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The Mendota Hills Wind Farm in Lee County near Paw Paw, the first utility-scale wind project in Illinois, went online at the end of 2003. The project’s developer/owner is Navitas Energy of Minneapolis.
Hundreds of thousands of acres spanning 34 states in the US have already been impacted by industrial wind power development. As we speak, thousands of giant turbines grind away, and TOGETHER they'll take the next 25 years to generate electricity that may last for a total of 19 days.
You’d be hard pressed to find many that are simply against wind power, but there ARE hundreds of environmental groups around the world that DO oppose commercial wind development, and are working hard to raise awareness of the many controversial issues associated with it.
motorist drives past two of the 44 turbines (@1.5MW & approx. 340' tall) of the Mountaineer wind plant
Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation in the United States. In 2003, the installed U.S. wind power capacity increased by 1,700 megawatts (MW) to a total of 6,374 MW.1 Most of this additional capacity came in large projects of 50 MW or more, typically owned by strategic investors who have developed or acquired a portfolio of projects. As wind power generation continues to grow, these large projects and experienced developers will likely continue to dominate wind power development. Because of their scale and access to capital, these large projects are the fastest way to move towards increasing renewable energy’s share of the generation mix—and they provide significant economic benefits to the communities where they are located, from payments to farmers for wind rights and turbine easements to construction-related spending to permanent operations and the maintenance staff at each project. At the same time, there has been a growing interest in community wind power development. While the notion of community wind varies, these projects are generally smaller scale (less than 20 MW), and are locally initiated and owned. Projects range from single turbines erected by municipal utilities, school districts and tribal reservations to larger multi-turbine installations owned by one or more local investors and landowners. These projects may capture and retain more of the economic benefits locally (both construction-related and ongoing returns) and drive continued reinvestment in the communities. As a result, community wind projects often enjoy more favorable community support than large-scale commercial projects. There have been numerous publications and conferences on community wind development, but less specific attention on options for project structuring and financing. The goal of this handbook is to identify critical financing issues and present several possible financing models that reflect the differing financial positions and investment goals of various project owners/developers. The handbook includes six sections: • Section I describes various models for community wind power ownership. • Section II examines sources of equity and debt financing and the steps necessary to secure this financing. • Section III identifies federal grant and loan programs and state incentives for wind power development. • Section IV reviews the federal tax incentives supporting wind power projects, the impact of these incentives on project economics, and limitations on utilizing these incentives. • Section V examines power purchase agreements and the value of green tags to community wind power projects. • The Appendix contains a list of operating community wind projects in the United States and a list of project consultants and financing resources.
Wind energy development will not impact the land. Don't be misled. Utility-scale wind energy is industrial development, plain and simple. Remember, these 21st-century wind machines aren't like grandpa's windmill. Fact is, the turbines being proposed in the Flint Hills stand taller than the Statue of Liberty (350 feet and taller)! Industrial-strength wind projects will entail miles of roads and trenched powerlines, and quarrying down 30 feet to make room for about 50 truck loads of concrete to anchor each turbine...and more....
A review of the issues related to wind farm development.
The benefits of wind farms are dubious and undemonstrated. Going headlong into the business of wind farming, either for the revenue or the energy, is less than responsible.
Eric Rosenbloom's comments on a report written by Eleanor Tillinghast on the poor performance of Vermont's Searsburg wind project. An environmental advocate in southwest Massachusetts, Ms. Tillinghast's report was published in The Caledonian-Record of St. Johnsbury (Vt) on December 17, 2003 but, unfortunately, is not available on line.
A CASE IN POINT: THE VALENCIAN WINDPOWER PLAN "The Valencian windpower plan ("Plan Eólico") was approved July 26th, 2001. It calls for the implantation of 2700 wind turbines in the Comunidad Valenciana, many of them in the mountains of the Costa Blanca. After two years of negotiations behind closed doors, the pieces of the subsidized pie have been allocated. Soon the bulldozers will start destroying the ultimate asset of this region: its unspoiled interior. See the narrow valleys, smell the orange blossom, marvel at the olive groves: they will never be the same. Neither will the craggy mountains, warm shades of amber in the winter sun. All of this will go, marred by industrial structures. The almond trees will bloom under ugly pylons, and we´ll view the cherry blossoms against a backdrop of rotors and power lines."
What's the matter with Kansas? For one thing, The Wichita Eagle.
Wind turbines to produce electricity on a large scale – “wind farms” – are currently being proposed for parts of Tug Hill. Large-scale wind farms are a relatively new occurrence in the Northeast, and since they are new there are many questions that do not have clear answers.
Resolving Our Cultural Identity Crisis: Agriculture vs. Environment "...this concept of preserving land in private hands has become a great theme of our region. Our Flint Hills culture has rested on this principle: that we want our land to remain agriculturally productive in private hands, namely producing high quality beef cattle, at the same time we preserve the Flint Hills much as they were hundreds of years ago."
"I realize that our ridge tops are not a legally constituted commons in whose future we all have an interest. But wouldn't it be a benefit to the community if they were? After all, they represent a natural legacy left to us by our predecessors in this area, whether by intention or default."
I can’t help but think if it weren’t for Zilkha bursting at the seams with taxpayer money, that this wind turbine controversy bitterly pittting a few large landowners against hundreds of ordinary citizens, would never have happened.
*Property devaluation –homes up to two miles away of commercial wind development have suffered significant losses documented to 30% and also fail to appreciate as they normally would without such development..and more