In this important case, the plaintiffs are raising concerns regarding the health impacts and interference in the use and enjoyment of their land. In the complaint, the plaintiffs note that wind turbines emit infra and low frequency sounds that are inaudible to the human ear, and which has had have a long history of causing adverse effects to the human body and mind, including sleep loss, increased stress and cardiac issues. The plaintiffs are also concerned about how noise and shadow flicker emitted from rotating blades deteriorates the ability—in both children and adults—to properly think, remember, or concentrate. A portion of the filing appears below. The full filing can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
In this recent study, researchers present a comprehensive study on the breeding provenance of endangered and protected noctule bats killed at German wind turbines, showing that individuals from local and distant populations are among the recorded fatalities. The results provide a first step on the way towards an evaluation on how bat fatalities at wind turbines might impact local and regional populations in migratory bat species. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted to open a notice of inquiry into wind farms. Two technical conferences to further refine questions are scheduled for Sept. 11 and Oct. 15. A hearing before the commission is set for Dec. 2. The text of the notice is provided below. The full document 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.
Plaintiff CEnergy-Glenmore Windfarm #1, LLC, obtained a conditional use permit from the town of Glenmore, Wisconsin, to develop a wind farm there. But the company did not obtain required building permits in time to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity to sell electricity generated by wind turbines to a Wisconsin power company. CEnergy then filed this lawsuit against Glenmore claiming a denial of its right under the Fourteenth Amendment to substantive due process and a violation of the town’s state law obligation to deal in good faith. The district court dismissed the due process claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and declined to retain jurisdiction over the supplemental state law claim. CEnergy has appealed. The appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling. The facts and procedural background of the case is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Acoustician, Steven Cooper, has been asked to measure noise emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility in Australia following years of noise complaints since the project was placed in service in 2008. Mr Cooper has tested inside three homes near the wind facility over eight weeks, including a two-week shutdown of the turbines. His preliminary report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. His initial findings are provided below.
This paper aims to summarise the current state of knowledge in this area by fire problems with wind turbines. The authors found that fire is the second leading cause of catastrophic accidents in wind turbines (after blade failure) and accounts for 10 to 30% of the reported turbine accidents of any year since 1980’s. In 90% of the cases, the fire leads to a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least a downtime that results in the accumulation of economic losses.The Abstract and Conclusions of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
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.
The Finland Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepared this report in order to ensure health protection is involve in connection with the planning and construction of wind power plants. A major objective of health protection is also to prevent health hazards. According to the Ministry, "the cheapest and absolutely best way of implementing health protection is hazard prevention as early as at the planning stage." Excerpts of the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
This attached documents show production data from a large sample of wind projects operating in the US, by state, for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. The production numbers were obtained from the Energy Information Administration.
Texas PUC chairwoman, Donna Nelson, has initiated an investigation into "the costs of [transmission] system upgrades, the costs to maintain and operate the current system, and the allocation of those costs specifically related to renewable resources." In her memo below (and attached). Chairwoman Nelson warns of the costs, particularly of the wind PTC is extended by Congress.
This report describes the results of full spectrum acoustic monitoring conducted at a number of homes located between 2 km out to nearly 10km from the Waterloo Wind Energy facility. This monitoring was independent of the that conducted by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA) and was requested by Mrs Mary Morris and other concerned residents in the Waterloo district. The monitoring occurred during the period of the South Australian EPA Acoustic Survey, conducted in mid 2013. The conclusions of the monitoring are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The proximity of wind turbines to residential areas has been associated with a higher level of complaints compared to the general population. The study objective was to search the literature investigating whether an association between wind turbines and human distress exists. This report examined eighteen (18) peer-reviewed studies and found that each study provided reasonable evidence that an association exists. The abstract of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this paper.
This paper examines five different low and no-carbon electricity technologies and presents the net benefits of each under a range of assumptions. One of the key findings of the report states that "nuclear, hydro, and natural gas combined cycle have far more net benefits than either wind or solar. This is the case because solar and wind facilities suffer from a very high capacity cost per megawatt, very low capacity factors and low reliability, which result in low avoided emissions and low avoided energy cost per dollar invested." A summary of the findings is below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.
The Granville Township Supervisors adopted the attached ordinance to the construction and maintenance of Wind Turbine Generators in the town. An excerpt of the ordinance is provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The American Bird Conservancy has notified the Obama Administration that it intends to file a lawsuit challenging recent changes in wildlife protection laws allowing wind farms that kill eagles accidentally to continue operating for a period of 30 years without needing to apply for new permits. The intent to sue document filed with the Department of the Interior can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Abstract This study provides quantitative evidence on the local benefits and costs of wind farm developments in England and Wales, focussing on their visual environmental impacts. In the tradition of studies in environmental, public and urban economics, housing costs are used to reveal local preferences for views of wind farm developments. Estimation is based on quasiexperimental research designs that compare price changes occurring in places where wind farms become visible, with price changes in appropriate comparator groups. These comparator groups include places close to wind farms that became visible in the past, or where they will become operational in the future and places close to wind farms sites but where the turbines are hidden by the terrain. All these comparisons suggest that wind farm visibility reduces local house prices, and the implied visual environmental costs are substantial. The conclusions of the report are provided below. The full report 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.
Mauri Johansson, MD, a specialist in Community and Occupational Medicine (including Environmental Medicine) in Denmark, sent this open letter to the heads of the Australian Medical Association in response to the AMA's recent position paper on industrial-scale wind energy where it claimed that "Individuals residing in the vicinity of wind farms who do experience adverse health or well-being, may do so as a consequence of their heightened anxiety or negative perceptions regarding wind farm developments in their area."
This important paper written by Drs. Alec Salt and Jeffery T. Lichtenhan, both Professors of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis, examines the many ways by which unheard infrasound and low-frequency sound from wind turbines could distress people living nearby. The introduction and conclusion of the paper is excerpted below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.