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Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  May 8, 2021
TechnologyPrint storyE-mail story

Wind Power is only Energy, no guaranteed power even with batteries

Author:  Deroover, Marc

An electrical power network is all about power: at any moment, the network must deliver the power called upon by its customers. But wind turbines produce only variable power. Therefore the networks have to transform this variable power into a fixed guaranteed power in order to integrate it into their production plan.

This transformation requires backup generators, backdown generators, and, supposedly, various other exotic means like backup batteries or hydrogen storage. The costs of these tools are difficult to evaluate because they are hidden in the daily network’s operations. But we can have an idea of the type and magnitude of the problems encountered if we force the wind power plant to provide a fixed and guaranteed power and look at what has to be done to reach that goal.

The behavior of a wind power plant that has to provide a fixed and guaranteed power is illustrated in the following figure that shows, for each guaranteed power level, the average value of the various power flows in and out of the system.

The figure is drawn for a 1000 MW power plant, with a wind load factor of 28%, coupled with backup power generators and 4GWh batteries. The values are calculated for each guaranteed power value based on the day by day simulation of the system. The resulting daily values are then aggregated over the period to show the average power flows. Looking at the figure, one can see that:

If you understand how a wind power plant forced to produce a guaranteed power works, you will also understand that any time someone promises you that wind turbines will provide some “magic things” that are not shown in the previous figure, what they really mean is that they intend to use the resources of the network to let you think that wind power is, well, “magic”.

You can try to add batteries in the customer houses, or use some hydrogen storage. But, because these things need to be filled with some power before being useful, they will behave as the main batteries of our example – very inefficiently.

That wind turbines are some kind of magic engines that could violate the laws of thermodynamics is one of the great illusions of our time. Only by pumping for free the resources of the network can wind turbines pretend to provide useful services.

There comes a time when people will realize that the laws of physics apply even if they don’t know them …

Download original document: “Wind Power is only Energy, no guaranteed power even with batteries

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Date added:  April 15, 2021
Environment, Law, Oregon, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Petition for Judicial Review, Summit Ridge Wind Farm

Author:  Friends of the Columbia Gorge; Oregon Wild; and Central Oregon Landwatch

If constructed and operated, the Facility would result in adverse impacts to wildlife species, including bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). In 2009 and/or 2010, raptor surveys detected numerous bald and golden eagles and nest sites within 1,000 to 10,000 feet of proposed wind turbine locations. …

This appeal challenges three agency Orders issued by ODOE [Oregon Department of Energy], on August 10, 2020; August 21, 2020; and September 10, 2020. …

In issuing the three challenged Orders, ODOE acted in violation of the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act and the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act by erroneously interpreting one or more provisions of law; acting outside the range of discretion delegated to the agency by law; acting inconsistent with one or more agency rules, officially stated agency positions, and/or prior agency practices without explaining the inconsistencies; acting in violation of a statutory provision; and/or issuing agency orders not supported by substantial evidence in one or more of the following ways: [50(a)–(v)].

Pursuant to ORS 469.563, Petitioners request that this Court issue such restraining orders and/or such temporary and permanent injunctive relief as is necessary to secure compliance with applicable provisions of the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act and its implementing regulations and/or with the terms and conditions of a site certificate.

Download original document: “Amended Petition for Judicial Review, Summit Ridge Wind Farm

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Date added:  April 10, 2021
Colorado, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Behavioral patterns of bats at a wind turbine confirm seasonality of fatality risk

Author:  Goldenberg, Shifra; Cryan, Paul; Gorresen, Paulo; and Fingersh, Lee

Abstract: Bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America are predominantly comprised of migratory, tree‐dependent species, but it is unclear why these bats are at higher risk. Factors influencing bat susceptibility to wind turbines might be revealed by temporal patterns in their behaviors around these dynamic landscape structures. In northern temperate zones, fatalities occur mostly from July through October, but whether this reflects seasonally variable behaviors, passage of migrants, or some combination of factors remains unknown. In this study, we examined video imagery spanning one year in the state of Colorado in the United States, to characterize patterns of seasonal and nightly variability in bat behavior at a wind turbine. We detected bats on 177 of 306 nights representing approximately 3,800 hr of video and > 2,000 discrete bat events. We observed bats approaching the turbine throughout the night across all months during which bats were observed. Two distinct seasonal peaks of bat activity occurred in July and September, representing 30% and 42% increases in discrete bat events from the preceding months June and August, respectively. Bats exhibited behaviors around the turbine that increased in both diversity and duration in July and September. The peaks in bat events were reflected in chasing and turbine approach behaviors. Many of the bat events involved multiple approaches to the turbine, including when bats were displaced through the air by moving blades. The seasonal and nightly patterns we observed were consistent with the possibility that wind turbines invoke investigative behaviors in bats in late summer and autumn coincident with migration and that bats may return and fly close to wind turbines even after experiencing potentially disruptive stimuli like moving blades. Our results point to the need for a deeper understanding of the seasonality, drivers, and characteristics of bat movement across spatial scales.

Migratory tree bats, like this silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) seen roosting on a tree trunk during autumn, are among the most frequently found dead at wind turbines in North America during late summer and autumn.

Shifra Z. Goldenberg, Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA; Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, Escondido, CA
Paul M. Cryan, US Geological Survey (USGS), Fort Collins, CO
Paulo Marcos Gorresen, University of Hawaii at Hilo, HI; US Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Science Center, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Lee Jay Fingersh, US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Wind Technology Center, Boulder, CO

Ecology and Evolution, 18 March 2021
doi: 10.1002/ece3.7388

Download original document: “Behavioral patterns of bats at a wind turbine confirm seasonality of fatality risk

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Date added:  April 1, 2021
California, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Relative energy production determines effect of repowering on wildlife mortality at wind energy facilities

Abstract

1. Reduction in wildlife mortality is often cited as a potential advantage to repowering wind facilities, that is, replacing smaller, lower capacity, closely spaced turbines, with larger, higher capacity ones, more widely spaced. Wildlife mortality rates, however, are affected by more than just size and spacing of turbines, varying with turbine operation, seasonal and daily weather and habitat, all of which can confound our ability to accurately measure the effect of repowering on wildlife mortality rates.

2. We investigated the effect of repowering on wildlife mortality rates in a study conducted near Palm Springs, CA. We controlled for confounding effects of weather and habitat by measuring turbine-caused wildlife mortality rates over a range of turbine sizes and spacing, all within the same time period, habitat and local weather conditions. We controlled for differences in turbine operation by standardizing mortality rate per unit energy produced.

3. We found that avian and bat mortality rate was constant per unit of energy produced, across all sizes and spacings of turbines.

4. Synthesis and applications. In the context of repowering a wind facility, our results suggest that the relative amount of energy produced, rather than simply the size, spacing or nameplate capacity of the replacement turbines, determines the relative rate of mortality prior to and after repowering. Consequently, in a given location, newer turbines would be expected to be less harmful to wildlife only if they produced less energy than the older models they replace. The implications are far-reaching as 18% of US and 8% of world-wide wind power capacity will likely be considered for repowering within ~5 years.

Manuela Huso, Daniel Dalthorp, U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon
Tara Conkling, Todd Katzner, U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Boise, Idaho
Heath Smith, Rogue Detection Teams, Rice, Washington
Amy Fesnock, Bureau of Land Management, California State Office, Sacramento, California

Journal of Applied Ecology. First published: 31 March 2021
doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13853

Download original document: “Relative energy production determines effect of repowering on wildlife mortality at wind energy facilities

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