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Resource Documents: Americas (4 items)

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Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided 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.


Date added:  June 13, 2018
Environment, New YorkPrint storyE-mail story

Mad River Wind Farm Impact Assessment Study in the Tug Hill Region of New York State

Author:  Newman, David; and Fisher, Brian

Abstract: Atlantic Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of the renewable energy company Avangrid Renewables of Portland Oregon, is proposing to construct a state-of-the-art large-scale wind turbine energy farm (LSWF) of approximately 88 Gamesa G-132 wind turbines in the heart of the rural Tug Hill region at the intersection of Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties in upstate New York. The proposal, entitled the “Mad River Wind Farm,” would have a nameplate capacity generate [electricity at a rate of] up to 350 MW (megawatts, or million watts), enough to provide power for 60,000 typical households over the course of the 20-30 year life span of the project (however, the actual power produced may be substantially less). The project is to be sited under a new, unified review and approval process for electrical facilities generating in excess of 25 MW, according to provisions of Art. 10 of the NYS Public Service Law. Traditionally, forested landscapes were considered as “no-go” locations for siting LSWFs, [owing] to their inaccessibility and problems with airflow turbulence in potentially uneven forested canopies. However, as technology has improved and turbines have increased in height (400 to 600+ feet), forests are receiving new attention as large-scale landscapes to site wind farms. Only a handful of LSWFs have been constructed in forested landscapes in the US. While wind farms are often considered as beneficial, renewable forms of “green energy” and are increasingly favored by the environmental community for their important contributions to sustainable energy development and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, they may not always have benign impacts to the environment where they are sited. This white paper, prepared for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, examines the potential ecological and environmental impacts from the proposed Mad River project, and focuses on direct and indirect impacts from both the construction and operational phases of the project.

The bio-physical ecological impacts addressed include:

among others.

Prepared for Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust by Dr. David H. Newman (Principal Investigator), and Prof. Brian L. Fisher, M.S. (PhD Student; Primary Author), Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, April 2018

Download original document: “Mad River Wind Farm Impact Assessment Study in the Tug Hill Region of New York State

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Date added:  June 5, 2018
Health, Noise, Ontario, Prince Edward IslandPrint storyE-mail story

Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure measure to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health

Author:  Barry, Rebecca; Sulsky, Sandra; and Kreiger, Nancy

[Abstract] This analysis uses data from the Community Noise and Health Study developed by Statistics Canada to investigate the association between residential proximity to wind turbines and health-related outcomes in a dataset that also provides objective measures of wind turbine noise. The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures. These associations differ in some respects from associations with noise measurements. Results can be used to support discussions between communities and wind-turbine developers regarding potential health effects of wind turbines.

[Results] Results suggest that proximity to wind turbines is inversely associated with the environment domain quality of life score (β = 1.23, SE = 0.145, p = 0.046). This association suggests that every kilometre a person lives further away from a wind turbine is associated with a 1.23 point increase in score on the environmental health quality of life scale. A higher score is indicative of a higher environmental quality of life. … Distance to wind turbines was also found to be strongly associated with increased annoyance (OR = 0.19; 95% CI  = 0.07, 0.53, p = 0.001). This suggests that the odds of reporting being annoyed by a turbine are reduced by about 20% for every kilometer a person lives further away from a wind turbine. …

[Discussion] These results show that living closer in proximity to wind turbines is negatively correlated with self-rated environmental quality of life and physical health quality of life. These findings suggest that the mechanism of effect may not be noise, or not noise alone, and may include visual sight, vibrations, shadow flicker, sub-audible low frequency sound, or mechanisms that include individual subjective experiences and attitudes towards wind turbines. … Our findings strengthen the argument that wind turbines are associated with annoyance, as this association is now found with both modelled A-weighted sound pressure levels and with residential distance to wind turbines. Other research has found that individuals reporting annoyance due to environmental noise also report health conditions including ischemic heart disease, depression, and migraines.

Rebecca Barry and Nancy Kreiger, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sandra I. Sulsky, Ramboll Environ US, Amherst, Massachusetts

J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 143 (6), June 2018, 3278–3282
doi: 10.1121/1.5039840

Download original document: “Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure measure to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health

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Date added:  May 4, 2018
New YorkPrint storyE-mail story

KTYX Wind Farm Impacts

Author:  National Weather ServiceNational Weather Service

There are 4 National Weather Service (NWS) offices that use the Fort Drum KTYX radar to accomplish their mission of protection of life and property in the nearby counties. These offices are: NWS Albany, NWS Buffalo, NWS Binghamton, NWS Burlington.

NWS Albany Impacts:

NWS Buffalo Impacts:

NWS Binghamton Impacts:

NWS Burlington Impacts:

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Date added:  May 3, 2018
Emissions, Grid, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Marginal Emissions Factors for Electricity Generation in the Midcontinent ISO

Author:  Thind, Maninder; et al.

Abstract.
Environmental consequences of electricity generation are often determined using average emission factors. However, as different interventions are incrementally pursued in electricity systems, the resulting marginal change in emissions may differ from what one would predict based on system-average conditions. Here, we estimate average emission factors and marginal emission factors for CO₂, SO₂, and NOx from fossil and nonfossil generators in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region during years 2007–2016. We analyze multiple spatial scales (all MISO; each of the 11 MISO states; each utility; each generator) and use MISO data to characterize differences between the two emission factors (average; marginal). We also explore temporal trends in emissions factors by hour, day, month, and year, as well as the differences that arise from including only fossil generators versus total generation. We find, for example, that marginal emission factors are generally higher during late-night and early morning compared to afternoons. Overall, in MISO, average emission factors are generally higher than marginal estimates (typical difference: ∼20%). This means that the true environmental benefit of an energy efficiency program may be ∼20% smaller than anticipated if one were to use average emissions factors. Our analysis can usefully be extended to other regions to support effective near-term technical, policy and investment decisions based on marginal rather than only average emission factors.

Maninder P. S. Thind and Julian D. Marshall, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Elizabeth J. Wilson, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Inês L. Azevedo, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Environmental Science and Technology, 2017, 51 (24), pp 14445–14452
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03047

Download original document: “Marginal Emissions Factors for Electricity Generation in the Midcontinent ISO

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