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Wind Power News: October 2012

These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

October 31, 2012 • SwedenPrint storyE-mail story

Swedish offshore wind projects at risk; Network operator warns of electricity surplus

Rapid growth in the number of proposed wind farms in Sweden threatens to produce a significant over-supply in electricity, warns the state-owned operator of Sweden’s electricity grid, Svenska Kraftnät. Unless the Swedish government chooses to incentivise the construction of new offshore wind capacity, the majority of offshore projects that have been granted development concessions and that have successfully navigated some of the permitting process risk being abandoned. Sweden currently boasts just 160MW of offshore wind capacity. Its largest energy company, . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

New energy siting commission begins review of projects

A new state commission has begun to wade into the contentious debate over where Vermont builds energy projects. Critics say the state’s ridgelines are at risk from industrial-scale wind development. But the panel will confine its review to the permitting process and will not examine the state’s overall goals for renewable energy. The first meeting of the energy siting commission was Permits 101. Lawyers for state agencies ran through a power point presentation of the permits needed for many energy . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • FrancePrint storyE-mail story

French Senate rejects wind farm permitting reform

A draft law going through the French parliament, containing measures to simplify the permitting system for wind, has been rejected by the Senate, the upper house. The clauses covering wind power follow a government promise to reform the regulatory system. The bill proposed scrapping the wind-power development zones (ZDE), within which turbines must be built to benefit from the guaranteed premium power purchase price. Instead, they would be covered by the regional wind power plans currently being finalised. The bill . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • U.K.Print storyE-mail story

Coalition tensions erupt over Tory minister John Hayes’ windfarm opposition

Coalition tensions over energy policy erupted today as a Conservative minister infuriated his Liberal Democrat boss for apparently announcing there would be no further expansion of onshore wind farms. John Hayes was immediately slapped down by Energy Secretary Ed Davey for insisting that “enough is enough” and turbine developments should no longer be “imposed on communities”. The Tory energy minister had been ordered not to deliver the remarks in a speech last night, amid warnings that they were not compatible . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

In Scott County, questions swirl over wind power

Rising interest in wind turbines in Scott County has civic leaders and some neighbors on guard. One of the landmarks on the riverbluff drive through Scott County along Hwy. 169 is the OK Corral, with its covered wagon hoist in mid-air along with an old-fashioned windmill whose blades are Swiss-cheesed with bullet holes. If that image represents the past, however, the view to be seen up the hill on top of the bluffs may represent the future. As sheep graze . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • U.K.Print storyE-mail story

Death knell for wind farms: ‘Enough is Enough’ says minister

Wind farms have been “peppered” across Britain without enough consideration for the countryside and people’s homes, a senior Conservative energy minister admitted last night as he warned “enough is enough”. John Hayes said that we can “no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities” and added that it “seems extraordinary” they have allowed to spread so much throughout the country. The energy minister said he had ordered a new analysis of the case for onshore wind power which would form . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Family of man killed in air crash files suit

MARTINEZ – The family of a pilot killed in a 2011 plane crash on a Delta island is suing those responsible for building the meteorological tower his airplane struck, saying it was purposely built to avoid federal regulations for making such structures more visible. Agricultural pilot Stephen Allen was killed on Webb Tract in Contra Costa County on Jan. 10, 2011, after his airplane struck a 198-foot tower that he likely did not see, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

New application submitted for Bowers Mountain wind farm

Maine’s largest wind energy developer has come back with a scaled-back plan to build wind turbines on Bowers Mountain in eastern Maine, proposing 16 instead of 27 turbines. The proposal has been submitted to state regulatory agencies, six months after it was rejected. Developers from First Wind have gone to organizations that expressed reservations in the past due to visual intrusions and impacts on tourism-based industries. First Wind says its new plan reconfigures the turbines to reduce visual impact, uses . . . Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • MexicoPrint storyE-mail story

In Mexico, wind power pits Indians against multinationals

While Mexico, with a total of around 1.3 gigawatts of wind power, is still a tiny part of the world’s estimated 244 gigawatt capacity, it offers an insight into what happens when the industry focuses overwhelmingly on large farms dominated by large companies that are concentrated in a small, desirable area. It has been mainly Spanish firms like Iberdrola, Union Fenosa and Gamesa, and U.S. firms like Sempra Energy, that have built the huge wind towers that now crowd the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, leaving the local population feeling invaded. Only 4 of Mexico’s 17 wind farms are located outside the isthmus. It raises the question of whether bigger is always better. “We are asking these multinationals to please get out of these places,” said Irma Ordonez, an activist from the Zapotec Indian town of Ixtepec, Oaxaca. “They want to steal our land, and not pay us what they should.” Complete story »

October 31, 2012 • ScotlandPrint storyE-mail story

Plans for hill turbines thrown out

Plans to build a £9.5 million cluster of wind turbines on an Angus hillside have been thrown out by a Scottish Government representative. A development at Finavon, near Forfar, was judged to have an “unacceptable” impact on the landscape. Kilmac Energy proposed to build three turbines on Hill of Finavon, 99.5 metres to blade tip but permission was not determined within the allotted time by local planners. Reporter Douglas G Hope was sent by Scottish ministers to decide on the . . . Complete story »

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