind farm proposals available then or since reduced their design size to just under 80 MW, the threshold for the requirement to apply.

“All except one — Stony Creek in Orangeville,” he said. “The PSC has ruled that Stony Creek need not demonstrate its electricity would be actually deliverable.”

The PSC authorization order denied CSOO’s requests for additional information and ruled against the group’s arguments.

The order said CSOO was incorrect in claiming the project’s environmental impact statements and lead agency findings lacked sufficient information.

Stony Creek LLC provided additional information as supplements to its application, the PSC order reads. Those actions were taken at the state Department of Public Service’s request, and in response to parties and non-parties in the project.

“Additional information on the topics discussed by CSOO is therefore available for our consideration,” the order says. “Thus, contrary to Clear Skies’ claim in its response to the Nov. 4 notice, there is no need for hearings to complete the record on deliverability.”

The PSC also denied CSOO’s request for an evidentiary hearing.

The PSC said the CSOO request was based on the theory the project won’t be able to provide capacity or deliver energy into the electric system, as opposed to challenging facts provided by Stony Creek LLC.

“In as much as CSOO raises no issue of material fact, but only an issue of interpretation, its request does not warrant an evidentiary hearing,” the order reads.

Stony Creek LLC is a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Invenergy. Representatives said the company met all requirements.

“Invenergy submitted a deliverability study to the Public Service Commission on October 27, 2011,” said Eric Miller, director of business development for Invenergy. “The study confirms with certainty that energy from the Stony Creek Wind farm can and will be successfully delivered to the New York electric grid, and that remains the case even if all wind projects in Western New York are operating at 100 percent of capacity.”

Officials on Friday said they don’t have an updated construction schedule.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dear Santa: The Wind Industry Christmas Wish List

The wind industry has behaved nicely this year. Some gifts would be appreciated.

These Christmas wishes would make the wind industry’s future much merrier. There are eight, so they will also light up Hanukkah’s nights.

1.) Santa must convince this Scrooge-like Congress to open its cold, calculating heart to an extension of the wind industry’s production tax credit (PTC) until 2016, matching the duration of solar’s investment tax credit (ITC).

Wind’s tax credit will expire at the end of 2012. It returns 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced in the project’s first 10 years. It has been up for extension eight times. The three times it was delayed, installations dropped 73 percent, 77 percent, and 93 percent, respectively. A just-released study showed a failure to extend could cost nearly 40,000 jobs and almost 10 billion dollars. If the credit is extended through 2016, the struggling U.S. economy would receive a wind industry that is bigger by $1 billion, as well as 25,000 new jobs.

2.) Santa could also renew the ITC Treasury Cash Grant options and renew the manufacturing tax credit for wind.

The ITC allows investors a 30 percent tax credit at the end of the first year of a project’s life instead of the PTC. The Cash Grant allows developers to take the 30 percent ITC as an upfront cash rebate. The manufacturing tax credits support the renewables’ supply chains.

Congress' resistance to extending these programs raises taxes on renewables developers and manufacturers, otherwise known as job creators.

3.) New transmission would be a wonderful gift. Wind is curtailed when there is more electricity being supplied than there are lines to carry it. Wind and the other renewables would profit greatly with more wires from resource-rich remote regions to populated areas where people are hungry for electricity.

4.) Wind needs better PR. Opponents of wind have seen it grow to 35 percent of new U.S. electricity generation, while coal’s share fell to 44 percent. Wind’s opponents want their market share back.

That likely explains why the media has recently been filled with claims that wind increases greenhouse gas emissions, that it drives up power prices, and that it is a serious threat to avian life.

“Silence is taken as ‘pour it on,’” a political consultant recently noted. “If you don’t respond to what people say, it becomes true.” Santa could help wind’s supporters spread the good word.

5.) If Santa brings grid operators up-to-date technologies and flexibility services with their new transmission, wind and the other renewables can do without scaled up energy storage for another two decades. Still, without adequate transmission, storage is the best alternative.

Experiments in energy storage are ongoing. Pumped hydro has proven itself. Compressed air energy storage (CAES) shows signs of being economic, if not always practical. And battery storage is being used for grid management. If Santa could leave cost-effective 20-megawatt battery packs under the trees of wire-limited grid operators, they could put more wind to work.

6.) Offshore wind. Europe has over 40 offshore wind farms with an installed capacity of 2,396 megawatts and 16 more projects, totaling an additional 3,972 megawatts, under construction. China has 102 megawatts of offshore wind in operation and some 2,300 megawatts in construction. But despite the Obama administration’s best efforts to facilitate and streamline, the U.S. has zero megawatts installed or under construction.

Santa could deliver passage of the specially structured ITC now before Congress that addresses offshore wind’s double whammy of high cost and protracted development. Bills have bipartisan support in both houses.

7.) An equitable intellectual property environment. Uneasy trade relations with China exploded this year. Sino-Wind troubles surround the legal battle between AMSC, a U.S. advanced technologies provider, and Sinovel, China’s leading turbine manufacturer.

The confession and conviction of a former employee of AMSC subsidiary WindTec for intellectual property (IP) theft and collusion with Sinovel make it hard not to believe in the Chinese company’s guilt. Evidence allegedly shows Sinovel requested the stolen IP, received it, had a $1.5-million-plus contract with the employee, and has been using the stolen software.

What the wind industry needs from Santa is, first, an equitable settlement between AMSC and Sinovel and, second, contractual certainty with which the industry can go back to work in the world’s biggest wind market.

Wind companies in China and around the world will profit enormously from this gift, but it could cost Sinovel a trillion-dollar settlement, so this will be a tough one. If Santa fails, the Chinese courts will take over.

8.) A consensus on dealing with greenhouse gases. This is the toughest one. Timely, scaled implementation of renewables requires a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Europeans widely accept the idea of climate change, are working on pricing emissions, and are rapidly building renewables. U.S. political opinion is less aligned. The wind industry needs a U.S. policy which addresses greenhouse gases and climate change.

Happy holidays.

Obama admin pushes renewable energy on 2 coasts

The Obama administration moved Tuesday to boost renewable energy on both coasts, approving onshore solar and wind farms in the West and pushing for offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his department has approved a 300-megawatt solar farm on public land in Arizona and a 200-megawatt wind farm in Southern California. The wind farm includes 186 megawatts that would be produced on federal lands.

The projects, southwest of Phoenix and east of San Diego, respectively, are the 24th and 25th renewable energy projects approved on public lands in the past two years, Salazar said, and demonstrate that the administration’s commitment to renewable energy is paying dividends.

“Together, these projects will produce the clean energy equivalent of nearly 18 coal-fired power plants, so what’s happening here is nothing short of a renewable energy revolution,” Salazar said.

The Sonoran Solar Energy Project in Arizona, being developed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, will generate enough electricity to power about 90,000 homes. The Tule Wind Project in California, developed by Iberdrola Renewables, the U.S. division of a Spanish energy company, will be able to power about 65,000 homes.

While onshore projects flourish, the administration’s efforts on offshore wind have struggled. Not a single megawatt of wind power is produced offshore.

Last year, Salazar approved the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts after years of federal review, clearing the way for work to begin on the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

On Tuesday, Salazar said officials are moving forward on a massive transmission project that would carry electricity produced at offshore wind farms from Virginia to New Jersey. Internet giant Google and others have pledged up to $5 billion for a network of transmission lines for offshore wind farms.

Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is soliciting interest from developers and seeking public comments on the project, which would involve building high-voltage transmission lines along the Atlantic Coast. The line would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity to be delivered to the grid, Salazar said.

The announcement comes a week after New Jersey-based NRG Energy Inc. said it is putting on hold a project that would have created a wind farm off Delaware’s coast.

NRG said it is putting the project on hold because its Bluewater Wind subsidiary has been unable to find an investment partner. The proposed wind farm would have put 49 to 150 turbines about 13 miles off the Delaware coast.

The wind industry suffered another setback on Capitol Hill as Congress failed to extend a production tax credit, and a similar cash grant program for renewable energy, that supporters say has boosted the industry’s strong growth.

A study commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group, said failure to extend the tax credit could mean the loss of as many as 37,000 U.S. jobs.

Salazar has urged Congress to extend the wind credit, which expires next year, calling it a lifeline for domestic producers that could save tens of thousands of jobs and bring financial certainty to the renewable industry.

Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called extension of the cash grant program even more crucial. The so-called 1603 Treasury grant program, approved under the 2009 economic stimulus law, provides cash grants worth 30 percent of costs for renewable projects. The program expires on Dec. 31.

“To keep the industry growing and creating jobs in the U.S., we need Congress to extend the 1603 program,” Resch said, noting that the program has supported more than 22,000 renewable energy projects in 48 states. “The 1603 program has done more to expand the use of renewable energy than any other policy in U.S. history.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has said he plans to take up tax incentives for renewable energy early next year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Analysis: United Tech CEO sharpens portfolio-pruning shears

As United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) gets ready to close the biggest takeover in its history, Goodrich Corp (GR.N), CEO Louis Chenevert is scouring the diversified manufacturer's portfolio for businesses to sell.

Another analyst suggested that the company's Clipper Windpower unit, which United Tech bought out last year, could be a sale candidate. The company had taken a minority stake in the wind turbine manufacturer but wound up buying the Carpenteria, California-based company outright after Clipper faced a cash crunch and turned to United Tech for a loan.

"The Clipper Wind acquisition, that strikes me as a piece that is not necessarily core to United Technologies, that they should be able to part with pretty easily and just generate cash," said Morningstar's Holland.

First Wind Raises $210 Million for Wind Project in Washington State

Boston – First Wind, a Boston-based wind energy company, announced on Monday it has raised $210 million in financing for its wind project located in northern Whitman County, Wash.

As a result, First Wind said it will continue on schedule with construction of the project, which will be largest renewable energy facility in the county with the capacity to generate enough energy to power about 30,000 homes, equal to the total energy load of all of Whitman County, according to First Wind.

The project will feature 58 Vestas 1.8 MW wind turbines with a generating capacity of about 105 MW of electricity. Construction on the wind farm began in October.

KeyBank National Association served as the joint lead arranger and administrative agent, and Nordduetsche Landesbank Girozentrale, CoBank ACB, and Banco Santander served as joint lead arrangers.

First Wind has developed and operates 735 megawatts of generating capacity at 11 wind energy projects so far in New York, New England, Utah, Vermont and Hawaii.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Troupsburg passes law for wind turbine development

Troupsburg, N.Y. — With two wind companies examining whether turbines are feasible in Troupsburg, the town board approved a local law establishing limitations on the structures.

The board passed a local law that established height and sound limitations Wednesday night, as well as set-back distances from property lines and public roads.

Supervisor Fred Potter said the board studied laws from other towns, including Hornellsville and Jasper, and that no concerns or support regarding the law were offered from the public during the meeting.

The town initially drew interest from Seattle-based wind company Ridgeline Energy in April, and the company is conducting studies on whether wind in Troupsburg could sustain turbines. They’ve also started speaking with property owners to gauge interest from residents.

Potter said that Invenergy, the company conducting studies in Canisteo and Jasper, also approached the town regarding a potential project along the north border with Jasper.

The law passed Wednesday established a height limit of 500 feet for turbines. Potter said both Ridgeline Energy and Invenergy representatives supported this height.

Decibel maximum limits were set at 60 decibels 10 percent of the time, 50 decibels 90 percent of the time, with 70 decibels the maximum sound for turbines.

Turbines also have to be at least 600 feet away from property lines, 500 feet from the nearest road, and 1,000 feet from the nearest off-site residence. They also must be 100 feet from state-identified wetlands, said the supervisor.

Acousticians confirm Wind Turbine Syndrome

“The idea that infrasound doesn’t or can’t affect the ear is just flat-out wrong.”

—Dr. Alec Salt, Dept of Otolaryngology,
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri.

This study was commissioned through a private philanthropic grant created to determine why there were so many strong complaints about the loss of well-being and hardships experienced by people living near large industrial wind turbines operating in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

The purpose of this study was to investigate and confirm or deny the presence of infrasonic and low frequency noise emissions (ILFN) from the “WIND 1”, a municipally-owned Vestas V82 industrial wind turbine.

In March of 2011, after many months of vigorous neighborhood complaints and strong appeals to the town, selectmen voluntarily decided to curtail WIND 1 operations when hub height wind speed exceeded 10 m/s. This required that this study focus on noise emissions from the nearby “NOTUS” wind turbine, an identical make and model.


This study was conducted at a representative neighbor’s home in Falmouth and confirmed that there are dynamically modulated low frequency acoustic amplitudes and tones produced by the nearby wind turbine.

Dynamic amplitude modulations occurred at 1.4 second intervals that were consistent with the blades rotating past the wind turbine tower (the blade pass rate).

Dynamic amplitude modulations below 10 Hz were stronger indoors than outdoors. Modulations measured indoors were 0.2 Pascal peak to peak, consisting mostly of energy below 20 Hz. Two tones were detected from both the NOTUS and the WIND 1 turbines, at 22.9 Hz and 129 Hz, and are considered signatures of the wind turbines’ acoustic profile.

Outdoors, the A-weighted sound level decreased at a predictable rate of 6 dB per doubling of distance from the nearest turbine.

The linear unweighted sound level decreased according to cylindrical spreading at 3 dB per doubling of distance and was controlled by acoustic energy below 20 Hertz. A-weighting does not reveal this low-frequency information. Sound-level averaging with Leq for any time length hides the low-frequency dynamic amplitude modulations.

Health effects

The investigators were surprised to experience the same adverse health symptoms described by neighbors living at this house and near other large industrial wind turbine sites.

The onset of adverse health effects was swift, within twenty minutes, and persisted for some time after leaving the study area. The dBA and dBC levels and modulations did not correlate to the health effects experienced. However, the strength and modulation of the un-weighted and dBG-weighted levels increased indoors, consistent with worsened health effects experienced indoors.

The dBG weighted level appeared to be controlled by in-flow turbulence and exceeded physiological thresholds for response to low-frequency and infrasonic acoustic energy as theorized by Salt.

The wind turbine tone at 22.9 Hz was not audible, yet the modulated amplitudes regularly exceeded vestibular detection thresholds. The 22.9 Hz tone lies in the brain’s “high Beta” wave range (associated with alert state, anxiety, and “fight or flight” stress reactions). The brain’s frequency following response (FFR) could be involved in maintaining an alert state during sleeping hours, which could lead to health effects.

Sleep was disturbed during the study when the wind turbine operated with hub height wind speeds above 10 m/s.

It took about a week to recover from the adverse health effects experienced during the study, with lingering recurring nausea and vertigo for almost seven weeks for one of the investigators.

Further epidemiological and laboratory research needed

The research is more than just suggestive. Our experiencing of the adverse health effects reported by others confirms that industrial wind turbines can produce real discomfort and adverse health impacts. Further research could confirm that these ill effects are caused by pressure pulsations exceeding vestibular thresholds, unrelated to the audible frequency spectrum but are instead related to the response of the vestibular system to the low frequency noise emissions. The vestibular system appears to be stimulated by responding to these pressure pulsations rather than by motion or disease, especially at low ambient sound levels.

Dysfunctions in the vestibular system can cause disequilibrium, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, and panic attacks, which have been reported near a number of industrial wind turbine facilities. The study emphasizes the need for epidemiological and laboratory research conducted by medical health professionals and acousticians working together who are concerned with public health and well-being.

This study underscores the need for more effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines.

It is especially important to include a margin of safety sufficient to prevent inaudible low-frequency wind turbine noise from being detected by the human vestibular system.


This study was initiated by the concerns of a private citizen, Bruce McPherson, who enjoyed the many quality of life benefits of living on Cape Cod. He was disappointed that there were no efforts being made by developers or government agencies to determine the real cause for the many complaints from Falmouth residents living near three new industrial wind turbines. He knew that neighbors were constantly complaining to town officials about receiving excessive noise, adverse health effects and the loss of well-being. Thanks are given by so many for the generosity of Mr. McPherson, who initiated and funded this independent investigation.

To the residents of Falmouth who welcomed us into their homes and lives, extended us their hospitality, told us their stories, and gave us their time and assistance, our deepest appreciation.

Sincere appreciation is given to Dr. Alec Salt, Dr. Timothy Hullar, Mr. Richard James, and Mr. Charles Ebbing for their insightful correspondence, professional reviews and comments.

Friday, December 16, 2011


The PSC approved this (over 80 Mw) project yesterday (see below and the attached document). The developer, Invenergy, was in a big rush to get this done. They are going to begin doing some excavating immediately and will thereby qualify for the Treasury Section 1603 Direct Cash Grant. All they really need to do is move some dirt around before January 1 in order to qualify for this very lucrative grant – courtesy of your tax dollars.

It was no secret that this approval was coming. But when you look at the facts you can understand why it would have been a fairly easy project to site. If you were a wind developer you couldn't pick a better town to target than Orangeville, N Y in Wyoming County.

Consider some of the characteristics of Orangeville:

o It is a very rural community. Only 1200 people live there.
o There are only 35 people per square mile in Orangeville and there are only 602 residential housing units in the town
o It has some relatively high elevations. The highest point in the town is almost 2000 feet above sea level.
o Wyoming County is located one County inland from the Eastern shore of Lake Erie. The prevailing winds from Lake Erie blow directly across Orangeville.
o There is no incorporated village in the town -- just a couple of wide spots in some roads.
o There is no significant body of water in the town. Very small brooks and some man-made farm ponds are all the water there is.
o There are no campgrounds. There is no significant number of seasonal residents.
o There are only a handful of part-time residents and retirees. There are some owners of "gentlemen farms" who have retired to the town or who spend weekends there. But not very many.
o The per capita income in Orangeville is well below the national average.
o The nearest newspaper, The Hornell Evening News, is published in Steuben County.

But Orangeville does have a zoning law. The town enacted a zoning law in mid-2009 well before the local elections of November 2009. The town zoning law is rather extensive and includes many of the typical restrictions and prohibitions found in many municipal zoning laws in New York State – – including restrictions on “cabarets and adult entertainment.”

And Orangeville has a provision in their 2009 zoning law that is very receptive to Big Wind development. You can only conclude that the majority of the electorate in the town of Orangeburg is getting exactly what it has asked for. The voters of the town had an opportunity to elect town council members who would repeal the wind friendly provision in the town zoning law – but they did not. You can probably assume that this provision of the zoning law was provided to the town, word for word, by the developer. The provision reads as follows:

A. Goal - Allow development of alternative energy sources to take place within the Town but direct it to those areas that are most appropriate.
B. Policies
1. The availability of solar power, wind power, geothermal power and bioenergy has created a need for local governments to address these issues in their municipal planning. These natural resources create new kinds of working land uses which, if not properly planned for, renders a community with missed opportunities to direct changes according to a larger community vision, or in the very least, consider potentially viable options to fossil fuel.
2. Identify and inventory the Town’s natural resource capabilities and constraints to help in guiding local development, management and protection efforts. These resources represent a mix of working landscapes with economic, cultural or scenic benefits to the community.
3. Pinpoint the sites with the greatest potential for development with the lowest potential for adverse environmental or other impacts.
4. Analyze sites in the context of other natural and cultural resources, existing and adjacent land uses and other relevant factors. Planning should involve balancing a variety of needs and priorities, proposed future land uses and activities must be analyzed and evaluated for their respective advantages and drawbacks.
5. Eliminate or reduce dependency on fossil fuel and foreign energy.

The whole spirit of this section of the Orangeville zoning law is "Come on in, Big Wind! We love you…we are going to help you save the planet… and we are looking forward to our lease checks ASAP!” A small resistance group was formed called, "Clear Skies Over Orangeville." But that resistance group was not large enough. The majority should have the say in these things and the majority did in Orangeville.

You can feel sorry for those handful of retirees and weekenders who bought land in Orangeville hoping to truly get away from it all – and, among other things, enjoy a still and dark star filled night sky undiminished by the ground light of civilization. Trouble is – there just weren't enough of them to create a counterforce to the large landowners who control the local government and who have an entirely different idea of what the town should be about, and for whom.

Towns along the St. Lawrence River and Eastern Lake Ontario are qualitatively different than Orangeville in many important respects. I believe those differences will save the River and Lake towns from a similar fate.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Wind Names Michele Beasley as Senior Vice President and General Counsel

First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today announced that Michele Beasley has joined the company as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Beasley comes to First Wind with extensive experience in the development and financing of wind and other energy projects. In her role, she will oversee the company's legal affairs and manage its legal team.

"We are excited to have Michele join our executive management team, which will benefit from her talent and experience," said Michael Alvarez, President and CFO of First Wind. "Her expertise in the space is unparalleled and positions her perfectly to support our projects in operation and under development across the U.S. from the Northeast to the West and to Hawaii."

Ms. Beasley most recently served as Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco and Boston, serving as senior legal counsel to the Securities Investment Group of its division of Wholesale Division, supporting a multi-billion high-yield investment portfolio and large street- and customer-facing sales and trading groups. She served on the Securities Investment Risk Management and Firewall Committees, and represented commercial real estate financing teams.

Prior to Wells Fargo, Ms. Beasley spent more than a decade working on all aspects of the development and financing of energy projects at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Chadbourne & Parke, including the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of equity investments, project contracts, and third-party limited- and non-recourse financing, and related real estate and governmental approvals work. She also served as staff counsel to the then-new Women's Rights Project of Human Rights Watch, under the Georgetown University Law Center's Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship.

Ms. Beasley received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Beasley currently resides in Natick, MA.

What's Next for Wind Power

At first, many New Englanders seemed on board with this alternative energy source, but now some these projects are encountering stiff breezes. We’ll find out how Wind Power is playing at the local level in the Granite State and how recent debates have become more nuanced and less black-and-white than in the past.


•Edward Cherian - New England Development Director for Iberdrola Renewables, an international clean energy company that builds and operates wind farms, including one in Lempster, New Hampshire.
•Lisa Linowes - Executive Director of the Industrial Wind Action Group and publisher and editor of, which tracks industrial wind-energy projects across the country and often questions claims made by the industry.
We'll also hear from

•Brian Beihl: Antrim resident and activist skeptical of the Antrim Wind Project. He also founded the website
•Jack Kenworthy: CEO of Eolian Renewable Energy, based in Portsmouth, N.H. Eolian, in partnership with Westerly Wind, has been trying to develop a wind-energy site in Antrim, N.H.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wind turbine can't keep up; explodes into flames

Sometimes a photo speaks more than a thousand words. This is one of them, but we'll give you the gist: a 328-foot-tall and wind turbine burst into flames as it tried to keep up with hurricane force winds in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

The turbine, estimated to cost around $3M, is part of a group of 15, perched high on hills overlooking the windswept Scottish coast. This group of turbines supplies green electricity to 20,000 homes.

Fortunately it seems to be an isolated incident as none of the other turbines in the group experienced problems. Nor have any others around the globe reported major "high speed" related problems or flaws to date.

A good look at the incident is likely to take place since wind turbines are naturally located in high intensity locations and scientists are always looking at new ways and places to evolve them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

“Wind turbines and public health: It’s time to act!” (Australia)

It is now 6 months since the Australian Federal Senate inquiry Report into Rural Wind Farms was tabled.2 This Inquiry made 7 recommendations, including to:

(1) “Initiate as a matter of priority thorough adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies” (recommendation #4).

(2) Develop noise standards which “calculate the impact of low frequency noise and vibrations indoors at impacted dwellings” (recommendation #1)

There has been no action on any of the recommendations.

Since then, the Clean Energy Legislation has been passed, which will inevitably result in many more rural residents being driven from their homes and farms, as “wind farm refugees.”

Governments in Australia have been warned about these consequences with the Explicit Cautionary Notice issued by the Waubra Foundation on 29th June, 2011.3

There is willing blindness on the part of the politicians and the bureaucrats, and fraudulent denial on the part of the wind developers who know only too well about the adverse health problems which are being reported globally.

These rural residents are being openly referred to as “collateral damage” or “policy roadkill” by developers, and their supporters, some admitting they know people are becoming ill, but state it is “for the greater good.”

It is yet another lie that “there are no problems anywhere else in the world,” and that “things are fine in Denmark.” Distinguished Danish acoustician, Professor Henrik Møller, has been driven to speak out publicly at the current collusion between the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the wind developers and the Danish Government regarding the proposed new low frequency noise guidelines.4

All is not “fine” in Denmark, nor anywhere else where wind turbines have been built too close to homes.

On the eve of the commencement of the Australian Wind Industry’s “talkfest” in Melbourne (Australia), where no doubt the usual denials of any health problems will be evident, it is time for the Australian Federal and State Governments to address these serious and growing health problems in rural residents living within 10 km of current wind developments.

The latest victims are from the Daylesford region, casualties of Hepburn Wind’s community wind farm, and AGL’s wind development at Glenthompson, not yet commissioned.

The time for denial of serious health problems is over.

The time to act is now.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Iowa Researcher Looks To Toughen Up Wind Turbines

K.K. Choi has spent much of his research career studying how subtle design changes affect the durability of large military vehicles.

Now, the University of Iowa mechanical engineering professor is working with the wind industry to design a tougher turbine.

Improving wind turbine reliability has become a national priority in recent years. The U.S. Department of Energy highlighted reliability in its July 2008 report on increasing wind generation to 20 percent of the nation’s electricity supply by 2030.

If the nation is to reach that goal, it’s believed that the number of costly, unplanned repairs to wind turbines will need to be reduced, which will bring down the overall cost of wind power.

“To beat or to be competitive with fossil-fuel based energy sources, the biggest challenge in wind energy is reliability,” said Choi, whose research revolves around fatigue analysis using computer modeling technology.

Choi’s computer models have been applied to everything from the Ford Taurus to Stryker tanks. A tool he developed for the U.S. Army predicts how slight design changes would affect the cost, durability and reliability of vehicles and their components.

The modeling tool created by Choi is more advanced than others because it takes into account uncertainties such as tiny variations in the materials and manufacturing precision, as well as the conditions in which the vehicles are driven.

The process is called reliability-based design optimization. In the Army’s case, Choi identified a change to a Stryker tank part that made it ten times more durable and 20 percent lighter at the same time. The military is considering whether to incorporate the new part.

Tanks to turbines

The leap from tanks to turbines isn’t as big as it might seem.

The military and wind industry both need reliable equipment that’s going to hold up under extreme conditions, whether it’s a desert battle zone or the blustery lower atmosphere. It’s also important that it’s not heavier or more expensive than it needs to be.

“While the components may look different, obviously, and serve different purposes, inherently they have the same technical challenges,” said University of Iowa Provost Barry Butler.

Butler is head of the Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND), a multi-university, public-private research partnership, and he’s also the one who first connected the dots between Choi’s work and the wind industry.

After attending a wind reliability conference a few years ago, Butler asked Choi about his vehicle reliability tools and concluded they were a “natural fit” for turbine research. Butler approached Clipper Windpower about partnering on a project, and soon they were on a plane to the manufacturer’s California headquarters.

“They spent an entire day with us and gave us time to present, and they presented what their challenges are, and that’s when I think everybody around the table started realizing there’s some connectivity here,” Butler said.

How thick? How precise?

What’s unique about the type of computer modeling Choi does is that it helps judge how precise the manufacturing process needs to be in order to achieve reliability gains.

“If you make 10,000 blades, none of them are identical,” said Choi. Same goes for cars. They’re not exactly snowflakes, but even two vehicles of the same year, make and model will have slight differences — fractions of millimeters here and there.

It’s a way for car makers to keep their costs down. They can get a better price on sheet metal, for example, if it just has to be roughly one millimeter thick instead of precisely one millimeter.

A tool like Choi’s can help automakers calculate the ideal thickness of a piece, but also how much leeway is acceptable before it starts to noticeably affect the reliability results.

Choi is working on translating the tool to work with turbines. IAWIND awarded him a three-year, $300,000 research grant, which is being matched by Clipper Windpower. The goal is to create a design that doesn’t cost more but requires substantially less maintenance.

“What happens is in lots of cases is we over-design, which means that our products cost more than they should, which increases the cost of energy,” said Clipper engineering manager Rob Budny. “In some cases we under-design, which means that the product is not reliable and that you have large warranty costs.”

Clipper is asking Choi to design a new rotor hub and suggest changes to its blades that it can compare to its existing ones. And the new parts can’t cost more to manufacture.

“What I’m saying is: Guys, we can make it even cheaper, and yet improve reliability,” Choi said.

And that may lead to turbines that are as tough as tanks.

Friday, December 09, 2011

U.S. Agency Is Ordered to Change Wind Rules

A federal power agency discriminated against wind operators in the Pacific Northwest when it unplugged their generators to cope with a surplus of renewable energy on its transmission system this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled on Tuesday. It ordered the agency, the Bonneville Power Administration, to rewrite its rules.

Bonneville had argued that it had no option but to lock out the wind generators to protect salmon in the Columbia River.

While the agency could have reduced the power output of hydroelectric dams by routing excess water through a spillway, doing so would violate the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, it said.

Water passing over a spillway picks up nitrogen gas, which is harmful to salmon, although some conservationists say the threat is minor.

But a group of wind companies filed a complaint with the energy regulatory commission saying that instead off turning off wind turbines, Bonneville should have resorted to “negative pricing,” or paying customers to take the excess power. Bonneville countered that this would conflict with its obligation to repay loans from the federal government and to provide power cheaply.

In its ruling, the commission acknowledged “the difficulties facing all sides of this debate.” Nonetheless, it said that Bonneville’s policy “significantly diminishes open access to transmission” and imposed conditions on the wind operators “that are not comparable to those it provides itself.”

Bonneville Power’s administrator, Stephen J. Wright, said he was disappointed that the commission had issued a ruling because his agency was still negotiating with the wind generators. “The temporary oversupply of energy is a Northwest challenge,” he said. “We believe it is the region’s responsibility to find the most appropriate way to address this challenge.”

Part of Bonneville’s problem, rooted in the recent rise of wind power in the region, is that storms create an excess of water and wind simultaneously. At such times the agency has given electricity away to neighboring systems, which could then save on burning coal or gas.

To balance supply and demand this year, Bonneville displaced nearly 100,000 megawatt hours of wind energy from May 18 to July 10, or about 5.4 percent of the amount produced by wind machines connected to its grid. The megawatt hours lost would meet the needs of about 10,000 households for a year.

The wind farms not only lost sales but also a federal production tax credit for renewable energy.

While the particulars of the surplus may be unique to the Pacific Northwest, the problem of electricity surpluses driven by power sources whose output cannot be scheduled is emerging elsewhere around the country. Electricity production and consumption must be matched precisely at all times, and a surplus can cause blackouts just as a shortage can, engineers say.

The problem could crop up more often as companies build wind and solar farms to meet state requirements for renewable energy.

Bonneville is currently testing a radical program in which it installs equipment in consumers’ homes that can store surplus energy for use later.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tell Your Representatives in Albany to Stop the RGGI Cap & Trade Tax!

Why RGGI Should Be Repealed in New York:

NY’s Participation in RGGI is Unconstitutional:
? No legislation, participation through Gov. Pataki’s Memorandum of Understanding and Gov. Paterson’s Executive Order
? Taxation without representation
? A lawsuit has been filed in NYS Supreme Court challenging it’s constitutionality

Increases Costs to Energy:
? $900 Million in permits (as of 9/2011) sold as a requirement to energy plants that emit CO2
? Increased cost of production passed on to consumers, considered an ultra vires tax
? Rates for electricity could increase anywhere from 2% to 23% according to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (A.I.M.)
? NYS has the 2nd highest electricity costs according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s 2010 Energy Cost Index (which cited data for 2008 through October from the U.S. Energy Information Administration)
? NYS electricity prices are 58 percent higher than the national average

Lack of Transparency:
? The RGGI program operates in secret with little know about who is trading on this government-created carbon commodities market
? RGGI has refused open records requests claiming they are a non-governmental agency despite having been created by ten state governments
? To date, RGGI has not released information regarding salaries and benefits paid to RGGI bureaucrats
? Companies trading on this carbon commodities market are unknown – only a list of prospective bidders is released
? Prospective bidders are a “who’s who” of Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase

RGGI is Ineffective:
? According to RGGI’s own consultants, there will be no drop in CO2 emissions for two decades due to RGGI bureaucrats setting the cap too low
? Gov. Christie said “This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future. The whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It is a failure.”

“RGGI has not changed behavior and it does not reduce emissions,” Christie said. “RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses, with no discernable or measurable impact upon our environment.”

Adverse Affects on Plants and Communities:
? Making it difficult for energy producing plants to stay in business, threatening closures
? Loss of good paying jobs
? Loss of tax base directly affect the county, towns and school districts
? $326,693,566 taken out of economy in NY due to the required purchase of permits
? $90 Million diverted by Governor Paterson to balance the FY 2010 budget, not to the green initiatives it was intended for
? The costs associated with this regulation contributes to NYS’s 50th rating in Business Climate

Bottom line: RGGI is unconstitutional, ineffective, lacks transparency, drives electricity costs up, and puts jobs and communities in jeopardy.

Monday, December 05, 2011

14000 abandoned wind turbines in the USA..Duke of Edinburgh: They are “absolutely useless”

There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape.

The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high.

The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.

The US has had wind farms since 1981:

“Some say that Ka Le is haunted—and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa”– the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles—but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations—Altamont Pass, Tehachapin (above), and San Gorgonio—considered among the world’s best wind sites…
California’s wind farms— comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity—ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills…”

The problem with wind farms when they are abandoned is getting the turbines removed, as usual there are non Green environmentalists to be seen:

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California’s Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law

Imagine the outraged Green chorus if those turbines were abandoned oil drilling rigs.

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised. He asks:

“If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.”

“It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end” therein lies a lesson that is going be learnt by those that sought to make fortunes out of tax payer subsidies, the whole renewables industry of solar, wind and biomass is just an artificial bubble incapable of surviving without subsides from governments and tax payers which many businesses and NGO’s like WWF, FoE and Greenpeace now think is their god given right, as the money is going on Green Climate Religion approved clean energy.

The Green evangelists who push so hard for these wind farms, as usual have not thought the whole idea through, no surprises for a left agenda like Climate Change, which like all things Green and socialist is just a knee jerk reaction:

Altamont’s turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, “probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project.”

The same areas that are good for siting wind farms are also good for birds of prey and migrating birds to pass through, shame for the birds that none of the Green mental midgets who care so much about everything in nature, thought that one through when pushing their anti fossil fuel agenda.

After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize “renewable” energy–including a “Feed in Tariff” even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts.

The tax payers who paid for the subsidies to build the wind farms, then paid over the odds for an unreliable source of power generation will, ultimately be left to pick up the bill for clearing up the Green eco mess in the post man made Global Warming world.
In a withering assault on the onshore wind turbine industry, the Duke said the farms were “a disgrace”.

He also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.

The Duke’s comments will be seized upon by the burgeoning lobby who say wind farms are ruining the countryside and forcing up energy bills.

Criticism of their effect on the environment has mounted, with The Sunday Telegraph disclosing today that turbines are being switched off during strong winds following complaints about their noise.

The Duke’s views are politically charged, as they put him at odds with the Government’s policy significantly to increase the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines.


excellent little piece by the aardvark

coming to a country near you..if not already arrived, this is your future..

14,000 of them..i wonder how many were built via government backed programs or subsidies? in effect, thats your dollars sitting there out on the wide, sometimes, windswept fields..dollars sitting in rusted out big windmills..but we are saving gaia! surely we can do this a bit better? renewables are fine and I support them but this is madness..that money should have gone into solar technology if anywhere..

Lawsuit targets "Illegal" $117M Federal Loan Guarantee for Kahuku Windfarm

News Release from Briggs Law Corp, Upland, California, December 1, 2011

On November 28, 2011, CAlifornians for Renewable Energy (CARE) and Michael Boyd filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge more than two dozen federal loan guarantees illegally issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate 26 loan guarantees for utility-scale renewable-energy projects, including guarantees to the now-bankrupt Solyndra Inc. and Beacon Corporation, because DOE issued them before putting in place regulations that would enable it to properly vet projects and make sure they are unlikely to fail.

(Editor's Note: The loan guarantees CARE seeks to invalidate include a $117M US DoE loan guarantee for First Wind’s Kahuku Wind Power project at Kahuku, Oahu. See page 6 of lawsuit.)

“No matter how you feel about federal loan guarantees as a matter of policy, the reality is that Congress passed a law prohibiting DOE from issuing guarantees until it put regulations in place to protect the taxpayer from Section 1705 projects with no realistic chance of success,” explained Cory Briggs, the attorney for the plaintiffs. “The Solyndra and Beacon bankruptcies are Exhibit A for why DOE should have issued regulations before putting taxpayers on the hook.”

Michael Boyd, the president of CARE and a plaintiff, lamented the way that big business with connections to the White House under Presidents Bush and Obama where given such easy access to the public’s purse. He describes the loan guarantees as “corporate chronyism at its worst.”

CARE works to promote public education concerning renewable energy and has been a consistent advocate for environmentally and community-sensitive energy projects that reduce greenhouse gases and are commercially viable without inappropriate taxpayer subsidies.

For more information about CARE, please visit

For more information about the lawsuit, please contact Cory Briggs at 909-949-7115 or at

Sunday, December 04, 2011

'Silent But Deadly': Wind Turbines in Western New York - Part Two

Need for further study and public input
Wind farms have been hurriedly implemented in many places with minimal input from citizens. What people like Ross, Krogh, and members of CSOO want is not to outlaw wind energy altogether, but to push for closer and more critical study of the technology and how it impacts people's lives and communities.

"The problem is that there is no front-end research being done," Krogh said. "We haven't taken the time to ask, 'What are these?' or 'Where should we put them?'"

Ross believes dirty, underhanded tactics on the part of the wind turbine industry to be a factor.

"People who own land (on which wind turbines are being built) are being paid hush money several times a year so that they can't be interviewed," she said. "It's real dirty."

She claimed to have learned this from the daughter of a Wyoming County landowner on whose property industrial turbines have been installed.

Similarly, Krogh cited anecdotal evidence from Ontario that people who, after suffering the effects of wind turbine activity, are forced to leave their homes are asked to agree to nondisclosure clauses, according to which they cannot talk about their negative experiences.

"They don't show these clauses to reporters because of the risk," she said.

Complicity on the part of local governments has also been a factor. Abraham, who handled a case similar to that of CSOO in the Wyoming County community of Centerville in 2009, talked a bit about his experience.

Abraham was drawn to the Centerville case by two things:

1) the convincing, focused arguments of Centerville citizens against the presence of wind farms in their community, and

2) their local representatives' overeager acceptance of the wind farm proposal.

"I was struck," Abraham said, "by the knee-jerk support for so intrusive a change . . . by the town board members, and by the special counsel they hired to help them draft a local law to accommodate the project."

Especially troubling was the fact that the town broke the law by agreeing to the project without a complete review of its consequences.

“Its special counsel advised that the local law had no adverse environmental effects,” Abraham said, “and so no environmental review was required. The local law in question is like numerous local wind laws adopted by New York towns, as recommended by NYSERDA, based on no more than wind industry recommendations.”

“Allowing sound levels to increase by 25 decibels,” he continued, “was a significant change in the environment that should have been fully reviewed, with opportunity for public comment and a requirement that the final decision show it was the result of some meaningful research into wind turbine noise. The appeals court noted that local laws that change more than 10 acres of land are subject to environmental review, and this one would change the whole town. Therefore, failure to undertake a full review of the consequences of adopting the law was illegal.”

He is encountering a similar state of affairs in Orangeville.

"For three years," Lomanto said, "citizens (of Orangeville) couldn't say anything at town board meetings about the wind turbine project."

And when they were allowed to voice their concerns, according to Lomanto, "they had to write them down." There was no guarantee that these written missives would be addressed.
What's a body to do?

Here are two pieces of advice for concerned citizens living near industrial wind turbines. The first is from Abraham, the second is from Krogh:

"Those who live nearby," Abraham said, "should consult a medical professional about the effect of low frequency and nuisance audible sound as a chronic night condition."

"Local communities should avoid divisiveness and work together," Krogh said, observing that disagreements over wind farms can cause tensions in these communities. "It's important that the municipalities are educated on this issue, because they can make a difference."

For her part, Krogh would also like to see efforts to provide financial help to those who are forced to leave their homes because of these projects and cannot afford buyouts.

'Silent But Deadly': Wind Turbines in Western New York - Part One

Silent noise is getting to be a big problem for anyone living within a mile of industrial wind turbines.

So much so, in fact, that a group of Wyoming County residents – with Alleghany attorney Gary A. Abraham as their legal representative – have formed an advocacy group to keep a proposed wind turbine project out of Orangeville. It is called "Clear Skies Over Orangeville" (CSOO) and has a court case pending against alternative energy company Invenergy's Stony Creek Wind Farm.

Wind turbines have been touted in recent years as viable sources of alternative energy. But do we know enough about this new technology? What are the risks involved?

"What's with all the noise?"
Sally Ross, PhD, a resident of Oakfield (Genesee County), takes issue with people's tendency to refer to wind turbines as "windmills."

"That's too innocuous," she said.

While CSOO continues its grassroots efforts, Ross, a former professor of social sciences at the New York Institute of Technology, is conducting a research study on the effects of wind turbines on human, animal, and organic health.

She began doing this after speaking with several Wyoming County residents who reported experiencing adverse health effects such as headaches, vertigo, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping, as well as health problems in their pets and dramatic decreases in bird migrations in their area.

The common thread: They all lived near large, industrial wind turbines, and the start of these problems coincided with the turbine installations.

Lynn Lomanto, an Orangeville resident and CSOO member, is a case in point. She attributes recent sleeping problems to operating turbines in nearby Sheldon.

"I always know when they blow," she said, "because I wake up at 1 or 2 am."

Ross has spoken with other residents of Wyoming County, a hotbed for wind turbine activity, who have reported similar ill effects in their lives.

Case in point: A married couple and their newborn baby could not sleep in their home, and the baby would be up all night crying. As soon as they moved, though, this problem went away.

Another case in point: A woman took her previously healthy dog to the vet, only to find that the dog suddenly had an aggressive form of lymphoma and had to be put down.

Ross attributes these problems to the vibrations produced by turbine propeller movement.

"(People who say that wind energy is harmless because it's natural) don't understand low frequency sound waves," Ross said. "Over time, certain degrees of vibration are not good for organic health."

While wind turbines don't really make any noise, the vibrations can disturb the silence of a rural community at night, thus interrupting people's natural sleeping patterns – which, in turn, can lead to other physical and psychological difficulties.

Given this, it is understandable that CSOO members are so concerned about the proposed Stony Creek turbines, which measure 426 feet in height and sport 164-foot-long blades.

“Elevated sound levels at night ruin the quality of life for a significant fraction of those living within one mile of a wind farm,” Abraham said. “The pre-existing nighttime sound level in every rural town I have become involved in (on the wind farm issue) was 25 decibels.”

Wind turbine noise, he added, can reach up to 50 decibels.

A pharmacist's perspective
Ross hopes to have her study published one day, but said that it currently lacks the "proper research investment for in-depth study."

However, she has consulted Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist from Ontario, Canada, in her research. Having spent three years researching and presenting on issues related to wind turbine technology, Krogh has reported findings similar to those Ross has noted in Wyoming County.

"I've done extensive interviews with people in Ontario (who have lived near industrial wind turbines)," Krogh said. "Sleep disturbance is the number one symptom, but I've also seen headaches, dizziness, vertigo, and a fair number of palpitations or cardiovascular problems."

She also mentioned reports of tinnitus and the sensation of vibration in the ears and body.

As a trained pharmacist, Krogh has been gathering data according to Health Canada's principles for monitoring suspected health problems resulting from products, medications, new technologies, etc.

She travels throughout Canada – and has been come to communities in Vermont and California as well – in order to educate people regarding the dangers and uncertainties of wind energy technology.

One of her most important recent engagements was a presentation to the Canadian Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in October. She presented peer-reviewed studies and expert statements – including statements from the World Health Organization – indicating that wind turbines can cause harm to human health if not located at a sufficient distance.

Krogh was also part of the evidence team for Canada's Environmental Review Tribunal in a recent court case in which both sides of the argument came to a consensus on the subject of wind turbines.

"We don't know the exact mechanism behind this," she said, "but both sides agreed that the symptoms people have been reporting are connected to wind turbine activity."

A total of 27 people from all over the world testified in this case. Krogh, for her part, has personally "been in touch with people internationally" on the subject – including Ross.

"(Problems caused by industrial wind turbines are) happening too much to be made up," Ross said.

Friday, December 02, 2011

80% of ‘Green Energy’ Loans Went to Top Obama Donors

With Energy Secretary Steven Chu set to testify Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the government’s $573 million loan to failed solar panel maker Solyndra, an explosive new list of energy loan amounts to President Obama’s top fundraisers, bundlers, and supporters has been released by Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer, author of Throw Them All Out.

As the list reveals, 80 percent of all $20.5 billion in Department of Energy loans went to President Obama’s top donors. Furthermore, some of those dwarf in size those given to Obama bundler George Kaiser, owner of the now defunct Solyndra.

The list—which features the likes of Google owners Larry Page and Sergey Brinn, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ted Turner, John Doerr, and Al Gore—raises new questions about the procedures used to administer the now-controversial DOE loans.

Schweizer’s list stands in sharp contrast to President Obama’s promise that the allocation of all federal “stimulus” monies would be nonpartisan and fair: “Let me repeat that: Decisions about how Recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits. They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists,” Obama said in 2009.

But as Schweizer’s charges in his book, Throw Them All Out, [link] the Obama Administration may be guilty of “the greatest—and most expensive—example of crony capitalism in American history.”

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Couple settle with wind farm operators over 'unbearable hum'

A judge was told today the terms of the settlement agreed by tenant farmers Sarah Jane and Julian Davis were strictly confidential.

The couple moved out of Grays Farm in Deeping St Nicholas, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, in December 2006 six months after the eight-turbine wind farm began operating about half a mile from their home.

They blamed the ''whoom whoom whoom'' and the low frequency ''hum'' of giant turbine blades for their exile in a case that was closely watched by the wind farm industry.

They said the ''intolerable'' noise disrupted their sleep, made them feel ill and was so severe that it warranted a reduction in council tax and rendered the £2.5 million farmhouse no longer marketable as a family home.

Mr and Mrs Davis were accused of being ''over-sensitive'' to the noise and ''exaggerating and overreacting''.

The couple launched a claim for damages and an injunction against defendants including Fenland Windfarms Ltd and Fenland Green Power Co-operative Ltd.

The long-running hearing was due to resume today, but trial judge Mr Justice Hickinbottom was told the case was settled.

Both sides said in a joint press release: ''The terms of that settlement are strictly confidential, and the parties will not be answering any questions about the terms of that agreement.''

The case was described as being of general importance because hundreds of other families say they have suffered similar disturbance from wind farms up and down the country.

The operators were accused at the start of the High Court hearing earlier this year of trying to impose "a code of silence" on those examining or recording the noise the turbines caused.

The terms of today's settlement mean that details of the how the settlement was reached will remain secret.

The judge said he had been given a copy of the signed agreement - "nobody has seen it other than me, and I am giving it back to you".

When the case was before the court in July, Peter Harrison QC, appearing for former nurse Mrs Davis, 55, and her husband, 46, told the judge: "Wind farms have emphatically not been the source of trouble-free, green renewable energy which the firms promoting and profiting from wind energy would have the general public believe."

The court heard research suggested the complaints relate to the "amplitude modulation" (AM) of the aerodynamic noise from the turbine blades in certain conditions.

Mr and Mrs Davis, who have two grown-up children, were seeking an injunction to bring about modification of the operation of the wind farm, plus £400,000 damages to compensate them for the noise nuisance.

Mr Harrison said: "Their lives have been wholly disrupted by that noise."

Alternatively the couple asked for damages plus a "like for like" replacement for their farm home they estimate is worth about £2.5 million.

Mrs Davis emphasised that her wish was to move back from rented accommodation into her home.

The couple said the "horrible" noise problem caused by the 320ft (100m) high turbines could be resolved by removing two of the turbines and limiting the hours of operation of a third.

Their QC told the court that, instead of experiencing trouble-free, green renewable energy when the wind farm started operations, Mr and Mrs Davis faced "an industry operator - a subsidiary of EDF - which has refused to acknowledge the noise their turbines make and the effect that has had on the lives of these claimants".

Instead, the main operator "appears to have tried to impose a code of silence on those examining or recording the noise that these turbines in this location have caused".

Mr Harrison added: "Further, at least until recently when their own recordings and monitoring have finally forced the defendants to acknowledge they are causing problems, their approach has been to try and shoot the messenger".