Forbes Magazine: wind gets away with murder

Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder

The variable radial speed of wind turbines, up to 170 miles per hour can be lethal to birds and bats, especially our iconic bald eagle, seen here. Photo credit: John & Karen Hollingsworth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. So Wind Farms kill eagles. It’s not like we don’t kill beautiful endangered animals all the time. True, these are federally-protected and they’re an iconic symbol of our democracy. But hey, who minds using taxpayer dollars to kill a few icons?
I guess it’s the hypocrisy that galls. Under both the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Acts and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the death of a single eagle is a felony, and the Administration has prosecuted oil companies when birds drown in their oily facilities, and fined utilities when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.

But, come on, everyone hates oil companies. And who even knows what a utility is.
So the Interior Department can be forgiven for never fining or prosecuting a wind-energy company that repeatedly kills eagles. And we taxpayers can be forgiven for subsidizing them to the tune of a billion dollars a year.
According to an estimate published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in March almost 600,000 birds are killed by wind farms in America each year, including over 80,000 raptors such as hawks and falcons and eagles (Wildlife Society). Even more bats die as their lungs are inverted by the negative pressures generated behind the 170 mile-per-hour spinning blades.

Read entire article here.http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

Shelburne Mayor: this has got to stop

Shelburne has been living with industrial wind turbines since 2006 so when the people there say wind power is affecting communities negatively, they have a point–they know what damage has been done. Now, the Shelburne mayor is reacting to the government’s plan to pay for curtailed production. If you can cancel gas plants, he says…
  Here is the Orangeville Banner story.

Shelburne mayor asks premier to cancel wind turbine projects

Orangeville Banner

Wind turbine projects should be cancelled in the same manner as power plants in the Greater Toronto Area, according to Shelburne Mayor Ed Crewson.
At county council on Thursday (Sept. 12), Crewson urged his fellow councillors to support a motion asking Premier Kathleen Wynne to cancel wind projects still in the development stage and reimburse investors.
His motion, which will appear on the county’s next council agenda, follows an announcement from the province that wind farm operators will be paid to not generate electricity.
“Someone’s got to say ‘This has got to stop’,” Crewson said. “This is not viable. It is not sustainable.”
Since 2006, Ontario has generated a surplus of electricity and wind farm operators were paid for power regardless of need.
As of Sept. 11, when supply exceeds demand, wind farm operators will be paid a reduced rate to cease generating power.
Crewson questions why the province is allowing new projects to develop, despite the lack of need for more energy.
“We don’t need the electricity and we’re paying a premium to get it,” Crewson said. “It’s our province and it’s our money.”
If the province is able to spend more than $500 million on cancelling power plants in Mississauga and Oakville, the government should do the same for project such as Dufferin Wind in Melancthon, according to Crewson.
“They should get paid too,” Crewson said. “The people who’ve invested the money to date should be compensated as those who invested money in constructing the gas powered facilities.”
Currently, wind power generates about 2,100 megawatts of electricity province-wide. However, that number will nearly triple when all wind projects connect to the grid.
“The cost of this is going to be just incredible as all these wind farms come into production,” Crewson said. “We’re the ones paying the cost.”
Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts declined to comment on Crewson’s motion before receiving a copy from the county.
However, the company planning to construct 49-turbines in Melancthon endorsed the province’s announcement.
“Regardless of which political wind you listen to, the Ministry of Energy is ‘getting it right’ and making sure wind energy plays its part,” Roberts said in an email to The Banner.
She added reduced payments during times of oversupply are “an effective tool” for gas-fired, nuclear, and hydroelectric suppliers.
“The inclusion of wind energy as a dispatchable source of generation in the province’s electrical supply is a smart choice for Ontario and Ontarians,” Roberts said.
According to the Ministry of Energy, paying wind farm operators to not generate electricity will save Ontario at least $200 million every year.
“Supply and demand conditions vary throughout the course of a day,” said ministry spokesperson Andrea Arbuthnot in an email to The Banner. “We have to ensure that our electricity system is flexible enough to respond to changing conditions.”
The Ontario Power Authority will continue to honour existing renewable energy contracts to fill a possible upcoming void.
“Wind generators provide power for 20 years and will be an essential source of electricity for Ontario during the nuclear refurbishment period,” Arbuthnot said.

Property values “plummet” near wind power projects

Studies Show Land-Based Wind Turbines Cause Property Values to Plummet; Wind Wise Massachusetts Claims Study Showing Otherwise is Misleading

Published Monday, Sep. 16, 2013


FALMOUTH, Mass., Sept. 16, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A national study that claims there is “no statistical evidence” that real estate prices near wind turbines are negatively impacted is misleading because it lumps homes close to the turbines with those miles away, according to Wind Wise Massachusetts (WWMA).
“The report’s own data found that homes located within one mile to the turbines decreased in value by 28 percent compared to homes located within 3 to 10 miles from the turbines,” according to Virginia Irvine, president of WWMA (windwisema.org), a statewide alliance of grassroots environmental groups and individuals.
“The study’s authors are just perpetuating the myth that wind turbines are not responsible for significant property losses,” she said.
“The report is also comparing apples with oranges as less than 2.5 percent of the more than 50,000 home sales analyzed in recently released Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study were within one mile of the turbines and some were as far as 10 miles away,” Irvine said.  
In the widely publicized report, the authors stated in the abstract that “…we find no statistical evidence that home values near turbines were affected in the post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods.”
The report -– A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States –- was published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in August.
Irvine said independent, comprehensive appraisals have found that land-based wind turbines can cause property values to plummet within two miles by 15 percent to 40 percent.
“There is a major difference between turbines in a power plant 10 miles from homes in the country to those that are less than one mile from homes in residential communities,” Irvine said.
“But the sad fact is that whether a wind turbine is near a solo home in the country or in a more heavily populated area, the homeowner is going to see a significant loss in the value of his home,” she added.
“Wind turbines near residential areas are devastating to home values,” according to Michael McCann, president of McCann Appraisal of Chicago.
He said his paired study analysis of homes near wind turbines in more than two dozen communities throughout the country “consistently have found homes losing 25 to 40 per cent of their value.
Contact:  Barry Wanger for Wind Wise Massachusetts, Wanger Associates, 617-965-6469, Barry@WangerAssociates.com
SOURCE Wind Wise Massachusetts

Report on ERT preliminary hearing on South Kent wind project

This report comes from the Chatham-Kent Wind Action group.

Report on the Preliminary ERT Hearing of Platinum Produce vs South Kent Wind
 
The second appeal of the South Kent Wind project began with a preliminary hearing in Blenheim yesterday (Sept 5). Robert Wright was the only tribunal judge presiding. Two lawyers (Bunting and Powell) were there to represent South Kent Wind, and at least 3 lawyers (Jacobs, Horner and ?) were there for the MOE as well as a representative or two for the minister of the Environment. The appellant, Platinum Produce, was represented by Graham Andrews (from the Gillespie firm).
   No one requested any status to present material or raise issues at the hearing.
   South Kent Wind began by seeking dismissal of the constitutional challenge raised by Platinum Produce as well as a complete dismissal of the hearing. This was echoed by the MOE who also said that the Tribunal was not the proper jurisdiction to raise constitutional issues.

   The proceedings continued as per normal while schedules, correspondence, etc were discussed… kind of like watching paint dry.
   Eventually Horner for the MOE began his argument regarding the need to strike the constitutional part of the challenge, that is– the right to life, liberty and security of person. His argument was that a company (Platinum Produce) has no direct standing to make such a claim, because it is a corporation, not a human.
Bunting for South Kent Wind continued with the same opinion that a corporation can’t raise a charter challenge.
   I’m not sure how things progressed after that as I had to leave. But here is a bit more background about the appeal…
   One of the turbines was originally located less than 550m from Platinum Produces’ permanent bunkhouse. This was not discovered until the last day of the first appeal of the project which took place about a year ago. South Kent Wind eventually moved 3 turbines and reduced the power rating on another in an effort to correct their mistake and meet the (inadequate) noise requirements for the bunkhouse. They had to reapply for approval which opened the door for Platinum Produce to file their appeal in an effort to protect the health and safety of its workers (some of which are migrants).
  BUT… what was the most revealing incident of the day came when I took a few photos. The leaseholders and at least one South Kent Wind employee in the audience, turned away!!!! Then they ran to the South Kent Wind lawyers to have the photos stifled. That really should tell you everything you need to know about the wind industry… those involved are guilty of harming others and don’t want their neighbours to know who they are.
Chatham-Kent Wind Action

Port Elgin citizen turbine impact presentations on video

Although the wind turbine at Port Elgin erected by the Canadian Auto Workers  has only been in operation for a few months, complaints of health problems from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the wind generator started almost immediately.
  This is a 90-minute video with presentations from residents. What is shocking is that this turbine at 50 kW is relatively small compared to the 2-3 megawatt machines now being built and proposed for Ontario.
  The video is here; the first quarter-hour gives you plenty of useful, if depressing, information.