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A Comanche County landowner addressed the board about the wind farm recently constructed there. She said she owns 648 acres and is surrounded on three sides by giant wind turbines. “I can walk around my place and count 57,” she said. “They intrude on every aspect of our lives. “The noise is the worst part, and it varies in tone, volume and intensity,” she said. “Sometimes it is like a giant fan, but most times it is like a constant roar that never stops.
The proposed $184 million Peyton Creek Wind Farm in southern Matagorda County was presented to commissioners court at its regular meeting Monday.
As attractive a renewable-energy concept as wind power is, it's plagued by a fundamental flaw. It blows the most in the dead of night, precisely when there's the least demand for electricity. That's true for just about every windblown spot nationwide, from the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in California to the coastal plains of North Carolina.
“Right now customers with residential distributed generation have reduced their electric delivery charges without reducing the cost to deliver it,” Bailey said. Oncor claims that the personal savings that solar and wind customers are benefiting from have resulted in an increased cost to the rest of its residential customers, effectively raising rates by as much as $2 million.
Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed. Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.
William Stripling’s note, which appeared in Vol 95 - Issue 1 of the Texas Law Review, examines the general failure of current law to ensure decommissioning of America’s wind farms. He discusses the history and current landscape of domestic wind-energy generation, before focusing on the best practices in wind-farm decommissioning, aesthetic and environmental harms posed by abandoned wind farms, and the challenges and costs of removing wind turbines. He then surveys the state of current law regarding decommissioning across U.S. jurisdictions, before finally discussing common pitfalls of current decommissioning law and suggesting how these pitfalls are best avoided. The conclusion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded at the links provided on this page.
State Sen. Donna Campbell wants to end subsidies for turbines built near military facilities. Facilities too valuable for operations to be hindered, Campbell argues. Wind industry says federal permitting process already “robust.”
A new Navy study concludes nearby wind turbines could affect air traffic control radars, meaning possible changes for a wind farm being developed on Chapman Ranch in Texas. A group of local stakeholders in the project, including city and county leaders and state legislators, received information about the Mitigation Response Team analysis on the proposed South Texas wind project on Nov. 6. Naval Air Stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville are points of contact for the study.
Future wind farm projects in Clay County might have to be put on hold after new regulations were recently put in place. Energy producers are now required to notify the Department of Defense and complete a "screening study" before connecting to the Texas power.
The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit organization operating the state's power grid, amended its planning guides this year due to concerns that wind farms are encroaching on land near military bases. The amendment went into effect Tuesday.
The development of the wind farm has sparked significant debate in the community. Among the most contentious points has been disagreement on whether its construction would interfere with the Navy's radar and in turn, whether that would jeopardize the Navy's pilot flight training.
Among Noble Environmental’s most valuable assets, according to court papers, are $691 million in so-called net operating losses, which a reorganized company can use to offset future taxes. The company is hoping for a quick trip through bankruptcy.
ENEL sent a message to Mylea Bayless of Bat Conservation International notifying the group that ENEL has made the decision to NOT move forward with the Mason County facility.
The thing holding the project back is a financial security filing with the transmission service provider to interconnect with the Texas grid and a full interconnection study.
He started his talk by addressing what he called myths perpetuated by the industry: that wind energy is a clean source of power, that it reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels and that it reduces greenhouse gases. Instead, Greer said, the wind industry swindles landowners, gathers federal tax credits and causes fluctuations in Texas' power grid. ...it's just not fiscally smart to sign a lease allowing wind turbine construction on your property. Payments to landowners are negligible and the towering structure could make your property unsalable should residents decide to move.
Opponents of additional wind farm projects in Clay County may have gained a powerful ally: Sheppard Air Force Base. Two high ranking base officials told attendees of a Thursday town hall meeting in Henrietta that the installation of a proposed wind turbine farm in the area could interfere with base radar and could limit the number of days pilots are able to train.
Wind energy was producing at exceptional levels for essentially the entirety of December 19 and 20. However, wind production was significantly lower for most of December 18 and December 21.
If Liggett is working on behalf of a wind energy company to solicit leases, there could be a conflict of interests, Duggar said. Wind companies rarely operate on land in which taxes have not been abated, but in order for officials to designate a "tax abatement" area, local landowners have to agree to lease their property to the company.
"Put yourself in some logical shoes on this and ask yourself: If you and your significant other were buying a home right now... Would you want to buy one sitting underneath a wind turban?" 'Clay County Against Wind Farms,' John Greer, said. Or within eye shot of a wind turban? It doesn't make any sense at all. And so land values are the ones most significantly affected by this."
Leading the charge against the wind turbines is the Texas Hill Country Heritage Association (THCHA). The determined group of 485 members, founded in 2011, aims to “protect the Texas Hill Country’s heritage, property, environment and economy.” THCHA has placed several editorials in the Mason County News opposing the project and engaged Braun & Gresham, the Dripping Springs law firm that specializes in rural landowner management, to assist with strategy.