Library from Kansas
This newspaper has argued that the PTC created jobs. That is wrong. It displaced jobs elsewhere, and it is a net destroyer of American jobs because it raised the price of energy for manufacturers. All the companies that must then pay higher electric bills have less money left over to hire employees and grow their enterprises, and consumers have less money to spend as they see fit.
The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained. The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall sluggish economy.
Siemens, a German conglomerate, announced Tuesday it is laying off 146 employees at its wind turbine nacelle plant in Hutchinson, leaving just 152 employees there. All told, 615 employees in Siemens' wind power business will lose their jobs. Siemens said the change would primarily affect employees in Iowa, Kansas and Florida.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Kansas is leading the U.S. in new wind farm installations this year. By the end of the year, eight new utility-scale wind projects will come online - representing approximately $3 billion in new investment - and the state will have more than doubled its installed wind power by adding 1.489 GW of new wind power capacity.
KPI President Dave Trabert said subsidized wind farms hurt the state's economy, that business investment in the state will be $191 million less than without the mandate. "It's easy to see windmills going up or an employer moving into town as a good thing," Trabert said in a KPI press release. "But it is often overlooked that they received a subsidy or incentive.
Commissioners unanimously approved the recommendation of the Ellis County Planning and Zoning Commission for a conditional-use permit for Fort Hays State University to construct two wind turbines, contingent upon meeting several requirements. The project for two 2.1 megawatt Suzlon turbines.
Wind turbines interfere with agriculture, especially with aerial application of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, he said. Another detractor is this area's location on a major fall migratory route for whooping cranes, an endangered species.
"There's no money tree in Washington, D.C.," responded Huelskamp, opposed to renewing the subsidy set to expire at the end of the year. They pressed him about his support for other incentives benefitting agriculture and oil and gas. He criticized the comparison and defended his stand. ...Reno County resident Wayne Johnson told Huelskamp it was refreshing that Huelskamp was "holding firm."
Twisters ripped through Harper County, Kansas on May 19, 2012. Five turbines were destroyed at the nearby wind farm under construction. Debris from the torn blades was reported as far as 1 mile away. Duration: 2 minutes 27 seconds
A large piece of what looked like sheet metal fluttered from the sky before landing. It turned out to be a piece of fiberglass that had been ripped from a large wind turbine about a mile away.
Large turbine in Kingman County, KS destroyed by tornado. Debris flew up to one-mile from the turbine. Five turbines at the BP Wind facility under construction were destroyed.
An EF-3 tornado destroys a wind turbine south of Spivey and west of Duquoin in Harper County, Kansas. The HD video is shown at normal size, then it repeats with the video enlarged and enhanced to show the blades ripped off the wind turbine and flying through the air.
Five turbines were also destroyed at a nearby wind farm that's still under construction. The preliminary rating of the tornado northwest of Harper is an EF-3. Officials say that tornado damaged a farmstead four miles west of Harper. The maximum width of the tornado was 200 yards.
All lanes of US-56 highway from the K-31 junction in Osage County to the K-99 junction in Lyon County will be closed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday so crews can remove from a ditch an overturned semi-trailer that was hauling a wind turbine tower.
Three wind turbines that power the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system at Cloud County Community College's Concordia campus are casting shadows that are too long.
At 110 feet, the windmills on a hill south of the campus have been deemed too tall by the Federal Aviation Administration. The chance of losing $1 million in federal grants has prompted the college to take action that could cost up to $150,000. The FAA informed the college roughly a year ago that the windmills are in Blosser Municipal Airport's airspace.
Wind power is horizon blight. It's also what economists call rent-seeking. "Rents" are what you get when you're a political crony and you convince the government to take money from others and give it to you. The country would be better off with fewer rent-seekers feeding on the federal budget.
It's still possible that a wind subsidy might work its way out of the Senate yet this year, but the U.S. House of Representatives is another matter. The House includes a large contingent of staunch conservative budget hawks and opponents of alternative energy subsidies, including U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita. He said the House is highly unlikely to pass any bill with alternative energy subsidies.
Despite an incentive agreement that references it, Mars Chocolate North America won't construct a wind turbine for its Topeka site. That is because having a wind turbine on the Kanza Fire Commerce Park would interfere with the airspace of nearby Forbes Field.
"The Sandsage Prairie is an ecosystem that is very fragile, and impacting it in a large way could have an impact on the species that depend on that ecosystem," Barton said, adding that two species in particular are the longnose snake and the lesser prairie-chicken.