Public Utility Law Judge Dennis H. Sober of the Maryland Public Service Commission, has denied a permit for Apex Clean Energy, Inc to construct the Mills Branch Solar project proposed for Kent County Maryland. The project was expected to have a nameplate capacity of 60 MW spread across 330 acres of Maryland farmland. The project was opposed by the Kent County board of Commissioners and residents in the area. Apex previously tried to site a wind energy facility in the same area on 5,000 acres but opposition to the turbines forced the company to change from wind to solar. A portion of Judge Sober's decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
This crtical study found that white-nose syndrome combined with wind turbine mortality had a greater impact on depressing bat populations than either alone. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Dr. Robert Y McMurtry and Carmen M. E. Krogh published this response to commentary contained in the presentation of McCunney et al. McCunney et al. addressing wind turbine noise and the impacts on nearby residents. A portion of the response is provided below. The full response can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
This important research identified that migrating raptor species tend to be attracted to offshore wind turbines and that the risk of colliding with wind turbines at sea is much greater than previously assumed. The abstract and resulting discussion of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be downloaded by clinking the links on this page.
In a 3-2 vote, the Perquimans County Board denied an application by Apex Clean Energy to erect the Timbermill wind energy facility. Timbermill, if approved, would have sited 57 turbines, each standing 599-feet tall. The order detailing the decision can be accessed by selecting the document icon on this page. The Conclusion of the order provided below.
A non-governmental body has called for Siemens and Enel to cancel wind projects in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has said that schemes agreed by Siemens, Enel Green Power and the Moroccan government are set to take place in Western Sahara; and contribute to Morocco’s illegal occupation of the area. The Sahwari people claim ownership of the region, which was a colonial power of Spain and has been formally claimed by Morocco since 1957. Spain relinquished power in 1975. This document prepared by WSRW explains the dispute.
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.
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.
This important peer-reviewed paper examines 15 years of the authors' combined experience with wind turbine noise issues. The authors respond to the various responses by the wind industry regarding turbine noise and explain why audiologists, particularly those interested in community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to public health. They also encourage audiologists to be sensitive to the non-auditory aspects of acoustic energy, including the dynamically modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound emitted by modern wind turbines. The background information about the paper is provided below. The link(s) to download the paper are included on this page.
This important paper examines how golden eagle mortality at the Altamont wind energy site in California may be having a continent-wide impact on the population. The abstract and supporting data for this report can be accessed from this page.
This paper argues that the methods and data used when estimating effects of offshore wind turbines on seabird population rates and the potential impacts on seabird populations are grossly inadequate. As a result, Environmental Impact Assessments cannot solely be relied on to report risks. The conclusions cited in the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
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.
This useful paper examines China's efforts to mitigate carbon emissions using wind power. The abstract of the paper along with conclusions is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
This important paper examines how wind turbine noise, particularly noise from larger turbines, falls in the lower frequency range, below 1000 and 500 Hz. This type of noise penetrates homes and creates sleep disturbance. The researchers found that, in general, the indoor noise levels of homes near turbines are higher which helps explains noise annoyance complaints. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
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.
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.
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.
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.