The Dekalb County Board adopted a new wind energy ordinance in accordance with the recommendations of the county's Planning and Zoning Committee. The ordinance includes the following key standards: All turbines are to be situated at a distance not less than six (6) times the height of the WECS tower from all property lines, turbine towers are limited to 500-feet, no shadow flicker can extend onto neighboring non-participating properties, and turbines cannot produce sound that causes an exceedance of the preconstruction/operation background sound levels by more than 5 dBa. The resolution adopting the ordinance is provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued this official letter denying Eolus North American's application for a right-of-way to construct and operate a wind energy facility with up to 106 wind turbines spanning approximately 32,000 acres of public lands in southern Nevada. The letter describes in detail the reasons for the denial. The summation of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be downloaded from this page.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld a lower court's decision to deny intervention involving action between the town of Falmouth and the Falmouth zoning board of appeals in which judgment had already entered. The judgment declared that two wind turbines operated by the town were a nuisance and ordered that their operation cease and desist. The proposed interveners claimed that they were entitled to intervention as of right because they had compelling interests that were no longer being adequately represented by the town. The lower court ruled, and the appellate court affirmed that the motion be denied since the interveners could not likely establish standing, and that the motion was untimely. A portion of the 10-page order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission issued this order approving Dominion's proposal to construct a 2-turbine, 12 megawatt wind energy facility 27-miles off the coast of Virginia. The project has a price tag of $300 million. The SCC made clear in its order that it had no choice but to approve the project given current state statutes. However, the approval, according to the SCC's order, was contrary to what it deemed prudent as that term has been applied by this Commission in its long history of public utility regulation. The SCC bowed to the legislative mandate by approving the project. A portion of the order is posted below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This paper examines the risks of turbine failures and ice throw on the public. The abstract of the paper can be viewed below. The full paper can be accessed at the links on this page.
Article impact statement: Wind farm effects on birds in upland areas are guild specific and mediated by changes in land use associated with wind farm construction.
This important letter to the Town of Falmouth (Massachusetts) explains how the relocation of the Wind 2 turbine would result in continued noise violations. The author, Robert Rand, an acoustician experienced in turbine noise, warned that the turbine would need to be situated at least 2923 feet from the nearest neighbor in order to remain in compliance with governing noise regulations. The letter is posted below and accessible by clicking the document icon on this page. The supporting evidence is included with the document.
This study examines the impact of operating wind turbines on climate. The authors summarize the highlights of the study as a) Wind power reduces emissions while causing climatic impacts such as warmer temperatures; b) the warming effect of operating turbines is strongest at night when temperatures increase with height; c) the nighttime warming effect was observed at 28 operational US wind farms; and d) wind’s warming can exceed avoided warming from reduced emissions for a century. The summary of the study is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Clifford Schneider, a biologist and former Lake Ontario unit leader for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, submitted this memo to the New York State siting board outlining the process he followed when informing the State of at least one active bald eagle nest within the proposed Galloo Island Wind project site. Until this letter, neither the State nor Apex, the project proponent, reported eagles in the area. Mr. Schneider raises concerns regarding the response to his report of eagles by the applicant, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Environmental Conservation. An excerpt of his memo is provided below. The full memo can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Attorney David Ganje of South Dakota submitted a memo to the state's Legislative Research Council (LRC) that responds to the LRC's recent memo on wind energy. In particular, Attorney Ganje challenges the LRC for not emphasizing the importance of project decommissioning. The introductory letter accompanying the memo is provided below. The full memo can be downloaded from this page. The LCR memo can be accessed here.
This important legal challenge of the Ohio Power Siting Board decision tests whether the Board ignored state law and the conditions of its own certificate approving construction of the Black Fork wind energy facility when it granted a requested extension of the permit. A detailed description of the case is provided below and at the link appearing on this page. Oral arguments were heard on August 1, 2018 and can be watched at this link. Black Fork is proposed as a 91-turbine facility with a maximum capacity of 200 megawatts. The permit was initially issued in 2012.
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.
Texas Public Policy Foundation released the paper “Texas Wind Power Story: Part 1 – How Subsidies Drive Texas Wind Power Development,” which shows that the growth of the wind industry in Texas is spurred by, and only viable because of subsidies such as the production tax credit, along with tax breaks at the state and local level. A summary of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from the links on this page.
This important paper has found living close to wind turbines "is negatively correlated with self-rated environmental quality of life and physical health quality of life." The finding is consistent with other studies cited in the paper. The authors also found that turbine noise alone is not the only factor. Other factors may include "visual sight, vibrations, shadow flicker, sub-audible low frequency sound, or mechanisms that include individual subjective experiences and attitudes towards wind turbines." The results of the paper are posted below. The full report can be downloaded by clicking the links on this page.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission issued this order denying a petition filed by the Appalachian Power Company (APCo) and Wheeling Power Company seeking consent and approval for APCo to acquire the Hardin wind generation facility (Hardin Wind Facility), that is under development in Hardin County, Ohio, and the Beech Ridge II wind generation facility (Beech Ridge II Wind Facility) that is under development in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The Beech Ridge II facility is a 50 Mw wind project and the Hardin facility is a 175 Mw wind project. An excerpt of the order is provided below that highlights the reasons for the denial. The full order can be accessed via the links on this page.
Beaver Township in Michigan adopted this protective wind ordinance by a 4-0 vote. A portion of the ordinance is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This paper examines the issues involved in deciding whether an operating wind project in Europe is likely to be repowered as the facility approaches its end of life. The document can be downloaded from this page. The paper's abstract and concluding paragraphs are excerpted and provided below.
Freeborn Wind proposed to construct an up to 84 MW wind energy facility and associated facilities in Freeborn County, Minnesota. The Project is part of an up to 200 MW wind project in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth County, Iowa. In this final order of recommendation, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that Freeborn Wind failed to demonstrate that the proposed Project will meet the requirements of Minn. R. 7030.0040, the applicable Minnesota Noise Standards. Portions of the order are provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.