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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 18, 2020
Economics, Technology, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

How does wind project performance change with age in the United States?

Author:  Hamilton, Sofia; et al.

Abstract—
Wind-plant performance declines with age, and the rate of decline varies between regions. The rate of performance decline is important when determining wind-plant financial viability and expected lifetime generation. We determine the rate of age-related performance decline in the United States wind fleet by evaluating generation records from 917 plants. We find the rate of performance decline to be 0.53%/year for older vintages of plants and 0.17%/year for newer vintages of plants on an energy basis for the first 10 years of operation, which is on the lower end of prior estimates in Europe. Unique to the United States, we find a significant drop in performance by 3.6% after 10 years, as plants lose eligibility for the production tax credit. Certain plant characteristics, such as the ratio of blade length to nameplate capacity, influence the rate of performance decline. These results indicate that the performance decline rate can be partially managed and influenced by policy.

Sofia D. Hamilton, Dev Millstein, Mark Bolinger, Ryan H. Wiser, Seongeun Jeong
Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California

Joule 4, 1–17 (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.04.005

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Date added:  May 12, 2020
Law, Noise, Pennsylvania, SitingPrint storyE-mail story

Malitsch and Mangold v. Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board

Author:  Court of Common Pleas, Carbon County, Pa., Civil Division

28. Atlantic Wind has failed to produce sufficient evidence and failed to sustain its burden to show that the proposed Wind Turbine project will comply with section 402.A.54.p of the Zoning Ordinance.

29. As Atlantic Wind has failed to meet its burden of proof and persuasion regarding the specific requirements of the Zoning Ordinance for wind turbines, no presumption has arisen that Atlantic Wind’s proposed use is consistent with the health, safety and general welfare of the community.

30. Although we find that no burden has shifted to the Objectors to present evidence and persuade this Court that the proposed use will generate adverse impacts not normally generated by such use and that these impacts would pose a substantial threat to the health and safety of the community, the Objectors presented credible expert testimony and scientific evidence that the proposed use will have a detrimental effect on the health, safety and welfare of the community. …

38. The current principal use of the proposed Project Area is for the production of potable water.

39. The proposed wind turbine project would be an additional principal use in the Project Area. ( Zoning Ordinance, section 306.B.1).

40. Unless Bethlehem Authority ceases to use the Project Area for the production of potable water, the Wind Turbine Project would constitute a second principal use within a residential district in violation of section 801.B.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

41. As Atlantic Wind does not meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance relative to the proposed use and does not challenge the validity of the Zoning Ordinance nor seek to have the property re-zoned, the application for a special exception to permit wind turbines in an R-1 zoning district must be denied.

42. Having failed to meet its burden of production and persuasion concerning its request for a special exception to permit wind turbines in an R-1 zoning district, Atlantic Wind’s second request for a special exception to permit an operations and safety building as a use not specifically provided for (and not prohibited) in any of the zoning districts is rendered moot and denied.

43. Having failed to meet its burden of production and persuasion concerning its request for a special exception to permit wind turbines in an R-1 zoning district, Atlantic Wind’s request for an interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance relative to the proposed permanent meteorological towers being permitted as either integral parts of the wind turbine use or as accessory uses or structures which are customary and incidental to the wind turbine use is rendered moot and denied.

44. Having failed to meet its burden of production and persuasion concerning its request for a special exception to permit wind turbines in an R-1 zoning district, Atlantic wind’s request for a special exception to permit the permanent meteorological towers as a use not specifically provided for (and not prohibited) in any of the zoning districts is rendered moot and denied. …

IV. CONCLUSION

As Atlantic Wind has failed to demonstrate that the sound produced by the proposed wind turbines will not exceed forty-five (45) A-weighted decibels and that there will be only one (1) principal use on the proposed project area, Atlantic wind has failed to meet its burden of persuasion that the proposed wind turbine project will comply with all the objective requirements for a special exception to be granted under the Penn Forest Township Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, the deemed approval of Atlantic Wind’s application for a special exception must be vacated and we will enter the following

ORDER OF COURT

AND NOW, to wit, this 21st day of April, 2020, upon consideration of Appellants’ land use appeal and the oral argument of counsel thereon, our review of the record created before the Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board and the Referee appointed by this Court, the briefs of the parties, and the report of the Referee, and in accordance with our Memorandum Opinion bearing even date herewith, it is hereby ORDERED and DECREED as follows:

1. The land use appeal of Phillip C. Malit sch and Christopher Mangold is GRANTED;

2. The deemed approval of the application of Atlantic Wind, LLC, for a special exception under the Penn Forest Township Zoning Ordinance is VACATED; and

3. The application of Atlantic Wind, LLC for special exceptions under the Penn Forest Township Zoning Ordinance is DENIED.

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Date added:  April 16, 2020
NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Laboratory study on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep: results of the polysomnographic WiTNES study

Author:  Smith, Michael; et al.

Abstract—

Study Objectives: Assess the physiologic and self-reported effects of wind turbine noise (WTN) on sleep.

Methods: Laboratory sleep study (n = 50 participants: n = 24 living close to wind turbines and n = 26 as a reference group) using polysomnography, electrocardiography, salivary cortisol, and questionnaire endpoints. Three consecutive nights (23:00–07:00): one habituation followed by a randomized quiet Control and an intervention night with synthesized 32 dB LAEq WTN. Noise in WTN nights simulated closed and ajar windows and low and high amplitude modulation depth.

Results: There was a longer rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency (+16.8 min) and lower amount of REM sleep (−11.1 min, −2.2%) in WTN nights. Other measures of objective sleep did not differ significantly between nights, including key indicators of sleep disturbance (sleep efficiency: Control 86.6%, WTN 84.2%; wakefulness after sleep onset: Control 45.2 min, WTN 52.3 min; awakenings: Control n = 11.4, WTN n = 11.5) or the cortisol awakening response. Self-reported sleep was consistently rated as worse following WTN nights, and individuals living close to wind turbines had worse self-reported sleep in both the Control and WTN nights than the reference group.

Conclusions: Amplitude-modulated continuous WTN may impact on self-assessed and some aspects of physiologic sleep. Future studies are needed to generalize these findings outside of the laboratory and should include more exposure nights and further examine possible habituation or sensitization.

Michael G Smith, Mikael Ögren, Pontus Thorsson, Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb, Eja Pedersen, Jens Forssén, Julia Ageborg Morsing, Kerstin Persson Waye
University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, Sweden

Sleep, 25 March 2020, doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa046

Download original document: “A laboratory study on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep: results of the polysomnographic WiTNES study

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Date added:  March 25, 2020
Environment, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Renewable energy development threatens many globally important biodiversity areas

Author:  Rehbein, Jose; et al.

Abstract—
Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy is fundamental for halting anthropogenic climate change. However, renewable energy facilities can be land‐use intensive and impact conservation areas, and little attention has been given to whether the aggregated effect of energy transitions poses a substantial threat to global biodiversity. Here, we assess the extent of current and likely future renewable energy infrastructure associated with onshore wind, hydropower and solar photovoltaic generation, within three important conservation areas: protected areas (PAs), Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and Earth’s remaining wilderness. We identified 2,206 fully operational renewable energy facilities within the boundaries of these conservation areas, with another 922 facilities under development. Combined, these facilities span and are degrading 886 PAs, 749 KBAs and 40 distinct wilderness areas. Two trends are particularly concerning. First, while the majority of historical overlap occurs in Western Europe, the renewable electricity facilities under development increasingly overlap with conservation areas in Southeast Asia, a globally important region for biodiversity. Second, this next wave of renewable energy infrastructure represents a ~30% increase in the number of PAs and KBAs impacted and could increase the number of compromised wilderness areas by ~60%. If the world continues to rapidly transition towards renewable energy these areas will face increasing pressure to allow infrastructure expansion. Coordinated planning of renewable energy expansion and biodiversity conservation is essential to avoid conflicts that compromise their respective objectives.

Jose A. Rehbein, James E.M. Watson, Joe L. Lane, Laura J. Sonter, Oscar Venter, Scott C. Atkinson, James R. Allan
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, School of Chemical Engineering Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, and School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia
Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Conservation Program, Bronx, New York
Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Natural Resource and Environmental Studies Institute, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, Canada
United Nations Development Programme, New York
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Global Change Biology. Published online ahead of print March 4, 2020. doi: 10.1111/gcb.15067

Download original document: “Renewable energy development threatens many globally important biodiversity areas

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