Category Archives: Animals and turbines

No wind turbines on Great Lakes

wolfe island foggy
Wolfe Island Wind Turbines

Boating Industry|April 9, 2019

MBIA urges boaters to voice their opposition to wind turbines in the Great Lakes

The Michigan Boating Industries Association, along with environmental groups, boating associations, and property owners are urging boaters to raise their voice in opposition of the proposed Icebreaker wind power turbines in Lake Erie.

Nicki Polan, executive director of MBIA says: “MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy. But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often times fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio now and we encourage all boaters and boating businesses to join us in communicating this to Ohio.”

Michigan borders on four of the five Great Lakes including a large portion of Lake Erie. Many Michigan residents’ boat on Lake Erie, and many Michigan businesses and citizens live and work along its shores.

Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water, and 20% of that is coming from the Great Lakes.

“Building wind turbines in Lake Erie will threaten clean water, boating access, one of the world’s best perch and walleye fisheries, bird migration, the safety and health of coastal residents, and so much more,” said Polan.

The initial goal of the Icebreaker plan is to place 6 wind turbines, with a final goal of 1,200 wind turbines in Lake Erie, costing an estimated $24 billion.

“Wind power has proved to be very high cost with low return,” said MBIA Board Member Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associated in Macomb, Mich. “Many wind turbine projects in the U.S. and overseas have been abandoned because of this. Why this is even being considered in our Great Lakes is beyond me.”

The case against turbines is extensive, including the fact that exploding and burning turbines can be commonplace. Each turbine contains over 400 gallons of industrial lubricants in their gearboxes.Gearbox seals are known to fail and will leak oil into the waters below. But when they burn there is no way to reach and extinguish them. As the 300-foot turbine blades burn, they create toxic emissions polluting the air and waters below.

Source: Boating Industry

White-Tailed Eagle Collision with Industrial Wind Turbine

A wind turbine located at northern Hokkaido, Japan with a high risk of bird strikes was monitored using a webcam surveillance system that was activated during the daytime every day from December 2013 to March 2014, which was the wintering season for the white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). A collision carcass of the white-tailed sea eagle was observed at the wind turbine on January 29, 2014 at 15:00. On analysis of the recorded data, we found that the moment of the collision was captured by both cameras.”

Turbine strike of White-tailed Eagle January 29, 2014
(Video 13 seconds length)

Unser Dorf hat Zukunft? Oder werden unsere Dörfer zerstört?/Our village has a future? Or are our villages destroyed?
(Video 4:59 minutes)

Avoidance=Habitat Loss

dead birds 3Wind industry in damage control over avian deaths and significant adverse environmental impacts of avoidance of essential ecosystems such as migration corridors.  Reading spin below it begs many questions least is how do dead raptors, birds and bats killed by wind turbines “learn”?

For a sobering reading of industry generated reports (self counted and self reported) of avian kills at wind facilities submitted to a voluntary data base please review:   Bird Study Canada

Freedom of information requests made by citizens in Ontario demonstrate industry reported kill rates are much worse: Bird-Bat-Mortality-SUMMARY

Journal for the Energy Transition|March 5, 2019|Benjamin Wehrmann

global flyways

Many migrating birds have learned to avoid potentially deadly wind turbines, but this behaviour equals a loss of habitat for the animals, researcher Ana Teresa Marques and others write in the Journal of Animal Ecology. “Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors,” the researchers write. They equipped 130 migrating black kites with tracking devices to trace their travel routes at the migratory bottleneck of the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco — an area that is crucial for many bird species and which is also used for wind power production — and found that the animals fly about 700 metres around the turbines, effectively reducing the area available for the birds to migrate by up to 14 percent. “Authorities should recognise this further impact of wind energy production and establish new regulations that protect soaring habitat,” the researchers write.

Wind power in Germany has seen increasing resistance in recent years not least due to its possible negative effects on wildlife. Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) recently said that more attention had to be given to the impact of renewable power development on habitats and species. “An ecologically sound renewable roll-out is possible,” BfN president Beate Jessel said. Environmental NGO Nabu estimates about 100,000 birds in the country could be killed by rotor blades each year. To put this figure into perspective: Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) says that about 18 million birds in Germany die every year by crashing into windows.

Source: Journal for the Energy Transition

Griffon Vulture hit by wind turbine in Crete (Video Duration: 5 minutes 54 seconds)

Wind turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birds

First published: 14 February 2019

Abstract

  1. Wind energy production has expanded to meet climate change mitigation goals, but negative impacts of wind turbines have been reported on wildlife. Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors. These birds have been described as changing their flight trajectories to avoid wind turbines, but this behaviour may lead to functional habitat loss, as suitable soaring areas in the proximity of wind turbines will likely be underused.

  2. We modelled the displacement effect of wind turbines on black kites (Milvus migrans) tracked by GPS. We also evaluated the impact of this effect at the scale of the landscape by estimating how much suitable soaring area was lost to wind turbines.

  3. We used state‐of‐the‐art tracking devices to monitor the movements of 130 black kites in an area populated by wind turbines, at the migratory bottleneck of the Strait of Gibraltar. Landscape use by birds was mapped from GPS data using dynamic Brownian bridge movement models, and generalized additive mixed modelling was used to estimate the effect of wind turbine proximity on bird use while accounting for orographic and thermal uplift availability.

  4. We found that areas up to approximately 674 m away from the turbines were less used than expected given their uplift potential. Within that distance threshold, bird use decreased with the proximity to wind turbines. We estimated that the footprint of wind turbines affected 3%–14% of the areas suitable for soaring in our study area.

  5. We present evidence that the impacts of wind energy industry on soaring birds are greater than previously acknowledged. In addition to the commonly reported fatalities, the avoidance of turbines by soaring birds causes habitat losses in their movement corridors. Authorities should recognize this further impact of wind energy production and establish new regulations that protect soaring habitat. We also showed that soaring habitat for birds can be modelled at a fine scale using publicly available data. Such an approach can be used to plan low‐impact placement of turbines in new wind energy developments.

Cows are dying & humans are sick since Nozay wind opened

Since the opening of the Nozay wind farm, cows are dying and humans are sick

25 mars 2019 / Thibault Dumas (Mediacités)

(Original article in French)

cattle and wind turbine
Nozay, Northern France

Animals dying, sick men, two farmers on the verge of financial asphyxiation … Since the installation of a wind farm in 2012 in Nozay, between Nantes and Rennes, state services are clueless in the face of effects secondary as alarming as unexplained. A situation that preoccupies the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

  • Nozay (Loire-Atlantique), report

In a steady whirring, the blades of wind turbines crack the air, a hundred meters overhanging pastures. The west wind blows and the sky comes alive on this winter Wednesday, around Nozay (Loire-Atlantique), along the N137, which connects Nantes to Rennes. At the foot of eight turbines running at full speed, prefectural orders pile up, nailed to wooden posts. ”   It’s sure our story is a crazy story   ,” sighs, looking right into the eyes, a local farmer. On the side of the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, it concedes, through the voice of its secretary general, Serge Boulanger, ”   [ we ] are in front of an atypical situation, for which we must find explanations   .

This ”   crazy story    today affects dozens of inhabitants of four neighboring municipalities (Nozay, Abbaretz, Puceul, Saffré) and strikes two farms mainly  [ 1 ] , installed around wind turbines. ”   We are going to burst in every sense of the term, financially or at the level of our health   “, alarmed the farmer Céline Bouvet, 44 years old, as determined as exhausted by five years of a Kafkaesque fight led to his side. counterpart Didier Potiron, 50 years old. Neither is described as ”  anti-wind   . They even declined all the offers of service of collective opponents.

”   The chronological coincidence with the construction work and then the start-up of the wind turbine is disturbing enough to justify further investigations  

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French farmers say their cattle are dying from electricity generated by wind turbines, solar panels

The Blaze Toledo|March 27, 2918

 

 

Hidden Dangers of Wind Towers

calf frighten

February 27, 2019

Dear Publisher:

On Jan. 12, after a big snow, I was feeding my 83 feeder calves as I’ve done every day since I weaned them in October. I was also sorting out a few as I planned to sell the majority the next week.

It was in the late afternoon and the sun was shining on the snow. All of a sudden the calves stampeded out of the feed lot, hitting the gate, breaking off the corner posts and flattening another fence. By the grace of God I was out of the way or I’d been fatally injured as the stampede was quick and fast. The calves calmed down and came back to eat, but soon stampeded again. This time I noticed the cause. Since the sun is lower in the winter and the wind turbine was just barely turning, a big black shadow from the wind turbine blades was quietly and slowly moving up behind the calves on top of the snow, spooking them. One was killed and two were crippled.

Besides the loss of these three calves, I will have the expense and labor of fixing my fences when the weather is fit. I noticed the same thing happening again with the shadow. Conditions have to be just right – snow on the ground, sun low in the sky, and a light breeze from the southwest slowly turning the turbine blades. Since the calves I had confined in the lot before had been sold, there wasn’t a stampede. In the “Successful Farming” magazine, February 2019, there’s the article, “Ways to Stay Safe While Handling Cattle” by Libby Eiholzer, Specialist. In it is stated, “Cattle also have poor depth perception, which can cause them to be nervous in the dark, around shadows, and skittish of foreign objects.”

I have fed and sorted cattle on this concrete floor for over 50 years and have never had a problem with them stampeding. I had nothing to say about this wind tower causing the problem as it isn’t on my land, but I shouldn’t have to take this loss. I feel this is an injustice to me as I was here long before the wind turbine. I can’t get insurance coverage on my cattle for this type of loss as it is a man-made hazard. I raise cattle on my land without infringing on the rights of others and I believe this should be the same with those who produce energy.

Iowa agriculture has an exemption to county zoning in the Iowa Code (Iowa Code 335.2). Yet a few years ago I was threatened by the Madison County Zoning Commission that I could be fined $750.00 a day. They wrote that I must obtain a county permit, something I didn’t need under the Iowa Code as a farmer erecting a farm shop to be used for farming purposes on a farm zoned for agriculture.

The wind tower southwest of my farm was erected on land zoned only for agriculture and which never has been rezoned. This tower was also erected without notifying me of any hazards it might cause. The stampede as a result of the wind tower shadow could have caused my death or the death of a helper, since it was an unforeseen occurrence. The shadow from the tower blades will be a hazard to me and any future owners of this farm as long as the wind turbine is in its present location.

The only solution that will correct this situation is the removal of the turbine.

Art Knutson

Letter published| Winterset Madisonian, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Green Job~ Carrion Collector

Looking for work?  Need a job?

Wanna work in the clean green, environmentally sustainable renewable energy field?   Gotta a lead on a job for you!

Wildlife Field Technician  19400000926 
Summary

 

Tetra Tech Inc. is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, and technical services worldwide. Our reputation rests on the technical expertise and dedication of our employees—17,000 people working together across disciplines and time zones to provide smart, sustainable solutions for challenging projects. We are proud to be home to leading technical experts in water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development. Tetra Tech combines the resources of a global, multibillion-dollar company with local, client-focused delivery in 412 locations around the world. We offer competitive compensation and benefits and are searching for innovative people to join our teams.
 
Tetra Tech, Inc. is currently seeking a Wildlife Field Technician working as an avian and bat fatality monitor near Minot, ND.  Field work for this part-time position includes working 35-40 hours every other week in spring, summer, fall, and once each month in winter.
 
The field work begins mid-March 2019 and continues through March 2020, with the possibility of a second year of surveys.  Fatality monitoring applicants must be willing to commit to 3 full field days every other week, including daily travel to and from the field location. The technicians will be responsible for their own housing throughout the study period. 
 
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • The primary responsibility of this position is to implement a post-construction fatality monitoring program at an operational wind facility
  • The program is inclusive of fatality searches, adhering to standardized protocols as trained, and keeping detailed datasheets
  • Candidates who have previous field experience with birds and/or bats are preferred
  • Candidates must be able to walk for extended periods of time, be able to effectively handle exposure to weather extremes, and interaction with bird and bat carcasses
  • Field technicians may work independently and must be able to communicate and coordinate effectively with other field crew members, Tetra Tech supervisors, and site management
  • Field Technicians will be required to follow all wind facility-specific and Tetra Tech safety protocols and will be expected to provide their own suitable footwear (reinforced-toed hiking boots) and weather appropriate field gear
  • Salary will be commensurate with experience
Qualifications
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATION:
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, wildlife management, wildlife biology or equivalent degree preferred
  • Individuals currently seeking degree and/or other enthusiastic workers are encouraged to apply
  • Good bird and/or bat identification skills for species in the region
  • Prior field experience with wildlife
  • Must be able to work independently and with others, and interact positively with project managers, clients, and landowners
  • Experience with 4×4 vehicles, valid driver’s license and clean driving record
  • Valid driver’s license is required
  • Skilled use of topographic maps, GPS units, and other field equipment
  • Must be able to follow instructions from manager and collect precise and thorough data
  • Must be able to work with electronic data collection protocols and data submission timing requirements
  • Must be skilled with communication, have the ability to maintain positive attitude and to accept guidance and constructive criticism
  • Investigation into driving record will be conducted upon hire
  • Driving record must meet standards set to operate motor vehicle on behalf of Tetra Tech
  • Background check will be conducted on final candidates
  • Candidates must be able to pass drug screen prior to employment
 

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Lake Erie ecosystem under threat by off shore wind turbines

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The Blade|By:Steve Pollack|August 11, 2018

Proposed Icebreaker wind project is not what it seems

It is hard to know where to start dissecting the slick spin-doctoringrecently published in The Blade’s Op-Ed pages by LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., which wants to erect North America’s first freshwater offshore wind-turbines in central Lake Erie off Cleveland.

So-doing would reach far beyond the scope of a newspaper “op-ed.” Beth Nagusky, LEEDCo’s director of sustainable development, is a master at cherrypicking and parading obscure statements as a fait-accompli. Her contentions about the goodness of the proposed six-unit Icebreaker Wind power-generation project, some seven miles offshore, lie between premature and erroneous.

RELATED: Turbines are part of a clean energy future for northern Ohio

They are a masterful act of dissembling, distraction, distortion, and deception. Perhaps “MisLEEDCo” would more appropriate.

Ms. Nagusky has posited that Icebreaker’s towering turbines would kill few birds and bats, a claim that simply does not hold up under scrutiny. This is shown clearly for anyone who assesses it thoughtfully.

LEEDCo is betting on the glitter of such buzz-words as “economic impact, jobs, and clean energy” to substantiate its stance that somehow the pre-construction research on Icebreaker’s impact is all said and done and we can gleefully ride off into a lovely green-energy future. Wrong.

It claims that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the project a low risk to birds and bats. Wrong again. The Service ruled that the project only posed a low risk to a few particular endangered species. It rejected the initial Icebreaker environmental assessment (EA), citing several insufficiencies in regard to birds and bats. The final EA has yet to be filed. No one, including LEEDCo, has seen it yet.

Among other unsettled issues, the required technology to monitor post-construction bird and bat mortality simply does not exist. And additional studies, including meaningful radar studies of migrations through the turbine zone, should be mandatory.

In its sugarcoating, LEEDCo ignores saying that the initial six units are just the tip of the iceberg. If the Ohio Power Siting Board and related agencies give the green light, this project opens a Pandora’s Box to hundreds or thousands more turbines on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Any negative impacts would be magnified by orders of magnitude.

The state of New York has issued a moratorium on offshore wind for just such considerations, as has the province of Ontario, which alone has put 1,250 proposed offshore Erie wind turbines “on hold” while it assesses Icebreaker deliberations. Do you think that the giant Fred Olsen Renewables, of Oslo, Norway, would bother with building just six units here? The big money lies in hundreds. A proposed “buildout” after Icebreaker may run to 1,600 turbines.

So this really is not just six little old turbines and a few dead birds and bats. The migratory pathway and wintering grounds of millions of birds, and migratory bats as well, lie in the paths of a potential phalanx of towering 500-foot rotors. Out of sight, out of mind, is no justification.

LEEDCo is counting on the public not bothering with facts. Ms. Nagusky singled out Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) for its criticism of poor, incomplete science that LEEDCo’s hired-gun consultants have proffered about unknown and likely devastating impacts of arrays of offshore turbines. This in the heart of what the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International has declared a Globally Important Bird Area.

The Ohio Power Siting Board staff has attached a daunting list of conditions to its preliminary analysis. Last October, contrary to LEEDCo pretentions, the USF&WS argued that a still-unapproved environmental assessment is insufficient. Instead a more serious, detailed, environmental impact statement should be drawn. Yet LEEDCo proselytizes incorrectly that a waffling preliminary assessment means that Icebreaker is clean and green.

BSBO’s analysis has been dogged over many months. Its conservation committee includes a professional engineer, an environmental law attorney, and no less than three lifetime professional wildlife and fisheries biologists. Contentions down Cleveland-way that the anti-LEEDCo campaign is an animal of the beleaguered coal industry is just another distraction. The project needs to stand on its own scientific merits, not smoke-and-mirrors……

This project should be stayed unless or until it can assure minimal wildlife impacts based on the most rigorous science. The public should thoughtfully educate itself on the project before forming opinion. Icebreaker is the first small wave in a floodtide. Read the record, not just a “windustry” spin-doctor’s selective fantasizing.

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Fairness for the people

turbine tallOP ED: Who deserves fairness and equity?

 

By Gary Mooney|The Times|July 25, 2018

Since 2007, County groups and individuals have been fighting wind turbine projects in PEC on environmental, human health, cultural heritage and economic grounds. We are grateful that the PC government has taken decisive action to cancel wpd Canada’s White Pines wind project.
In a recent open letter to Premier Ford, Dr. Hartmut Brosamle, CEO of wpd AG, asks for reconsideration of the government’s decision to cancel White Pines, because the cancellation is causing the company “serious damage through no fault of its own”. Some comments are appropriate regarding fault.

wpd Canada and, by extension, its German parent wpd AG, have exhibited major failings or faults with regard to their pursuit of the White Pines wind project:

WRONG LOCATION
wpd originally chose a location that is the last stretch of undeveloped land on Lake Ontario, on a major bird migration route, much of it within an Important Bird Area. This area is home to multiple endangered species, including Blanding’s turtle and little brown bat. As well, the South Shore is an area of significant cultural heritage value, dating back to UEL days.

SECRET DEALS
wpd instructed its sales agents to sign up landowners to host wind turbines secretly, with no notice to the community, and required those landowners to agree to nondisclosure of contract terms.

BIASED CONSULTANTS
wpd hired consultants who provided it with incomplete and flawed reports to legitimize the project, especially with regard to environmental issues and cultural heritage concerns. Citizens’ groups and individuals had to hire their own lawyers and consultants and launch appeals costing about $700,000 to present the other side.

PLEBISCITE
wpd ignored the results of a 2012 plebiscite in South Marysburgh Ward, where the project is located. Ninety per cent of those who voted (turnout similar to that for municipal elections) rejected wind turbines in their ward.

NO ENGAGEMENT
wpd never engaged in a real two-way dialogue with the community; instead it proceeded most of the time as if the County was unpopulated.

COUNTY COUNCIL
wpd ignored the position of PEC Council, which declared itself in 2013 to be an unwilling host to wind turbines.

BREACH OF CONTRACT
wpd failed to deliver 75 per cent of the contracted capacity required by its FIT contract, and failed to meet contract deadlines.

UNDERESTIMATION
wpd underestimated the resolve of local groups to protect County residents, the natural environment and cultural heritage, and the many County residents who funded their efforts.

PROVINCIAL ELECTION
wpd ignored the fact of a coming provincial election and an anticipated change of government to one opposing the Green Energy Act and wind turbine projects.

RECKLESS DECISION
wpd made a reckless decision to proceed with construction of the downsized project without final approval by IESO. Wpd is the author of its own misfortune.

Via the Green Energy Act, the Liberal government suspended democracy as regards renewable energy development and, for nine years, completely ignored the wishes of citizens and municipalities. The PC government was elected in part because of its willingness to listen to the people.

Despite all of the failings listed above, Dr. Brosalme asks for “fairness and equity” for wpd. How many such failings are necessary to disqualify wpd from reconsideration of the government’s decision: only one? maybe three? even all ten?

We in the County have been seeking fairness and equity regarding wind turbine projects for more than a decade, involving many thousands of hours of volunteer time. It’s the government’s choice, and we are grateful that it has made a choice “for the people”.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge the strong support that Todd Smith has provided to our community and our cause since he became MPP in 2011. It’s been good to know that he’s had our back at Queen’s Park.

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7 Steps to Repeal Green Energy Act

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Mother’s Against Wind Turbines Inc. (MAWTI), is calling for an immediate moratorium on the operations of current wind energy facilities in the province and the cessation of approvals of future projects. We have prepared the following brief which has been delivered to the Premier Doug Ford, as well as mailed to all MPP’s with a portfolio and a mailed copy was also sent to each MPP that is an assistant to a minister with a portfolio.

Please consider our document and distribute as you determine.

7 Steps to Repeal Ontario’s Green Energy Act 2009- MAWTI

International Wind Turbine Noise Conference 2019

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Enercon Wind Turbine- Niagara Wind  located in Southern Ontario

2019 Theme and Subjects

When: June 12-14, 2019   Where: Lisbon

Consolidating our Knowledge

In 2019 we would like to devote a part of the conference to consolidating what we know. As Bo Sondergard said when I suggested that to him “there is no single point in time, our knowledge is always on the move”. That’s true, but I think it would be a good time to try to pull together, perhaps in literature reviews, what we know about:

  • Propagation
  • Annoyance and other effects on people
  • Predicting background noise level
  • Amplitude Modulation
  • Modelling Source Noise

And, of course, what we don’t know – so where the research energy should go next.

Otherwise, we still want general papers and here are a few areas where more work is required:

  • Does background noise vary with seasons?
  • How well does background noise mask turbine noise?
  • Small turbines – they can be as much a problem as large.
  • Cyclical Pitch Control. Can it help reduce AM or overall sound power?
  • How do meteorological conditions affect propagation?
  • More dose response tests on turbine audible noise to allow us to produce more robust regulations.
  • More ways of reducing trailing edge noise.

And, of course any other subjects that are useful to further the knowledge of Wind Turbine Noise.

Dick Bowdler

May 2018

More Information: International Conferences on Noise 2019