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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:  June 28, 2021
EnvironmentPrint storyE-mail story

Emissions from corrosion protection systems of offshore wind farms: Evaluation of the potential impact on the marine environment

Author:  Kirchgeorg, Torben; Bell, Anna Maria; et al.

Abstract: Offshore wind energy is a fast growing sector of renewable energies worldwide. This will change the marine environment and thus, a wide range of environmental impacts of offshore wind farms are subject of current research. Here we present an overview about chemical emissions from corrosion protection systems, discuss their relevance and potential impact to the marine environment, and suggest strategies to reduce their emissions. Corrosion is a general problem for offshore infrastructures and corrosion protection systems are necessary to maintain the structural integrity. These systems are often in direct contact with seawater and have different potentials for emissions, e.g. galvanic anodes emitting substantial amounts of metals. Organic coatings may release organic substances due to weathering and/or leaching. Current assumptions suggest a low environmental impact, but monitoring data is not sufficient to assess the environmental impact of this new source.

T. Kirchgeorg, I. Weinberg, M. Hörnig, Section of Marine Sediments, Department of Marine Science, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Hamburg, Germany
R. Baier, M.J. Schmid, Steel Structures & Corrosion Protection Section, Department of Structural Engineering, Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, Karlsruhe, Germany
B. Brockmeyerc, Section of Environmentally Hazardous Substances, Department of Marine Science, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Hamburg, Germany

Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume 136, November 2018, Pages 257-268
doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.08.058


Also see:

Ecotoxicological characterization of emissions from steel coatings in contact with water

Abstract: In order to prevent corrosion damage, steel structures need to be protected. Coating systems achieve this by the isolation of the steel from its environment. Common binding agents are epoxide and polyurethane resins which harden by polyaddition reactions. In contact with water, various organic substances might be leached out and released into the aquatic environment potentially causing adverse effects. So far, no legal requirements are mandatory for the environmental sustainability of coating systems. To characterize emissions from steel coatings, recommendations for the ecotoxicological assessment of construction products were utilized. Seven different coating systems based on epoxide or polyurethane resins were leached in 8 steps (6 h–64 d), followed by the testing of acute toxic effects on bacteria and algae as well as estrogen-like and mutagenic effects. In addition, chemical analysis by GC-MS was performed to identify potentially toxic compounds released from the coating systems. Two systems tested did not show any significant effects in the bioassays. One coating system caused significant algal toxicity, none was found to cause mutagenic effects. The other coating systems mainly showed estrogenic effects and bacterial toxicity. The effects increased with increasing leaching time. 4-tert-butylphenol, which is used in epoxy resins as a hardener, was identified as the main contributor to acute and estrogenic effects in two coatings. The release mechanism of 4-tert-butylphenol was characterized by two different modelling approaches. It was found that the release from the most toxic coating is not explainable by an elevated content of 4-tert-butylphenol but more likely by the release mechanism that – in contrast to the less toxic coating – is controlled not only by diffusion. This finding might indicate a sub-optimal formulation of this coating system resulting in a less stable layer and thus an increased release of toxic compounds.

Anna Maria Bell, Georg Reifferscheid, Sebastian Buchinger, Thomas Ternes, Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany
Roland Baier, Section B2 – Steel Structures and Corrosion Protection, Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, Karlsruhe, Germany
Birgit Kocher, Department V3 – Environmental Protection, Federal Highway Research Institute, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

Water Research
Volume 173, 15 April 2020, 115525
doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.115525

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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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