Article

Wind Energy- Public Misled, Strict Zoning Needed

The public needs to hear all of the FACTS and if it appears that the project could be detrimental in any way than it should not be constructed.

On October 24th, 2006 I attended the public hearing in the town of Manheim for the proposed Local Law entitled “The Town of Manheim Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance” to allow 400’ tall Industrial Wind Turbines to be constructed in the town. I was amazed at how misleading the hearing was for the people that are not familiar with the wind turbines issues. Many people in favor of wind power are quick to say that the turbines are good for the environment and the town, but other than personal financial gain (MONEY), they have little else to justify the project. A few residents believe it will end the war in Iraq and cut our dependence on foreign oil when in fact only about 3% of the U.S. consumption of oil is for electricity generation. About 68% of the oil consumption is for the transportation industry. Grade school math should help anyone calculate how little oil “could” be saved if wind power were a legitimate source of electricity generation, but it also makes you realize how much oil could be saved by fuel efficiency in the transportation industry. There were a lot of trucks and SUV’s in the parking lot that night. Why aren’t these people driving hybrid vehicles or fuel efficient cars if this is their concern?

The public is also misled by the term “nameplating”. An example is when a wind turbine project such as 100 – 1.5 Megawatt turbines is called a 150Mw project,... [truncated due to possible copyright]  

On October 24th, 2006 I attended the public hearing in the town of Manheim for the proposed Local Law entitled “The Town of Manheim Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance” to allow 400’ tall Industrial Wind Turbines to be constructed in the town. I was amazed at how misleading the hearing was for the people that are not familiar with the wind turbines issues. Many people in favor of wind power are quick to say that the turbines are good for the environment and the town, but other than personal financial gain (MONEY), they have little else to justify the project. A few residents believe it will end the war in Iraq and cut our dependence on foreign oil when in fact only about 3% of the U.S. consumption of oil is for electricity generation. About 68% of the oil consumption is for the transportation industry. Grade school math should help anyone calculate how little oil “could” be saved if wind power were a legitimate source of electricity generation, but it also makes you realize how much oil could be saved by fuel efficiency in the transportation industry. There were a lot of trucks and SUV’s in the parking lot that night. Why aren’t these people driving hybrid vehicles or fuel efficient cars if this is their concern?

The public is also misled by the term “nameplating”. An example is when a wind turbine project such as 100 – 1.5 Megawatt turbines is called a 150Mw project, but the project owner only ever expects it to produce an average of 20% - 30% capacity factor. They always use the maximum “nameplate” rating to mislead the public. They only ever achieve this about 7% of the time in a Class 3 wind area. In Manheim the wind resources are rated as “Marginal” Class 1. At a maybe generous 20% capacity factor, this project would only be expected to produce 30Mw on average. PPM Energy states that in order for a commercial project to be economically viable, it must produce a minimum of 33% capacity factor. Again, you do the math. The wind is intermittent and unreliable, and in Manheim “Marginal”.

As for the Noise that Legislator Ray Smith says “he” can’t hear, drive to the Flat Rock Inn on Flat Rock Road, south of Lowville. Many other individuals CAN hear the noise so we know it really does exist. Listen to the turbines that surround the Inn that sound like a jet going overhead. Talk to the owner, Gordon Yancey about how this project has affected his life and his business. Ask how much electric rates have gone up (instead of down) since the Industrial Wind Facility went on line less than a year ago. Stand on his porch and look out at 60 - 70 of these whirling blades and see if it bothers you. There are about 195 turbines surrounding him. Stand in front of the existing houses in the middle of the project and ask yourself if you would build a house even 1500’ from one of these monstrosities.

General Electric just celebrated its’ 5,000th 1.5Mw turbine going online worldwide, but to date no “Fossil Fuel” electricity generating plants have been shut down or are scheduled to be shut down because of all the additional wind power coming online. On the contrary, many fossil fuel plants are being built for the future. Wind turbines always need reliable backup because the wind is unreliable and intermittent. What’s interesting is General Electric states that ”Much of the surge in 1.5-megawatt orders has occurred in the United States, where the wind industry received a major boost with the extension of the Federal Production Tax Credit at the end of 2005”, but nowhere in the article does it mention anything about how the turbines are helping our environment. Hello Manheim residents, isn’t the environment supposed to be the reason for the turbines! In reality, it’s ALL about the MONEY!!!!

5,000 turbines will render an average of over 550,000 acres of land useless to build on and for all intents and purposes off of the tax rolls for any significant taxation for real property taxes. Wind turbines average only 10% - 20% efficiency in the hot summer months between 1pm – 5pm when they are needed most. On a hot summer day 5,000 turbines will only contribute an average of only 1,125Mw to the grid. The Nine Mile 2 Nuclear power plant in Oswego generates more than that at 1,135Mw with an average capacity factor of 93.8%. And remember, Nuclear Power is 100% Renewable Energy. The 4 Nuclear power plants in New York State occupy about 1,000 acres of land and produce over 5,000 Mw of clean energy 24 hours a day. New processes now allow for more complete usage of the fuel resulting in very little waste.

President Bush recently spoke at the Renewable Energy Conference in St. Louis, Missouri and spoke about progress being made in the future of Nuclear Energy. As he said “there’s a new industry beginning to come back”. They are in the process of gearing up for the construction of many nuclear power plants and it is clear that this is the future for electricity generation, not a backwards technology such as wind turbines. With modern technology, we should have a better means of generating electricity than having to rely on the wind. He had little to offer on wind power other than its “got the opportunity to help”. It didn’t sound very encouraging for the future of the wind industry.

These structures should not be built in populated areas and definitely not within 2500’ of any dwelling or property line. The people of Manheim should demand this along with the County demanding $20,000/Mw from the project Owner as their consulting firm recommended they ask for.

Many townships are adopting strict ordinances with 2000’ – 2500’ setbacks from dwellings to protect the landowners and some towns are adopting ordinances that prohibit construction of “Industrial Wind Turbines” in their towns at all. Cherry Valley is one of them. It can only make you wonder what it is that these Town and County boards know that our Town and County boards have not learned yet.

The public needs to hear all of the FACTS and if it appears that the project could be detrimental in any way than it should not be constructed. “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is becoming more common as these projects are constructed in residential areas. Although it does not affect everyone, no one should have to suffer the consequences.

The Greedy landowners that hold potential contracts have little, if any consideration for their neighbors and should not be allowed to speak publicly about the issue. They know only one side – MONEY. Technically, doesn’t this make them agents for Tamarack? Too bad they didn’t do more research before signing contracts that will tie up the use of their land for up to 40 years.

Legislator Smith made it clear that he wants all 3 projects in Herkimer County to help fund the new jail the County needs to construct. What a shame that your rights as a Landowner, and the “Health and Safety” of everyone are not the primary concern of our Town and County officials. What’s worse is that our elected and appointed officials who are NOT experts on “wind turbines” are willing to compromise our RIGHTS as Americans for a FEW $$$$$$$. Every landowner should be allowed a vote on whether or not the project should be constructed.

Do your own research. Visit the Maple Ridge Project on Tug Hill. Talk to the people “not” being paid to say they like living under them. Form your own opinion. Ask yourself as you stand next to them, would you build a house near them?

Helpful websites: www.ninapierpont.com, www.windaction.org, www.aweo.org.

For more information and a DVD of the Tug Hill project please call me at 315-823-4773, e-mail me at fairfieldcc@hotmail.com or write to: Fairfield Concerned Citizens, P.O. Box 1013, Little Falls, N.Y. 13365 

If anyone has questions they can call any of the Fairfield Concerned Citizens members including:
Don Denapole @ 891-3036, Jim Salamone @ 823-3477 or Hank Crofoot @ 823-2993.  


Source: link missing! please notify us

NOV 13 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/5823-wind-energy-public-misled-strict-zoning-needed
back to top