"This makes no sense," said Kim Kaufman, executive director at Black Swamp, whose "Biggest Week in American Birding" last spring attracted about 75,000 birders and gave the whole region an economic booster shot.
"Putting a wind turbine here flies in the face of everything we have worked for to protect birds and to promote this area and birding."
The entire aesthetics of mile after mile of High Country vista was destroyed. Ted, a retired Forest Service wildlife biologist, mentioned to me the depredation caused by the wind turbines to the hawks, owls and other raptors in the vicinity. He also mentioned that the "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh" noise of the blades was maddening to any wildlife, livestock or humans within sound of them. As concerning to the biologists was the disruption all of this had caused to the migration patterns of the elk and mule deer.
Without government to subsidize green energy enough to make it competitive -- or, in the case of states with renewable portfolio standards, to make green energy a requirement, whether it's competitive or not -- there would be no market for it. ...Just ask the guys at Solyndra. They'll take the Fifth Amendment, but that doesn't stop you from asking.
In Michigan's Lenawee County and near the Ohio-Indiana state line, proposals to install wind turbines are attracting organized opposition. It is easy -- but unfair -- to dismiss this as an expression of classic Not In My Back Yard sentiments. If majority opinion and market forces lead to zoning ordinances that discourage developers from operating in an area, they must be respected.
Green energy is all the rage, and Ohio is jumping on the bandwagon with little regard for financial considerations. The proposed offshore wind turbine project in Lake Erie is an example of wasteful spending in the name of going green and creating jobs.
People who express concern about bird mortality at wind turbines are usually treated with condescension at best (with phrases like "Bird-lovers are all a-flutter at the thought that Tweetie Bird might get hurt"). I've seen a dozen wind industry fact sheets pointing out, rather patronizingly, that wild birds are killed by many things, including window strikes, automobiles, and roaming cats. This is true. But the birds most often killed by cars and house cats are the birds that live around roads and houses - abundant, widespread species, with populations large enough to sustain the losses. If ten million House Sparrows are hit by cars every year, it won't make a dent in their total population. But when you place hazards around stopover habitats for migratory birds, you are turning this equation upside down.
"Eighty percent of the revenue for those turbines will go overseas and will not benefit our economy at all," Johnson said. EverPower Wind Holdings, the company developing the wind farm, is owned by Terra Firma, a British private-equity firm.
"It is not about energy. It is about money," Johnson said.
Contrary to the Feb. 14 Beacon Journal editorial ''Wind win,'' Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal to exempt wind-turbine farms from the tangible personal property tax is a poor idea for at least seven reasons.
We must all become informed about life with wind turbines. In phase one, the Black Fork Wind Farm will have 112 wind turbines that are more than 400-feet tall with 159-foot blades and red strobe lights that blink on and off all night long. The wind turbines, at times, may create upward to 70 decibels of noise. The EPA says 45 decibels disturbs sleep.
Testimony from Ohio Power Siting Board staffer Stuart Siegfried on Wednesday in Columbus left no doubt that Champaign County is a lost little dog in the state's fledgling process to begin certifying industrial scale wind utilities in Ohio.
Siegfried showed a disturbing lack of understanding of OPSB's own process with regard to determining whether to certify Buckeye Wind's application to site 70 wind turbines of up to 492 feet in height on Champaign County's east side.
Black Fork Wind LLC, the project name of the wind farm planned for the Crestline/Shelby area, has filed for waivers to Ohio Administrative Codes to allow them to cut corners in the development of this industry in Richland and Crawford counties. ...This issue concerns me very much and I hope everyone (both in and out of the proposed site) will do their research.
There is a large wind turbine project called Black Fork Wind Farm that consists of 112 turbines 400 feet tall with three 100-foot blades to be placed in an area bounded by the west edge of Shelby on the east, Hazelbrush Road to the north, Hook Road to the south towards Crestline and extending on the west past Tiro towards New Washington.
This is a beautiful rural area including Shelby Airport and a KOA campground that will be transformed into an industrial installation.
The experts say electricity produced by lake-based wind turbines would cost three times more than that produced by land turbines, and nearly eight times more than electricity from existing coal-fired plants. But Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason says we have a lot to lose if we don't make the big bet.
Just what would that be?
But wind energy is an industry just the same, and it's wise to regulate it like any other. That's why the city of Cleveland was smart this week to consider a new zoning ordinance sponsored by City Councilmen Matt Zone and Joe Cimperman, which is aimed at regulating the size, location and appearance of land-based turbines.
Not everyone loves Big Wind.
From a developer's standpoint, it makes sense to put up turbines out in the lake near Toledo.
From a bird's perspective, it doesn't. Western Lake Erie sits in the path of two of North America's most important flyways.
Here's a stat for you: One billion birds.
When it concerns energy policy, "alternative" energy sources are currently all the rage. It appears as if most of the pet projects that are proposed to solve our energy problems are related to wind-power turbines. ...Why are T. Boone Pickens and other venture-capital investors so interested in wind power? Well, the answer is obvious - money. The electric utility companies are required to buy any generated energy and the price is preset at the current wholesale price.
However, wind energy is not the panacea that its proponents claim.
The true costs of wind energy include more than the upfront capital of $3 million per windmill, leases and noise pollution. The fact is the wind does not blow continuously. Consequently, redundant generating capacity must come from sources such as coal, oil and natural gas. The costs of operating and maintaining these plants at less than capacity must be considered.
The first issue is the high cost of wind power, which is about 2.5 to three times the cost of coal-generated power. Large wind-power projects exist only because of large government subsidies. Otherwise, wind power would be restricted to a few applications where the physical isolation of the electricity demand precludes extending the transmission network to the site.
The other major issue is the intermittency of wind power. Even on the best of sites, wind turbines generate usable power less than 30 percent of the time ...T. Boone Pickens' claim that wind power will reduce the need for natural gas in electricity generation is spectacularly wrong.
The truth, never denied but certainly understated, is that power from renewable sources probably will cost more, not less. Still, the environmental and health costs posed by conventional generating fuels could drop as renew- able-energy production rises. ...The bill creates an Ohio Renewable Energy Authority, guaranteed $102.5 million in public money through mid-2018, possibly much more, through a complicated formula. The agency could spend up to 6 percent of its cash for "administrative purposes." That's a lot of paper clips.
The measure would also exempt Renewable Energy Authority money from the General Assembly's budgeting power, removing a crucial Columbus check and balance. Husted said he'd be OK with subjecting the authority to General Assembly budgeting. That's a good start - but just that.