April 1, 2012
Chile, Ontario, U.K., U.S.

Victory highlights: March 24–30

United States
Wind power tax credit again dies in Senate
National Wind Watch
March 29, 2012

Legislation that would have extended lucrative tax credits for wind power development companies died in the Senate today when supporters failed to get the needed 60 votes to end debate. This was the third failed attempt this spring to extend the production tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. Without the promise of that crucial subsidy, developers are already having a hard time getting upcoming projects financed. After the previous defeat, the vast number of e-mails and telephone calls to Senators from concerned individuals around the country in opposition to the extension was brought to the attention of at least one Washington news outlet. Keep up the pressure, people!

Burton Joyce wind turbines rejected
Nottingham Post and BBC News
March 30, 2012

In England, campaigners say they are “delighted” at a Nottinghamshire council's decision not to grant planning permission for two wind turbines. Severn Trent Water had submitted plans to build two 433 ft-high wind turbines near the village of Burton Joyce. Gedling Borough Council refused permission for the turbines on the grounds they would have an adverse effect on greenbelt land. There were concerns about the turbines' effect on Gedling House Woods and Meadows, which is a local nature preserve containing a richly biodiverse meadowland which has been undisturbed for several hundred years, and where there is a measure of activities such as walking and observation of flora and fauna. There were also concerns regarding a nearby school, church and sportsground. Many letters of objection to the turbines were received by the council and exceedingly few in support. Burton Joyce Parish Council submitted a 200-page document opposing the plans for the turbines. The head of the parish council said, “It has been a long, hard slog and we are just really pleased with the decision.”

Council votes to oppose turbine plan near Ketton
Rutland Times
March 30, 2012

Parish councillors in Ketton Parish, England, have unanimously agreed to oppose plans to build two wind turbines near a village. REG Windpower wants to put two masts on land off Steadfold Lane, Ketton, and has submitted a planning application to the county council. The council decided to oppose the turbines for a number of reasons, including noise, shadow flicker, and the proximity of the turbines to homes. 467 people signed a petition against the turbines.

Wind turbine proposal rejected as “blot on landscape”
Western Gazette
March 30, 2012

In England, campaigners have won their battle to block plans for wind turbines near Wincanton racecourse after an appeal from the applicants was turned down. Objectors felt that the two 34-metre tall industrial turbines at Moorhayes Farm would have been a blight on the landscape, and would cause danger for horses and riders. There are nearby heritage assets and the Planning Inspector said that the turbines would have had “an inevitable adverse visual effect on the landscape.” There were deep concerns that the turbines would distract the horses on the racecourse and pose a danger to both horses and riders, as well as to recreational horse-riders on a nearby bridleway. Peter Reynolds represented the residents from the area at the appeal and said, “Everyone in Redlynch is delighted with the decision that this beautiful part of Somerset has been protected. ” Stephen Nathan, a regular rider, pointed out that the threats posed to horses on the bridleway were just as great as those faced by professional racehorse jockeys, and said, “The recreational riders are all delighted at the decision. It now means it will still be safe to use the nearby bridleway and we can continue to enjoy the countryside.”

United States, Connecticut
Turbine company to make restitution for clearing Canaan land
Republican American
March 29, 2012

In Connecticut, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is close to reaching a settlement with Hartford-based wind turbine company BNE Energy. Surveys and research have concluded that BNE Energy encroached on state property and took down approximately 330 trees on about 2.5 acres in 2010. BNE was clearing a test site for a possible wind facility in an area known as Canaan Mountain.

United States, Maine
Woodstock voters debate, approve ordinances
Bethel Citizen
March 29, 2012

Voters at Monday's Woodstock, Maine town meeting approved a one year moratorium on wind power projects, while a town committee crafts an ordinance. Committee members want to have time to get feedback on the new Spruce Mountain wind facility which went online in December. Since then, the group has been receiving feedback from residents and most of the concerns are related to noise and visual impact, and the effect on property values. Gary Kendall who lives about a mile away from the wind facility said that “he can hear it pretty good.” Another resident Jan Mayes said “It sounds like a jet that never finishes going by your house.”

Wales, UK
New criteria for Anglesey wind turbines
Daily Post
March 29, 2012

On the isle of Anglesey in North Wales, controversial giant on-shore wind turbines face stringent new criteria before even being considered byAnglesey planners. Applications for monster turbines have surged over the past 18 months, causing huge concern they will blot the island's landscape and damage tourism. New Supplementary Planning guidelines are being compiled on the island to control the size and placement of the turbines. In addition to that, developers will have to supply a wealth of information on the likely impact on the surrounding area when they apply. This includes visual impacts for homes within 2km of the planned site, noise studies, and photomontages on how they will fit into the landscape. One of the new criteria states: ” The individual or cumulative effect of turbines in the countryside shall be assessed so as not to create unacceptable visual or landscape impacts.” It is hoped that this will stop developers making speculative applications for large turbines on the island.

United States, Illinois
Wind Turbine ban extended
Daily Herald
March 29, 2012

In Libertyville Illinois, a moratorium on the construction and operation of wind turbines has been extended for 6 months by the village board. Village trustees agreed to another extension of the ban which was enacted nearly three years ago, shortly after a turbine was installed there. That matter went to court as residents challenged the operation, but how these facilities will be regulated in the future is still to be determined. The village planning commission has completed a review of the issue, though additional review and revisions will be forthcoming.

Victory in fight over turbine
Peterlee Star
March 28, 2012

People power won the day when a communications giant lost an appeal for a wind turbine to be built. BT Renewables had planned to build an “imposing” turbine with a 300ft-high blade in Easington Village which is in County Durham, England. The Durham County Council had refused planning permission for the development in October of last year. BT Renewables appealed to the Planning Inspectorate but the appeal was thrown out after a two-day hearing. The Planning Inspectorate concluded that due to other clusters of existing turbines in County Durham, “the benefits of the scheme are insufficient to outweigh the harm derived through their cumulative effect.” A Labour councillor who sits on the county's council area and planning commission said: “County Durham had just become a dumping ground for these big wind turbines. We felt as though enough was enough. We feel really pleased that the local community's voice has been heard. We have taken on a big corporation and actually won, so the little guys got a result.”

United States, Ohio
Groundbreaking law prohibits wind turbines
Daily Standard
March 27, 2012

Council members of the town of St. Henry, Ohio, made history by passing unique legislation which bans wind turbines in town. This new law, the first of its kind to be passed in any municipality in Ohio, was unanimously passed. It prohibits the construction of all types of wind turbines, wind chargers, and wind generators. It outlaws any device, apparatus or structure used to convert kinetic energy from wind to produce energy, though town council members have said they may consider exceptions to the law on a case-by-case basis. The village administrator said the law is there to “protect the people of the village.”

High Court suspends Ecopower wind farm on Chiloe Island
Patagon Unbound
March 27, 2012

Chile's Supreme Court has suspended the environmental approval of a controversial wind farm planned for Chiloe Island in southern Chile. Many scientists and environmental groups had expressed concern that the Chilean-Swedish-owned Ecopower's plan to construct 56 wind turbines on Mar Brava beach at Chiloe would threaten one of the most important habitats for the endangered great blue whale, due to increased boat traffic and possible acoustic contamination from the construction and operation of the wind facility. Pressure was put on Chile to require an environmental impact study due to worry over the fate of the blue whales, including a letter to Chile's president signed by more than 40 scientists worldwide. Though Chile's high court rarely takes measures to halt investment projects on environmental grounds, they stopped the development of this project. This was due to the possible impacts the development could have on an ancient, indigenous archeological site on Mar Brava beach. The High Court said that the approval of the Ecopower project last year by the environmental commission in Chile's Lakes region was “illegal and arbitrary” because it failed to provide a proper consultation to a nearby indigenous community. The court also said that the affected indigenous community had been given “no real possibilities to influence the implementation, location and development of the project.” The president of a marine mammal protection group in Santiago called the Supreme Court decision an “historic victory” that affirms the obligation of energy companies to carry out environmental impact studies “when either our cultural heritage or endangered species are threatened.”

Canada, Ontario
Huron-Kinloss council supports Clarington wind power moratorium
QMI Agency
March 28, 2012

In Ontario, Canada, the Huron-Kinloss council approved a resolution from the municipality of Clarington for a moratorium on wind turbines. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which is Ontario's largest farm organization, has asked Premier Dalton McGuinty and the provincial government to suspend the building of wind turbines across the province. Dozens of municipalities across the province have repeatedly asked for a moratorium on the construction of wind turbines until important questions are properly studied and adressed, such as: health concerns for those living in proximity to the industrial wind turbines, proper setbacks of wind turbines, devaluation of neighbouring properties, decimation of the rural landscape and destruction of wildlife habitats.

Plan for controversial East Cleveland windfarm is dropped
Evening Gazette
March 27, 2012

Renewable energy firm Infinis has confirmed it will cease plans to construct four 120m-high wind turbines along the Beacon Moor in England. They had already installed a 60m mast to monitor wind conditions, but faced strong public opposition due to the development being too close to residents' homes. Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales, who opposed the development, said that Infinis had reported to him that although the Beacon moor was an excellent site for wind, community consultation and scrutiny had helped the firm to understand the site's constraints and influenced its decision to withdraw their plans.

Second Wind Farm Halted
Northern Echo
March 27, 2012

The Planning Inspectorate refused an application by Wind Prospect to build three turbines at Foxton near Sedgefield in County Durham, England. The Foxton scheme was rejected by a planning inspector on the grounds that it would have a significant detrimental effect on the area and would detract from the landscape.

“No investigation” over Trump campaigning claims
March 27, 2012

The Electoral Commission has dismissed Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond's calls for Donald Trump to be investigated over claims he is to fund advertising targeting pro-wind candidates at Scottish local government elections. The Commission has said it did not have the powers to regulate non-party campaigning at local elections. Mr. Trump has pledged to throw the full might of his organization behind the anti-wind group, Communities Against Turbines Scotland, with his New York-based staff available to work with them on a daily basis. Susan Crosthwaite, chairwoman of Communities Against Turbines Scotland, said, “This is one of the areas that Donald Trump will help us by doing some advertising.”

United States, Maine
Neighbors win court round over wind farm noise
New York Times
March 23, 2012

A legal petition aimed at reinstating a state rule for limiting noise at a controversial wind facility in Maine can proceed, a judge has ruled, thus denying a motion for dismissal from the wind facility's developer, Fox Islands Wind. The facility has been operating since late 2009 on the island of Vinalhaven in the state of Maine, and neighbors have complained of noise from the spinning blades. After findings from the Maine Dept of Environmental Protection that the installation had been too noisy, in 2011 Fox Islands Wind submitted a new operating procedure to remedy the noise. The state agency also required that Fox Islands Wind actively show it was complying, but last June Patricia Aho, a deputy environmental commissioner and former lobbyist for the power company's law firm, took over as acting environmental commissioner. She removed the provision from new regulations that obligated Fox Islands Wind to actively prove its compliance. The next month a group of neighbors filed their petition to review Aho's revised order, saying it was “politically motivated and the product of an abuse of discretion.” Judge Michaela Murphy upheld the neighbors' petition after Fox Islands Wind filed a motion to dismiss.

United States, New York
Banning turbines in Litchfield maintains town's “well-being”
March 24, 2012

In a 4 to 1 vote the Litchfield, New York Town Board passed a local law that will ban the construction of industrial wind turbines. Major concerns about the effects of industrial wind turbines included aesthetic woes due to large size, noise, lighting and shadow flicker effects, disruption of the rural landscape which is a part of the town's history, erosion or damage to farm fields, traffic problems and road damage. Councilman Mark O'Sullivan, who headed the committee that drafted the Wind Energy Facilities Law, said the council wants to keep the residential community the way it is, and that “the main driving force for the law was the well-being of the community.”

Turbine victory for north Cumbria windfarm campaign
Cumberland News
March 24, 2012

In England, campaigners against commercial wind energy have claimed a victory in their fight to stop Cumbria's landscape being dominated by wind turbines. Members of Friends of Rural Cumbria's Environment, known as FORCE, have argued that an influx of single-turbine developments would change the classification of the area, making it easier for developers to obtain permission for larger projects. A council development panel turned down permission for an 80m turbine at Boltongate last week. The assistant chairwoman of FORCE said “I think the developers regard the area as easy pickings but this has shown them it's not. I think they were surprised by the number of objectors.”

Windfarm plans are thrown out by council
Fife Today
March 24, 2012

Campaigners have won their battle to prevent two windfarms from being built on Clatto Hill in the picturesque Howe of Fife in Scotland. West Coast Energy's proposal for five 115 metre-tall turbines at Devon Wood and Green Cat Renewables' plans for three 100 metre-high turbines at the adjacent Clatto Farm, have been rejected by Fife Council's planning committee. The committee meeting was packed with members of the public, the majority of whom were against the installation of the proposed wind facilities. The energy firms' representatives were in attendance as well. Concerns were voiced about the effect on wildlife, despoiling of the landscape, the harm to tourism, and aviation safety. Councillor Bill Kay said “There are few real wilderness areas left in Fife and I would need a lot of reassurance about the effect on wildlife before I could go on with this.” Howe of Fife Councillor Donald Lothian said his greatest concern was the impact on residential amenity. He said: “I agree with the thrust of what has been said about the effect on the landscape, wildlife, and also distraction for motorists, but I am very concerned about the impact these turbines could have on people's everyday lives.” In the end, despite committee chair John Beare voicing approval of the turbines, his motion was soundly rejected by the majority of the committee members.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/04/01/victory-highlights-march-24-30/