1. Bald Eagle killed at U.S. Wildlife Refuge. In March, a dead bald eagle was found below a small 10-kilowatt wind turbine at the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Rock Hall, Md. Cause of death: blunt force trauma.
Windaction.org contacted Sarah Nystrom, the USF&WS Northern States Bald and Golden Eagle Coordinator to determine if any enforcement action would be taken. Ms. Nystrom replied "our Office of Law Enforcement has opted not to pursue criminal sanctions in this matter. The Office of Law Enforcement typically focuses its resources on investigating and prosecuting those who take migratory birds without identifying and implementing reasonable and effective measures to avoid the take. In this respect, the Office of Law Enforcement has treated the incident at the Service's Eastern Neck NWR as it would any similar incident at a non-federal wind energy facility." Apparently, this is the best we can expect from the U.S. Government.
2. Military readiness and turbine deployment. Over 1 year ago, Chief of Naval Operations W. R. Burke requested an assessment of the impact of wind turbine development near the Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville in Kingsville, Texas. In his reply memo, the Commander, Navy Installations Command, M.C. Vitale informed Burke that "a study of the degradation to NAS Kingsville RADAR and NAVAIDS caused by electromagnetic interference from nearby wind farms, determined installation of wind turbines would reduce Navy's ability to train aviators safely. The Study further predicted that Navy would graduate 24-31 fewer pilots annually." Half of the US naval pilots are trained at NAS Kingsville.
Nearly 600 industrial-scale wind turbines are proposed to be built between 5 and 25 miles of NAS Kingsville. The Navy has already de-tuned RADAR in the south quadrant of the base to eliminate the adverse effects of the Kenedy 1 wind facility. Further radar optimization to account for other wind facilities will degrade target sensitivity and could result in NAS Kingsville operations closing. No action was taken by Admiral Burke.
3. Wind farms and the price of Air Travel. The FAA re-routes air traffic due to false returns from wind turbine clutter. While NEXRAD radar data could show what appears to be significant weather that would require re-routing, pilots report not seeing weather in the area. The National Weather Service admits on its website that "this confusion causes unnecessary and expensive aircraft re-routing and excess fuel consumption."
4. Wind energy ups electricity rates in Princeton, Massachusetts. Brian Allen, general manager of Princeton Municipal Light Department (PMLD) in Princeton, MA admitted in a letter to ratepayers this month that the two-1.5 megawatt wind turbines owned by the Department had lost $1,875,000 since the turbines went online in January 2010. Rather than lowering electricity rates as promised, the turbines cost Princeton customers an additional $774,000 in 2011. Allen anticipates losses to continue at the rate of around $600,000 a year assuming current wholesale electricity rates, no need for extraordinary repairs and that both turbines continue operating. In August 2011, one of the two wind turbines was taken out of production due to a mechanical problem. It did not go back on line again until in July 2012.
5. Expecting more from wind. In order for the US to achieve 20% wind power by 2030, the entire fleet of U.S. wind turbines would need to operate with an annual average capacity factor of 43.4%. Few existing wind plants in the U.S. today, and none east of the Mississippi, come close to meeting this level of annual average capacity.