Documents from USA

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

The Amenity Costs of Offshore Wind Farms: Evidence From a Choice Experiment

Lpt_offshore-wind_thumb According to this newest study by researchers at North Carolina State University, an offshore wind farm erected off the coast of North Carolina would reduce coastal rentals and potentially harm tourism, even if the energy project was placed at a maximum distance from shore. The results of the study found 54 percent of survey participants would not be willing to rent a home if the turbines were visible at all, regardless of their distance from the coast. The abstract of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. , 
4 Apr 2016

Petition for Judicial Review of BPA Interconnection Approval: Whistling Ridge Energy Project

15-72788_opening_brief_filed_stamped_3-29-16_thumb Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area have petitioned the court to review Bonneville Power Administration’s ("BPA") June 24, 2015 Record of Decision (“ROD”) approving the interconnection of the Whistling Ridge Energy Project to BPA’s electricity transmission system, based on BPA’s analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). This detailed brief filed on behalf of the groups provides an informative description of the circumstances surrounding BPA's decision and how the petitioners argue the NEPA provisions were incorrectly applied. A portion of the brief is provided below. The full document as filed with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. 
3 Apr 2016

Petition for Judicial Review of BPA Interconnection Approval: Whistling Ridge Energy Project

15-72788_opening_brief_filed_stamped_3-29-16_thumb Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area have petitioned the court to review Bonneville Power Administration’s ("BPA") June 24, 2015 Record of Decision (“ROD”) approving the interconnection of the Whistling Ridge Energy Project to BPA’s electricity transmission system, based on BPA’s analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). This detailed brief filed on behalf of the groups provides an informative description of the circumstances surrounding BPA's decision and how the petitioners argue the NEPA provisions were incorrectly applied. A portion of the brief is provided below. The full document as filed with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. 
3 Apr 2016

Cape Wind Request for permit extension denied: Decision

306365698-cape-wind-tentative-decision-permit-extension-deny_thumb A Massachusetts state board has issued a draft decision denying the extension of permits that would enable Cape Wind to build an electricity transmission line to connect its proposed offshore wind farm to land. The draft decision offers an informative discussion of the now historical events leading to the denial. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. 
29 Mar 2016

US Wind production and capacity factors 2011-2015

Eia-windprojectgenerationstate-2015-2011-summary_thumb The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides monthly and annual production data for over 10,000 power plants including wind-powered facilities. Windaction.org has been tracking this data closely since 2011 with a specific focus on wind power plants. The below table lists the annual aggregate capacity factors for each state that EIA has reported wind production for projects with at least one full-year of production. A breakdown of the production data by state and individual projects in each of the years 2011 - 2015 can be accessed by downloading the documents attached to this page. Editor's note: Windaction.org, endeavors to present the most current and accurate information available. If readers identify a problem with any of the data, please contact us at info@windaction.org. In an effort to ensure accuracy, the attached data files may be updated from time-to-time. (Data files updated on April 2, 2016)
21 Mar 2016

Request for declaratory judgment: Whitewater Wind LLC

Complaint-filed-whitewater-wind-nextera_thumb This complaint, filed by residents of Fayette County, Indiana, seeks a declaratory judgment by the Fayette Circuit Court that both the Decommissioning Plan and its addendum between the county and NextEra Energy Resources in reference to the proposed Whitewater Wind facility, be declared invalid and void, for failing to comply with the county’s zoning ordinance. The complaint also seeks “costs of this action” and other relief. Paragraphs 9-13 of the complaint are presented below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the document on this page.
15 Mar 2016

Falmouth Wind Turbine: Deemed ineligible for permit

302178715-decision-making-spreadsheet_thumb On the morning of March 5, 2016, the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) deliberated over whether the Town's application for a special permit to retain Wind 1 should be approved. Wind 1 is the first of two Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines erected at the community's wastewater treatment facility. The turbines created significant controversy following noise complaints by nearby residents beginning in 2010 when the turbines were first turned on. In a February 2015 ruling, the Massachusetts appeals court found that the Town of Falmouth failed to meet the requirements under the local bylaws when it erected Wind 1 without first obtaining a permit. The ZBA hearing was to determine whether a newly filed application met the requirements for a permit to be issued retroactively. Wind I has been idle since September 2015. The attached documents represent the arguments by the town's attorney (in favor of issuing a permit), the residents (on why a permit should not be issued), and a spreadsheet itemizing the decisions that need to be made the the ZBA. The below summary by Mark Cool explains how the Board ruled on each of the decisions. 
5 Mar 2016

Apex Clean Energy: Tort claim against Rush County, IN

Apex-notice_of_tort_claim_3-4-16_thumb As of March 4, 2016, Apex filed a Notice of Tort Claim Pursuant to Indiana Code 34-13-3 (Indiana Tort Claims Against Governmental Entities and Public Employees Act). To summarize the notice, Apex claims that the commissioner’s official action on September 8th, 2015 to cease and desist all negotiations with Apex and to arbitrarily and capriciously reject the wind energy project will cause Apex to sustain economic losses. A portion of the tort claim is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. 
4 Mar 2016

Atlantic Coast Port Access: Final Report

Acpars_final_report_08jul2015_combined_appendix-enclosures_-_final_after_lmi_review-corrected_date.compressed_thumb Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) Workgroup prepared this final report that examines the various conflicts between shipping and other emerging coastal and offshore energy projects. Two portions of the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
24 Feb 2016

US v AES Laurel Mountain Wind LLC

Aes-wind-plea-agreement_thumb The AES Laurel Mountain wind energy facility consists of 61 GE 1.6 MW turbines (97.6 MW) and a 32 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). On October 2 and 3, 2011, fog and a low cloud ceiling resulted in migrating songbirds becoming trapped in the light of the battery complex. A total of 483 birds were destroyed as a result of colliding with the battery system and wires. AES Laurel Mountain LLC was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Aloi to pay $30,000 in fines after pleading guilty to two federal charges related to the deaths, a crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). A portion of the filing is provided below. The full record can be accessed by downloading the documents attached to this page. 
24 Feb 2016

US v AES Laurel Mountain Wind LLC

Aes-wind-plea-agreement_thumb The AES Laurel Mountain wind energy facility consists of 61 GE 1.6 MW turbines (97.6 MW) and a 32 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). On October 2 and 3, 2011, fog and a low cloud ceiling resulted in migrating songbirds becoming trapped in the light of the battery complex. A total of 483 birds were destroyed as a result of colliding with the battery system and wires. AES Laurel Mountain LLC was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Aloi to pay $30,000 in fines after pleading guilty to two federal charges related to the deaths, a crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). A portion of the filing is provided below. The full record can be accessed by downloading the documents attached to this page. 
24 Feb 2016

Professional Caution to Brown County Health Director Chua Xiong

Rand_to_evans_and_tibbetts_23feb16_631pm_thumb In this powerful letter to the Brown County, Wisconsin Health Board, acoustician Robert Rand explains his obligations under INCE Rules of Practice to notify the appropriate authorities if he believes his professional judgment pertaining to human health impacts has been overruled. In this instance, Mr. Rand is responding to a decision by the county's health officer, Chua Xiong, to rule against the work of the Health Board and find that there is insufficient evidence to show a relationship between wind turbines and health concerns. Mr, Rand was one of four acousticians who studied the noise issues at the Shirley Wind facility. The final report showed that all of those involved with the study, including acousticians who work largely for the wind industry, agreed they had found sufficient evidence to classify low-frequency noise and infrasound emanating from the turbines as a serious issue.
23 Feb 2016

Town of Bourne v Future Generation Wind LLC

Bournecomplaint_thumb This enforcement action was brought by the Town of Bourne in Massachusetts acting through its Board of Health. The purpose of the action is to require compliance with the Town's duly adopted Wind Energy Conversions System Regulations for a wind turbine system on land in the Towns of Bourne and Plymouth. The Town of Bourne seeks a Declaratory Judgment ruling that the wind turbine project is subject to the provisions of the Town's Board of Health Regulations and orders requiring the Defendant, Future Generation Wind, LLC to comply with the requirements of the Regulations. A portion of the complaint as filed is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.  
9 Feb 2016

Somerset NY Amended Wind Law

Local_law_amending_chapter_205_zoning_thumb New York's Niagara County Planning Board meeting approved this amended wind law for the town of Somerset, NY. The findings made by the Town of Somerset to justify the provisions in the law are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
27 Jan 2016

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=4&type=Document
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