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On the agenda for the board's meeting is a moratorium that would prohibit "... all applications, installations and projects involving wind energy systems until such time that the Board has amended regulations in place to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and welfare ..." of Dakota County citizens. ...The subject of a moratorium arose earlier this year as the county amended its zoning ordinances pertaining to wind energy systems, board chairman Martin Hohenstein said.
This viable opportunity is being threatened. Albany County regulations currently allow for the ability to sell all these opportunities and decimate the attractive landscape surrounding Laramie, Vedauwoo, and our national forests and monuments (in reality most of Albany county), with massive wind turbines, interconnection switchyards, substations, maintenance buildings, and miles of access roads and transmission lines for a monetary reward. Short sighted thinking is not the avenue we as a community should accept when our future is at stake.
Bird migration is underway on the southern shore of Lake Erie. At the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), a road through a remnant of the once-vast Great Lakes coastal marsh is filling up with cars driven by birders, clutching binoculars and eager for an early glimpse of migratory birds. Robert Sink comes a few times a week from Findlay, Ohio, about an hour away, with his tripod and telephoto camera lens. He posts daily on a Facebook group for Ohio bird photographers. “When the season becomes warmer, I’ll be up here every other day or so,” he tells me.
A 60-day window starts July 1 for a South Dakota wind-power farm to show that the combined sound from its 57 turbines doesn’t exceed 40 decibels at the homes of anyone who’s not participating in the project. The state Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 on Wednesday to continue requiring verification from Prevailing Wind Park. The project is in Bon Homme, Charles Mix and Hutchinson counties.
“What happened with the turbine blade killing that bald eagle over in Wood County — that just confirmed our worst fears,” he said. “That dead eagle is the reality of this issue, and it shows that this can happen right here in our backyard. It is awful, and you just hope you can find someone who is interested on the federal level and get them to take some kind of action.” Mark Shieldcastle, a retired avian biologist from the ODNR who is widely recognized as the region’s preeminent expert on birds and bald eagles, said the flying and hunting patterns of bald eagles put them in a very precarious position when wind turbines sprout in their habitat.
Visual resource scientist and town of Ocean City consultant Robert Sullivan also submitted written testimony to the PSC last Friday. Sullivan’s testimony, based largely on years of experience and the direct findings of offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. and abroad, suggested the increased height in the turbines would almost certainly make the Skipjack project visible from the Ocean City coast. “I am certain that on many day, the project will be easily visible from many oceanside locations in Ocean City, particularly from the northern sections of Ocean City and especially so from the upper floors of buildings in Ocean City,” he wrote.
Auwahi Wind is seeking to build another wind farm with up to seven turbines and a generating capacity of 35 megawatts adjacent to its existing facility on Ulupalakua Ranch land on the leeward slopes of Haleakala. ...Auwahi’s current wind farm, which went online in December 2012, has eight turbines and a generating capacity of 21 MW.
Hanson was the most critical of the plan to delay the compliance period, especially as it affected non-participating property owners. Hanson also took issue with Agrimonti’s argument that the wind farm has not shown non-compliance, or that stipulating that turbines closest to the non-participating property owners be turned off would cause a financial hardship, as Agrimonti argued. “Obviously, if they have not tested those turbines, then they can’t show they are in compliance," Hanson said. "I would say it’s a superfluous argument, but it’s an interesting one. … Non-participants should not be the ones that carry the burden because someone from out of South Dakota can’t carry out the compliance.”
The project is listed as “paused” on a federal review website, even after Orsted earlier this year filed an updated construction and operation plan for the facility. Orsted and other East Coast wind farm developers have been awaiting a federal review of the “cumulative” impacts of offshore wind by the federal Bureau of Energy Management to determine how it may affect commercial fishing and shipping industries.
A Carbon County judge has sided with two property owners who appealed the construction of 37 wind turbines on Bethlehem Authority-owned property, arguing the structures would be too loud and ruin their property values. The judge also ruled that a special exception the turbine company, Atlantic Wind LLC, was seeking should be vacated because Atlantic Wind failed to show the project will comply with Penn Forest Township zoning codes.
Work on the site came to a halt earlier this year when 24-year-old worker Jonathan F. Stringer, of Chehalis, was killed in a trench collapse. RES-Americas is still the primary contractor currently leading the project, White said. The company and two others are currently under investigation by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
The latest penalty of $5,000 comes after operators of the Emmons-Logan wind farm in Emmons and Logan counties failed to install and start operating the technology by Dec. 31, 2019. It took until Feb. 11 for the site to come into compliance.
Conlan Kennedy, NextEra communication specialist, said the turbine was damaged the night of April 16. Members of a NextEra wind technician team said there was a big storm in the area that night and the team was investigating the possibility of a lightning strike but the cause is still under investigation, Kennedy said.
The office of state Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Monday in state Supreme Court in Erie County. It seeks relief for investors she said have been duped by Stimm. The turbine, according to Stimm, is about six months away from hitting the market and, once widely adopted, will reduce the cost of electricity nationwide.
According to the lawsuit, NPPD was trying to use Global Investment Partners' 2018 acquisition of the wind farms and other assets from NRG Energy, as well as NRG Energy's 2014 acquisition of the assets from their original owner, as the basis for the contract termination, claiming that they constituted a default under terms of the power purchase agreements.
“Big wind does not have a COVID problem. It has a mismanagement problem,” Linowes told Texas Business Coalition. “Before the March 14 COVID shutdown, the industry was already reporting that 9,000 megawatts of 2016 safe-harbored turbines were expected to spill into 2021. This 9,000 megawatt spillover has nothing to do with COVID and everything to do with mismanaging delivery and construction timelines. Developers and (Iowa Sen. Charles) Grassley are shamelessly demanding taxpayers assume the price tag of their mismanagement. Such behavior should not be rewarded at our expense.”
In a 61-page opinion Judge Steven R. Serfass wrote, “Atlantic Wind has failed to demonstrate that the sound produced by the proposed wind turbines will not exceed 45 A-weighted decibels and that there will be only one principal use on the proposed project area. Atlantic Wind has failed to meet its burden of persuasion that the proposed wind turbine project will comply with all the objective requirements for special exception to the granted under the Penn Forest Township Zoning Ordinance.”
After hearing a constant barrage of complaints from Logan County residents in the Fleming area about NextEra Energy’s Niyol Wind Farm, the planning commission voted 4-2 to table conditional use permit applications for up to 82 wind turbines in the area west and south of Fleming. The commission did, however, approve a permit for a meteorological tower to measure wind in the area.