Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age

The significance of yesterday’s shock announce-ment by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore windfarms is hard to exaggerate.

On the face of it, this promises to be the beginning of an end to one of the greatest and most dangerous political delusions of our time.

For years now, the plan to cover hundreds of square miles of the British countryside with ever more wind turbines has been the centrepiece of Britain’s energy policy — and one supported by all three major political parties.

Back in 2008, when Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his wish to see the country spend £100 billion on windfarms, the only response from the Tory leader David Cameron was to say that he should have done it sooner.

It was the only way, they all agreed, Britain could meet our commitment to the EU that, by 2020, we must produce nearly a third of our electricity from ‘renewables’ — with the largest part provided by tens of thousands more wind turbines.

Yet now, out of the blue, has come this announcement by the Coalition Energy Minister that from now on there is to be a moratorium on building onshore turbines other than those for which consent has already been given.


What made this even more piquant was the fact that Mr Hayes chose to drop this bombshell just hours before attending a conference in Glasgow staged by RenewableUK, the professional lobby group for Britain’s wind industry.

These are the very people who for years have been making fortunes out of the greatest public subsidy bonanza of modern times. Now Mr Hayes is to stop their gravy train in its tracks.

It will give them the biggest shock of their professional lives.

Mr Hayes' diktat only referred to the prevention of wind farms on shore, but many turbines are placed out at sea to maximise wind exposure

The ramifications of such a policy U-turn stretch in all directions, not least to Brussels, where our EU colleagues won’t be taken in for a moment by Mr Hayes’s disingenuous claim that Britain doesn’t need more onshore windfarms because we are now on course to meet our ‘renewables’ target without them.

But nowhere will this announcement be greeted with more delirious surprise than in all those hundreds of communities across the land where outraged local protest groups have formed in ever greater numbers to fight the onward march of what they see as the greatest threat to Britain’s countryside for centuries.


I have been following this extraordinary story for ten years ever since, in 2002, I first began looking carefully at what really lay behind this deceptive obsession with the charms of wind power. It didn’t take me long, talking to experts and reading up on the technical facts, to see that the fashionable enthusiasm for wind energy was based on a colossal illusion.

I first warned about what I called ‘the greatest mistake in our history’ in an article in the Mail almost ten years ago.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wind Farm Called "Giant Pain in the Neck"

Crohnote: Again I say Governor Cuomo...Are you watching? Is this the company you want New Yorkers to continue to do business with? Is this the company you will let, along with British Petroleum, industrialize and destroy the tourist economy of the 1000 Islands? The towns of Fairfield, Middleville, Norway, Hammond, Clayton, Orleans, Brownville, Morristown, Oswegatchie, Parishville, Hopkinton, Litchfield, New Hartford, Frankfort and many more have, and will, continue to suffer at the hands of this foreign corporate giant all for the sake of green energy. Allowing the greed of foreign corporations to have priority over the health, safety and welfare of your constituents while continuing the promotion of the most inefficiently produced form of renewable energy MUST STOP.

October 30, 2012

Dozens of neighbors of a $200 million wind farm sued the companies behind it, claiming noise and lights give them migraines, make them nervous and keep them up at night. Their dogs bark too much, dairy cows are less productive, and TV and Internet services are interrupted, the 60 plaintiffs claim in Albany County Supreme Court. All live within a mile of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project, northeast of Utica in the rural communities of Fairfield, Middleville and Norway. Iberdrola Energy Services and a slew of affiliates are named as defendants, along with Hardscrabble Wind Power, Atlantic Wind USA and affiliates, engineering consultant CHM2 Hill and staff acoustical engineer Mark Bastasch.

The property owners claim the defendants “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately assess and/or test the site of the Hardscrabble project to determine whether the subject project would be feasible and/or produce reasonable benefits to the community.” They say the wind farm – with 37 turbines that stand 476 feet tall – is too large, too noisy and too close to their homes. The 74-megawatt project began producing electricity in January 2011, according to the website of Iberdrola Renewables, an affiliate of Iberdrola USA. The project is touted as “home-grown” because the blades and tower sections for the turbines were made in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Iberdrola USA, which provides gas- and electricity-delivery services to 2.4 million customers in New York and New England, is a subsidiary of Spain’s largest utility, Iberdrola S.A., which owns hydroelectric, fossil-fueled, nuclear and renewable power-generation facilities worldwide.

The plaintiffs accuse the companies of negligence, private nuisance, trespass and strict products liability. They seek punitive damages, saying that “all of the defendants acted willfully, recklessly, were grossly negligent, and/or acted with a conscious disregard with regard to each of the allegations set forth in this complaint.” The 49-page complaint details a litany of damages from each plaintiff, from headaches and stress to sediment in drinking water and airport-like noises.

Plaintiff Diane Abele says she has lost profits from her dairy farm “because the cows have been less productive since defendants built the turbines.”

Plaintiffs Bernadette Baylor and Richard Baylor Jr. say they have been unable to sell their house and land since the wind turbines were installed. They claim that because of the turbines’ noise, they abandoned their home, now rent another, and were forced to file for bankruptcy.

Plaintiffs Andrew McEvoy and Theresa McEvoy bought their property in 2002 and 2 years later bought alpacas “with the intention of building an alpaca farm,” according to the complaint. But since the turbines were built, they suspended the operation, into which they had invested “considerable time and money.”

Plaintiff June Salamone “has increased headaches, nervous/tension feelings of panic and anxiety, dizziness, and sleep disturbance due to the wind turbines,” the complaint states. “The thumping and whooshing sounds from the turbines permeates through plaintiff June Salamone’s body” and she “cannot get an uninterrupted night of sleep.”

All of the plaintiffs claim they have “suffered a significant loss of use and enjoyment” of their property and “a negative impact on the value of the property.”

They say the wind farm operated at just 22.8 percent of capacity last year, “contrary to the intent and purpose of creating significant renewable energy,” as the defendants proposed.

They also claim the wind farm was built “because of huge governmental subsidies to the benefit of the defendants” and “little or no benefit to the public.”

The plaintiffs worry that “when the turbines become old and no longer function … Herkimer County may be left looking like a vast industrial junkyard.”

Rural Herkimer County, just east of Utica, includes large swaths of the Adirondack Mountains.

“Plaintiffs allege that all of the defendants have caused significant damage to the plaintiffs and that such damage is substantial, irreparable, and was proximately caused by the acts of the defendants as set forth in this complaint.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeff DeFrancisco and Melody Scalfone, with DeFrancisco & Falgiatano in Syracuse.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lakes not so great for wind projects, according to new energy blueprint

ALBANY – The Cuomo administration, which last year scuttled as too expensive a plan to construct the nation’s first wind energy farm in the Great Lakes, is putting its offshore focus in an area 15 miles into the Atlantic Ocean off New York City.

Now questions are arising about whether Lake Erie and Lake Ontario will ever be tried, at least by the current administration, as a source for the renewable form of energy generation.

The new state energy “blueprint” released last week in Albany presents a clear preference to focus efforts on a state wind farm plan off the Rockaways in New York City. It comes seven months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an agreement with President Obama and governors of Great Lakes states to develop offshore wind farms more quickly.

State officials insist they are not closing the door on Great Lakes wind generation. But they also say there has been little interest from developers and much concern over the high cost of trying to place turbines not only far from the state’s main energy demands downstate but also on bodies of water that freeze during winters – such as Lake Erie – or in the deeper waters of Lake Ontario.

“We are open to develop Great Lakes offshore projects,” said Gil Quiniones, the president of the New York Power Authority and point person involved in developing an energy planning blueprint presented to Cuomo last week at the Capitol.

For now, offshore projects are far more expensive than land-based wind farms, said Quiniones, whose agency late last year killed a plan – citing at least $1 billion in potential costs – to place up to 150 turbines offshore between Buffalo and Chautauqua County.

Environmental groups say the Cuomo administration missed an opportunity with its new energy plan to focus more on renewable forms of energy, including Great Lakes wind projects, and that the new blueprint will send a sour signal to wind farm energy investors.

“We’re at a crossroads in this state. We see power plants on the verge of retirement and the decisions we make today are going to have an impact for decades. The failure to include Great Lakes wind as part of our wish list is a failure of the plan,” said Brian Smith, program and communications director at the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a statewide advocacy group with offices in Buffalo.

Smith said the new energy blueprint offered only “lip service” to future wind development.

“This is certainly not a signal to offshore wind developers that New York is open for business,” he said.

The scuttled Great Lakes plan was backed by many environmental organizations but opposed by a number of shoreline communities for a host of reasons, including backlash from residents who did not want waterfront views to include large turbines on the horizon. And state officials said the costs to build and maintain the turbines would have been long-term money losers for ratepayers.

“Great Lakes wind projects would be extremely difficult and very expensive,” said Senate Energy Committee Chairman George D. Maziarz, a Newfane Republican.

While Lake Erie is not as deep as Lake Ontario, making development costs potentially lower, Maziarz said community protests were heard by regulators and politicians alike. “The local communities were up in arms in opposition to it. I would think it would be a nonstarter,” Maziarz said of future Great Lakes wind projects.

The Cuomo administration’s energy blueprint released last week said high costs make offshore wind development “not expected in the near term.” The New York Power Authority, along with power companies on Long Island and New York City, has a licensing application under way with federal officials to begin the process, though, of developing an Atlantic Ocean project off Queens. The blueprint said the Great Lakes Offshore Wind project, killed last year, “suffered from inadequate site and resource information along with premature issuances of a competitive solicitation.”

Now, the document states, the state should “pursue more targeted site assessment” for wind with a focus on the Atlantic Ocean projects “in order to best leverage limited state-level funding,” it said.   Source

Horse Creek Wind Farm developer might upsize project, begin state siting process as soon as next spring

Horse Creek Wind Farm’s developer could introduce a larger project under the state’s Article X siting process.

Paul N. Copleman, communications manager with Iberdrola Renewables Inc., said the current proposal — which would be considered by a state siting board instead of Clayton planners if, and when, the developer moves forward — is for a wind farm of up to 126 megawatts.

However, the state, in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recently released “energy highway” blueprint, identifies Horse Creek Wind Farm as a potential renewable energy project with an electricity-generating capacity of at least 126 megawatts and as much as 376 megawatts.

“We haven’t made any determinations yet about the size of the project or the type of wind turbines we may propose,” Mr. Copleman said.

Wind farm developer Atlantic Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, last asked Clayton to consider a 48-turbine, 96-megawatt project.

In 2005, it initially sought a 130-megawatt project with 62 turbines in the southeastern part of Clayton and the neighboring town of Orleans, but downsized it by removing Orleans from the project’s scope.

After a year of inactivity, the company recently suspended its local application with the Clayton Planning Board to seek an Article X review, which would expedite the approval process and give a state siting board the authority to override local zoning laws that it deems unreasonable.

“We did recently inform the town of Clayton that we intend to pursue the Article X process for our Horse Creek project, but we don’t anticipate beginning that process until next spring at the earliest,” Mr. Copleman said, adding that it is “premature to speculate” on the timing of a project application to the state.

There are too many unknown factors that could affect the application and construction of Horse Creek, he said, such as the condition of the electricity market and federal policy.

Congress has yet to renew the U.S. government’s production tax credit for wind energy, which is set to expire at the end of the year.

The $12 billion tax credit provides 2.2 cents per kilowatt for the first decade of a wind farm’s operation and opinions are split, with the Obama administration pushing for the continuation of the incentive and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney seeking to end wind subsidies.   Source

First Wind abandons Kahuku expansion as wind farm remains offline

Kahuku, Hawaii

Twelve wind turbines that rise above Kahuku remained motionless Friday, like frozen giants sitting among the Koolau Mountains.

It's been nearly three months since a fire knocked the Kahuku wind farm offline, and local residents are wondering when the project by Massachusetts-based First Wind will once again generate power.

"A lot of Kahuku residents feel since it's here, that the sooner they find a solution and can get this facility up and running again, the better it is for everybody," said Kent Fonoimoana, a board member of the Kahuku Community Association.

The 30-megawatt wind farm, capable of powering 7,700 homes, was crippled Aug. 1 after a fire erupted inside the project's battery warehouse. It was the third fire inside the 7,000 square-foot warehouse since the wind farm began generating power in March of 2011.

First Wind spokesman Kekoa Kaluhiwa tells KITV4 the cause of the fire remains undetermined, and it's not known when the project might get back online.

"Unfortunately, we still haven't come to a conclusion on the exact cause of (the fire)" said Kaluhiwa. "We are working with Hawaiian Electric on steps forward, and seeing how we can bring the project back online."

Although First Wind could face sanctions under a 20-year contract with Hawaiian Electric Co. if power generation doesn't resume, HECO spokesman Darren Pai said the focus right now is getting the wind farm back online.

"That's our principal concern right now, and we're not focused on contract provisions that don't have any immediate impact," said Pai.

Meanwhile, First Wind has abandoned plans to add five wind turbines to a parcel of land below the current wind farm footprint in Kahuku. The decision comes after the KCA voted in May not to support the expansion.

"They made it quite clear that they do not want to see more turbines in the Kahuku area," said Kaluhiwa.

Although the KCA board voted to support construction of the original wind farm, some board members like Fonoimoana are now openly wondering whether the project was the right fit for the area. That's especially true now that the wind farm has ceased generating power.

"I consider wind turbines a huge blight on the community," said Fonoimoana. "We are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and in my honest opinion, the answer to our energy problems or energy challenges, are surrounding us."

The battery energy storage system used by First Wind in Kahuku and the Kaheawa Wind II project on Maui was developed by Texas-based company Xtreme Power. The batteries are needed to evenly distribute energy along the electrical grid.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard is concerned enough about the Kahuku wind farm being rendered useless, he's planning an informational briefing at the state Capitol sometime in December.

"We haven't set a date yet, but when we bring all the parties together, that will be able to provide some of the answers for the community," said Gabbard, who chairs the Committee on Energy and the Environment. "Bringing together First Wind, Xtreme Power, also Castle and Cooke (and) the Department of Health, so we can just see what's going on."

Kahuku residents receive no discount on electrical rates after supporting construction of the wind farm. Instead, First Wind provides $45,000 a year in the form of a benefits package.

However, Fonoimoana and other members of the KCA want to know exactly how the money is being spent. The KCA received $2,500 from First Wind as part of the deal, but hasn't received a list of other expenditures.

"We have requested in writing and in person an accounting of who's getting what," said Fonoimoana, "But to date, we have yet to receive that from First Wind."

Kaluhiwa was unable to provide a list of organizations receiving funds from the benefits package, but said First Wind supports efforts in education, erosion control, health care and perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wind energy forum brings hundreds

It was standing room only in the Recreation Park on Tuesday night — with “BP Go Home” protesters occupying one side and green-shirted Voters for Wind filling the other.

Sandwiched between an audience of 300 people and local lawmakers from Cape Vincent and Lyme was Richard F. Chandler, representing BP Wind Energy, who was grilled by town officials for nearly two hours in a comment-heavy question-and-answer session following a brief presentation on the project.

Members of both town councils and planning boards spoke in unison, criticizing BP’s “back-door approach” to the $300 million project and the developer’s new 124-turbine layout that is in clear violation of local zoning laws.

There will be no wind turbines in the town of Lyme — only a transmission line — under BP’s new proposal. And although the configurations are preliminary, Mr. Chandler, director of business development for the project, said the turbines would not exceed 500 feet in height.

BP is pursuing a speedier approval process under Article X that would also allow a state siting board to overrule what it deems as unreasonable local laws. Article X of the 2011 Power NY Act imposes a 12-month deadline for the consideration of electric-generating facilities of 25 megawatts or higher.
Not only is the state seeking to expedite the siting of energy projects, it is also pushing for a $675 million investment in renewable energy.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in his recent “energy highway” plan, calls for $250 million in state renewable energy funding to leverage $475 million in private investment, with a goal to create an additional 270 megawatts of energy.

The Cape Vincent Wind Farm is mentioned in the plan as one such potential project, with a listed minimum and maximum capacity of 285 megawatts.

However, Mr. Chandler said the size of the project has not been finalized and reiterated his past statement to the state Public Service Commission that the wind farm could be as small as 200 megawatts.

Several Lyme and Cape Vincent officials also took offense Tuesday night that the developer had come up with its own wind turbine setbacks.

“Our zoning law is not up for sale and not negotiable,” said Cape Vincent Planning Board member Paul L. Docteur. “We will defend our zoning law to the end.”

Mr. Chandler said BP “factored in” several standards — including Cape Vincent’s wind laws and those from other wind projects in the country — to come up with its own “reasonable” guidelines that “address health and safety concerns” and “exceed industry standards.”

BP’s setbacks include: 1,500 feet from Route 12E, 1,000 feet from County Route 6 and nonparticipating property lines, 650 feet from roads and a quarter-mile from residences.
Both Cape Vincent and Lyme’s setbacks are considerably stricter.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cape Vincent citizens stage an anti-wind "Agreement".

Last night, citizens who are opposed to any industrial wind development in the Golden Crescent and Thousand Island region, took it to the streets and staged a public agreement.

The peaceful mob of people, who agree with their local public officials, spent the afternoon marching around the Cape Vincent British Petroleum office, carrying signs that said things like "Bp Go Home" and "Home Rule Rules".

Then, after spending the time near the British Petroleum's downtown Cape Vincent office, the agreeing citizens went to Cape Vincent's Recreation Park where they assembled to greet British Petroleum's Richard Chandler, their community organizer and their local lease holders, all of whom are attempting to break the laws of the Towns of Lyme and Cape Vincent by shoving 124 wind turbines down our pie holes.

Chandler showed the public officials a map of his local law-breaking project and presented a power point presentation that was not big enough for anyone to see. During his presentation, Chandler claimed that he had overwhelming community support for what he and British Petroleum intended to do. Every man and every woman representing our community as public servants then told Mr. Chandler that he did not have overwhelming public support for his project. The last time I saw Chandler, he was telling the press the same prevarication.

Read the entire article

Thursday, October 18, 2012

AWEA meeting to probe details of possible PTC phaseout, long-term policy needs

Wind industry representatives will gather today to discuss the long-term economic implications of their key tax break, including how and whether it could be reduced or phased out and what policy mechanisms could replace it, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

The two-day, closed-door meeting being convened by the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s primary trade association, is separate from the industry’s long-standing push for an immediate extension of the production tax credit, which expires at the end of this year for wind.

Several months ago, AWEA established three working groups to examine long-term policy issues, and those groups are nearly complete with their task, spurring this week’s meeting.

One group focused on analyzing the economic impacts of various PTC phaseout designs to determine what would be optimal for the industry, another group focused on the political realities of what could make it through Congress, and a third examined other policies that could supplement or replace a PTC if it expired, such as renewable portfolio standards or master limited partnership status for renewable energy companies.

The overarching goal is to determine “what does the industry need to stay alive, basically,” said one industry lobbyist familiar with the meeting who, like others who spoke to Greenwire for this article, requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The industry has been buffeted by thousands of layoffs in recent months, mostly among component manufacturers, as virtually no equipment orders have been placed for next year because of uncertainty surrounding the tax credit. AWEA says 37,000 jobs will be lost without an extension of the credit.

“We have meetings all the time analyzing PTC options as well as markets and technology,” said Ellen Carey, an AWEA spokeswoman. “That should come as no surprise given the policy uncertainty we continue to experience.”

Congress is expected to address the immediate fate of the PTC during a lame-duck session, although the future of the credit and myriad other issues largely hinge on the outcome of the elections, industry lobbyists and congressional aides say.

As AWEA has lobbied for an extension of the credit, its representatives have stressed that they are not asking for the credit to be continued indefinitely, and some industry backers have suggested phasing out the credit over a number of years (E&E Daily, June 12).

But the industry as a whole has struggled to come to a consensus on the details of a phaseout. That, among other factors, has limited the scope of discussions between the industry and Capitol Hill, creating some frustration among the lawmakers and congressional staffers who would write legislation to address the issue. At least two companies have met with staff on the House Ways and Means Committee in recent weeks to discuss phaseout proposals, according to sources familiar with the meetings, although it remains unclear how detailed those discussions have been.

“Ways and Means would like specifics so they can craft a deal,” a second industry lobbyist said, referring to the House tax-writing committee.

It remains to be seen whether Congress will take up an “extenders” bill before the end of the year, with the presidential election likely to determine how much lawmakers attempt to accomplish in November and December. If President Obama is re-elected, most observers expect a busy lame-duck session, but if Republican Mitt Romney wins the White House, Congress is expected to put off most of its work until after the new president is inaugurated.

A House aide said the industry would benefit from getting details to the Hill sooner rather than later.

“Wind is rapidly becoming the next ethanol, and it is tough to imagine how sitting on the sidelines to see which way the political winds blow on Election Day will be seen as anything other than just that — political,” said the aide, who requested anonymity. “Working in good faith and fulfilling commitments that have been made to members and staff are critical to determining next steps — and those steps will be determined sooner rather than later.”

Hopes for a PTC extension received a boost in August, when the Senate Finance Committee gave bipartisan backing to an extenders bill that would prolong and modify the tax credit (E&E Daily, Aug. 3). That bill could hit the Senate floor soon after Congress returns the week after the elections.

More detailed discussion of a phaseout could happen between staff and lobbyists and within the industry over the next few months, although specific proposals are not expected to be made public until and unless Congress approaches comprehensive tax reform.

If Congress embarks on an effort to overhaul the tax code for the first time since 1986, targeted tax breaks such as the PTC are seen as likely candidates for elimination to offset lower rates for individuals and businesses. It is not just renewable energy companies that are wary of what such reform could mean for their bottom lines, as tax credits and deductions enjoyed by oil and natural gas producers as well as various other energy sectors also could get the ax in a streamlined tax code.

Several variables are at play in determining whether the industry could survive without the PTC, including how long persistent low natural gas prices will continue, the pace at which turbine technology costs continue falling and what other policies would remain in place to drive wind development.

Low gas prices have been an especially key concern over the past few years because they make it more difficult for wind to compete with cheap, gas-fired electricity. And demand for new wind projects has fallen as state-level renewable energy mandates are being met. Because of these factors, analysts expect the industry to struggle next year, regardless of what happens with the PTC, although losing the tax credit would make the situation even worse (ClimateWire, Oct. 9).

A relatively novel idea has been gaining traction in Washington as a way to help the wind industry by allowing it to use a financing model that has long been enjoyed by oil, gas and mining companies. A bipartisan group of senators earlier this year offered legislation that would let renewable energy companies, such as wind developers, structure themselves as master limited partnerships, which would allow them to split income, taxes and tax credits among numerous investors to eliminate their corporate tax bills (Greenwire, June 7)

Today’s AWEA meeting is not expected to produce a consensus position on the longer-term phaseout question, a third industry lobbyist said, noting that it is not a formal meeting of AWEA’s board. But it should give participants a better idea of the economic and political implications of various approaches that could get more attention as part of a comprehensive tax reform debate next year.

“I think at the end of the day, industry has come to grips with the notion this benefit can’t be unfettered over time,” a fourth wind lobbyist said.


PTC Vampire

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Against the wind

Cuomo should demand health study

 Gov. Cuomo last month ordered state officials to study the health effects of hydraulic fracturing — and so continued to prevent drillers from exploiting the Marcellus Shale. But if he’s truly interested in public health, the governor must also put a freeze on wind-energy projects in New York until their health impact can be gauged. 
After all, residents across rural New York — indeed, country-dwellers around the world — are waging bitter fights against industrial-scale wind projects, and one of their main concerns is the health effects of the audible and inaudible noise created by large wind turbines.
They’re ugly, too: Turbines from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm tower over a Lowville, NY, farm.
To date, the state has assumed that oil and gas drilling is “guilty (dirty) until proven innocent” but wind-energy development is “clean.” Indeed, if New York is to meet its renewable-energy target — to obtain 30 percent of all electricity from renewables by 2015 — several thousand new wind turbines will be needed. 
But about two dozen New York towns have already passed rules banning or restricting wind-energy development, and more will come if turbine construction takes off. 
It’s not simply that wind projects can be ugly. Health officials from Canada to Australia and the UK to New Zealand are seriously examining the effect that wind-turbine noise has on humans. 
In July, Health Canada announced a study, with the results due in 2014. That investigation was initiated after Ontario’s Environment Ministry logged hundreds of health complaints about the noise generated by the province’s growing fleet of wind turbines. 
Last year, the Canadian province’s Environmental Review Tribunal concluded, “The debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” 
Over the past two years, I’ve interviewed people from New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, New Zealand, Australia, Ontario and Nova Scotia who’ve had wind turbines built near their homes. All of them complain about the noise in nearly identical terms. 
Dave Enz, a retired millwright, was forced to abandon his home after a spate of windmills went up nearby in Denmark, Wisc.; he and his wife Rose now live in an RV. He said that when he and Rose are at their home and the wind is blowing, “Some of the symptoms we experience are headaches, ear pain, nausea, blurred vision, anxiety, memory loss and an overall unsettledness.” 
The April issue of Acoustics Today features an article by Peter Narins, a distinguished UCLA professor and expert on auditory physiology, and Annie Chen, a student. Their findings: “High levels of infrasound and low-frequency sounds generated by wind turbines pose a potentially serious threat to communities near wind farms.” 
They conclude that “further studies are needed to examine the effects of wind farms on the quality of life in sensitive individuals.” 
Rural New Yorkers are already responding to what they see as a threat. Meredith, NY, was the subject of Laura Israel’s recent documentary “Windfall,” which recounts a rancorous fight for control of the town board that concluded with a ban on wind turbines. Just two months ago, the Cape Vincent town council voted unanimously for strict restrictions on wind projects. 
Of course, the wind-energy industry, and its many supporters, want to dismiss the noise issue — and the widespread rural opposition — because it contradicts their near-religious belief that wind energy is “green.” 
But the backlash is real. The European Platform Against Windfarmsnow lists 555 signatory organizations and fights are raging against industrial wind projects throughout the UK. 
The backlash can even be seen in Denmark, a country frequently lauded for its pro-wind policies. In 2010, The Copenhagen Post reported that state-owned Dong Energy had “given up building more wind turbines on Danish land, following protests from residents complaining about the noise the turbines make.” 
The bottom line is as obvious as a 400-foot-high wind turbine: Unless Cuomo’s decision to study the impact of fracking is merely a political payoff designed to placate New York’s potent Green lobby, he should demand that the same public-health analysis be applied to wind energy. 
Robert Bryce is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow; his latest book is “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.”  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hartsville board approves wind tower

The Hartsville Town Board Wednesday evening took what might have been the first step towards determining whether or not the town will be a suitable location for wind turbines.

The board approved a two-year permit that will allow for the construction of a meteorological (MET) tower, which measures wind speed and direction at a site, on Ells Road. The tower will stand for two years and will determine whether or not Hartsville is a viable area for harnessing wind energy.

Kevin Sheen, senior director of development for EverPower, which develops, owns and operates utility grade wind projects, said the tower will be erected at the beginning of November.

"Then we'll start monitoring the wind. We need to do that at least for a year and then during that time, we'll do a bunch of studies and that sort of stuff in addition," he said. "In order to determine what the wind is like in an area, you need to study it for at least one year."

Though the expense of the tower, equipment and installation is between $50,000 and $60,000, town supervisor Michael Muhleisen said that is not a cost associated with the town.

"That's an agreement with the contracting wind company and its contracting MET company, Aerial Erectors," he said.

This was not the first time Hartsville had been considered as the location for a wind project. E.On Climate and Renewables, one of the world's largest owners of renewable power projects, previously discussed a project with the town.

However, the project fell through after Hartsville adopted a new wind law in 2009 and the wind company had difficulty selling renewable-energy credits.

Previously, EverPower constructed 25 wind turbines in the Town of Howard.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Everpower Is Testing The Wind In Hartsville and Wayland

The Hartsville Town Board has voted unanimously to allow Everpower Wind to put up a wind test tower in Hartsville. Kevin Sheen, Everpower Senior Director of Development, says the permit will last for a period of two years.

In other wind news, Everpower has gotten the approval for a permit to put up a test tower to see if there can be a wind project in Wayland.   Source