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Towers on public land

Do we now want to see pristine ridge lines turned into pincushions with enormous white turbines whirring along the skyline? Most people support clean energy sources, but at what price? Is this the vision Americans had of its national forests when these wild places were set aside for our children and their children to enjoy?
24 Jul 2005

"Going [Nowhere] With The Wind"

In "Going With The Wind" (July 21), George Sterzinger [executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project] writes, "Every kWh of wind avoids on average 1.3 pounds of CO2 emissions from natural gas generation and is therefore at least a step towards a prudent climate stabilization policy."
24 Jul 2005

In the Wind

It raises a question Virginia and the nation must face: Should the wind industry continue to enjoy generous subsidies?
13 Jul 2005

Wind-energy commentaries off-balance

This sounds good, but he falls far short of meeting this standard when he assigns the NIMBY label to those who are raising questions about environmental harm. Apparently he feels there is no need to deal with specific issues when a sweeping ad hominem dismissal will suffice.
8 Jul 2005

On The Dangers of Ice & Structural Failure at the Proposed Wachusett Reservation Windfarm

On_the_dangers_of_ice___structural_failure_thumb "Today, the task before the Joint Committee (regarding Bill S40) is to hear from the public on what would appear simple - the giving and taking of “driveway” easements between the Commonwealth’s Wachusett Reservation (Stagecoach Trail) and the Town of Princeton’s legal “right of way” for its wind power site. As well, the town is offering the to transfer to the Commonwealth, ownership of, five acres of their 16-acre wind site. I urge the Joint Committee for Bill S40 to carefully consider the following with regard to your recommendations an for easement exchange and accession of land from Princeton: 1. The Wachusett Wind Site is a 16 acre parcel wholly surrounded by the Wachusett Reservation and flanked within few feet, on three sides, by the well traveled Midstate, Harrington and Stagecoach trails. This portion of the state park is accessible and popular. 2. The present eight windmills are 120-feet high and are proposed to be replaced with two windmills as high as a 35- story building and with blades that stretch as wide as a football field - windmills whose elevation will come with 150- feet of the mountain’s elevation. 3. In the wintertime Wachusett experiences unusual ice storms in number and severity 4. In the wintertime, the windmills accumulate ice - then release it when it melts and falls, when it is blown off by wind or is thrown it off by the rotating blades 5. This ice has put holes in the roofs of utilty buildings on the wind farm and scattters itself across the fully accesssible wind site, the state reservation and hiking trails, threatening state park viisitors The risk associated with being struck windmill ice can be quantified and is relative to one’s distance from the windmills and will increase geometrically with the proposed windmills. 6. Windmills and wind data collection towers at Wachusett have structurally failed five times in twenty years on the Town of Princeton (PMLD) site. This also threatens the state park visitors as well with collapsing metal structures and flying blades. Proposed windmills and data towers will not be installed in compliance withthe manufacuturer’s recommendations and safety warnings."......
5 Jul 2005

Area's winds could power Windy City

The Windy City earned the nickname from blowhard politicians, not its weather conditions, but the winds that blow across the vast expanses of farmland throughout Illinois may soon help power the energy-hungry Chicago area. A Texas company will formally present a $500 million wind power project at a Tuesday hearing in Bloomington of the McLean County Zoning Board, the latest step in a process that began more than three years ago. The result -- in terms of energy produced -- would be the country's largest land-based wind farm.
4 Jul 2005

Up, up and away - wind energy technology review 2004–2005

Upupandaway_thumb Compared with 2004, the emphasis in 2005 will be on industry consolidation, prototype testing, and product optimization – with several new turbine prototypes and turbine upgrades being announced (see Table 1). Meanwhile, according to industry sources, huge growth in the US has increased demand for the machines and along with high steel prices this has increased the cost of wind turbines.The main beneficiaries of this boom are GE and Vestas, but there is speculation that the increased cost of turbines could have a negative impact on the planning of new US windfarms. In the offshore market, a new 3 MW class of turbines is gradually succeeding the 2–2.3 MW offshore-modified types. Two companies continue to dominate the offshore wind segment – Vestas and Siemens Wind Power (formerly Bonus Energy). In this new offshore arena, Vestas is expected to meet formidable competition, especially from the new Siemens 3.6 MW and GE’s optimized 3.6 MW GE 3.6sl Offshore with an enlarged 111 m rotor.1
2 Jul 2005

Wind Power in Pennsylvania: It Isn’t Easy Being Green

The generation of electricity by wind is a growing industry in Pennsylvania. While wind energy is certainly an attractive alternative to the pollution produced by fossil fuel power plants, all potential environmental impacts must be measured if electricity produced this way is to truly qualify as “green energy.” Surprisingly, only minimal environmental studies need to be done to site a wind farm in Pennsylvania. Improper siting of some wind farms in the U.S. has impacted migratory bird, resident bird, and bat populations. We present bird-impaction data from an industrial facility 30 km south of a proposed wind farm in Luzurne County, Pennsylvania, that suggest caution in the blind embrace of this energy technology. Siting decisions are made at the local government levels and are primarily based on economic incentives. We argue (a) that this energy alternative must incorporate robust site-specific impaction studies at each wind farm to demonstrate effects throughout the Commonwealth, and (b) that local government officials be given the guidance necessary to encourage and provide environmental oversight to wind farms in their areas.
1 Jul 2005

Wind Farms: Frequently Asked (Legal) Questions

In community after community where industrial-scale "wind farms" have been proposed, mundane and sparsely-attended board meetings have been transformed into standing-room-only affairs. Residents and property owners are anxious to know whether rumored plans to construct twenty, fifty or even a hundred of the 400-foot tall wind turbines are "a done deal." Most significantly, the electorate wants to know the extent to which their town has the power to decide whether or not wind farms will dominate their rural landscape. /p
30 Jun 2005

http://www.windaction.org/posts?p=2355
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