Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eagle death at Nevada wind farm brings federal scrutiny

A single dead eagle could spell trouble for a White Pine County wind farm that sells power to NV Energy.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an investigation after a golden eagle was killed in late February at the Spring Valley Wind Farm, about 300 miles north of Las Vegas.
San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, which owns the 152-megawatt wind energy project, reported the dead bird and turned it over to federal authorities within 36 hours of its discovery.
“They did all the things they were supposed to because of an eagle death,” said Jeannie Stafford, spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Nevada.
Even so, the wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 because it does not hold a federal “take” permit that would allow the incidental death of a golden or bald eagle.
Stafford said the matter is under investigation by the service’s Office of Law Enforcement.
The $225 million facility went online in August as the first utility-scale wind farm in Nevada and the first to be built on federal land anywhere in the United States.
It features 66 turbines, each roughly 400 feet tall, scattered over 7,500 acres at the heart of the vast Spring Valley, which runs north-south for about 110 miles between the Schell Creek and Snake mountain ranges in eastern Nevada.
Stafford said Spring Valley is not a breeding ground for golden eagles, but the large birds of prey do migrate through the area and forage for food there.
Few bald eagles, if any, are known to pass through Spring Valley during migration, she said.
Those two species receive special protection under federal law dating to 1940.
Scott Flaherty, spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s southwestern regional office in Sacramento, Calif., said wind energy projects are not required to get take permits, but those that don’t open themselves up to investigation and possible prosecution under federal law.
Applying for a permit and engaging with the service before any eagles are killed “provides the best possible outcomes for the companies and the wildlife,” Flaherty said.
“We really prefer that wind developers work with the service early on in the process” to identify the best site for a farm and its individual turbines to reduce bird strikes, he said.
The incident in Spring Valley comes as the service considers extending the length of its take permits to up to 30 years, a move that could cut down on some of the red tape facing wind energy projects.
Flaherty said the current take permits are good for up to five years.
“It is not like a license to just go out and kill eagles,” he said. “The goal is no net loss. The service looks at populations, regional and national populations over time.”
NV Energy has agreed to buy wind energy from Spring Valley for the next 20 years.
The state’s largest electric utility is already delivering power from the wind farm to customers in Northern Nevada. The wind farm will start lighting lights and running air conditioners in the Las Vegas Valley with the completion of a new transmission line being built from Ely to Apex.
In a statement late Monday, Pattern CEO Mike Garland called the bird’s death “unfortunate” but noted that it is “the one eagle incident” since the start of operations on Aug. 8.
“We reported the incident to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other local agencies and continue to work with these organizations on this matter,” he said.
In December, when the Spring Valley facility won Wind Project of the Year at an international power-sector conference, Garland touted the company’s “environmental leadership.”
That included such “groundbreaking mitigation measures” as “modified electrical lines to reduce risks to birds and an advanced radar system designed to protect birds and bats,” he said.
Environmental groups initially tried to block construction of the wind farm over concerns about birds and bats dying in collisions with the turbines, among other issues.
The Western Watersheds Project and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in January 2011 accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of skirting environmental regulations to fast-track the project.
The two sides settled their differences last year, after a federal judge refused to stop ork at the wind farm to allow more study of how it might affect bats and sage grouse in the area.
Under the settlement, Pattern agreed to expand its program for tracking bird and bat deaths associated with the project. The company also agreed to pay $50,000 for a study of nearby Rose Cave, where more than 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats roost during their fall migration.
In 2010, the developers of the wind farm said they expected fewer than 203 birds and 193 bats to die each year from turbine encounters.

Monday, March 25, 2013

BP Announces their intent to file a Preliminary Scoping Statement For Their Cape Vincent Wind Complex

Today in Section B6 of the Watertown Times British Petroleum has posted the following  full page announcement 

Cape Vincent Wind Farm – Preliminary Scoping Statement Public Notice
on March 29, 2013 Cape Vincent Wind Power, LLC (“ CVWP") will file a preliminary scoping statement(" PSS") for the proposed Cape Vincent wind farm pursuant to article 10 of the New York public service law(16 and why CRR – 1000.5 ). APS S is a written document intended to inform the New York State board on electric generation and siting(the “siting board”), other public agencies, and the public that CVWP is contemplating making an article 10 application parentheses the" application") to the siting board.

CVWP is proposing to build a 200 – 285 MW wind energy facility with up to 124 turbines to be cited in the town of Cape Vincent and the associated overhead generation interconnection line and related equipment to be cited in the towns of Cape Vincent and line and potentially the village of Chaumont (" Project").

The PSS will contain:
I. a brief description of the proposed Cape Vincent wind farm and its environmental setting;
II. potentially significant adverse environmental and health impacts related to the construction and operation of the project including impacts related to:

  • Statewide electrical system
  • Ecology, air, ground and surface water, wildlife, and habitat
  • Public health and safety
  • Cultural, historical and recreational resources
  • Transportation, communication, utilities
  • Noise and vibration
  • Socioeconomic effects
  • Visual impacts
  • Electric magnetic fields
  • Wetlands
  • Cumulative Impact of Emissions on the Local Community
  • Environmental Justice Communities 

the PSS will contain measures proposed to minimize environmental impacts in the identification of all other state and federal permits, certifications, or other authorization is needed for construction, operation or maintenance of the project. PSS will contain a list of local laws, rules, or regulations that the project will be seeking the siding board to supplant or override.

The PSS will also contain a description of the proposed studies or program of studies designed to evaluate potential environmental and health impacts that the CVWP intends to include in its application for an article 10 certificate. The description of the studies will include the extent and quality of information needed for the application to adequately address and evaluate each potentially significant adverse environmental and health impact, including existing and new information where required, and the methodologies and procedures for obtaining the new information. The PSS will also include an identification of any other material issues raised by the public and affected agencies to date and the response to the CVWP in those issues.

Within 21 days after the filing of the PSS, any person, agency or municipality may submit comments to the PSS by serving such comments on CVWP and filing a copy with the secretary to the Department of Public Service. Within 21 days after the closing of the comment period, CVWP shall prepare a summary of the material comments and its responses to those comments.

CVWP will provide $99,750 of Intervenor funds available for municipal and local parties that may be used to defray certain expenses associated with participating in the article 10 proceeding during the pre-application phase. Fifty percent (50%) of these Intervenor funds are reserved for municipalities. An application for Intervenor funds and more information on eligibility and how to apply for Intervenor funds is available at the DPS website at http://www.dps.ny.gov.

An application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the project may be filed by CVWP 90 days after the filing of the PSS. The application will be accompanied by additional funding for intervenors. The application will build upon the school agreed upon in the ecological, seismic, biological, water supply, population and load sensor data as well as an evaluation of the expected environmental and health impacts and safety implications of the project, both during its construction and operation, including any studies, identifying the author and date thereof.

Once application is filed and determined to beat complete, the siting board will set a date for a public hearing. The presiding examiner will conduct a prehearing conference to identify intervenors, award Intervenor funds, identify issues for hearing and establish a case schedule for discovery to be followed by hearings. After hearings, stakeholders may brief their positions and the presiding examiner will issue a recommended decision upon which the siding board will base its decision. Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to submit briefs on the completed within 12 months from the date that the application is determined to comply with all filing requirements.

Information about the project is available from the applicant, the DPS public information coordinator, the project website (www.CapeVincentwindfarm.com) and the siting board's webpage at (http://ww.dps.ny.gov.SitingBoard).

Any member of the public wishing to receive all it formal notices, including but not limited to notices regarding a pre-application stipulations, concerning the proposed facility can file a request with the secretary. A written request may be e-mailed to the secretary at secretary@dps.ny.gov  or sent by mail to the following address: Hon Jeffrey Cohen, acting secretary,NYS  Department of Public Service, Three Empire state Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 – 1350.

Electronic documents concerning the proposed Cape Vincent wind farm can be accessed on the DPS website http://ww.dps.ny.gov, see the link on the left side of the webpage  under" Most Popular Page" to access the " Commission Documents" page, search for the Cape Vincent wind farm documents using the case number 12 – F – 0410. Alternatively, go directly to the siting board's webpage at http://www.dps.ny.gov/siting board to access documents and notices.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Residents' interests have been neglected in Orangeville

Dear Editor:
I was struck by the extent of social havoc caused to the Town of Orangeville, by an uncontested proposal from a big company located outside of our area.  Additionally, it is unsettling that this social unrest is fueled, in large part, by our tax money acting in the form of federal and state subsidies that increase the profitability of large companies like Invenergy and General Electric and their investors, like Goldman-Sachs.

In the face of the Big Wind juggernaut, one simply must ask who the Town Board is representing: the tax-paying residents or big business?

It is hard to imagine how the interests of residents could have been so completely trampled by their elected representatives. How was this situation allowed to happen? What role might the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors played in sticking up for citizen’s rights?

What does the situation say about the future? What comfort can taxpayers take from the realization that state and local organizations do not seem to represent them – organizations that exist solely because of the tax revenue they collect?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Orangeville residents issue intent to sue

Approximately 80 Orangeville residents are preparing for possible legal action against wind-turbine leaseholders, if the coming windmills adversely affect the landowners.
Buffalo attorney Richard Lippes, who represented homeowners during the 1970s Love Canal disaster, recently sent a notice of intent to sue to approximately 40 lease holders, if the turbines damage his clients’ health, quality of life or property.
David Bassett, one of the landowners represented by Lippes, said the lease holders notified should not be concerned because Invenergy and Orangeville have stated the Stony Creek Wind Farm will not cause problems.

“The (Orangeville) Town Board and Invenergy have assured everyone that there’s going to be no problems – no problems whatsoever – in which case, you’ll have no trouble from us,” he said. “The problem is we don’t believe any of that stuff. We just want to hedge our bets just in case we’re right and they’re wrong (and) give you guys a heads up that we’re not going to go down quietly.”

The group said low-frequency noise called infrasound produced by wind turbines near houses can cause negative health effects, and they have also raised concerns over the proximity of the turbines to houses and other buildings.

That distance between the turbines and buildings, or setback, ties into additional measures being taken. Last month, Bassett, along with fellow Orangeville residents Steven Moultrup and Lynn Lomanto, filed a joint petition to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to amend its December 2011 decision that gave Invenergy a conditional go-ahead for the Stony Creek project.

The trio is hoping that new public health information, including two separate 2012 studies commissioned by Health Canada and the Wisconsin PSC investigating human health effects of infrasound, will force the PSC to reconsider their ruling.

In addition, the petition to amend seeks a status report on and an extension of three compliance requirements included in the original PSC ruling. If the extension is granted, all turbines would be subject to a third-party review and Type Certification, and the PSC would ensure insurance levels could cover dismantling and relocation costs should health problems arise.

Lomanto stressed neither the petition to amend nor the potential lawsuit are related to Clear Skies Over Orangeville, a formal group of Orangeville landowners opposed to Stony Creek Wind Farm.

The petition to amend was not on the March 14 agenda, and it is not clear when the PSC will consider the petition.


Monday, March 11, 2013

AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: 3/11/13

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy & environmental policies. Our basic position is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science.

Instead of a science-based approach, our energy and environmental policies are typically written by those who stand to economically or politically profit from them. As a result, anything genuinely science-based in these policies is usually inadvertent and accidental.

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. To this end, every three weeks or so a newsletter is put together to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and environmental matters. We very much appreciate MasterResource for its assistance in publishing this information (for the two most recent reports, see here and here).


A sordid story of wind energy in Rhode Island. This is very representative of what is going on everywhere. Watch this video carefully!

Reports about greed energy economics:

Very significant: How AWEA’s Job Claims are Bogus.

More evidence of extra costs required by wind energy.

Phony wind prices harming nuclear industry.

NREL — secret “lab” wasting your money.

Germany’s Unaffordable Wind Energy.

Germany’s “Green revolution” may cost Taxpayers well over $1 Trillion.

Sequester is a Manufactured Crisis.

Sequestration might hamper development of unreliables.

Sequestration results in 8.7% cut in wind 1603 grants.

More good commentary re sequestration and energy impacts.

Wind project’s $30 million in subsidies to be reviewed.

Despite high wind development, Texas has had a net loss in green jobs since 2010!

Ontario may “solve” wind’s intermittency with a Battery Five Times the Size of Niagara Falls. The cost — who cares?

MPs on the Pay of Subsidized Eco-firms…

BC Hydro’s Billion Dollar Climate Bill.

Investors may sue when handouts stop.

Maryland’s Offshore Wind Fiasco.

The latest in the removal of the Falmouth Turbines.

Reports about turbine health matters:

An excellent list where health professionals have expressed turbine concerns.

Health Effects of Infrasound can Cause Death.

Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes. (Peer reviewed.)

Deaths from various Energy Forms Compared.

Turbine Noise at Fairhaven Massachusetts.

More evidence of Green Energy Pollution.

Health Effects part of WindRush movie.

Reports about turbine wildlife matters:

USF&WS and 30 year Eagle killing permits.

Sierra Club Promotes Industry Over Wildlife.

John Muir and Wind Turbines.

Miscellaneous energy reports:

A superb summary of wind’s deficiencies by an economics PhD.

Wind Running from Demand.

Winds of Change — how communities are destroyed.

Wind Power’s Role Overestimated.

Wind Industry Should be Prosecuted for Fraud

Ten Ways to Kill Big Wind

Power Density Separates Wheat from the Chaff.

Offshore Wind Turbines Can Break Like Matches.

Wind Facts from a Different Angle.

No Wind, No Sun, No Power.

Wind Permits revoked in NYS.

NY State Judge dismisses lawsuit by wind developer.

Renewable Energy’s Big Secret.

Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists.

Grass Roots Revolt on Green Energy.

Is Your Church Bowing to the Green Dragon?

An Ill Wind Blows in New Hampshire.

Germany “Reaches the Pain Threshold”.

Peak Oil vs Peak Government —> please follow.

Keystone Pipeline — Pyrrhic Victory Ahead?

Solar energy can be a large consumer of water: see here and here.

An article about the new head of DOE.

Manmade global warming articles of interest:

A new solution to global warming, that might actually make sense!

Climate Change Poised to Enter Classrooms.

Survey says: Decades of climate alarmism have had little effect on attitudes.

Normative Science (really good) by Dr. Judith Curry.

Some scientists conclude that CO2 follows global warming.

IPCC head acknowledges 17-year pause in global warming.

Latest Research: EU & Russian Scientists Confirm Medieval Period Warmer Than Modern Global Warming

Time To Jail The Climate Scamsters?

It’s the Sun, Stupid.

Keystone Pipeline Will Not Affect Climate.

Sierra Club resorts to civil disobedience to promote their religion.

Our Real Manmade Climate Crisis.

Can Global Warmists Get Their Story Straight?

You’ve probably heard that environmentalists (and their media associates) were making dire warnings about global cooling in the 1970’s. This is a fascinating list of dozens of such claims.

Other articles of general interest —

An excellent article on the situation with flood insurance.

A superior short video about Obamacare and morality.

Our proposed national energy slogan is “All of the Sensible” (in contrast to the absurd “All of the Above”). Please pass it on. US citizens should make sure to get up-to-speed with what is on our PTCFacts.Info pages, as this is still a political issue.

Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people.


Saturday, March 02, 2013

State justice dismisses suit by wind power developer

A State Supreme Court justice has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the Town of Allegany Planning Board by a wind power development company.

The decision by Justice Michael Nenno against Everpower Wind Holdings was brought to the attention of Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County by the group’s lawyer, Gary Abraham.

In December, Everpower sued both the Town of Allegany and the Allegany Planning Board, claiming the board’s request for a supplemental review of noise impacts, in light of the wind power company’s request to use larger turbine blades, was arbitrary.

Nenno threw out the lawsuit against the Planning Board, citing Everpower’s conduct as willfully obstinate.