Documents filed under Impact on Landscape
Texas Public Policy Foundation released Part 2 of its research on wind power in the state of Texas. This paper addresses the human and environmental impacts of wind power development. Part 1 reviews the subsidies supporting wind power and how industry growth remains reliant on public outlays.
Chairman Balderson, Vice Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member O’Brien and members of the Committee; my name is Mike Kerschner and I have been a commissioner in Seneca County, Ohio since January 2015. Wind Farm projects were not even a matter of discussion at that time. They have since become a very key issue for the citizens of my county.
This useful paper discusses the response of those who view wind turbine visual simulations using virtual reality and those who see the same image as a 2-dimensional graphic. The study found that the VR rendering provided viewers more information to assess their "visitation experience." It was found that VR technology caused respondents, on average, "to have more negative reactions to the wind turbines." The introduction and conclusion of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed at the document links on this page.
At the September 6, 2017 meeting of the Somerset County Maine Commissioners, the Board adopted Resolution 17 – 164 that publicly opposes any additional industrial Wind Development in Somerset County. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. The full resolution, as adopted, is provided below and can be accessed at the links on this page.
The attached communications between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Iberdrola/Tule Wind detail the BLM's notice to suspend construction of the 186 MW wind project due to repeated violations of the right-of-way permit issued by the BLM. The Tule facility initiated construction on December 6, 2016. The notice to stop construction was issued on January 20, 2017. Construction has now resumed. Both the notice to suspend construction and to resume construction, which includes Iberdrola's response to the BLM, can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page, A portion of BLM's notice is provided below.
According to this newest study by researchers at North Carolina State University, an offshore wind farm erected off the coast of North Carolina would reduce coastal rentals and potentially harm tourism, even if the energy project was placed at a maximum distance from shore. The results of the study found 54 percent of survey participants would not be willing to rent a home if the turbines were visible at all, regardless of their distance from the coast. The abstract of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. ,
The European Court of Justice has ruled against Bulgaria in a case brought by the European Commission against the country over its failure to protect unique habitats and important species in the Kaliakra special protection area at the Black Sea coast, the court announced on January 14 2016. Projects such as wind turbines, a golf course, spa and hotels have been approved and built in the area by Bulgarian authorities, despite the likelihood it would lead to significant disturbance of these protected species. As a result, the court has found Bulgaria to be breaching the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives. A portion of the ruling is below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This study was undertaken to understand the landscape, visual and historic environment effects of operational wind farms in Northumberland in the United Kingdom. The report and its findings can be viewed by clicking on the links on this page. A summary of the findings excerpted from the report is provided below.
This study looked at whether the visual, shadow flicker and noise impacts predicted by wind farm developers in documentation submitted with their planning applications are consistent with the impacts experienced once the wind farm is operational. Through an examination of 10 wind energy facilities, the authors concluded that in some cases the impacts described in the planning applications did not match the actual impact. A summary of the study and findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Scottish Natural heritage (SNH) has published ‘Visual Representation of Wind Farms, July 2014’. This guidance replaces the previous version (2006). The updated guidance sets a new standard for wind farm visualizations; and is prescriptive which means that applicants must comply with the key requirements set out in Annex B of the guidance. An explanation of the guidance is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. While written for wind farm assessments in Scotland, the parameters for producing visualizations are applicable worldwide.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area, two non-profit conservation advocacy organizations missioned with protecting the Columbia River Gorge region, provided these comprehensive comments to the Bonneville Power Administration in reference to the proposed Whistling Ridge Wind Energy project. The project, owned by SDS Lumber Company, would consist of 50, 1.2 to 1.5 MW turbines. The opening portion and conclusion of the letter is provided below. The full comment letter can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Developers should also be aware that the case clarifies the way in which the planning balance must be struck by decision makers. They are not free to give harm to heritage assets such weight as they may choose when carrying out the balancing exercise. Instead, they must give particular weight the desirability of avoiding such harm when assessing whether the advantages of the proposal outweigh that harm. The rejection of the "reasonable observer" test will also be a significant constraint on the ability to construct wind farms and other new development in sensitive locations.
Hundreds of individuals, victims and groups sent a letter today to the Northeast region’s governor and premiers asking for an end to utility-scale wind development until those projects’ impacts have been addressed. The letter comes as the officials gather this weekend in La Malbaie for the 37th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers. The letter is provided below can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
This draft decision prepared by the Staff for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection details why the Bowers Mountain Wind Park should be denied. The project consisted of 16 Vestas or Siemens 3.0 megawatt turbines (48 MWs in total). Following extensive hearings on the project the Department found the project would create an unreasonable adverse effect on the scenic character and existing uses related to scenic character in the area surrounding the project. The full draft order can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) complaint was filed last week by Stephan C. Volker of Volker Law on behalf of two rural East County grassroots non-profit groups. It challenges the San Diego County Board of Supervisors' May 15th 4-1 vote approving the Wind Energy Ordinance and Plan Amendment that sacrifices predominantly low-income rural communities and valued resources for unreliable, intermittent, and expensive industrial-scale wind and solar projects.
In this letter to the Alexandria, New Hampshire Selectboard, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) articulates its concerns and general opposition to a utility-scale wind energy facility proposed within the town.
In the Ontario electricity generation sector, this paper shows that selection of an intermittent carbon free wind generator actually increases the carbon emissions by displacing other carbon free generators, nuclear and hydraulic, and requiring the operation of carbon emitting natural gas and even coal generators to provide support for when the intermittent wind generation routinely falls in output. The introduction and conclusion of this paper are shown below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) released revised guidance for producing visualisations for proposed wind energy facilities. The new guidance describes how wind developers should visually represent their proposals. It also updates existing guidance on mapped information and has a new a section on offshore wind farms.
Iberdrola Renewables received a permit to site a 48 megawatt (2MW turbines) along ridgelines in Groton, New Hampshire. The project also included a 4,000 +/- square foot operations and maintenance building to be located behind a thick row of trees.
Environmental groups and residents of Nevada have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Nevada challenging the Department of the Interior's permit granting Duke Energy permission to construct an 87-turbine wind energy facility east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. Excerpts of the complaint are provided below. The plaintiffs argue that Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.