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The Costs of a Windless Day

Environmental issues for windpower developers get the most press. But equally persistent is the question of intermittency-the fact that wind is the least predictable energy fuel for electricity production. The question is challenging on many levels for both generation and delivery.
5 May 2005

Zoning For Distributed Wind Power - Breaking Down Barriers

Sagrillo_defeating_zoning_barriers_2005._thumb Zoning is a complicated problem. Zoning regulations vary from state to state and from one local jurisdiction to the next. There are perhaps 25,000 local zoning jurisdictions in the nation. Further, existing zoning laws seldom address distributed wind turbines. In this paper, we will highlight the experiences of veterans of zoning battles that illustrate this market barrier. We will look at the option of local action on distributed wind zoning to highlight certain shortcomings of this approach. Last, we will consider examples of state and federal limited preemption of local zoning authority as a means of promoting the implementation of new technologies, and we will present recommendations for action by the wind industry to pursue constructive and effective zoning solutions for distributed wind power. Editor's Note: This paper, presented at the Windpower 2005 Conference held in Denver, Colorado May 15-18, recommends 'limited state preemption of home rule' as the most viable approach for wind advocates to eliminate zoning barriers to distributed wind.
1 May 2005

Wind turbines no help to Vermonters

What is unique to this state are the wild mountain tops for which Vermonters old and new have worked for a hundred years to restore and preserve. The desire to violate them not with manured hay fields but with collections of 330-foot-high steel and composite wind turbines -- for insignificant benefit other than profits for a few -- reveals a set of values that some people do not find attractive, wherever they come from.
1 May 2005

Michigan: House Bill 4648

Michigan_house_bill_2005-hib-4648_1__thumb THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT: SEC. 16J. (1) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, A "WIND ENERGY SYSTEM" OR "SYSTEM" MEANS A WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM. (2) A WIND ENERGY SYSTEM SHALL BE PERMITTED IN ALL ZONING 3 CLASSIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:"
25 Apr 2005

Large wind projects in Vermont and vicinity

Eric Rosenbloom's list of the current industrial-scale wind projects targeted for Vermont. Note the huge leap in size from the existing Searsburg facility that we are all urged to go see and love and consequently love as well the new very much larger facilities being planned.
19 Apr 2005

Cornell Student on Mount Pleasant

Initially, I was delighted. But then I began listening to the concerns of residents near the proposed site, hikers, skiers, birdwatchers, astronomers who frequent the nearby observatory and even trainee pilots concerned about 400 foot wind turbines cropping up in the flight path to the Ithaca airport. As a result, I am no longer an unabashed supporter of tapping Mount Pleasant.
15 Apr 2005

Vermont's wind quandary

Will they demonstrate that remote ridgelines in the Northeast Kingdom are to be sacrificed to commercial wind development -- and that only a few souls way up north who have lost their peaceful retreat to strobe-lighted industrial monoliths will complain?
14 Apr 2005

Industrial wind, corporate vandalism

Blasting Vermont's lovely ridgelines to ram monstrous turbine assemblies into the earth, along with clearcut wide strong roads through wild areas and ever more power lines strung about, is a violent assault, despoiling all life around it.
3 Apr 2005

Transmission Issues Associated with Renewable Energy in Texas

Renewablestransmissi_thumb This 'informal white paper' authored by the renewable energy industry and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas addresses the impact of wind's intermittency on the need for the development of comparable capacities of reliable sources that can be called upon when the wind is not blowing. It contains a particularly interesting chart that characterizes different energy sources as 'base load', 'peak load' and 'intermittent' with their associated benefits and drawbacks. Wind is deemed 'intermittent' with the following benefits (no emissions, no fuel costs, stable cost, low operating cost) and drawbacks (not dispatchable, not responsive, transmission needs, low peak value).
28 Mar 2005

The Myopic View of Wind power

In these early stages of U.S. wind development, promoters still have it pretty easy. They're our new best friends! But it's likely their popularity will be short-lived, as it won't take long before rural America realizes that their own initial awe and stupor was contrived, allowing the very quality of their lives to be stolen out from under them, and they will also realize, too late, that their loss was in vain.
11 Mar 2005

Why EnXco’s Desert Claim Project Must Not Be Approved: ROKT's Concerns about the Revised Development Agreement Presented to the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners

Rokts_concerns_thumb ROKT (Residents Opposed to Kittitas Turbines) represents several hundred Kittitas County residents and landowners strongly opposed to EnXco’s Desert Claim windfarm. Our main objection is to the location of EnXco’s project - a scenic residential area only a few miles out of town. Other locations maybe acceptable – if there are benefits to the county from a windfarm then these benefits still accrue wherever it is located.
1 Mar 2005

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=1769
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