Library filed under Impact on Landscape from USA
To help guide our own internal policy on wind energy, VNRC has developed a list of criteria that we feel is appropriate to consider for wind energy development. These criteria are not exclusive to state owned land, but rather focus on developing a vision for siting wind energy infrastructure in Vermont. We have included specific considerations for State lands as well. The goal is to integrate the need to develop new in-state sources of renewable energy with protection of existing environmental values and public policy goals.
A new simulation finds serious and previously unrecognized environmental threats from massive wind farms in the American Great Plains. A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by scientists from Princeton and Duke Universities indicates massive wind farms would significantly increase local surface drying and soil heating, which in turn would impact agricultural or range use on or near the wind farm. The modeling experiment used current wind turbine and rotor technology to assess local climate impacts from a simulated wind farm with 10,000 turbines, arranged in a simple, square array of 100 by 100 turbines, each spaced one kilometer apart.
Scientists compare the environmental importance of the tallgrass prairie to that of the rainforest. Its roots act as a carbon sink, cleansing the air of pollution. Its plants and limestone soils purify rainwater. Per acre, it provides more environmental benefits than any other ecosystem in North America.
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
Researched and written by Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires Inc. this is a comprehensive study of the probable impact of industrial wind plants on the rural character, quality-of-life and economy of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Specific issues addressed include visual aesthetics, tourism, property values, public roads and public safety.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of: the visual character of our environment; the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C; the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.
This photo illustrates the amount of land disturbance that is involved in constructing these machines. Photo taken from the cover of a report on the Mountaineer facility by Jessica Kerns and Paul Kerlinger
This document [DEIS] has not provided any demonstrable public need for the insignificant amount of power this facility is capable of producing. No valid, compelling local (or even statewide) economic reasons were offered to potentially offset the overwhelming negative impacts that will result if built. This DEIS is abundant in quantity, but extremely lacking in quality of scientific analysis and entirely deficient in analysis in certain areas. Various mitigations offered are unacceptable or unworkable. The following are areas of analysis that were either deficient or not performed at all:............
Wind turbines to produce electricity on a large scale – “wind farms” – are currently being proposed for parts of Tug Hill. Large-scale wind farms are a relatively new occurrence in the Northeast, and since they are new there are many questions that do not have clear answers.
This image was captured by the Ikonos satellite on September 14, 2003. Turbine access roads branch out from numerous “handles”. The blades of the turbines cast black shadows on the ground.
The study pointed out that when a community focuses on tourism as a strategy for economic vitality, it is important that they coordinate tourism and other economic development activities. Weak or non-existent planning and zoning, polluting industries, etc. can lower the visitors’ impression and the likelihood of repeat visits. Furthermore, that essential word of mouth advertising, so wonderful when everything works well, can work against a community that fails to keep up its appearance and its offerings (YNG study).
Dr. Richard Truly, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Dear Dr. Truly: It has come to my attention that an employee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Mr. Larry Flowers: 1. Asserted, during public “forums” on wind energy held on March 25, 2003, in Ludington, Michigan, that I am in some way associated with the coal industry and, therefore, my analysis and writing concerning wind energy should not be considered credible. Over 150 people attended these public forums. 2. On March 27, 2003, distributed via email to one or more participants in the Ludington forums the attached undated, unsigned paper which questions the independence of my work, questions the truthfulness of my claim that my work on wind energy is self-financed, and makes other false and misleading statements. Mr. Flowers’ email forwarding the paper includes the following statement: “MI wind colleagues: here is a brief piece written in response to Glen [sic] Schleede misinformation. I suggest you distribute this to participants in the Ludington meeting…”
Under Vermont's two-part Quechee test, a determination must first be made as to whether a proposed project will have an adverse impact on aesthetics and the scenic and natural beauty of an area because it would not be in harmony with its surroundings. If the answer is in the affirmative, the inquiry then advances to the second prong to determine if the adverse impact would be undue.
This Information Memorandum summarizes state regulations and policies that govern or affect the siting of the facilities that use renewable resources to generate electricity for sale in Wisconsin by electric utilities and electric cooperatives. The memorandum also identifies the current amount of electricity generated in Wisconsin from renewable resources.
Jean Vissering's more extensive summary than "Wind Turbine Siting Issues in Vermont" of the workshops held in 2002 at Woodbury College to build a consensus on criteria for siting wind energy projects in Vermont.
This paper by landscape architect Jean Vissering addresses siting guidelines for both utility scale wind plants and smaller scale wind turbines.
A summary of the outcomes reached at four wookshops during February, March, April and May in 2002 that were held in an effort to build consensus on various criteria for siting wind energy projects in Vermont. This paper is available by clicking on the download link.
The commission unanimously voted down the proposal after a five-hour hearing attended by more than 150 people at Santa Clarita City Hall. Zond Systems, the largest producer of wind energy in California, had hoped to erect more than 300 windmills--some as tall as 150 feet--on vacant, mountainous land near Gorman.