Articles from Texas
Two possible wind farm developments in Clay County could threaten flight training missions and radar operations at nearby Sheppard Air Force Base, according to base officials and wind energy opponents. The worst case scenario, officials have said, is that Sheppard's missions are moved elsewhere and Wichita Falls loses an estimated $750 million in annual economic impact.
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.
Alterra and their developer, Horn Wind PM LLC, also are entering into informal talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and a Department of Defense agency overseeing obstructional analyses for the military. No construction plans have been sent by Horn Wind or Alterra to the FAA, which would trigger a formal analysis of potential hazards.
There are still questions about the cumulative impacts of wind farms — the proposed site, combined with existing and future sites — on the radar system, as well as the proximity of the planned wind farm to the airport, said Kim Bridger-Hunt, spokeswoman for the airport. The airport plans to petition the FAA to review its findings, she added.
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.
Firefighters on scene said there wasn’t much they could do except let it burn out.
Greer told attendees of a presentation he gave last week that it doesn't make fiscal sense for property owners to enter into agreements with the wind power industry. Payments to landowners through lease agreements are negligible, and the towering structures could make property unsalable should residents decide to move, he said.
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.
New York State can’t allow the installation of these wind turbines to threaten Air Force pilot safety, and Cuomo can’t run the risk of giving the base closing commission any reason to shut down NFARS. Lives are at risk; jobs are at risk; the future of the air base is at risk.
Along with the oil and gas industry, manufacturing companies and the university, Sheppard Air Force Base was identified in the study as one of the primary drivers of the area economy. The loss of any of those employment hubs "is going to have a profound impact on the surrounding counties," Martinez said in an interview.
"There are more instances of wind farms near bases due to growth in the highly subsidized renewable energy sector and they present a unique and growing challenge to our military installations," Campbell wrote in an email to the Times Record News. "It is my priority as chairman to ensure our military installations remain mission capable, both for our nation's security and the huge economic impact they bring to communities across our state."
In the past, the Department of Defense and wind energy developers in Texas have been able to work out agreements when conflicts have arisen between the two parties, contracts show.
"We're actually making our military installations more vulnerable to closing when our military bases are situated surrounded by wind turbines," Campbell said. "We don't want that." "If we don't have enough pilots, then anything that affects pilot training ... is a threat to our defense," she added.
How leaders address concerns over wind turbine development has far-reaching ramifications for the future of flight training programs at NAS-Corpus Christi and NAS-Kingsville at a time when Base Realignment and Closures are on everyone's lips.
Vocal opponents to the wind farm plans have come forward in past months, but last week another adversary emerged: Sheppard Air Force Base.
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.
“Basically this decision says that Washington, D.C., knows more than the people of Arkansas do about whether to build across the state giant, unsightly transmission towers to carry a comparatively expensive, unreliable source of electricity to the Southeast where utilities may not need the electricity. This is the first time federal law has been used to override a state's objections to using eminent domain for siting electric transmission lines. It is absolutely the wrong policy.”
COSADC and the city are suing Martifer-Hirschfeld for failing to meet both its contractual obligations such as failure to make the total $40 million capital investment, making no meaningful attempts to construct Phase II of the renewable energy plant before the deadline, coming nowhere close to creating or retaining the minimum number of full-time equivalent positions, not continuously operating the plant and failing to uphold promises outlined in "Comfort Letters."
The Department of Energy reports a 1,000-mile truck trip can run more than $20,000. Considering the average wind turbine now runs $3.3 million, that's a relatively small piece of the overall cost. But multiply the trucking bill by the three blades per turbine and the 100 turbines that might make up a wind farm, and the pricetag rises quickly.
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.