PacifiCorp, a wind energy developer, filed a complaint with the US District Court of Utah seeking a declaratory and permanent injunction against the US Department of the Interior and the US Fish and Wildlife Service over the release of information about bird mortality at the company's operating wind projects. PacifiCorp insists that the requested information "constitutes confidential commercial information that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The complaint filed by PacifiCorp and the response by the US Department of the Interior can be accessed at the links provided on this page.
The U.S. Department of Interior filed a suit against Enel Green Power claiming the company is breaking the law by damaging and destroying rocks that belong to the Osage Nation during the construction of the Osage wind energy facility. This filing submitted by Enel Green Power responds to the law suit. According to the lawsuit, EnelGreen Power will excavate more than 60,000 cubic yards of minerals, which the suit said is considered mining by law.The company is excavating sand, soil and rock, then crushing some of the materials to use as reinforcement for the concrete turbine foundations.The full document can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
The Inspector General of the Department of Interior released this report involving an investigation of Steven Black, a senior official who is now retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Black had apparent close ties with the renewable energy industry and was accused of pressuring subordinates to ignore environmental concerns in favor of supporting the construction of wind energy and other renewable projects. The summary of the investigation is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
In this paper, William K.G. Palmer discusses how interior room shape and size contribute to turbine noise complaints when wind turbines are sited nearby. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper, with presentation slides, can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. Mr. Palmer presented his findings at the October 2014 Acoustical Society of America proceedings.
This report prepared by the global law firm, Dentons, examines the impacts on the European energy section including the US shale revolution and cost issues surrounding the aggressive move to renewables. An excerpt of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
This letter, signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, concludes that the turbines proposed for Somerset County in Maryland would "significantly impair or degrade the capability of the Department of Defense to conduct research, development, testing and evaluation, and operations, or to maintain military readiness." Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5), praised the action by the Defense department and stated that the turbines posed "a significant threat to the mission and world-class stealth radar system at Patuxent River Naval Air Station."
The UK wind debate assumes that wind farms operate at roughly their average output most of the time. According to this new paper by Dr. Capell Aris’, this assumption is not true. Power comes only extremely intermittently and variably and there are long periods of negligible efficiency, particularly during the long winter months when power is most needed. A 10GW wind fleet would need approximately 9.5GW of fossil capacity to guarantee its output. A summary from the report of Dr. Aris' findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This report evaluates the potential energy market impacts and energy costs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. EPA proposed the CPP in June 2014 as a nationwide regulation (to be implemented by the states) under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
This important paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the unprecedented numbers of tree-roosting bat fatalities at operating wind turbine facilities and the behavior of the bats near the turbines. The abstract of the paper along with the significance of the findings are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Dr. Robert McMurtry and Carmen ME Krogh present an important summary of the adverse health impacts observed in individuals living in proximity to industrial scale wind turbines. The paper is aimed at physicians who are receiving patients with symptoms and possible confusing complaints reported by those near the operating turbine plants. Excerpts of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
In this study, neurobiologist Markus Drexl and others at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, examined the effects of low frequency noise on human hearing. The found that after short bursts of LF sound the ear showed signs that, over time could damage hearing. The introduction and conclusion of the study's report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This comprehensive land use ordinance controlling the siting of wind energy facilities was adopted by Mason County in Kentucky. The preface of the 26-page ordinance is provided below alson with a short summary of the siting limits. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
This important report by the Texas Comptroller examines the importance of reliable, low-cost energy for the State of Texas. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Nearly 60 New York residents from Wyoming County are listed as plaintiffs in this lawsuit filed against Invenergy for lost quality of life and property value in relation to the Orangeville Wind Farm. The complaint was filed in early-August with the State Supreme Court in Wyoming County. Attorney Richard Lippes, of Lippes & Lippes in Buffalo, is representing the residents. The text of the complaint is posted below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. The names of the plaintiffs have been omitted from the filing.
Vermont citizens filed this petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate deceptive trade practices of Green Mountain Power (GMP), a Vermont utility. The complaint focuses on GMP marketing of renewable energy to Vermont consumers. The petition was filed by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School.
High Cost - Since being adopted in 1992, the cost of the PTC for wind energy has ballooned from roughly $5 million a year in 1998 to $1.5 billion annually today. This open-ended subsidy of 2.3¢/kWh in after-tax income represents a pre-tax value of approximately 3.5¢/kWh. In many regions of the country the PTC now equals, or is greater than, the wholesale price of power.
This important ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals involves wind power and whether utilities are mandated under Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to purchase the energy. In the ruling, the Court found that states have the right to limit the ability of renewable energy facilities to sell power under PURPA through long-term contracts unless the facilities can provide “firm power.” This “firm power” requirement is a problem for renewable energy developers, in particular wind and solar. The ruling also reinforces the role of the States in their interpretation and implementation of the law. In this case, Exelon, which owns a number of operating wind energy facilities in Texas, argued that the utilitty was required under PURPA to sign long-term contracts to acquire the energy at prices ranging from $35 to $90/megawatt hour. The Court disagreed. A brief portion of the court's ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The town of Barnstable, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and local businesses and residents filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston this week seeking to overturn a lower court decision dismissing their lawsuit, which alleged that the state illegally coerced utility NSTAR to purchase power from the Cape Wind project. The introduction to the filing is provided below. The full appeal filed with the court can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
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.