FAQ -- ECONOMICS


How much does it cost to build a wind power facility?
Construction of a wind power facility costs between $1 million and $2 million per megawatt of capacity.

How much subsidies do wind power developers get?
At the federal level, the production tax credit and double-declining accelerated depreciation can pay for two-thirds of a wind power project. Additional state incentives, such as guaranteed markets and exemption from property taxes, can pay for another 10%.

Is wind energy subsidized more than other forms of electricity?
In absolute dollars, the support of wind energy is small compared to other forms of electricity. That is because the contribution of wind energy is minuscule. Per unit of energy, however, the subsidies for wind seem to be much greater. It could be argued that it is worth it if it helps clean the air, but there is no evidence that wind power does so.

What is the Production Tax Credit (PTC)?
The federal production tax credit (PTC) currently provides 1.9 cents for every kilowatt-hour of a privately owned wind turbine's production for ten years.

What is a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?
A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a state mandate that utilities buy a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources as they are defined by the statute. The RPS typically sets up a lucrative artificial market in "green credits." The industry is working hard to impose a national RPS.

What is a green tag, or renewable energy certificate (REC)?
Renewable portfolio standards usually include a provision to allow buying "green tags," also called renewable energy certificates or credits (or renewables obligation certificates, ROCs, in the UK), instead of actual "green energy."

The theory is that if there is not a local source of renewable energy, a utility can thus support renewable sources elsewhere. The weakness of such a system is that the renewable generator sells its energy twice, once as real energy and again as a green tag (or credit). The buyer of the green tag is therefore not in fact reducing the use of "nongreen" energy. It may not surprise the reader to learn that green tags was a scheme invented by Enron.

Since the wind is free, will wind power reduce my electric bill?
The wind is free, but the turbines and their maintenance aren't, not to mention the transmission infrastructure that must be overbuilt to support them. Subsidies are designed to keep the price competitive with other sources but not lower. And if the price is indeed lower, as with all of our energy it's because more of your taxes are going to the wind power companies.

Do wind turbines affect property values?
A survey of property assessors in the UK found that a nearby wind power facility lowers property values by up to 15% a year for two years, after which the effect starts to level out. In the US, neighboring residences are often bought by the wind power company, which then rents them to people who agree not complain about the noises and vibration.

In the discussion of property values, it must be remembered that in most places they generally increase steadily. So any slowing down of that normal rise because of the construction of wind power facilities is in fact a loss of value.

Common sense says that given two otherwise identical properties, the one that is not next to an industrial wind power facility or whose view does not include such a facility is likely to be considered more valuable.

How much taxes do wind power facilities pay to communities?
The usual arrangement is arranging "payment in lieu of taxes" (PILOT), so that the wind power company controls what it pays. When they are forced to pay their fair share in taxes, they typically contest it, forcing communities to spend lots of money in legal fees.

In many cases if a community does get a "windfall" from the company, the state adjusts its payments so that the financial gain is largely cancelled.

In addition, the presence of a wind power facility is likely to drive down the value of surrounding properties, thus causing a loss of tax revenue that cuts into the possible gain.

How many jobs does a wind power facility create?
Construction of a wind power facility creates a lot of jobs for roadwork, excavation, and cement hauling, but they are temporary. The specialized work of installing the turbines is typically done by people the turbine manufacturer brings in from outside of the community. After the turbines are connected, one permanent, typically low-paying, job per 10-20 megawatts of capacity is the average.
www.wind-watch.org


With 49 years as a power engineer, going from engineer apprentice to manager of power supply for approximately two-thirds of rural Illinois, my blood curdles when I read some of the rabid pro-windmill articles rampant in the press these days.

Statements like "the wind is free" (then why do they need the massive tax breaks and subsidies) and "this wind farm will supply 35,000 homes," neglecting to finish the sentence with "for maybe 25 percent of the time, if you are lucky."

One has to come to the conclusion that these people do not even understand simple arithmetic let alone the power situation in the United States or, heaven forbid, the world.

It takes about 800 X 1000MW power plants or the equivalent to run this country on a daily basis. To be conservative, let's say 700 X 1000MW plants. Power demand in the U.S. increases a little over 2.5 percent per year, but again, to be very conservative, let's say 2 percent.

This means that we must build at least 14 X 1000MW power plants every year just to keep up. Windmill enthusiasts would of course have us build 7000 X 2MW windmills instead, blissfully ignoring the fact that the 14 X 1000MW coal or nuclear plants would still have to be built to fill the considerable gap left by the non-operating windmills when the wind didn't blow.

Customers would thus have to pay for two very expensive power plants to cover just one block of power. None of this would reduce the present CO2 load on the environment even if the windmills could run 100 percent of the time. What do we do then....build 350,000 X 2 MW windmills?

Jim Greenwood

Two Rivers

Description
The promise of green jobs and a clean energy future has roused the masses. But as Robert Bryce makes clear in this provocative book, that vision needs a major re-vision. We cannot — and will not — quit using carbon-based fuels at any time in the near future for a simple reason: they provide the horsepower that we crave. The hard reality is that oil, coal, and natural gas are here to stay.

Fueling our society requires more than sentiment and rhetoric; we need to make good decisions and smart investments based on facts. In Power Hungry, Bryce provides a supertanker-load of footnoted facts while shepherding readers through basic physics and math. And with the help of a panoply of vivid graphics and tables, he crushes a phalanx of energy myths, showing why renewables are not green, carbon capture and sequestration won't work, and even — surprise! — that the U.S. is leading the world in energy efficiency. He also charts the amazing growth of the fuels of the future: natural gas and nuclear.

Power Hungry delivers a clear-eyed view of what America has in the tank, and what's needed to transform the gargantuan global energy sector.

About the Author
Robert Bryce has been producing industrial-strength journalism for two decades. His articles on energy and other subjects have appeared in dozens of publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Counterpunch and Atlantic Monthly to Oklahoma Stripper. He is the author most recently of Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence. Bryce is also the managing editor of Energy Tribune. He lives in Austin.
WIND POWER IS DYING
Posted by Tait Trussell Bio ↓ on Aug 28th, 2011
CLICK FOR SOURCE

TEXAS WIND ENERGY FAILS AGAIN
Click for source


MASTER RESOURCE
A FREE MARKET ENERGY BLOG


U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology
Energy and Environment Subcommittee
Testimony of Robert J. Michaels, PhD
June 16, 2010


Federal and State Tax Breaks and Subsidies for Wind Energy
Glenn R. Schleede


NETS SQSS Review
Industry Review Group
Wind Criteria Workshop


A RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD: WHAT IT WILL REALLY COST AMERICANS


WIND PROJECT ECONOMIC LOSS ANALYSIS


Gone with the wind
Renewables like solar power and others can't fuel America's future.
Say experts: Just do the math.


BLOWING OUR TAX DOLLARS ON WIND FARMS WIND TURBINE NOISE VIDEO


WIND FARMS PROVIDE NEGLIGIBLE USE OF ELECTRICTY


The Effect of Renewable Energy Standards: Key Indicators


DON'T COUNT ON "COUNTLESS" GREEN JOBS


EXPERTS SAY FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVES DRIVE TURBINE DEVELOPMENT


DEKALB COUNTY, FPL PROPERTY VALUE GUARANTEE AGREEMENT




RESOURCES

JON BOONE-LESS FOR MORE

EXPERTS SAY TAX INCENTIVES DRIVE TURBINE DEVELOPMENT

GLEN SCHLEEDE-MISPLACED STATE GOV'T FAITH IN WIND ENERGY

GLEN SCHLEEDE-WIND ENERGY INEFFICIENCIES

GLEN SCHLEEDE-FALSE CLAIMS OF WIND ENERGY CAPACITY VALUE

GLEN SCHLEEDE BIG MONEY DISCOVERS HUGE TAX BREAKS

GLEN SCHLEEDE-IMPLICATIONS OF WISCONSINS RENEWABLE ENERGY

CALCULATING THE REAL COST OF INDUSTRIAL WIND POWER

GLEN SCHLEEDE-EVALUATION OF NEW YORK ENERGY PLAN

WIND AND HYDROPOWER TECHNOLOGIES

JON BOONE-PSC TESTIMONY

JESSE H. AUSUBEL-RENEWABLE AND NUCLEAR HERESIES

ERIC ROSENBLOOM-A PROBLEM WITH WIND POWER

DAVID ROBERSON-QUESTIONING THE FAITH OF WIND POWER

GLEN SCHLEEDE-FACING UP TO THE TRUE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF WIND ENERGY

RENEWABLE ENERGY, NOT CHEAP, NOT GREEN

THE GOOD AND THE BAD WITH WIND ENERGY-KANSAS

WIND FARMS CANNOT MAKE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION

REMOVAL AND RESTORATION

DECOMMISSIONING  AGREEMENT

JON BOONE-THE AESTHITICS OF DISSONANCE OF INDUSTRIAL WIND MACHINES
published 9/28/05 CONTEMPORY AESTHETICS

RENEWABLE ENERGY ISN'T PRACTICAL


IT IS ADMIRABLE TO WANT TO SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT.
BUT WE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SACRIFICE HEALTH, SAFEETY, QUALITY OF LIFE AND PROPERTY VALUES TO ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL.  WE ARE NOT FIGHTING THE EFFORT TO SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT, WE ARE FIGHTING TO BE PART OF A BETTER SOLUTION.
WORKING TO EDUCATE COMMUNITIES ON THE TRUTHS AND
REALITIES
OF
WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
HOW LESS BECAME MORE:
WIND, POWER AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
IN THE COLORADO ENERGY MARKET
BENTEK Energy, LLC

Executive Summary     (CLICK TO READ)

This report, which examines four years of  Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCO) hourly operational history, illustrates how coal cycling, which in part results  from wind generation, negates the emission benefits of wind energy.

There are national implications as well.  Congress and the  Obama Administration  are considering a national RPS. Before such a national  standard is implemented,   there is a compelling need tobetter understand  how intermittent sources of
energy such as wind can be integrated with existing nuclear, coal and natural gas capacity without producing  cycling-induced emissions problems.

Conclusions:
 The use of wind energy by PSCO has resulted in increased levels of SO2, NOX and CO2 from coal plants in the non-attainment area. Wind-induced coal cycling in ERCOT has resulted in increased SO2 and NOX, with only minimal savings of CO2.

 The mechanism driving increased emissions is the need to cycle coal facilities in order to accommodate wind generation, which is considered a “must take”  resource due to the RPS mandates.

 When coal plants are cycled, the heat rate rises, resulting in higher emissions
of SO2, NOX and CO2 than would have been the case if the units had not been cycled. This problem can persist for up to 24 hours after cycling the facility,  increasing emissions even further.







HOW LESS BECAME MORE:
WIND, POWER AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
IN THE COLORADO ENERGY MARKET
BENTEK Energy, LLC


APRIL 16, 2010    (CLICK FOR FULL REPORT)


Wind energy promises a clean, renewable resource that uses no fossil fuel and generates zero emissions. Careful examination of the data  suggests that the numbers do not add up as expected.

The “must take” provisions of Colorado’s Renewable Portfolio Standard  require that other sources of generation, such as coal plants, must be  “cycled” to accommodate wind power. This cycling makes coal
generating units operate much less efficiently…so inefficiently, that these units produce significantly greater emissions.

This study reviews the data that supports this conclusion, outlines mitigation measures which can be used to realize the full potential of wind generation, and provides recommendations for policy makers.





WIND FARM SWINDLE-Tony Elliott -The Cypress Times

Click for article

The duping of Americans by the environmentalist movement continues, as wind farms use as much electricity from the fossil fuel grid as they produce. This article comes from reliable research derived for what I call the Wind Farm Swindle. The proof that it is a swindle, has been gathered from the very annals of the wind farm movement and from the companies involved in Turbine produced electricity itself.

If you've ever driven close to the huge wind turbine, I'm sure some of you have wondered how long it must take for the wind to start turning such large blades on some of these windmills and how they are stopped, when the wind gets too high for them to operate.

You won't hear anybody in the environmental movement or the renewable energy business tell you this, but as it turns out, all wind turbines use about the same amount of grid electricity as they produce. Large wind turbines require huge amounts of fossil fuel grid electricity to operate. Wind farms have to use electricity from the grid and of course, this large amount of grid electricity is never accounted for in relation to output figures

Wind turbine functions that use fueled derived electricity are as follows:
•yaw mechanism (to keep the blade assembly perpendicular to the wind; also to untwist the electrical cables in the tower when necessary) -- the nacelle (turbine housing) and blades together, weigh 92 tons on a GE 1.5-MW turbine 

•blade-pitch control (to keep the rotors spinning at a regular rate)

•lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.

•heating the blades -- this may require 10%-20% of the turbine's nominal (rated) power

•heating and dehumidifying the nacelle -- according to Danish manufacturer Vestas, "power consumption for heating and dehumidification of the nacelle, must be expected during periods with increased humidity, low temperatures and low wind speeds"

•oil heater, pump, cooler, and filtering system in gearbox
•hydraulic brake (to lock the blades in very high wind)

•thyristors (to graduate the connection and disconnection between generator and grid) -- 1%-2% of the energy passing through is lost

•magnetizing the stator -- the induction generators used in most large grid-connected turbines require a "large" amount of continuous electricity from the grid to actively power the magnetic coils around the asynchronous "cage rotor" that encloses the generator shaft. At the rated wind speeds, it helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item); in the rated wind speeds, the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine's rated capacity in slower winds, possibly much more.

Using the generator as a motor (to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not, particularly during important site tours.) It surely seems possible that the grid-magnetized stator must work to help keep the 40-ton blade assembly spinning. Along with the gears which increase the blade rpm some 50 times for the generator, not just at cut-in (or for show in even less wind) but at least some of the way up towards the full rated wind speed; it may also be spinning the blades and rotor shaft to prevent warping when there is no wind.

What all this amounts to is, each wind turbine actually uses more than 60% of its rated capacity in its own operation. Thus, each wind farm as a whole, produces only less than 25% of its annual rated capacity. This means that wind farms use twice the amount of grid electricity for every amount of wind-generated electricity produced.

I'm sure this is news to most Americans, who thought and naturally assumed that wind turbines only produced electricity and it never occurred to a normal person that these devices would actually require Fossil Fueled electricity to operate. Since no records of electricity usage is ever kept at these wind farms, this alarming fact has never become public knowledge.

Since it is admitted by everyone that wind generated electricity only amounts to around 1% of our total produced electricity, these hidden facts bring that figure down to a negative percentage at best. Using more electricity than it produces, green electricity is the reason for Cap and Trade, since green credits can be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

Killing perhaps millions of endangered bird species per year, degrading human health in the same manner as is experienced with people living near high voltage power lines. Ruining many of the earth's most scenic spots, with these huge steel monstrosities and above all, doing nothing in alleviating any fossil fuel electricity usage is the reason these expensive and dangerous eyesores must go.

In today's economy, we cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on a Nigerian like fraud, such as the wind farm swindle.






PENNSYLVANIA WINDTURBINES DEADLY TO BATS.......COSTLY TO FARMERS

Sunday, July 17, 2011

By Erich Schwartzel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/

If one turbine kills 25 bats in a year, that means one turbine accounted for about 17 million uneaten bugs in 2010.

The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030.

This is a bad time to be a bat.

It may seem like a good thing to those who fear the flying mammals, but the wind farm mortality rate is an acute example of how harnessing natural energy can lead to disruptions in the circle of life -- and the cycle of business. This chain of events mixes biology and economics: Bat populations go down, bug populations go up and farmers are left with the bill for more pesticide and crops (which accounts for those pricey tomatoes in Kansas).

Wind industry executives are shelling out millions of dollars on possible solutions that don't ruin their bottom line, even as wind farms in the area are collaborating with the state Game Commission to work carcass-combing into daily operations.





Measurement of Audible Noise from Wind Turbines –
Phase 1 Report
Literature and Jurisdictional Review
ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ENVIROMENT



Presentation to the Hammond (NY) Wind Committee
Dr. Nina Pierpont


NCORPORATING LOW FREQUENCY NOISE LEGISLATION
FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY IN ALBERTA, CANADA
COMMENTS FROM DR. LOMBARDI



ONTARIO
DEVELOPMENT OF NOISE
SETBACKS FOR WIND FARMS 9-09



ONTARIO
Renewable Energy Facilitation Office
"Frequently Asked Questions"



ONTARIO
NOISE GUIDELINES FOR WIND FARMS



Reflections on the Integration of Wind Energy into the Power Grid
Center for the Study of Energy and Environmental Stewardship
Department of Business and Economics.
The Catholic University of America
Washington DC
Forbes@CUA.edu
Prepared on behalf of Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy in connection
with Public Service Commission of Wisconsin docket no. 1-AC-231, Wind Siting Rules.



An Analysis of the Epidemiology and Related Evidence on the Health Effects
of Wind Turbines on Local Residents
prepared at the request of Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy in connection
with Public Service Commission of Wisconsin docket no. 1-AC-231, Wind Siting Rules



An Analysis of Shared Revenue Utility Aid
Prepared by Andrew Reschovsky, Ph.D. at the request of
Brown County Citizens for Responsible
Wind Energy in connection with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Docket No. 1-AC-231, Wind Siting Rules



Turbulent Wind Turbine Wakes Studied

SOURCE: Earthtechling.com

Much like the jet engines of a commercial airliner leave “jet wash” in their wake, wind turbines also disturb the air behind them as they spin, if to a lesser degree.

Click for full story



Japanese government plans Wind Turbine Syndrome epidemiological study.

The Environment Ministry will launch its first major study into the influence of wind turbines on people’s health next year, it has been learned.

Much is expected of wind power as a source of clean energy, but people living near wind power facilities are increasingly complaining of health problems. The low-frequency sound produced by the wind turbines at such facilities–sound that is difficult to discern with the naked ear–is suspected of causing such conditions as insomnia, tinnitus and hand tremors.

Due to a lack of substantiating data, the ministry has deemed it necessary to study the matter. It will launch a four-year examination of all 1,517 wind turbines in the country in April.

The study will try to ascertain to what extent health problems are being caused by the low-frequency sound, through such means as questioning local residents.

It will examine the relationship between wind turbines’ operating hours and the times of day when people’s health deteriorates. It also will make continual measurements of such elements as the level of the low-frequency sound.

The study’s attempt to determine the causality between the low-frequency sound and health problems will take into account such factors as weather conditions and the distance between homes and wind power facilities.



VESTA POLICY ON NOISE FROM WIND TURBINES
CLICK HERE FOR DOCUMENT

Vestas recommends relative noise limits that take into account local background noise
levels (where new wind turbines are sited near existing ones, already present turbine
noise should not be calculated as part of the background noise). Vestas believes this
type of regulation is the most effective and flexible, in that it ensures minimal noise disturbance
for wind turbine neighbours while allowing turbines to be located in relatively noisy
areas (areas with industry or roads, for example) that are rich in wind resources. Such
areas are also often close to existing electrical grids, which can minimize the cost of connecting
wind turbines to the grid.
Vestas also recommends that governments supplement relative noise limits with a low
absolute maximum limit in areas of very low background noise (e.g. quiet countryside),
which ensures minimal noise disturbance for turbine neighbours also in these places.

Relative noise limits: turbine noise emission must not exceed the level of background
noise (both turbine and background noise are measured as a function of wind
speed); such limits are often supplemented with a low absolute maximum noise limit
to cover those situations in which turbines are located in areas of very low background noise;


Click here to add text.
McCann Appraisal, LLC

Written testimony re Setbacks & property values June 8 2010.pdf


June, 2010 Certified appraiser Michael S. McCann submitted this testimony to the Adams County Board, Adams County Illinois in reference the impact of industrial scale wind energy development on residential property. Mr. McCann’s testimony provides a detailed explanation of the impacts he has found and his recommendations to avoid harm to adjacent property when siting projects.
New Wind Farm Regulations Could Decrease Property Values By: Tom Larson
Source Wisconsin Real; Estate Magazine Online Edition

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) is proposing new regulations relating to the location of wind turbines and wind farms (a large number of wind turbines located in close proximity to one another) that could have a significant impact on the value of thousands of acres of Wisconsin property. These regulations will determine, among other things, how far wind turbines can be located from neighboring homes, buildings and property lines. Given that wind turbines can be over 500 feet high and the new state regulations will override all local zoning ordinances, REALTORS® and property owners should pay close attention to these regulations.

Background

During the 1970s, the United States experienced an energy crisis due to a decrease oil production in the Middle East. To encourage the use of alternative energy sources, Wisconsin enacted a law prohibiting local governments (counties, cities, villages and towns) from placing any restrictions on the installation or use of solar or wind energy systems unless the restriction is necessary to protect public health or safety. For approximately 40 years, this law has not been a significant problem for property owners.

In recent years, thousands of large wind turbines have been located in Wisconsin and other states to utilize the energy from winds blowing across the landscape. While these turbines are intended to reduce dependence on fossil-based energy sources, they have generated a lot of controversy and complaints from nearby property owners. Some of the complaints from property owners include the following:

Health problems. After wind turbines have been placed nearby, some residents have complained of insomnia, anxiety, headaches and nausea. They have blamed their health problems on the pulsing noise coming from spinning turbines near their homes.
Destruction of natural viewscapes. Turbines can be over 500 feet tall and can be seen from miles away. (As a comparison, the Wisconsin Capitol is 284 feet tall.) Some feel that these turbines detract from the natural beauty of Wisconsin’s farms and rolling landscape.
Noise. Depending on the turbine model and wind speed, wind turbines can create a constant "whooshing" or pulsating noise that can be heard both inside and outside a home (day and night), if located too close. Studies have shown that an average-size turbine (2 megawatts, 100 meters high) located 1,000 feet away can produce the same amount of noise as a suburban area during the day (51 decibels).
Excessive shadows on neighboring property. Depending upon the number of clouds and angle of the sun, wind turbines can create a "shadow flicker" (a term used to describe the shadow of the turning blades as it hits a surface) on nearby property. Some property owners have described the shadow effect on their home as being like "someone turning lights on and off inside the house at a rate of 80 times a minute" and lasting for almost an hour on sunny days.
Property values. A recent study of three Wisconsin wind farms showed that prospective buyers had a negative perception of nearby wind turbines. While the exact impact is difficult to quantify, the study indicated an average decrease in vacant residential property values ranging from 12% to 40%, depending on the size of the lot and the distance from the wind turbine.
Proposed PSC Regulations

In 2009, Wisconsin enacted a wind turbine siting law that directs the PSC to develop specific standards for, among other things, wind turbine setbacks from neighboring homes and property lines. The PSC formed a 15-member wind siting council, consisting of representatives from wind farm companies, local governments, environmental organizations, private property owners and REALTORS®.

After two months of regular meetings, the wind siting council recently completed a report containing various recommendations and submitted it to the PSC for approval. The report is controversial and many critics maintain that the interests of neighboring property owners are not adequately protected due to the makeup of the council, which was weighted in favor of wind energy interests.

The PSC has used this report to create new administrative rules, which are also controversial. Some of the specific concerns with the proposed rules include the following:

Setbacks are too small. The proposed setback from neighboring residences and buildings is 3.1 times the maximum blade tip height of the turbine. For example, if a wind turbine is 300 feet, the setback is 930 feet from a structure. This distance was chosen for safety considerations (in case the turbine falls over) and ignores possible health risks to humans and animals and the potential impact of turbines on neighboring property values. Critics suggest that a setback of 2,640 feet is more appropriate.
Noise standards are insufficient. The proposed rules allow wind turbines to create noise up to 45 decibels at night or 50 decibels during the day, as measured from the outside of a neighboring residence.
Shadow flicker limits are inadequate. The proposed rules allow wind turbines to create a shadow flicker on neighboring residences up to 40 hours per year. If shadow flicker exceeds 20 hours per year, developers must offer mitigation to property owners.

Why This Is Important for REALTORS®

Without question, the number one reason REALTORS® should care about the proposed wind farm regulations is the impact of wind turbines on property values. Numerous studies have shown that wind turbines can have a negative impact on neighboring property values and sometimes that impact can be significant. According to a survey of REALTORS® working in a wind turbine area, the impact on neighboring vacant land ranges from a 43% decrease if the wind turbine is located very close (within 600 feet) to 29% if the turbine is located in near proximity (½ mile away). With respect to the impact on improved property, the impacts are believed to be similar, but slightly lower (39% and 24%, respectively).

While wind turbines are often seen in more rural settings, these regulations do not prevent wind turbines from being located in more urban or suburban settings. Because these regulations override local zoning ordinances, wind turbines can be located almost anywhere there is adequate wind, including next to residential subdivisions and office parkss.

While developing alternative energy sources is important, so too is protecting property values. Without adequate setbacks in place, property values could suffer and property owners could face tremendous uncertainty about whether the neighboring property that is used for open space or farmland today will be used for a wind farm with large wind turbines tomorrow.

What’s Next

The PSC recently approved the proposed administrative rules and now the rules must be reviewed and approved by the Wisconsin Legislature. The PSC rules will likely be completed within the next several weeks, with legislative review occurring shortly thereafter. The legislature will likely hold public hearings within the next several weeks.

The WRA will be meeting with key legislators in an effort to make changes to the rules to ensure that the interests of property owners are adequately protected.

For more information, please contact Tom Larson (tlarson@wra.org) at (608) 240-8254.
Tom Larson is Chief Lobbyist and Director of Legal and Public Affairs for the WRA.
Published: 9/2/2010

STATE VIEW: WIND ENERGY ISN'T REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS

Credit:  By: Rolf E. Westgard, Duluth News Tribune, www.duluthnewstribune.com 28 December 2011

CLICK FOR LINK

Minnesota Power continues to invest in its Bison 1 and 2 North Dakota wind farms, which will transmit power across the state line to Minnesota.

Also worth noting, however, is the announced startup of Minnesota’s newest wind farm near Lakefield, which also is to transmit power to a different state. This 205-megawatt project’s output is intended entirely for Indianapolis Power and Light, helping it to meet Indiana’s mandated renewable-energy standard that at least 10 percent of fuel comes from wind, solar, or biomass by 2017.

Indiana’s standard is less than the Minnesota Legislature’s demand that utilities like Minnesota Power and Excel Energy get 25 percent from renewable energy.

At the 27 percent U.S. average capacity factor for intermittent-output wind farms, the effective power of the Lakefield project can be expected to be about 55 megawatts, or a 20th that of the 90-percent capacity factor at the Prairie Island, Minn., nuclear plant.

The Lakefield developer, EnXco, has not disclosed the cost of its ratepayer- and taxpayer-subsidized project, but similar developments are in the $400 million to $500 million range. EnXco, owned by the French, expects to receive 30 percent of the project’s total cost upfront from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Midwest System Operator grid actually will receive the power for transmission to Indiana. Midwest System Operator or Indianapolis Power and Light will need additional backup power, probably from a natural-gas plant, to supply Indianapolis Power and Light when the Lakefield wind farm isn’t producing. Intermittent-energy wind farms everywhere have created demand for new natural-gas “peaker” plants. These plants are kept in spinning reserve to respond rapidly during the 75 percent of the time when the wind is too light or too strong for the wind turbines to function at capacity.

Indianapolis Power and Light has not disclosed the price it is paying for the energy from the wind farm owner, but these power-purchase contracts, forced by renewable energy legislation, are typically above the current market rate for electric power. That’s a cost that is borne by all ratepayers.

Large electric grids maintain a constant balance with control-room operators adjusting supply to meet continuing changes in power demand. Wind turbines turn themselves on and off, depending on the vagaries of the wind. As a result, wind farms have not replaced a fossil-fueled power plant anywhere on Earth. They also don’t reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, as the fluctuating backup plants have high emissions. This suggests that Department of Energy money might be better spent on wind energy research at facilities like the University of Minnesota’s Eolos Wind Research Station at UMore Park in Rosemount, Minn.

In England, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, has launched a withering assault on the wind-turbine industry, calling England’s low-capacity wind farms “a disgrace.” That’s because they tend to produce the least when demand is highest. He also has been critical of the industry’s reliance on subsidies from low- and average-income electricity customers. He has accused people who support wind energy of believing in fairy tales. A recent Sunday Telegraph audit of Britain’s 3,419 turbines revealed that 2,276 either are fully or partly owned by foreign businesses, which receive about $800 million a year in subsidies.

In 2010, Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based, energy-analytics firm, looked at power-plant records in Colorado and Texas. It concluded that despite large investments, wind-generated electricity “has had minimal, if any, impact on carbon dioxide” emissions.

As Kevin Forbes, the director of the Center for the Study of Energy and Environmental Stewardship at Catholic University, said, “Wind energy gives people a nice warm fuzzy feeling that we’re taking action on climate change. Yet when it comes to CO2 emissions, the reality is that it’s not doing much of anything.”

Rolf E. Westgard of St. Paul is a professional member of the Geological Society of America and teaches energy classes for the University of Minnesota’s Lifelong Learning program.

WORTHLESS WIND POWER
November 21, 2011
www.lfpress.com

Britain's Prince Philip denouced wind turbines as "useless" and a "disgrace." Is he right? Lorrie Goldstein weighs in.

CLICK FOR VIDEO