Articles filed under General

Towering new turbines spinning in the winds of Altamont Pass

Though touted as more “wildlife friendly” than their windmill ancestors, the new turbines aren’t allaying the concerns of naturalists who have long been concerned about the area’s bird population. The spinning blades still are projected to kill dozens of birds each year, including golden eagles. The Altamont Pass area is a critical breeding and wintering habitat for the eagles, said Glenn Phillips, director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society. ...Phillips said the larger, slower-spinning blades on newer turbines haven’t significantly slowed the bird deaths, however. He said bird kills appear to be more closely tied to the amount of energy being produced, the amount of air that’s “swept” by the blades, and how long they run.
26 Sep 2021

Should the Adirondack Park be used for large solar projects?

The Adirondack Park isn’t widely known for farming, but almost 104,000 of its 6 million acres are in agricultural districts. Much of that is in the Champlain Valley, where sunny fields spread out between dark mountains to the west and sparkling Lake Champlain waters to the east. In that expanse, solar panels are fast becoming the trendy new cash crop. Because of their potential to change the region’s views, its wildlife habitat and its way of life, some are calling for comprehensive planning on where they're being planted.
26 Sep 2021

Wind farm developer pares down plan for land west of Burney, sweetens offer to Shasta County

ConnectGen LLC marketed the changes in a half-page advertisement in Tuesday’s Record Searchlight, calling the revisions “Substantially Reduced Impact & Visibility.” The company says it has reduced the number of wind turbines from 72 to 48, which has cut the overall footprint of the project by more than 33%. ConnectGen also proposes to decrease the height of the turbines by 10%, from 679 feet to about 610 feet.
23 Sep 2021

Planned Minnesota wind farm to be moved farther from Jeffers Petroglyphs site

In June, state utility regulators who must approve the project made it clear they weren't satisfied with Big Bend's plans to locate turbines as close as 5.2 miles from the petroglyphs. The historical society and the Sioux bands wanted at least an 8-mile buffer. Apex Clean Energy, Big Bend's developer, revised the project so that all but two of the 50-plus turbines would be at least 7 miles from the petroglyphs.
22 Sep 2021

Vestas to close three European wind turbine component factories

Vestas will cease production at three European factories that manufacture components for outdated onshore and offshore wind turbines. It will close sites at Lauchhammer in Germany, Viveiro in Spain and Esbjerg in Denmark, the company announced. The turbine manufacturer employs appriximately 650 people across the three sites.
20 Sep 2021

Wisconsin regulators pass on policy changes, order further study of clean energy transition

Commissioner Ellen Nowak, the commission’s lone Republican appointee, questioned the premise of the investigation, dubbed the “Roadmap to Zero Carbon.” “Operating the grid with zero carbon as we know it now is a dangerous thing,” she said. “A roadmap to zero carbon is the wrong road to go down. I think we need to go down a road to cleaner energy.” ...“We don’t have a plan to get to literal zero carbon by 2050,” said Commissioner Tyler Huebner. “But we don’t need to solve that today.”
3 Sep 2021

5 charged with manslaughter in death of worker during construction of wind farm

Five people are facing manslaughter charges for the death of a Chehalis man who died in January 2020 when a trench that had not been reinforced collapsed during construction of the Skookumchuck Wind Farm along the border of Lewis and Thurston counties. The charges were filed in Lewis County Superior Court on Aug. 9 — 20 months after the death of 24-year-old Jonathan F. Stringer, who left behind a young daughter and a fiancée.
3 Sep 2021

Hegins Township solicitor challenges wind farm plan's details

Hegins Township’s solicitor sparred verbally Wednesday night with the project manager of the proposed wind farm in Hegins and three other townships. During a hearing that lasted more than three hours at the Hegins Township Ambulance Association, solicitor Donald G. Karpowich, Drums, challenged senior project manager David F. Allen on numerous issues related to the proposed $300 million project.
1 Sep 2021

Kitty Hawk Wind farm project poses serious ecological and environmental risks and economic burdens

In comments submitted today to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the John Locke Foundation’s senior fellow of regulatory studies, economist Jon Sanders, urges environmental reviewers to refrain from moving forward with the proposed Kitty Hawk wind farm project off the North Carolina coastline due to significant negative environmental, economic, and ecological impacts.
27 Aug 2021

Trustees say Ørsted ‘reneging’ on agreement for wind farm lease

The Trustees say that they have demanded that Ørsted delay the cable installation, slated to begin in early 2023, in order to complete a second spring season worth of fish migration surveys. The company has said it will wait to “energize” the cable until after the spring 2023 fishery surveys are conducted, but cannot put off the start of cable installation between the wind farm site south of Block Island and Wainscott. “They were told directly at the time that this would be a deal breaker,” Trustees Clerk Francis Bock said on Monday morning. 
24 Aug 2021

AGL faces big fines over wind farm issues

The Hallett wind farms, operated by companies wholly owned at the time by power generator AGL, had failed to obtain written approval from the network operators for critical settings designed to allow their wind turbines to ride through disruptions to the electricity grid. In action brought by the Australian Energy Regulator, the Federal Court heard on Friday that while the failure to obtain approval was inadvertent, the settings applied were insufficient to cope with the disruptions to the network during the black system event.
20 Aug 2021

Vestas cuts outlook as commodity prices squeeze margins

The downgrade adds to a picture of mounting pressure on turbine makers after rival Siemens Gamesa last month issued its second profit warning this year, citing soaring commodity prices as well as costs over high associated with a new product. Vestas had already disappointed its first quarter results, pointing to transport issues including the blockade of the Suez Canal in March and the effects of the pandemic in India, one of its key markets.
11 Aug 2021

Big oil squeezes renewable energy profits as commodities rally

Orsted, the top developer of offshore wind farms, said returns on capital employed fell to 7.5% in the first quarter, down from 11% in the same period a year earlier. Vestas, another wind developer, saw returns fall to 12.2% from 17.4% in the first quarter of 2020. Investors will keep an eye on any signs of diminishing returns when the two Danish firms report this week. Siemens Gamesa lost 314 million euros ($369 million) in the three months ended in June
10 Aug 2021

Why a secretive Chinese billionaire bought 140,000 acres of land in Texas

Initially, Sun’s acquisitions in Val Verde County went unnoticed. But in late 2017, property owners became incensed when Akuo Energy, a French wind turbine developer, built the Rocksprings wind farm on the eastern edge of the county. Conservationists, led by a local advocacy group called the Devils River Conservancy, were also worried: ...When the Conservancy learned of GH America’s plans to build a second wind farm in the county, it launched a pressure campaign, entitled “Don’t Blow it, Texas,” to prevent construction. 
9 Aug 2021

Wind turbines, war is declared (in France)

The story of this gigantic scam has often been made in these columns: particularly astute businessmen have plunged into the breach that the “ecological” ideology (rigorous quotes) had opened in the French energy position. We needed a mix , we needed renewable, above all we had to stop building a nuclear power plant. Replacing a massive and controllable source of energy with another, much weaker and more random, was "completely stupid" , to use the word of an expert, but it is indeed what was done. Nuclear power has stalled, wind turbines and solar panels have multiplied, weakening an entire system, fracturing an entire society.
7 Aug 2021

Wind turbines: manmade wonder or blight?

Despite its high-tech wizardry, turbine design has two major drawbacks. First, they are ugly — at least when compared to a pristine rural landscape. A spinning turbine is an affront to the esthetic sensibilities of anyone who looks at one with other than an engineer’s eye. Worse, from an environmental standpoint, these things are killers. While there is little chance of danger to people, flying creatures have plenty to fear. Bats and birds are killed by the thousands across the world by wind turbines. Our efforts to make them silent make turbines efficient killers.
6 Aug 2021

Residents lose out in Barranafaddock Wind Farm fight

A number of residents in the Ballyduff/Araglin area living close to the Barranafaddock Wind Farm were disappointed this week to learn that the developers of the wind farm successfully appealed an earlier High Court order. The residents had brought a case to the High Court claiming a deviation from the permitted blade length of the turbines where 90 metre diameter blades were permitted but 103 metre diameter blades were used. 
5 Aug 2021

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