Friday, August 31, 2012

The Windbagger's March along the Blue Ridge Plateau Reaches Carroll County

A Scale rendition of 36 Industrial Scale Wind Turbines along the ridges of Stoots Mountain and Poplar Camp Mountain.

On April 13, 2009, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors were introduced to the topic of Wind Energy by two representative of the Virginia Wind Energy Center based at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. As the Director and and employee of the University it is there responsibility to promote and encourage the utilization of all Virginia resources to support the development of electricity generation from the wind. The funding supporting the VWEC comes from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the federal Department of Education and the federal Department of Energy. It is there mandate to promote wind energy, not to evaluate the viability of its applications.

The following notes are from the meeting's minutes:
            Dr. Jon Miles told that the Wind Energy topic is getting more and more attention and told that wind has been underutilized in Virginia.  He told that siting is important for a steady smooth wind flow and the challenge is the capital cost.  He told that the cost of electricity from wind is cheaper than other means and told that wind turbines are reliable. He told that there is a modest wind resource in Carroll County. 
            Dr. Maria Papadakis told to think of it in 3 sizes - home, community which is 1-5 turbines and utility which is a wind farm.  She told that Carroll County has some interesting packets of wind and discussed that Carroll has a lot of Class 3.  She told that you have to look at the advantages verses the disadvantages which are site impact, noise and safety.

Dr. Miles appears to have made a number of erroneous assumptions in his broad statement "...the cost of electricity from wind is cheaper than other means...". Indeed, if that were true, then funding for 30% of the cost, 30% loan guarantees, and production tax credits 2000% greater than for any other fuel source from the federal government would be totally unnecessary.

In fact Dr. Papadakis neglected to reveal that while "...Carroll has a lot of Class 3 (wind areas)...", that is generally far below adequate to support significant electricity generation at an acceptable cost without "back door" subsidies.

On April 3, 2012 WSLS TV10 reported:

"Supervisors say Horizon Wind Energy wants to put between 30 and 40 wind turbines on Stoots Mountain."

An installation of that many turbines along the ridge of Stoots Mountain would have to include the ridge all the way to Poplar Camp.

On August 18, 2012, the Carroll News reported:

"The company, EDP Renewables/Horizon Wind Energy, LLC has plans to place wind turbines on Stoots Mountain in Carroll County."

Acoustical Impacts
The most difficult issue to understand relative to the installation of multiple turbines of this scale is that of acoustical impacts on neighboring property owners and communities.

Today, the Department of Environmental Quality is receiving final comments from a select group of industry representatives, lobbyists, and government employees on a draft of a "model" local wind ordinance for adoption of localities throughout Virginia. One member of this large group, Robert Meyers, of the Eastern Shore of Virginia responded as one of the very, very few private citizens who has dedicated over a year of personal time and resources to serve on the group responded to the latest draft of the model ordinance with the following email message:

Considering that on 7Aug draft att.,Page 1 you have:
[1][1] Public Health, Safety, and Welfare.    This model ordinance addresses localgovernments’ traditional areas of responsibility – public health, safety, and welfare – as they relate to wind energy projects.  and regardless of the earlier input from those supporting IWT's in Virginia who don't believe Infrasound needs to be addressed, don't you think it may be just a bit of a disservice at the least, or at the worst, negligent, to every county and citizen in the Commonwealth not to address, up front, Low Frequency Noise from IWT's considering the almost 30 pages of documentation I submitted at the March 29th Piedmont Office meeting and the information below?   There have been major changes in recognizing and studying Low frequency Noise since the LOG started working on the model ordinance.  I do not see any evidence of those changes being communicated to the Group nor any open acknowledgement or discussion as more information has become available.  The evidence of health degradation caused by Infrasound is no longer considered anecdotal by responsible people and has reached consideration by the courts in several countries.  The most recent is from the German Donau Courier paper on August 17th below.
The German text is available through the link.
Please note that
THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA has held that the natural rights of individuals are not inferior to the rights of industry.In The Pittston Company, supra, a nuisance case involving a coal preparation plant in Russell County, this Court said:     “It is generally held that the location of an industry in an industrial area and its importance to the wealth and prosperity of the community do not give to it rights superior to the primary or natural rights of those who live nearby. Locality and surroundings are to be taken into consideration only in determining whether the business or industry is so conducted as to constitute a nuisance as a matter of fact. . . .It is of no consequence that an industry or a business is a useful or necessary one, or that it promotes the development of the community.   

Regarding land use and valuation around IWT's,  in  Akersv. Mathieson Alkali Works, the Virginia court said, “The law requires that every person so use his own property as not to injure the property of another.”

I would urge that the LOG as a group reconsider their position on this problem and address it forthrightly in the draft .

Bob Meyers
ENERCON E-82: Pulsed Noise
Dienstag,den 28. August 2012 um 15:14 Uhr
·        Enercon, Europe's largest wind turbine manufacturer, has a problem: The decision of the Bavarian Higher Regional Court in Munich about the wind turbine in Kienberg points out that in the E 82 turbine emits pulsed noise. Therefore to any actually measured sound level three decibels would have to be added.
This supplement seriously could question any wind turbine site close to dwellings. As previously reported, the 27th Civil Division of the Bavarian Higher Regional Court now affirmed the pulsed noise and granted a lawsuit by opponents of the wind turbine in Kienberg, Marktgemeinde Rennertshofen.
" To us this verdict is completely incomprehensible", says Felix Rehwald,spokesman for the largest European wind turbine manufacturer Enercon. The market leader, headquartered in Aurich, Lower Saxony, Germany, sells its wind turbines with the grade "no pulsed noise". Experts instructed by Enercon have not confirmed pulsed noise so far said company spokesman Rehwald. Now the sentence of the Bavarian court bothers the Enercon-lawyers. They will consider further steps. Unofficially its almost clear that the company will apply for appeal at the Federal Supreme Court. In that case the judgements of the Court of the District of Augsburg and the Bavarian Higher Regional Court in Munich would be checked for legal and procedural errors. The acceptance of the case at the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe shall be deemed as a not insignificant hurdle.
In 2011 in Germany 895 wind turbines were established of which Enercon has delivered 550.The new E 101 3 MW WT has a hub height up to 149 metres. The windmill (sorry,they always call these machines "windmill" - Marco) type E 82, as it stands in Kienberg, Enercon has sold over 3000 units - all without any status of pulsed noise. That means a strong increase and quick decrease of clear audible noise.
In the meantime the Kienberger "wind miller" Herbert Kugler has experienced his 14th trial in terms of the wind turbine (WT). His lawyers are very surprised that the wind turbine on the Kienberg is questioned by Civil Courts now after all proceedings going as far as to the Administrative Court had been confirmed the legality of the wind turbine and its operation.
From the District Office of Neuburg-Schrobenhausen you can hardly hear anything in that matter. The supervisory authority had approved the plant with a (turbine) hub height of 140 metres (in operation since October 2009) after a comprehensive emission protection legislation proceeding.
The complainants of the Community of Burgmannhofen in the district Donau-Riesagainhave complained in their letters to authorities, ministries and MPs about the intolerable situation caused by the sound (noise emission) of the Kienberger Rotor. Meanwhile operator Herbert Kugler too calls the continuous struggle against his authorized wind turbine "unbearable".
Germany’snew “renewable” energy policy
Wind and solar power + soaring electricity prices = outsourcedjobs + more coal burning
Meanwhile, eco activists demand “sustainablelifestyles” – for other people
Guest post by Kelvin Kemm
It is amazing how biased the international media is when it comes to reporting on energy generation, specifically electricity.
In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.
In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany’s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Chancellor Angela Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not further harming Europe’s – and Germany’s – economy by increasing the cost of electricity.
He is also worried that his country could become dependent on foreign imports of electricity, the mainstay of its industrial sector. To avoid that risk, Altmaier has given the green light to build twenty-three new coal-fired plants, which are currently under construction.
Yes, you read that correctly, twenty three-new coal-fired power plants are under construction in Germany, because Germany is worried about the increasing cost of electricity, and because they can’t afford to be in the strategic position of importing too much electricity.
Just recently, German figures were released on the actualproductivity of the country’s wind power over the last ten years. The figure is 16.3 percent!
Due to the inherent intermittent nature of wind, their wind power system was designed for an assumed 30% load factor in the first place.That means that they hoped to get a mere 30% of the installed capacity –versus some 85-90% for coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities.That means that, when they build 3,000MW of wind power, they expect to actually get merely 900MW, because the wind does not always blow at the required speeds.But in reality, after ten years, they have discovered that they are actually getting only half of what they had optimistically, and irrationally, hoped for:a measly 16.3 percent.
Even worse, after spending billions of Euros on subsidies,Germany’s total combined solar facilities have contributed a miserly,imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the last 22 years.That is not even one-tenth of one percent.
Moreover, the actual cost of Germany’s wind and solar electricity is far and away higher than its cost of coal and nuclear power. So much for “free” solar and wind. So much for all the German jobs that depend on reliable access to plentiful and affordable electricity.
As to natural gas produced via hydraulic fracturing, that too is prohibited, even if it is required to back up undependable wind and solar facilities. No wonder Germany’s natural gas and electricity prices are practically unaffordable.
Meantime the extreme greens continue to preach about the wonders of life based on solar and wind power. They also talk constantly about“sustainable living,” a “sustainable future,” and an otherwise hydrocarbon-free and “decarbonized” tomorrow. Be warned!What these vacuous exhortations mean is that people must not enjoy the lifestyles and living standards of a modern world.
They mean the First World must cut back significantly on its living standards, and the developing world must give up its aspirations for achieving the lifestyle of the First World.
Believe me, African small-scale farmers all dream of becoming like the large commercial-scale farmers they see next door. They do not wish to plough their fields with oxen, when their neighbours have tractors and automated grain handling machines. The same is true of small-scale commercial and industrial operations in which an affordable and reliable supply of electricity is essential. It is likewise true of virtually every office, shop,hospital, school and family on the entire African continent.

On 08/07/12, Carol> wrote:

Dear Local Government Outreach Group:
(cc: Interested Parties)

Greetings from DEQ's Renewable Energy Program!  I hope you are enjoying a pleasant summer. 
The draft Community-Scale Model Wind Ordinance is now ready for your review (Attachment 1).  Please email me your comments by Friday, September 7.
FYIResidential and Utility Wind Ordinances are also attached.  The Residential (Attachment 2) reflects your email comments from June/July.  Thanks!
Solar Update:  Drafts of model solar ordinances are currently being reviewed by a Solar Technical Group, whose recommendations will be incorporated and passed on to the LOG.  The model solar ordinances should be ready for your review and email comments in September.

Thanks for your continued input and support.  A number of local governments have contacted us about using the model ordinances you've recommended, and your work is making a difference.  We hope you will be willing to get together sometime this fall to finalize your recommendations on the two solar model ordinances (residential/commercial & utility) and the two wind model ordinances (residential & community), so that they can be posted on DEQ's website with the current utility-scale wind ordinance.  More on this later.

Look forward to receiving your comments on the community-scale wind ordinance.  Let me know if you have questions.  Thanks!

Renewable Energy Policy Manager
Department of Environmental Quality
629 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219