The GAO conducted a file review of 45 wind and solar development project rights-of-way with a bond as of April 15, 2014; analyzed data from BLM data systems; reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and BLM policies and procedures; and interviewed agency officials. GAO found about one-third of the wind and solar rights-of-way were underbonded by as much as $15 million in total. Also, BLM did not clearly document how it made its bond decisions, contrary to government standards that call for documentation of significant events. The highlights of the GAO report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important letter by the Australian Minister of the Environment declares recognition of the continuing concerns raised by communities over wind project siting and operation. The letter includes two attachments that outline a plan to facilitate addressing wind farm complaints and also examine how the country can move away from builting turbines in favor of other emerging technioogies. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Australian Federal Senator John Madigan delivered this powerful speech before the Senate during its deliberation of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015, a bill that would lower Australia's national target for renewables. In his speech he cites the high cost of supporting the wind industry and the hypocrisy of claims that wind energy lowers electricity rates. His speech is provided in full below and can be accessed at the links on this page.
In this important ruling, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington upheld the Court of Appeals order that Skamania failed to follow the requirements under the Growth Management Act.
Clive and Petrina Gare presented their story before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The Gares leased their land to a wind developer for 19 turbines to be erected. The nearest turbine was sited about 800 metres away from their home with three towers within approximately one to 1.5 kilometres away. In total, they were paid $200,000 per year for hosting the machines. The construction phase was difficult but when the turbines were placed in service in October 2010, the situation became unbearable. The Gares, and others, gave testimony before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The full testimony is provided below can be accessed by clicking the links on the page.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) issued EcoHarmony West Wind LLC Site Permit on February 3, 2010 to construct a 58-turbine, 116-megawatts project. On April 22, 2013, the Site Permit was amended to allow an additional two years to commence construction and obtain a power purchase agreement (or other enforceable mechanism). Failing to do so, Gamesa filed notice that it would not be pursuing the project. The content of Gamesa's notice is provided below. Both Gamesa's letter and the May 8, 2015 letter by the Commission inquiring about the project's status can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Geronimo Wind Energy's proposed Paynesville Wind farm was issued a site permit and a Certificate of Need (CN) from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on January 26, 2011. The project would consist of 63 wind turbines totaling 95 megawatts to be located on approximately 15,000 acres in Stearns County, Minnesota. Paynesville Wind has been unable to secure a buyer for its energy. This letter was issued by the company this month. The content of the letter is provided below. The original can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Wells County, Indiana Area Plan Commission approved a petition for the development of a large wind energy conversion system project that was filed by Wells County Wind II, LLC, Apex Clean Energy Holdings, LLC, and Apex Wind Energy, Inc. thereby allowing the construction of approximately 68 wind turbines on private property located in southern Wells County, Indiana. Adjacent landowners including James E. and Tamara L. Dunmoyer, Jr. and others filed with the trial court a two-count petition. In Count I, Landowners requested judicial review of the Zoning Decision, and in Count II they sought declaratory judgment on the setbacks supported by the county ordinance. The appellate county ruled that the county vote was not in error but found that the reciprocal setback provision of the ordinance was not legal. A portion of the ruling is presented below. The full ruling can be accessed at the links on this page..
This complaint filed by Mrs. Doreen Dotson and her sons David Dotson and Daniel Dotson argues that EDP Renewables North American and Rising Tree Wind Farm LLC bulldozed the Dotson family home after Mrs. Dotson refused to accept money to move from her property. The General Statement of the Case is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important paper examines the direct impacts of wind energy development on the mating behavior of the Greater Prairie Chickens. The abstract and conclusions of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Scientists at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews tracked 24 harbor seals and their behavior while offshore wind turbines were being installed on the east coast of England, in 2012. They predicted that half of the seals tracked received sound levels from pile driving that exceeded auditory damage thresholds. The results have implications for offshore industry and will be important for policymakers developing guidance for pile driving. A summary of the findings is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Dr. Malcolm A. Swinbanks of MAS Research Limited presented this important paper at the 6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise in Glasgow. In his paper, he explains how turbine noise, in particular, low-frequency noise, cannot be masked by the flow of wind noise across an individual's ear. Within a residence, severe direct health effects on humans have been reported that are attributable to low-frequency and infra-sound. The introduction and conclusion of his paper are provided below. His full paper can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Health Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to conduct an in-depth expert panel assessment. The Panel’s report presents findings on the acoustic characteristics of wind turbine noise; evidence on causal relationships between exposure to wind turbine noise and adverse health effects; knowledge gaps and further research; and promising practices to reduce adverse community response. The resulting report is evidence-based and does not espouse recommendations. Its purpose, rather, is to assess the scientific evidence on the question of wind turbine noise and human health in order to provide a foundation of knowledge to support governments, policy-makers, communities, and the industry. A brief summary of the study is provided below. The full report can be accessed at the links on this page.
Virginia Stewart Love, a member of Victims of Wind in Ontario, published this open letter in response to the recently released literature review by the Canadian Council of Academies CCA which found that annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise – a clear adverse health effect. Ms. Love's full letter is posted below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Poland’s President-elect Andrzej Duda declares in this statement that he would push for passing a law preventing the placement of wind energy facilities within a specified distance from homes. The original signed statement is provided on this page in Polish. The English translation is posted below and also can be accessed as an attached document.
The Town of Groton in New Hampshire adopted this ordinance to govern the siting of wind energy facilities up to 30 mwgawatts in size. The State of New Hampshire is responsible for siting projects that are 30 MWs and larger. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee reviews larger energy projects.
Pioneer Green Energy has been promoting a 25-turbine wind energy facility (599-feet tall each) to be sited in Somerset County, Maryland, across the Chesapeake Bay from the Pax River naval base in an area surrounded by dozens of active bald eagle nests. Significant objections to the project were raised by the Navy and local residents. The Maryland State Senate and Assembly voted overwhelmingly to delay the project until more information could be determined about the impacts on military radar. Objections were also raised by members of Maryland's Congressional delegation. On March 20, 2015, Pioneer Green notified the Somerset County Commissioners that the project was being placed on indefinite suspension. The letter is provided below and can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
El Paso County Property Rights Coalition, a Colorado, a Colorado limited cooperative association et. al. filed this complaint against the Colorado County Commissioners of El Pase County and NexEra Energy Resources following the county's approval of the Golden West wind energy facility, a 250 MW project. The project was initially approved by the County in December 2013. Within weeks of the project permit being issued, NextEra Energy acquired the rights of the project and started the process of amending the plans to move the turbines, increase their height and seek permission to raise the transmission line so it was above ground. On January 6, 2015, the Planning Commission considered the amended project and ultimately recommended it be denied by a 6-3 vote.
The following letter was written by Jane Harper, Tipton County Indiana Commissioner from 2009-2012. In addition to dedicating part of her life to public service, Jane is also a farmer. She originally wrote this letter to warn the Howard County Indiana officials about the many pitfalls of wind energy development, but it's message is equally applicable to Huntington County as well. This letter was also read directly to the members of the Huntington County Plan Commission on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, by HCCC Attorney Steven Snyder. Huntington County Commissioners Larry Buzzard and Rob Miller were also in attendance, and heard this letter read into the official record.