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Utility Company Sentenced in Wyoming for Killing Protected Birds at Wind Projects

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The quote from below sums it up well " at the present time, no post-construction remedies, except “curtailment” (i.e., shut-down), have been developed that can “render safe” a wind turbine placed in a location of high avian collision risk"

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
Friday, November 22, 2013

Utility Company Sentenced in Wyoming for Killing Protected Birds at Wind Projects

Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming today to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming.   This case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects.

Under a plea agreement with the government, the company was sentenced to pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $1 million and was placed on probation for five years, during which it must implement an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in the state.   The company is also required to apply for an Eagle Take Permit which, if granted, will provide a framework for minimizing and mitigating the deaths of golden eagles at the wind projects.

The charges stem from the discovery of 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, including hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens and sparrows by the company at its “Campbell Hill” and “Top of the World” wind projects in Converse County between 2009 and 2013.   The two wind projects are comprised of 176 large wind turbines sited on private agricultural land.

According to the charges and other information presented in court, Duke Energy Renewables Inc. failed to make all reasonable efforts to build the projects in a way that would avoid the risk of avian deaths by collision with turbine blades, despite prior warnings about this issue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).   However, the company cooperated with the USFWS investigation and has already implemented measures aimed at minimizing avian deaths at the sites.

“This case represents the first criminal conviction under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unlawful avian takings at wind projects,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.  “In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths. To its credit, once the projects came on line and began causing avian deaths, Duke took steps to minimize the hazard, and with this plea agreement has committed to an extensive compliance plan to minimize bird deaths at its Wyoming facilities and to devote resources to eagle preservation and rehabilitation efforts.”

“The Service works cooperatively with companies that make all reasonable efforts to avoid killing migratory birds during design, construction and operation of industrial facilities,” said William Woody, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “But we will continue to investigate and refer for prosecution cases in which companies - in any sector, including the wind industry - fail to comply with the laws that protect the public’s wildlife resources.”

More than 1,000 species of birds, including bald and golden eagles, are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).   The MBTA, enacted in 1918, implements this country’s commitments under avian protection treaties with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan and Russia.  The MBTA provides a misdemeanor criminal sanction for the unpermitted taking of a listed species by any means and in any manner, regardless of fault.  The maximum penalty for an unpermitted corporate taking under the MBTA is $15,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, and five years’ probation.

According to papers filed with the court, commercial wind power projects can cause the deaths of federally protected birds in four primary ways: collision with wind turbines, collision with associated meteorological towers, collision with, or electrocution by, associated electrical power facilities, and nest abandonment or behavior avoidance from habitat modification.  Collision and electrocution risks from power lines (collisions and electrocutions) and guyed structures (collision) have been known to the utility and communication industries for decades, and specific methods of minimizing and avoiding the risks have been developed, in conjunction with the USFWS. The USFWS issued its first interim guidance about how wind project developers could avoid impacts to wildlife from wind turbines in 2003, and replaced these with a “tiered” approach outlined in the Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (2012 LBWEGs), developed with the wind industry starting in 2007 and released in final form by the USFWS on March 23, 2012.  The Service also released Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance in April 2013 and strongly recommends that companies planning or operating wind power facilities in areas where eagles occur work with the agency to implement that guidance completely.

For wind projects, due diligence during the pre-construction stage—as described in the 2003 Interim Guidelines and tiers I through III in the 2012 LBWEGs—by surveying the wildlife present in the proposed project area, consulting with agency professionals, determining whether the risk to wildlife is too high to justify proceeding and, if not, carefully siting turbines so as to avoid and minimize the risk as much as possible, is critically important because, unlike electric distribution equipment and guyed towers, at the present time, no post-construction remedies, except “curtailment” (i.e., shut-down), have been developed that can “render safe” a wind turbine placed in a location of high avian collision risk.   Other experimental measures to reduce prey, detect and deter avian proximity to turbines are being tested.   In the western United States, golden eagles may be particularly susceptible to wind turbine blade collision by wind power facilities constructed in areas of high eagle use.

The $400,000 fine imposed in the case will be directed to the federally-administered North American Wetlands Conservation Fund.   The company will also pay $100,000 in restitution to the State of Wyoming, and perform community service by making a $160,000 payment to the congressionally-chartered National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, designated for projects aimed at preserving golden eagles and increasing the understanding of ways to minimize and monitor interactions between eagles and commercial wind power facilities, as well as enhance eagle rehabilitation and conservation efforts in Wyoming.   Duke Energy Renewables is also required to contribute $340,000 to a conservation fund for the purchase of land, or conservation easements on land, in Wyoming containing high-use golden eagle habitat, which will be preserved and managed for the benefit of that species.   The company must implement a migratory bird compliance plan containing specific measures to avoid and minimize golden eagle and other avian wildlife mortalities at company’s four commercial wind projects in Wyoming.

According to papers filed with the court, Duke Energy Renewables will spend approximately $600,000 per year implementing the compliance plan.   Within 24 months, the company must also apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a Programmatic Eagle Take Permit at each of the two wind projects cited in the case.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Senior Counsel Robert S. Anderson of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Conder of the District of Wyoming.


WINDFARM ordered to demolish ten turbines, France

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Couple win wind turbine ruling

October 02, 2013Click here to subscribe to The Connexion

A WINDFARM has been ordered to demolish ten turbines and pay compensation and fines after it was successfully sued by a couple.

Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, the couple's lawyer, Philippe Bodereau, said: “This decision is very important because it demonstrates to all those who put up with windfarms with a feeling of powerlessness that the battle is not in vain, even against big groups, or authorities who deliver building permits, that legal options are available to everyone, that we have a right to live in peace and that people can do other things than suffer.”

The couple bought their 18th century listed property, the Château de Flers, in 1993.

A tribunal in Montpellier ruled that the couple had suffered due to the “degradation of the environment, resulting from a rupture of a bucolic landscape and countryside”. It also agreed the couple had suffered from the noise of the turbines and from the flashing lights.

“The situation, instantly out of place, permanent and quickly unbearable, created a problem that went beyond the typical inconveniences of neighbours and constituted a violation of property rights,” ruled the judgement.

The value of the property had no bearing on the ruling.

The wind farm owners, Compagnie du Vent, have been given four months to take down the turbines, which were erected in 2007 on two sites next to the property in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It has appealed the decision.

“Our projects are in the general interest, following the Grenelle de l'environnement and not in the interest of individuals,” said the president of Compagnie du Vent, Thierry Conil. “However, it's right that democracy should allow people to take action.”

The two sites are a €20m investment and produce enough electricity for 22,000 people according to the company.



How a Little Island Stopped a Huge Industrial Wind Project

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Posted on March 8, 2013 by 

Simulated View of Wind Turbines on Molokai

Simulated View of Wind Turbines on Molokai

Despite many victories, communities around the world are still facing a plague of industrial wind projects that like hideous War of the Worlds steel monsters are destroying communities, mountains, and wildlands, slaughtering birds and bats, sickening people and driving them from their homes.

Even though these wind projects do not reduce greenhouse gases or fossil fuel use, they have dreadful environmental, social and economic impacts on whole regions. But they are a tool for energy companies and investment banks to make billions in taxpayer subsidies that get added to our national debt.

The good news is that communities worldwide are learning how to defeat these dreadful projects. More and more laws and moratoriums are being passed against them, while other projects are defeated on legal grounds or by overwhelming public opposition.

In Hawaii, an industrial wind project that would have constructed ninety 42-story turbine towers across seventeen square miles of Molokai has been defeated by a determined two-year effort of the island’s residents. In the process we learned many tactics, which I’ve tried to summarize below and are further described in Saving Paradise:

  1. Show wind projects for what they are: industrial. Not environmental, not green, not renewable, and cause no reductions in greenhouse gases or fossil fuel use, no long-term jobs and few short-term ones.
  2. Don’t be nice. These wind developers are your enemies: they want to destroy where you live, steal your money (property values), and are quite happy to literally drive you from your homes. They will lie, cheat, bribe, buy politicians, and do whatever else they can to win. They won’t be fair and you can’t trust them.
  3. Create a group and get your community behind you. Point out property value loss, human health issues, environmental destruction, tourism impacts, and all the other dreadful results of industrial wind. If you have a homeowners’ associations, make them aware of the danger so they can join the fight.
  4. Publicize your case. In the newspapers, TV and radio, on blogs and in nationwide petitions. Use videos and  good graphics. Go viral, worldwide. Develop a good professional website with lots of information and ways for viewers to participate. Community members should write op-eds and letters to the editor. A very powerful tool is frequent press releases that pass on news reports from National Wind WatchIndustrial Wind Action Group and other organizations about the devastating impacts of industrial wind. These press releases should be sent to all relevant media outlets and local, state and national legislators.
  5. Do mailings to everyone. In Molokai we sent two mailings to all the island’s 2,700 addresses. The first mailer described the dangers of the project and included a survey with a stamped return envelope. We had a massive response, with 97% of responses against the project, and our group gained hundreds of new members. A year later we sent a second mailer with photo mockups showing how the turbines would tower over homes and landscapes. This mailer also included a bumper sticker which many residents then put on their cars.
  6. Be visible. Put up lots of signs, both homemade and professionally done. Put up billboards if you can. Professional signs show you mean business, and are taken more seriously.
  7. Find legislators who will help you. On the state level, Republicans are often more responsive and more concerned about the environment than traditionalist Democrats who have bought the idea that wind is environmental (or who are receiving contributions from wind companies).
  8. Litigate. Find every avenue to impair or slow the wind developers. Once the Washington industrial welfare subsidies are removed, industrial wind companies will vanish overnight.
  9. Get property value loss appraisals. Average losses of 40% or more are being reported; in Molokai, one of the reasons the landowner planning the project cancelled it was they estimated a 75% property value loss on their lands near the project. Publicize the loss of assessed value at county level, and how that will reduce tax revenues. In most cases, property value loss far exceeds any revenue the county might receive from the project.
  10. Civil disobedience. Politicians and energy companies are terrified of this. Don’t be afraid to go to jail to protect the land and homes you love. On Molokai we planned if necessary to start a hunger strike on the island, and there were people ready to starve to death to protect our island. The level of your commitment is equal to the level of your success.

Full brief submitted by Fox Islands Wind Neighbors to Maine Superior Court

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

January 28, 2013

Last week, attorney Rufus Brown filed a brief on behalf of aggrieved neighbors of the Vinalhaven (ME) wind turbines with Maine Superior Court. The filing represents a summation of the case related to noise from the turbines that has turned the lives of nearby residents upside down.

The full brief is available, here:
Petitioners’ Rule 80C Brief (as filed)

For additional information and background, click this link.

In its December 2012 newsletter to ratepayers, FIW and Fox Islands Electric Cooperative prepared ratepayers … Read the rest of this entry »

 Posted in AcousticsFIWFox Island Electric CoopGeorge Baker,LegalProperty rightsVinalhaven | Leave a Comment »


Take the POLL for Falmouth

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Wicked Local Falmouth

December 19, 2012

TAKE OUR POLL: Falmouth resident confronts Gov. Patrick on wind turbines

 Options remain on the table

What do you think should happen to the Falmouth wind turbines?

CLICK HERE to TAKE the Wicked Local Falmouth Wind Turbine Options POLL


Finally…Conservation Group Pushing Back Against Wind Energy and Government Secrecy!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Federal Agencies Sued Over Failure to Disclose Correspondence with Wind Industry - Promise of Government Transparency Not Being Met

Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext.210, Email click here

Snowy Owl by David A. Krauss
Snowy Owl and wind turbine by David A. Krauss

(Washington, D.C., June 26, 2012) In a lawsuitfiled today in Washington D.C. District Court American Bird Conservancy has accused the federal government of suppressing information about wind energy projects and their potential negative impact on America's wildlife. ABC is being represented in the suit by the Washington D.C. public-interest law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.


ABC charges that two Interior Department (DOI) agencies flagrantly violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by failing to comply with statutory deadlines for disclosure of information, and by failing to provide their correspondence with wind developers and other information related to potential impacts on birds and bats, and bird and bat deaths at controversial wind developments in 10 states.


"It’s ridiculous that Americans have to sue in order to find out what their government is saying to wind companies about our wildlife—a public trust,” said Kelly Fuller, Wind Campaign Coordinator for ABC. “ABC is concerned that many of these projects have the potential to take a devastating toll on songbirds, majestic eagles, and threatened and endangered species,” she added.

ABC filed six requests under FOIA – all of them more than eight months ago. ABC’s FOIA requests asked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s correspondence with wind developers regarding birds and bats, as well as related information about wildlife impacts, such as studies showing which bird and bat species were in the area and how many had been killed by the facilities. ABC’s FOIA requests were to be processed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which subsequently referred one request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  Under FOIA’s strict deadlines, the agencies were required to fulfill the requests or claim exemptions within 20 working days.

“In President Obama’s first month in office, he directed federal agencies to respond to the public’s FOIA requests promptly and in a spirit of cooperation. The President said, ‘A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.’  With this lawsuit, ABC is asking the Department of the Interior to carry out the President’s promise,” said Fuller. “Some DOI offices have not sent a single document that we asked for, even though the agencies were legally required to do so more than seven months ago.”

Many organizations are concerned about the U.S. government’s management of wind energy’s impacts on wildlife. In May 2012, ABC and 60 other organizations asked committees in the U.S. House and Senate for Congressional oversight of FWS’s implementation of new voluntary guidelines for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating the impacts of wind energy on wildlife. Ninety-one organizations endorsed an extensive rulemaking petition submitted by ABC requesting that FWS establish mandatory wildlife protection regulations in lieu of the voluntary approach favored by the industry.

In a March 2012 letter rejecting ABC’s petition, FWS Director Daniel Ashe asserted that FWS was being “meticulously transparent” in how the Service was addressing the impact of wind power on wildlife, and asked for ABC’s help in assessing the effectiveness of the voluntary wind guidelines.  “But stonewalling FOIA requests is hardly ‘transparency,’ and without timely access to the crucial information held by the Service, evaluating the effectiveness of the guidelines  will be impossible. ABC also will not be able to properly fulfill our mission to protect native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas,” said Fuller.

ABC’s FOIA requests were in regard to proposed and existing wind energy developments in Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.  Birds that could potentially be harmed include Bald and Golden Eagles, as well as birds that have been federally designated as threatened and endangered,  such as Whooping Cranes, Northern Aplomado Falcons, Least Terns, Piping Plovers, Marbled Murrelets,  Snail Kites, Wood Storks, and Northern Crested Caracaras.  Other birds that could potentially be harmed include night-migrating songbirds, birds of prey, and candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act such as Greater Sage-Grouse and Sprague’s Pipit.

ABC supports Bird-Smart Wind Power, which employs careful siting, operation and construction mitigation, bird monitoring, and compensatory mitigation to reduce and redress any unavoidable bird mortality and habitat loss. In May 2012, ABC released an interactive web map to help wind energy development become more Bird-Smart. The map shows more than 2,000 locations in the United States where birds will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of wind energy development.

Search for related articles   

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.



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


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


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.


Irish Move for 2km Setback for Industrial Wind Turbines

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


THE OIREACHTAS is to consider in detail shortly a Bill, tabled by Labour Senator John Kelly, that would impose restrictions on the location of wind turbines near people’s homes.

Under the Bill, which has received support from all sides in the Seanad, smaller turbines would have to be placed more than 500 metres from a residence while larger turbines of 50m-150m would have to be a minimum of 1km to 2km away.

“At present, the distance is 500 metres, a figure that has been in place for a number of years during which wind turbines have become taller,” said Mr Kelly, who is based in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon. “Some turbines on wind farms are as tall as the Spire on O’Connell Street.”

He noted that authorities in Britain were moving in the same direction as his proposals. “In the House of Lords, there is a Bill on committee stage along the same lines as my Bill, except that the distances proposed are even further from private residences.”

Mr Kelly said there was widespread support for his measure. “The amount of people that have made contact with me has amazed me, and all of them know that this is their only hope of avoiding living beside a wind farm development for the rest of their lives.”

Minister of State for Planning Jan O’Sullivan said legislators needed to “consider the practicality of introducing binding legislation” in this area rather than guidelines for wind turbine locations. However, she was “not opposing the Bill”. One of her concerns was that the imposition of distance limits “would inevitably limit the number of sites where wind energy developments could be located”, which could affect the State’s ability to meet the 2020 renewable energy targets.

Mr Kelly said he had met Department of the Environment officials to discuss the matter.


Wind Turbines Increasing Rate of Killing of Golden Eagles in California

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The Pine Tree Industrial Turbines have killed at least 8 federally protected raptors...making this worse than Altamont . Many more will have been killed that aren't found. Regionally these birds will become extinct.  Sadly environmental groups are only now trying to stop these projects...which is too late once they are built for billion of dollars.

U.S. probes golden eagles' deaths at DWP wind farm

February 16, 2012|By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

Two more golden eagles have been found dead at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains, for a total of eight carcasses of the federally protected raptors found at the site.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to determine the cause of death of the two golden eagles found Sunday at the Pine Tree wind farm, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles and 15 miles northeast of Mojave, said Lois Grunwald, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The agency 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.

Those deaths give Pine Tree one of the highest avian mortality rates in California's wind farm industry. The death rate per turbine at the $425-million facility is three times higher than at California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, where about 67 golden eagles die each year. However, the Altamont Pass facility has 5,000 wind turbines — 55 times as many as Pine Tree.

The flight behavior and size of golden eagles make it difficult for them to maneuver through forests of wind turbine blades spinning as fast as 200 mph — especially when the birds are distracted by the sight of squirrels and other prey. Golden Eagles are about 40 inches tall and weigh about 14 pounds,

The DWP is developing a avian and bat protection plan that "will include measures for mitigating risks to golden eagles," utility spokesman Brooks Baker said.

Critics say the problem is fundamental. "The increasing golden eagle mortality at Pine Tree clearly points to wind turbines built in the wrong location," said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. The utility needs to redesign its 250-megawatt Pine Tree network and Kern County needs to put a moratorium on construction of nearby wind farms to prevent deaths, Anderson said.

Garry George, renewable energy project director for Audubon California, said the best solution is to devote years of research into golden eagles' behavior in an area before deciding where to erect turbines. "If you don't ... you wind up with a Pine Tree," George said.

Killing golden eagles is illegal under federal law, but so far, federal authorities have not prosecuted any wind farm operators for violations.

A prosecution in the Pine Tree case could force the booming alternative energy industry to revise its approach at a time when Kern County is drafting boundary maps for wind resource areas for dozens of proposed wind projects designed to generate electricity for Los Angeles County.

A year ago, the Kern County Board of Supervisors adopted a renewable energy goal of having 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy production by 2015. Los Angeles has a renewable energy goal of 35% by 2020.

A coalition of environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Defenders of Wildlife recently sued Kern County to block construction of the proposed North Sky River and Jawbone wind energy projects, which would operate on 13,535 acres of mountainous terrain adjacent to Pine Tree.

According to the lawsuit, the projects would have an unacceptable effect on protected bat and avian species, including the golden eagle and the rare and protected California condor, and on an important avian migratory corridor.


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.


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


Revival Of Iconic California Condor Threatens State’s Wind Farm Boom

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Todd Wood Forbes Staff   2/27/12

Drive out of California’s smoggy San Joaquin Valley, past the oil rigs planted helter-skelter in citrus groves, climb into the Tehachapi Mountains, and the future suddenly comes into view. Hundreds of gleaming white wind turbines generating carbon-free electricity carpet chaparral-covered ridges and march down into the valleys of Joshua trees that lead to the Mojave Desert.

Here in Kern County, a bastion of Big Oil and Big Agriculture, green energy has become big business. In the past 36 months the wind industry has attracted $3.2 billion in investment to a region with an unemployment rate 64% higher than the U.S. average. A multibillion-dollar transmission line under construction in the Tehachapi will carry as much as 4,500 megawatts of renewable energy, most of it from wind farms, to coastal cities.

At peak output that’s the equivalent of four or five big nuclear power plants and a linchpin of California’s mandate to ­obtain a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. With a crucial federal tax credit set to expire at the end of 2012, developers are racing to put steel into the ground and secure a spot on the wire.

“The hotels are now full, the people who work in the restaurants now have someone to wait on,” says Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County’s planning director inBakersfield, the honky-tonk hometown of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. “If you were laying concrete for a house, now you’re laying concrete for a turbine.”

A shadow, however, is falling on the Tehachapi, cast by the nine-and-a-half-foot wingspan of a Pleistocene-born bird of uncommon intelligence and longevity. With the investment of tens of millions of dollars and extraordinary effort by scientists, North America’s largest bird, the California condor, is staging a spectacular comeback after verging on extinction 25 years ago. The 200 birds in the wild today (out of 400 total) are rapidly reinhabiting their historic range in one of the nation’s great achievements of conservation biology. Naturalists can once again marvel at a bird that manipulates hot winds to soar hundreds of miles without flapping its wings.

It’s a flight path that is taking the condor perilously closer to the spinning blades of Tehachapi wind turbines that depend on those same thermal currents to generate power; biologists fear it’s only a matter of time before the condor begins hitting the 500-foot-high machines. A single death could be catastrophic for the wind industry, the regional economy and, not least, the condor. The loss of an alpha bird could disrupt breeding patterns and an intricate avian hierarchy, according to biologists. “It would be a major disaster,” says Mark Tholke, an executive with wind developer enXco, which is building several projects in the Tehachapi.

Under the federal and California ­endangered species acts, it’s illegal for anyone to kill a condor without first securing a permit to do so. Given that the government has not issued such an “incidental take” permit and has no intention of doing so, if a turbine kills a condor, the operator could be charged criminally. Environmentalists could also ask a judge to shut down a wind farm where a condor died. “If we as an industry don’t come up with a plan that is clear and reliable,” says Tholke, “the uncertainty is going to drive some investors away and drive up the cost of renewable energy.”

Already, state regulators have scuttled a huge Pacific Gas & Electric wind project in part because of the financial risks of a potential condor-caused cut to electricity production. Last June the Tehachapi’s biggest developer, Terra-Gen Power, abruptly pulled a planned 411-megawatt farm after Oviatt says she told executives that condor concerns and opposition from local residents would likely doom the project. Then in October the Sierra Club and two other environmental groups sued Kern County over its approval of a 300-megawattNextEra Energy Resources wind farm that state and federal officials warn poses a high risk to condors.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists, meanwhile, have told county officials and developers that most of the multibillion-dollar projects on the drawing board as well as at least one existing wind farm threaten the condor, according to agency records FORBES obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. “The service requests that the county of Kern exercise extreme caution in developing wind energy within the Tehachapi area because it falls within the range of the California condor,” Raymond Bransfield, a senior biologist, wrote Oviatt in November 2009. “Until we have a better understanding of the behavior and flight patterns of California condors within the Tehachapi area we strongly recommend that the county of Kern not permit any action that may result in take of California condors.”

Conflicts between renewable energy and wildlife are nothing new. But the condor presents a conundrum that will force some hard choices about the balance we’re willing to strike between obtaining clean energy and preserving the wild things. There are no black-and-white answers here, just shades of green. As the condor begins to go where no condor has gone in decades, developers, environmentalists and government biologists have formed a task force and are scrambling to meld conservation science with a Silicon Valley-style technological solution to wind and wildlife. “The stakes are high for both sides,” says Ashleigh Blackford, senior wildlife biologist for renewable energy at the Fish & Wildlife Service in Sacramento, Calif. “The question is, how quickly can we come up with answers given the pace of wind farm development?”

Against a backdrop of juniper-and pinon-pine-studded golden hills on a bright November day, two condors soar effortlessly through a canyon, cruising over the San Andreas fault line that runs through the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge two hours north of Los Angeles. We’re about 35 miles northwest of the Tehachapi, as the condor flies, and it was here, just on the other side of the canyon, that the last wild condor was captured on Apr. 13, 1987. By then the world population of wild condors had dwindled to 22 as human development, DDT and lead poisoning took their toll. The decision was made to take all the survivors into captivity and breed them in a last-ditch effort to save the species.

Breeding programs proved a success, and in 1992 the first condors were reintroduced into the wild with the goal of eventually establishing self-sustaining populations in California, Arizona and Baja, Mexico. Four of the final 22 wild birds captured in 1987 still survive. “Locked into the cranium of those four birds is 10,000 years of evolution,” says Jesse Grantham, the California condor coordinator for the Fish & Wildlife Service, aiming his binoculars at the birds flying in the canyon.

Condor 21 (half of the wild birds are GPS-tagged), one of the final four, was returned to Bitter Creek in 2002 and continues to sire offspring. No surprise there, biologists say, as condors may live 60 years or more. Weighing about 20 pounds, condors resemble supersize turkey vultures, with bald, reddish-pink-and-orange heads and a pattern of distinctive white feathers under their black wings. “Thousands of years of evolution has fine-tuned this bird to be totally dependent on air for survival,” adds Grantham, whose deep suntan testifies to the 30 years he has spent tracking condors. “Then you realize how important topography is to air, and then you begin to realize that for the condors air is their habitat.”

The ideal topography turns out to be like the network of ridges and valleys that make up the Tehachapi range, which connects California’s coastal mountains running south from Big Sur to the Sierra Nevadas on the east side. In the summer, as the valley floor several thousand feet below broils, hot air rises through the canyons and condors catch rides on the thermal currents.

On this day condor 368 is doing just that, surfing a thermal shooting through the canyon. At the end of the crevice the heat rises, and the condor catches the column of air as if it were stepping onto an escalator, circling ever higher. When the hot air hits a layer of cold air it dissipates, and the bird flies off on a thermal, heading toward its nesting grounds some 45 miles to the south.

Those hot-air highways can take the condor some 200 miles in a day as the bird forages for food or takes a road trip on a whim to satisfy its curiosity. The condor has evolved to be attracted to novel objects and activity as it must constantly scour vast landscapes for its dinner, be it dead cows, deer or, for the coastal cousins, elephant seals and beached whales. Those who have observed the bird for decades say condors are a highly social, even playful species, with a defined pecking order in which they belong to specific clans. “A condor is a primate that’s been trapped in a bird’s body,” says Grantham.

While the birds tend to forage alone, more than two dozen have been photographed sharing a meal of bloated bovine. The nightmare scenario for biologists would be if one of these clans of condors follows an alpha bird directly into a 45-story turbine after the alpha has spotted dinner below a wind farm. Condors don’t look up when they fly; not expecting to collide with anything at that height, they have evolved over the eons to soar looking down for carrion on the ground.

Back when many of the current wind projects were being planned, the condor had yet to expand beyond the core reintroduction sites. But maps produced by the Fish & Wildlife Service plotting condor locations and flight paths between 2005 and 2010 show an explosion of avian exploration in recent years, with some birds flying over or near existing and proposed wind farms.

“Wind turbines right now are on the edge of the condor’s expanding range,” Grantham notes. “But as the number of birds begins to increase and they begin to take advantage of some of the other food resources in the southern Sierra, there’s no question that’s where the birds will be. They’ll be crossing over those areas where most of the wind energy is going now.”

I’ve gone to see
 some of those new wind farm sites with Tholke, the enXco executive, and Jim Walker, the company’s vice chairman and a longtime industry leader in efforts to reduce wind farms’ impact on birds. They are among the few wind company execs willing to talk publicly about the condor. “As far as I’m concerned this is an industry that doesn’t need to spend any time in denial,” says Walker, 67, a no-nonsense wind veteran standing amid Joshua trees as construction cranes hoist 260-foot turbine towers into place at the Manzana wind farm. “This is about two big successes—the successful reintroduction of the condor and the success of this technology. It’s our responsibility on the wind-industry side to let these two coexist.”

The 300-megawatt Manzana project speaks to the economic pressures driving development in the Tehachapi, one of the nation’s prime spots for wind power. EnXco originally developed the project and then sold it to Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant, which in turn was to build the turbine farm for utility Pacific Gas & Electric. Although Kern County issued permits for Manzana, California utility regulators last March refused to approve PG&E ownership of the wind farm, finding the price of the power unreasonably high. High, too, regulators concluded, was the risk that the condors could force a curtailment of electricity production. In an unusual move, Iberdrola is pressing ahead and building Manzana without securing a long-term contract to sell the electricity it will generate, according to Tholke.

The need for that speed lies a few miles away, where steel towers of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project are being erected. Snagging space on that power line is why enXco broke ground in December on its 140-megawatt Pacific Wind project ­adjacent to Manzana.

“We feel pretty comfortable with the location of these projects in regard to the condor, as we’re on the downdraft where they wouldn’t be flying,” says Tholke, 41, gesturing at the desert, empty of condor chow, with the Tehachapi foothills miles in the distance. “Our development model is first avoid potential issues.”

But in a sign of how contentious wind projects have become the Fish & Wildlife Service disputed Kern County’s characterization of the Pacific Wind site’s potential to attract condors as “low.” (The county green-lighted the project nevertheless.) In October the agency objected to the county’s environmental review of enXco’s 350-megawatt Catalina project to be built nearby. “We do not agree with your conclusion that California condors are ‘absent’ from the project area,” wrote Diane K. Noda, a field supervisor, in a letter to the county. “California condors likely use the proj­ect area as foraging habitat and are likely to be affected by project activities.”

“We cannot envision a situation where we would permit the lethal take of California condors,” she added.

The company most at risk from the condor is Terra-Gen, which plans to build 1,550 megawatts’ worth of Tehachapi wind farms financed by the likes of Citibank and Google. In a preliminary review Kern County found that the company’s proposed 230-megawatt Morgan Hills project would “pose a high risk of collision” to the condor. Federal officials in August told county planners that Terra-Gen’s 300-megawatt Alta East wind farm “poses a threat” to the condor. The wildlife service also labeled as “high” the potential for the condor to appear on the site of the company’s giant Alta Oak Creek wind complex, now being built. Terra-Gen declined requests for comment.

Last May Kern County concluded that NextEra’s 300-megawatt North Sky River project posed a low risk to the condor, stating that no birds had been detected within 18 miles of the site. Then on July 18 two condors flew near the site and possibly directly over it, according to their GPS signals. Although the agency urged the county to withhold its approval, the project received the go-ahead on Sept. 13. A month later the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity sued to overturn that decision. A NextEra spokesman declined to comment, citing the litigation.

“I don’t really think it’s the intention of the citizens of California, who have been really supportive of renewable energy, that we take such a conservative view of new projects that we never do anything,” says Oviatt, the Kern County planning director, who noted the county itself has so far rejected some 650 megawatts of wind projects.

But Dan Taylor, executive director of the National Audubon Society’s California office, says more litigation may be inevitable unless a technological fix is found. “We’re on a collision course for some potential fatalities,” he says. “I think the day a condor is killed by a wind turbine in California changes the course of future development.”

Avoiding that day could depend on technology like the U-Haul-size radar system parked recently at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, home to a major condor research and breeding center. Made by a company called DeTect, its spinning antennas are scanning foggy skies for turkey vultures, standing in for condors.
“About nine months ago we started getting calls from developers because condors are expanding their range and moving down into wind farm areas, which makes everyone very worried,” says Gary Andrews of DeTect.

Andrews has deployed an avian radar unit in the Tehachapi for wind developer Terra-Gen to see if the system can detect condors. If so, it could be connected to a system that automatically shuts down turbines when a bird approaches a wind farm.

In Mexico James Sheppard, a wildlife biologist with the zoo, is using his field research to develop an algorithm that will help predict the condor’s future expansion. That “will obviously have important implications for wind farm development,” he says.

The work is being funded by Sempra Generation, which is planning to build a large turbine farm in the Baja region. “We don’t want to make a large commitment to the wind project without understanding the larger environmental issues,” says Sempra exec Joe Rowley.

Michael Mace, the zoo’s curator of birds, who has worked with the condor for three decades, has been meeting with visiting wind executives who have come to learn how the condor might behave around turbines. “We have these companies moving very quickly to develop these projects, but from a scientific perspective it’s going to take some time to research and answer those questions,” says Mace as we walk past the breeding center where several condors perch regally on their roosts. “No one wants to take an endangered species out of the air. The risk and liability here are tremendous.”


The Future of Wind Energy and it is Unsustainable

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

The following article is a primer of what happens after the massive financing of  wind energy and why it is actually unsustainable. Spain which has madly been at the forefront of the renewable energy boom, with its "free" wind and solar is shutting down all subsidies because "Fundamentally the Spanish electric system costs €5 billion to €6 billion a year more to run than they collect from consumers and this has been the case for many years". Already forward thinking areas of " The autonomous community of Catalunya is a case in point. Its plans for designated zones supplying 800 MW of wind power, which had been delayed because of a legal challenge over environmental impact, will now have to be put on hold indefinitely." Instead of learning from this broken system that has built itself into a hole, Ken Salazar of the U.S.  Department of the Interior and Congress  are still providing massive funding to  Federal, State and Local Programs, which will be money losers and which countries time and again  find have adverse environmental impact!

The Spanish government has called time on renewable energy with a law suspending feed-in tariffs for new projects from 2013. What is the likely impact on the renewable energy goliath's wind energy sector?

By Jason Deign in Barcelona

There is a lot of energy in El Hierro. Apart from the fact that an underwater volcano is erupting 2 km south of the smallest and most south-westerly of Spain’s Canary Islands, work is also underway on a project to turn it into the first fully renewable-energy powered island on earth.

The Gorona del Viento project will use five Enercon E-70 2.3 MW turbines to deliver 11.5 MW of energy to the island population and to a pumping station that carries water to the upper of two lagoons connected by a hydro power plant, for use when the wind drops.

The project is a feather in the cap of Spain’s renewable energy industry, which itself is a world leader, contributing to around 30% of the country’s power use a year. But outside the Canary Islands, the sector has just taken a hit.

Slamming on the brakes

Last month the recently elected People’s Party (Partido Popular, or PP) passed a Royal Decree indefinitely halting all subsidies for new renewable energy projects after the current inscription period runs, in 2013.

Only the Canary Islands, home to new Industry Minister José Manuel Soria, have been exempted from the decree.

This is just the latest in a long line of setbacks that the Spanish renewable energy sector has suffered, leading Industry Ministry spokesperson Emilio Jarillo Ibañez to downplay its impact.

“It is an ‘official’ moratorium, although in fact there was already a real moratorium in place because a lack of funding for developers,” he says. “We have not banned renewables. We have just temporarily suspended the incentive system.”

The government contends the measure will not affect the jobs of those currently engaged in renewable power generation because the law only applies to new projects after 2013.

Regarding manufacturers, Jarillo admits: “That’s another matter. But I get the feeling they had already scaled down in recent years without the need for a Royal Decree, and the more efficient industries had some time ago focused their production with a view to serving other markets.”

Not everyone agrees, of course. Javier García Breva, of the Spanish Renewables Foundation, has accused the government of wiping out a potential 300,000 jobs and €62 billion in investment.

The wind industry, which in the last year has provided more than 16% of Spain’s energy, will naturally be among those most affected.

Overdue repairs

In 2011 the Spanish wind market recorded its lowest-ever growth, at just 5.1%, with manufacturers having to export more than 90% of production to foreign markets, according to industry body the Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE).

And more than half of the 1,903 MW of new wind power registered to come online before 2013 will not meet the deadline for “reasons not attributable to the promoters,” said the association in a press statement.

The autonomous community of Catalunya is a case in point. Its plans for designated zones supplying 800 MW of wind power, which had been delayed because of a legal challenge over environmental impact, will now have to be put on hold indefinitely.

Some observers feel the moratorium on new renewable projects is needed to give the government a breathing space to fix Spain’s patently unsustainable energy framework, though.

“Fundamentally the Spanish electric system costs €5 billion to €6 billion a year more to run than they collect from consumers and this has been the case for many years,” says Tom Murley of HgCapital, an investment house active in the Spanish renewable market.

“The result? The government owes the utilities something in the order of €25 billion. It's called the tariff deficit because legally in the future they're supposed to increase their tariffs to consumers, to repay that amount to utilities.”

He adds: “It is simply unsustainable for Spain to continue to build new power generation capacity without doing something to eliminate the tariff deficit. For there to be a long-term industry in Spain, which there will be, they had to do something.

“This gives me renewed confidence that Spain is going to do something that makes sense.”
If Murley is right and this is indeed the first step in a process aimed at mending Spain’s broken energy system, then the next act should be interesting to watch as it will probably involve taking measures that are unpopular with the country’s powerful utilities.

Another scenario, voiced by many in the renewable energy sector, is that Soria is already in thrall to the electricity giants, which have been gunning for green power in recent months.

Heikki Willstedt Mesa, energy policy director at the AEE, does not think this is the case. “The current government has realised the tariff deficit is out of control,” he says.

“What has left us a bit perplexed is that we have been included when wind’s contribution to the deficit is minimal and our contribution in terms of economic activity and jobs is so great.”


Big Wind’s Inconvenient Truth

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

FEBRUARY 09, 2012


The installation of wind turbines too close to houses and personal property is a major headache for the wind power industry, but headache scarcely begins to describe their impact to nearby property owners and neighbors. My property and home are scarcely three quarters of a mile from a three 1.5 megawatt turbine wind farm that went online in November 2009 with blades stretching nearly 400 feet into the air.

Large scale wind turbines represent a tiny and lucrative—thanks to federal tax incentives—corner of the electric power industry.  By siting large turbine facilities close to population centers, the industry hopes to minimize the cost of expensive new transmission lines, but it faces a whirlwind of resistance from citizens objecting to the destruction of mountains, seascapes, wilderness areas, and natural quiet.

Opponents argue that wind power is a bad deal for everyone but shareholders who use subsidies to prop up an industry that is otherwise not economically viable. But on Vinalhaven, a small island in Penobscot Bay—where only three turbines are in operation—neighbors have opened up the industry’s Achilles heel: excessive noise.

New permit applications in towns across New England are raising hackles of anyone who pays attention to the way citizen dissent has been throttled in Maine where wind warriors mobilized to breach protective legislative barriers erected by the wind industry.

Vinalhaven is a small port town of only a few thousand residents whose primary business is lobstering. During the project’s planning phase in the early 2000’s I understood that my viewscape would change. My neighbors and I wanted to believe the promise of the promoters that our lives would otherwise be unaffected.

As an environmentalist who has often been on the receiving end of the NIMBY argument—opposing ill-advised developments that threaten the Everglades and water quality in Florida—I didn’t want to be part of a movement against wind. Environmentalists can’t wait to jettison hydrocarbons driving our economy, but the lessons of the past three years have tempered my perspective. Wind power is the easiest to seize the popular imagination. It is also the breeziest. There are massive obstacles to bring wind power technology to useful grid scale. Wind is intermittent. Storage of electricity when winds fall is highly problematic. Homeowners and businesses skeptical about noise impacts of wind turbines should revisit sitting on the proverbial fence: if the Maine experience is any guide, NIMBY means that the “next idiot might be you.”

The wind power industry and its local advocates on Vinalhaven insist that turbine noise is an inevitable cost supported by the public. On Vinalhaven, they trumpet that the vote to approve wind turbines was 380 in favor and only 5 against.

Neighbors have spent three years trying to get the State of Maine to enforce its own inadequate noise standards. As a veteran of wars against water pollution, I never expected that a place of solace and respite would prove the point that government can be its own worst scofflaw. It would be one thing if the small size of our community, fad or preference for local control over state or federal mandates, brought closer to resolution a problem that needs to be fixed. Instead of equity and fairness, neighbors are buried in procedural curliques tied to proving violations of state noise standards. We might as well be hog-tied to those spinning wind turbine blades.

Proving noise pollution is no trivial matter. On Vinalhaven, George Baker, a former Harvard Business School professor and executive of the local wind power facility, claims that the noise of the wind turbines is masked by the wind in the trees.

On a summer morning, there is scarcely a whisper of wind in the trees. The sky is blue and the early morning light casts long shadows in anticipation of day. Twenty five years ago I bought my property for its peace and quiet. In the background, the turbines churn like a rotating drum powered by Blakean bellows. What is so distracting is that the quality of sound varies from moment to moment. This is not the noise of a highway, a factory, an airport, or even the noise scape of a city. Turbine noise is as variable as the shifting wind, cementing one’s attention to intermittency like the rotating lights on a police cruiser. That is on the good days.

Neighbors can be woken in the middle of the night with an unidentifiable pounding; it is either in one’s head or chest or the walls of one’s house. From aural flickering to a constant disturbance: either way; having to spend significant time, energy and money to prove the point compounds the despair.

The worst are the hours shrouded in fog that I treasured. They now pulse with turbine noise. The Maine fog associates with a weather pattern—wind shear– that the wind turbine promoters knew about but ignored. They knew because in 2008 their experts told them so. It can be dead still on the ground and hundreds of feet in the air, the wind is howling. Not only did the project supporters omit informing neighbors of wind shear during the permitting phase of the Vinalhaven project, they obstructed discovery of the consultant report and, now, are spending ratepayer resources to contest a legal challenge in state superior court. Their objection: that neighbors do not have a judicial line of appeal. It is incorporated, they say, in a 2008 state energy law that few legislators read much less questioned before passing.

If wind power isn’t economically viable because wind is intermittent by nature, the costs to my life and property are continuous. There is not a single regulation against excessive noise– at the state, local or federal level– to enforce and protect. Given the level of controversy and impact, one would think that industrial wind turbine noise is a public threat where the nation’s environmental agency, the US EPA, ought to engage. But the sole staffer of the EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement retired years ago.

A 2010 petition to the EPA by Maine residents —triggered by the Vinalhaven controversy—implored the agency to involve itself in regulating wind turbine noise. It was rejected by EPA and an administrator who referred petitioners back to the same state regulator in Maine who subsequently resigned after the regulatory effort to tame turbine noise was thwarted by political meddling.

Dead still. So quiet that a conversation can carry a mile. Hundreds of feet above the island, wind shear picks up the turbine blades and hurls them around (The sardonic anthem of turbine advocates on Vinalhaven is “Spin, baby, spin”.) casting sound pulses through moisture heavy air. At other times, sound from the turbines skips like a rock on the surface of a cove.

Think of the sounds from a wind turbine as of a thunderstorm. The noise metric, called the dbA scale, captures the peal of thunderbolts. It fails to capture the low rumble of the storm; the vibration and hum of the turbines. Most wind noise controversies are framed around the dbA level because that is how the industry established the metric for sound in the 1990’s. At nighttime in Maine, for instance, the upper limit is set at 45dbA. For ordinary homeowners, though, to prove 45dbA is more complicated than pointing an acoustic measurement instrument and registering its results. Our neighbor group has chased in the middle of the night, in the middle of the freezing cold, pointing microphones and instrumentation at the pitch black sky in an effort to provide statistics and samples that state-hired consultants will accept. You can’t pick up the phone and complain. You have to pay for tests to prove your complaint. On that playing field, ie. what constitutes a verifiable and legitimate complaint, the goal posts keep moving. So far as low frequency noise is concerned, the goal posts that citizens are trying to reach might as well be on the other side of the world.

Various terms have been used to describe the low frequency sound output of wind turbines: a droning noise or the dreaded thump that alternates or morphs into and out of a woosh. Sometimes, it is like the low sonic end of a spinning dryer. Depending on the wind and direction, the thrum quickens or slows. It can change from the whine of a jet engine to a pulse in the space of seconds. For unfortunate homeowners who live even closer to wind turbines, the effects are mind-blowing. Those who live closest—within half a mile– report their entire dwelling can throb and pulse in time with the swoosh of the turbine blades.

For neighbors in Vinalhaven, learning how to provide data deemed valid by state regulators, including its own consultant, to prove violations by the wind turbine operator (whose shareholders are soundly sleeping, tucked away in their quiet quarters) required learning, spending and acquiring a level of acoustic expertise no homeowner should be required to produce under any circumstances simply to protect themselves. But that is not how it works with industrial pollution.

All neighbors wanted was peace and quiet, and all neighbors have are data files of acoustics measuring turbine noise in the gigabytes. All neighbors wanted was quiet, and all neighbors have is the enmity, indifference, or silence of those who know an injustice was done on Vinalhaven but feel powerless to solve it. The fact that local electric rates on Vinalhaven have significantly increased in recent years while the cost of merchant power in the region has remained stable is an embarrassment of someone else’s riches.

The industry understands that chasing citizens around the dbA scale is a fool’s errand. The Vinalhaven neighbors pursued Maine state regulators up the regulatory ladder from the bottom only to find at the top, that lobbyists pressured the governor’s office to intervene against neighbors on their behalf. There ought to be a law, and indeed there should. It is not exactly an insight to point out that polluters are expert at erecting high legal hurdles to keep citizens at bay. It is a good regulation, in other words, so long as it is one they wrote. The wind industry spends in states where those “should’s” are likely to change the playing field.

Every large law firm in the state is under restrictive agreements with the wind industry. Well-placed lobbyists and shareholders rotate in and out of government office and appointments. The state environmental agency’s top regulator, Patty Aho, is a former lobbyist for the law firm representing the wind turbine utility on Vinalhaven. Aho “did what she was told” by throttling provisions that might have offered hope to Vinalhaven neighbors in future compliance measurement and enforcement. At a July 2011 public hearing at the state capitol on revisions to the state noise regulation—ostensibly to stiffen them to protect people—Aho affirmed that the purpose of regulatory review was to assist industry.

A former governor, Angus King, is a large shareholder of a wind turbine company, First Wind. He wrote in a Maine business publication that he spent last July 4th on Vinalhaven and didn’t meet a single opponent of the wind turbines. He also didn’t seek the neighbors out. A recent single-question poll by First Wind claimed to measure public support for wind power. A similar poll question, limited to a single question, might solicit the opinion of neighbors who live within three miles of industrial scale wind turbines.

The public is ill-informed about wind turbine noise for a variety of reasons. Usually, a gag order accompanies payment when homeowners are bought out—often after a exhausting, protracted struggle. The industry counters with arguments; wind noise disturbs different people in different ways. The inference is that if you object to noise, you are a complainer in the great scheme of freeing energy tied to oil. In small communities like Vinalhaven, these formulas can be used to great effect, dividing the local population.

In the early phase of permitting the Vinalhaven project, a sound consultant to the project developers wrote tellingly that the site chosen for the wind turbines was likely to generate noise complaints from nearby homeowners and residents. Instead of dealing with property owners up front as the consultant recommended, the wind turbine operator buried the report and hired another consultant. In doing so, Mr. Baker, the former Harvard Business School professor and chief executive of the Vinalhaven turbine operation, made an implicit decision that pit islanders against each other. The result imposed a significant cost on the turbine neighbors; let them fight the state.

Divide and conquer is not the last refuge of polluters but it certainly is a popular one. At a public hearing last July when citizens battled industry on the outline of regulatory reform, a neighbor of a wind turbine installation in another part of the state despaired to me privately– she would not be quoted– that her livestock fences had been cut and garbage dumped in her rural driveway when she spoke out against the turbines in the permitting phase. Now that the turbines roar, her children can’t play in their backyard. The noise is so relentless in her home, another mother testified, that when her children go to bed she asks every night: “Did you brush your teeth, say your prayers, and take your sleeping pills?”

On Vinalhaven, supporters of the wind farm project—goaded by the local utility board and executives—posted a drawing of goat heads in a bucket of blood on a Facebook page, wishing the worst for neighbors who subsequently moved—for health and safety reasons. There are nights when the lobsterman Arthur Farnham, whose home is only seven hundred feet from the nearest turbine, turns his television volume to high, the fans on, and still can’t drown out the noise. It is worst in the winter. But the Harvard Business School professor and turbine operator insisted and the state acquiesced so that wind noise for compliance would only be measured in summer months on Vinalhaven.

Unless you have had something of deep value stripped from you, you don’t understand what the noise does to a fine summer morning on Long Cove or a deep winter night when the noise is roaring in your head or in your house.

The solutions are expensive to polluters. 1) Require fair market price buy-outs or property value guarantees for property owners within two and a half miles of turbines, 2) apply 35 dbA limits to nighttime operations immediately, 3) require the wind turbine industry to pay for the costs of noise monitoring and make all data available through web sites in real time, and 4) develop metrics that capture and regulations that protect against low frequency noise.

As stories pile up of citizens driven from their homes by turbine noise—sometimes health and property values ruined —the absence of effective wind turbine noise standards reflects the quest of polluters and their shareholders to demonize regulations. Shifting the costs of noise pollution has created a new caste of politically connected entrepreneurs who in turn have hired consultants, attorneys and lobbyists to obscure the wind power industry’s most inconvenient truth.

In its brutal outline, regulating noise from wind turbines illustrates the struggle of our times: whether government regulation can protect public health, or, whether private industry should be left alone to do a better job, whether or not it can demonstrate the results. Industry responds by hiding in the deep weeds of “complexity” and “disagreement with interpreting facts”. They buy time for an industry desperate to keep federal subsidies flowing; subsidies set to expire at the end of 2012. The wind power industry hopes Congress and the White House will ignore the fact that people, property values, and natural quiet are collateral damage to popular enthusiasms whose economics have failed to pan out.

We used to say with pride, “this couldn’t happen in the United States”. But wherever the costs of pollution are unallocated, it happens every day the wind blows.

Alan Farago is a writer living in Coral Gables, Florida and president of Friends of the Everglades. His website is He can be reached by email at:


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 ...

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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 ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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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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

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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.

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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.

8.     Tribe fights wind farm in lawsuit ; The Osage Nation's complaint says ...

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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Dec 21, 2011 – DeKalb County Board President Larry Anderson said the dismissal of a nearly 2-year-old lawsuit against the county and multiple county ...

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



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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 ...

1.     Horse Hollow Wind

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 ...

3.     Lawsuit stalls Cohasset wind turbine project - Quincy, MA - The ...

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 ...

6.     Wind power firm files $2.25 billion lawsuit - - Canada

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 ...

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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...


Your View: State’s wind report is poor excuse for a ‘health impact study’

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

By Louise Barteau
Louise Barteau lives in Fairhaven.
January 21, 2012 12:00 AM

I have wasted a perfectly good day reading the Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel January 2012, prepared for the state departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health.

I have to start by questioning the very title. Only two of the members have any experience with wind turbines. The two (Manwell and Mills) that have wind experience are both pre-disposed to find against adverse health effects. Mills has already testified in 2009 that according to previous literature searches she performed while employed as a public health official of Maine, she found no link to adverse health affects with turbines. So we know she didn't have an open mind.

Manwell runs the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center, which studies and promotes the use of wind turbines. So he is also pre-disposed to find no problems with wind turbines. His academic reputation and funding depend on the wind industry and funding from the state. Hmm.

We all know what this is called: Stacking the deck.

I did notice with interest that the panel included in the bibliography the Philips article from the August 2011 Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. I know they must not have had too much time to read it, because the Philips article argues convincingly that the omission of thousands upon thousands of adverse event reports from citizens affected by proximity to wind turbines is not only indefensible scientifically but dishonest and immoral to boot.

Adverse event reporting is how new diseases become identified. So ruling out first-hand self-reported health, social and economic events that occur after the arrival of wind turbines in communities across the world, basically prevents any true investigation from taking place.

You notice I use the term "true" investigation. That's the next problem. No one in most local governments and certainly not the wind developers have created and carried out such a study, despite problems being reported by ordinary citizens all over the world.

So if I understand this whole situation correctly, the report from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not look at or include adverse citizen reports of symptoms from Falmouth, and then found no evidence of adverse health effects because they didn't include the data that would form the basis of any claim to the contrary.

That doesn't seem right to me.

What if we had collected the evidence from Falmouth residents? Why didn't the panel gather the event reports, interview and perform tests such as EKG's and EEG's from Falmouth residents while they were experiencing symptoms in their homes. Those results could have been correlated with the results of turbine and wind speeds, noise levels and infrasound data. That's what the citizens of Falmouth asked for from the town, the developers and the state.

Instead, the state picked a secret panel that met a total of three times. They only reviewed literature and further seem to have been pretty selective about what they reviewed. The Philips article is just one of the articles in the August 2011 Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, yet the entire issue is devoted to the problems with wind turbines, noise (including infrasound), public health and social justice. But for some reason they only looked at the Philips article. Why not also look at the articles written by Bronzaft, Krogh, Shain or Thorne?

Not once was the suggestion ever made that perhaps the evidence of adverse health effects could and should be looked at in a cumulative way. Yes, perhaps one study has its limitations, but put that study in context of other studies and, well, just think if the "study" had included adverse health events and testimony from the good citizens of Falmouth; it might have been hard for the panel to come to the conclusions it did.

I think we should be clear that we are asking a small part of the Fairhaven community to bear the potential health, economic and social costs for the presumed, although as yet also unproven, good of the greater Fairhaven community. I don't think that's fair. Shouldn't the state and wind industry be required to prove that wind turbines are not harmful to neighbors, not demanding that neighbors prove to DEP and DPH that they are being harmed, as in the case in Falmouth? They should also be required to indemnify neighbors to turbines from health harm, property value loss, safety concerns, etc., and guarantee to compensate neighbors should anything adverse happen to them from the turbines.

And I certainly don't think this report proves anything. All this report has done has insulted the intelligence of anyone who has done their homework, and the integrity of anyone who has reported health symptoms from proximity to wind turbines. I guess that's why citizens from Falmouth went to the Statehouse this week to complain about the so-called "study". I wish I had gone with them.


Deadly Result of Wind Energy Policy – Workers Die

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Because Wind Energy require massive tower that require lots of maintenance in an open enviroment....the logical result of this are deaths. Where you might have one require power plant...wind requires 500 turbines that all require climbing hundreds of feet in the air in remote unsupervised location. As owners aren't too proud of these deaths they rarely make it to the news.

Family, friends mourn wind farm worker killed in collapse
12:36 PM PDT on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
By KGW Staff
The Sherman County wind farm where one man was killed and another injured Saturday when a wind turbine collapsed was cited for two violations just a few months ago, officials said Monday. Courtesy SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW Chadd Mitchell
Chadd Bryce Mitchell, 35, was killed in the accident. Mitchell was a father of three who had been working at the farm since July 10th. Slideshow: Collapsed turbine
Blog: Profound sadness “He was the myth, the man, the legend. The leader of the family. He was the most respectful
human in the world, never did anything but help other people. His family loves him more than anything in the world,” said brother Bradd Mitchell. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued two minor citations to Klondike
Wind Farms in May. One was regarding the farm's lack of a formal safety committee. The other citation had to do with stairs that were too high. Mitchell and another man had been working on a non-operational turbine at the Klondike Wind Farms east of Wasco, Oregon. Officials said Mitchell, who was at the top of the turbine, was killed when it buckled. The second man had to be rescued from the barrel of the collapsed structure. He was taken to an area hospital where his condition was unknown. OSHA was investigating the cause of the collapse.  A team of engineers from Finland was expected to investigate the site.

Wind turbine worker hurt in fall remains hospitalized
· By Sarah Kleiner Varble
· Posted April 21, 2008 at 9:49 p.m.
The man who fell 50 to 60 feet inside the shaft of a wind turbine last week is still recovering at
University Medical Center in Lubbock. Christian Mendoza seems to be improving, but he still needs a lot of care, said George Bunting, general manager of Global Windpower Services, Mendoza's employer. Global Windpower Services contracts with GE to perform wind turbine maintenance. GE contracts with FPL Energy, the company that owns the Horse Hollow wind farm where the accident occurred. GE is conducting an investigation into the accident, so it is still not clear how Mendoza fell
inside the tower, Bunting said. "We're all just devastated that it happened," Bunting said, adding that Mendoza was a popular
employee. "The thing we're thankful for is that he was given such rapid medical attention" and it appears he
is going to recover. Global Windpower Services has never had an accident like this, Bunting said.
The industry is safety-conscious and ensures all employees know how to properly use protective
equipment, such as harnesses, steel-toed boots, hats and glasses, Bunting said. Mendoza had
been through all the training and was very experienced.

Maintenance worker killed in wind farm accident
Sep 16 2009
A MAN has died in an accident while carrying out maintenance at a wind farm today. It is understood the man was working high up on one of the turbines but did not fall. Police were called at around 9.15am to the Causeymire Wind Farm, south of Spittal, near the A9 in Caithness.
A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said: "Police inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death are ongoing and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal in due course. "The Health and Safety Executive has been made aware of the incident. "No details of the deceased will be issued until all next of kin have been informed." Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service said it was called at 9.11am today with a report that a man was unconscious and stuck on a turbine. Three fire engines were sent to the wind farm but left the scene when it was confirmed the worker had died at 10.25am. RWE npower renewables owns the wind farm. In a statement, a spokeswoman said: "RWE npower renewables has regretfully been informed of
a fatality at one of its operating wind farms today. "The incident involved a contractor at Causeymire Wind Farm in Thurso, Scotland. "Our thoughts at this time are very much with the individual's family. "The cause of the incident is being investigated by RWE npower renewables and we will be fully co-operating with the Health and Safety Executive."

Minnesota FACE Investigation 94MN01301
Construction Worker Dies After Falling From a Wind Turbine Tower
A 29-year-old male rigger (victim) died after falling between 20-40 feet during wind turbine tower construction. He was wearing, but not using, a safety belt and lanyard at the time of the incident. The tubular, slightly tapered, turbine tower consisted of two vertical sections which were being bolted together. The bottom tower section had been set and the victim and two coworkers were attaching the top section. They were working from a pre-installed factory manufactured work platform inside the bottom section, at approximately 50 feet. Access to the platform was by way of a pre-installed metal ladder, attached to the wall with heavy steel supports. Tower section interiors were cleared of snow and ice prior to setting; except for ice on the bolt flange which was removed, the tower's top section appeared clear. After attaching four bolts, the workers noticed additional ice and snow inside the top tower section. They decided there was insufficient accumulation to warrant its removal for further cleaning, and one coworker climbed up the ladder and began to dislodge it. A large chunk of ice fell to the platform and struck the other coworker's head. As the victim and injured coworker began descending the ladder to exit the tower, more ice fell from the sides of the top section, through the platform's ladder opening, and onto the men on the ladder. The victim was knocked from the ladder by the falling ice. As he fell, his head struck a steel ladder support and he sustained instant, fatal, head injuries. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, employers should:
· ensure workers use fall protection, even in emergency situations, when ascending/descending fixed ladders;
· cap wind turbine tower sections exposed to inclement weather to avoid ice build- up inside; and
· provide employees with adequate training to ensure that they can recognize potential hazardous exposures.
MN FACE was notified of a March 2, 1994, work-related death of a rigger on March 3, 1994. MN OSHA, the county coroner, and the county sheriff were contacted and releasable information was taken. Copies of the sheriff's report and photos were obtained. A site investigation was conducted on March 4, 1994. The victim worked as a rigger for a construction company erecting wind turbine equipment. The company had been on the 73-tower site for five months, working throughout the fall and winter months. Rigging began four months prior to the incident. The victim had been provided on-the job training by his employer. The incident occurred about 10:00 a.m.

A 29-year-old male rigger (victim) died from injuries incurred after falling from a ladder inside a wind turbine tower under construction. He and two coworkers (Coworker 1 and Coworker 2) were bolting two tower sections together when the incident occurred. All were equipped with hard hats and safety belts with lanyards. The 120-foot tall tubular, tapered tower consisted of a
bottom and top section, 56 and 64 feet tall, respectively. The bottom section, already bolted to a base concrete pad, was 11 feet in diameter. It tapered to 9 feet at the top, where the two sections were connected using 36 bolts. A door at the base of the bottom section allowed access to the inside of the tubular structure. Inside, a pre-installed metal ladder, secured with heavy  steel supports at 12-inch intervals, ran along one side of the section. Workers climbed the ladder with the wall at their backs and the steel supports at their sides. During construction, fall protection for riggers consisted of a safety belt and two lanyards equipped with clips to tie/clip off to the ladder rungs as they ascended or descended it. A cable climbing kit for self-retracting lifelines had not yet been installed behind the ladder as permanent fall protection. The ladder led to a preinstalled work platform at about 50 feet, where workers stood while bolting the tower sections together. See Figure 1. The platform's ladder opening, about 3-foot square, could be covered with a hinged metal cover after the platform was gained. Figure 1.; Interior of bottom section of tower. Not to scale. Tower construction began in the fall and proceeded throughout the winter. Before erection,
sections were stored lying horizontally, open-ended, and unprotected on the ground. Tower erection protocol called for the dislodging of any snow or ice accumulation on or inside tower sections before sections were set by rapping on its outside walls with 3 lb. rubber mallets until the snow/ice was cleared out. Snow removal took place while the sections were held in a vertical
position by a crane. Except for ice on the bolt flange, which was removed, the tower's top section appeared clear. The
top section was lifted into position, and the workers on the platform began bolting it into place. Four bolts were connected when the workers noticed more ice in the top section. They decided there was insufficient accumulation to warrant its removal; Coworker 1 climbed up its preinstalled ladder to dislodge it instead. A large chunk of ice fell to the platform and struck
Coworker 2 on the head, knocking his hard hat off. Coworker 2 complained of feeling dizzy and the victim, also on the platform, notified crew on the ground that he and injured Coworker 2 were coming down; Coworker 2 descended the ladder first. Apparently, neither worker clipped off to ladder rungs during their descent. More large pieces of ice, estimated to be up to 1 foot
square and 6 inches thick, suddenly let loose from the sides of the top section and fell through the platform's ladder opening onto the men on the ladder. The victim, above Coworker 2 on the ladder at between 20-40 feet, was struck by the ice and knocked from the ladder. As he fell, his head struck a steel ladder support and he sustained instant, fatal, head injuries. Other workers on site placed a 911 call immediately after the incident The victim's falling body had knocked Coworker 2 off the ladder and landed on top of him; he required hospitalization for several days. Coworker 1 managed to avoid the falling ice and escaped major njury. No resuscitation was attempted on the victim after the incident.
The cause of death reported by the county coroner was severe head injuries.

Recommendation #1: Ensure workers use fall protection, even in emergency situations, when ascending/descending fixed ladders. Discussion: Because of the height of the fixed ladders in the towers, workers were required to use fall protection (safety belts equipped with lanyards) during ascent and descent. During project start-up, in fact, it had been necessary to equip lanyards with larger clips to accommodate the towers' ladder rung size. In addition to making any necessary mechanical adjustments during start-up, and as part of fall protection training, employers should address appropriate procedures to use in emergency situations. The urgency of this situation demanded that the workers leave the tower as quickly as possible, but both the injured coworker and the victim should have used the supplied fall protection as they descended the ladder. In addition to the falling ice hazard, the injured coworker, feeling weak and dizzy, could have lost consciousness and fallen.

Recommendation #2: Cap wind turbine tower sections exposed to inclement weather to avoid ice build-up inside.
Discussion: Tower sections were stored lying horizontally, open-ended, and unprotected on the ground prior to erection. Open ends could be securely capped with a tarpaulin or similar covering to prevent snow from entering during winter months. This procedure, in addition to eliminating the hazard which caused this incident, may actually save time during tower erection.
Recommendation #3: Provide employees with adequate training to ensure that they can recognize potential hazardous exposures. This recommendation is in accordance with CFR 1926.21(b)(2).

Discussion: Employers should provide employees with adequate training to ensure that they can recognize potential hazardous exposures. The interior of tower sections were painted white, and snow and ice accumulation may have been difficult to see and/or assess, especially when they were hanging in a vertical position. Training should, therefore, emphasize that dislodging ice
above workers who may be in the tower is always hazardous and should be avoided. When new company procedures or guidelines are developed or existing ones are modified, employers should ensure that workers are provided with appropriate supplemental training. REFERENCES 1. Office of the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Labor, 29 CFR Part
1926.21(b)(2), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C., July 1, 1992.

Sioux Falls utility worker dies in fall from Minnesota wind tower Man, 26, installing turbine before fire broke out; 2 others injured From Staff & Wire Reports Article Published: 11/12/05 CHANDLER, Minn. - A Sioux Falls man was killed after falling more than 200 feet from a wind tower after it caught fire Friday morning near Chandler, authorities said. Benjamin James Thovson, 26, died at the scene after falling about 210 feet, Murray County (Minn.) sheriff's deputy Randy Donahue said. The victim was installing a Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. wind turbine, according to a statement released Friday evening by Suzlon and another company, Gary, S.D.-based Energy Maintenance Service.  The workers were replacing a bolt when the fire started, the Associated Press reported. Two other employees of the Gary firm were injured and treated at a local hospital, according to the statement. They were able to climb down and escape. The sheriff's office had received a call just before 10 a.m. reporting the fire, and that one person had fallen. When help arrived, Donahue said, "the wind generator was engulfed in flames." Names of the injured workers and details on the extent of their injuries were not released Friday. The tower is owned by Dean DeGreeff of Chandler, who is part of an eight-person private ownership group called East Ridge Wind Farm. Energy Maintenance Service and Suzlon officials said they were cooperating with federal, state and local authorities in the investigation. "Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of our co-worker, and to all employees of Energy Maintenance Service, LLC., and Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation," according to the statement. "This is a difficult time for all of us," it stated. "As is the case when workplace tragedies happen, Energy Maintenance Service and Suzlon will provide grief counseling services to employees as needed."
According to Suzlon's Web site, the company's Minnesota Project includes about a dozen wind farms in the southwestern part of the state. The firm supplies wind turbines for farms. The power produced is sold to Northern States Power Co., a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, and to Great River Energy, according to Suzlon.


Mass. wind energy siting bill dies

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

By Patrick Cassidy  December 16, 2011

The controversial wind energy siting bill under consideration on Beacon Hill is effectively dead.

State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, the co-chairman of a committee responsible for the legislation, announced this week that he will ask that the measure be tabled.

The announcement hands a major victory to opponents concerned about the bill's effect on local control over wind energy projects.

In remarks Wednesday during an energy forum at the Berkshire South Community Center, Downing said those concerns, plus issues with siting standards and other problems with the legislation and wind energy, prompted him to call for a study of the bill — a move that would prevent the bill from being taken up by the full Legislature in the current session.

The full committee must still vote on his recommendation.

Downing is co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. State Rep. John Keenan, D-Salem, is the committee's other co-chairman.

A representative from Keenan's office said the lawmaker had no comment on Downing's remarks.

The original bill was meant to streamline permitting and provide standards for large wind energy projects. It would consolidate the permit process for turbines 2 megawatts or larger under a single, local board for municipalities in areas such as Cape Cod that the state designates as a "significant wind resource area."

In making his decision, Downing said he had considered what he heard from constituents and state officials during 15 hours of hearings on the bill held in Hancock and Barnstable.

The siting bill has been fought by those opposed to putting wind energy projects near residential areas.

Opponents of the bill often cite health problems allegedly caused by a wind turbine at the Falmouth wastewater treatment facility as a reason to be wary of locating wind turbines near homes.

Downing's comments come on the heels of Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, earlier this month withdrawing her support for the bill, which has been a major initiative for Gov. Deval Patrick's administration in its drive to meet wind energy goals he set for the state.

"After continuing to learn more about local control and the siting decisions of individual towns, the Senate president expects that for any legislation to go forward, it must have clear language about local control and siting standards that protect residential areas," David Falcone, Murray's director of communications, wrote in a statement sent to the Times Thursday.

The Patrick administration and other proponents of the siting bill have argued that it would not diminish local control and that without changes in the permitting process, wind energy projects will continue to be bogged down in years of unnecessary and redundant review.

In a statement sent to the Times, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. said that the Patrick administration will continue to hold discussions with legislators on the bill, including on siting standards and municipal oversight.

"Wind siting reform is an important tool in our clean energy portfolio," Sullivan said, adding that the administration is encouraged by comments Downing made about the need for investments in energy efficiency and solar power.

"The governor's clean energy agenda is achieving the intended results — we are in it for the long haul," he said.

Sullivan touted that Massachusetts recently beat out California for the top spot in the country for energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

The local wind energy siting boards called for in the bill would be populated with members from other municipal boards, state Assistant Secretary for Energy Steven Clarke said during a recent interview with the Times.

"The primary logic behind the creation of these wind permitting boards is to provide a single point of entry," Clarke said. "The bill really does not undermine local control."

Clarke said the state takes complaints, such as those emanating from Falmouth, seriously.

A panel formed by the state Department of Public Health and Department of Environmental Protection to study health issues surrounding wind energy projects is expected to release its findings within the next week.

State Rep. Randy Hunt, R-Sandwich, who is a member of Downing's committee, said a study group's work on the bill will include a look at regulations for siting wind turbines in advance of changes to the permitting process.

Although regulations are usually developed after the passage of related legislation, in the case of siting wind turbines, the details are so important that it appears reasonable to develop regulations first, Hunt said.

In any case, the bill's chances of getting out of committee in the current session are nil, he said.

"The answer is there's zero chance that this will be voted on at all," Hunt said.

In his speech Wednesday, Downing said he would push for the administration to develop siting standards separately from the proposed bill.

"I think the right siting policy is not to affect the local permitting process at this time and not to affect our existing environmental laws at this time," he said.

"I think we ought to develop siting standards first, and I think that is what should move forward. It's what I support, and it's what I'm going to advocate for in this legislative session."

WESRA Wind Energy Siting Reform Act – STOPPED!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Senator Ben Downing, Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee, announced he is recommending that the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act (WESRA) be sent down for "Further study" effectively ending debate on the measure for this legislative session. He told the administration, John Keenan and the environmental community today before announcing it tonight in Great Barrington. Preserve Lenox Mountain applauds Ben for making this courageous choice and thank him for hearing all of us on this issue. Bravo Ben!

Our Comment

Thank you Ben Downing for abandoning WESRA.  WESRA's brazen attempt to codify the breaking of the 5th Amendment of US Constitution"...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." was shocking! You need to pass rules to protect those being assaulted as well as those who will be harmed when local control oversteps those tenets. A flood of government money is overwhelm those individuals.



Senate President Murray Believes in Local Control for Wind Turbines Against WESRA!

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

Video Link: Senate President Therese Murray Declares Her Opposition to WESRA
Senate President Murray backs turbine choice

By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff,

Posted: 12/01/2011 12:05:43 AM EST

-- State Senate President Therese Murray said on Wednesday that she would not support a moratorium on wind turbines in Massachusetts because all options need to be considered to satisfy the state’s future energy needs.

"There are places where you can put them where they are not harmful to people," Murray said, while answering questions at a Berkshire Chamber of Commerce function at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

As examples, the Plymouth Democrat referred to two projects in her home district: A windmill going up on a landfill in Kingston and a similar facility that supplies power for dormitories at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne.

"You can’t just cut everything out of the mix," Murray said. "Everything has to be done correctly and they have to be placed in the right place."

Murray, who attended the event with state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, fielded several questions about wind power, broadband, and the proposed Wind Energy Siting Reform Act from Berkshire residents Jonas Dovydenas, Terry Flynn, Eleanor Tillinghast and Harley Keisch. Keisch is a member of Preserve Lenox Mountain, an advocacy group that opposes the siting of industrial-scale wind turbines on Berkshire ridges.

Flynn said he was in favor of declaring a state moratorium on wind energy because of concern for environmental damage the construction of wind turbines would cause, the higher fees that ratepayers would be assessed, and the increasing concerns that surround wind power.

"We need to do more research," he said.

Noting that state funding for tourism in the Berkshires increased this year, Keisch said wind turbines on ridges would be "devastating to property values" in the county, would cause utility rates to go "up instead of down," and are not a reliable source of energy.

"You say that they should be part of the mix, but I think until we really understand the scientific basis for it, there are other alternatives," Keisch said.

"Putting [wind turbines] on a ridge, that’s your issue out here," Murray responded. "I get that. I certainly can hear you on that. But taking them out of other places where they do fit, I don’t agree with. It does fit in some places. It may not be right for your ridge. But it has to be part of the mix."

Dovydenas asked Murray for her opinion on the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act, which would shift the responsibility for siting wind turbines to an unelected board that would have the power to override local government decisions. Murray said some towns in her district, notably Falmouth, have had problems with the siting of wind facilities on municipal property.

"I think wind power has to be part of the solution for our energy fixes," Murray said, "but I don’t believe losing local control is the way to go. So I would have to support my towns that don’t support the siting bill."

Her comments were met with applause.

Downing, who chairs the joint Committee on Telecommunications and Energy, invited those interested in the siting bill to attend an energy forum that he will hold on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington.

"Please come there because we’re going to be talking about that issue and others as well," he said, "and I really want it to be a dialogue."

Referring to state energy issues in general, Downing said, "I don’t think anybody can dispute that there are complex issues around all of it."

"There’s a lot of programs out there that aren’t getting into communities, into neighborhoods," he said. "I think there’s more work to be done around any number of different energy issues."


Dutch fall out of love with windmills

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore

By Ivana Sekularac

EGMOND AAN ZEE, Netherlands | Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:55am EST

(Reuters) - When the Netherlands built its first sea-based wind turbines in 2006, they were seen as symbols of a greener future.

Towering over the waves of the North Sea like an army of giants, blades whipping through the wind, the turbines were the country's best hope to curb carbon emissions and meet growing demand for electricity.

The 36 turbines -- each one the height of a 30-storey building -- produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year.

But five years later the green future looks a long way off. Faced with the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says offshore wind power is too expensive and that it cannot afford to subsidize the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour -- some 4.5 billion euros last year.

The government now plans to transfer the financial burden to households and industrial consumers in order to secure the funds for wind power and try to attract private sector investment.

It will start billing consumers and companies in January 2013 and simultaneously launch a system under which investors will be able to apply to participate in renewable energy projects.

But the new billing system will reap only a third of what was previously available to the industry in subsidies -- the government forecasts 1.5 billion euros every year -- while the pricing scale of the investment plan makes it more likely that interested parties will choose less expensive technologies than wind.

The outlook for Dutch wind projects seems bleak.


For centuries, the Netherlands has harnessed wind power, using windmills to drain water from low-lying marsh and turn it into arable land.

Now however, one of the most densely populated countries in Europe -- with 489 people per square kilometer (0.6 miles) compared to 356 in Belgium or 192 in Luxembourg -- is falling out of love with its iconic technology.

Arguments over the high cost and maintenance of sea-based turbines, as well as complaints from residents about unsightly land-based models, have brought the Dutch to an impasse.

Offshore wind farms produce more electricity than onshore ones but it costs twice as much as onshore wind power due to the higher cost of materials, more expensive drilling methods, and more complex maintenance.

Wind turbines in the sea need to be more robust to withstand strong winds and salt water; their maintenance some miles away from the coast requires special equipment and transportation.

Drilling the seabed is more expensive as it requires a specialized workforce and equipment. Then there's the additional cost of connecting the offshore farms to the grid.

Onshore, wind turbines face local resistance.

In 1994, a group of entrepreneurial farmers around the Dutch town of Urk got together and decided to build the country's largest onshore wind farm with 86 wind turbines nearby. Maxime Verhagen, then minister for economy, innovation and agriculture, said this would be enough to supply 900,000 people.

The project has since been adapted to meet changes in legislation and 20 years after it was launched, construction may finally start this year and be completed in 2014. The only thing holding up the project now is a lawsuit filed by local residents. They say the 30-meter-high wind turbines will spoil their views.

"If we have wind turbines here this old picture will be destroyed," said the mayor, Jaap Kroon. "We are also concerned about the safety and noise."

Ironically Urk itself used to be an island until windmills were used to drain the surrounding land and connect it to the mainland. The Dutch Wind Energy Association says about half the country's onshore wind projects such as the one in Urk are disputed.

"People don't want big wind turbines in their backyards," said Kasper Wallet, an energy consultant. "They think it will impact the value of their property."


Renewable energy meets just four percent of the Netherlands' total energy consumption. That makes the country's target for its share to rise 14 percent by 2020 challenging enough.

"We have come to the conclusion that the most likely targets with the current policy to be reached will be in the range of 8 to 12 percent," said Paul van den Oosterkamp, manager of the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN), an independent institute for renewable energy.

Under the government's new system aimed at attracting private sector involvement, known as SDE+, investors will be able to apply in four phases to participate in renewable energy projects, with government subsidies set between 9 and 15 cents per kilowatt hour of produced electricity they produce.

A spokeswoman for the ministry of economic affairs, agriculture and innovation said this would not cover the current subsidy cost of offshore wind projects.

"Some technologies like offshore wind, tidal and wave energy and solar are on average more expensive than the SDE+ maximum cost price," said Esther Benschop in an email to Reuters.

Dutch power firms say wind remains key to meeting green energy targets but is still too expensive for them to manage alone.

Dutch grid operator TenneT, which became a major player in German electricity transmission after it bought E.ON's high-voltage grid, has complained about the cost of connecting offshore wind farms to the national grid because of the expensive materials, particularly cables, involved.

It currently has nine projects in Germany involving wind farms where it has run into financing difficulties and is seeking a stakeholder.

Nico Bolleman -- managing director of Netherlands-based Blue Technologies, a company which develops platforms for offshore wind turbines -- says fairer comparisons need to be made when calculating the cost of wind power.

"Even if you take everything into account, wind energy is not expensive. Take into account the hidden costs of fossil fuels. For example, transport of coal generates more carbon dioxide emissions and no-one calculates that into the electricity price."

Others insist the negative impact will be short-term.

"The new subsidy scheme is not supportive, (but) offshore wind is a long-term game," said Greven Hein, spokesman for Dutch utilities firm Eneco, recently given subsidies to build a 129 megawatt offshore wind farm.

"In a couple of years it will be back on the agenda."

(Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Editing by Sophie Walker)


Federal officials investigate eagle deaths at DWP wind farm

Posted by SaveOurSeaShore


Pine Tree facility in the Tehachapi Mountains faces scrutiny over the deaths of at least six golden eagles, which are protected under federal law. Prosecution would be a major blow to the booming industry.

August 03, 2011|By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.

So far, no wind-energy company has been prosecuted by federal wildlife authorities in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A prosecution in the Pine Tree case could cause some rethinking and redesigning of this booming alternative energy source. Facilities elsewhere also have been under scrutiny, according to a federal official familiar with the investigations.

"Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it, so this investigation is long overdue," said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms. "It's going to ruffle wind industry feathers across the country."

Wildlife Service spokeswoman Lois Grunwald declined to comment on what she described as "an ongoing law enforcement investigation regarding Pine Tree."

Joe Ramallo, a DWP spokesman, said, "We are very concerned about golden eagle mortalities that have occurred at Pine Tree. We have been working cooperatively and collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game to investigate these incidents.

"We have also actively and promptly self-reported raptor mortalities to both authorities," he said. "Moving forward, we will be ramping up further our extensive field monitoring and will work with the agencies to develop an eagle conservation plan as part of more proactive efforts to monitor avian activities in the Pine Tree area."

An internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010 indicated that compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide, bird fatality rates were "relatively high" at Pine Tree, which has 90 towers generating 120 megawatts on 8,000 acres.

Golden eagles weigh about 14 pounds and stand up to 40 inches tall. Their flight behavior and size make it difficult for them to maneuver through forests of wind turbine blades spinning as fast as 200 mph — especially when they are distracted by the sight of prey such as squirrels and rabbits.

DWP officials acknowledged that at least six golden eagles have been struck dead by wind turbine blades at the two-year-old Kern County facility, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, which was designed to contribute to the city's renewable energy goal of 35% by 2020.

Although the total deaths at Pine Tree pale in comparison with the 67 golden eagles that die each year in Northern California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, the annual death rate per turbine is three times higher at the DWP facility. The Altamont Pass facility has 5,000 wind turbines — 55 times as many as Pine Tree.

Nationwide, about 440,000 birds are killed at wind farms each year, according to the Wildlife Service. The American Wind Energy Assn., an industry lobbying group, points out that far more birds are killed by collisions with radio towers, tall buildings, airplanes and vehicles, and encounters with household cats.

Attorney Allan Marks, who specializes in renewable energy projects, called the Pine Tree deaths "an isolated case. If their golden eagle mortality rate is above average, it means the industry as a whole is in compliance."

About 1,595 birds, mostly migratory songbirds and medium-sized species such as California quail and western meadowlark, die each year at Pine Tree, according to the bird mortality report prepared for the DWP last year by Ojai-based BioResource Consultants.

BioResource spokesman Peter Cantle suggested that those bird deaths may be unrelated to Pine Tree's wind turbines.

"It's hard to tease out those numbers," he said. "Basically, we walked around the site to find bird mortalities, which could have been attributable to a number of things including natural mortality and predators."

The death count worries environmentalists because the $425-million Pine Tree facility is in a region viewed as a burgeoning hot spot for wind energy production.

"We believe this problem must be dealt with immediately because Pine Tree is only one of several industrial energy developments proposed for that area over the next five to 10 years," said Los Angeles Audubon President Travis Longcore. "Combined, they have the potential to wipe this large, long-lived species out of the sky."


An Inside Scoop on Wind Turbine Siting in Massachusetts

Posted by venturen

This is what happened in Mattapoisett as a result of the attempt to site a commercial wind turbine 650 feet from residential homes.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) was stuck with two Vestas V 82 commercial wind turbines in 2004 at $3500.00 per month storage fees in a warehouse in Texas. The MTC was state's semi quasi economic development agency for renewable energy. The costs of the turbines were 5.2 million dollars. The Massachusetts
Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has since taken over the many duties of the MTC.

The turbines were so old they were out of warranty. The semi quasi state agency had  to produce good wind turbine studies for towns interested in wind turbines and sell these two politically embarrassing turbines to some town in Massachusetts. A report was prepared for the Town of Mattapoisett called, Wind Power in Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester: Siting Considerations for a Met Tower and Fatal Flaws Analysis for a Wind Turbine.

The twenty-three page report for Mattapoisett had what was called "mistakes" on almost every page and on some pages had up to three factual "mistakes." MTC officials were asked at a public meeting about the "mistakes" in the report. The answer was given that the MTC paid University of Massachusetts engineering students $5,000.00 to build the report and it was not their issue. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative at this point had become an economic development agency and commercial wind turbine sales agents.

The report for Mattapoisett had a section that asked: are there any areas designated by the Audubon Society as Important Bird Areas (IBA)? The report said NO. The fact is that Ram Island in Mattapoisett is the chief nesting area of all the Roseate Terns in North America. The island is less than 3/4 of a mile from the proposed wind turbine site on the town owned land.Mattapoisett borders Buzzards Bay.

The state at the time was also considering the Massachusetts Oceans Act. Wind turbine contractors were looking to build some 120 wind turbines in Buzzards Bay and understood that any mention of  Ram Island and the Roseate Terns would have quickly ended the wind ocean turbine project.

Disgraced and convicted Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi met with wind turbine contractors on Beacon Hill on Oct 18.2007 and then on November 15, 2007, minutes before the gavel fell a final time and the Oceans Act bill was sent to the Senate, paper work was slipped in an 11-page single-spaced amendment, one paragraph of which allowed for wind turbines on Buzzards Bay.

Our group in Mattapoisett, Concerned Citizens for Responsible Wind Power, objected to the proposal of the wind turbine on 35 acres of town owned land. We hired a wetland scientist to show the large amount of wetlands and lack of a right of way to the town owned property. At this point the residents of our neighborhood had to finance our own report to protect wetlands and our own residential property rights. The MTC takes renewable energy taxes from our electric bills to build these reports and now we had to pay again to protect our homes.Many of the homes fell within 800 feet of the commercial turbine.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the MTC-Renewable Energy Trust Fund issued a permit number 22811A on January 16.2007 for a meteorological structure at Naskatucket Bay State Reservation. The DCR went around Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution (land use) by telling local residents the state owned land and park was being used for "educational purposes." The Naskatucket Bay State Reservation is next to the proposed commercial wind site on the town owned 35 acres. All the open space in Naskatucket Bay State Reservation was taken for well over a year from the public.

Currently there are noise issues over the placement of commercial wind turbines. The Mattapoisett report done by the MTC states two different types of noise : A. Regulatory compliance and B. Human annoyance both on page 14 of the report.

The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. The state through its semi quasi state agency, the state legislators and the agenda of the current governor are creating a second class group of citizens with the poor siting of commercial wind turbines.

The wind turbine fray is sparking class warfare. Time after time one section of town after town, usually the blue collar section, has been selected to lose their property rights for the good of all the others in town. Even today years later negative and bitter feelings still exist between residents in Mattapoisett over the wind turbine.

We feel bewildered and betrayed by our own government, which is maliciously trying to steal our land through the poor siting of commercial wind turbines. We have lost our democratic rights and have become second class citizens, facing the theft of our land through regulation.

By the end of 2007 the town of Mattapoisett made the decision the wind turbine did not make "economic sense" to pursue. At about the same time the Town of Fairhaven dropped their bid for the other Vestas V 82 commercial wind turbine over a lawsuit by local residents.

The two older gear driven Vestas V 82 foreign made commercial wind turbines were repurchased in 2010 like a used car using an EPA waiver to use 2009 stimulus funds to purchase the turbines by the Town of Falmouth in 2010 . The two turbines are called Wind 1 and Wind 2 . Currently state officials have agreed to pay for a noise study on the Wind 1 turbine at the town's wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road.  For over a year more than fifty Falmouth residents have complained about regulatory noise and human annoyance noise.


High Court date set for ‘nuisance turbines’ hearing

Posted by venturen

Published on Tuesday 15 March 2011 07:45

ALL eyes will be on Deeping St Nicholas this summer when a landmark case on noise created by wind turbines reaches the High Court.

A date has finally been set for Jane and Julian Davis to have their say on turbines which they claim have forced them out of their home.

Their legal bid, which is thought to be one of the first private nuisance cases brought against a wind farm, will be heard in the High Court from July 4 and has been scheduled to run for ten days.

Mrs Davis said: “We have done our witness statements, which run into many thousands of words, the rest of the witness statements have been put together and there are a lot of experts looking at the noise issues.

“It would be nice to think we could get some kind of outcome where they stop the noise so we can go home.”

Mr and Mrs Davis’ farm is just 1,000 metres from the wind farm which went “live” in 2006.

The couple claim they were left unable to sleep from the noise coming from eight 100-metre turbines and they were forced to move into rented accomodation in Spalding.

Mrs Davis has previously described the noise as a constant low humming during the day and says the turbines make the sound of a helicopter landing during high winds or when the air pressure changes due to cooling in the evening.

However, the couple have insisted they are not against wind turbines in principle.

Mrs Davis says she is “cautiously optimistic” about their ongoing battle being used as a test case for other campaigners across the country.

The Deeping St Nicholas site will also become the focus of an international audience next month.

A four-day conference is taking place in Rome next month where delegates will be discussing issues surrounding wind turbine noise.

“About 100 academic papers are being presented to that conference,” said Mrs Davis. “Experts have used our case for 27 of them. They will be discussing knowledge gained at Deeping St Nicholas.”

Mrs Davis estimates there will be about 300 people attending the conference.

She said many visitors still call at the farm, where her husband still works on a daily basis.


In Holland, land of windmills, flap over wind farm

Posted by venturen

Comment: You think Europeans with lots of experience with Wind Turbines would lov’em…Think again! And these are going to ONE MILE Away!!!!

“But if the Dutch can't learn to love wind power, what hope is there for the world to adopt it as a major energy source?”


The Associated Press
Monday, February 14, 2011; 5:36 AM

URK, Netherlands -- On an outcrop near this town's lighthouse, a woman in stone perpetually scans the horizon for the fishing fleet returning home. To the dismay of townspeople, her view may soon be obscured by some of the world's tallest wind turbines.

In this eco-friendly nation where windmills are embedded in the culture, it may seem strange that a spat over wind power threatens to land in the country's highest court.

But these turbines are a far cry from the squat four-bladed mills used for centuries to drain the swamps and create new land from the sea. They are giants, with gray metallic blades that will scrape the clouds at 650 feet (about 200 meters) - and residents say they'll destroy a way of life.

"They are the highest buildings in Holland," says Leen van Loosen, Urk's undertaker who is campaigning to stop the project. "It's just crazy."

As wind turbines sprout up across Europe - and increasingly off its coastlines - tussles between energy developers and local opponents are increasingly common. In the United States, too, wind farm proposals often face determined defiance, most famously the Cape Wind project off Cape Cod that took 10 years to win approval.

But with oil prices again toying with $100 a barrel and global concerns mounting over climate change, electricity from wind, solar, biogas and other renewables is seen by many as the long-term answer to energy security, pollution and curbing greenhouse gases.

Among those emerging resources, wind is the cheapest and its technology well developed.

Last year alone nearly 10,000 megawatts of wind power capacity was installed in the European Union, lifting the EU's total to 84,000 megawatts, or nearly 10 percent of the EU's power generation, the European Wind Energy Association said in a report this month. Worldwide, wind capacity grew by nearly 36,000 megawatts last year, or 22.5 percent - nearly half of it in China, said the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council.

But if the Dutch can't learn to love wind power, what hope is there for the world to adopt it as a major energy source?

"In Holland, there's hardly any project that doesn't get delayed," said Michiel Muller, the wind unit manager of Ecofys, a research and consultancy firm on sustainable energy, who is not connected with the Urk project.

Across Europe, each installation faces a slew of hurdles, starting from the required Environmental Impact Assessment to regulatory approvals by often more than a dozen authorities. It takes an average of 55 months to wade through the bureaucratic tangle before work can begin, the wind energy association said.

Of some 200 wind energy projects studied in 2007-8 in Europe, 40 percent were ensnared in lawsuits, and 30 percent more faced slowdowns because of local resistance or questioning from nonprofit environmental groups, the association said. It had no figures on how many projects were killed before they got started.

With 430 megawatts of capacity, the wind park near Urk, population 18,000, would provide enough electricity for 400,000 homes and rank among Europe's largest. It would help the Netherlands as it races to catch up with the stiff target set by the European Union to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The Dutch now have a capacity of 2,237 megawatts from wind - far short of its 12,000 megawatt national target for 2020.

The 86 turbines are to be erected in three rows, 38 on land and 48 off shore. The first will be one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the statue of the fisherman's wife, a 1986 monument on the north side of town that is encircled by plaques with the names of hundreds of Urk's fishermen lost at sea since 1717.

Residents cite a long litany of dangers from the wind park. Fishing and tourism will suffer, they say. The tranquil panorama of the local lake will be disrupted, the town will tremble with the constant rumbling noise of blades, birds will be traumatized, and the whole project could undermine a dike slated to host turbines.

"We are all for green energy," says Van Loosen, "but this is out of proportion."

Advocates dismiss such concerns as misinformation, saying the turbines will be far enough from the town that they will not be heard and barely will be seen. One of their leaders says the modern mills simply follow a hallowed Dutch tradition.

"Windmills belong to the Netherlands," says Janneke Wijnia-Lemstra, who represents the farmers behind the privately-financed euro1 billion project. Government subsidies will guarantee a competitive price for the energy produced.

While the focus today is turbines, they're not the only target of Dutch resistance to environmental projects. Hostility by the citizens of Barendrecht killed a proposal in 2009 to bury carbon dioxide under their town that is siphoned from a Royal Dutch Shell refinery in nearby Rotterdam.

Instead, the plan for the experimental project was shifted to the more sparsely populated north of the country, but it has now run into equally fierce protests from villagers there. The government has said it will decide in a few weeks whether to go ahead.

Economics Minister Maxime Verhagen says the wind project, set to go up 55 miles (90 kms) northeast of Amsterdam, fits with the energy mix that the Netherlands needs, and that every energy source has a down side.

"You could say 'no' to wind energy because it will spoil the view. You can say 'no' to nuclear energy because of the waste. And you can say 'no' to coal as well - leaving us with no energy at all in the Netherlands," he told Dutch television when asked about Urk's revolt.

After eliminating seven turbines from the plan, the government signed off on the wind farm last month - 12 years after it was first proposed. The town says it won't back down unless another 15 turbines are ditched, and vows to appeal to the Council of State, the country's highest court, and possibly to European courts.

The farmland where the turbines are to be built is under the authority of the municipality of Noordoostpolder, Urk's neighbor. Noordoostpolder's council decreed against more windmills being erected on individual farms, partly because the scattered turbines would be too unsightly. That's when it was decided to concentrate them in a large park along the coast.

Urk has been inhabited for some 1,000 years. Nearly all the town's revenue derives from fishing or the tourists who come to see the harbor and the old quayside cottages.

Until the 1940s it was an island, and residents are still resentful that they were not consulted before a dike was built that created the North East polder - land reclaimed from the sea - connecting the mainland to their rocky knoll. Ironically, it's just behind this dike that nearly half the turbines will rise.

"It's an island culture and history," says Urk Mayor Jaap Kroon.

To accusations of indulging a not-in-my-back-yard attitude, the mayor retorts:

"This is not our back yard. It's our front yard."


Expert’s Letter about Real Estate Values and Wind Turbines

Posted by venturen

From:  McCann Appraisal, LLC

To:  The

I am writing regarding the Ian Hanna case being heard presently in Ontario, and to offer a little more information and insight than was described in Lee Greenberg’s article today (1-24-11).

My expertise is not in health issues, but there is a direct relationship between those impacts and my proffesional studies of real estate impacts.

For example, numerous families have been forced to abandon their homes due to the factual impacts to health, sleep disturbances and the like, which the Canadian Wind Energy Associationand the American Wind Energy Association prefer to dismiss as “concerns.”  Many others have been unable to sell their homes due to the presence of nearby turbines, and which a growing list of realtors and estate agents report as being the deciding factor in would-be buyer’s decisions to look elsewhere.

There is a measurable and significant loss of values within 2 to 3 miles, and noise impacts have been broadcast as far as 5 miles or more, in some instances, with 1 to 2 miles being commonplace. Value losses have been measured at 20% to 40%, with a total loss of equity in some instances.

Wind developers have been known to buy out the most vocal neighbors who refuse to roll over and play dead when they are initially ignored, and then turn around and sell those same homes for 60% to 80% below the appraised value—thus confirming value losses by their own actions.

Other developers have avoided future liability by bulldozing the purchased homes.

In fact, wind developers and the existing Canadian setback are even inadequate to protect neighbors from ice throw or from sections of turbine blades, which are documented as occurring up to half a mile from the turbines, and I have personally heard of a blade throw (piece) that went about 1 mile.

Regardless of these facts, the wind industry often tries to convince the siting decision makers that safety issues are satisfied by setbacks of 1.1 X the height of turbines (550 meters in Canada), as if preventing a toppling turbine from landing on a neighbors house is the correct standard.

It is obvious what is happening here: The wind industry is playing a numbers game, under the assumption or actuarial calculations that it is less costly for them to fight a number of lawsuits from citizens who do not have deep pockets, than it is to buy out the property they need to create huge projects.

The solution is simple, also: Mandate that all property they seek to encompass with industrial overlays be purchased outright, so people have an option as to whether they choose to live in a large, noisy industrial setting.

I am quite certain any of your staff can confirm my factual comments by simply driving to any number of projects and counting the abandned and for sale homes, talking with a few remaining neighbors, etc. Maybe start with the Clear Creek project, where a dozen homes are reported abandoned, due to proximity of about 3 dozen turbines. The list will grow as large as time devoted to research of this issue will allow.

Like most other people, I initially assumed that wind energy would be a good trend. Unlike most people, I have expended something on the order of 2,000 hours looking into it, and my findings are quite contrary to the “positions” of the wind industry and their lobbyists. However, even the wind industry’s counterpart to my profession, Mr. Ben Hoen, has now gone on record saying that Property Value Guarantees should be used for nearby homeowners, and that “if wind developers won’t guarantee that, then they really don’t have a leg to stand on.”

Your publication can do much to bring the truth to public view, and I am available to answer any questions you may have. Also, you have my permission to publish this letter as you see fit.

Incidentally, if you Google my name + Adams County, Illinois, you will find a lengthier report which provides more details of property value impacts, along with public documents on buyouts made by Canadian Hydro of turbine neighbors homes.


Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite # 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting

Fax: (312) 644-9244
Cell: (312) 961-1601


Panelists lambaste state about wind power studies

Posted by venturen

Robert Rand, a sound engineer from Brunswick displayed a series of graphs showing how sound levels from turbines could affect people living at various distances from a turbine. He also played a recording of two turbines he said was made one mile from the turbines. He was eventually asked to turn off the sound

RUMFORD - Panelists at a wind energy forum Wednesday night lambasted the state for not conducting more studies on the potential impact of wind farms and Dr. Dora Ann Mills, the state's chief medical officer, for not pursuing possible health issues related to them.

The panelists warned that wind energy would be both more expensive and result in greater pollution.

About 50 people turned out for the decidedly one-sided presentation on potential wind farm development in Rumford and other locations in Western Maine.

The forum, sponsored by the River Valley Wind Education Committee, was held about a month before Rumford and Dixfield voters will decide whether to adopt wind energy ordinances.

Panelist J Dwight, an economist from Wilton and one of the four panelists, said using electricity generated from wind turbines would likely double utility bills by 2020.

"We have enough power already," he said.

He said later during the forum that First Wind LLC of...