An application prepared by Apex Clean Energy to construct and operate the Flat Rock wind facility was submitted to the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals (the “BZA”) on March 15, 2015. The 180 MW project consisted of 95-3 MW turbines with approximately 66 turbines located in Rush County and the remaining turbines to be sited in Henry County. The Rush County BZA ultimately approved the application with the condition that the setback distance between the wind turbines and non-participating properties be 2,300 feet. The County's ordinance established a setback distance of 1,000 feet. Apex filed a petition before the Rush County Superior Court for judicial review of the BZA’s decision. On May 27, 2016, a judge issued findings of fact and conclusions of law that upheld the BZA’s approval with the 2,300-foot setback provision. Apex appealed the decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The decision by the Appeals Count was in favor of Rush County. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on the page. A portion of the decision is provided below.
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.
This important decision by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District in California found that the Department of Energy failed to follow NEPA when it issued a permit to construct a transmission line that crossed over from Mexico into the United States. The Court order that since the U.S. portion of the Line and the Mexican portion of the Line were literally "two links of a single chain" connecting the Substation to the ESJ Wind Farm, the DOE was required to consider the impacts of the project on Mexico. Portions of the decision are shown below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document link on this page.
On January 14, 2016, Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC filed an application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) with the Maryland PSC to construct a 59.9 megawatt wind energy facility in Allegany County Maryland. The application to the PSC came after the company could not obtain a permit though the County's permitting process and after they asked for and received an exemption from the state for a CPCN back in 2008. Dan's Mountain returned to the PSC in an effort to go around the County's denials. Following an adjudicative hearing, this order was issued by the PSC denying the project. The Findings and Conclusions by Terry J. Romine, the Chief Public Utility Law Judge for the Maryland PSC, can be found below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
Public Utility Law Judge Dennis H. Sober of the Maryland Public Service Commission, has denied a permit for Apex Clean Energy, Inc to construct the Mills Branch Solar project proposed for Kent County Maryland. The project was expected to have a nameplate capacity of 60 MW spread across 330 acres of Maryland farmland. The project was opposed by the Kent County board of Commissioners and residents in the area. Apex previously tried to site a wind energy facility in the same area on 5,000 acres but opposition to the turbines forced the company to change from wind to solar. A portion of Judge Sober's decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
Dr. Robert Y McMurtry and Carmen M. E. Krogh published this response to commentary contained in the presentation of McCunney et al. McCunney et al. addressing wind turbine noise and the impacts on nearby residents. A portion of the response is provided below. The full response can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
This important research identified that migrating raptor species tend to be attracted to offshore wind turbines and that the risk of colliding with wind turbines at sea is much greater than previously assumed. The abstract and resulting discussion of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be downloaded by clinking the links on this page.
In a 3-2 vote, the Perquimans County Board denied an application by Apex Clean Energy to erect the Timbermill wind energy facility. Timbermill, if approved, would have sited 57 turbines, each standing 599-feet tall. The order detailing the decision can be accessed by selecting the document icon on this page. The Conclusion of the order provided below.
A non-governmental body has called for Siemens and Enel to cancel wind projects in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has said that schemes agreed by Siemens, Enel Green Power and the Moroccan government are set to take place in Western Sahara; and contribute to Morocco’s illegal occupation of the area. The Sahwari people claim ownership of the region, which was a colonial power of Spain and has been formally claimed by Morocco since 1957. Spain relinquished power in 1975. This document prepared by WSRW explains the dispute.
As part of the New York State Article 10 process for reviewing wind energy proposals, the Department of Health has submitted these scoping comments to the developer of the proposed Eight Point wind energy facility. Project developer NextEra plans to erect 32 wind turbines totaling 103.4 megawatts on land leased in the towns of Greenwood, West Union and Troupsburg and West Union in Steuben County, New York. The Department of Health has raised important questions regarding the cumulative impact of the project on health and safety given there are existing wind projects in the same general area. The cover letter addressed to NextEra is provided below. The full letter with comments can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
This important peer-reviewed paper examines 15 years of the authors' combined experience with wind turbine noise issues. The authors respond to the various responses by the wind industry regarding turbine noise and explain why audiologists, particularly those interested in community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to public health. They also encourage audiologists to be sensitive to the non-auditory aspects of acoustic energy, including the dynamically modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound emitted by modern wind turbines. The background information about the paper is provided below. The link(s) to download the paper are included on this page.
The New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation issued an open letter to Henry County officials Tuesday stating that the EDC will no longer pursue future wind development within the county. The letter was signed by New Castle-Henry County EDC President and Chief Executive Officer Corey Murphy and approved by the EDC’s executive board. The letter can be downloaded by clicking the document icon on this page. The full text of the letter is provided below.
This useful paper examines China's efforts to mitigate carbon emissions using wind power. The abstract of the paper along with conclusions is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
This important paper examines how wind turbine noise, particularly noise from larger turbines, falls in the lower frequency range, below 1000 and 500 Hz. This type of noise penetrates homes and creates sleep disturbance. The researchers found that, in general, the indoor noise levels of homes near turbines are higher which helps explains noise annoyance complaints. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
This important white paper provides perspective on how the courts are likely to respond to wind projects that might produce significant adverse impacts on the environment. Summary considerations excerpted from the paper are provided here while the full paper is shown below and accessible from the links on this page. Important Considerations It is clear that renewable energy projects sited on or across Federally-administered lands will be carefully reviewed by Federal courts. From these cases, at least three key considerations emerge, including: Courts are generally unwilling to credit environmental analyses without actual survey data, especially where sensitive species or sensitive areas are present; The use of mitigation measures to mask an apparent lack of baseline data does not appear to be a defensible position; and Careful and consistent managing of the administrative record is key to surviving a legal challenge to a project.
This paper reports on research that looked at wind data collected offshore along the Northeast Unitied States. The paper's main finding is that atmospheric conditions around Cape Wind are predominantly turbulent, or unstable, which is very different from prevailing data from European offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Wind conditions at Cape Wind were shown to be unstable between 40 and 80 percent of the time, depending on season and time of day, The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed from the links on this page.
Introduction: Thirty states including the District of Columbia have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) specifying shares of electricity consumption provided by renewable energy. RPS proponents argue that these policies are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also argue that the construction of renewable energy facilities increase employment opportunities. Opponents assert that Renewable Portfolio Standards increase electricity generation costs and rates paid by customers, which reduces regional economic activity. The objective of this study is to provide a balanced look at the issue, weighing the costs and benefits of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards. A portion of the study's executive summary is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is taking public comment until July 5 (2016) on an eagle-management plan that could weaken protections for eagles, including the issuing of 30-year permits to wind energy and other companies that allow the “take” (or harm) of thousands of eagles. The American Bird Conservancy and other groups and individuals are working to strengthen the draft rules prepared by the FWS—also called the Eagle Take Rule. Under the proposed plan industry would not be required to have mortality data collected by independent, third-party experts; share mortality data with the public; or take critical factors like proper siting of wind turbines into consideration. Attached is the comment letter submitted by ABC of which a portion is posted below.