Documents filed under Zoning/Planning from USA

Model Zoning By-Law relating to the installation of Small Wind Energy Systems.

State_model_zoning_law_by_plg_thumb The implementation of consistent statewide standards to achieve the timely and cost-effective installation of small wind energy systems is a matter of statewide concern. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section apply to all local agencies, including, but not limited to, towns, cities and counties.Editor's Note: This small wind zoning statute, drafted by Paul Gay (Westport, MA) is currently in joint committee in the MA state legislature. The author describes himself as a proponent of small wind with an interest in promoting regulations that are drafted in such a way as to insure a properly functioning system while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.
1 Jan 2007

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

Industrial Wind Energy: Ridgeline Footprint and Related Issues

Industrial_wind_energy_ridgeline_footprint_and_related_issues_dec_16_06_thumb This paper examines Vermont Public Interest Research Group’s (VPIRG) assertion that by 2015 industrial wind turbines on 8.8% (or 46 miles) of Vermont’s ridgelines above 2500 feet could provide 20% of Vermont’s electricity needs. (1) The examination compares VPIRG’s proposal- which is predicated on Vermont’s average electricity consumption- with the utility industry’s standard for measuring wind energy’s contribution to system reliability and peak demand. i.e. its capacity credit. This measurement concludes that for wind energy to provide the reliable generating capacity to meet 20% of Vermont’s peak demand industrial wind turbines would require 44% - 88% (or 226-451 miles) of Vermont’s ridgeline above 2500’.
16 Dec 2006

U.S. DOE- Link to State Wind Activites and "Wind Working Groups"

State Wind Activities The U.S. map below [available via provided link] summarizes Wind Powering America's State activities, which include validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, legislative briefings, and wind working groups. Click on a state to read more state-specific news. You can also use the drop down list to get to state Web pages. Editor's Note:The US DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are funding (at taxpayer expense) "wind working groups" in many states. While not all "wind working groups" identify their members, many of those that do appear to be comprised of wind 'advocates' only. You can find out more about these "wind working groups" by visiting the DOE site via the link below.
5 Nov 2006

Permitting setbacks for wind turbines in California

Permitting_setback_requirements_thumb The California Wind Energy Collaborative was tasked to look at barriers to new wind energy development in the state. Planning commissions in the state have developed setback standards to reduce the risk of damage or injury from fragments resulting from wind turbine rotor failures. These standards are usually based on overall turbine height. With the trend toward larger capacity, taller towers and longer blades, modern wind turbines can be "squeezed out" of parcels thus reducing the economic viability of new wind developments. Current setback standards and their development are reviewed. The rotor failure probability is discussed and public domain statistics are reviewed. The available documentation shows rotor failure probability in the 1-in-1000 per turbine per year range. The analysis of the rotor fragment throw event is discussed in simplified terms. The range of the throw is highly dependent on the release velocity, which is a function of the turbine tip speed. The tip speed of wind turbines does not tend to increase with turbine size, thus offering possible relief to setback standards. Six analyses of rotor fragment risks were reviewed. The analyses do not particularly provide guidance for setbacks. Recommendations are made to use models from previous analyses for developing setbacks with an acceptable hazard probability.
1 Nov 2006

Evaluation of Environmental Noise Analysis for “Dairy Hills Wind Farm”

Noise_analysis_of_dairy_hills_windfarm-1b__rbolton_thumb Industrial wind turbine farms are proposed for the towns of Perry, Covington and Warsaw, NY that will permanently alter the towns. Large turbines create strong noise levels not only from wind through the blades but largely by the turbine mechanisms themselves. To capture the wind these turbines are to be installed on hill tops around the town and thus have significant potential to create a noise nuisance. Wind turbine noise added to the prevailing ambient background sound is an important environmental consideration when siting wind turbines since they are a permanent installation and may significantly impair resident’s enjoyment of neighboring lands or even personal health. Also, relevant consideration of noise impacts and mitigation measures are a specific requirement of a NY State Environmental Quality Review procedure, required before approval of permits.
16 Oct 2006

Tyrone Township wind energy ordinance (PA)

Ordinance_no_10-11-06a_regulating_windmills_revised10-13-06_thumb AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TYRONE REGULATING WINDMILLS BY REQUIRING: NON-ASSIGNABLE PERMITS FOR CONSTRUCTION; INSPECTIONS; COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS; MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, REPLACEMENT AND REMOVAL GUIDELINES; THE POSTING OF FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR REMOVAL; SETBACKS BE ESTABLISHED OF AT LEAST 3,000 FEET FROM OCCUPIED STRUCTURES AND SETBACKS IN CERTAIN HERITAGE, HISTORICAL, WETLAND AND IMPORTANT MAMMAL AREAS; REMEDIES; PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION; AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
6 Oct 2006

The Effect of Windmill Farms On Military Readiness

Dodwindfarmreport_thumb This report focuses on the effects of wind farms on air defense and missile warning radars and the resulting potential impact on military readiness. Its scope is limited to these specific subjects and is based on the current level of understanding regarding interactions between such defense systems and state-of-the-art wind turbines.........The results from those flight trials documented that state-of-the-art utility-class wind turbines can have a significant impact on the operational capabilities of military air defense radar systems. The results demonstrated that the large radar cross section of a wind turbine combined with the Doppler frequency shift produced by its rotating blades can impact the ability of a radar to discriminate the wind turbine from an aircraft. Those tests also demonstrated that the wind farms have the potential to degrade target tracking capabilities as a result of shadowing and clutter effects.
1 Sep 2006

Proposed Golden Township Zoning Ordinance

Golden_township_zoning_ordinance_thumb Please note that anything of lighter color or crossed out is the recommendation from the township attorney. The markup reflects the attorney's view that any environmental clauses can be challenged in the courts and the township should not take on the liability of being an "expert" in intrepreting the studies presented to them by the developer or citizen.
1 Aug 2006

Proposed Sheffield/Sutton Wind Plant - Prefiled Testimony of Robert Ide on Behalf of the Vermont Department of Public Service

Ide_dept_of_public_service_thumb The purpose of Mr. Ide’s testimony is to present the Department’s overall recommendations with respect to the petitioner’s request for a Certificate of Public Good (“CPG”) under 30 V.S.A. § 248, including specific recommendations on a number of criteria found in 30 V.S.A. § 248(b). In places, he will be incorporating or relying on the work and testimony of other Department witnesses Editor's Note: The complete testimony (attached) is a worthwhile read. Selected Q & A's appear below.
28 Jul 2006

Representative Mollohan's Letter to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia

Mollohanjul26_thumb WV's Congressman Mollohan submitted a letter on July 26, 2006 to the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) concerning the Beech Ridge wind energy project proposed for Greenbrier County, WV by Chicago-based Invenergy, Inc. This wind energy developer successfully pushed through a windplant in Wisconsin nearby the Horicon Marsh - a globally-significant wildlife area and National Wildlife Refuge - despite the widespread outcry by national and local wildlife groups who opposed such close siting. Mollohan's letter points out that Invenergy disregarded recommendations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for multi-year pre-construction studies regarding the project's potential impacts on migratory birds and bats. He also observed that although WV's one operating wind project in Tucker County has been the site of record-setting bat mortality due to collision with turbine blades, the project operator (FPL Energy) has cut off access to the site for scientific study or investigation, even by the National Research Council/National Academies committee charged by the U.S. Congress to study the environmental impacts of wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands (see footnote #2 in his letter).
26 Jul 2006

Glebe Mountain Group: Comments To Windham Region Planning Commission Regarding June 12, 2006 Draft of Regional Plan

Comments_to_windham_regional_commission_thumb Vermont regional commissions are responsible for updating their respective 'plans' every five years. The Windham Regional Commission (WRC), comprised of representatives from the 27 towns in Windham County, submitted a draft of its updated plan for public comment in late June 2006. Given the prevailing public concerns regarding energy, the energy section of WRC's draft plan was of particular interest. Specifically, the Glebe Mountain Group, an incorporated non-profit organization that has been actively engaged in protecting Glebe Mountain from industrialization, felt is was imperative that industrial wind generation projects not be encouraged or accorded any presumption that they serve the public good. The Glebe Mountain Group's comments on the plan are attached as is the original 'draft' WRC plan. Some of the specific comments related to wind energy are extracted below as is the conclusion. These comments were fully endorsed by The Friends of Glebe Mountain, an unincorporated 100% volunteer group comprised of residents of and non-resident property owners in the towns of Londonderry and Windham.
21 Jul 2006

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=7&topic=Zoning%2FPlanning&type=Document
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