USA or Maine
The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030.
This is a bad time to be a bat.
A utility company on Friday agreed to a settlement of more than $10 million following the electrocution of dozens of eagles, hawks, owls and other birds in Wyoming.
PacifiCorp pleaded guilty to 34 violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shickich in Casper ordered the utility to pay a $510,000 fine and $900,000 in restitution.
Two people who helped create the popular Cliff Trail are opposing a wind study being proposed for the site.
They are urging residents to vote no at Saturday's Town Meeting on a $10,000 appropriation for the study that could lead to three or four wind turbines being built at the town's highest point.
Residents will decide at Town Meeting if Harpswell should pursue the study atop the 200-foot ridge known as Long Reach. The town-owned Cliff Trail leads hikers to that ridge.
Tulle Frazer and Robert Bryan were among the volunteers who established the trail in 2000.
Some Kansas legislators are asking whether the development of wind farms could affect training at military bases.
The Legislature's Joint Committee on Kansas Security has placed the topic on its agenda for a meeting Nov. 22.
Franklin County commissioners signed a letter to support the Kibby Wind Power project slated for Kibby and Skinner townships in the northern section of the county, not far from the Canadian border.
The commission unanimously voted to support the project on July 3 and Commissioners Fred Hardy of New Sharon and Meldon Gilmore of Freeman Township endorsed the letter to be sent to Catherine Carroll, director of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, Tuesday. Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay had signed the letter earlier.
TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. proposes to build a 44-turbine wind farm on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range.
The LURC staff is currently reviewing the company's petition to rezone about 2,908 acres to a planned development subdistrict for the wind farm.
Offshore wind turbines may not provide substantial benefits to the state's environment and could come with some risks, a report by released today states.
According to facilities committee chair Edmund Hartt, no acoustic engineer was brought on-site to evaluate the project.
The problem with spending money on an acoustic study is that there is no extra money. ...The three committee members unanimously voted to ask the school board whether an acoustic engineer should be hired to conduct a sound study.
In a decision that could have wide ramifications for the future of wind power in Maine, the Land Use Regulation Commission on Wednesday rejected a plan to place 30 turbines on two western mountains.
November 30, 2005, 8:39 PM EST
TRENTON, N.J. -- A panel appointed to determine if New Jersey should build energy-generating wind turbines off the coast has released an interim report that _ while it draws no conclusions _ has been criticized by some environmentalists as giving short shrift to wind energy benefits.
Maine's attempt to create clear rules to guide multibillion-dollar energy corridor projects through the state came up short Wednesday, because of deep philosophical divisions that foreshadow debate next year in the Legislature.
The impasse came during the final meeting of a 13-member study panel. The group was formed by the Legislature to recommend rules to give Maine the maximum benefit from proposed electricity, gas and petroleum corridors.
Wind power is in its infancy in Maine, a TransCanada Energy Ltd. representative told Franklin County commissioners Tuesday.
The panel received an update on the proposed Kibby Wind Power project in northern Franklin County and asked questions of company representatives.
An application was filed with Maine Land Use Regulation Commission on Jan. 8 to rezone 2,900 acres and to build the wind farm on ridges of the Boundary Mountains. A fifth volume of documents about the project was filed last week with LURC, project manager Nick Di domenico told commissioners.
Wind power has been measured and environmental studies conducted on birds, bats, and Canadian lynx among others with results incorporated into the application.
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
Questions ranging from how installing wind turbines might affect tourism and wildlife, to beliefs that such devices could cause physical and mental illnesses were put forth by some of the members of a panel Tuesday night that explored the possible ramifications of building a wind farm atop three local mountains. Conspicuously absent were representatives from First Wind LLC, the Newton, Mass.
There will be no wind farms or strip clubs in Paris, if the town's Land Use Committee has anything to say about it.
"We're trying very hard to create a land-use plan that will make the most amount of people happy and step on the least number of feet, while at the same time help our community grow in a positive way."
A National Park Service official has warned the Bureau of Land Management that approving dozens of solar power plants in southern Nevada could dramatically impact water supplies across the arid region.
An estimated 63 large-scale solar projects are proposed for BLM lands in the region, and the plants are expected to use a large amount of groundwater to cool and wash solar panels.
A key part of President Obama's energy plan -- replacing fossil fuels with green alternatives -- is facing increasing opposition from an unlikely source: environmentalists. ..."We all want to be as green as we can be. But at what cost?" Richard Jolly of the Blue Mountain Alliance.
The farm would be located in Unorganized Territory at a decommissioned U.S. Air Force radar site nearly ten miles north of Columbia Falls amid a web of dirt roads, blueberry barrens and cranberry bogs.
The tribe already owns 1,060 acres of blueberry barrens adjacent to the 1,000 acres that the U.S. General Services Administration is offering for sale.
Wind power developer Patriot Renewables, which plans to build towers in Woodstock, has offered to make an additional, one-time payment of $80,000 to the town as part of a "tangible benefits" package agreement.
Patriot has applied to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to place 11 towers on Spruce Mountain.
The solicitations have been flooding people's mailboxes lately: pay a bit more on your electricity bill for 100 percent clean wind power. Or, the fliers say, buy "green power certificates" to offset your global warming emissions.
Close to a million electricity customers have signed up for such payments voluntarily, and the amount of electricity sold in this way has nearly tripled since 2005, amid rising concern about climate change and energy security. But the participants are in a distinct minority, with a sign-up rate of only about 2 percent in programs run by utilities.
Where conscience and capitalism intersect, a market has grown quickly in recent years for individuals to pay money for an eco-friendly project to counter the damage modern living does to the atmosphere. ...Critics of the system claim that, at worst, all this offsetting can be a distraction from the challenge: using less fossil fuel in the first place.
"Is it like the Titanic, just rearranging the deck chairs?" said Joe Romm, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who keeps the blog climateprogress.org.
People won't cut back on flying as long as they can assuage a guilty conscience, that logic goes. And then there will be little hope of meeting targets such as cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next 40 years.
Even some supporters of offsets contend the unregulated voluntary market leaves customers with too little certainty about whether their offset purchase will do any good.
A key part of the debate revolves around "additionality": whether an environmental project would have happened without the new money created by the offset purchase.