New York's Niagara County Planning Board meeting approved this amended wind law for the town of Somerset, NY. The findings made by the Town of Somerset to justify the provisions in the law are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This new study examines bat mortality events including impacts from operating wind energy facilities. The global expansion of industrial wind energy production has resulted in multiple fatalities reported from wind turbines in North America, Europe, South America, Africa, and Australia, most during the past decade (See Appendix S6 of the report). Estimates that include bias corrections range to thousands of bat deaths annually at some facilities. Cumulative deaths of bats at turbines tabulated for Europe for the period 2003–2013 involved 5626 bats of 27 species in 18 countries, only a fraction of the likely mortality. In some regions, deaths of some species at wind turbines far exceed other known sources of mortality (Cryan 2011). Causes of susceptibility to wind turbines are not fully understood. To acess the full report click the links on this page.
The Town of Freedom in Maine adopted this Wind Energy Ordinance requiring setbacks of 13 times the turbine height for three larger classes of windmills, which can represent a distance up to 1-mile. The ordinance limits nighttime noise emissions to 35 dB(A) and shadow flicker to no more than 10-hours per year on properties that are not participating with the the wind project. Portions of the ordinance are provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Wind Concerns Ontario submitted these comments to the Green Energy Approvals section of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), following testimony from acoustics experts at the appeal of the White Pines wind power project. In the letter (provided below and attached to this page), WCO requests that the MOECC review the testimony of the witnesses, specifically that Ontario’s noise regulations are inadequate to protect health, and to apply the information to the current review of noise regulations for wind turbines underway in the province. The White Pines Wind Project, if built, will consist of 29 wind turbines with a nameplate capacity of 59.45 megawatts (MW) situated in within the ward of South Marysburgh and a small portion of Athol, Prince Edward County, Ontario. For more information pertaining to the White Pines wind application appeal before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, see this website - https://appec.wordpress.com/
This decision letter issued by the United Kingdom energy secretary reports that the Mynydd y Gwynt wind energy proposal has been denied. Reasons for the denial include the secretary's inability to determine the project's impact on red kites resident at the Elenydd-Mallaen special protection area (SPA). A portion of the decision is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The project would have sited 27 turbines of between 3 MW and 3.3 MW each in Powys.
Following 9 months of testimony and cross examination as well as supportive votes cast by the Boone County zoning board of adjustment, the full county board met and passed this wind energy ordinance with a 9 to 3 margin. The ordinance provides for several protective provisions including establishing setback distances of 2,640 feet or 5.5 times the height of the wind turbine including the blades at the highest point, whichever is greater. A protion of the ordinance is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The U.S. District Court in Nevada has ordered that the federal Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Biological Opinion issued on APEX Energy's Searchlight Wind project be vacated. A brief background is provided below. The vacate order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Horizon Wind Inc. first proposed the controversial wind project in 2007 that would place 16 wind turbines at various locations in the south Neebing area of Thunder Bay. The project was first approved by the city council but with objections to some turbine locations. Legal actions by Horizon eventually paved the way for the project but not without continued objections by the residents. Due to delays, the feed-in-tariff contract signed with Ontario was canceled in 2014. The project is now officially off the books in Ontario. This denial document, issued on October 29, 2015, explains why.
This paper examines the impact of wind turbine noise among wind farm workers. Turbine noise.can affect annoyance, sleep and health, and any disorder in these factors can amplify the sound exposure effects in the people living close to wind turbines. The effect of the noise exposure on the annoyance, sleep disturbance and health of the people living near to wind farms and their mutual effects on each other was studied in various places around the world and there is a comprehensive literature in this area [6–8], but, so far no study has been conducted to investigate these relations among wind farm workers. The abstract and background for the study are provided below. The full report can be accessed at the links on this page.
This study was undertaken to understand the landscape, visual and historic environment effects of operational wind farms in Northumberland in the United Kingdom. The report and its findings can be viewed by clicking on the links on this page. A summary of the findings excerpted from the report is provided below.
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.
These documents, secured under the Australian Right to Information (RTI) Act, reveal that warnings from the Queensland Government's own noise expert were not provided to the public or passed on to the Planning Department or the Minister for Planning to inform the wind turbine siting process. Dr Antoine David, the noise expert in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection provided his superiors with a list of nine points of concern regarding the draft Wind Farm Code. The list of his concerns is provided below and can also be found on page 7 of the attached document. A RTI request revealed that, despite making his concerns known within his department, Dr. David's findings were not forwarded to the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the department responsible for developing the current draft (version 2) of the Wind Farm Code.
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.
The Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which was established in December 2014, released this final report based on a considerable volume of evidence collected from testimonies around the country and beyond. 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 from both the interim and final reports are provided below. The full reports, both final and interim, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, a minority, dissenting report is included.