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Health Canada Announces Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

July 10, 2012

For immediate release

OTTAWA - Health Canada, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, will conduct a research study that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, people living near wind power developments.

"This study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "As always, our Government is putting the health and safety of Canadians first and this study will do just that by painting a more complete picture of the potential health impacts of wind turbine noise."

Health Canada is aware of health-related complaints from individuals living in close proximity to wind turbine establishments. The study is being designed with support from external experts, specializing in areas including noise, health assessment, clinical medicine and epidemiology.

The proposed research design and methodology was posted on Health Canada's web site today for a 30-day public comment period. Feedback obtained will be reviewed by the design committee, compiled and published to the website, along with the design committee's responses.

The study will be focused on an initially targeted sample size of 2,000 dwellings selected from 8-12 wind turbine installation facilities in Canada. In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate sound modelling.

Health Canada has expertise in measuring noise and assessing the health impacts of noise because of its role in administering the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). As defined under REDA, noise is a form of radiation.

The study results are expected to be published in 2014.


Media Enquiries:
Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Cailin Rodgers
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709


Your View: Opinion on turbines turns for the worse

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

South Coast Today
By ERIC R. DAWICKI              Eric Dawicki lives in Fairhaven.         July 12, 2012 12:00 AM

I am a NIMBY and I'm proud of it! There, I said it — really always have. You see; I have an opinion about wind turbines and it's not very positive. Wind turbines are nothing but large hulking industrial units that have been placed on the most pristine land that I know of — Fairhaven, Massachusetts. I used to play on this land as a child building forts, scavenging for arrowheads, pretending to hunt wild animals and sometimes simply lying on the ground and watching the wildlife around me.

I honestly don't want to see these monstrosities in anyone's backyard. The shear burden of having an industrial structure in my childhood environment gnawed at the very thing that enabled me to move back to Fairhaven to raise my children — the memory of the peace of mind that Nasketucket provided. To me, Nasketucket was about hiking and playing in the pristine woods, building iceberg boats and floating down river into the creek bed, fishing at the bridge near Pierces Point, and sometimes just hanging out in the woods. The idea that someone would clear the very trees that provided the backdrop for a little slice of nature seems sacrilegious to me. It's downright heretical, in the opinion of this simple sailor from Fairhaven.

My opinions grow when I find out that one family moved from their home as a result of the noise. They grow when I read about how the developer threatened the very town leadership that hid the fact from the public that these turbines were going to be built in order to mitigate any public outcry prior to construction. My ill-felt opinions grew when I went for a bike ride down Weeden Road on an early Sunday morning to hear a literal roar of the turbines at the spot where I used to swim down at the creek. Every day there is more and more reason to believe that my opinions should be validated.

You see, in the America that I grew up in and the one that I am trying to teach my children about, the government is fair and just. We have an Administrative Procedures Act that allows the public to provide input whenever their government makes a regulatory change. This is both on the federal level as well as on the state level. In the case of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is found in Chapter 30A of the state's General Laws. If the government changes anything about how procedures are administered, "We the People" have the right to participate in the acceptability of such legislation. The Green Communities Act not only changed the way that the commonwealth would implement its energy policy, but would eliminate any say by the public and grant any government agency or municipality the ability to place any alternative energy source wherever it wanted, including in my backyard.

Well, that's regulatory change and that requires public input. The governor and 100 percent of the state legislators apparently didn't feel the need to canvass the public regarding the effects of the Green Communities Act and it seems as though nobody expected such an unmitigated burden that turbine placement has put on neighborhoods throughout the state.

Sometimes folks can't see their nose in front of their faces, especially when intentions were all well and good. Unfortunately, we now have a serious case of denial when it comes to the placement of industrial wind turbines. People are being hurt by these things. It's not psychosomatic, it's not folks being alarmists, it's not people simply complaining about change — the problems are real.

I for one couldn't handle the flicker if I lived in a neighborhood that had it. A ceiling fan gives me a migraine. The sound of the turbines would make me jump out of my skin — I enjoy my peace and quiet. The gentle thudding sound experienced by one colleague's wife while in her basement would be enough for me to break out in a rash. Nobody should have to "get used to" the noise, the flicker, the vibration of these turbines. That very idea is downright wide of the mark.

So when you're trying to downgrade the emotions and sentiments of the people living downwind of these behemoths, get on your bicycle at 7 a.m. and take a ride before the noise of the world starts. See how you would like it if it were in your backyard. I did and I hated what I found out.

As a child of Fairhaven who moved back to this town to raise his children, I am deeply sorry to the people living with this burden. I hope the Green Communities Act, or parts thereof, can be challenged legally, constitutionally or even by a seemingly absent Board of Health. You, indeed, deserve better.


Latest News 5/15 From John Droz

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


You may have read some of the fabricated fantasy features by such illustrious outlets as the Guardian — and then picked up by some others in the “You lie and I’ll swear to it” school of journalism. It’s fascinating to see how some "news" is generated and propagated!

The basis for this “conspiracy investigation” is likely explained here: the wind lobbyists are specifically targeting groups who are effectively opposing their efforts to extend their stay at the public trough. That’s us, so this is a badge of honor!

This is a summary of the situation from a DC attendee, and here is another.

In summary, the reality is that:

A cross-section of 20 US citizens (Democrats and Republicans), met for two days in Washington DC in early February, at their own expense. No organizations were invited or were involved. These citizens discussed ideas about how to bring about less expensive, more effective science-based energy policies. For shame!

I have received numerous supportive emails, and only one negative response. This publicity gives us an unprecedented opportunity to publicly discuss what we really are all about: promoting science-based energy and environmental policies.


The final schedule was just published for next week's Heartland Conference. I will be there talking about wind energy (Panel 8).

More reports about greed energy economics:

Green Jobs are Magic.

Wind Energy’s Future in Question.

Keeping Nature As Is (about green jobs claims).

Energy Production = Jobs.

Wind project resentments is a good history of a local situation.

German Banks Banned from Financing Offshore Wind!

Europe’s Failings a Lesson for US.

A turbine manufacturer files for bankruptcy.

How Green Was My Bankruptcy?

A fine piece about what is going on in Hawaii.

More reports about turbine health matters:

A wind turbine manufacturing company is fined for things like poor handling of hazardous     waste.

On Wind Turbine Noise and Air Pressure Pulses

Nuclear Risk perception and Energy Infrastructure

More reports about turbine wildlife matters:

More info on USF&W loosening restraints on turbines killing birds.

Misc energy reports:

Legal Challenge to Mandated Renewable Energy.

Science Trumps Politics.

The Sierra Club Opposes ‘Clean Energy’.

How to save $1.2 Trillion in the US.

A new study will look at turbine effects on radar.

Germany’s Power Grid on the Brink (due to renewables).


Some recent global warming articles of interest —

I may have missed this important video about AGW and peer review.

Forget Global Warming and Move Up To Climate Change


Some other recent articles of general interest —

Some food for serious thought: All Aboard the Auschwitz Express.


Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people. If anyone would like to be added to or removed from the email list, please let me know.

Thank you for your support.

john droz, jr.

physicist & environmental advocate

Senior Fellow: American Tradition Institute



Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Now available on DVD, NetFlix, Amazon, and iTunes

NEW YORK (May 16, 2012) -- Laura Israel's award-winning documentary, Windfall, has played a powerful role in encouraging viewers to consider the human side of industrial-scale wind energy. The feature-length film tells the story of how residents in Meredith, New York, a small farming community upstate responded upon learning a wind energy plant might be situated in their town.

Since its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in fall, 2010, Windfall has been featured at 35 film festivals worldwide. In February it opened in New York and Chicago with powerful press reviews. But the real excitement surrounding Windfall is not on the big screen but in small towns across North America where thousands of people packed town halls, recreation centers, churches and schools from Maine to California, and Ontario to Florida to see it. Nearly 150 community screenings were arranged in the last year with more than half held in the last three months alone.

"Films like Windfall are not meant to compete with Hollywood blockbusters," explained Laura Israel, who freely admits she was surprised at first by the idea of the grassroots driving Windfall's demand, but after attending numerous community screenings she understood why. "So many people recognize their own community's struggle up on the screen and connect with the characters in Windfall," she said. The film is a valuable tool that has helped people to understand they are not alone, that their concerns about industrial wind turbines are legitimate, and that what is happening in their town is not just a local phenomenon, but happening in communities all over the world.

Windfall's distributors, First Run Features and SnagFilms, recognized early on the film's activism-element and were very supportive in working with non-traditional film venues. They also accelerated the schedule for Windfall's release via digital download as well as DVD (rental or purchase).

"There's been tremendous demand for Windfall on DVD and digital download," said Lisa Linowes outreach coordinator for Windfall. "Laura and I were committed to ensuring that every person in North America who wanted to view Windfall would have an opportunity to do so. We're grateful to First Run Features and SnagFilms for their work in making the roll-out so successful."

There is still more to do on the international front but Israel has made great progress. Windfall is slated to be seen on television in countries like New Zealand, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

Information on obtaining a copy of Windfall

Click here to watch Windfall's trailer.

Windfall is distributed by First Run Features for theaters, community screenings and on DVD.
SnagFilms is the exclusive distributor across all digital platforms including iTunes.

To purchase a DVD for personal home use, please use this link: Purchase Windfall
The first 100 DVDs purchased through First Run Features will be signed by Laura Israel!

Windfall links on Digital Platforms are: iTunes , Amazon , Xbox and Netflix

For distribution or broadcast interest outside North America, please contact Mercury Media HERE.


Honors and acclaim for Windfall

World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2010

WINNER: Grand Prize, Doc NYC 2010
HONORABLE MENTION: Talking Pictures Festival 2010
WINNER: Best Documentary, Woods Hole Film Festival 2011
OFFICIAL SELECTION: IDFA Green Screen Competition 2010
Screened in 35 festivals internationally since TIFF


"Beautifully produced, elegantly structured, edited authoritatively, with unforgettable characters." - Patricia Aufderheide, Center for Social Media

"Fascinating, insightful, and fair. An intimate portrait of one New York community in heavy battle." - Stewart Nusbaumer, Huffington Post

"The film isn't agenda-driven advocacy, but an invitation to think critically about an alternative energy source often presented as a panacea." - Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Never alarmist or patronizing...strung so tightly and effortlessly together that it's hard to believe this is a first-time filmmaker at hand." - Christopher Bell, The Playlist, Indiewire

"Provides a much-needed view of the growing backlash against the rapid expansion of the wind industry."
- Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune

"Emotionally charged human conflict that results in a genuine cliffhanger." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Chilling." - Stanley Fish, New York Times




Mass. Moves To Shut Falmouth Turbines Over Noise Levels

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Step may boost wind-power foes

By David Abel    |  BOSTON GLOBE STAFF     MAY 16, 2012

One wind turbine in Falmouth will be turned off, officials said, while the other will continue to operate during the day.


One wind turbine in Falmouth will be turned off, officials said, while the other will continue to operate during the day.

  • For the first time since the state began promoting wind power, environmental officials have recommended shutting down a wind turbine because of elevated noise levels that they described as unacceptable to local residents.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, in a long-awaited response to Falmouth residents’ complaints about noise from two turbines, released a report Tuesday finding that one turbine less than 1,500 feet from the nearest home repeatedly exceeded allowable noise levels.

The findings give ammunition to increasingly vocal opponents of wind power, who have sought to slow the Patrick administration’s efforts to produce 2,000 megawatts of wind power - three-quarters of it from offshore sources - by 2020, up from about 45 megawatts available today. The Falmouth turbines produce a total of 3 megawatts of power.

<br /><br /><br />
“Obviously, we take these findings extremely seriously,’’ said Kenneth Kimmell, the state environmental protection commissioner. “But I don’t think we should jump to conclusions that the experience here can be generalized to other locations.’’

He said numerous other turbines operate in similar proximity to residential areas, such as those in Fairhaven, Hull, and Kingston. Residents in those areas have also fought vigorously to shut down turbines in their communities.

‘People have been complaining about . . . health effects almost as soon as the first turbine began operating.’

Jeffrey Butts John Jay College of Criminal Justice

“I think [this report] demonstrates that Massachusetts DEP calls balls and strikes in an impartial way and holds wind turbines to the same standards as we apply to other industries,’’ Kimmell said. “But there are other turbines operating in residential areas, which have not led to similar complaints. So these results do not implicate turbines everywhere.’’

The agency recommended that the Falmouth turbine that regularly increased noise by more than 10 decibels at the closest home be turned off immediately, for at least 30 days, while the state conducts further studies. The other turbine will be switched off at night but be allowed to remain in operation during the day, pending the additional studies.

Town officials said they have been working closely with state officials over recent months to assess the complaints. They said they decided to stop the turbines from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. several weeks ago, and that they have agreed to shut down one of the turbines until state officials complete their testing.

“My first reaction to this report is it’s about time,’’ said Eleanor Tillinghast, a steering committee member of Windwise ~ Massachusetts, which has opposed wind projects around the state. “People have been complaining about severe health effects almost as soon as the first turbine began operating. The effects have been severe and chronic. . . . This is happening all over the world.’’

The DEP findings come several months after a panel of independent scientists and doctors convened by the agency found little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a risk to the health of residents living near them.

That panel concluded that there is no rigorous research showing that churning turbines or the resulting flickering light and vibrations produce dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety - a set of symptoms that critics of wind power call “wind turbine syndrome.’’

The panel found limited evidence that a “very loud wind turbine could cause disrupted sleep, particularly in vulnerable populations, at a certain distance, while a very quiet wind turbine would not likely disrupt even the lightest of sleepers at that same distance.’’

“But there is not enough evidence to provide particular sound-pressure thresholds at which wind turbines cause sleep disruption,’’ it added.

The wind power critics cite a host of anecdotal evidence of dangers to residents living less than a mile from large turbines, such as those in Falmouth, where the first one was erected three years ago at a local waste treatment facility. They say the whirring of turbines can result in symptoms such as migraines, vertigo, motion sensitivity, and inner-ear damage, particularly in abutters who are 50 years old or older.

In Falmouth, where the wind project cost local residents $5 million and state and federal taxpayers another $10 million, neighbors said they were relieved by the results of the report.

Annie Cool, 53, a real estate broker who lives about 1,600 feet from the turbines, said she has trouble sleeping at night because the whirring sounds like “a boot in a dryer.’’

“This report is a long time in coming,’’ she said. “The town of Falmouth made a quick decision to place those turbines in a residential area, and when they realized it may have not been the best decision, rather than doing the right thing and moving the turbines, they went into a long, exhausted financial exercise to prove that the neighbors were crazy.’’

She added: “Do I feel a little vindicated by the report? Yes, because it shows we’re not crazy. But do I trust that the town and the state will do the right thing? Not on your life.’’

Todd Drummey, 48, a financial planner who lives 3,000 feet from the closest turbine in Falmouth, compared the noise of the turbines to jets and pile drivers, depending on the weather. He said shutting them down, at least temporarily, was a good first step. “But what I would really love to see is that they’re moved,’’ he said, adding he also has trouble sleeping at night.

The turbine being shut down will be turned on occasionally for testing, officials said. The other turbine will continue to operate during the day.

“I absolutely think this makes sense,’’ said Mary Pat Flynn, chairwoman of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen.

She said town officials could move the turbines, provide financial compensation to abutters, or consider ways to blunt the sound. “We have options besides shutting them down,’’ she said.

Kimmell noted that the Falmouth turbines are of an older generation than other turbines being installed around the state. He said their age, as well as their location, may make them louder than other turbines.

In a statement, state Senate President Therese Murray, a Plymouth Democrat, said she hopes the agency’s report brings residents relief, noting that the turbines have divided the community.

“As I’ve said in the past, I believe that industrial-size wind turbines do not belong in residential neighborhoods, but we should not remove wind energy from the renewable energy mix in Massachusetts,’’ she said. “Wind energy has the potential to provide our cities and towns with many environmental and cost-saving benefits. But we need to site these projects responsibly.’’


Fairhaven, MA Industrial Wind Turbine Project Destroys a Woman’s Life

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Farewell to a Turbine Refugee   WindWise Fairhaven

Posted on April 23, 2012

I have a friend who is about to become a turbine refugee. I’ll call her Jenny because her peace and privacy have already been violated enough; but I assure you she is very real.

In case you think the term refugee is an exaggeration, look up the definition. It denotes someone who flees their home to avoid danger or to find a place of safety and asylum. If you want to really hear Jenny’s stories with an open heart, ask yourself what could cause you to leave your family, your home and your friends.

Jenny moved to this area over 30 years ago, when she got married and finished school. She dreamed of being an architect; but like so many of us, life had other plans for her. She and her husband ended up buying a home and raising a family. She started a small but successful business, working outdoors with plants and flowers, which she loves. She also grew to love her quiet little, coastal New England town with its cast of quirky but endearing characters, and the peaceful, beautiful vistas of life along the coast.

About nine years ago, Jenny and her husband had a chance to buy a parcel of land in an especially quiet area with plenty of open space between neighbors. Even better, she got the chance to design her own home, one that would fit her and her family’s lifestyle, like hand in glove. Nothing is perfect, but it was a very good home and a good life. As her son grew older, Jenny dreamed that someday he would get married right on this property, at the home she had designed—a summer wedding with enough flowers to remember for a lifetime. That was the dream that was about to turn into a hellish nightmare in just a few short days.

About 2 years ago, one of her neighbors signed a contract with a private wind developer to site a 1.5Mw industrial wind turbine just 1300 feet from her beloved home. Jenny was not fearful at first because she did not know that turbines are intensely toxic for some people; nor did she know that she was a ‘sensitive receptor’. Jenny’s life turned instantly for the worse when the turbine started spinning. The turbine affected her husband, too; but not with same severity as her. It was still just the beginning of a long, steady, irresistible downward spiral to hell.

One sleepless night turned into another. She often awakened with that strange feeling of dizziness that you sometimes get when you are disturbed from a deep sleep, only it didn’t go away after a few minutes. There was the strange feeling of anxiety, too, as though something was terribly wrong but she was unable to put her finger on it. Her energy level sagged from lack of sleep. The strange ‘thrumming’ sensation was all around, like it was inside her head and chest, too. Even when the turbine was not spinning, she was stressed and anxious, wondering when they would start again.

She tried everything to cope, hoping she might gradually get used to it. Noise machines, sleeping pills, nothing seemed to help. She began sleeping in the basement because sometimes the vibrating thrum from the turbine was not quite so bad—sometimes. Naturally, this took its toll on her marriage. The relentless thrum was taking its toll on her business, her health, and her coping mechanisms, as well. Gradually, she began to sink into depression.

As days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, it slowly dawned on Jenny that she was in a fight for her life and stopping the turbine was the only way to win. She tried reasoning with her neighbor, who dismissed here as a crackpot or hypochondriac. After all, it didn’t make him sick. She tried to get help from town officials, but they were too busy putting up turbines of their own to listen to a handful of disgruntled residents. Finally, she tried suing her neighbor. She watched as her rainy-day savings dwindled away. Five, ten, fifteen, then twenty thousand; but the turbine kept spinning. You see, justice turns much more slowly than turbines. In despair, Jenny began to have what psychiatrists call ‘suicidal ideation’. In fact, it was much more that ideation. She was stockpiling her sleeping pills.

Ironically, her mother began to suffer from a debilitating illness that prevented her from living alone any longer. Jenny could not go through with her plans just yet. By putting her mother’s needs first, her own daily existence became an agonizing test of endurance. Then, mercifully, the town decided to curtail the operation of all turbines to consider the impact on public health. But his fragile flame of hope was soon snuffed out. After a couple of months of respite, the town decided to restart the turbines, citing the urgent financial needs of the town.

I had hoped that Jenny would not return to her darkest thoughts, but my hopes were in vain. Deciding to give it one last try, she went to a public meeting in town setup to “build consensus” about what to do about the turbines. It is hard to listen to debate about megawatts, decibels, revenue shortfalls and energy costs being discussed as though they are all just as important as your health, your life. People do not understand or simply refuse to believe that your life is hanging in the balance. To many, you are just collateral damage in the war to save the planet.

Just before arriving home, Jenny took enough pills to end her life. Fortunately, she confessed what she had done before she lost consciousness. She wanted to live. Her husband got her to the hospital in time to save her. She is in counseling now and it must be helping because she told me “We need to get the message out to all turbine sufferers…No location is worth dying for.” She would know, too.

But she is left with only one option. Escape. She had been ready to move to the mid-West, where she knows no one; but it was the only place where she could afford a small place to start over on her own. Her funds are nearly exhausted. Her husband felt he could not leave with her because he is just three years from his retirement benefits, the last financial leg they have to stand on. Luckily, his heart overruled his head after rushing her to the hospital the other night. He is cashing in what little benefits he is eligible for, so they can find a small place together where no turbines can be built. They do not expect to get much for their place—if they can even sell it at all.

It is hardly a Hollywood ending. With no money to retire on, the prospect of finding work when you are approaching retirement in a down economy is grim—but it is still better than the alternative ending they had in store. At least they are together, for better or worse.

When people are forced to leave behind everything they have loved and worked so hard for in order to save their lives, there is no other word for it—they are refugees. There are thousands in the same situation as Jenny, all around the world. Every day, a few more of them are forced to abandon their homes to save themselves. When we build turbines too close to vulnerable people, we exact a terrible price on our neighbors to ease our own conscience about our energy gluttony.

I am deeply saddened to see my friend leave like this and I’m afraid Jenny will not be the last. Unless something is done to stop the turbines, I’m sure I will be saying farewell to more of my friends in Little Bay soon.

Curt Devlin, Fairhaven, MA


Massachusetts DEP: Falmouth wind turbine is too loud

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection found that Falmouth's "Wind 1" turbine exceeds the allowable noise level, according to a study by the agency.

A statement from Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) announced the finding this morning.

“I'm glad that the results of DEP's study will provide residents affected by Wind 1 with some relief. This is an issue that has divided the community," Murray said in a statement. "I believe that industrial size wind turbines do not belong in residential neighborhoods, but we should not remove wind energy from the renewable energy mix in Massachusetts."

The finding comes after a DEP-headed study that measured turbine noise levels in various wind conditions.

DEP Commissioner Ken Kimmell will officially announce the findings later this afternoon, a DEP spokesman said.

Wind turbines loomed heavily at this month's Falmouth Town Meeting, as selectmen and board of health members at separate meetings voted on measures meant to address residents' health concerns.

Selectmen voted in favor of shutting down Wind 1, one of the town's two 1.65-megawatt turbines off Blacksmith Shop Road, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.

Stopping Wind 1's operation for 12 hours each day represents a compromise between the town and some people who live near the turbines and for more than a year have complained of nausea, vertigo and other health problems.

I would like to add, this is after the preliminay study said it was fine and further studies by the hired wind fixers found it was fine. A hand selected study group put together by Gov Patrick insisted there were no health problems with wind turbines. But somehow once a senior politician gets involved then all of sudden the truth leaks out. Mr. Kimmel should be fired! And they should be FORCED to take it down!


Study Needs People Who Live Near Industrial Wind Turbines!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

This study has been endorsed by Dr. Sarah Laurie, who directs the Waubra Foundation to publicize the adverse health effects of giant wind turbines and which campaigns for substantial setbacks from homes (e.g., 10 km).

If you know or anyone you know lives near a wind energy development, please consider participating in this research.

My name is Darryl Read, I am a fourth year psychology honours student at the University of New England in Australia. My research project involves recruiting residents who live near a proposed or established wind farm developments worldwide. My interest in this area of research began after speaking with rural residents living near Crookwell, New South Wales, the site of the oldest wind development in Australia. The conversations enabled me to gain an understanding of the range of issues surrounding wind farm developments. Following the conversations I began to read the relevant literature and it became clear that the articles failed to identify the issues and genuine concerns of the residents. My research is a completely independent project and therefore, not funded by government organisations who support developments. The aim of my study is investigate the range of issues surrounding developments and to provide a completely unbiased account of participants attitudes toward wind farm developments. To enable the findings of my research to be taken seriously the study will require around 200 to 300 participants. Residents who live near wind farm developments across the world are invited to participate in the study. Landscape Guardians groups from around Australia and the UK are very supportive of the research. The online questionnaire will take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete and participation will require completing the online survey before the end of August 2012. Participants who wish to complete the survey are required to click the arrow at the bottom of each page to move to the next. If you have any questions in relation to the questionnaire or if you have any comments you believe may assist the research, please send to my email address at Please feel free to distribute the survey link to other residents who are subject to wind farm developments.

Thankyou for you time.


On Wind Turbine Noise and Air Pressure Pulses

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

HomeThe world's best thinkers on energy & climate

May 7 2012

The von Trapp family came to Vermont, because it reminded them of Austria, where “the hills are alive with the sounds of music”. Those sounds will soon be replaced by the health-damaging infrasound and low frequency noise from 3 MW wind turbines on 2,000-ft high ridge lines, courtesy of GMP/Gaz-Metro-Canada.

GMP's 21 wind turbines of the Lowell Mountain facility will emit various noises, such as:

- machinery noise in the nacelle

- rhythmic/pulsating, trailing-edge noise from the blades (“blade swish”) as they slice through the air at up to 200 mph

- irregular, low frequency noise (LFN) and infrasound from the blades due to in-flow air turbulence

- LFN and infrasound at the blade-tower-passage frequency and its harmonics.

Infrasound consists of air pressure pulsations, less than 20 Hz; not audible, but felt; usually not measured by acoustics engineers; more or less ignored by state regulators and state noise codes, mainly because wind energy promoters (vendors, project developers, financial types with tax-shelter schemes for the top 1% of households, legislators getting “campaign” contributions, etc.) have been saying wind energy is “clean and green” and LFN and infrasound are a non-issue.

 At 350 m (1,148 ft) from a utility-scale wind turbine, the audible sound emitted by:

- a well-behaving wind turbine with no in-flow turbulence and low wind shear is about 35 dB(A); often during daytime when the sun is warming the ground and air.

- a badly-behaving wind turbine with in-flow turbulence and/or high wind shear is up to 55 dB(A); often during nighttime when a stable atmosphere forms.

This compares with rural nighttime noise of 20-40 dB(A) and urban residential nighttime noise of 58-62 dB(A).

The wind speeds and directions upstream of a wind turbine vary due to terrain effects, such as hilliness and ridge lines, objects on the surface of the terrain, such as buildings and trees, daytime thermal effects and upwind wind turbines.

During daytime, as the 3-bladed rotor turns, it encounters air at various speeds and directions which produces a combination of sound effects, i.e., rhythmic/pulsating blade swish about 3 dB(A) above the steady aerodynamic noise, and a steady rhythm of LFN and infrasound.

Note: Doubling the sound power, watt, increases the sound power level by 3 dB. Doubling the sound pressure, micropascal, increased the sound pressure level by 6 dB

During nighttime, air speeds and directions, not influenced by daytime thermal effects, become more varied, the atmosphere becomes more stratified and background noise is less causing the various sound effects (aerodynamic noise, rhythmic/pulsating noises, rhythmic LFN and infrasound) to be noticeably more intense than during the daytime. The daytime blade swish noise often becomes a nighttime clapping, beating, or thumping noise.

As the 3-bladed rotor turns at 15 to 20 rpm at greater wind speeds, a blade reaches the top about 45 to 60 times per minute, or 0.75 to 1.0 Hz. At lesser wind speeds the frequencies are less.

The infrasound has audible components (20 to 500 Hz with peak amplitudes at about 200 to 500 Hz) and inaudible components (0 to 20 Hz with peak amplitudes at about 0.75 to 1.0 Hz). The infrasound travels great distances, a mile of more, for large, utility-size wind turbines.

The wind speeds and directions downstream of a wind turbine are similar to the vortices leaving the ends of airplane wings, except they all rotate in the same direction. When the wind direction aligns with the ridge direction of the wind turbines, the downwind turbines will have a degraded performance of up to 20 to 30 percent, i.e., a reduced CF, due to wake turbulence, and they will be noisier, and they will have increased wear and tear.

Government Noise Codes: Traditionally, state and local government codes dealt mostly with measured sound values that are weighed (adjusted) using the A scale which covers most of the audible frequencies. The A scale corrects dB measurements according to the sensitivity of human hearing. It should not be used for frequencies less than 200 HZ, as the low frequency noise (LFN) and infrasound would be “weighed” out.

The following scales should be used to properly weigh all frequencies, especially those less than 20 Hz that are emitted by wind turbines:

Most audible noises in the range of 200 - 20,000 Hz; dB weighed with the A scale, dB(A).

LFN, in the range of 20 - 200 Hz; dB weighed with the C scale, dB(C).

Infrasound less than 20 Hz; dB weighed with the G scale, dB(G)*.

*The instrumentation to quantify infrasound frequencies and amplitudes is expensive and the values obtained vary with the method and instruments used. Applying the G scale to such values may not be meaningful. The human ear can hear LFN at 95 dB(G) levels, the inner ear is sensitive to LFN at 65 dB(G) levels.

Professional acoustical engineers know the government codes, the outcome government regulators are expected to hear and conduct their tests according to standard procedures using mostly the A scale. Wind turbine vendors report sound levels adjusted to the A scale and everyone is satisfied. The LFN and infrasound are usually not covered by government codes.

According to the US EPA, noise levels above 45 dB(A) disturb sleep and most people cannot sleep at noise levels above 70 dB(A).

In Michigan,  the Centerville Township, after 4 years of study, developed and approved a zoning ordinance for commercial wind energy systems. It is strict and comprehensive and should serve as a model for other government entities.

In Maine, codes require noise levels not to exceed the one-hour average daytime limit (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) of 55 dB(A), and one-hour nighttime limit (between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.) of 42 dB(A), as measured within 500 feet from a residence, seasonal camp or business at “protected locations”, and 55 dB(A) 24 hours of the day at greater than 500 feet from a residence, seasonal camp or business at “protected locations”, and 75 dB(A) at the wind turbine project boundary. The LFN and infrasound are not covered.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection 06-096 CMR c. 375.10.

In Vermont, codes require nighttime noise levels not to exceed 40 dB(A) as measured at the exterior of a dwelling facade and averaged over a 12-month exposure, the same as the recommendations of the 2009 World Health Organization report that mostly cover road noise, air traffic, and community noise and do not mention wind turbine noise.  LFN and infrasound are not covered. The Maine code is stricter and much more explicit than the Vermont code.  The Vermont code does not protect the public health, safety and welfare; it is a wind turbine vendor's dream come true.

dB values should be measured "at the property line" to ensure people can enjoy their entire property and should not be "averaged over a 12-month period" which would eliminate higher noise levels at higher wind speeds occurring mostly during nighttimes by averaging them with lower noise levels at lower wind speeds occurring mostly during daytimes.

Wind Turbine Noise Annoyance: On an annoyance scale that is based on interviews of people who live near wind turbines, airports, railroads and highways, wind turbine noise is much more annoying at less than 40 dB(A), than the noise from aircraft, highway and rail traffic at less than 70 dB(A).

This additional annoyance is due to the LFN and infrasound emitted by wind turbines. The measured wind turbine noise appears to be benign and within code, but the annoying/unhealthy LFN and infrasound were filtered out by the A scale weighing.

Health Impacts:At less than 20 Hz (infrasound) and above 20,000 Hz (ultrasound) most people do not “hear” noise, but a person’s ears and body are sensitive to infrasound which cause nausea, headaches, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, palpitations, tinnitus, imbalance, dizziness, lack of concentration, moodiness, irritability, anxiety, etc., in SOME people who live about 1/2 mile or less from large, say 1.0 MW, utility-size wind turbines. Infrasound also has potential to harm wildlife and livestock. Little is known about the issue. But there is anecdotal evidence indicating problems. These symptoms are collectively known as “Wind Turbine Syndrome”.

These symptoms occur because the natural frequencies of the internal human and animal organs are in the same frequency range, i.e., 4 to 8 Hz, as those of house walls and floors. Floor resonance can cause the internal organs of the occupants to resonate resulting in an uneasy, irritating feeling. The infrasound is often amplified indoors due to resonating of house walls and floors.

Most peoples’ heart beat is less than 1.25 Hz, or a 75 pulse rate. People who live close to large wind turbines in Falmouth, MA, Ontario, Australia, etc., have complained about feeling internal pressures and having heart troubles and other symptoms which they did not have before the wind turbines were installed.

The symptoms mostly disappear after people move away and reappear after they move back. After many complaints over a long period of time, the Falmouth ruling council finally slowed down the wind turbines at greater wind speeds by partially feathering the blades.

Larger Wind Turbines, Stronger Vibrations: The symptoms studied up till now typically are from exposure to the LFN and infrasound from smaller wind turbines, say up to 2 MW, with 290 ft diameter rotors, as on Lempster Mountain, NH.


The 3 MW Lowell Mountain wind turbines, with 367.5 ft diameter rotors, on 275.6 ft masts, on 2,600 ft high ridge lines, will have greater impacts over larger areas. See website.

The relative amount of LFN is greater for large turbines (2.3–3.6 MW) than for small turbines (less than 2 MW), i.e., the noise from larger wind turbines affects a larger area than from smaller wind turbines. The difference is statistically significant for one-third-octave bands in the frequency range 63–250 Hz.

During the day, ambient audible noise (background noise) in rural areas is much greater than at night, whereas, because of greater nighttime wind speeds, the wind turbine noise is greater at night than during the day. The result is rural people notice audible wind turbine noise much more at night than during the day. Wind turbine promoters arrange field trips for legislators and the public during the day from May-September when wind speeds and noise are minimal.

Dealing With Complaints: Many people living near wind turbines complain about sleep-disturbing nighttime noises that upset their lives to such an extent that their houses are bought by wind turbine owners after they sign gag orders.

As more and larger wind turbines are built near where people work, study, play, etc., the complaints will just multiply, until political pressures restrict the siting of wind turbine projects without suitable buffer zones, or require siting them offshore.

Dismissing the effects as mostly psychological and saying the physical effects are due to something else is not an option; there are just too many people, in too many geographical areas, living too near large wind turbines, with too many complaints. It is better to deal with the problem.

One way to deal with it is to have sufficient distance between people’s houses and utility-scale wind turbines to ensure people are not disturbed by noise and infrasound. Various studies show people living in flat terrain with wind turbines should be at least 1.25 miles (2 km) from such wind turbines. People living in mountainous terrain with wind turbines on ridge lines should be at least 2 miles (3.2 km) from such wind turbines. Such distance standards are becoming more prevalent in Europe, Australia, etc.

Professional acoustical engineers Rick James and George Kamperman have extensively studied wind turbine noise. They recommend a noise limit AT THE PROPERTY LINE for:

- Audible noise: 35 dB(A) or no more than 5 dB(A) above the pre-construction ambient dB(A) level, whichever is lower

- LFN: 50 dB(C) or no more than 20 dB(C) above the pre-construction ambient dB(C) level, whichever is lower


Vestas is concerned its 3 MW turbine will not meet stricter noise codes and has actively opposed noise code changes in Denmark, because it fears such changes will set a precedent for changing noise codes throughout the world, thereby adversely affecting 3 MW turbine sales.  Other wind energy promoters are also actively opposing noise code changes.


After numerous complaints from people near wind turbine facilities, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection has finally adopted by a 5-4 vote new rules that lower the maximum allowable sound levels emitted by wind farms from 45 dB(A) to 42 dB(A), between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., as measured from houses and other “protected locations” within one mile of the turbines; a good step in the right direction, but inadequate for rural settings.

Vermont state officials are rushing to have as many ridge line wind facilities built as possible before various federal subsidies expire.

Because of this rushing, they have not heeded, or played down, or dismissed, the environmental concerns of professional testifiers and the complaints from people who live near the Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility. They likely will also not heed the complaints from the fauna and flora currently inhabiting this pristine ridge line.

Because of them, Vermonters are in danger of losing an international reputation of being preservers of their environment and in danger of losing a part of their soul.

By means of various rigged polls to provide CYA for legislators and by means of PR campaigns by wind energy promoters, including foreign companies selling wind turbines, Vermonters were swayed/bamboozled to be in favor of “clean and green” wind energy on ridge lines. However, after they saw the environmental destruction on the 2,600 ft-high Lowell Mountain ridge line, they quickly sobered up.

What makes wind energy even less attractive is that some recent studies show CO2 emission reductions due to wind energy are not anywhere near to what is claimed by promoters. These studies are based on 1/4-hour and 1-hour grid operations data.

Because wind energy is variable and intermittent, it requires backup by quick-ramping, open cycle gas turbine generators that ramp up when wind energy ebbs and ramp down when wind energy surges which occurs at least 100 times per day. Such part-load-ramping operation is inefficient and requires extra fuel/kWh and emits extra CO2/kWh. The extras mostly offset what wind energy was meant to reduce, as proven by analysis of the Eirgrid, Texas and Colorado grid operations data.

Vermonters may want renewable energy, but NOT AT ANY COST, and they certainly do not like to be rushed, forever ruin parts of their state, to beat arbitrary subsidy deadlines for RE projects that will quickly enrich the politically-well-connected top 1% of households at the expense of already-struggling households and businesses in a nearly zero-growth economy.



Falmouth, Ma Shuts Down Wind Turbine 12 hours/day Over Health Problems

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

May 09, 2012
Wind turbines loomed heavily in town Monday night as selectmen and board of health members at separate meetings voted on measures meant to address residents' health concerns.Cape Cod Times/Steve Heaslip
FALMOUTH — Wind turbines loomed heavily in town Monday night as selectmen and board of health members at separate meetings voted on measures meant to address residents' health concerns.

Selectmen voted in favor of shutting down Wind 1, one of the town's two 1.65-megawatt turbines off Blacksmith Shop Road, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.

Stopping Wind 1's operation for 12 hours each day represents a compromise between the town and some people who live near the turbines and for more than a year have complained of nausea, vertigo and other health problems, said Mary Pat Flynn, chairman of the board of selectmen.

Top Photo

Mitigation efforts began last month when the Cambridge-based Consensus Building Institute, the firm hired by selectmen, began working with stakeholders — abutters, anti- and pro-turbine people and town officials — to gauge opinions of possible solutions. Residents opposed to the turbines wanted them turned off completely, Flynn said.

Next week, the firm will start the process of nominating people to serve on a committee responsible for making recommendations to selectmen. Shutting off Wind 1 for half of each day could begin as early as two weeks from now, Flynn said.

However, this action will further affect the turbines' revenue stream, which already dropped when selectmen ordered they shut off when they reach 23 mph or more, said Falmouth Wastewater Superintendent Gerald Potamis, who oversees the turbines.

"If they run half the time, they only produce ... half the power and only produce half the revenue," Potamis said.

The action does not go far enough, said Falmouth resident Malcolm Donald, a Wind 2 abutter.

"It escapes me why they're not shutting down Wind 2 from 7 (p.m.) to 7 (a.m.)" too, Donald said on Tuesday. "It's a start for entering into the consensus building, (but) the consensus building can drag on for months if not years."

Rather than attend Monday's selectmen's meeting, Donald went to the board of health's meeting, where members scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. May 24 to hear comments about the turbines' alleged health effects.

"We made a decision last night that we would set up a hearing "» to allow folks who believe they're being affected by the turbines to submit written testimony," said board member Stephen Rafferty on Tuesday.

Some people who attended the board of health meeting asserted that an abutter to the turbines recently attempted suicide because of ailments caused by the turbines, but board members cut off that discussion when those making the claim could not authenticate it, Rafferty said.

Board of health members will use testimony submitted to them as guidelines in deciding whether they should order an emergency shutdown of the turbines, said board member Jared Goldstone..

"I think it's something that's been building for a while," said Goldstone, who added that state officials at the Department of Environmental Protection have been largely mute in responding to town requests for guidance. "We have written letters to the state that haven't received direct replies."

Residents who submit written testimony before the hearing — specifically about negative health effects resulting from exposure to turbines — may summarize their points in front of the board, Goldstone said.

The board of health will accept written testimony until May 31.


Industrial Wind Action’s Lisa Linowes Testifies to Congress

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee on Energy and Environment

Impact of Tax Policies on the Commercial Application of Renewable Energy Technology
Testimony of Lisa C. Linowes
April 19, 2012
I. Introduction
My name is Lisa Linowes. Since 2006, I've served as executive director and spokesperson for the Industrial Wind Action (IWA) Group, a national advocacy group focused on the impact/benefits analysis and policy issues associated with industrial-scale wind energy development. As publisher and editor of IWA's website (, I track news and research pertaining to industrial wind, provide commentary, and facilitate information sharing on the issue. I hold a BS in Software Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York and a Masters in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. A more complete biography is included with this testimony. The findings and opinions I am presenting here are entirely my own but reflect the official position of IWA.
II Background and Purpose
Energy policy in the United States calls for the aggressive deployment of renewable generation which has led to an explosion of expensive renewable resources that are variable, operating largely off-peak, off-season and are located in rural areas with limited transmission.
By the end of 2011, nearly 47,000 megawatts (MW) of on-shore wind was installed in the United States representing less than 3% of total electricity generation in the country. Based on the interconnection queues of each grid region in the US, industrial wind is the dominant renewable resource representing more than 90% of the proposed generating capacity of all renewable energy projects in the United States.
My testimony looks at recent trends in the US wind industry including the impacts of advancing significant wind resources. I also examine the effect of the production tax credit and Section 1603 in driving growth.
III Testimony
1. The Wind Mandate: 20% Wind Power By 2030
In 2008, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published 20% Wind Energy by 20301, a report that examined the technical feasibility of using wind energy to generate 20% of the nation‟s electricity demand by 2030. The report, which called for the deployment of 305,000 MW of wind by the year 2030, including 54,000 MW offshore, has served as the foundation for ongoing advocacy of wind development in the US.
The American Wind Energy Association insists the industry is on track to meet the Department of Energy's goal of 20% wind but getting to a 20% scenario is neither realistic nor wise. The report's authors failed to accurately characterize the purpose and scale of such development, the technology challenges and staggering financial costs, and the fundamental changes to electricity infrastructure necessary to achieve the hoped-for 2030 levels.
This below excerpt from the report has gone largely unnoticed by most people but is essential in understanding the premise behind DOE's 20% wind scenario:

Wind power cannot replace the need for many 'capacity resources,' which are generators and dispatchable load that are available to be used when needed to meet peak load. If wind has some capacity value for reliability planning purposes, that should be viewed as a bonus, but not a necessity.

DOE is well aware of the fact that wind energy is an unpredictable, variable resource that cannot be relied on to deliver electricity when needed. Claims by industry proponents that installed wind today powers, on average, over 12 million American homes misrepresents wind energy's purpose and limited contribution to our energy portfolio. For the authors of the report, satisfying the 20% wind energy goal is entirely independent of our need for reliable power plants meant to meet
1 20% Wind Power by 2030 -
demand. In fact, no amount of wind installed in the US will result in an existing power plant being decommissioned nor will it negate the need to build new reliable generation.
So why build wind at all? Wind is being installed to generate low-emissions energy. Any opportunity beyond that is, as DOE correctly states, is "a bonus, but not a necessity."
Nonetheless, the cost and impacts of achieving 20% wind in the United States are staggering. Assuming a start point of 47,000 MW of wind now operating in the US (with none offshore), over 13,000 MW of new wind would need to be installed year after year through to 2030 to reach 305,000 MW. In addition, average capacity factors would need to dramatically increase from a current nationwide average of 30%2 to over 40%.
Even if the industry were able to overcome all manufacturing and construction barriers to meet this goal, other barriers still remain including a) the public's resistance to wind turbines sited near their homes or on publicly-owned lands, national forests and wilderness areas; b) sustained and substantial taxpayer-funded subsidies to ensure project economic viability; c) above-market energy prices for wind and increased capacity payments for reliable resources, and d) the requirement for expansive and expensive power lines to access remote areas of the country.
Moving Wind Offshore
In September 2010, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) expanded on DOE's study with the release of its Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States,3 a report that described the benefits and feasibility of building 54,000 MW of wind offshore along our eastern seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Water depths on the Pacific Coast, according to NREL, posed a 'technology challenge'.
No operating offshore wind plants are sited anywhere in the US. The controversial Cape Wind (130 turbines, 468 MW) project proposed ten years ago is still under challenge. Property owners within the viewshed of the project were joined by Wal-Mart, the Associated Industries of
2 Wiser R. and M. Bolinger. LBNL-4820E. June 2011, 2010 Wind Technologies Market Report,
3 Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States, September 2010
Massachusetts, and wind developer TransCanada4 among others in protesting the no-compete, high-priced power purchase agreement approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In Rhode Island, approval of Deepwater Wind's pilot project is under fire. In Delaware, NRG Bluewater Wind terminated its power purchase agreement with Delmarva5 due to poor economics and growing public opposition to expensive renewable energy. A fight sparked in Michigan over a proposed 1000 MW wind facility in Lake Michigan packed hearing rooms6 with angry protests. A similar response came from communities along northern New York after NYPA sought bids to build turbines in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Both the Michigan and NYPA plans were shelved7.
None of these projects, in total, match the scale and cost of what NREL claims can be built offshore. Fifty-four thousand megawatts would mean 115 projects equivalent in size to Cape Wind, or 15,000 turbines located within 10-20 miles of our coastlines and spanning 3,000 square miles of open water. The eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine is 1,342 miles.
Obvious environmental and visual impacts are only a part of the issue. Problems with the technology are also very real8.
And then there's the cost.
4 Providence Business News, Cape Wind energy prices high, not competitive with other green projects,52862
5 North American Windpower, NRG Bluewater officially ends contract for Delaware offshore wind project,
6 Muskegon Chronicle, Oceana County Board rejects Scandia Wind's Offshore proposal,
7 North America Windpower, NYPA cancels 150MW Great Lakes offshore project,
8 Turbine failures offshore are harder to repair and are often addressed on an aggregated basis. It's not unusual to wait as long as three months before turbines are fixed, leading to lower equipment availability. While wind conditions offshore might be better for energy generation, harsh environmental conditions could mean turbines are available for fewer hours in the year. In 2005, all eighty Vestas V90 turbines at Denmark's offshore Horns Rev facility had to be removed and repaired owing to the effect of salty water and air. A similar repair was reported on 30 Vestas turbines off the UK coast. In 2010 hundreds of European offshore wind turbines were found to have a design fault that caused the towers to slide on their bases. The problem was universal and not specific to any one project or turbine manufacturer.
The Cape Wind project will cost $2.5 billion for 468 megawatts ($5500/kw), an enormous expense for any individual power plant, especially one expected to deliver only 39% of the time with no guarantee the generation will arrive when most needed. With high upfront costs and fewer hours to spread the cost over, offshore wind is not economically viable without significant public support, above-market, long-term purchase agreements and constraints imposed on more reliable sources of generation.
NREL addresses some of the obstacles to building offshore wind in a very superficial manner. On visual effects, the authors acknowledge that coastal dwellers might object to the turbines and recommend added study to understand coastal communities and their ability to accept changes to the seascape. Regarding property values, NREL relies on the poorly defined Hoen/Wiser9 study to claim no impact but admit more work is needed for offshore properties. On tourism, NREL concedes the evidence is ambiguous but still claims, "actual effects appear to be minimal". And finally, on marine safety they admit collisions may pose a potentially significant risk to the marine environment or to human safety but offer cold comfort that no incidents have occurred to date.
The true impact of a national renewable vision based on wind is in the public cost, both in dollars and in the impacts wrought by transforming our open spaces, on- and offshore into massive industrial power plants with associated transmission and other infrastructure. Wind proponents advocate for a national energy policy that mandates renewable energy, but public policy requires credible analysis with an objective eye on reality. To my knowledge, no such analysis has been undertaken by DOE.
2. Federal Subsidies Programs: PTC and Section 1603
a. The Production Tax Credit
The AWEA insists the industry is at risk of a slow-down if Congress does not act quickly to extend the production tax credit (PTC), the federal incentive most often credited for market growth in the wind sector. The PTC expires at the end of 2012.
9 Wilson, Albert R., Wind farms, residential property values, and rubber rulers,
But if the PTC were to expire, the damage would be less than what AWEA claims.
Attributing wind market activity to the PTC is overly simplistic and fails to consider other crucial factors driving development in the US.
The PTC was established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to stimulate use of renewable technologies for power generation by providing a production-based credit for the first 10 years of project operations. Initially set at 1.5¢/kWh, the credit is adjusted annually for inflation and today stands at 2.2¢/kWh.
When adopted, the House Ways and Means Committee insisted on an expiration date (June 30, 1999) to give Congress an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the credit in meeting its goal. In each of the five years following the PTC's enactment wind capacity declined10. It wasn't until 1998 and 1999 before the trend drifted upward. (see Exhibit 2)
While it's possible the market needed time to respond to the new subsidy, other more significant factors likely stalled growth.
The US was awash in generation and oil prices were low and stable. Deregulation shifted plant ownership to independent power producers which led to improved plant management and increased efficiencies. This was particularly true for nuclear power where average capacity factors grew from 66% in 1990 to over 90% currently11.
The demand for renewable energy largely didn't exist except in States with programs that encouraged renewable generation. It's no accident that the bulk of new wind built in 1998-99 occurred in four states12 with renewable programs -- California, Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
When the Asian financial crisis hit in 1997, oil prices collapsed13 taking with them any financial incentive to build new renewable generation. The PTC expired in 1999, the same year oil prices bottomed out, and new wind installations went bust the following year.
AWEA has complained for over ten years that expiration of the PTC in 1999 caused development to slow calling it the boom-bust cycle. Yet given available data, it's impossible to isolate the factors that contributed to the decline. Clearly other macroeconomic issues played a crucial role. Some energy experts maintain the PTC was largely irrelevant in those years.
After 2004, the PTC may have contributed to growth in the wind market, but so did State policies mandating renewables. Wind benefited from rising natural gas prices as well (over $5 per million BTU) making wind power contracts an attractive way to displace higher-cost natural gas generation.
By the middle of 2008 the US economy stumbled and energy prices dropped off quickly. With incomes falling, tax-based policy incentives lost much of their effectiveness as tax equity investors disappeared. Section 1603 cash grants created under the 2009 stimulus were designed to fill the void.
In a press reports this month, AWEA CEO Denise Bode credited the industry's recent growth to the fact that the PTC has not expired for the past five years. This is not accurate. The vast majority, of the wind built since 2008 through to the end of 2012 is directly tied to Section 1603 grant funding.
But with 1603 now expired the wind industry has again turned its attention to extending the production tax credit (PTC). Ditlev Engel, chief executive officer of Vestas Wind Systems A/S complained that US turbine sales may "fall off a cliff"14 unless lawmakers extend tax credits beyond 2012.
Turbine sales may decline but not because of the PTC.
13 (Slide 26)
14 Bloomberg News, US wind market set to „Fall Off a Cliff,‟ Vestas CEO says,
The 2008 recession slowed economic growth causing demand for electricity to drop. Many States, including California15, are now signaling their renewable mandates are being met which will weaken demand for wind. Recent discoveries of abundant shale gas reserves are expected to keep gas prices low and stable through to 2020 and likely longer. Since natural gas is among the important elements in determining the competitiveness of wind, low gas prices will generally reduce wind's attractiveness as a 'fuel saver'. In fact, the Energy Information Administration is forecasting flat growth16 in the wind sector for the next ten years regardless of what happens with the PTC.
The production tax credit largely benefits corporate investors and wind project owners. For investors like General Electric, the credit is an open-ended subsidy17 offered for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. Because the PTC directly reduces the amount of federal income taxes paid, it should be thought of as providing 2.2¢/kWh of after-tax income (in 2011 dollars).
This represents a pre-tax value of approximately 3.7¢/kWh (assumes a 40% marginal tax rate). When measured relative to the price of wholesale power, the PTC is exceptionally generous.
Claims by AWEA of wind being at cost parity with non-renewable resources should not be taken on face value.
For consumers, the production tax credit disproportionately benefits ratepayers in States with renewable energy mandates by distributing the high cost of wind to taxpayers at large. And since the subsidy is uniform across the country it's highly inefficient, supporting poorly sited projects as well as projects that would have been built regardless of the credit. This is certainly true in Texas and the Pacific Northwest where wind exceeds transmission capacity, in New York where average annual capacity factors are under 25% and in New England where utilities routinely sign long-term power contracts at prices significantly above market.
15 Letter by Michael Picker, Senior Advisor to the Governor of California for renewable energy facilities, to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council,
16 EIA Table 16. Renewable Energy Generating Capacity and Generation,
17 Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, May 2005, Present Law And Background Relating To Tax Credits For Electricity Production From Renewable Sources,
b. Section 1603 vs. PTC
The Section 1603 cash grant program enabled developers to secure direct monetary outlays from the Federal government to cover 30 percent of a project‟s qualifying cost. The criteria for receiving the grant were not onerous and the Treasury Department was prohibited by law from ranking the projects before distributing the funds.
Spanish energy giant Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. received over a billion dollars in cash grants alone. A preliminary evaluation18 of the grant outlays published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in 2010 found that 61% of the grants distributed through to March 2010 “likely would have deployed under the PTC [production tax credit] if the grant did not exist.” In many cases, money went to projects that were already under construction, and in some cases already producing electricity. Wind developers whose projects received Section 1603 money complained19 that it was unfair to criticize them for taking the funds because their projects otherwise would have received the production tax credit. They insisted the cost to the taxpayers was not materially different.
Aside from the obvious intrinsic value of cash in hand versus tax credits earned over a period of ten years, I was prompted to look further into the numbers themselves to test the claim of equivalence.
I looked at two operating geothermal facilities, five operating onshore wind energy facilities and five approved, but not built wind projects including two offshore applications.
Exhibit 3 shows my findings. In all cases, cash grants that were (or will be) distributed exceeded anticipated production tax credit amounts in total by over one-half billion dollars. In general, projects with greater development costs (more than $2150/kw for wind) and/or lower average capacity factors (under 30% for wind) received substantially higher benefits from the cash grant
18 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Bolinger, M., Wiser, R., Darghouth, N., Preliminary Evaluation of the Impact of the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program on Renewable Energy Deployment in 2009,
19 The New York Times, Stimulus Cash Flowed to Completed, Under-Way Renewable Energy Projects,
than the current PTC. To keep the table simple, I did not apply a 7.5% discount rate to the production tax credit. If I had, the monetary differences of the two programs would have been more stark since the cash grant is received at the start of the operational life of a renewable energy project.
With upfront cash grants developers have minimal incentive to negotiate lower prices with suppliers. In fact, the more expensive a project is to construct the better for vendors, contractors and developers.
There are other qualitative benefits under the cash program which shift the rewards to developers while laying project debt and risk at the feet of American taxpayers. Unlike the PTC, the cash grant is not dependent on project performance. If a project‟s capacity factor is marginal the public still grants the cash. Projects that would normally not meet financial threshold requirements are apt to get built anyway. The Section 1603 program substitutes government payments for private investments after which the government just walks away.
c. The high cost of subsidizing wind
Since the PTC was adopted in 1992, its annual cost has ballooned from $5 million a year in 1998 to over $1 billion annually today. Even if the PTC were to sunset, taxpayers are still obligated to cover nearly $8 billion in tax credits for wind projects built in the last decade. (Exhibit 4) This is in addition to the over $15 billion paid out or accruing for projects built under Section 1603.
Exhibit 4 compares yearly installations of wind under the PTC and 1603 and looks at the cost of each subsidy. If the goal of a subsidy is getting wind turbines erected in the US, Section 1603 is the more aggressive program for driving development. But the grants under 1603 are excessive.
The New York Times examined the government largess secured by Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management for its Granite Reliable Wind park, a 99 MW facility now under construction in northern New Hampshire. According to the Times, the project "will receive so many subsidies for a New Hampshire wind farm that they are worth 46 percent to 80 percent of
the $229 million price of the project, when measured in today‟s dollars"20. Brookfield received subsidies under Section 1603, Section 1705 (partial loan guarantee), and the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)
3. Wind energy and jobs claims
In 2007, the AWEA touted that the industry represented 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in the US, a figure that jumped to 85,000 in 2008 but by 2010 dropped to 75,000 with roughly 20,000 in the manufacturing sector.
AWEA's 2010 annual report lists pages of facilities it claims are US Wind Industry Manufacturing Facilities. Of the 450+ facilities listed, a less than 75 represent plants dedicated to building turbine parts (blades, towers, nacelles) including Vestas and Gamesa plants in Colorado and Pennsylvania respectively. The rest build components for industrial uses. Many have been in business for decades and their sole business is not wind-specific. AWEA omits any details showing the percentage of each company's gross revenues tied to the wind industry so verifying job counts is not possible.
Wind construction jobs are not permanent so the industry would need to reach peak levels of development year after year just to maintain current job levels. When installations dropped in 2010, it was no surprise that jobs dropped as well. And since growing the manufacturing base is predicated on installing more wind turbines it's difficult to envision a scenario where job growth is sustainable.
This month, NREL released a report entitled Preliminary Analysis of the Jobs and Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy Projects Supported by the §1603 Treasury Grant Program21
20 New York Times, Lipton, E. and Krauss, C., A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search,
The wide range reflects a disagreement between the experts on the future price of electricity in New Hampshire. Brookfield received subsidies under Section 1603, Section 1705 (partial loan guarantee), and Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) as well as state and local benefits.
21 NREL April 2010, Preliminary Analysis of the Jobs and Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy Projects Supported by the §1603 Treasury Grant Program
which examined the impact Section 1603 had on job growth and development for the wind and PV solar industries.
Using a modified version of its JEDI model to enable modeling on a national level, NREL estimated that 1603 grants for both wind and PV solar projects supported between 52,000 and 75,000 direct and indirect jobs annually. For wind alone, average jobs per year were between 44,000 and 66,000. It's difficult to map NREL's results to AWEA's job numbers but it would appear that job growth in the wind industry since Section 1603 has declined.
But that's only part of the jobs tale.
In 2010, the State of Vermont published the results of its study22 to evaluate the consequences of adding just 50 megawatts of renewable energy at prices that were higher than market-based alternatives.
The analysis found the Feed in Tariff program would increase Vermont capital investment and create jobs during its 26 year life cycle, however, the net gain in employment was found to be far less than conventionally thought. Following an initial increase in temporary construction-related jobs, long term employment would average thirteen full time jobs per year, including both direct and indirect employment in the energy sector as well as the job and income related effects of increased electricity costs. But other sectors, predominately service sectors, would suffer long term net job losses. In essence jobs would be created in one sector of the Vermont economy at the expense others.
But job transfer was not the only finding reported from the study. The model also showed that above-market energy costs due to higher electricity prices would have the deleterious effects of "reshuffling consumer spending and increasing the cost of production for Vermont businesses" and that "increased costs for households and employers would reduce the positive employment impacts of renewable energy capital investment and the annual repair and maintenance activities".
22 The Economic Impacts of Vermont Feed in Tariffs
NREL's report makes clear (footnote 2) that its analysis omits any evaluation of job displacement or loses due to wind and PV solar development under Section 1603. In essence, NREL modeled benefit of 1693 without acknowledging any cost.
4. The hidden subsidies for wind power
Independent of the PTC and Section 1603, millions of public dollars have been spent supporting wind power development in the US. One example is the work undertaken by DOE, FAA and the DOD to evaluate and try to mitigate for the impacts of large-scale wind turbines on military and navigational radar in the US. By 2008, nearly 40% of our long-range radar systems were already compromised by wind turbines23. We've doubled our wind capacity since then but the problem of radar interference persists.
Our military services and federal agencies have conducted numerous studies on the radar question, as have multiple international military and private interests24. Not all studies agree on levels of severity and potential mitigations, but all agree that large scale industrial wind turbines have the potential to negatively affect military installations, radar, and navigation aids.
According to Raytheon lead radar engineer, Peter Drake25, radar mitigation technology does not yet exist: ' …These things [wind turbines] inside of 20 miles, look like a 747 on final approach, the trick for us is to somehow make them disappear, while still being able to see a real 747…we have not figured that out yet.'
While most of the information pertaining to turbine interference is not readily available to the public, the below situations are known:
23 Long Range Radar Joint Program Office Wind Farm Brief (Slide 3)
24 Report to the Congressional Defense Committees, The Effect of Windmill Farms On Military Readiness 2006,
25 NAS Kingsville Wind Farm Effects on Air Traffic Control and Compatible Siting Collaboration
a. Travis AFB. The Travis Midair Collision Avoidance (MACA) pamphlet26 warns that wind farms southeast of the base interfere with primary radar. Pilots are urged to fly with their transponders on to be seen by the secondary radar system (SSR) installed at air traffic control facilities. Transponder-only airspace but relies on pilots complying with the warning. Recreational pilots may not remember to comply or their aircraft might not be adequately equipped. SSR also assumes pilots want to be seen.
b. Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas (NASK). Despite proposed technical mitigations, documentations released by the Texas Comptroller's office recommended27 that at least one school district near NASK deny special tax treatment for a wind project due to impacts at NASK radars. NASK trains 50% of our US naval aviators.
It is critical that Congress investigate this issue more closely and fully ascertain the costs in dollars and reduced radar surveillance occurring due to wind development. We can easily define and quantify the cost of subsidies like the PTC and 1603, subsidies meant to support renewable energy. Such hidden subsidies, however, are easily kept from public view but the risk to our national security and military readiness is far more impacting.
5. Summary
a. The Department of Energy's goal of 20% wind by 2030 is entirely independent of our need for reliable power plants. No amount of wind installed in the US will result in an existing power plant being decommissioned nor will it negate the need to build reliable generation. Wind is being installed to generate low-emissions energy.
b. The cost and impacts of achieving 20% wind in the United States, including 54,000 MW offshore are staggering and not realistic.
c. The production tax credit disproportionately benefits ratepayers in States with renewable energy mandates by distributing the high cost of wind to taxpayers at large. And since the
26 Travis Midair Collision Avoidance (MACA) pamphlet, (Page 8)
27 Economic impact evaluation of wind turbines in the vicinity of the Naval Air Station Kingsville
subsidy is uniform across the country it's highly inefficient, supporting poorly sited projects as well as projects that would have been built regardless of the credit.
d. Section 1603 cash grants shift the rewards to developers while laying project debt and risk at the feet of American taxpayers. The cash grant is not dependent on project performance. Even project with marginal capacity factor still receive the cash. Projects that would normally not meet financial threshold requirements are apt to get built anyway.
e. Since the PTC was adopted in 1992, its annual cost has ballooned from $5 million a year in 1998 to over $1 billion annually today. Even if the PTC were to sunset, taxpayers are obligated to cover nearly $8 billion in tax credits for wind projects built in the last decade. This is in addition to the over $15 billion paid out or accruing for projects built under Section 1603.
f. In 2007, the AWEA claimed 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in the US, a figure that jumped to 85,000 in 2008. By 2010, jobs dropped to 75,000 with roughly 20,000 in the manufacturing sector.
g. Independent of the PTC and Section 1603, millions of public dollars have been spent evaluating and trying to mitigate for the impacts of large-scale wind turbines on military and navigational radar in the US. Developers have been asked to provide some funding but there are no clear rules for establishing funds and how costs can be shared between developers.

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Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


* Wind produces 2.3% of our electricity, less than 8 percent of our pollution-free electricity.

* If the United States generated 20 percent of our electricity from wind, as some have suggested, that would cover an area the size of West Virginia with 186,000 wind turbines. It would also be necessary to build 12,000 miles of transmission lines.

* Four nuclear reactors each occupying one square mile would equal the production of a row of 50-story wind turbines strung the entire length of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. And according to Benjamin Zycher at the American Enterprise Institute, a 1,000-megawatt natural gas power plant would take up 15 acres while a comparable wind farm would take up 48,000 to 60,000 acres.

A 2.2 cents PTC credit is worth 3.4 cents in cash savings on the tax return of a wealthy investor like a bank or GE.


The following information was released by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander:

In a speech delivered today at the Heritage Foundation, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called on Congress to end the production tax credit for wind power, which has been in place since 1992 and is set to expire at the end of the year an issue on which could Congress could vote as early as this week, by way of an amendment to the Highway bill. Alexander said, The Big Wind gravy trainshould go the way of the $5 billion annual ethanol subsidy, which Congress allowed to expire last year.

Alexander listed three reasons the subsidies should be allowed to expire :

First, we cant afford it . The federal government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends. It cannot justify such a subsidy, especially for what the U.S. Energy Secretary calls a mature technology.

Second, wind turbines produce a relatively puny amount of expensive, unreliable electricity. Wind produces 2.3% of our electricity, less than 8 percent of our pollution-free electricity.

Finally, these massive turbines too often destroy the environment in the name of saving the environment These are not your grandmas windmills. They are taller than the Statue of Liberty, their blades are as long as a football field, and their blinking lights can be seen for twenty miles. Apparently eagle killing has gotten so commonplace that the U.S. Department of Interior will grant wind developers hunting licenses for eagles. In Goodhue County, Minnesota, a company wants to build 48 turbines on 50 square miles of land and, to do that, it has applied for an eagle take permit which will allow it to kill a certain number of eagles before facing penalties.

Alexanders prepared remarks are below:

Why Congress Should Stop the Big Wind Gravy Train

Congress should stop the Big Wind gravy train. Subsidies for developers of huge wind turbines will cost taxpayers $14 billion over five years, between 2009 and 2013, according to the Joint Tax Committee and the Treasury Department. This is more than the special tax breaks for Big Oil, which Congress should also end.

$6 billion of these Big Wind subsidies will come from the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which Congress temporarily enacted in 1992. The prospect of its expiration at the end of this year has filled the Capitol with lobbyists hired by investors wealthy enough to profit from the tax breaks. President Obama wants to make the credits permanent. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is a make or break moment for wind power companies.

There are three reasons why Big Wind subsidies should go the way of the $5 billion annual ethanol subsidy, which Congress allowed to expire last year.

First, we cant afford it. The federal government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends. It cannot justify such a subsidy, especially for what the U.S. Energy Secretary calls a mature technology.

Second, wind turbines produce a relatively puny amount of expensive, unreliable electricity. Wind produces 2.3% of our electricity, less than 8 percent of our pollution-free electricity. One alternative is natural gas: abundant, cheap, and very clean. Another alternative is nuclear. Reactors power our Navy and produce 70 percent of our pollution-free electricity. Using windmills to power a country that uses one fourth of the worlds electricity would be the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats.

Finally, these massive turbines too often destroy the environment in the name of saving the environment. When wind advocate T. Boone Pickens was asked whether he would put turbines on his Texas ranch, he answered no and said, Theyre ugly. A new documentary, Windfall, chronicles upstate New York residents debating whether to build giant turbines in their town. A New York Times review of the film reported this:

Turbines are huge: some are 40 stories tall, with 130-foot blades weighing seven tons and spinning at 150 miles an hour. They can fall over or send parts flying; struck by lightning, say, they can catch fire. Their 24/7 rotation emits nerve-racking low frequencies (like a pulsing disco) amplified by rain and moisture, and can generate a disorienting strobe effect in sunlight. Giant flickering shadows can tarnish a sunsets glow on a landscape.

Lets consider these three arguments, one by one.

First, the money.

For all we hear about Big Oil, you may be surprised to learn that special tax breaks for Big Wind are greater. During the five years from 2009 to 2013, federal subsidies for Big Wind equal $14 billion. Here I am only counting the Production Tax Credit and the cash grants that the 2009 stimulus law offered to wind developers in lieu of the tax credit.

An analysis of that stimulus cash-grant program by Greenwire found that 64 percent of the 50 highest-dollar grants awardedor about $2.7 billionwent to projects that had begun construction before the stimulus measures started. Steve Ellis, the vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, told Greenwire: Its essentially funding economic activity that already would have occurred. So its just a pure subsidy.

According to the presidents new budget, Big Oil receives multiple tax subsidies. Doing away with them would save about $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2013 or about $22 billion over five years, it says. So far it sounds like Big Oil, with $22 billion, is bigger in subsidies than Big Wind with $14 billion.

But heres the catch: Many of these subsidies that the president is attacking oil companies for receiving are regular tax provisions that are the same or similar to those other industries receive.

For example, Xerox, Microsoft, and Caterpillar all benefit from tax provisions like the manufacturing tax credit, amortization, or depreciation of used equipment that the president is counting as Big Oil subsidies.

And, of course, wind energy companies also benefit from many similar tax provisions. But the production tax credit that benefits wind is in addition to regular tax code provisions that benefit many companies. So the only way to make a fair comparison is to look only at subsidies that mostly benefit only oil or wind, and by that measure, wind gets more breaks than oil.

The Heritage Foundation has done an analysis showing that if Big Oil received the same type of production tax credit as Big Wind, then the taxpayer would be paying Big Oil about $50 per barrel of oil, when adjusted for todays oil prices.

And, according to a 2008 Energy Information Administration report, Big Wind received an $18.82 federal subsidy per megawatt hour, 25 times as much per megawatt hour as subsidies for all other forms of electricity production combined.

The Production Tax Credit first became law in 1992. Its goal was to jumpstart renewable energy production. While it is advertised as a tax credit for renewable energy, 75 percent of the credit goes to wind developers, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Here is how it works. For every kilowatt hour of electricity produced from wind, turbine owners receive 2.2 cents in a tax credit. For example, if a Texas utility buys electricity from a wind developer at 6 cents per kilowatt hour, the federal taxpayer will pay the developer another 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour. This 2.2 cents subsidy continues for the first ten years that the turbine is in service. And this 2.2 cents credit is worth 3.4 cents in cash savings on the tax return of a wealthy investor.

Wind developers often sell their tax credits to Wall Street banks or big corporations or other investors who have large incomes. They create what is called a tax equity deal in order to lower or eliminate taxes. This is the scheme that our president, who is championing economic fairness, would like to make permanent.

Energy expert Daniel Yergin says that the price of oil during 2011, when adjusted for inflation, is higher than at any time since 1860. It therefore makes no sense to give special tax breaks to Big Oil. Neither does it make sense to extend special tax breaks to Big Wind, a mature technology. For every $3 saved by eliminating these wasteful subsidies, I would spend $2 to reduce the federal debt and $1 to double research for new forms of cheap, clean energy for our country.

The second problem with electricity produced from wind is that there is not much of it, and since the wind blows when it wants to, and, for the most part, cant be stored, it is not reliable.

For this reason, sometimes the claims in newspapers about how much electricity wind turbines produce are misleading because of the difference between the capacity of an energy plant and its actual production. Daniel Yergin says that U.S. installed capacity for windpower grew at an average annual rate of 40 percent between 2005 and 2009. In terms of absolute capacity, Yergin writes in his book The Quest, that growth in capacity was equivalent to adding 25 new nuclear reactors. But, Yergin writes, in terms of actual generation of electricityit was more like adding nine reactors. This is because nuclear plants operate 90 percent of the time while wind turbines operate about one third of the time.

As an example, the Tennessee Valley Authority constructed a 29-megawatt wind farm at Buffalo Mountain at a cost of $60 million. It is the only wind farm in the Southeast. Now youll read in the papers about a 29-megawatt wind farm, but thats not its real output. In practice, Buffalo Mountain has only generated electricity 19 percent of the time, since the wind doesnt blow very much in the Southeast. So this wind farm, sounding like a 29 megawatt power plant, only generates six megawatts. TVA considers Buffalo Mountain to be a failed experiment. In fact, looking for wind power in the Southeast is a little like looking for hydropower in the desert. So, one problem with the wind subsidy is that it has encouraged developers to build wind projects in places where the wind doesnt blow.

Finally, there is question of whether in the name of saving the environment, wind turbines are destroying the environment. These are not your grandmas windmills. They are taller than the Statue of Liberty, their blades are as long as a football field, and their blinking lights can be seen for twenty miles. Not everyone agrees with T. Boone Pickens that they are ugly but, when these towers move from the television advertisements into your neighborhood, you might agree with Mr. Pickens.

Energy sprawl is the term conservation groups use to describe the march of 45-story wind turbines onto the landscape of America, the Beautiful. If the United States generated 20 percent of our electricity from wind, as some have suggested, that would cover an area the size of West Virginia with 186,000 wind turbines. It would also be necessary to build 12,000 miles of transmission lines. The late Senator Ted Kennedy and his successor Senator Scott Brown have complained about how a wind farm the size of Manhattan Island will clutter the ocean landscape around Nantucket Island.

Robert Bryce told the Wall Street Journal that the noise of turbines, this infrasound issue, is the most problematic for the wind industry. They want to dismiss it out of hand, but the low frequency noise is very disturbing, he explains. I interviewed people all over, and they all complained with identical words and descriptions about the problems they were feeling from the noise.

Theodore Roosevelt was our greatest conservationist president, and his greatest passion was for birds. Birds must think that wind turbines are Cuisinarts in the sky.

Last month, two golden eagles were found dead at Californias Pine Tree wind farm, bringing the total count of dead golden eagles at that wind farm to eight carcasses. And the Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the six golden eagles found dead earlier at the 2-year-old wind farm in Kern County were struck by blades from some of the 90 turbines spread across 8,000 acres at the site. That puts the death rate per turbine at the Pine Tree wind farm three times higher than at California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, which has 5,000 turbines that kill 67 golden eagles each year.

Apparently eagle killing has gotten so commonplace that the U.S. Department of Interior will grant wind developers hunting licenses for eagles. In Goodhue County, Minnesota, a company wants to build 48 turbines on 50 square miles of land and, to do that, it has applied for an eagle take permit which will allow it to kill a certain number of eagles before facing penalties.

I have not figured out how such a hunting license squares with federal laws that will put you in prison or fine you if you kill migratory birds or eagles. Nor have I figured out how it squares with the Fish and Wildlife Service fining Exxon $600,000 in 2009 when oil development harmed protected birds. Do not the same laws protecting birds apply both to Big Wind and Big Oil?

Surely there are appropriate places for wind power in a country that needs clean electricity and that has learned the value of a diverse of set of energy sources. But if reliable, cheap and clean electricity without energy sprawl is the goal, then four nuclear reactorseach occupying one square milewould equal the production of a row of 50-story wind turbines strung the entire length of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. And according to Benjamin Zycher at the American Enterprise Institute, a 1,000-megawatt natural gas power plant would take up 15 acres while a comparable wind farm would take up 48,000 to 60,000 acres. And, of course, even if you built all those turbines, you would still need the nuclear or gas plants for when the wind doesnt blow.

Our energy policy should be, first, to double the $5 billion federal energy budget for research on new forms of clean, cheap, reliable energy. I am talking about the 500-mile battery for electric cars; commercial uses of carbon captured from coal plants; solar power installed at less than $1 per watt; or offshore wind turbines.

Second, we should strictly limit a handful of jumpstart research and development projects to take new technologies from the RandD phase to the commercial phase. I am thinking here of projects like ARPA-E, modeled after the Defense Departments DARPA that led to the Internet, stealth and other remarkable technologies. Or the five-year program for small modular nuclear reactors.

Third, we should end wasteful, long-term special tax breaks such as those for Big Oil and Big Wind. The savings from ending those subsides should be used to double clean energy research and to reduce our federal debt.

For a strong country, we need large amounts of cheap, reliable clean energy and we need a balanced budget. This is an energy policy that can help us do both.

# # #
Copyright 2012 States News Service


Canadian Wind Turbine Study makes Massachusetts Approach Look Laughable

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection with the visionary leadership of wind energy enthusiast and shill Kenneth Kimmell, commanded a "study" to reinforce the predetermined stance there were no health risks from Industrial Wind Turbines near people...pretty much at any distance...heck lets build them so the fall zone can be schools, workplaces or homes. The "study" conducted in secret sessions, consisted of a number state paid people favorable to wind energy, finding a couple of favorable wind energy papers and give the all clear to wind developers to build at will!

Here is a bit of different approach. In Ontario, Canada they have thousands of complaints so since Wind Energy is a multi-billion dollar industry that is cramming some of the largest industrial machines ever built into residential neighborhoods...maybe they could spend $1.5 Million to take ACTUAL measurements and record ACTUAL responses from Humans. A similar thoughtful approach in Australia led to a mandatory 2 km buffer zone between people and Massive Industrial Wind Turbine...Mr Kimmell believes this would be inconvenient to his governments development plans.

I could include the research about Very Low Frequency Weapons that use the same frequency as produced from Wind Turbines, but at a small increment higher decibel, that induces similar symptoms as described by many already affected by nearby Industrial Wind Turbines....but DEP Commissioner Mr Kimmell would discount that. Let's hope the live human experiments get results soon so we can stop this mass experiment!

Don't even get me started on the bats and raptors(against Federal Law) already being wiped out by thousands of turbines dominating various areas.

Wind turbine health study starting up

By Tracey Richardson @ The Sun Times March 5 2012

Bruce County residents living near wind turbines can expect to hear soon from a team studying the health effects of the massive wind-powered generators.

University students will be fanning out across the area over the next month putting surveys in hundreds of mailboxes. It’s one of the first steps in a five-year, $1.5-million study being conducted by the Ontario Research Chair in Renewable Energy Technology and Health, which is based out of the University of Waterloo.

Along with the surveys, the study team will also target people living near the turbines for more extensive testing, said Waterloo professor Philip Bigelow, who is one of the study’s investigators.

The team wants to measure noise levels, both audible and low frequency, at the houses near turbines. As well, the team wants a few dozen participants who will agree to have their sleep habits monitored. That entails the participant wearing a device on their wrist that detects movement while they’re sleeping to show if their sleep is being disturbed, Bigelow said.

While the study of wind turbines is new, the protocol and technology are not, said Bigelow. Noise studies have been done for years around airports and highways. But the turbines are different because they emit a continuous noise, Bigelow said.

“This one is actually a little different because you have this continuous noise and you have the wind changing, of course, but you have this continuous thumping and swishing, and that’s really irritating to people.”

Bigelow said noise is more annoying at certain continuous sound pressure levels, and “when you average it all out, wind turbines are going to be worse than traffic noise for annoyance, and that’s already been well established because of the character of it.”

To balance the study, a group of people who don’t live anywhere near turbines will be included. Bigelow said the team ideally hopes to study people in areas where turbines are planned, then follow up with them after the turbines are up and running. “Those people we really want to follow up with.”

A couple of dozen researchers in total are working on the study. One of the study’s components uses geographic information systems, which involves exact locations and distances of homes in relation to turbines. Another area involves connecting microphones to detect low frequency noise in various places and linking them to the speed of the turbines, Bigelow said. “It’s very fancy stuff.”

Another researcher is working on a model that tracks and predicts noise exposure using a software program called Wind Pro.

“You can actually do this modeling of what a bedroom would be like given if the turbine was this far away and it’s got this sound power level,” Bigelow said.


Bigelow said the study is considering “whole body effects” from the turbines and not just specific health issues, like vestibular effects such as dizziness. “We’re really looking at the broader implications of these things.”

The study is looking at other types of renewable energy as well, but most of the resources are going into wind turbines, Bigelow said, “because it’s an issue more than the other ones are.”

Hundreds of wind turbines have popped up across the province over the last half dozen years, and opposition has been steadily growing. Several anti-wind lobby groups have sprouted, the biggest being Wind Concerns Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which represents about 37,000 farm families, has lent its political weight to the anti-turbine movement as well.

Dozens of municipalities have called on the government to halt further turbine development until more is known about their health effects. Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has a bill before the legislature calling on a moratorium on wind turbines; it’s to be voted on this week.

Bigelow said he’s aware it’s a political hot button issue. “I’m aware of the political landscape, that’s for sure. We get out there and talk to people and get lots of calls . . . so yeah, we’re very aware of it.”

He wants participants who don’t have an agenda, he said. As well, he said the researchers are objective and have no personal interest in whether the study shows any negative health effects or not.

“For us it doesn’t matter one way or the other. We want to enough statistical power to be able to see some health differences in people with exposure to these wind turbines versus not exposed to turbines,” he said. “And that is our issue we need to deal with, and to do that we need enough people to participate, we need the right measurement tools that we use in the field, and also we need people to fill out the surveys as properly as the can.”

Bigelow said once the study is completed, he expects it to be a tool policy makers will use in making future decisions about turbines. “I’m sure it will go into the mix of how they’re going to make decisions in the future.”

In 2009, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) issued a call for proposals to all universities in the province for the establishment of the research chair on renewable energy, with funding provided by the Ministry of Environment. The chair was awarded to the University of Waterloo, with Dr. Siva Sivoththaman as the chair holder.

The study began in late 2010 but the first year was spent assembling the research team.


Lenox, MA Select Board agrees: No wind turbines

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

LENOX -- Off the books, for good.

The Select Board, accepting the recommendation of the town-appointed Wind Energy Research Panel, has rejected unanimously any further consideration of a municipal wind-turbine installation on the Lenox Mountain ridge line. The 4-0 vote was greeted by vigorous applause from about 40 people attending Wednesday’s meeting.

Select Board Chairman John McNinch praised the research panel for doing "a phenomenal job. The amount of material and information they looked through is incredible."

Said McNinch, "I’m still a believer in wind energy and all alternative energy. I’ve stopped being a believer in wind energy on Lenox Mountain."

The panel began its work in October with three supporters, three opponents and two alternates. The group met 10 times, conducted extensive research, visited the site of the proposed installation, and after some initial discord, settled into a cooperative working relationship.

Their final recommendations and personal statements, presented at an open town forum attended by about 90 people Monday night, came down against proceeding with the turbine proposal on the grounds of financial risk, potential health impacts and the likelihood of stark environmental degradation in the watershed area.

Selectman David Roche said that the group’s final report led him to doubt he would ever consider wind power, as long as other alternatives like solar or hydro were available.

"If we’re going to table this and put it on the back burner, that back burner better be all the way to Canada," said Roche. "The town of Lenox has no business being in the energy business, none whatsoever. We should not take the risks, we should reap the rewards."

Select Board member Linda Messana saluted the group for its open-minded approach. "At the beginning, it was a little rocky," she said, "but at the end, I saw six people who came together for a common goal.

"It’s very gratifying to know we have people we can turn to and say, ‘Would you take a look at this?’ You spent many, many hours, and it was very much appreciated by the Board of Selectmen and the town."

At a state hearing on wind energy held at Lee Middle and High School on Tuesday night, Selectman Kenneth Fowler noted, "the level of concern expressed by some of the people who actually live near some of these turbines installed already was overwhelming to me."

Fowler, widely praised as moderator of the Lenox panel, warned of the danger of "not listening to the people" who cite ill effects of nearby turbines. He criticized the report by a group of state-appointed experts released in January that downplayed health and noise effects.

"If we get to a point where we’re putting turbines closer and closer to residences, we may find in 10, 15 or 20 years what a mistake we made," Fowler added.

He proposed that Lenox should become a "model community" for solar energy, The town is actively pursuing installations at two Lenox Dale sites.

Former Selectman Joseph Nolan urged consideration of a conservation restriction for the Lenox Mountain ridge line, which he called "a sacred piece of property."


Vestas a victim of its own propaganda

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

For a world-beating renewable energy company to lose its chief financial officer may be regarded as a misfortune. For the company also to lose its chairman and two other board members, not to mention the heads of its divisions for research and development, offshore operations, control systems and investor relations, looks like carelessness.

If Oscar Wilde were alive today writing boardroom rather than drawing room comedies, he would find rich material in the comings and goings at Vestas, the Danish company that is the world’s leading supplier of wind turbines. Understandably, investors nursing a 90 per cent nosedive in the company’s share price since its August 2008 peak are less amused.


Dennis, MA Shellfish Hatchery Drops Wind Turbine Suit

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

DENNIS — To the relief of some neighbors, a shellfish hatchery is dropping plans to install a wind turbine near Chapin Memorial Beach.

But the loss of a possible alternative energy source threatens the future of the Aquaculture Research Corp., President Richard Kraus said.  "I have no idea what we're going to do," he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Kraus told the Dennis Board of Selectmen on Tuesday that ARC was withdrawing a lawsuit against a regional historic preservation board that blocked plans for the 242-foot turbine.  "It's too expensive, and we don't have the time," Kraus said.

The news was welcome to Dennis resident Rosemarie Austin, who was a defendant in the case. She is head of Save Our Beaches, an organization formed in response to the wind turbine plans.

"Wind turbines shouldn't be put in neighborhoods," Austin said. "None of us bear any ill will toward ARC. Industrial turbines should go in industrial areas."

ARC officials have said they need the turbine to lower spiraling energy costs.

The hatchery is the largest on the East Coast and supplies clam and oyster seeds to about 90 shellfish farms from New York to Maine but mainly in Massachusetts, Kraus said.

Located in a historical area off Route 6A, the hatchery won the approval of the Old King's Highway Historic District Committee in Dennis for its wind turbine plans in August 2010.

But one month later, the regional board of the historic preservation district, which covers the area north of Route 6 from Sandwich to Orleans, overturned the local committee's decision after Austin filed an appeal.

In response, ARC sued the Old King's Highway Regional Historic District Commission and Austin in Orleans District Court.

The shellfish hatchery argued that Austin did not have legal standing as a "visual abutter" and that the regional board had not proved the Dennis historic committee had been in error.

The town of Dennis also weighed in, along with Yarmouth, which is separated from ARC's 39 acres of beach-front property by Chase Garden Creek.

The town of Dennis was named an intervenor in the court case on behalf of the plaintiff. The Dennis selectmen have said ARC's operations are vital to the economic interests of the town.

The town of Yarmouth tried unsuccessfully to be named an intervenor on the side of the defendants.

Yarmouth officials said they weren't taking a stand against the wind turbine. They said they wanted the interests of Yarmouthport residents, who would be able to see the turbine, to be represented.

Neighbors objected to the height of the turbine — 242 feet at the top of its blades — and that it would be seen from as far away as Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable.

Austin said the turbine would have towered over the area, where the next tallest structures were 40-foot telephone poles.

But ARC officials have said the electricity produced by the turbine would have helped curb energy costs that are amounting to more than $100,000 a year.

"We've cut back so much, we're barely running," Kraus said.

Most of the shellfish hatchery buildings are unheated, he said. "It's the process that uses energy."

The case was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday, but ARC officials asked for a postponement, Austin said.

Last month Orleans District Judge Brian Merrick ruled against ARC's motion for a summary judgment that Austin had no legal standing in the case.

If the judge had ruled in favor of ARC, the original Dennis committee's approval of the wind turbine would have stood without the shellfish hatchery having to go to trial.

Austin, who learned while watching the board of selectmen's meeting on TV that ARC officials were dropping the case, said she was surprised.

Dennis town officials remain concerned about ARC's ability to remain in business.

The selectmen "want them to be a viable business entity," Dennis Town Administrator Richard White said.

"We'd be happy to look at any sites they might be interested in" for energy generation, he said.

But White said an area the town has designated for possible wind turbine use hasn't shown "terrific results" for energy production from testing thus far.

ARC is interested in using the closed landfill for an alternative energy site, but the town already is working with a company to cover it with solar panels to supply the municipality's electrical needs, White said

Cape Cod Times   March 01, 2012 By Cynthia Mccormick


Common Sense Nantucket Joins Energy Study Committee Assess Operating Turbine Noise Level

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Common Sense Nantucket Joins Energy Study Committee Assess Operating Turbine Noise Level

Visit Confirms Worst Fears for Industrial Wind Turbine on Nantucket

 Nantucket – February 20, 2012 (For immediate release) On Friday, February 17, members of Common Sense Nantucket (CSN) were invited by the Nantucket Energy Study Committee to visit the Berkshire East wind turbine, located at a ski resort in western Massachusetts. The primary purpose of the joint trip was to assess first-hand the noise level of the same PW 56 industrial wind turbine ---albeit 60 feet shorter---being considered for the Madaket landfill.

In the words of CSN’s Karen Palmer “Our worst fears were confirmed. Even standing 4000 feet from the turbine, the industrial whine, whoosh and blade “thump” were unrelenting. It didn’t take long to make you want to escape the noise. That the Town is advocating that we be subject to this 24/7 is inconceivable.”

There are roughly 40 residential properties on Nantucket within 4000 feet of the proposed turbine site, and over 200 within one mile. Given the island’s topography, the 325 foot turbine would loom in the view of hundreds more. With the island’s very low ambient sound level, particularly at night, the incessant industrial noise would carry a great distance.
“After standing under this huge machine, listening to the noise and visualizing its impact on the beauty of the island, it is very clear” reported CSN attendee Kija Kim. “This would be a disaster for Nantucket.”

Common Sense Nantucket asks that voters and Town officials alike take note of the clear message contained in a letter sent last week by Massachusetts State Senate President Therese Murray to the town of Plymouth, Mass: “It is my strong belief that Industrial size wind turbines do not belong in residential neighborhoods….No one should be subject to unnecessary discomfort as a result of any turbine project and we need to site these projects responsibly. “

To see  more on the Berkshire East turbine please visit:

Click on “Photos”


For more information on the turbine, please visit: Common Sense Nantucket is an informal group of Nantucket residents and taxpayers dedicated to promoting common sense solutions to issues facing the island. As a registered “ballot question committee,” CSN opposes the 325-foot industrial wind turbine planned for the Madaket landfill and asks island voters to please vote NO on Town Meeting Warrant #13.


The Blowback Against Big Wind

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

FEBRUARY 13, 2012

The Dark Side of "Green" Energy

The Blowback Against Big Wind


After years of successful marketing and lavish subsidies from taxpayers, the global wind industry now finds itself facing an unprecedented backlash. And that backlash – largely coming from rural landowners – combined with low natural gas prices, and a Congress unwilling to extend more subsidies, has left the American and Canadian wind sectors gasping for breath.

A new and thoughtful look at the fight against Big Wind is Laura Israel’s new film, Windfall, a documentary that focuses on the fight over the siting of wind turbines in the small town of Meredith, New York. Indeed, Israel’s film underscores an essential question: what, exactly, qualifies an energy source as “green” or “clean”? If you listen to President Obama, nearly every energy source qualifies as “clean” with the notable exception of oil.

For liberals here in the US, along with groups like the Center for American Progress, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council, wind energy has been deemed “clean” because it is renewable. But that belief requires a steadfast and prolonged decision to ignore a lot of inconvenient facts. It also requires the dismissal of rural residents like those in Meredith. Why? Well, the logic is obvious: any rural resident who opposes having a source of “clean” energy near their homes – never mind that it’s a 45-story-tall wind turbine that flashes red-blinking lights all night, every night — must be a NIMBY, right?

Indeed, Windfall provides a good representation of the rural-urban divide on the wind-energy issue. Lots of city-based environmental groups and lobby organizations actively promote the concept of renewable energy. (It’s healthy! It’s green! No smokestacks!) But they are not the ones who have to endure the health-impairing noise that’s created by the turbines, nor do they have to see them.

Lest you think that NIMBY claim is only being uttered by brain-dead liberals and wind-energy lobbyists, consider this: last summer, Energy Secretary Steven Chu used that same smear. During a brief conversation with Chu about renewable energy, I mentioned the growing rural opposition to large-scale wind projects. Chu didn’t waste any time before he dismissed those objectors as “NIMBYs.”

That kind of lazy thinking – which is truly lamentable in a person who’s been awarded the Nobel Prize — is all too typical. But a myriad of examples are available that demonstrate how the backlash against Big Wind is playing out both here in the US and around the world.


*  The European Platform against Windfarms lists 518 signatory organizations from 23 countries.

*  The UK now has about 285 anti-wind groups.

* In Canada, a group called Ontario Wind Resistance lists about 40 anti-wind groups.

*  Newspaper stories from Missouri, Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Britain, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, and New Zealand, indicate the wind-turbine-noise problem is global and that the frustration among rural landowners is growing.

*  In 2010, the Copenhagen Post reported that “state-owned energy firm Dong Energy has given up building more wind turbines on Danish land, following protests from residents complaining about the noise the turbines make.”

*  Last May, some 1,500 protesters descended on the Welsh assembly, the Senedd, demanding that a massive wind project planned for central Wales be halted.

* Last June, in the Australian state of Victoria, the government responded to two years’ of complaints about noise generated by turbines at the Waubra wind project by announcing that it would enforce a two-kilometer (1.25-mile) setback between wind turbines and homes. The state’s planning minister said the setback was needed for health reasons. Australia’s mainstream media has paid serious attention to the turbine-noise issue, including a 2010 TV report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that focused on the problems at Waubra.

*  Last July, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal held an inquiry into a proposed a wind-energy facility known as the Kent Breeze Project. Although the officials allowed the facility to be built, they said:

this case has successfully shown that 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.

*  In August, in a peer-reviewed article published in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. Carl V. Phillips, a Harvard-trained Ph.D. who now works as a researcher and consultant on epidemiology, concluded that there is “overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate.” That same issue of the journal carried eight other articles that addressed the issue of health and wind-turbine noise.

*  Last September, CBC News reported that Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has logged “hundreds of health complaints” about the noise generated by the province’s growing fleet of wind turbines.

* Alec Salt, a research scientist at the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has written extensively about the health effects of wind-energy projects. He flatly concludes that wind turbines “can be hazardous to human health.”

*  In October, a peer-reviewed study of wind-turbine-related noise in New Zealand found that residents living within two kilometers of large wind projects reported

lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of health-related quality of life.

*  In October, Frank Lasee, a Republican state senator in Wisconsin, responding to complaints lodged by his constituents about noise generated by wind turbines that had been built near their homes, filed legislation that would require the state to investigate the health effects of the noise produced by industrial wind turbines. If passed, the bill — the first of its kind in the U.S. — will impose a moratorium on new wind projects until the study is completed.

*  On November 8, residents of Brooksville, Maine voted by more than 2 to 1 in favor of a measure that bans all wind turbines with towers exceeding 100 feet in height. On that same date, voters in Cushing, and Rumford, Maine passed similar measures. More than a dozen other towns in Maine now have anti-wind ordinances.

*  In December, government officials in the Australian state of New South Wales issued guidelines that give residents living within two kilometers of a proposed wind project the right to delay, or even stop, the project’s development. The issue: excessive noise created by wind turbines.

*  In January, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian province’s biggest farm organization, said that the push for wind energy had “become untenable” and that “rural residents’ health and nuisance complaints must be immediately and fairly addressed.”

*  On Sunday, Sir Simon Jenkins, the chairman of the National Trust, one of Britain’s largest and oldest conservation groups, called wind energy a “public menace.” He went on saying “We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.”

There’s no way that Israel could have anticipated today’s headlines. She did the filming for Windfall back in 2007 and 2008. But her portrayal of the bitter feuding that happened in the town of Meredith over wind-energy development is similar to fights that have occurred in numerous other rural communities around the world. The battle in Meredith (population: 1,500) pitted landowners who stood to profit by putting the wind turbines on their property against those who didn’t.

The landowner faction in Meredith was led by the town’s supervisor, Frank Bachler. Israel portrays him as a well-intentioned man who, in favoring the wind development, is trying to help the area’s struggling farmers. Bachler dismisses the opponents of the wind project as “a minority of people who are very aggressive.”

Bachler gets proven wrong. The anti-wind faction quickly gains momentum and the resulting battle provides a textbook example of small-town democracy. Three wind opponents run for election to the town board with the stated purpose of reversing the existing board’s position on wind. In November 2007, they win, and a few weeks later, pass a measure banning large-scale wind development.

Israel’s film also looks at the opposition outside of Meredith. In doing so, she provides a colorful interview with Carol Spinelli, a fiery real estate agent in Bovina, a town of about 600 people located a few miles southeast of Meredith. Bovina passed a ban on wind turbines in March 2007. Spinelli helped lead the opposition and she nails the controversy over wind by explaining that it’s about “big money, big companies, big politics.” And she angrily denounces wind-energy developers “as modern-day carpetbaggers.”

That’s a brutal assessment. But it accurately portrays the rural-urban divide on the wind-energy issue. The Green/Left is desperate to portray the future of our energy mix as a fight between hydrocarbons and renewables. And in their desperation, they attempt to vilify anyone and everyone who dares to point out the myriad problems with renewables in general and wind energy in particular.

The American Wind Energy Association has denounced Windfall as offering “the greatest hits of misinformation.” And as is usual with AWEA, the group ignores the facts presented in the film and instead repeats its usual talking points about how the general public loves wind energy, i.e., “over 80% of Americans support wind power.”

On Saturday, the Natural Resources Defense Council published a critique of Windfall that reads like it was written by an AWEA lobbyist. The critique, written by NRDC staffer Pierre Bull, makes it clear that for NRDC, concerns about carbon dioxide emissions trump nearly every other concern, including, apparently, those of rural residents who don’t want the turbines. Bull’s piece even parrots AWEA’s claim that the low-frequency noise and infrasound created by wind turbines is not a problem by pointing to a report released in mid-January by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. That report largely dismisses complaints about wind-turbine noise. AWEA has repeatedly claimed, wrongly, that the Massachusetts report absolves the wind industry. And Bull claims it gives “wind a clean bill of health.” But the authors of the report did not interview any of the homeowners who’ve left their houses because of turbine noise. Instead, they did a cursory review of the published literature.

Shortly after the Massachusetts report came out, Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, a non-profit organization that tracks noise issues, wrote that the authors of the Massachusetts report “dropped a crucial ball” because they did not “provide any sort of acknowledgement or analysis of the ways that annoyance, anxiety, sleep disruption, and stress could be intermediary pathways that help us to understand some of the reports coming from Massachusetts residents who say their health has been affected by nearby turbines.”

The wind-energy lobby and the environmental groups are doing their best to ignore the global backlash against wind projects for a simple reason: billions of dollars in subsidies are at stake.

My analysis of more than 4,200 projects that won grants from the Treasury Department under the federal stimulus bill of 2009 shows that $3.25 billion in tax-free grants went to just eight wind-energy companies, all of which are board members of AWEA. And that sum doesn’t include a $490 million grant that will be given to General Electric and its partners on the Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon, a $2 billion deal for which federal taxpayers also provided a $1 billion loan guarantee. Meanwhile, in the UK, the country’s biggest wind project owners stand to collect some $1.3 billion in subsidies.

The wind industry desperately needs those subsidies. That’s particularly true in the US where low-cost gas is hammering the wind business. In early 2011, Dallas-based energy investor T. Boone Pickens said that it was difficult to obtain financing for a wind project “unless you have $6 gas.” Earlier this month, Pickens again cited the $6 price floor for natural gas as being essential to the economics of wind-energy projects.

The latest spot price for natural gas: about $2.50. And few people in the energy business are expecting gas prices to rise dramatically in the next two years or so. The faltering fortunes of the global wind sector can easily be seen by looking at the PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio, an exchange-traded fund. Over the past ten months, the value of the fund has fallen by about 36 percent.

Of course, there are many more stories to tell – about the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of homeowners in Wisconsin, New York, Ontario, New Zealand, and elsewhere – who have been driven out of their homes because of the noise generated by wind projects built too close to residential areas. But by looking at the battle against Big Wind in just one small town, Windfall illustrates why the backlash is occurring and it provides a glimpse of why the wind industry has been so successful at social marketing.

Windfall – which will soon be available via video on demand on a variety of outlets — is an important film that’s appearing at the exact time when the public’s understanding of what qualifies as “green” is getting a much-needed overhaul.

Robert Bryce’s latest book is Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.


U S Senator “It’s Time to End Big Wind’s Big Loophole”

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

February 15 2012

“And what do we get for these billions in subsidies? A puny amount of unreliable electricity that arrives disproportionately at night when we don’t need it. Americans … are finding out that these are not your grandma's windmills. These gigantic turbines, which look so pleasant on the television ads paid for by the people getting all the tax breaks … are three times as high as stadiums … taller than the Statue of Liberty … blades are as wide as a football field. You can see the blinking lights for 20 miles … and on top of that, these giant turbines have become the Cuisinart in the sky for birds.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON – In a speech today on the floor of the United States Senate, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called on Congress to reject any efforts to “put in the payroll tax agreement a four-year extension of the so-called production tax credit,” calling it “a big loophole for the rich and for the investment bankers.”

Alexander said: “Let's not even think about putting this tax break for the rich in the middle of an extension of a tax deduction for working Americans this week. Let's focus on reducing the debt, increasing expenditure for research and getting rid of the subsidies. Twenty years is long enough for a wind production tax credit for what our distinguished Nobel prize-winning Secretary of Energy says is a ‘mature technology.’”

The full transcript follows:

“Madam President, there are reports in some of the newspapers this morning that there is an effort to try to slip into the negotiation about extending the payroll tax break for the next year a big loophole for the rich and for the investment bankers and for most of the people President Obama keeps talking about as people whose taxes he would like to raise.  What I mean by this is I have heard there may be an effort to put into the payroll tax agreement a four-year extension of the so-called production tax credit, which is a big tax break for wind developers.  I cannot think of anything that would derail more rapidly the consensus that is developing about extending the payroll tax deduction than to do such a thing.  We are supposed to be talking about reducing taxes for working people.  This would maintain a big loophole for investment bankers, for the very wealthy, and for big corporations.

“We hear a lot of talk about federal subsidies for Big Oil.  I would like to take a moment to talk about federal subsidies for Big Wind -- $27 billion over 10 years.  That is the amount of Federal taxpayer dollars between 2007 and 2016, according to the Joint Tax Committee, that taxpayers will have given to wind developers across our country.  This subsidy comes in the form of a production tax credit, renewable energy bonds, investment tax credits, federal grants, and accelerated appreciation.  These are huge subsidies.  The production tax credit itself has been there for 20 years.  It was a temporary tax break put in the law in 1992.  And what do we get in return for these billions of dollars of subsidies?  We get a puny amount of unreliable electricity that arrives disproportionately at night when we don't need it.

“Residents in community after community across America are finding out that these are not your grandma's windmills.  These gigantic turbines, which look so pleasant on the television ads -- paid for by the people who are getting all the tax breaks -- look like an elephant when they are in your backyard.  In fact, they are much bigger than an elephant.  They are three times as tall as the sky boxes at Neyland Stadium, the University of Tennessee football stadium in Knoxville.  They are taller than the Statue of Liberty.  The blades are as wide as a football field is long, and you can see the blinking lights that are on top of these windmills for 20 miles.

“In town after town, Americans are complaining about the noise and disturbance that come from these giant wind turbines in their backyards.  There is a new movie that was reviewed in the New York Times in the last few days called "Windfall" about residents in upstate New York who are upset and have left their homes because of the arrival of these big wind turbines.

“The great American West, which conservationists for a century have sought to protect, has become littered with these giant towers.  Boone Pickens, an advocate of wind power, says he doesn't want them on his own ranch because they are ugly.  Senators Kerry, Kennedy, Warner, and Scott Brown have all complained about the new Manhattan Island-sized wind development which will forever change the landscape off the coast of Nantucket Island.

“On top of all that, these giant turbines have become a Cuisinart in the sky for birds. Federal law protects the American Eagle and migratory birds. In 2009, Exxon had to pay $600,000 in fines when oil developments harmed these protected birds.  But the federal government so far has refused to apply the same federal law to Big Wind that applies to Big Oil, even though chopping up an eagle in a wind turbine couldn't be any better than its landing and dying on an oil slick. And wind turbines kill over 400,000 birds every year.

“We have had some experience with the reliability of this kind of wind power in the Tennessee Valley Authority region.  A few years ago TVA built 30 big wind turbines on top of Buffalo Mountain.  In the eastern United States, onshore wind power only works when the wind turbines are placed on the ridge lines of Americas most scenic mountains.  So you will see them along the areas near the Appalachian Trail through the mountains of scenic views we prize in our State.  But there they are, 30 big wind turbines to see whether they would work.

“Here is what happened:  The wind blows 19 percent of the time.  According to TVA's own estimates, it is reliable 12 percent of the time.  So TVA signed a contract to spend $60 million to produce 6 megawatts of wind -- actual production of wind -- over that 10-year period of time.  It was a commercial failure.

“There are obviously better alternatives to this.  First, there is nuclear power.  We wouldn't think of going to war in sailboats if nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers were available.  The energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats is trying to produce enough clean energy for the United States of America with windmills.

“The United States uses 25 percent of all the electricity in the world.  It needs to be clean, reliable electricity that we can afford.  Twenty percent of the electricity that we use today is nuclear power.  Nearly 70 percent of the clean electricity, the pollution-free electricity that we use today is nuclear power.  It comes from 104 reactors located at 65 sites.  Each reactor consumes about one square-mile of land.

“To produce the same amount of electricity by windmills would mean we would have to have 186,000 of these wind turbines; it would cover an area the size of West Virginia; we would need 19,000 miles of transmission lines through backyards and scenic areas; so 100 reactors on 100 square miles or 186,000 wind turbines on 25,000 square miles.

“Think about it another way.  Four reactors on four square miles is equal to a row of 50-story tall wind turbines along the entire 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail.  Of course, if we had the turbines, we would still need the nuclear plants or the gas plants or the coal plants because we would like our computers to work and our lights to be on when the wind doesn't blow, and we can't store the electricity.

“Then, of course, there is natural gas, which has no sulfur pollution, very little nitrogen pollution, half as much carbon as coal.  Gas is very cheap today.  A Chicago-based utility analyst said:  Wind on its own without incentives is far from economic unless gas is north of $6.50 per unit.  The Wall Street Journal says that wind power is facing a make-or-break moment in Congress, while we debate to extend these subsidies. So that is why the wind power companies are on pins and needles waiting to see what Congress decides to do about its subsidy.

“Taxpayers should be the ones on pins and needles.  This $27 billion over 10 years is a waste of money.  It could be used for energy research.  It could be used to reduce the debt.  Let's start with the $12 billion over that 10 years that went for the production tax credit.  That tax credit was supposed to be temporary in 1992.

“Today, according to Secretary Chu, wind is a mature technology.  Why does it need a credit?  The credit is worth about 3 cents per kilowatt hour, if we take into account the corporate tax rate of 35 percent.  That has caused some energy officials to say they have never found an easier way to make money.  Well, of course not.

“So we do not need to extend the production tax credit for wind at a time when we are borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar, at a time when natural gas is cheap and nuclear power is clean and more reliable and less expensive.

“I would like to see us put some of that money on energy research.  We only spend $5 billion or $6 billion a year on energy research:  clean energy research, carbon recapture, making solar cheaper, making electric batteries that go further.  I am ready to reduce the subsidies for Big Oil as long as we reduce the subsidies for Big Wind at the same time.

“So let's not even think about putting this tax break for the rich in the middle of an extension of a tax deduction for working Americans this week.  Let's focus on reducing the debt, increasing expenditure for research, and getting rid of the subsidies.

“Twenty years is long enough for a wind production tax credit for what our distinguished Nobel Prize-winning Secretary of Energy says is a mature technology.


Bourne, MA Wind Turbine Denied!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The full Cape Cod Commission voted to accept the recommendation of the Subcommittee and DENY the New Generation Wind Proposal to build Four 500' Industrial Wind Turbines in Bourne!!!  It was close vote...


Letter to Nantucket Board of Selectman Highlighting Britain’s Backlash Against Wind Energy

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Save Our Seashore
Wellfleet, MA

Board of Selectmen
Nantucket, MA

February 15, 2012

Britain's National Trust "Deeply Skeptical" of wind of "Inefficient" Wind Energy; Calls Industrial 'Wind Farms' "a Public Menace" and "a Blight on the Landscape"

Dear Members of the Nantucket Board of Selectmen,

I am writing to provide you with a copy of an article that appeared in a British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, a few days ago which reported that Britain's National Trust strongly opposes the installation of industrial wind energy in that country because of its questionable environmental benefit and because of its profound adverse impact upon the character of the landscape.

As the article notes, the chairman of the National Trust has launched an outspoken attack on Britain's heavily subsidized efforts to install additional wind turbines, both on and offshore, arguing that this is the most expensive and "least efficient" form of renewable energy and that such installations are a "blight on the landscape" and "a public menace."

You may recall that on February 7, 2012, the Sunday Telegraph reported that 101 Members of Parliament recently signed a letter to Prime Minister Cameron protesting the approval of over $600 million in subsidies for wind energy in Britain, for many of the same reasons (see copy of the article below).  Here are a few paragraphs from that article:

Mr Hancock, who is close to the Chancellor, George Osborne, said last night: “I support renewable energy but we need to do it in a way that gives the most value for money and that does not destroy our natural environment.”

Another Tory MP who signed the letter, Tracey Crouch, said: “It is tragic that we blight our countryside with hideous electricity pylons and now we intend not only to do the same with onshore wind farms but also to subsidise them.

I’d much rather see better planning regulations and greater investment in other sources of renewable energy, which will protect the beauty of our countryside for future generations.”

It is my understanding that the entire island of Nantucket was designated as a National Historic District on December 13, 1963 and that it is the largest conventional historic district in the United States.  This designation was made for the express purpose of preserving Nantucket's historic character, as part of our national legacy, so that every generation of American citizens might appreciate Nantucket's unique contributions to our early history as a nation.

It is also my understanding that the population of Nantucket swells each year from approximately 10,000 full-time residents to a population of over 50,000 summer residents and visitors -- many of whom have been making this pilgrimage to their favorite island for many generations.

I am sure that I don't need to tell you that Nantucket is a special place, or that it has a unique and wonderful natural and historic character that is worth preserving.  But perhaps it is worthwhile for all of us to remember that the population of "stakeholders" who are personally affected by the decisions of Nantucket's local government is not limited to full-time residents on the island.

In a few short months, your stalwart year-round residents will be joined by 40,000 additional resident property owners and visitors -- none of whom will have had an opportunity to vote at your Annual Town Meeting at the end of March.  Many of them may have liked to have spent the entire year with you on Nantucket -- who wouldn't -- but have had to go elsewhere to earn a living in order to support themselves.

Similarly, many of the people who visit Nantucket this summer -- and for countless generations to come -- may live thousands of miles from Nantucket.

But it would be well to remember the reason that they came -- which, for most of them, is because Nantucket is a unique part of their national history and because you have always been such committed and responsible stewards of the natural and historic character of the island, which is now, officially, a national trust.

The Tide is Running Out

In my opinion, industrial wind energy is nothing more than a fad -- a misguided, and indefensible, industrial policy that is uneconomic and which fails to deliver on its promises.  It is inefficient; it is impractical; it is expensive; it is environmentally destructive; and it doesn't work.

Until recently, wind energy has been propped up on a false foundation of lavish government subsidies -- but the tide is rapidly running out.  The evidence is all around us.

As policy makers increasingly recognize that wind energy does not accomplish the goals that it promised -- and as they become increasingly aware of the lasting adverse consequences of installing such a disruptive technology -- government support for the technology is evaporating.

--Subsidies in Europe have been slashed.

--In the United States, the U.S. Congress recently declined to renew the Production Tax Credit and other subsidies without which wind energy cannot survive.

--The Massachusetts Attorney General has recently called attention to the fact that the cost of renewable energy programs proposed by Governor Patrick would cost ratepayers an additional $4 billion by 2020 -- with the implication that such an outlay is clearly not justifiable.

--Meanwhile, in every country where wind turbines have been installed -- in the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark and the United Kingdom, to name a few - there is a growing chorus of rebellion against the economic waste and, above all, the adverse impacts on people and the environment.

--All over the world, government authorities are adopting stricter regulatory regimes to limit the damage from wind turbines which tower above the landscape and literally broadcast their adverse impacts -- visual blight, flashing beacons, obnoxious and harmful noise, strobe-like "flicker" -- from heights of 300, 400, 500 and 600 feet above ground.

--As noted in these two article, the National Trust has launched a campaign to end the madness and 101 Members of Parliament have signed a letter to the Prime Minister of the U.K. protesting further development.

--According to a recent article that was also furnished to you, members of the Australian Senate have called for an immediate moratorium on further development.

--Cape Cod has adopted more stringent permitting requirements, regulating these developments as Developments of Regional Impact, imposing much greater setbacks and applying stringent new procedures.

--An acoustic consultant hired by the Martha's Vineyard Commission recommended extremely low tolerances for wind turbine noise there, in recognition of very low ambient noise and the rural character of the local environment.

--The legislature in the neighboring State of Connecticut has imposed an indefinite moratorium on all further development of industrial wind energy in the state, until appropriate safeguards can be formulated and adopted to protect residents and the environment there.

--Just days ago, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study that concluded that if we did follow through with a proposed plan to install offshore wind energy in the Atlantic Ocean, it is probable that half of the wind turbines would be destroyed by hurricanes over a 20 year period.  Martha's Vineyard (and by extension, nearby Nantucket) was singled out as one of the most vulnerable coastal locations.  The viability of offshore wind energy will doubtless be reexamined in light of the findings of this study.

The Town of Nantucket -- And Beyond

As the Board of Selectmen consider whether to endorse a warrant article approving the commitment of millions of taxpayer dollars to support a highly speculative wind turbine project in Madaket, we hope that you will consider this question in its proper context.

It is true that, in one sense, this may be seen as purely an economic decision:

--Does the Town of Nantucket want to go into the wind energy business?

--Is it prudent to risk millions of dollars on this project -- without any prior experience in the business -- in the hopes that the Town of Nantucket can turn a profit on the business?

--Does the Town of Nantucket have complete confidence that the economic projections for the project are conservative and realistic?

--Above all, does the Town of Nantucket believe that the government subsidies that will make or break the project will continue to be offered -- in perpetuity -- despite an observable trend, all over the world, in the opposite direction -- i.e. in the direction of forceful and abrupt curtailment of such subsidies?

But the stakes are much higher than the potential profit or loss from this speculative financial adventure.

All of us who do not live on Nantucket -- including all future generations who may one day visit the island -- and who will not benefit from this proposal to to sell off a piece of our national heritage, by waiving current restrictions in exchange for a few thousand dollars of profit -- are hoping that you will widen your field of vision and be reminded that although, as everyone knows, you have a town to manage, you are also in a very real sense the stewards of an important piece of our national culture.

You don't need a wind turbine in Nantucket.  No one can credibly say that this is a necessity.   There is a mountain of evidence to prove that erecting one lonely wind turbine on Nantucket will not accomplish anything significant, in terms of our energy sustainability.  But it only takes one 325 wind turbine to transform the entire character of the island.

Over two years ago, I spent a considerable amount of time, with many others, opposing the installation of wind turbines in the Cape Cod National Seashore where the park superintendent was -- perversely -- an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of industrializing the national park in this manner.

After months of discussion and study, during which time we forwarded reams of information to them, the National Park Conservation Association (a private non-profit dedicated to the protection and improvement of our national parks) issued a letter on behalf of its 350,000 members, opposing any such installations within the National Seashore -- contrary to the position of the sitting park superintendent.

The letter from the NPCA stated their view that the Cape Cod National Seashore was "not an appropriate location for an industrial wind turbine" and that, moreover, any installation within the park might "set a bad precedent" for the rest of Cape Cod.

All of the projects within, or abutting, the National Seashore were ultimately terminated, as were many additional similar proposals to install wind turbines elsewhere on Cape Cod.

When I met with the Regional Director of the NPCA, after the issuance of their letter -- to thank them for their support -- he said to me:

"We don't really understand why you bothered to provide such extensive information or why you opposed the project on so many grounds.  The tree line on Cape Cod is only 30 feet.  The wind turbines are obviously completely out-of-scale and out-of-character with the surroundings.  All we had to know was that they were 400 feet tall!  What more do you need to know?"

My reply to him was as follows: "You obviously haven't met the park superintendent.  Try telling that to him!"

I am relating this story to you because, in my opinion, the Regional Director of the NPCA hit the nail on the head.

My initial reaction to learning of the proposal to install a 400 foot wind turbine in Wellfleet, in the heart of the National Seashore, was identical to his: "How can you justify erecting a 400 foot machine in the heart of the National Seashore -- or anywhere on Cape Cod?"

Similarly, I believe that in your position, there is only one fact that you need to know about your wind turbine proposal in Madaket: the wind turbine is an industrial machine -- a spinning power plant -- and it is 325 feet tall.

What more do you really need to know?

We urge you all to recognize the lasting adverse consequences of this proposed development and to exhibit true leadership by explaining to your constituents why you simply cannot, in all good conscience -- and why they should not -- support the Madaket wind turbine proposal.


Eric Bibler

Cc: Nantucket Finance Committee
Cc: Nantucket ZBA


Daily Telegraph     12 Feb 2012

National Trust comes out against 'public menace' of wind farms
The National Trust is now "deeply sceptical" of wind power, its chairman said as he launched an outspoken attack on the "public menace" of turbines destroying the countryside.

National Trust comes out against 'public menace' of wind farms Photo: ALAMY

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent              223 Comments

For years the conservation charity has been a supporter of renewable energy, including wind, to reduce carbon emissions and help fight global warming.

But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sir Simon Jenkins warned that wind was the "least efficient" form of green power, and risked blighting the British landscape.

He said “not a week goes by” without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten the more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust.

“Broadly speaking the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy,” he said.

At the moment the Trust is fighting against at least half a dozen plans to build wind farms or turbines that could damage the view from a stately home or stretch of countryside, including a massive offshore farm in the Bristol Channel and plans by the Duke of Gloucester to install a wind farm on his property.

Louise Mensch, the Tory MP and author, is backing the fight against turbines near Lyveden New Bield, Northants which she fears could “destroy one of the finest examples of Elizabethan gardens in England”

In the past the Trust, that now has four million members, fought plans for one of Europe’s largest wind farms in mid Wales and the National Trust for Scotland has spoken out against turbines marching over the hills.

The official position is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and “with regard to the full range of environmental considerations”.

The landowner already has 140 renewable energy projects installed on castles and farmland around the country, including a few small individual turbines.

The Trust’s climate change target to cut energy use by 50 per cent by 2020 will go beyond national targets and could save more than 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 4,500 cars off the road.

But Sir Simon said most of the renewables will be hydroelectric plants, especially in Wales, as the Trust has access to many miles or rivers and properties that were once water mills. An Archimedes screw is being installed at Morden Hall Park, London similar to the hydroelectric plant installed by the Queen in Windsor Castle.

Also biomass - the burning of plant matter - will cut oil use to virtually zero as the Trust has acres of woodland that needs to be managed anyway. Woodchip boilers have been installed in draughty castles around the country and some even have solar panels on the roof.

“We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside,” said Sir Simon, a former national newspaper editor.

His view is a blow to the Government who have already installed more than 3,500 turbines and are planning to complete 800 this year alone.

The Government can ill-afford another clash with the Trust - which has more members than all the major political parties combined - following its prominent role in the widespread revolt against the coalition's unpopular planning reform proposals.

Ed Davey, the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has come out strongly in support of wind, opening the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off Cumbria last week.

The Lib Dem minister said wind power will ensure energy security as fossil fuels run out, cut carbon emissions and provide jobs.

RenewableUK, the main lobby group for the wind industry, think by 2020 there could be as many as 10,000 turbines onshore and 4,300 offshore.

However campaigners argue that wind turbines ruin the landscape and are less efficient than other forms of electricity because more back up is required for when the wind is not blowing.

This weekend The Telegraph revealed the full extent of lobbying by Britain's wind industry.


Tuesday 07 February 2012

101 Tories revolt over wind farms

David Cameron has been hit by a major protest by Conservative MPs over the Government’s backing for wind farms, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.


There are currently more than 3,000 onshore wind turbines in Britain. Photo: ALAMY


By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor

9:00PM GMT 04 Feb 2012


A total of 101 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the “inefficient” onshore wind turbine industry are “dramatically cut”.

The backbenchers, joined by some MPs from other parties, have also called on Mr Cameron to tighten up planning laws so local people have a better chance of stopping new farms being developed and protecting the countryside.

The demands will be a headache for Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, who joined the Cabinet on Friday when Chris Huhne resigned after being charged with perverting the course of justice.

Mr Huhne, who denies claims that he asked his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, to accept speeding penalty points on his behalf, was an enthusiastic proponent of wind farms. There are currently more than 3,000 onshore wind turbines in Britain.

At least 4,500 more turbines are expected to go up as the Government’s drive to meet legally binding targets for cutting carbon emissions sparks a green energy boom.

Critics say wind farms are inefficient because the wind cannot be guaranteed to blow at times of greatest energy demand. They are also said to be unsightly, blighting the landscape.

Wind farms are also accused of forcing up energy bills while swallowing disproportionate amounts of taxpayer-funded subsidies.

The Tory MPs, including several of the party’s rising stars as well as former ministers, say it is wrong that hard-pressed consumers must pay for the expansion of onshore wind power.

In the letter sent to No 10 Downing Street last week, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the MPs say they have become “more and more concerned” about government “support for onshore wind energy production”.

“In these financially straitened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies onshore wind turbines,” they say. The MPs want the savings spread between other “reliable” forms of renewable energy production.

They have also called on Mr Cameron to change the proposed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) so that it gives local people who object to proposed wind farms a better chance of victory in the planning process. The framework has finished a public consultation process and is awaiting the green light from ministers.

The letter reads: “We also are worried that the new National Planning Policy Framework, in its current form, diminishes the chances of local people defeating onshore wind farm proposals through the planning system.”

The number of Tory signatories to the letter, organised by Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative backbencher, means that the controversy could be the biggest protest to hit Mr Cameron since the Coalition was formed. Last October, 81 Tory MPs defied him in a Commons vote on holding a referendum over Britain’s future in the European Union.

The letter’s backers claim that while other Conservatives who are ministers and parliamentary private secretaries are unable to sign because they are part of the government “payroll”, they too privately support the move against wind farms.

It is understood that there is also support from the Treasury. Among the signatories are former Conservative ministers including David Davis and Christopher Chope, as well as party grandees such as Bernard Jenkin and Nicholas Soames. They are joined by several rising stars including Matthew Hancock, Nadhim Zahawi and Steven Barclay.

Mr Hancock, who is close to the Chancellor, George Osborne, said last night: “I support renewable energy but we need to do it in a way that gives the most value for money and that does not destroy our natural environment.”

Another Tory MP who signed the letter, Tracey Crouch, said: “It is tragic that we blight our countryside with hideous electricity pylons and now we intend not only to do the same with onshore wind farms but also to subsidise them.

“I’d much rather see better planning regulations and greater investment in other sources of renewable energy, which will protect the beauty of our countryside for future generations.”

Latest figures from Ofgem, the energy regulator, showed that £1.1 billion in taxpayer subsidies was paid to the producers of renewable energy in 2009-10.

Of this, about £522 million was for wind power, with most going to onshore wind farms. Much of this cash ended up in the hands of energy companies and investment funds which are based abroad.

The highest-profile critic of the onshore wind industry is the Duke of Edinburgh. Last year it emerged that the Duke claimed farms were a “disgrace” and they would “never work”.

Mr Huhne, by contrast, has described turbines as “elegant” and “beautiful”. His successor, Mr Davey, is thought to be bringing a more pragmatic approach to the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Mr Davey says he is committed to promoting a “green economy” but has also stated that he is “conscious” of the impact on households of high energy bills in tough economic times.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We need a low carbon infrastructure and onshore wind is a cost effective and valuable part of the diverse energy mix.

“The Government has commissioned a review of subsidy levels and we are proposing a cut for onshore wind subsidies to take into account the fact that costs are coming down.

“We are committed to giving local communities the power to shape the spaces in which they live and are getting rid of regional targets introduced by the last government.”

Mr Huhne’s departure caused a limited reshuffle. The political comeback of David Laws has been delayed to allow the former Liberal Democrat Treasury minister to get a “big government job” within months.

Coalition sources said they expected Mr Laws to be a “major feature” of a wide reshuffle being planned by Mr Cameron for late spring or early summer.

Mr Laws resigned as treasury chief secretary in May 2010 after it emerged he had used taxpayer-funded allowances to pay some £40,000 in rent to his homosexual partner. 


News Blast from John Droz!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


“Why I Turned Against ‘Green’ Windpower” <<>>.

More reports about greed energy economics:

“Electricity Costs - The Folly of Wind power” <<>>.

A superior three part series about the economic (and otherwise) foolishness of wind and solar <<>>.

A good commentary about the foolishness of wind subsidies <<>>.

“We need wind subsidies like we need VHS subsidies” is on the mark <<>>.

Taxpayers take a hit subsidizing renewables <<>>.

A wonderful, must read article about wind energy <<>>.

Redefining green jobs <<>>.

Over 100 British lawmakers formally object to wind energy <<>>. Here is there letter (of course it actually applies even more to offshore, which is far more expensive) <<>>.

India To End a Tax Break for Wind Energy <<>>.

Bonneville Power agrees to pay wind developers for electricity not received <<>>.

If Germany goes through with their foolish plan to phase out nuclear energy, this independent report concludes that it will cost them over Two Trillion dollars <<>>. Speaking of nuclear, please read this three part series (written by high school students!) <<>>.

More reports about turbine health matters:

Superior article about the origins of turbine setbacks <<>>.

A good film with Dr. McMurty re turbine health consequences <<>>.

Misc energy reports:

A massive critique of Germany’s failing energy policies by a PhD insider <<>>.

Vestas reports on massive layoffs <<>>.

“Could Nuclear Power Solve Global Warming: the Affirmative Case” is an interesting technical paper in a peer-reviewed journal <<>>.

This was written to supplement another good paper (different author) “Could Renewables Solve Global Warming: the Negative Case” <<>>

“Charles Manson Energy Butchery” (about turbine wildlife kills) <<>>.

“Environmental Radicals: Go Home” <<>>. This is an interesting dustup where a government official is taking on environmentalists <<>>.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture speaks out againts wind energy <<>>.

A fine article about an Australian wind project <<>>.


“EPA’s Sustainability Gambit “ <<>>.

Three good new reviews about WindFall, including one by Roger Ebert <<>>, <<>> and <<>>.

A good article about ABC’s position on turbine bird kills <<>>.

America is getting close to energy independence, and it has nothing to do with wind energy <<>>.

“Offshore turbines ‘will pose a threat to nuclear subs fleet’” <<>>

Some recent global warming articles of interest —

“How Green Zealots Are Destroying the Planet” <<>>.

Germany’s top environmentalist turns skeptic is a significant development. See <<>> and <<>>.

“Global Warming? No Natural Predictable Change” <<>>.

“How To Think Seriously About The Planet “ <<>>.

Some superior testimony from experts about AGW <<>>.

Global Warming — here is the take by 16 scientists <<>>.

Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people. If anyone would like to be added to or removed from the email list, please let me know.


Thank you for your support.

john droz, jr.

physicist & environmental advocate

Fellow: American Tradition Institute (<<>>)


A Million Reasons to be Concerned about Industrial Wind Turbines

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Mr. Richard Sullivan, Jr.
Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
State of Massachusetts

Mr. Mark Sylvia
Department of Energy Resources

Mr. Kenneth Kimmell
Department of Environmental Protection

February 8, 2012

Evaluation of Probable Detriments to "Community Morale" from Wind Turbine Noise from the New Generation Wind Project in Bourne

Conclusion: Wind Turbines Improve Morale Among Developers: Residents and Communities Sue

State of Massachussetts Officials to Residents Living in Close Proximity to Wind Turbines (including Bourne): "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"

Dear Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Sylvia and Mr. Kimmell,

As you know, the three of you are all signatories -- in your official capacities -- to a letter to the Cape Cod Commission in which you insist that there is no basis for concern about any "Probable Detriments" from the project, including any detrimental impact to "Community Morale."

As you are also aware, it is your official position that there is "no evidence" of harm from wind turbine noise, notwithstanding the recent halt in operations for two wind turbines (smaller models than those contemplated by NGW) in Falmouth, MA, the Town that Does Not Exist.

But I wondered if you were aware that there are various lawsuits raging around the country -- and around the world -- in which residents in locations too numerous to count -- the plaintiffs -- have expressed their extreme distress over the installation of industrial wind turbines in their own communities.

As proof, I invite you to perform the same internet search that I just conducted to investigate this phenomenon.  Open your browser and type in the words "wind turbine lawsuit."  This simple exercise returned 1,530,000 results when I performed it.

Let me spell that out for you: ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND results to the query: "wind turbine lawsuits."

Here are just a few entries for your consideration, appended to this letter, which you may wish to add to your file marked "Not Evidence of Harm from Wind Turbine Noise."

I apologize, in advance, for not having provided you with all one million five hundred thousand examples of the soaring "community morale" of residents worldwide when the wind turbines were installed in their home towns.  I was afraid of overwhelming your prodigious file of "Not Evidence of Harm" -- even though it seems to have an infinite capacity for "not evidence."


Eric Bibler


1.     Big “Wind Turbine Syndrome” lawsuit (Michigan) « Wind Turbine ...

This site may harm your computer.
Oct 25, 2010 – Big “Wind Turbine Syndrome” lawsuit (Michigan). “In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege . . . physical harm and adverse health effects, including the ...

2.     Osage County wind farm lawsuit to go to trial Dec. 14, judge rules ...

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3 posts - Nov 15, 2011

FAIRHAVEN — Neighbors opposed to the siting of two 262-foot wind turbines off Arsene Street vowed Monday to file suit to stop the project.

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Jun 26, 2010 – Environmental groups filed suit Friday in federal district court arguing that the nation's first offshore wind energy project violates the Endangered ...

5.     Wind Farm Lawsuit: Michaud Family Claims Health Ruined

Sep 21, 2011 – TORONTO - A southwestern Ontario family is suing over a wind farm they claim is damaging their health.The Michaud family of Thamesville ...

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Dec 18, 2011 – A large number of eagles are active around the footprint of a controversial wind farm under development in Goodhue County, according to a ...

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Jan 11, 2012 – CEDAR RAPIDS - A man injured in a 60-foot fall while working on a wind turbine in November 2009 in.

Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 2 - YouTube



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10. Windmill lawsuit dismissed | Wind Watch

Nov 12, 2011 – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that had asked for a permanent injunction against the controversial wind farm in the town of Allegany.

11. DeKalb County wind farm lawsuit moves forward | Chicago Breaking ...

Jun 11, 2010 – On Wednesday, Judge Michael Cowell of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the wind farm's ...

12. News for wind turbine lawsuit

Tuscola Today


Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 1 - YouTube



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Ian Hanna explains his legal challenge against the Ontario Government to a large group in Clinton, Ontario ...
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3.     Libertyville Village Board approves settlement on wind-turbine lawsuit

Jan 13, 2012 – Libertyville officials announced at Tuesday's Village Board meeting that they had reached a settlement of a lawsuit filed by neighbors over ...

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Settlement of Altamont Pass Wind Turbines Lawsuit

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
(Smallwood, 2010,. Fatality Rates in the. Altamont Pass Wind. Turbine Resource continued on page 3. Settlement of Altamont Pass. Wind Turbines Lawsuit. P h ...

5.     Better Plan: The Trouble With Industrial Wind Farms in Wisconsin ...

Q: Have you sued the company that owns the wind turbines? If not, are you planning to? A: We haven't been approached yet to settle and don't know if we will ...

6.     Lawsuit puts brakes on plans for wind turbines in Richfield | NBC ...

Dec 20, 2011 – RICHFIELD, N.Y. (WK) - The Town of Richfield board has put the brakes on plans to build six wind turbines in the area.

7.     Work started on wind farm near Ely, but lawsuit looms - Business ...

Jun 16, 2011 – Pattern Energy Group of San Francisco said Wednesday that it has started construction on its Spring Valley wind farm east of Ely.

  1. [PDF] 


File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
by BT Brown - Cited by 24 - Related articles
Several environmental groups have filed lawsuits throughout the country criticizing the aesthetic and environmental impact of wind turbines. In addition to ...

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10. Local Resident Files Federal Lawsuit Against Wind Turbines - Topix

Jan 27, 2012 – The lawsuit alleges the wind turbine was built on open space lands in violation of law. The action states defendants obtained permits for the ...

11. Wind farm lawsuit trial set for U.S. District Court on Dec. 14 | Osage ...

Dec 12, 2011 – Wind farm lawsuit trial set for U.S. District Court on Dec. 14. Nation has asked for preliminary and permanent injunctions to prevent the facility ...

12. Lawsuit targets Watt's wind turbine in Gaines - The Daily News ...

Oct 21, 2011 – GAINES — In late August, Chris Watt had a wind turbine set up on his farm along Route 98. That structure, which generates 10 kilowatts of ...

1.     Millions at stake in wind farm lawsuit - KJRH-TV

Nov 4, 2011 – wind, farms, farm, turbine, osage, county, nation, pawhuska, shidler, public, schools, school, lawsuit, injunction.

2.     Noisy Wind Turbines Attract Complaints -

Oct 5, 2010 – In one case in DeKalb County, Ill., at least 38 families have sued to have 100 turbines removed from a wind farm there. A judge rejected a ...

3.     NEW- Barnstable wins lawsuit: FAA Cape Wind approval overturned ...

Oct 28, 2011 – The town of Barnstable has won its lawsuit against the Federal ... “While of course the wind farm may be one of those projects with such ...

4.     Lawsuit filed against Kent Breeze Wind Farm - Chatham Daily News ...

ELLWOOD SHREVE The Daily News TORONTO — A day after a local wind farm showcased its facility to the community, a family hit its parent company...

5.     Conservationists file lawsuit to stop Western Maryland wind farm

Dec 23, 2010 – GREENBELT — Some conservationists have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the startup of Maryland's first industrial wind farm because ...

6.     Lawsuit targets Watt's wind turbine in Gaines | Wind Watch

Oct 21, 2011 – GAINES — In late August, Chris Watt had a wind turbine set up on his farm along Route 98. That structure, which generates 10 kilowatts of ...

7.     Hearing set in Osage Nation's wind farm lawsuit | Tulsa World

Hearing set in Osage Nation's wind farm lawsuit. By DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer Published: 10/22/2011 2:36 AM Last Modified: 10/22/2011 7:47 AM ...

8. | Wind Turbine Lawsuit Set

Jun 9, 2010 – A group of farmers in Midwestern Ontario is turning to the courts in an effort to stop wind turbine development in Central Huron. But the lawsuit ...


Lawsuits Filed Against Wind Energy Companies - YouTube



► 2:05► 2:05 27, 2011 - 2 min - Uploaded by kccitv
Lawsuits Filed Against Wind Energy Companies ... Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 1by ...

New York Wind farm lawsuit - YouTube



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Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 1 - YouTube



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3.     LITIGATION & LAWSUITS - Goodhue Wind Truth

Sep 20, 2011 – A controversial western Wisconsin wind energy project has come under fire and may be stopped by a federal lawsuit which was filed by a ...

4.     illinois wind lawsuit « Search Results « Midwest Energy News

However, following Walker's recent proposal to impose strict setbacks on wind turbines, a move that backers say would essentially ban wind development in the ...

5.     Lawsuit on Minnesota wind farm forwarded to state's high court ...

www.jsonline.comBlogsBusiness Blogs

Nov 28, 2011 – The state Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on the legality of the process used by state regulators to approve a Minnesota wind farm.

6.     Lawsuit ensures wind farm won't be a breeze | The Rock River Times’t-be-a-breeze/

Feb 3, 2010 – By Stuart R. Wahlin Staff Writer As predicted in the editorial (“Can the county board undo its mistakes?” in the Nov. 4-10, 2009, issue) and.

7.     Wind farm lawsuit claims health woes - Canada -

Sep 22, 2011 – TORONTO - A southwestern Ontario family is suing a wind farm near their home for $1.5 million claiming the operation has hurt their health.

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Oct 19, 2011 – The Osage Nation filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking a federal judge to bar the construction of a "massive industrial wind farm" that the tribe ...

9.     First U.S. offshore wind energy project faces lawsuit

Jun 25, 2010 – Environmental groups plan to file suit in federal district court Friday arguing that the nation's first offshore wind energy project, approved ...

10. Wind farm lawsuit claims health woes | Canada | News | Edmonton ...

Sep 21, 2011 – A southwestern Ontario family is suing a wind farm near their home for $1.5 million claiming the operation has hurt their health.

11. Lawsuits Take Aim at America's First Offshore Wind Farm

Lawsuits Take Aim at America's First Offshore Wind Farm. HYANNIS, Massachusetts, May 2, 2010 (ENS) - A stack of lawsuits is piling up against the federal ...

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Nov 7, 2010 – ROCKFORD — The first wind turbines to be approved by Winnebago County were supposed to rise this summer over farm fields in Seward ...

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3.     Wind turbine lawsuit moving slowly - Canada

Aug 11, 2010 – Hanna's lawsuit against the permitting system for Ontario wind turbines pops up in the courts.


Neighbor files lawsuit over wind turbine - YouTube



► 2:11► 2:11 12, 2010 - 2 min - Uploaded by ABCActionNews
A New Port Richey man's efforts to go green have some seeing red.
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6.     Couple settle lawsuit on wind turbine noise - ...

Jun 4, 2010 – HOLLIDAYSBURG — The lawsuit between a Blair County couple and a company that operates Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm has been settled.

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Apr 6, 2011 – Statement from the American Wind Energy Association on Lawsuit Challenging the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard.

8.     Wind farm lawsuit claims health woes | Canada | News | Winnipeg Sun

Sep 22, 2011 – A southwestern Ontario family is suing a wind farm near their home for $1.5 million claiming the operation has hurt their health.

9.     Wind farm health risks claimed in $1.5M suit - Toronto - CBC News

Sep 21, 2011 – In their lawsuit, they accuse Suncor Energy Services Inc. and Macleod Windmill Project Inc. (owners of the Kent Breeze development) of ...

10. Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center was subject to one of the nation's first nuisance lawsuits against a wind farm. Plaintiffs in the area of the wind farm, many ...

11. Osage Nation files appeal in wind farm lawsuit | Osage News

Jan 20, 2012 – The Osage Nation has filed a notice of appeal in the wind farm lawsuit against the Missouri company planning the 94-turbine project near ...

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Even the lawyer representing the opposition in a lawsuit against the project agreed, "The county's residents are also pleased to be part of the wind energy ...

2.     Roth Rock Wind Farm | Western Md. wind farm lawsuit threatened ...

Jul 26, 2010 – Some environmentalists and local residents have warned they will sue to block a western Maryland wind farm, saying the large commercial ...

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Apr 1, 2011 – Plans for a controversial wind turbine on Turkey Hill have been put on hold while project organizers review a lawsuit likely to test Cohasset's ...

4.     Wind farm lawsuit | CD989

Sep 22, 2011 – Here's a lawsuit many locals will be watching closely. A Thamesville family has filed a 1.5 million dollar lawsuit against a wind farm near their ...

5.     Lawsuits Challenge Approval for Colebrook Wind Turbines - News ...

Lawsuits Challenge Approval for Colebrook Wind Turbines. Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011. Tweet · 1. By MAX WITTSTEIN. COLEBROOK—The ...

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Sep 28, 2011 – A wind power firm has launched a $2.25 billion lawsuit against the ... that big wind turbines threaten water quality, wildlife and human health.

7.     Wind farm gets federal judge's OK despite Osage tribe's concerns

Dec 16, 2011 – The Osage Nation sued Wind Capital on Oct. 18 to block the installation of 94 turbines across 15 square miles in Osage County, just northwest ...

8.     Michaud family launches $1.5 million lawsuit against Suncor's Kent ...

Sep 21, 2011 – A family in Chatham-Kent has launched a civil claim against the Kent Breeze wind farm, which is owned by Suncor Energy.

  1. [PDF] 

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee Newsletter â ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
for Biological Diversity had sued the wind farm operators and not the state officials who permitted the project, the court affirmed the suit's dismissal. Id. 4.

10. Wind farm faces lawsuit - Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin - Ontario, CA

TORONTO — Wind developer WPD Canada and a farm that signed a lease to host wind turbines are now both being sued, according to a Toronto lawyer...


Who should influence the wind turbine noise debate

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

By Stephen E Ambrose

Stephen Ambrose is a Board Certified Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineers (INCE) with over 35 years’ experience investigating man-made problems in environmental sound and industrial noise control.

I am respectfully writing in response to the letter by Gordon L. Deane; “Misinformation has undue influence in turbine debate” of February 2, 2012 for the  I have a question; how did he get himself in such an awkward position?  His engineers should have foreseen and advised that there would be an adverse public response to wind turbine noise. There are published documents that would have clearly shown neighbors’ seeking relief with appeals for legal action.

My profession as INCE member requires that I honor and obey “Canons of Ethics”. 1) Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. 2) Provide services only in areas of competence.  3) Issue public statements in an objective and truthful manner.  And there are more. These Canons of Ethics are identical to those required by states for licensed professional engineers.

So many public complaints about wind turbines caused me to wonder why my fellow professionals were not following the principal of the first Canon.  This apparent omission prompted me to take an active interest in wind turbine noise.  Why are so many neighbors complaining about living near industrial wind turbines?  Why are government agencies not doing more to protect the public?  There should be more professionals seeking answers.

The second Canon requires that I become competent in wind turbine noise.  I now have more than two years’ experience investigating wind turbines with another acoustic professional; Robert W. Rand, also an INCE Member.  We each have more than 30 years’ experience working in our areas of expertise, and many of those years working in the Boston office for Stone & Webster Engineering.  What we learned there working on large power station projects, was to first determine the sensitivity of nearby neighbors to changes to their  acoustic environment using published US EPA methods.  Then a noise level criterion was developed for the proposed facility and feasibility determined based on cost-effective noise controls.  Sometimes the costs were too great or there were no cost-effective solutions.

The third Canon prompted this letter to inform the public with this brief statement.  Why have many wind turbine sites produced such visceral noise complaints?  Why have my fellow professionals deferred investigating first-hand for themselves: that is to live as or with a neighbor as we have?

We all should view wind turbine neighbors as representatives of the proverbial canary in the mine.  Instead, the neighbor is accused of not being truthful, should be ignored and thereby isolated from consideration.  However this is not working, complaints are constantly increasing, including the abandonment of homes.  People near large wind turbines are so debilitated that they have taken extreme measures to save their well-being.

Why have only a few environmental noise and public health professionals recognized there is a serious noise problem?  The wind turbine industry has enlisted like-minded experts from academia and government agencies to support their goals.  Their research is confined to only peer-reviewed documents and panel discussions.  They have dismissed the obvious.  The neighbors continue to ask that their destroyed lives be peer-reviewed.  This leads back to the first Canon: Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. --

Stephen E. Ambrose, INCE, Bd.Cert.
Acoustics, Environmental Sound and Industrial Noise
SE Ambrose '& Associates


American Conservation Agencies go AWOL on Important Bird Areas / Environmental Degradation from Wind Energy

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Something is rotten in America's kingdom of conservation organizations.

Most of them have developed intensely incestuous relationships with the largest commercial wind energy developers in the world.

Despite having teams of scientists on staff, none of them seem to have an ounce of common sense -- or intellectual integrity.  Despite all of their credentials, they are uniformly impervious to the stark facts of life surrounding industrial wind energy:

--Wind energy has no "energy density" -- and a giant, environmentally disruptive, "footprint"

--Wind energy is unreliable and unpredictable -- in technical terms, it is not "dispatchable" -- and therefore requires 100% redundancy from reliable conventional sources of production to compensate

--Wind energy installations are highly disruptive -- devastating, really -- to the normal functioning of human and wildlife populations because of noise, flicker, obstruction and ground disturbance.  They have documented adverse impacts on foraging, predation, communication and breeding for wildlife.  They have documented adverse effects on the health, quality of life, natural and historical character and property values on human populations.

--They kill birds and bats in large numbers.

--They obstruct migratory pathways -- which is especially troubling since such pathways habitually traverse windy shorelines that are prime targets for opportunistic wind energy developers.

--They transform the natural and historic landscapes of rural, wild and semi-wild areas into industrial zones, destroying their aesthetic character.

--Wind turbines are obligated to mount flashing FAA beacons -- as large as a Volkswagon Beetle -- on top of their gearboxes, hundreds of feet above ground level, transforming the night sky.

--Because wind energy installations are so disruptive -- to humans and to wildlife -- there is no place to put them.  Name a place that does not contain humans or wildlife.

--Because wind energy is so weak and diffused -- because it has so little "energy density" -- its installation requires a massive dedication of land and infrastructure.  Please indicate on a map where you intend to find the thousands of square miles required to intall the 400 and 500 foot wind energy power plants......without coming into contact with human or wildlife populations.

--Because they require such vast resources -- especially land -- and because they are everywhere, and always, redundant capital investments, they are highly inefficient.  Their consumption of scarce resources -- including habitat and scenic landscapes -- is frighteningly large.

--According to many recent scientific studies of the actual efficiency of existing wind energy installations, they don't actually work.  They don't reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the don't reduce emissions of green house gases to any appreciable degree.  In fact, in many instances it appears that the addition of wind energy to the electrical grid may result in an increase in the consumption of fuel and the emission of green house gases.

Very simply, the benefits from wind energy are unproven, at best -- and demonstrably absent.

At the same time, the adverse impacts to human populations, to wildlife, to habitat and to our scenic vistas are inarguably profound.

Even the wind industry does not dispute that all of these detriments exist.  They admit them -- as they must -- and then concentrate all of their energies in arguing that the degree of our sacrifice is exaggerated.

When pressed -- when they are ultimately unable to demonstrate that the adverse impacts are inconsequential -- they insist that these sacrifices are necessary and just -- even though the distribution of the sacrifice is inequitable, and even unconscionable.

Finally, when pressed further about the specific impacts upon the segment of the population that bears the worst brunt of their installations, the wind industry airily dismisses their suffering, saying that the "collateral damage" is confined to "a small minority" of involuntary victims who are subjected to some "annoyance."  And besides, those people who live near their wind turbines are all insufferable NIMBY's anyway.  Pay not attention to them.

The bottom line is that the wind energy industry refuses to prove the benefits that they claim -- because they can't.  And they propose to accrue all of the benefits -- the profits -- while transferring all of the costs and all of the adverse impacts to society at large.

You might expect that the blue blood conservation agencies that we collectively provide with the resources to study such questions would blow the whistle on this monumental fraud -- this truly criminal deception -- perpetrated by the wind energy developers upon the public.  After all, they do have teams of scientists on staff -- and the ability to hire many independent scientists, as well -- since they are so amply provided with financial resources -- thanks to the generous annual donations of funds by their trusting members.

But you would be wrong.

Check out the front row of the cheering section for Big Wind.  Look who is sitting in the box seats behind the home team dugout:

--Mass Audubon
--National Resource Defense Council
--Sierra Club
--Nature Conservancy
--Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
--Union of Concerned Scientists
--Environmental Defense Fund
--Mr. George Price, Superintendent, Cape Cod National Seashore

As most of you know, Mass Audubon did not utter a peep of protest over wind turbine proposals in Wellfleet, Eastham or Truro (all of them within, or abutting, the National Seashore, the entirety of which constitutes an officially designated "Important Bird Area") or in Brewster (which contains not one, but two, IBA's -- including the Brewster Ponds and Woodlands that surround the proposed wind turbines there.

When pressed to reconcile its participation on the Federal Advisory Commission on Wind Turbine Guidelines -- which insisted that wind energy developers "choose an appropriate location" and avoid conservation areeas with its failure to object to the installation of wind turbines within the National Seashore, Mass Audubon said that it couldn't comment on this specific proposal because it had not had an opportunity to "study the details."

Ditto Brewster, Eastham and Truro -- even though all of them lay within areas officially recognized by Mass Audubon as Important Bird Areas.

Here are links to additional information about this IBA's.  I am at a loss to say which of these proposed locations for 400 foot industrial wind turbines is more outrageous: the Cape Cod National Seashore; or the Brewster Ponds, with its long list of species that rely on this habitat.  Perhaps you can help me decide.

Cape Cod National Seashore -- 46,000 acre IBA

Brewster Ponds and Woodlands -- 4800+ acre IBA

Not only did Mass Audubon not raise any objections to the siting of any of these proposals -- even though its then Chief Scientist, Dr. Taber Allison, sat on the federal advisory committee to the Dept of Interior which drew up the Wind Turbine Guidelines (which declared that Rule #1 was "choose an appropriate location") -- Mass Audubon threw its full weight behind the Patrick Administration's all-out attempt to enact the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act (WESRA) to circumvent and override any local challenges to such proposals.

Like many other "conservation" groups, Mass Audubon espouses a philosophy of "responsible siting" of wind turbines as a necessary evil to combat global warming and climate change -- ignoring entirely the question of whether wind turbines actually do anything useful -- even as the empirical evidence from various engineering studies mounts that the deployment of the technology does NOT reduce fossil fuel consumption and does NOT reduce green house gas emissions (GHG).

It seems that it would have been inconvenient -- and, or course, inconsistent -- for Mass Audubon to oppose any wind energy proposals on Cape Cod -- ALL of which had the explicit support of the Patrick Administration and ALL of which were collectively fueled by millions of dollars of grant money from the Mass Clean Energy Center -- even as Mass Audubon was actively lobbying for the passage of WESRA.  How inconvenient!

So, instead, Mass Audubon chose to look the other way -- and to disappear.

Mass Audubon's position on wind turbines is, in fact, identical to the position embraced, and so memorably articulated, by Mr. George Price, the Superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore, who sought not only to excuse, but to facilitate, the installation of multiple huge wind towers within, or abutting, the national park -- in Eastham, Wellfleet and Truro.

Mr. Price's view was succinctly stated in a meeting of the CCNS Advisory Commission in November 2009 when he said:

"You all know how I feel.  It is not a question of "if" we should have wind turbines [in the National Seashore], but where to put them."

As many will recall, the National Park Conservation Association (NPCA), on behalf of its 350,000 members, begged to differ with the superintendent.  After several months of intense study -- and after changing its internal policies to enable the NPCA to oppose a sitting park superintendent -- Mr. Price -- on a substantive policy issue, the NPCA issued a letter declaring that the Cape Cod National Seashore -- and all of Cape Cod -- was an "inappropriate location for a 400 foot wind turbine."

--How can a National Park dedicated to the preservation of its resources "in their original condition" be an "appropriate location" for a outdoor wind factory?

--How could the introduction of several wind turbines -- 410 feet high (and higher, in Eastham) -- be consistent with the scenic landsape of the Outer Cape where the average tree height is 30 feet?

--How can howling industrial wind turbines -- capable of creating a powerful strobe effect during the daytime and with flashing red FAA beacons on top at night -- be consistent with preserving the natural "soundscape" and the landscape, "in its original condition...for all future generations"?

--How could the intrusion of such industrial, mechanical towers -- with spinning blades whose rotor diameter is 300 feet, as long as a football field -- be consistent with the preservation of the natural character of the park, or Cape Cod?

--How could a park superintendent ever justify the sacrifice of such precious public resources  which he administers, as a public trust, for the economic benefit of any local municipality or even in service of any other national objective not consistent with the purpose of the park?

In our view, the superintendent of the National Seashore -- and Mass Audubon -- have a lot to answer for in explaining their abject dereliction of their duties to their respective constituencies.

The good news is that Dr. Allison is no longer the Chief Scientist at Mass Audubon.

The bad news is that this is because  Dr. Allison is now the Director of Research and Evaluation for the American Wind & Wildlife Institute -- an "institute" of wind energy developers and misguided, but sympathetic, "conservation" organizations whose purpose in life is to facilitate the installation of wind turbines to combat global warming!

Here is the description of the AWWI's "Historic Partnership" from their website:

AWWI's Historic Partnership

The founders of AWWI came together in response to challenges that threatened to slow or even derail U.S. wind energy’s promise as a large-scale alternative to fossil fuels.

U.S. wind energy leaders are committed to environmentally responsible wind development siting policies and practices, but there is a shortage of available, comprehensive science to inform siting decisions and a lack of a shared understanding and trust among stakeholders. This lack of information can result in lengthy delays in project-specific siting and permit processes. These delays defer urgently needed climate action and development of alternative energy sources, and significant costs are incurred by the wind industry and environmental nonprofits.

In 2008, eight wind industry companies partnered with seven environmental and conservation organizations to create AWWI.

This bears repeating:

AWWI was founded by eight conscientious -- and, of course, altruistic -- wind energy developers -- corporations -- to provide "research" to counter the objections that have "threatened to slow or even derail U.S. wind energy's promise as a large scale alternative to fossil fuels." 

In other words, the AWWI has no interest in debating the merits of industrial energy as a viable technology -- that is a given.

What they DO hope to do is cloak their desire to install wind turbines -- anywhere and everywhere -- even in Important Bird Areas -- with some semblance of respectability by fostering their own "research" and by co-opting the memberships of various high-profile "conservation" groups such as Mass Audubon, the National Resource Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy.

And they recruited Dr. Allison from Mass Audubon to help them do it.

Like Mass Audubon, the AWWI promotes an uncritical -- one might ever say cynical and hypocritical -- policy of "responsible siting" of wind turbines-- on then puts this policy on steroids, after pumping it up with a substantial injection of funds from Big Wind and populating its Board of Directors with representatives from various conservation associations whose managements are incapable of seeing the forest for the trees.

AWWI enters the room, shouting "Climate change!" and "Responsible siting!" -- and then asks them all to endorse their profit objectives through the appropriation of vast tracts of land that they do not own.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, according to AWWI.  Never mind the details.  Are you in -- or are you out?  Are you in favor or "responsible siting" of wind energy?  Are are you part of the problem by persisting in asking such uncomfortable questions about whether this whole idea actually works; or if it is really worth the cost?

AWWI Founding Members reads like a Who's Who of high-profile, unapologetic and ruthless wind energy predators:

AWWI Founders

--BP Wind Energy
--GE Energy
--Horizon Wind Energy
--Iberdola Renewables
--NRG Systems
--Pattern Energy
--Renewable Energy Systems

As noted above, AWWI's Founding Members also includes a Who's Who of conservation agencies whose motto seems to be: "Ready. Fire. Aim. Repeat."

Thanks for nothing, Mass Audubon!

Thanks for nothing, NRDC, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, and Environmental Defense Fund!

Thanks for nothing, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Park Service!

I STRONGLY urge all members of any of the above associations to terminate your memberships immediately -- but make sure you tell them why.

Write them a resignation letter telling them that you have a right to expect better leadership from them and that their participation in this highly destructive global fraud is inexcusable.  Cut up your membership card and enclose the confetti in the envelope; or draw a circle with a bar across it on its face with a thick red pen.

While you're at it, tell them the truth: that you are ashamed of them -- and that, therefore, you are ashamed to be associated with them.

There are MANY reputable conservation agencies that you can support -- including the National Park Conservation Association -- which DO have integrity and which DO understand that their role is to protect our environment from precisely this type of political manipulation and corruption.  It is a story as old as the hills -- yet Mass Audubon, et al, are somehow blind to the obvious facts on the ground.

Support a conservation agency that is actually fighting to protect habitat and wildlife -- rather than one of the high-profile hand maidens to Big Wind who are the Founding Members of the American Wind & Wildlife Institute.

After all, who do you really think is going to get the best end of this deal: American Wind?  Or American Wildlife?

Tell them that you appreciate that they may be doing other good work, but that you are not coming back until they come to their senses.

Please send them a message.  Please do it today.

Best to all,

Eric Bibler
Save Our Seashore

Cc: Mass Audubon
Cc: Abby Arnold, Exec Director, AWWI
Cc: Dr. Taber Allison, Director of Research, AWWI
Cc: George Price, CCNS
Cc: Lauren McKean, Park Planner, CCNS
Cc: Rick Sullivan, Secretary, Energy & Environmental Affairs
Cc: Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner, Mass Dept of Environmental "Protection"
Cc: Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, MA Dept of Energy Resources


WINDFALL: A Cautionary Tale About Wind Power…Huffington Post

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Huffington Post Posted: 02/ 1/2012 3:16 pm

Filmmaker Laura Israel isn't tilting at windmills -- but she does want to cast a critical eye in their direction.

And she's done that with Windfall -- her first documentary film, art-directed within an inch of its life -- and one that delivers a profound message:

Look before you leap into wind power.

"People who are living with these turbines nearby are developing hypertension, migraines and heart palpitations," she says. "There are some really spooky health effects, even with a turbine a mile away -- I've heard people say they can feel their heart beating at the same pace as the turbines."


The effects of the turbines' low frequency sound are chilling -- nearby residents sleeping in basements, unable to stop the 24/7 noise and visual pollution. But the budding industry -- growing now at a startling 39 percent annually -- is choosing not to deal with them. "Instead of dealing with it, they're trying to discredit the people complaining," she says.

When the sun gets behind the blades of the turbines, an incessant and mechanical shadowy flicker is the result. Closing shades and curtains makes no difference. "It just doesn't stop," she says. "People say you don't get used to it -- you get sick."


Windfall documents the effects of a proposal of a wind developer on residents of the town of Meredith, N.Y. Attracted at first by the green aspects and financial incentives that might boost their dying economy, many residents grew alarmed when they discovered the 400-foot-tall windmills would bring side effects they never imagined.

"People say it sounds like a jet that never lands," she says.

Sales people working for a contracting company usually approach a town and its elected officials, selling them on the idea and contracting for the use of their property. Contactors then move in to build infrastructure -- widening roads to transport the turbines, and installing transmission lines. Energy produced is usually owned by the large power companies -- sometimes Duke Energy, General Electric or Deepwater.

"The landowner profits a little bit, and the town a little bit -- if they make a good deal," Israel says. "The companies profit most, because most of the benefits come from federal subsidies to build and to sell wind energy for more money."


The intent of "Windfall," which opens in Manhattan at the Quad Cinema on Friday, Feb. 3 is to open up the topic to communities nationwide.

"I want to create discussion and encourage people to look at this industrial development for what it is -- industrial development," she says. "I want them to discuss it in a more balanced way."

Don Quixote, she's not. And she's certainly produced an eye-opener of a film.

For more on Windfall, go to


MUST WATCH: Distinguished Doctor Speaks Out About Wind Turbines

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

I urge you to watch this video from beginning to end!

Dr Robert McMurtry, Order of Canada, records his concerns about Industrial Wind Turbines. Find out about the effect of Wind Turbines on human health and community well-being, in this powerful video called "No Safe Place." Dr McMurtry has devoted thousands of hours to learn about Victims of Wind across Ontario, and to share that knowledge with you. What is a safe "setback?" McMurtry says, "We don't know." Why is Ontario rushing to place even more turbines across the landscape when it is clear that people are becoming ill and even being forced from their homes? Internationally, thousands are reporting problems!


Your View Fairhaven Resident Tours Wind Turbines in Other Communities

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

February 02, 2012'February 02, 2012 11:11 AM

Editor's note: Louise Barteau is a gardening correspondent for the Advocate, specializing in native plants. This column reflects her views and is not meant to represent the opinion of the Advocate.

By Louise Batreau

This past Saturday I took myself on a turbine tour. The first stop was Gardner where turbines are located at the local prison and on the grounds of Mt. Wachusett Community College. The first thing I noticed at the North Central Correction Facility was that the turbines were not spinning. The second thing I noticed was how close the turbines are to the prison yard and the parking lot. The turbines dominated the parking lot, but it wasn't until I took a photo of someone standing at the base of the turbine, that I really understood how big they are.

When change of shift started, I had the chance to ask why they weren't operating. I was told that they had originally intended that the energy from the turbines would power the prison itself but due to the aging electrical infrastructure of the prison, it was determined that if they hooked them up "the prison would burn to the ground."

A new $1.7 million transfer station was going to have to be built in order for the two turbines to become operational. I asked whether they were worried about ice fling into the prison yard. They told me that the turbines had to be 500 feet apart to prevent ice fling from one turbine to the other, but that there was no concern about ice fling in the parking lot or in the yard. One guard commented that "they don't care about our safety."

The two turbines at Mt. Wachusett Community College were spinning in light winds. As I approached the two turbines, the noise was fairly quiet, but the strobing "flicker" shadows were very intense. I had to turn my head away from the effect. The turning blades made the sound often described as a swooshing noise.

There are signs around the base of the turbine warning of ice and snow danger but being a Saturday, there was very little traffic either at the college or the courthouse, which is the nearest building to the turbines.

I stayed for about 15 minutes and realized that if you visit a turbine in light winds, they don't sound very loud. I also noticed that the sound really changes as you walk around. Some places the sound almost disappears and in other places it seems much more noticeable. Directly under the turbines is actually quieter than standing in a spot about 25 feet away from the base. As I left, I noticed I had a slight headache that disappeared in about 10 minutes.

The 1.5 megawatt turbine on the school grounds at Templeton was spinning. Here is a link to photos of its construction.  This turbine seemed noisier to me. It produced a high tone, more grinding gear noises, the swooshing noises of the turning blades, and another sound I couldn't quite describe. This turbine was placed on the athletic fields behind the school. It was Saturday, and there was no one on the school grounds to talk to.

I knocked on the door of one of the homes in a neighborhood nearby. I introduced myself as being from a town that was about to erect two similar turbines and asked what it was like living so close to the turbine. The homeowner was very willing to share that they were "not big fans" of the turbine. They were told by the town and their consultants that they wouldn't be bothered by the turbine, but they were experiencing noise, flicker, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and concern about the loss of the value of their home.

Some of their neighbors had also expressed similar concerns. While we talked in the driveway, the wind came up, and for the first time I heard the noise that is described as a jet engine that never takes off. It was really, really loud and I began to get some sense of what it might be like to live there. The homeowner shared that they felt pretty isolated and that they did not know what to do or who to turn to.

The last stop of the night was an informational forum in Shelburne Falls. Annie Hart Cool from Falmouth shared her experiences living in close proximity to turbines with a powerpoint presentation and Neil Anderson, also from Falmouth, made himself available for questions.

The main presentation came from Dr. Nina Pierpont, author of the book Wind Turbine Syndrome, who presented her work and answered questions via Skype. I had read her book, but this was the first time I had heard her speak. She spent some time addressing her concerns with the recent Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection/Department of Public Health report and then made herself available for questions.

Shelburne Falls, like many towns in Massachusetts, is struggling with the questions of adverse health effects and environmental concerns that are swirling around industrial wind turbines. Truly open forums such as these are one way for citizens to hear information that helps them to make appropriate decisions as a community.

I took this tour because I wanted to see and hear turbines in operation. And I wanted to ask someone who lives within 1,000 feet from a turbine what they were experiencing. I learned that if you visit a turbine on a day with light winds you might come away with the impression that they are not that loud. If I had stopped my tour at Mt. Wachusett Community College, I myself might have felt that the noise was tolerable. But a 15-minute visit is very different from living near turbines 24/7. The audible noise changes dramatically with wind speed and direction, as well as the size of the turbines and the noise of the surroundings. The flicker effect was instantly oppressive and even 10 minutes of it was difficult to tolerate. But it was the conversation I had with the young homeowner in Templeton that convinced me that we should continue to be concerned about residences and town workers being in such close proximity to the imminent Little Bay wind turbines in Fairhaven.

I'll admit I have a bias. I tend to believe the experiences of people actually living near wind turbines rather than the "model" projections of the wind developers wishing to construct them. I give more weight to Dr. Pierpont's testimony because she has interviewed and studied families who have experienced a troubling constellation of symptoms that appeared after turbines went up near their homes. I admit to being troubled by the opinion of Dr. McCunney, who, by his own admission at the Fairhaven forum, has never interviewed or examined anyone who suffers these adverse health effects, preferring to draw all of his conclusions through the review of literature. And I admit to being impressed by a town like Shelburne Falls, which is proactively trying to hear all sides of the wind turbine story, instead of trying to limit the information that its citizens hear.

Recently I heard the Little Bay project described as a project for the public good. But the more homework I do, the more I question who this project is benefiting beside the developers. There are difficult and legitimate questions being asked all over the world about the true costs of wind energy. These questions are powerfully stated in an interview posted with Dave Umling, currently the city planner for Cumberland, MD, and author of the book Lifestyle Lost, in which he describes how his own research into wind power has left him with more questions than answers.

He asks, as we all should be asking, "Is this form of wind energy cost-effective? Do we fully understand the environmental impacts of wind, including reduced forest cover on sensitive ridgelines, rare earth mineral mining, and migratory bird and bat kills?"

The full interview with Mr. Umling is available at: in the entries for Jan. 30, 2012.

I don't claim to know the answers to all of his questions, but I am committed to discovering the whole story, not just the one Fairhaven Wind LLC wants me to hear.

Louise Barteau is an occasional writer, artist, and papermaker who lives in Fairhaven. Her studio is located at the Fairhaven Business Bays at Arsene Street. which, along with the Fairhaven Department of Public Works, is located about 500 feet from the closest turbine site in Little Bay.


“Windfall left me disheartened. I thought wind energy was something I could believe in” Roger Ebert

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

"Windfall" left me disheartened. I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. Of course, the documentary could be mistaken, and there are no doubt platoons of lawyers, lobbyists and publicists to say so. How many of them live on wind farms?---Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert (review "windfall" a movie about a wind farm near houses)

Windfall movie review

BY ROGER EBERT / February 1, 2012

Driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, you pass through a desert terrain in which a new species has taken hold. Wind turbines grow row upon row, their blades turning busily as they generate electricity and pump it into the veins of the national grid. This wind farm is a good thing, yes? I've always assumed so, and driven on without much thought.

A documentary named "Windfall" has taken the wind out of my sails. Assuming it can be trusted (and many of its claims seem self-evident), wind turbines are a blight upon the land and yet another device by which energy corporations and Wall Street, led by the always reliable Goldman Sachs, are picking the pockets of those who can least afford it. There is even some question whether wind energy uses more power than it generates.

Director Laura Israel's film is set almost entirely in Meredith, N.Y., a farming area of some 2,000 people in a beautiful Catskills landscape. A few dairy and beef farms still survive, but many of the residents are now retired people who have come here with their dreams. Most of them were once "of course" in favor of wind power, which offered the hope of clean, cheap energy. When an Irish corporation named Airtricity came around offering land owners $5,000, neighbors $500 apiece and the town a 2 percent cut of the revenue, that was a win-win, right?

So it appeared. But some residents, including a former editor for an encyclopedia and the final photo editor of Life magazine, began doing some research. The town board set up an energy advisory panel, and after a year of study, it recommended the town refuse the Airtricity offer. The town board rejected the panel's finding. One of them recused himself because of his personal holdings in energy. The others saw no conflict.

This generated a furor in Meredith, and we meet people who were best friends for years and now were no longer on speaking terms. We watch board meetings and meet lots of locals; the film bypasses the usual expert talking heads and relies on the personal experiences of these individuals.

I learned that wind turbines are unimaginably larger than I thought. It's not a matter of having a cute little windmill in your backyard. A turbine is 400 feet tall, weighs 600,000 pounds, and is rooted in tons and tons of poured concrete. If one is nearby (and given the necessary density, one is always nearby), it generates a relentless low-frequency thrum-thrum-thrum that seems to emanate from the very walls of your home. The dark revolving shadows of its blades are cast for miles, and cause a rhythmic light-and-shade pulsing inside and outside your house. Living in an area with all that going, many people have developed headaches, nausea, depression and hypertension.

The effect on property values is devastating. The owner of a lovely restored 19th century farmhouse asks — who will buy it now? People don't come to the Catskills to undergo nonstop mental torture. Nor do other living things like wind turbines. Their blades, revolving at 150 miles an hour, slice birds into pieces and create low-pressure areas that cause the lungs of bats to explode.

For the loss of its peace of mind, a community's cut of the profits may be enough to pay for a pickup truck. Tax revenue drops because many of those (who can afford to) flee. Turbines sometimes topple over or catch fire (all firemen can do is stand and watch). And of course the local taxing agencies have been required to take advantage of sweetheart state and federal tax cuts, promoted by the industry's lobbyists.

"Windfall" left me disheartened. I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. Of course, the documentary could be mistaken, and there are no doubt platoons of lawyers, lobbyists and publicists to say so. How many of them live on wind farms?


Senate President Therese Murray says Falmouth Wind Turbines are Too Close

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


January 31, 2012

In An Appearance Today with Mindy Todd on WCAI's The Point the Senator also Commented on the WESRA Bill


Contact:  Malcolm Donald   508.566.5830  or

Woods Hole, MA - Senate President Therese Murray said "Falmouth's industrial wind turbines are too close [to residents]".

Senator Murray also explained her turn-around on WESRA [Wind Energy Siting Reform Act] which died on Beacon Hill.

"The Point: Senate President Therese Murray"

Listen at 14:04 WESRA and 15:00 WESRA Siting and 15:20 Falmouth 16:00

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