Documents from USA

Invenergy: Property Value Guarantee

Property_value_guarantee_agreement_invenergy-ri_thumb Invenergy's proposal to construct a controversial 1,000 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Burrillville, RI includes a mandate to offer a property value guarantee to abutting property owners. Invenergy is steadfast in refusing to offer the same agreement to neighbors of its wind energy power plants. A portion of the PVG approved by the Burrillville's town council is provided below. The full agreement can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
3 Nov 2016

NY Health Department comments: Eight Point Wind Energy proposal

Nys-healthdepartment-letter_thumb As part of the New York State Article 10 process for reviewing wind energy proposals, the Department of Health has submitted these scoping comments to the developer of the proposed Eight Point wind energy facility. Project developer NextEra plans to erect 32 wind turbines totaling 103.4 megawatts on land leased in the towns of Greenwood, West Union and Troupsburg and West Union in Steuben County, New York. The Department of Health has raised important questions regarding the cumulative impact of the project on health and safety given there are existing wind projects in the same general area. The cover letter addressed to NextEra is provided below. The full letter with comments can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.  
31 Oct 2016

Open letter regarding wind energy in Henry County Indiana

Henrycounty-edc_wind_policy_letter_thumb The New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation issued an open letter to Henry County officials Tuesday stating that the EDC will no longer pursue future wind development within the county. The letter was signed by New Castle-Henry County EDC President and Chief Executive Officer Corey Murphy and approved by the EDC’s executive board. The letter can be downloaded by clicking the document icon on this page. The full text of the letter is provided below.
30 Aug 2016

Recent Court Decisions Raise Important Considerations for Renewable Energy Projects

This important white paper provides perspective on how the courts are likely to respond to wind projects that might produce significant adverse impacts on the environment. Summary considerations excerpted from the paper are provided here while the full paper is shown below and accessible from the links on this page. Important Considerations It is clear that renewable energy projects sited on or across Federally-administered lands will be carefully reviewed by Federal courts. From these cases, at least three key considerations emerge, including: Courts are generally unwilling to credit environmental analyses without actual survey data, especially where sensitive species or sensitive areas are present; The use of mitigation measures to mask an apparent lack of baseline data does not appear to be a defensible position; and Careful and consistent managing of the administrative record is key to surviving a legal challenge to a project.
25 Jul 2016

On the predominance of unstable atmospheric conditions in the marine boundary layer offshore of the U.S. northeastern coast

Archer_et_al-2016-journal_of_geophysical_research-_atmospheres_thumb This paper reports on research that looked at wind data collected offshore along the Northeast Unitied States. The paper's main finding is that atmospheric conditions around Cape Wind are predominantly turbulent, or unstable, which is very different from prevailing data from European offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Wind conditions at Cape Wind were shown to be unstable between 40 and 80 percent of the time, depending on season and time of day, The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed from the links on this page.
18 Jul 2016

On the predominance of unstable atmospheric conditions in the marine boundary layer offshore of the U.S. northeastern coast

Archer_et_al-2016-journal_of_geophysical_research-_atmospheres_thumb This paper reports on research that looked at wind data collected offshore along the Northeast Unitied States. The paper's main finding is that atmospheric conditions around Cape Wind are predominantly turbulent, or unstable, which is very different from prevailing data from European offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Wind conditions at Cape Wind were shown to be unstable between 40 and 80 percent of the time, depending on season and time of day, The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed from the links on this page.
18 Jul 2016

Evaluating the costs and benefits of renewable energy portfolio standards

Nc-costsbenefitsrenewableenergryportfolio_study_thumb Introduction: Thirty states including the District of Columbia have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) specifying shares of electricity consumption provided by renewable energy. RPS proponents argue that these policies are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also argue that the construction of renewable energy facilities increase employment opportunities. Opponents assert that Renewable Portfolio Standards increase electricity generation costs and rates paid by customers, which reduces regional economic activity. The objective of this study is to provide a balanced look at the issue, weighing the costs and benefits of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards. A portion of the study's executive summary is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
25 Jun 2016

ABC comments on 30 year Eagle Take Permits

Comment-on-revised-eagle-rule-final-on-letterhead1_thumb The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is taking public comment until July 5 (2016) on an eagle-management plan that could weaken protections for eagles, including the issuing of 30-year permits to wind energy and other companies that allow the “take” (or harm) of thousands of eagles. The American Bird Conservancy and other groups and individuals are working to strengthen the draft rules prepared by the FWS—also called the Eagle Take Rule. Under the proposed plan industry would not be required to have mortality data collected by independent, third-party experts; share mortality data with the public; or take critical factors like proper siting of wind turbines into consideration. Attached is the comment letter submitted by ABC of which a portion is posted below.
23 Jun 2016

Buckfield Maine wind ordinance

The town of Buckfield Maine adopted a wind ordinance that established a setback distance of 1 mile between a wind turbine and the property line of an adjacent property. Noise was limited to no more than 3 dba above the preconstruction sound levels. To access the ordinance, select the link on this page.
17 Jun 2016

Court rules in favor of county setback regulations

Image2016-06-01-153709_thumb In regards to the request for a judicial review filed by Apex, Judge Bailey of Greensburg entered his judgment on June 1, 2016 affirming the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals July 1, 2015 decision, with the Setback Condition. If no appeal is filed, the judicial review will conclude. A brief summary of the ruling can be found below. The order issued by the judge can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. 
1 Jun 2016

Steens Mountain wind project rejected: Onda v. Jewell

13-36078_thumb The Ninth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and rejected a wind turbine project on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. The 104-megawatt project proposed by  Columbia Energy Partners would have erected 70 wind turbines and a high-capacity transmission line on Steens Mountain. The approximately 100 MW Echanis project would be sent power to Southern California as part of an agreement with Southern California Edison. The project also included a high-capacity transmission lines that cut across potential sage grouse habitat within the protected Steens Cooperative Project. A summary of the order is provided below. The full decision can be found by clicking the links on this page. Also attached to this page are the legal arguments presented by the government and by the environmental groups from March 2016.
27 May 2016

Steens Mountain wind project rejected: Onda v. Jewell

13-36078_thumb The Ninth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and rejected a wind turbine project on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. The 104-megawatt project proposed by  Columbia Energy Partners would have erected 70 wind turbines and a high-capacity transmission line on Steens Mountain. The approximately 100 MW Echanis project would be sent power to Southern California as part of an agreement with Southern California Edison. The project also included a high-capacity transmission lines that cut across potential sage grouse habitat within the protected Steens Cooperative Project. A summary of the order is provided below. The full decision can be found by clicking the links on this page. Also attached to this page are the legal arguments presented by the government and by the environmental groups from March 2016.
27 May 2016

Wind Energy Tax Credits

1889-institute-windenergy-tax-credits_thumb The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, published this two-page fact sheet discussing how wind energy tax incentives offered by Oklahoma are detrimental to the state’s economy. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
3 May 2016

Wind Energy Tax Credits

1889-institute-windenergy-tax-credits_thumb The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, published this two-page fact sheet discussing how wind energy tax incentives offered by Oklahoma are detrimental to the state’s economy. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
3 May 2016

Vermont Supreme Court order: Rutland Solar project

Vermont-supreme-court-op15-230_thumb This split ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court regarding a permit granted for a 2.3-megawatt solar facility provides a useful examination of the debate over whether the views of local communities should hold significant weight when state siting boards have permitting authority. Ultimately the court ruled in favor of the project permit but a dissenting opinion issued by Judge Reiber offers a stinging response to the Vermont Public Service Board's decision to ignore community views when it permitted the project. Judge Reiber's opinion is provided below. The order can be accessed at the links included on this page. 
29 Apr 2016

NYISO comments on NY plan to implement Large-Scale Renewable Program and Clean Energy Standard (Case 15-E-0302)

2016-04-22_nyiso_cmmnts_cln_enrgy_stndrd_wht_ppr_thumb NYISO, the entity that manages New York's electric grid system provided important feedback on the Cuomo administration’s primary method of achieving its goal of doubling New York’s renewable energy. An excerpt of the comments is provided below where the NYISO challenges the intent to award long-term power purchase contracts to project owners at the expense of consumers. Under the plan presented by Cuomo, the NYISO the development of: (i) approximately 25,000 megawatts of solar capacity to meet the targets solely with solar resources; or (ii) approximately 15,000 megawatts of wind capacity to meet the targets solely with wind resources. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
22 Apr 2016

Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals Ruling

308985283-falmouth-zoning-board-of-appeals-ruling_thumb In this detailed ruling issued by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Adjustment in reference to Wind 1, one of two Vestas 1,65 MW turbines sited at the town's water treatment center, the board listed 38 separate finding on whether a permit should be issued that would allow the turbine to continue operating. The turbine was shut down following a court ruling that found the turbine was erected the town without first securing a permit. Some of the 38 findings are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.  
15 Apr 2016

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission examines turbine noise complaint

Bent_tree_commerce_to_mpuc_4-11-2016_thumb Phase I of the Bent Tree Wind Project began operation in January 2012. The project consists of 122 Vestas V82/1650 (1.65 MW, diameter 82 m) turbines for a total installed capacity of 201.3 megawatts. Noise complaints were filed by at least two landowners since September 2015. Staff for the Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA)  unit of the MN Department of Commerce examined the complaints and believe the complaints are both Unresolved and Substantial. In this letter with supporting documentation, EERA staff recommended the MN Public Utilities Commission initiate the process for addressing the complaint. The letter to the PUC is provided below. The full letter with documentation can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
10 Apr 2016

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=3&type=Document
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