Knowing how birds use the airspace already helps drive ABC’s work to minimize the dangers posed by wind turbines and communications towers. Aeroecology can help researchers and conservationists understand what happens to those birds in the air and how easy or safe it is to move from one location to another, an idea sometimes called “habitat connectivity.”
For Birds, The Sky Isn’t Just Empty Airspace. It’s Habitat.
By Jennifer HowardNovember 13, 2017
Look up. All that empty space over our heads isn’t so empty. Many birds, bats, and insects spend a good part of their lives up in the air, foraging, mating, and migrating. Aerial insectivores such as swallows and swifts feed almost exclusively on the wing.
It doesn’t look like habitat, but for these animals, the airspace is home. It’s where they spend much of their lives. And as researchers are learning, what happens there carries life-or-death consequences.
Aeroecology, as it’s sometimes called, has come into its own as a field of research. This study of airspace as habitat is enabled by new technologies, by a rapidly expanding understanding of the complex ways animals interact with their environments, and by a growing interest in how human activities affect those environments. And it could have important implications for how conservation groups, including American Bird Conservancy (ABC), focus their work in coming years…..
“The biggest recipient of taxpayer cash on ACENY’s roster is the world’s biggest and most-litigious wind-energy producer: NextEra Energy …NextEra is using some of that taxpayer cash to sue small towns including Hinton, Okla., and Almer and Ellington in Michigan. What did those tiny towns do to irritate the energy giant, which has a market capitalization of $73 billion? They prohibited installation of wind turbines, the latest models of which now stand about 800 feet high.”
Last month, Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, complained that the state is a “tough place to develop” big renewable-energy projects due to a “spirited tradition of home rule.” This came after her group and the Nature Conservancy released a report lamenting the fact that siting new renewable-energy projects is often “lengthy, uncertain and sometimes unsatisfactory for both developers and communities.”
It should be. With good reason, numerous upstate towns are actively fighting the encroachment of Big Wind. To cite just one recent example: Last month, the Watertown City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the development of eight industrial wind-turbine projects totaling 1,000 megawatts of capacity, because the projects could impair military training capabilities near Fort Drum.
Over the past decade or so, members of Reynolds’ group — some of America’s biggest subsidy miners — have collected $18.7 billion in federal and state subsidies. The burgeoning backlash against Big Wind means a growing group of rebellious New York towns stand between Reynolds’ members and even more taxpayer gravy.
The $18.7 billion sum was obtained by matching ACENY’s membership roster with data from Subsidy Tracker, a program run by Good Jobs First, a Washington-based government-accountability organization. That $18.7 billion includes all federal grants, tax credits, loans, loan guarantees and state subsidies.
The subsidies are corrosive. They encourage wind-energy companies to use legal action to bully rural landowners and small towns. They also induce the wind industry to kill more wildlife, including bats and birds.
The biggest recipient of taxpayer cash on ACENY’s roster is the world’s biggest and most-litigious wind-energy producer: NextEra Energy, which has collected nearly $5.5 billion in federal and state subsidies. NextEra is using some of that taxpayer cash to sue small towns including Hinton, Okla., and Almer and Ellington in Michigan. What did those tiny towns do to irritate the energy giant, which has a market capitalization of $73 billion? They prohibited installation of wind turbines, the latest models of which now stand about 800 feet high.
Speaking of bullying, NextEra also has a pending defamation lawsuit against Esther Wrightman, a Canadian activist who had the temerity to call the company “NextError and “NexTerror” on her Web site.
Another ACENY member: Spanish energy company Iberdrola (the parent company of its US subsidiary, Avangrid), which has collected $2.2 billion in subsidies. In 2012, shortly after Iberdrola began operating its Hardscrabble wind project, several dozen residents of Herkimer County filed a lawsuit against the company due to the nuisance, noise and sleep disturbance caused by Iberdrola’s turbines. That case, which now has 68 plaintiffs, is still pending.
Last year, after the New York town of Clayton imposed a six-month moratorium on applications for new wind-energy projects, Iberdrola sued the town, claiming the moratorium was illegal. But a state court sided with Clayton. And last November, citizens from two Vermont towns, Grafton and Windham, voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed Iberdrola wind project.
Multibillion-dollar subsidies for Big Wind are also fueling widespread destruction of American wildlife. While the deadly effect that wind turbines have on birds, in particular eagles and other birds of prey, has been well documented, Big Wind is also killing hundreds of thousands of bats per year.
A paper published last year in Mammal Review found that wind turbines are now the largest single cause of bat mortality. A report by the conservation group Bird Studies Canada found that “across Canada, bat fatalities were reported more often than birds, accounting for 75 percent of all carcasses found.” To be sure, bats don’t get as much good press as eagles and hawks, but they are critical pollinators and insectivores.
In short, while Reynolds and other members of ACENY claim their push for renewable energy is about climate change, the numbers from Good Jobs First show that what they really want is more corporate welfare. And more corporate welfare for the group’s members means bad news for America’s small towns and even worse news for our wildlife.
Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
By Tim Miller, The Intelligencer
Sunday, October 15, 2017
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — On Sunday opponents of wind turbine development in the County took to the streets to show that their concerns over a proposed wind energy project are about more than just a lot of air.
Hundreds of sign-waving and chanting residents marched down Main Street Picton shortly after the noon hour to kick off an anti-wind rally.
Upon reaching The Regent Theatre, marchers doffed their signs and settled in for the nearly three-hour town hall meeting to begin.
While people took their seats a video montage of anti-wind messages written by County residents in black marker on a stark white scroll of paper played on the big screen, followed by aerial drone footage of levelled and torn up fields. Over the montage played the melodic version of Dee Snider’s We’re Not Going to Take It.
Sunday’s town hall was in regards to the ongoing wpd Canada’s White Pines Wind Project which initially called for the erection of 29 wind turbines in the County.
The County has declared itself an unwilling host to industrial wind turbine projects that disrupt the lives and livelihoods of County residents and destroy the County’s historic landscapes while causing irreparable harm to the County’s wildlife and natural environment.
Because of challenges by local government and groups the initial plan of 29 turbines has been scaled back to nine — to be built near the south shore of Milford.
On stage activists sat beside entrepreneurs, doctors and local politicians. Their reasons for opposing the project was as varied as their backgrounds.
Dr Robert McMurtry, former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada, spoke about the health impact turbines can have when placed too close to residential homes.
A Rally and Town Hall Meeting to demand the cancellation of wpd Canada’s White Pines Wind Project in South Marysburgh
Sunday, October 15th in Picton
March (rain or shine):
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. down Main Street, Picton. Assemble on Cold Storage Road in Picton by 12:30 p.m. and bring along your personalized sign, placard or poster.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Regent Theatre
Learn how the 9-turbine White Pines Wind Project WILL affect you and Prince Edward County, and what you can do to help. Local politicians, County residents, business people and experts will provide impact statements, updates, and answer your questions about: loss of landowner and municipal rights because of the Green Energy Act; human health effects; destruction of heritage, tourism and endangered species; and other concerns.
Mayor Robert Quaiff; MPP Todd Smith; Winemaker Norman Hardie; Wind Concerns Ontario President, Jane Wilson; Dr. Robert McMurtry OC; and other knowledgeable individuals. Moderated by Councillor Steve Ferguson
Contact logistics coordinator Les Stanfield at 613.476.5363 or Contact Councillor Steve Ferguson at 613.827.7174 or email@example.com
 As described in greater detail below, the Approval Holder has proposed an amendment to the REA to include additional curtailment measures designed to reduce little brown myotis mortalities. The Tribunal finds that these additional measures, provided they are amended to require that they be implemented from sunset to sunrise, is likely to significantly reduce little brown myotis mortality over the life of the Project. However, as neither the Approval Holder nor the Director has proposed effective means to mitigate the serious harm to human health, as found by the Tribunal in its October 2016 Order, the Tribunal concludes that the decision of the Director should be revoked. As such, an amendment to the REA to address harm to little brown myotis via an amended mitigation plan is rendered unnecessary.
Wind turbines are proposed to be installed on Lake Erie as LEEDCO project developers re-submit documents previously deemed incomplete. Environmentalists continue to raise alarms of serious harmful impacts to marine and avian species. If construction goes ahead well over 2 000 industrial wind turbines could crowd the waters of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are an important ecosystem and host location for globally significant flyways used by large numbers of migrating birds, bats and insects (such as monarch butterflies) from the far reaches of the world.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The developers seeking to build North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project in Lake Erie moved a step closer to obtaining an essential state certification this week.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. submitted two key environmental applications detailing its plans for monitoring and analyzing the impact of the six-turbine wind farm on birds, bats and fish.
Approval of the plans by the Ohio Power Siting Board is required before LEEDCo can proceed with construction of the $126 million Icebreaker Wind project planned for a site about eight to 10 miles northwest of Cleveland.
“We’ve been working with ODNR for the past few months,” said LEEDCo’s Beth Nagusky. “These are the documents the siting board required. Once they are approved, the board will issue a public notice and continue the permitting process.”
Each of the so-called memorandums of understanding lays out plans to evaluate the environmental conditions at the lake site prior to the start of construction, during construction, and after the wind farm is built and operational….
The wind farm’s impact of greatest concern to birders and environmentalists involves the potential for high mortality rates due to collisions by birds and bats into the spinning fan blades.
LEEDCo acknowledges this fear in its document, but warns that monitoring and documenting casualties from collisions are difficult and pose unique hurdles not found at land-based wind farms.
I wish to draw your attention to the statement in Alexandra Heck’s article that the 77 turbine project, spanning properties in Lowbanks, Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Haldimand will power all the houses in Port Colborne, Wainfleet, Haldimand, Lincoln, West Lincoln and Grimsby.
The power from this project is being transported via that ugly transmission line to Grimsby Beach where it is carried to Hamilton and beyond. We have been told that it is going to Oakville, where they have a need of the power because, as you will recall they lost their gas powered plants to the last election.
Seeing that all the wind power in Ontario, both up and running projects and those not yet on the grid, will not produce even 6% of all the power produced in Ontario, it seems to me that shipping “all” this power to Oakville and beyond, will not make much of a difference to the demand for power in the GTA.
Believe me, the residents living along the transmission line wish that the power would have stayed in our communities since that would mean that there would be no huge transmission lines, no guard rails, no Road Use Agreement, and at least 7,000 more trees along our road allowances.
Nellie DeHaan Smithville ON
(Published in Niagara This Week on June 27th, 2017)
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 Niagara Wind held an open house to celebrate the inauguration of its 77 industrial (3MW Enercon) wind turbine project located in West Lincoln, Haldimand and Niagara region. The following is a write up from a member of the community who attended with her impressions and opinions.
For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.
It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.
“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”
Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.
Here is a local write up from a local media company.
I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.
I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property. Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on. Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.
So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines. I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area. Really? Security? Is this necessary? For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0). Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think it’s going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’ I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.
There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop. Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry. I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture. Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.
I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.” I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.
The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario. That is what it should read. The TRUTH.
So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent. This tent was huge! Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.
Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos. We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode. There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.
I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better. Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.
Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming. I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before. It could be like tinnitus in 4D. Anyways, in I went. WOW! Not going to lie, very impressive! (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is). We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what. They have an elevator to get to the top. Yup. An elevator.
Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC. It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine. So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created. Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.
As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and boldly interrupted our conversation. He wanted a job in the wind industry. BADLY. I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.
I made my way back to the tent. I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation. I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later. Nope. No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project. Nothing worth sticking around for.
On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator. Ok, best photo OP of the day. A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show. The irony was not lost on me.
When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle. I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk. I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew. He clearly is in over his head. It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing, such as The Grid app on a smartphone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him. I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most. I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’ I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling. What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is. ALL the energy needs of the world? Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.
I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’ If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’
We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat. I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence. Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty. He inquired on what energy poverty was. Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is. Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news. We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar. He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future. Boy would I love to get my hands on that program. He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education. I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.
Snapshot of my grid app on my phone. It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid. Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)
He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’
I strongly urged him ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’
He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind. ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’
I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.
I left the scene. Yes, scene. I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged. There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there. People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.
Now, it is time for reflection.
Open house. It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration. There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.
If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event. Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.
There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth. No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort. We don’t matter. Clearly.
The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially. Stakeholders. Upper Management. Leaseholders.
Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants. Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered. Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief. All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards. All of us were left out of the celebrations.
This was not an accident. This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.
My wounds are salted.
I have been working on this write up for a few days. I was rattled by the photo below. It literally stopped me in my tracks. I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times. It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture. It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.
This picture right here. This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions. These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives. Destroyed lives. Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units. Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment. Is forcing families from their homes. This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America. Energy poverty is forefront. A top news chart. These projects are costing ratepayers BILLIONS of extra money.
All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act. This is no small feat. This is no small crime. This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone. You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand. You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions. Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many people’s lives.
The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.
Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.
**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week
Not many things bring together a community like an Industrial Wind Energy Installation. In Illinois, the Concerned Citizens for the Future of Clinton and DeKalb Counties have banned together to fight Industrial Wind. Their lawyers took NextEra and the wind industry’s parade of “experts” to task in sworn testimony.
In Michigan’s Thumb, their “Wind Capital” has their own group of citizens calling themselves the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition who helped to discover that townships could call for a referendum vote on whether or not they wanted any more wind energy. 12 townships, 12 votes, 12 times the answer was a resounding NO.
Vermont is working on enacting a much stricter IWT noise ordinance as well as setbacks 10x the height of the turbine. Minnesota has a similar bill in the works.
Oklahoma ended its wind subsidies early because of the overwhelming cost of Industrial Wind. Their former Governor Frank Keating released a statement saying that he regrets his part in funding Industrial Wind.
There are over 300 groups that have been formed for the singular reason of opposing Industrial Wind in North America alone. Europe and Australia have many groups of their own. They are people who may have thought that Industrial Wind was good or at least benign until they educated themselves, or where educated by their close proximity to turbines. There is well over a decade of testimonials, documentation, expert witness accounts and research into the negative impacts of Industrial Wind. The wind industry also has come up with its own testimonials, documentation, expert witness accounts and research that seeks to reframe or refute all the opposition’s evidence just as tobacco companies have done. Why are these negative impacts still listed within their contracts if there are not major problems?
People like to say that landowners can do whatever they want to on their own land but you know that is not true. If what you are doing (or not doing) negatively impacts your neighbor whether it be the length of your grass or the number of vehicles in your yard, it is not allowed. In our townships where the wind development is being proposed only a few people were willing to sign over land where they actually live. 4-5 people alone were responsible for signing over of the land for the proposed installation. That leaves 100s of people directly impacted but left with no choice to opt out.
Lastly people equate turbines with CAFOs. If they are allowed to annoy neighbors then Industrial Wind should get the same right is how the thinking goes. Our Planning and Zoning Board asked for mile setbacks for IWT, same as CAFOs but the wind companies said that they would leave. Our Supervisors shortened the setback to bring in revenue. Their first consideration needed to be people impacted, not the money to be made. Though industry supported with tax money is like cutting off the top foot of a blanket and sewing to the bottom to make it longer.