Documents from USA

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

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

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

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

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

Neighbor requests Vermont PSB provide relief from noise violations of the Sheffield wind project

Outsidetoinsideattenuation2-27-14final_thumb Paul Brouha, resident of Sutton, Vermont filed this letter and accompanying reports with the Vermont Public Service Board to show that the Sheffield wind energy facility (40 MW) is consistently operating in violation of the Board's permit conditions relating to indoor noise levels. A summary of what Mr. Brouha is experiencing at his home can be found below. The findings of independent noise experts can be found by clicking the links on this page.
3 Mar 2014

Robert Bryce U.S. Senate Testimony: Killing wildlife In the name of climate change

22514hearingwitnesstestimonybryce_thumb Author and Journalist Robert Bryce presented these written comments at a hearing before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. The focus of the hearing was on the economic benefits of ecosystems and wildlife and how they “are valuable to a wide range of industries,” including tourism. The purpose was also to examine “how the Administration is preparing to protect” ecosystems “in a changing climate.” Most of Mr. Bryce's written comments are provided below. His full statement can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
25 Feb 2014

Consumers Energy Sound Mitigation Plan with Commentary

Masoncountymitigationplanreview-shineldecker_thumb The Lake Winds Energy Park has been found in violation of the Mason County Michigan zoning ordinance due to noise levels exceeding the permitted levels. The Mason County Planning Commission notified Consumers Energy of the exceedences and the matter is before the Courts. The attached document is the proposed sound mitigation plan. In addition, one of the residents pursuing the court case, Cary Shineldecker, filed a review of the mitigation plan. Both Consumers Sound Mitigation Plan and Mr. Shineldecker's review can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
18 Feb 2014

Vermont PSB Orders investigation into noise emissions at operating power plants

Vermontpsb-8167memo-scopingorder_thumb The Vermont Public Service Board held a prehearing conference on January 8, 2014 to discuss opening an investigation into the issue of appropriate sound standards applicable to facilities constructed pursuant to 30 V.S.A. §§ 248 and 219a. This inludes wind energy facilities. In this order the Board established a process for conducting the proceeding, as well as a proposed scope of issues to be examined through the investigation. A portion of the order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
29 Jan 2014

Nuisance complaint filed against the Sheffield Wind Project: Vermont

Brouha-complaint_thumb Paul Brouha, a resident of Sutton, Vermont, filed suit in Caledonia Superior Court against Vermont Wind, Northeast Wind Partners II, and First Wind Holdings over the Sheffield Wind Project, a 40 megawatt (16 turbine) facility. The filing states that the noise from and the visual impact of the project are out of character with the surrounding area, continue for extended periods, and constitute a nuisance. The complaint document can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
24 Jan 2014

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