Library from Nevada
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an investigation after a golden eagle was killed in late February at the Spring Valley Wind Farm, about 300 miles north of Las Vegas. ...the wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 because it does not hold a federal "take" permit that would allow the incidental death of a golden or bald eagle. Stafford said the matter is under investigation by the service's Office of Law Enforcement.
"Literal beacons of the ‘green' energy movement, giant wind turbines have been one of the renewable energy sources of choice for the U.S. government, which has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing their construction ...But high maintenance costs, high rates of failure, and fluctuating weather conditions that affect energy production render wind turbines expensive and inefficient."
The approvals were for two solar and one wind projects, including NextEra Energy Inc's 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project in Southern California, the 150-megawatt Desert Harvest Solar Farm proposed by EDF Renewable Energy, also in Riverside County, and the 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project in Nevada, south of Las Vegas. Searchlight, which is being developed by Duke Energy Corp, will use Siemens wind turbines.
Already a dead Golden eagle was found on February 25 at a wind turbine generator in the Spring Valley, a place with a dense population of eagles. Those who knew thae area had predicted eagle mortality was likely, but no one thought it would be so soon after the project was completed.
When the Legislature requires power companies to buy a certain percentage of their power from alternative producers - regardless of cost - they're already out of bounds. In addition to inviting graft and corruption this artificially drives up rates, crippling economic recovery, while sending false signals that alternatives to fossil fuels are a good investment.
Building a 75-foot-tall wind turbine adjacent to a quiet subdivision is a nuisance because, in part, it ruins the scenery and creates noise, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled.
This unanimous decision by the Nevada Supreme Court could have impacts across the U.S. The Court lays out a clear and convincing explanation for why a personal wind turbine in a residential subdivision should be prohibited. In the order, Justice Jim Hardesty covers noise, property value impacts and the effect on aesthetics including shadow flicker. Excerpts of the order are provided below. The full order can be accessed at the below links.
Critics say Nevada's largest utility is undercutting the spirit of legislation designed to spur renewable energy development by purchasing power from out-of-state sources. ...the company has used wind power from Wyoming, geothermal from Utah and hydropower from Idaho dams to help it meet the state's requirement.
Advocates of small-scale wind energy production say stories like the Sousas' experience at their high-desert home highlight the challenge early adopters face when investing in a nascent industry. That includes sorting through unsubstantiated claims made by some manufacturers of wind turbines meant for backyards or city parks as well as maintaining a realistic set of expectations for the technology.
At a time when every penny counts, a number of citizens of the West could soon see higher electric and water bills to subsidize the delivery of wind power from thousands of miles away to California. And given the history of power generation in our area, it hardly seems fair.
No doubt renewable energy technologies will continue to evolve and become more viable. But it would be helpful if conferences such as this one included a serious discussion of economic realities rather than simply devolving into a pep rally for increased public handouts to favored green producers all too eager to stick out their hands.
The politics of renewable energy headed the agenda in battleground Nevada on Tuesday, as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened a fifth annual green energy conference with the announcement that a 12-square-mile wind energy farm in rural White Pine County will begin producing electricity.
Nevada's renewable energy sector shows that over $1.3 billion in federal funds funneled into geothermal, solar and wind projects since 2009 has yielded and is projected to yield just 288 permanent, full-time jobs. That's an initial cost of over $4.6 million per job.
The Spring Valley Wind project towers over nearby vehicles. The project, located 30 miles east of Ely, Nevada, includes 66 Siemens 2.3 MW machines. The Spring Valley project went online August 8, 2012 and is the first in the State of Nevada.
The proposed Wilson Creek Wind Project would have consisted of up to 350 wind turbines generating up to 990 megawatts of electricity on approximately 31,000 acres of the public lands in the Wilson Creek Range, including Mt. Wilson, Table and White Rock mountains, and Atlanta Summit.
Programs to support wind-energy projects for Nevadans have been a financial flop so far, according to the state Bureau of Consumer Protection. But NV Energy of Las Vegas and Sierra Pacific Power of Reno say changes are being made, and the program should continue.
According to a Department of Interior memo, Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian-based company with extensive energy holdings in the U.S. that purchased the Southern Nevada plant from Arizona-based First Solar, "can apply for payments of up to 30 percent of the eligible costs of the project - approximately $50 million."
The 7,500-acre Spring Valley Wind farm in White Pine County, just west of Great Basin National Park, is set to start providing power to northern Nevada this July, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The head of Reno's renewable energy program says turbine makers misled the city about how much power its turbines would generate. ...He wants the Nevada PUC to make proof of electricity generation a rebate requirement.
A year ago, a Reno clean energy businessman warned the Public Utilities Commission that if it didn't set a few standards for NV Energy's wind rebate program, its customers could end up footing the bill for turbines that rarely produce electricity.