Wind Power News: Editorials
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.
A series of highly critical reports from the province’s Auditor General on the government’s green energy program have led many beleaguered taxpayers to conclude wind turbines and solar panels don’t run on wind and the sun so much as on public subsidies, and only for as long as the subsidies last.
There’s no denying it’s windy in South Dakota, but South Dakotans are denying wind turbines. As Davison County wind farm opponents await a setback proposal from the county’s Planning Commission, Lincoln County voters last week upheld a requirement that all turbines must be placed at least a half-mile from all habitable dwellings. Lincoln County’s vote comes one year after the Letcher Township established a one-mile setback, and 11 months after 47 people signed a statement to the S.D. Public Utilities . . .
Modern society runs on one thing – electricity. It is the form of energy that powers almost all of the tools that makes 21st-Century human life so much more comfortable than it was as few as six decades ago. Nearly everyone of us now can carry in our pockets a device more powerful than possibly could be imagined just 30 years ago, thanks to electricity. Without it, we’d still be cranking our car engines by hand and watching our children die . . .
The operators of a wind farm east of Enid continue to work to find out why one turbine suffered a catastrophic failure. Sometimes during the night of May 31-June 1, one blade on the turbine broke off and landed about 100 yards away in a cornfield. The turbine has been fixed and is operating again, said NextEra Energy spokesman Bryan Garner. General Electric, manufacturer of the turbines and turbine blades at the Enid area wind farm, has the damaged blade . . .
Here’s another problem with wind farms. They are too tall. They are so tall, in fact, that they interfere with military aviation training with bases in Oklahoma. State Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus, sponsored Senate Bill 477 in the legislative session but it was put on hold. That bill would have required wind farms to get approval from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission before construction. Here’s the problem. Wind farms near Vance Air Force Base in Enid . . .
Clean energy generators such as wind power are the wave of the future as the U.S. and other countries wean themselves off pollutant makers such as oil and coal. Wind energy has several benefits. It doesn’t pollute the air or require any destructive chemicals. The wind is also free and it’s a renewable asset that can never be depleted. Landowners who rent area to wind farms can also earn additional cash. But clean energy, as it turns it out, has . . .
Not every community is lucky enough to have an Erin Brockovich, the fearless American legal clerk who successfully challenged the powerful Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993 over water supplies degraded by mining. Despite that, more and more communities, especially in rural Ireland, feel a pressing need for one. Everything from fracking, gas pipelines, open-cast mining, blanket forestry, mega-pylons, expanding airports, incinerators, farm monocultures stretching to horizons, landfill dumps, fish farms, high-rise developments – and maybe even nuclear . . .
Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are doing their part with the denial of PILOT tax breaks for wind facilities. That will mean that a significant local subsidy will go away. Now it’s time for citizens, business organizations and local politicians at the state level to get it together to oppose big wind. Only significant, coordinated opposition will force an Article 10 siting board to consider local voices, and if we wait any longer, it will be too late.
Several years ago, a company based in Maine wanted to build a biomass/wood pellet manufacturing facility in Pownal at the former Green Mountain Race Track. What followed was more than a year of public hearings, permit applications, and controversy. In order to get a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board, which it never did, Beaver Wood Energy LLC had to obtain a number of other state permits, among them a water withdrawal permit. The facility needed . . .
In 2014, Ohio lawmakers slipped into an unrelated bill a major change that restricted the development of wind farms in Ohio, a shift that had the potential to impact rural schools’ tax revenues, the state’s economic competitiveness, public safety and quality of life, and the environment. Wind-energy advocates say this change – by requiring larger setbacks from property lines for the tall wind turbines – effectively zoned out new wind projects in Ohio, leaving us in the dust as neighboring states friendlier . . .