Category Archives: Animals and turbines

Who Pays for killing the Eagles?

eagle soaringSouthern Ontario has 4 publicly known (to date ) eagle deaths caused by wind turbines.  READ:  NextEra freely handed permit to destroy Bald Eagle nest: FOI records

Internationally deaths of the iconic raptors by wind projects remains an ongoing environmental horror story.  The writer in the  letter below asks questions about the deference granted to wind facilities who are in essence given licence to kill unlike any other industry.

Emmetsburg NewsMarch 21, 2017

To the Editor:

If wind turbines are subject to wildlife areas, what happens if an eagle is hit and killed or wounded by a wind turbine? Eagles are an endangered bird and are protected by the Federal Gov. law. I read on the internet, the first offense is a $5000 fine and or one year in jail. Second time it is $10000 fine and two years in jail. Third time, if that is a felony, the fine is $250000 and jail time. Now, question is, who is to blame for the death or wounding of the eagle? Remember this is a federal crime if one is killed or wounded according to the message on the internet. Who would pay the damages or the jail time? Would it be the wind turbine company, the land owner, or would it be the county supervisors who made this decision on their own to allow the wind companies to come in by rezoning, or would it be all three?

(signed)?Tillford Egland

Cylinder, IA (USA)

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility: Wrong from the start

ocotillo nightThe Lesson: This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report March 2017 – Parke and Linda Ewing

The Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (OWEF)1 is an utility scale project placed on 12,436 acres near Ocotillo, California, of which 10,151 acres are public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Let’s not forget the towns of Ocotillo and NoMirage. Not huge towns, but home to 266 residents who chose the solitude, the quietness, and the beauty of the ever-changing seasons. Much of this beauty, along with the ecosystem, has been sacrificed.

This wind energy facility now consists of 112 Siemens 2.3-108 MW Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT), which means each IWT was rated to produce 2.3 Megawatts (MW), and the blade swept area is 108 meters in diameter (354.331’). At a later date, the rating was increased to 2.7 MW per tower, very likely to meet the minimum installed capacity required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) if San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is to meet their mandated renewable energy requirements.

The nacelle, which houses moving and support components such as the gearbox, generator, and main shaft, sits on top of a round tapered steel tower 80m (262.467’) above the ground. The 173’ long blades are held in place at a hub which is attached to the end of the nacelle. The total height of the wind turbine when a blade is in the 12 o’clock position is about 438’. The base of the tower is 15’ in diameter and houses the inverter and control equipment. Two cooling fans are placed outside of the base under the entry stairway, and the transformer is placed on the ground next to the base. More data can be found at Wikipedia2 and at the Siemens’ link3. All these links are posted in the “Notes” section online at http://www.desertreport.org.

ocotilloPublic Involvement

How did this happen? Initially, when we first heard about this project, we were told by Pattern Energy officials and by project documentation that we, the residents, would not be impacted by the turbine facility because it would be located five miles away from the Ocotillo Community. Five miles? That’s an acceptable distance. My wife and I now have turbines that reside one-half a mile from our house and with most less than one mile from the community on all sides.

There were so many maps presented during the different meetings with the various Imperial County departments that confusion ran rampant when someone asked which map represented the location of the turbines for this project. During a scoping meeting, a meeting designed to gain input from every single entity, person, department, or facility that may be impacted by this project, the residents were not allowed to speak. Instead, we were instructed to write our questions on a post card, and they would be addressed at a later time. When?

Ground Disturbances

Now let’s talk about the turbine access roads. Initial discussions and documentation indicated that these roads would be thirty-six feet wide and then narrowed to sixteen feet once the project was complete. In addition there would be an additional fifteen feet on either one side or both sides for the electrical collection lines from each turbine. Some roads ended up being up to 113 feet wide. The disturbance caused to Native American sites and to wildlife has been recorded many times4.5.

Many homeowners have felt the need to purchase flood insurance, in the middle of the desert. Residents feel that Pattern Energy was allowed to change the drainage patterns that will affect the alluvial fans, causing flooding by diversion of rain runoff. Construction of forty-two miles of access roads and an additional eighty-two miles of collection lines has stripped the water absorbing desert crust, creating the potential for flooding in areas that have been safe in past years.

Initial Wind Estimates

The next indiscretion that made itself Somewhere on this map is a community now surrounded by industrial project. known were the wind values. The wind values were incorrectly stated – records were from the Desert View Tower located ten miles up the Interstate Highway grade from Ocotillo and approximately another 2500 feet higher than the desert valley where the project is located. How were they allowed to use those numbers? Three years of data have shown that these turbines are not generating the power that was projected.

Production Shortfall

During the permitting process, differing estimate were given for the energy production of the facility depending upon who made the estimate and for whom they were intended. Ultimately Patten Energy stated that the OWEF would have a capacity factor of 34% (meaning that over time it would produce 34% of its maximum rated output at full sunlight) and that it would produce 2673 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy in its first three years. In fact, the actual capacity factor during this period was 21%, and the total energy produced was 1438 GWh, far below the projected figures. This was in spite of receiving $115,890,946 dollars from the Department of Energy’s 1603 Cash Grant Program6 in lieu of the Production Tax Credits and $110,000,000 from the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission7.

During the BLM scoping period for the project, many comments were submitted. The majority of these were in opposition to the OWEF. Comments that favored the facility were mostly based on the jobs and economic benefits that the facility would provide. A small minority of the comments favored the facility because of the sustainable renewable energy benefits. Those claims were based on the “Installed Capacity,” which is the maximum power which the facility can generate at full daytime sunlight, and an expected capacity factor of 34%. Ocotillo Wind, as stated previously, has fallen far short of predictions.

Current electricity generation for the residents of California relies on a mix of energy production technologies including: coal (7.7%), natural gas (41.9%), nuclear (13.9%), other renewables (13.7%), hydroelectric (10.8%), and others (12.0%). Based on nearly 204,000 GWh of net power generation in California in 2010, the average annual production of 479 GWh by the Ocotillo facility represents only 0.2 percent of California’s total. It is reasonable to wonder if the negative consequences of the project can be justified by this small contribution.

Mechanical failures

The OWEF has been plagued by mechanical problems. On May 16, 2013, a 173’ long wind turbine blade was thrown off of Turbine 156. The cause was determined to be a fiberglass root segment curing problem. Ten wind turbine blades were ultimately replaced at Ocotillo Wind. Many people familiar with the facility believe that the blade problem was due to the “fast tracking” of the facility to enable Ocotillo Express LLC to complete the project by the end of 2012, so they could qualify for the 1603 Cash Grant offered by the Department of Energy.

On January 15, 2015, Turbine 110 had a major fire. The cause of the fire was never revealed. The entire turbine was eventually replaced. The turbine did not generate power for nine months.

On November 21, 2016, Turbine 126 collapsed entirely. It was later confirmed to have been caused by a turbine blade striking the side of the tower. According to the Ocotillo Wind website, a shear stiffener inside of the blade was found to have failed. The Ocotillo Wind website8 stated that the turbine actually collapsed “in the Designated Safe Zone.” There are easily twelve wind turbine sites where BLM designated trails fall within that so-called designated safe zone. Potentially, a person could be killed under any of the Ocotillo Wind Turbines since the entire area is open to
the public.

The OWEF has been plagued with oil leaks. The residents of Ocotillo have counted over seventy turbines with oil leaks at towers and countless hydraulic oil leaks on the blades, many of them considered to be significant by the Imperial County Environmental Task Force. Additionally failures of yaw drives (which orient the blades into the wind) have caused problems. Eight gearboxes have been replaced since the facility became 100% operational along with hundreds of yaw drives.

ocitillo 1013925_544090075648796_475568349_n1Visual Blight

The bright red blinking lights of Ocotillo Wind are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and can be seen from the southern portion of the Salton Sea, over seventy miles away. Nobody lives in the desert to view wind turbine lights blinking in unison all night long. Pattern Energy promised the community a lighting control system which would be radar activated only when aircraft were present. The Laufer System9 was approved by the FAA in January of 2016. Pattern constructed the whole first phase of Ocotillo Wind consisting of ninety-four turbines in a record 6 1/2 months, but it has been over a year, and the very irritating red lights still shine.

Death in the Airocitillo-1-1038x576.png

Many birds have been struck by the wind turbine blades, and bats lungs have exploded as they fly near the turbines. A carcass survey between 10/05/14 and 09/22/15, obtained by a FOIA request, indicated that sixty-nine birds and bats were found on the agreed upon survey sites, under or near the wind turbines. Every wind turbine site on the facility was not searched every day. We can assume that scavengers consumed many of the carcasses prior to the survey. Bird kills don’t appear to be a huge problem in Ocotillo, but we all hate the killing of any wildlife.

The once numerous Red Tailed Hawks have disappeared. Were they killed by spinning wind turbine blades? There were once so many jackrabbits that it was overwhelming. Now there are no jackrabbits, and the coyotes have also disappeared completely. The last time we saw one, it was skinny and sickly looking, almost certainly for lack of food. The ecosystem is gone.

The Lesson

This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report Spring 2017:

Noise from Wind Turbines cause residents to vacate their home

adelaide wind turbineSuncor wind turbines located in Adelaide Metcalfe, Ontario have generated another documented case of residents forced to abandon their home due to wind turbine noise. The letter from James and Heather Dymond reaches out to Mayor and Council demanding they find a solution. If you are also impacted it is important no matter what they say or what you are told know this- you are not alone.  Please continue to speak up and send in your letters to those who are mandated to protect us.

February 15, 2016

I’m writing today to ask Adelaide Metcalfe council to find a solution to the issues surrounding Suncor wind turbines, that are causing us to have to vacate our house at night, as well as some days – since April 2015. We pay taxes to the township for a home that we can no longer enjoy. We have to leave at night to get a break from the incessant infrasound emitted from the turbines. It is a sound that one can feel more than hear.

I am suffering from nausea, vertigo, and at times extreme headaches, wherein I have to leave the house immediately to get any relief. I’ve spent countless hours in the searing sun in the summer, because I couldn’t stay in the house without feeling like vomiting. I am now on prescription meds for vertigo which I have never experienced before. The meds help somewhat, but don’t eliminate the problem. My work is livestock based on the property, and I have noticed negative effects on my livestock as well.

Suncor has been contacted, and has informed me that I am the only one with any problems and that the turbines are running within guidelines. We have not signed a contract with any wind company, yet are forced to live with the problems they create.

Since the family of Mary Ann Hendrikx has approximately six wind turbine contracts with Suncor, I have not included her on this email as it is a conflict of interest.

Sincerely,
James Dymond

Bat remedy hearing concludes

brown-bat

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson demands to know why wind power developers get a remedy hearing on endangered bats when harm has been proven. Minister Murray replied he would have to resign if he intervenes in the independence of the Environmental Tribunal process but it is the Green Energy Act that allows wind projects to be approved. Under the Green Energy Act the Minister has authority to intervene.  The Minister to resign over the harm caused by wind projects?  What an interesting idea!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Turbine Hearing Concludes

Collingwood | by Catherine Thompson  

yet more submissions in long-running case

A hearing to do with a wind turbine proposal near Stayner took one day instead of three.

The Environmental Review Tribunal allowed WPD Canada to have a Remedy Hearing to present ways to reduce harm to natural heritage, mainly the Little Brown Bat.

The hearing, held in Collingwood council chambers, was originally to start on Monday, but that day was cancelled because a witness was unavailable. The hearing, on Tuesday, heard from three witnesses.

Dr. Scott Reynolds, presenting for WPD Canada, via Skype, says they would slow down the turbine speed when bats are in the air in an effort to decrease the number of bat deaths.

The second witness, Susan Holroyd, a wildlife biologist specializing in bats, appeared by Skype, on the appellant, Preserve Clearview’s side.

The third and last witness was Ecologist Sarah Mainguy, also for the opponent’s side. She told the hearing there are huge uncertainties in this application such as the number of bats and their exact route in the areas of the turbines. She added that the mitigation suggestions from WPD Canada are not good enough.

Witnesses and lawyers could not comment on the hearing proceedings, but Chuck Magwood of Preserve Clearview, was in the audience.  He says he agrees with their witnesses that one dead Little Brown Bat, which is an endangered species, is too many.

WPD has until March 31st to make written submissions, the opponents have four weeks to reply and then another two weeks for WPD to rebut the reply, taking the latest round in the turbine discussions to May 12th.

Magwood says he expects a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal in June.

READ AT: http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=91434

 

Remedy Hearing – Little Brown Bats take centre stage

brown-batWE THOUGHT IT WAS OVER! TURBINE FIGHT STILL GOING! REMEDY HEARING FEB. 28TH!

Wind project developer  (WPD) have been granted another chance that could allow them to install wind turbines at Clearview.  They lost at the Tribunal on the grounds the project would cause serious harm to human health due to the wind turbines interfering and creating risks for safe aviation movements at the adjacent Collingwood airport.  Serious harm to bats was proven.  collingwood_airport_12

ON TUESDAY, FEB. 28. LITTLE BROWN BATS ARE CENTRE STAGE!

A REMEDY HEARING has been granted to allow WPD to present their mitigations measures which need to prove that the mortalities caused by the wind turbines will not cause irreversible  harm to the critically endangered bat population which is facing possible extinction.

Hearing
(28-Feb-17, 10:30 AM)
Hearing
(01-Mar-17, 10:00 AM)

WHERE? Council Chambers, Collingwood, Town Of Collingwood, P.O. Box 157, 97 Hurontario Street, Collingwood, ON

To confirm dates and times look up case number 16-036 under hearings section on the Environmental Review Tribunal website: http://elto.gov.on.ca/ert/hearings/

[220] The Tribunal finds that over the lifespan the Project, it is more likely than not that the Project will cause serious harm to the local population of little brown myotis from which it will not recover and cannot be reversed. Therefore, without additional mitigation measures in place, the Tribunal finds that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause irreversible harm to little brown myotis.

16-036 WIGGINS V. ONTARIO(MOECC): http://elto.gov.on.ca/ert/hearings/

DECISION:

forced to give up his dog and home tormented by noise from wind project.

“Retired farmer Clifton Lockhart, 83, has lived in the house for 35 years but says the noise of the turbines has kept him wide awake.”

js111755327

Communities Quality of Life and Amenity

We will support proposals if: They do not have significant detrimental effect on the amenity of nearby residents, including from noise and shadow flicker.

The potential of wind turbines through noise, shadow flicker and visual effects to create significant long term impacts on the amenity of an area , well being and quality of life of people living or working near to them is of significant concern to local communities and residents within South Ayrshire…..

Supplementary Guidance:Wind Energy (South-Ayrshire, UK): http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/documents/adopted%20wind%20energy-supplementary%20guidance.pdf

Carrick pensioner forced to give up dog and move to caravan after wind farm hell

A pensioner claims he has been forced to give up his dog and relocate to a caravan just to get a decent night’s sleep because he is tormented by the noise from a wind farm opposite his home.

Clifton Lockhart, 83, has lived in Tralodden Cottage near Old Dailly for the past 35 years, but says his golden years have been robbed from him since the turbines arrived 14 years ago and he has since been kept wide awake most nights.

The retired farmer, who is unable to read or write, told the Post he feels “pushed out of his own home” when the noise persists and now rents a caravan in Port William just to get a decent night’s sleep following a decade-long dispute with South Ayrshire Council and SSE wind farm bosses.

At his home, he said: “I have complained to South Ayrshire Council and SSE made a deal about switching the turbines off from 7pm to 10am every day, but that didn’t last long.

I then complained again to South Ayrshire Council that SSE had gone back on the deal, but I have been put through so many loops and the matter is still not resolved.

“For the past 10 years it has constantly bothered me and never gone away, it sounds like an aircraft landing when the wind picks up.

“I have had to leave my home on many occasions, people have been out to conduct their own tests but nothing has been done, I allowed them to put monitors in my house and garden but nothing changes.”

Clifton, who lives alone and uses a walking stick, now feels he will eventually be forced to move from the home he hoped to spend his final days in.

He added: “I had to give up my dog Otter a few years ago to a shelter which broke my heart. He would run off to the turbines and start barking when they were noisy, it was clear he was distressed by them and it just wasn’t fair to hold onto him any more.

“I have now came to terms with the fact this noise might not ever stop, I’ve already had to alter so much of my life quality because of these turbines, and I am concerned that I may have to pack up my life here and move.

“It has been so stressful and I feel I am being forced out of my own home.”

READ MORE: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/carrick-pensioner-forced-give-up-9859771

 

Hoosac Wind- We are prisoners in our house

hoosac-wind-turbineHoosac Wind has destroyed a wild place and created ongoing community division.  Initially supportive of wind power  Larry Lorusso shares his experience of living adjacent to the project.  His goal is to protect the environment from the dangers of wind power.  Using his talents for storytelling and photography he conveys the  negative impacts of the wind project and illustrates how noise from the wind turbines has impacted his health and that of his family.

To learn more  visit Hoosac Wind Watch  https://www.facebook.com/HoosacWindWatch/ 

By MATT LINDSEY

PARISHVILLE — A Massachusetts photographer warned about 60 St. Lawrence County residents last night about what he sees as the potential dangers and disadvantages of the North Ridge Wind Farm, which has divided the community.

Presenter Larry Lorusso, who lives about one mile from Hoosac Wind Farm, located in Massachusetts, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the turnout last night, even though a storm dropped about a foot of snow over much of the North Country. The meeting was held at the town hall.

Avangrid, the developer of the proposed North Ridge Wind Farm between State Rts. 11B and 72 in Parishville and Hopkinton, is looking to install around 40 wind towers — as high as 500 feet tall from the bases to the blade tips. Dozens of people have signed leases to allow the windmills on their land.

The controversial wind towers have created rifts between family and friends in Hopkinton, Parishville and the surrounding areas. When he heard about the proposed product he reached out to locals and wanted to educate people, he said.

Lorusso will present a slideshow at the county Legislature’s Services Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the county courthouse. He has been allotted 20 minutes for his presentation.

“I have nothing to gain,” he said, about why he travelled to the North Country to speak about wind towers. “Who better to know what is going on than someone who has them in their backyard?”

Lorusso said he supported the wind towers based on what Iberdrola, an energy company based in Spain, had told him. Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the project in Hopkinton and Parishville.

“They told us it was going to help the environment – it doesn’t,” Lorusso said. “Wind towers are not the answer to green energy.”

Based on his experience living one mile from wind turbines, Lorusso became a community activist and documented through photography and stories and is sharing that with other communities considering installing wind towers.

“These are being sold to us that they are saving the environment,” he said. “I am not anti-wind, I am pro-environment.”

Lorusso documented the land prior to the installation, the installation process and what has come of it since wind towers were installed.

He describes his land as an “enchanted forest” with “little impacts from humans.”

“There were mountain alterations of beautiful land – they wrecked it,” Lorusso said. “There used to be wildlife sign and wildlife – all gone.”

Lorusso said the noises range from ringing in ears, to the sound of a helicopter hovering or a jet engine that never takes off. But, he says the vibrations are the worst part.

“The worse is not what you see or hear, it’s what you feel,” he said. “I can feel my head pulsing — I can put my hand on my windows and feel them vibrating.”

Lorusso said he, his wife and neighbors developed several medical issues since the towers were installed near his home about four years ago. He says the issues include heart problems, high blood pressure, and sinus issues.

“They have not been able to determine the source of my wife’s sinus issues,” he said, noting that it was not a sinus infection.

He says he has sleepless nights at home, but slept well during his stay in St. Lawrence County.

“I wake up in a state of anxiety – on the edge of fear,” he said. “Yesterday and today were the first days in months that I haven’t woken up anxious.”

And then there is the ringing in the ears.

“It’s never quiet, even when it’s quiet,” he said.

Lorusso said the issues have driven some people away from their homes. “People abandoned their homes, they just left.”

Lorusso is determined to stay and fight against the wind tower company.

“We are prisoners in our own house – it’s sad,” he said.

Published in NCNowNews on February 13, 2017:  http://northcountrynow.com/news/massachusetts-photographer-travels-st-lawrence-county-warn-officials-and-locals-concerning

 

Port Ryerse Wind CLC #4 Meeting

Do you hear the wind turbine noise?

How are you affected by the noise?

Are you concerned about the noise in the summer months when our windows will be open?

Please come to the Community Meeting next Wednesday, February 15th.

We are looking for solutions to the noise levels.

We need “them” to understand that we are concerned so bodies are needed to support our concerns

If you have been filling out the Boralex Noise Complaint form please bring that along as well.

Hope to see you there!

snowy-owl
This is the project where the nesting Barn Owls (& Eagles) along with the human residents were denied protection.

Wednesday February 15th, 2017 | 6pm
Simcoe Recreation Centre (Norfolk Room) 182 South Drive, Simcoe, ON N3Y 1G5

The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between Boralex and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. All CLC meetings are open to the general public for observation. Questions can be submitted in advance up until February 8th to Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at kkolli@dillon.ca or by phone at 416-229-4647 ext. 2354. For more information about the project please visit the website at: http://www.boralex.com/projects/portryerse

 

Wind Turbines: Huge Profits at expense of residents and Nature

Too Much and Absurd.

Wind turbine battles are being fought globally.  In North America Germany’s use of renewable energy projects are often looked to as an ideal to strive for in power generation systems.  Wind turbines are facing increasingly stiff opposition from residents who had once strongly been in favour of wind power.  The following documentary explores how opinions change once the wind turbines go up and begin operations.  Ideals for a better future face a harsh and ugly reality.  The film was shown on the German television channel ARD – Das Erste  on August 1, 2016.   Original is in German but video has English subtitles.

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary- Ontario, Canada

Posted on 01/24/2017 by

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Follow link to see all of bird and bat kill reports: http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2017/01/24/wind-turbine-bird-bat-mortality-reports-with-summary-ontario-canada/