Documents

Comments to BPA regarding Whistling Ridge Energy Project

Commentsfriends-sosawhistlingridgeenergyproject_thumb 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.
3 Jul 2014

Texas PUC memo on wind-friendly transmission

Texas-puc-memo-42079_2_792250_thumb 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.
29 May 2014

Systematic Review 2013: Association between wind turbines and human distress

20140523-1643-7v3ao8-systematicreview2013_thumb 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.
23 May 2014

The net benefits of low and no-carbon electricity technologies

Brookings-netbenefitsfinal_thumb 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.
20 May 2014

American Bird Conservancy intent to sue - Filing

Abcnoticefinal_thumb 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.
1 May 2014

Gone with the Wind: Valuing the visual impacts of wind turbines through house prices

Sercdp0159_thumb 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.
11 Apr 2014

Court of Appeal confirms parliamentary intention overrides an exercise of expert judgment

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.
8 Apr 2014

A highly alarming position paper from a Medical association (Australian AMA)

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."
7 Apr 2014

How does wind turbine noise affect people?

14-03-31acousticstodaysaltandlichtenhan_thumb 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.
6 Apr 2014

Wind Farms and Health

Evans-wind-farms-health_thumb This paper by Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus Belfast University provides an easy to read synopsis of our current understanding of wind turbine noise and its impact on human health. An excerpt of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
3 Apr 2014

NH State Fire Marshal: 'Iberdrola-Groton Wind in violation of safety codes'

08-12-13nh-statefiremarshall-grotonwind_thumb The NH State Fire Marshal has recommended that Iberdrola's Groton Wind energy facility cease operation until fire safety concerns have been addressed. A letter as well as prefiled testimony submitted by the Fire Marshal's office asserting the facts in the case can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The NH Site Evaluation Committee has initiated enforcement proceedings against Iberdrola for this an other complaints.
21 Mar 2014

Dr. Gary D Hopkins MD: Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines

Dr. Gary Hopkins, a practicing physician in Australia, issued this letter to the President of the Australian Medical Association where he takes the AMA to task over its recent position statement claiming that "available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity."
20 Mar 2014

US DIstrict Court ruling on Cape Wind

Cw-msjorder_thumb In this District Court ruling, Judge Reggie Walton found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in their reviews of the offshore wind project. The court remanded the case to FWS to independently evaluate a shutdown of turbines during migratory bird season. The court also ruled that NMFS can no longer avoid fully evaluating impacts to right whales and must formulate and issue an incidental take statement because of the documented presence of this highly endangered species in the area. The conclusion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
14 Mar 2014

Order: Fox Islands Wind Neighbors et.al. v. Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Vinalhaven)

212119306-superior-court-decision-in-fiwn-v-dep_thumb A Maine Superior Court judge has found in favor of wind turbine neighbors (Fox Island Wind Neighbors) complaining about excessive noise from three nearby 1.5 megawatt GE wind turbines. This is believed to be the first court case where a state judge has found against a state agency charged with enforcement; the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The judge’s decision follows the key claim of the plaintiffs who proved that FIW (Fox Islands Wind) was not complying with the State’s noise limits and that the DEP failed to enforce against the turbine operator or to require compliance. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
10 Mar 2014

Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision vacates First Wind-Emera merger

Maine-supreme-judicial-court-decision-fw-emera_thumb The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Maine PUC erred in approving a merger between wind developer, First Wind, and the utility Emera which owns generation assets in the State. This order vacates the PUC ruling from three years ago. The order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the Court's order can be found below.
4 Mar 2014

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