RAF pilots have reported a catalogue of near misses with wind farms in the United Kingdom. Pilots are making over 1,000 manual corrections to their charts every month to try and keep up with the changes. This document presents the reports completed by the pilots. The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) also warns there is a potential for a mid-air disaster. Neil Geddes, LAA Inspector stated: “You only really understand how cluttered parts of Scotland are with wind turbines when you are flying a light aircraft. ...They cause downwind turbulence which can be an issue but at least we can spot them and take evasive action. It is the anenometer masts put up to measure wind speed and such like that are the real problem. They are practically impossible to see because they are so tall and slim. If you don’t know there is one on your flight path – and lets face it, it takes maps a year to catch up and by then there will be more of them – there is little you can do. In certain weather and light conditions they will be impossible to detect. It’s only a matter of time before we have a disastrous accident in our hands.”
Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) signed an 18-year contract for energy from the Papalote Creek Wind Farm II located in southeast Texas. The contact price was fixed for the term of the agreement at $64.75 a megawatt-hour. With wind now selling at half that price, LCRA is seeking to reduce its liability. There is a dispute between LCRA and Papalote Creek as to the cost if LCRA tries to end the contract early. This motion, filed by LCRA in federal court is intended to compel the wind company into arbitration in order to settle the dispute. LCRA sells wholesale power to dozens of Central Texas communities. A portion of the filing is provided below. The full motion can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important ruling by a panel of three Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Court judges reverses a county judge's order that allowed PPM Atlantic Renewable (now Iberdrola Renewables) to construct the South Chestnut Windpower Project in southern Fayette County, PA. The project consists of 24 turbines, each standing 425 feet tall. Ths week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the reversal. The decision, issued on May 20, 2014, upheld minimum setbacks from all property lines, not just participating landowners involved in the project (eliminating participating vs non-participating property owners), due to safety issues. It also upheld that sound studies and bat studies must be completed to allow the project to be built. Despite the appeal process continuing, Iberdrola went ahead and erected the turbines but the project was built without the proper permits and approximately 14-15 of the turbines are out of compliance with the setback restrictions. The facts in this case as affirmed by the Supreme Court are provided below. The three court decisions issued by the lower courts and the Supreme Court can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Benjamin Riggs, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and others filed this complaint in Federal Court pertaining to the approval of an above-market power contract between Deepwater Wind and National grid. The plaintiffs initially pursued this matter before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). However FERC chose not to act on it itself but rather to refer the matter to the courts. Consequently they ruled that “Our decision not to initiate an enforcement action means that Mr. Riggs may himself bring an enforcement action against the Rhode Island Commission in the appropriate court”. By law, that is federal court. The current action is limited to asking the federal government to assert its clear authority over the pricing mechanism for the Deepwater project. The complaint, a portion of which appears below, speaks for itself. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, the plaintiffs filed the attached Memorandum that explains the Motion for Summary Judgment.
In this very critical decision by the US District Court of Northern District of California (Judge Lucy H. Koh), the 30-year take permits for bald and golden eagles established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been set aside and remanded back to the Service. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The complaint filed by the plaintiffs can also be accessed from this page.
With the proliferation of recent research and the rediscovery of earlier, until now largely ignored studies, infrasound and low frequency noise (LFN) can no longer be dismissed as irrelevant. This report shows why LFN must be given full consideration as a contributing cause of the distress of some of those people living near wind turbine installations. It also demonstrates why the Ontario and Canadian governments must pay attention to this research. The table of contents for the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clciking the links on this page.
This letter, sent to the Kent County, Maryland County Commissioners, captures the position of the Queen Anne's County Commissioners regarding APEX's Mills Branch wind energy proposal. The letter is provided below in full. It can also be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This critical work investigated the brain's response following the stimulation with sounds at infrasound frequencies was investigated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) a significant response was detected which was localised within the auditory cortex and which was present down to the lowest frequency presented (8 Hz). The abstract of this report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
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.
This new research conducted by Utah State University examines the true costs of wind power. The authors conclude that wind energy is roughly 48% more expensive than the industry’s official estimates. The executive summary of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This complaint before the State of New York Supreme Court was filed by property owners in the Town of Yates, in Orleans County. The court action was in response to a resolution by the Town of Yates Town Board granting a special use permit for the installation of a 60 meter tall wind measurement tower ("MET tower") and the subsequent building permit issued to Donna Rae Bane. Ms. Bane owns the property on which the met tower will be sited.
Dr. McMurtry is Professor Emeritus of Western University in London, Ontario. He has researched and reviewed the health impacts of wind turbines for nearly a decade. He appeared before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines on June 29, 2015. The transcript of his appearance is provided below. A full transcript of the day can be found by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The Mason County, Michigan Planning Commission adopted thie wind energy ordinance effective July, 2015. This ordinance was developed following noise and shadow flicker complaints tied to Consumers Energy Lake Winds wind project. Portions of the ordinance are posted below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
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.
The Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which was established in December 2014, released this interim report based on a considerable volume of evidence collected from testimonies around the country. The committee received written and verbal evidence from State Governments, local councils, various federal government agencies, wind farm operators and manufacturers, country fire authorities, acousticians, medical experts and representatives from various associations and institutes. In addition, many private citizens had the opportunity to voice their concerns with the planning, consultation, approval, development and operation of wind farms in Australia. The recommendations cited in the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, a minority, dessenting report is included.
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.