Unaffordable, Unreliable, Novelty Energy!

New Yorkers Count the Staggering Cost of Cuomo’s Wind Power Obsession

STT has fought the battle against the great wind power fraud on a number of fronts over the years: the totally unnecessary harm caused to wind farm neighbours by incessant, turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound; the pointless slaughter of millions of birds and bats; the environmental harm caused by the growing mountains and lakes of toxic waste generated in the production of the magnets used in turbines; and the chaotic delivery of power from a wholly weather dependant source that causes load shedding and blackouts by wrecking the stability of once perfectly reliable grids.

But we have always believed that it is the staggering cost of subsidised wind power that ultimately destroys the wind industry around the World. Part of that phenomenal cost is, of course, the consequence of intermittency, which requires 100% of all wind power capacity to be backed up 100% of the time by an equal capacity held by conventional generators; coal, gas, nuclear and hydro in roughly that order of delivery. Although Australia is yet to grow up and join the rest of the world in the use of nuclear power.

Whereas the immediate and local effects on wind farm neighbours, birds and bats and Chinese peasants forced to live with the toxic byproducts of so-called ‘green energy’ are serious enough, the vast majority of citizens suffer none of those consequences and have little or no idea that wind power involves those kinds of social and economic costs.

However, wind farm neighbours, real environmentalists (those truly dedicated to protecting birds, bats and the like) and everybody else all ultimately find themselves in the same boat: being belted by rocketing power prices and, in places like South Australia, being forced to develop strategies to deal with wind power’s proven ability to destroy the reliable delivery of power, including purchasing portable generators and otherwise behaving like doomsday preppers.

Americans in general, and New Yorkers in particular, are now starting to realise that moral posturing and virtue signalling come with a monstrous price tag.

Paying Attention To The Huge Costs Of Generating Electricity From Intermittent Sources
Manhattan Contrarian
Francis Menton
29 March 2017

Yes I sometimes feel lonely harping away at the huge costs of trying to make a functioning electrical grid out of intermittent wind and solar sources.  For a few of my posts on the subject, see here, here, and here.  Maybe with President Trump’s dramatic move yesterday to back away from fossil fuel suppression under the guise of “climate” control, this whole thing will quickly fade away.  But as of now, many states, not the least California and my own home state of New York, soldier on with so-called “renewable portfolio standards” for electric utilities, requiring ever increasing amounts of generation from the unreliable renewables.

I start from the proposition that, in the world of intentionally deceptive and fraudulent government data on virtually everything important (GDP, poverty, government debt, temperature records, etc.), it is still almost impossible to top the intentional deception that the government puts out on the subject of the cost of obtaining electricity from the intermittent sources.  (OK, I have dubbed the temperature data tampering fraud the “Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time.”  But the fraud on the subject of the cost of wind and solar power is not technically a scientific fraud.)  The idea as to the energy costs is to put out numbers purporting to show that wind and solar power are no more expensive than, or possibly even cheaper than, reliable and dispatchable sources like natural gas and coal.  This is done by creating an arbitrary and useless concept known as the “levelized cost of energy” (“LCOE”) that simply leaves out all of the massive extra costs that use of intermittent sources requires if you want a system that actually works 24/7/365 — costs of things like backup from dispatchable sources, storage, extra transmission costs, and extra costs from running backup plants in a mode of constantly cycling up and down.  Thus the government’s annual Energy Information Agency report, most recently issued in August 2016, shows the LCOE from wind turbines as much less than nuclear and just slightly higher than natural gas — and actually cheaper than natural gas once you take into account the tax credits!  Their chart of comparative costs on page 6 at the link does not even deign to put a cost on new coal facilities.  Hey, this was the Age of Obama!  Coal was to be verboten!

The LCOE concept at best addresses the costs associated with adding one facility of any one of the generation types to our massive existing infrastructure.  But suppose that instead of adding a few more wind turbines, we actually propose to take wind-generated electricity up to 30%, or 50%, or even 90% of all generation.  What then?  EIA’s LCOE numbers do not remotely address that question.  Back of the envelope calculations at some of my previous posts (linked above) suggest that such an effort could multiply the cost of electricity by a factor of five, or ten, or even more.  Moreover, this would be one of those unbelievably giant engineering projects — orders of magnitude bigger than, say, the California bullet train — that inevitably have massive cost overruns.  Can somebody other than yours truly please pay attention to this subject?

A couple of things in the last week indicate that a few people are beginning to wake up at least a little.  But unfortunately “little” is the operative word.

Last week I attended the International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, put on by the Heartland Institute.  One of the panels addressed the cost of alternative sources of energy, and one of the three panelists on the panel addressed, at least to some extent, the incremental costs of adding wind and solar sources to an electric grid.  That panelist was Mary Hutzler, who appears to be employed by a think tank called the Institute for Energy Research.  Ms. Hutzler has actually done research aimed at correcting some of the more egregious omissions from the EIA’s LCOE calculations, including a fairly detailed report from 2015 titled “The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources.”   Her presentation at the Conference is available at the Heartland site here.  Comparing her presentation to the Report, it seems that most of the presentation came from the Report, including many of the charts.

Frankly, I found Ms. Hutzler’s presentation extremely disappointing.  The basic thing that she and co-authors had tried to do in the Report was to add in to EIA’s LCOE numbers some obvious adjustments to account for things that EIA just fraudulently left out, even at today’s low levels of generation from intermittent sources — things like capacity factor adjustments to the actual capacities that wind turbines have achieved, adjustments of the assumed lifetime of wind turbines to match real experience, and attribution to the cost of power from wind of at least some of the costs of backup fossil fuel power.  With these adjustments, wind power suddenly becomes about 50% more expensive than combined cycle natural gas, according to a chart on page 26 in the Report.

Fair enough.  But what additional costs would be needed if we tried to make a fully functioning electricity system where the electricity itself comes out of predominantly wind, say 70% or 90%?  That question was not addressed by Ms. Hutzler in her presentation, nor is it addressed in the Report.  Nor was it clear from the presentation that that question was not addressed.  You had to get the underlying Report and study it.  And when you study it you find that it basically addresses scenarios where wind turbines are matched with gas plants of similar “capacity,” so that the gas plant can cycle up and down as the wind blows less and more.  Those scenarios will never get the generation from wind up much above 30%.  To get higher you will need to avoid calling on the fossil fuel backup as much as possible.  You will thus need multiple times excess wind turbine capacity, plus some combination of vastly increased transmission capacity or storage capacity or both.  To find out how much you will have to pay for four times excess capacity in wind generation, tens of millions of Teslas worth of batteries, and massive new transmission capacity (and, of course, full fossil fuel backup — just in case!), you will have to look elsewhere.

Well, you could try looking in the new report just out from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, written by a consultancy called Frontier Economics.  The report has long been known to be in the works, and supposedly was to address the “total system costs” of variable renewable electricity generators.  It had been expected out about a year ago, but then ran into a long unexplained delay, and finally came out last Friday.  Oh, according to the press release from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, “The study is not only very late, but contains no quantitative estimates of additional system costs.”

What?  Wasn’t that the whole point?  It gets worse.  They include in the released material some peer review comments, from which one can infer that quantitative estimates of those additional costs were in the drafts but have been deleted from the final.  Here is the comment from GWPF, titled “Is the UK Concealing ‘Very High’ Renewables System Cost Estimates.”   Excerpt:

After an unexplained delay of a year since completion the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published (24.03.17) a report by Frontier Economics on the total system costs of uncontrollably variable renewable generators, a topic of crucial importance in understanding the cost-effectiveness of current climate policies. The study is not only very late, but entirely qualitative, and contains no quantitative estimates of additional system costs per megawatt hour (i.e. £/MWh), figures which would normally be considered the principal output of such work. However, examination of the peer reviews, which are published with the study, reveals that an entire table of numerical cost estimates, some of which were described by the external reviewer as “very high”, were in fact present in the version sent out for comment in mid 2015, but have been subsequently removed. This does not smell right and BEIS should release the original draft.

If you are starting to get the impression that you are being defrauded, you are right.  Kudos to the GWPF for joining in the small and still nascent efforts to hold the crooks to account.  But, when will any government put out a remotely honest effort to calculate the real cost of the mostly-wind-and-solar generation system that they are busy trying to force on the people?  Probably, not before the entire current crop of bureaucrats in the field have been fired and/or jailed.
Manhattan Contrarian

This one is from the archive, but forecasts perfectly the economic disaster set up by Andrew Cuomo’s obsession with wind power.

Cuomo’s Energy Boondoggle Triggers Bipartisan Rejection
The Daily Caller
Timothy Lee
22 December 2016

Anyone mourning the death of bipartisanship in the wake of a most divisive election need only cast their gaze toward Albany to be disabused of that notion.

Citizens and activists from across the political spectrum have been coalescing against the disastrous energy mandate, an egregious example of crony capitalism concocted by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his well-placed allies.

Ultimately, New York taxpayers stand likely to suffer the consequences, so it’s critical that residents recognize the peril, register their objection and join the growing bipartisan opposition movement.

The New York Public Service Commission (whose board Cuomo appointed in its entirety) voted earlier this year to impose a new Clean Energy Standard (CES) for the entire state. The new CES requires that 50% of New York’s energy must come from carbon-neutral sources by the year 2030.

Unfortunately, that draconian and arbitrary mandate isn’t even the worst aspect of the scheme.

The CES plan openly subsidizes financially struggling nuclear power plants in upstate New York through something called Zero Emission Credits (ZECs). In essence, New York’s other utilities would be compelled to purchase the ZECs from a government bureaucracy, which the bureaucracy first obtains from the company operating the struggling upstate nuclear plants. It all amounts to a wealth redistribution from healthy power plants to financially faulty plants to satisfy carbon-free green energy regulations. Anyone familiar with renewable energy subsidy debacles for wind and solar operators such as the Solyndra example will realize the obvious pitfalls.

Exacerbating matters, the steep cost will be paid by New York consumers and businesses, even those that live nowhere near, and receive no electricity from, the subsidized struggling plants.

Specifically, the scheme guarantees $1 billion to the struggling plants in the first two years alone, with an estimated total cost of $8 billion over the entire duration of the CES scheme. The final cost to consumers through 2030 will depend upon ever-fluctuating wholesale electricity costs, how many of the non-self-sufficient reactors continue to operate, and other unknowns. Moody’s went so far as to warn investors that the ZEC cost over the duration of the program are “quite substantial,” which it estimates at $17.48 for each megawatt hour of production. For the nuclear utilities, even with their subsidies, it estimates a disturbing 45% price increase.

Even the Cuomo Administration acknowledges that individuals and businesses in the state should expect their power bills to rise.

Adding insult to considerable injury, those defects and costs of the plan aren’t even the worst part. The CES scheme constitutes a crony capitalist boondoggle of the sort opposed by all portions of the political spectrum.

That’s because the subsidy scheme will benefit a single company named Exelon, which controls the struggling plants that qualify for the subsidy (the Ginna nuclear power plant in Wayne County and the Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County). Exelon also stands poised to acquire another plant whose current owner had planned to close in upcoming months.

Conspicuous procedural problems also bedevil the CES plan. Not only was the approval process rushed through with only two weeks for public comment, but the ZEC subsidy rates will be determined in part by an obscure “social cost” of carbon.

These myriad defects help explain the broad opposition to Cuomo’s plan.

As just one prominent example, the environmental organization New York Public Interest Research Group rightly notes that New York ratepayers who weren’t consulted about the scheme will be hit with higher utility fees. As the group’s executive director Blair Horner stated, “These charges are essentially a tax to keep aging nuclear plants online.”

Conspicuously, Cuomo Administration officials remain unable to defend the plan against burgeoning public opposition. In a recent local television appearance, Cuomo’s Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman couldn’t justify the decision to provide billions of dollars in subsidies to upstate plants while simultaneously closing downstate plants, and she stubbornly refused to acknowledge the plan’s high costs.

Nuclear power remains a reliable domestic energy source that the United States can cleanly and safely utilize to a far greater extent.

Governor Cuomo’s crony capitalist CES scheme isn’t the way to go about it. The growing bipartisan opposition movement is an encouraging sign, one that should confirm for New Yorkers of all political leanings that the plan should be rejected.
The Daily Caller

Infrasound Harms Silently…

Infrared – the boomerang of the energies

 “I feel what you can not hear.” Thus, residents of wind power plants often describe their complaints, caused by low-frequency noise (infrared). But what is the cause of infrared, what impact does it have on people, what standards regulate the permissible sound emissions, and what is the state of science on these issues? A “The Energy Question” contribution by Dr. med Thomas Carl Stiller.

Inaudible but biophysiologically effective sound is not science fiction but an increasing threat to health. First, a few physical bases: sound is the pressure change in a medium such as air and spreads wavy around the source. The deeper the frequency, the more sound is transported in the air. Very low frequencies are also transmitted through closed buildings. As a result of acoustic reflections and superimpositions, it can then lead to excessively high sound pressure values. In general, sounds and noises are described by frequency, sound color and volume. The human ear can hear frequencies approximately in the range of 20,000 Hz, ie, vibrations per second (high tones) to 20 Hz (low tones). The sound range above a frequency of 20. 000 Hz is referred to as ultrasound, below 200 Hz as low-frequency sound, below 20 Hz as ultrasound. Both infrasound and ultrasound are no longer perceived by the ear, but the body has a subtle perception for infrasound, and some people are particularly sensitive to low-frequency sound.

In nature, low-frequency vibrations are ubiquitous. For example, the sea noise is transmitted over several hundred kilometers in the atmosphere, some migratory birds orient themselves. The sound pressure of natural noises in the infrared range, however, is quite evenly distributed over the different frequencies and is not perceived as disturbing by humans. The infrared of wind turbines is still measurable for several kilometers (1) .

On the other hand, humans are often exposed to technically generated ultrasound in their immediate surroundings. In residential areas, in the age of energy efficiency regulations for new buildings, air heat pumps are increasingly used as energy sources, which are cheaper to purchase than many other heating systems. In operation, however, they are often annoying for the neighbors, if the compressors are too loud and run too long. Even more problematic are wind power plants, in particular the modern large plants, which are mostly placed in front of villages and settlements at a small distance from the housing development. A pressure wave is generated every time a rotor blade is passed in front of the mast, many people perceive this as periodic “wummering”, sometimes also at a distance of several kilometers.

The consequences of technically generated infrared are only gradually understood. About 10 – 30 percent of the population is sensitive to infrared radiation. These people, in Germany several million, develop numerous symptoms, which we learn to physicians gradually. The low-frequency oscillations from compressors and wind power plants cause stress reactions in these people, which manifest themselves in sleep disorders, concentration disorders, nausea, tinnitus, dysphagia, dizziness, cardiac arrhythmia, fatigue, depression and anxiety disorders, earaches and permanent hearing impairments. From a physiological point of view, there is damage to the hair cells of the cortical organ of the auditory canal and to permanent irritation in cerebral arteries such as the almond nucleus (amygdala, anxiety center) (2) .

Those affected can not escape the effects of health and harassment. They are often ineffective for a long period of time. A neurobiological habituation of sensitive persons on technical infrasonic is not known. Often it is falsely asserted that the symptoms have to do with the personal attitude of the concerned against the infrasonic sources, a positive attitude against today’s energy policy thus to protect from infrasound symptoms. Unfortunately, this is not observed in medical practice, the symptoms are all sensitive. Numerous international studies have been carried out over the last few years, but in Germany this research is still very little developed and almost unknown at the political level.

If the symptoms occur, however, those affected can hardly react. Those who live in a residential area affected by low-frequency noise and infrared radiation can not usually move away so easily if, for example, they have to sell their house, which has lost a lot of value due to wind power plants nearby.

Who can still provide performance in today’s working world if he can not sleep by means of an infrared load and finds no peace in the house (4) ? How long can those affected compensate for this healthily and financially? Infrared-sensitive people are in a tragic dilemma: their complaints are not taken seriously and legally they do not go further because of the lack of immission control regulations.

The acoustician Steven Cooper, together with a wind farm operator in Australia, investigated the effects of infrared on the local population. Local residents near a wind park complained about the above complaints. But they did not have the wind farm directly in front of them. Cooper had her symptoms recorded at an exact time and checked the correlation with the activity of the wind power plants: the symptoms were strongest when the wind power plants were particularly active (5) .

In Dänemark haben Informationen über Missbildungen und Fehlgeburten auf einer Nerzfarm, in deren Nähe nachträglich Windkraftanlagen gebaut wurden, sowie gehäufte Berichte von Krankheitssymptomen von Menschen in der Nähe von Windkraftanlagen zu einem Ausbaustopp geführt, der genutzt wird, um die Zusammenhänge näher zu untersuchen.  Auch hierzulande wird umweltmedizinisch das Thema Infraschall schon länger ernst genommen(6).

All previously valid protection standards, such as the Technische Anleitung (TA) noise and the DIN 45680, are based on the assumption that only such sound can damage the ear (7) . Other forms of the perception of sound remain outside. The measurement regulations are also not helpful, since only sound above 8 Hz is measured, although modern instruments can also detect frequencies of <1 Hz and the infrared range in the range 1 – 8 Hz causes particularly severe health impairments. The prescribed sound measurements also average individual frequency peaks. They are based on the decibel A filter, which follows the human auditory curve in the audible sound range and measures on many different frequencies rather than linear and narrow band, As would be appropriate to avoid health hazards in the infrasonic range. Furthermore, often obsolete measuring systems and microphones that do not measure accurately enough in the infrasonic range are still permitted within the scope of the currently valid regulations for measurement. As a result, the measurement of the sound phenomena that are harmful to human beings does not escape below 20 Hz. Since these measurement regulations are the basis for approval procedures for technical systems, they must be adapted to the state of the art. If the standards and regulations for the approval procedures of technical installations were at the level of the international state of knowledge, this would have direct effects: the measurement regulations for sound pressure corresponded to the state of the art, the limit values for infrasonic pressure would be set lower,

If technical sources of infrared radiation are not removed quickly and sustainably enough by wind turbines, the public’s complaints will develop into a health boomerang of energy sources. A new national disease with cases like diabetes and cancer is to be expected. It is high time for the politicians to meet their protection obligation for humans and nature and to initiate the most important measures from the point of view of preventive medicine: an immediate dismantling of wind power, greater minimum distances between man and wind power plants, Modern measurement regulations in the corresponding DIN standards and stricter protective regulations directed at sound physics and biology.

(1) Lars Ceranna, Gernot Hartmann & Manfred Henger; “The inaudible sound of wind turbines – infrared measurements on a wind turbine north of Hanover, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Unit B3.11, Seismology, 2004

(2) AN Salt, JT Lichtenhan; “Perception-based protection from low-frequency sound may not be enough”; InterNoise 2012. http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea . AN Salt, JT Lichtenhan; “How does wind turbine noise affect people?”, 2014.

(3) Alves-Pereira M, Castelo Branco NA; Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 2007 Jan-Apr 93 (1-3): 256-79. Epub 2006 Aug 4; “Vibroacoustic disease: biological effects of infrasound and low-frequency noise elucidated by mechanotransduction cellular signaling”.

(4) Claire Paller (2014). “Exploring the Association between Proximity to Industrial Wind Turbines and Self-Reported Health Outcomes in Ontario, Canada”; UWSpace, http://hdl.handle.net/10012/8268 .

(5) Steven Cooper; “Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm”; 44.5100.R7: MSC; Prepared for: Energy Pacific (Vic) Pty Ltd, Level 11, 474 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Date: 26th Nov, 2014.

(6) Robert Koch Institute; “Infrasonic and low-frequency sound – a topic for environmental health protection in Germany?”, Communication from the Commission “Methods and quality assurance in environmental medicine”. Position paper of the doctors for immission control ( www.aefis.de )

(7) Standards: DIN 45680, 45401, 45651; Technical guidance noise (TA noise). “Acoustics – Attenuation of sound in outdoor propagation – Part 2: General calculation method”. DIN EN 61260: 2003-03; “Electroacoustics – Band filters for octaves and fractions of octaves”; DIN EN 61400-11; “Wind energy installations, Part 11: Sound-measurement methods, acoustics, electroacoustics”; “Standard frequencies for measurements” (retracted), “Octave filters for electroacoustic measurements” (withdrawn).

The Truth About Living Near Wind Turbines…

Once turbines arrive, say goodbye to peace and quiet

I sat in my living room reading this article last night with painfully throbbing ears and a headache, due to turbine noise that penetrates through the walls of my house. The noise kept me awake until 3 a.m. I had to write a reply to the tripe that was published in the OBSERVER (Feb. 19).

I bought my home to reside, because of its semi-secluded, quiet and peaceful nature. There is a river across the road from me and wooded area that surrounds me. I enjoyed listening to the river and birds, which is about all I ever heard, until a wind farm was erected around my property. There is a never-ending, jet-like sound that rips through my property and house. There is nothing natural about the noise that comes from these turbines and they are loud! The peaceful existence I once enjoyed here has been stolen from me!

EDP Renewables and the town of Chateaugay’s Jericho Rise Wind Farm was planted too close to my house. There are four 482-foot turbines approximately 1,800 to 2,600 feet from my home. The industry standard for turbine “setbacks” from residences are ridiculously too close.

Much of the time, sound levels at the west and south side of my home is above the allowable 50 dBA which the town of Chateaugay has deemed to be acceptable and legal. The lower frequency dBC levels for sound, or infrasound, are not even taken into account. According to acoustic engineering experts, dBC sound levels have a much higher pressure rating than dBA readings. This noise is detrimental to human health and is well documented throughout the world. I am living proof. The noise inside and outside of my home is a completely menacing nuisance.

I am not a “naysayer.” I am living with these behemoths that surround my property. In fact, I have been living with wind turbines from an older wind farm approximately 3-4 miles from me for the past 6 1/2 years. About 7 months out of the year, due to leafless trees, I can see 15 of them from my front porch. They really don’t bother me. I can’t say I like them, but I can’t hear them either.

I was never an opponent of wind power. I am a science teacher of 11 years and teach about sound and alternative energies. It is in the state curriculum. I even went to an all day wind power teacher’s workshop to get a better understanding of wind energy eight years ago. The wind industry has been setting us up for a fall a long time ago.

By the way, standing directly underneath a turbine is the quietest place to listen to them. Stand back 500, 1000, 1500 feet and downwind from them, and if you still think they are not loud, then you must be deaf. If anyone would like to come to my home in Chateaugay to get a true experience of what these monsters sound like, you are welcome to visit. A town councilman from a neighboring town was here yesterday and he said, “When I first came inside, it almost sounded louder inside than outside.” Yes, it does. It’s like living inside a drum.

As far as a tax base for your community is concerned, there will be none. They will not pay any business property tax whatsoever. The wind farm company will cram a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Program down your throat. The county, town and possibly school district will receive a pittance compared to what the wind developer receives in government subsidies. This is how they can afford to build these wind farms.

The absurdity of saying that birds will just fly around the towers is also ridiculous. Birds of prey are looking down to the ground for food, not what’s in front of them. Migratory birds are flying in excess of 40 miles per hour. They do not have the ability to just stop in mid-air and fly around.

Putting “hope and trust” in the wind company is dangerous. I have made many complaints to EDP Renewables and Chateaugay about the nuisance noise. They have been to my house once to take a sound test. It was taken on a day with 2-3 mph wind speeds, and in between my house and garage which blocks all of the south wind. The town engineer said the reading was 38.5 dBA.

Folks, it is not a far stretch from 38.5 dBA to over 50 dBA when the winds are from the west or south in excess of 12 miles per hour. I know, because I have been taking my own sound level readings since Jan. 1. The town and EDP Renewables said they would be taking multiple tests. Two days later, with no notice, town board members popped into my backyard at 9:30 a.m. with a sound meter. I wondered what they were doing here, because it was a legal holiday and again, practically no wind. They acted as though they didn’t realize I was home. They didn’t even knock on my door.

They stated they would be back. Just before they left, one town board member stated, “We wouldn’t want these in our backyard either.” I called the town supervisor later in the day and asked to be notified 24 hours in advance and that I want to be present when these tests were done. They have not been back since. It has been almost two months. I have been lied to and ignored.

During this time, I was introduced to a well credentialed acoustic engineer through a friend. He sent me data on what a proper sound test should include. I have continued to call the EDP Renewable complaint hotline. They were supposed to take more tests last week. I sent EDP Renewables operations manager, town engineer and town supervisor data from the acoustic engineer about what I would be expecting for a proper sound test. I am being ignored once again. So, if anyone thinks that the process of developing a wind farm (before, during or after) is honest and trustworthy, you really should be talking to people that are living in the middle of a wind farm.

Please, do not be fooled by any wind farm company! Also, if you are a non-participating landowner, do not sign their “Neighbor Agreement.” You will lose all your rights (on, under, over, around, etc.) as a property owner. If you have any of the problems I am experiencing right now, you will lose the ability to do or say anything to anyone about it. It is a “gag order” for a very small annual payment.

In closing, I need to say that I gain nothing by writing this. It is only to help those that may be in danger of having to live with a wind farm near their home.

Kevin Sigourney is a resident of Chateaugay, which is located in Franklin County in northern New York.

The Wind Scam is Obvious to Intelligent People…

Wind turbines a government-backed Ponzi scheme

Sunday, March 5, 2017

To the editor:

All you people out there complaining about your hydro prices need to realize some important facts about the Kathleen Wynne government.

  1. The global adjustment charge on your hydro bill is to pay for the giant industrial wind turbines Wynne  has placed all  over rural Ontario.
  2. Wind turbines a useless technology that destroys our rural environment, ruins people’s health and poisons our drinking water aquifers.
  3. The only reason these turbines were erected was so Liberal insiders and their friends could get filthy rich.
  4. Wynne will not cancel the turbine projects or reduce the subsidies because the turbine lobbyists know where the political bodies are buried.
  5. Wynne has taken away the democratic rights of the people for her own financial and political gain.
  6. Wynne has sacrificed the health of rural citizens just so her friends can get rich.
  7. In a few year’s time, when it inevitably collapses, this wind turbine scam will be revealed for what it is: An enormous government-backed Ponzi scheme, founded on greed, corruption and stupidity.

Leonard Vandenbosch

West Grey, Ont

 What’s on your mind?

Issues for Landowners to Consider, Regarding Wind Turbines

Landowners should be wary of wind contracts

Iowa landowners are being presented with a proposal for signing or not signing a wind turbine leasement (a combination of a lease and an easement).

We see different levels of interest – from Royal, Iowa, in Clay County where so few people would sign that the wind companies had to move on, to Palo Alto County where the wind companies have signed 100 easements. We see that half of these easements were signed by absentee landowners and at least one-fourth of them were signed by one farm manager.

Are you curious to know why so many landowners will not sign easements? I have spoken to landowners living in industrial wind energy installations from Adair to Lake Park to Webster City to Primghar. I also have heard from folks in Kansas, Missouri, Vermont and Oklahoma. While you can find people who are pleased with their experience, I have heard statements such as:

• “We had to put in soundproofing windows – it helped some.”

• “If we knew then what we know now, this (wind installation) never would have happened.”

• “We thought we were doing something good; now we just wish we had our farm back.”

There are many landowners who will not speak up publicly about the detriments they experience. Some are embarrassed because they lobbied for the wind companies to come. Some feel that they have signed a gag order, but I have been assured by lawyers that gag orders can be implied but are not legal. You are likely not supposed to speak of their designs, power output or the money you are being paid, but anything else cannot be “gagged.” Even with that information, though, it is hard to oppose a company that has control over – and under – so much of your property. It is a marriage from which you cannot get a divorce.

In wind contracts, the landowner will give up rights to file a claim against noise, vibration, turbulence and shadow flicker. These issues also can affect neighbors up to a mile away. In Ireland, seven families have won a nuisance suit against wind turbines, while in Michigan, Garden Township has just settled with turbine owners over turbine nuisance.

There are many good resources for learning about the downfalls of a wind energy easement. Iowa State University’s Center for Ag Law and Taxation has had great articles and even presentations such as the one given by Roger McEowen in Palo Alto and Clay counties in 2016. There are a series of videos that were made by the Illinois Farm Bureau as well. We have posted one of the videos on our Facebook page.

Iowa landowners such as myself have begun an organization to help educate other landowners. We are the Coalition for Rural Property Rights. Our website is coalitonforruralpropertyrights.com. We are completely grassroots and locally funded.


Source: http://www.tristateneighbor…

FEB162017

Far greater setbacks from wind turbines necessary, to maintain max. 45db noise level.

Irish government modelling of wind energy potential

image-capacity-1

Today, 16 January 2017, almost four years on from the first public call for submissions on the proposed revision of the 2006 wind energy guidelines, we are sharing information in relation to modelling undertaken by the RPS Group, in 2015, which was commissioned by the Sustainable Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for the then Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (now the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment) and the then Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (now the department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government).

RPS were commissioned to model Ireland’s land area and power generating potential from wind energy developments, taking into account a number of variable factors including:

  • Turbine size, type and hub/tip height;
  • Noise and shadow flicker;
  • Proposed setback distances;
  • Minimum wind speeds;
  • Terrain contours; and
  • Ground factors.

The background to this modelling was the proposed technical revision to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006. As regular readers of this blog will be aware the proposed technical revision has turned into a political hot potato with no Minister yet willing to stand up to the wind industry, despite the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment declaring that the current guidelines are ‘not fit for purpose’. The proposed Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and further consultation have still not been commenced.

Nevertheless, the discussion in the RPS Group, Report on Wind Turbine Noise Modelling, of 11 May 2015 is startling for most communities, as RPS through consultations with the wind industry expect tip heights of between 150m to 175m to be the norm for future developments, with 200m tip heights being required for some low wind sites.  Possible setback distances emerging from the acoustic modelling are also quiet frightening (see copy of table 3.2 below).

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Documents, in PDF, we are sharing are:

Further iterations of the modeling then followed which were also released:

Please note these documents were shared with us by a friend of this blog, who gained access to them under the Access to Environmental Information Regulations.  Access was only granted following a number of Appeals to the Commissioner for Environmental Information; with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, further delaying release for three months despite the Commissioners decision.  We are heartened that the Commissioner in deciding that these documents should be released stated:

In my opinion, it is at least possible that disclosure of the withheld information would help the public to scrutinise the reasons put forward by politicians in delaying this important policy decision.  I therefore accept that this public interest argument would favour disclosure now, before a decision is made.

… if disclosure were to lead to a submission being made to the Department which was of such import that it could not be ignored, such a submission would appear to be highly important and very much in the public interest. There is a strong public interest in making the decision [in relation to the revised guidelines] as soon as possible, but there is also a strong public interest in getting it right.
For these reasons I am not persuaded that disclosure would be contrary to the public interest. As that is my conclusion, I must find that refusal to provide access to the withheld information is not justified on this ground.

With the Commissioners words ringing in our ears we are calling on our readers and followers to review, scrutinise and find flaws in the reasons relied upon by your politicians and policy makers.

We are also welcoming guest blogs on this issue and if any of you out there want to provide some much needed technical analysis of these documents and to publish on this blog (or to make a valuable submission to the Minister), please e-mail us at: cawt.donegal@gmail.com.

People are Harmed by Wind Turbine Noise.

Wind Turbine Noise Adversely Impacts Nearby People and Animals

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Europe and the US have been building onshore wind turbine plants in rural areas for more than 25 years. Anyone living within about 1.0 mile of such plants would hear the noises year-round, year after year. Those nearby people would be experiencing:

  • Decreasing property values.
  • Damage to their health, due to lack of sleep and peace of mind.
  • Living with closed windows and doors, due to year-round noises.
  • Exposure to infrasound.

The wind turbine noise problem is worldwide. Due to a lack of worldwide guidelines, various political entities have been developing their own codes for the past 30 years. The World Health Organization is finally addressing the lack of detailed guidelines regarding such noises.

World Health Organization Noise Guidelines: WHO, publishes detailed guidelines regarding various, everyday noises, such as near highways and airports, within urban communities and in work places. The guidelines serve as input to local noise codes.

In general, wind turbines are located in rural areas. When they had low rated outputs, say about 500 kW in the 1960s and 1970s, they made little audible noise, and the infrasound was weak. However, when rated outputs increased to 1000 kW or greater, the audible and infrasound noises became excessive and complaints were made by nearby people all over the world.

WHO, which has not published any detailed guidelines regarding wind turbine noises, will be releasing environmental noise guidelines for the European region in the near future.

Worldwide guidelines regarding wind turbine noises are needed to protect nearby rural people, such as regarding:

  • The maximum outdoor dBA value, how that value is arrived at, such as by averaging over one hour, where that value is measured, such as near a residence, or at the resident property line to enable that resident to continue to enjoy his entire property.
  • How to measure, or calculate the outdoor-to-indoor sound attenuation of a residence.
  • How much setback is needed, such as one mile to minimize infrasound impacts on nearby residents.
  • The maximum dB value of infrasound, how that value is arrived at, where that value is measured.
  • How to determine the need for a 5 dB annoyance penalty.

The lack of such guidelines has resulted in various political jurisdictions creating their own codes. That process has been heavily influenced by well-financed, pro-wind interests, which aim to have the least possible regulation to maximize profits.

Comparison of Wind Turbine Codes: Below are some highlights from the noise codes of various political entities to illustrate their diversity:

1) DENMARK: Because Denmark was an early developer of wind turbine plants, its noise code is more detailed than of most political entities. It has a buffer zone of 4 times total height of a wind turbine, about 4 x 500 = 2,000 ft, about 0.61 km (no exceptions), and it also has the following requirements regarding outdoor and indoor noise:

OUTDOOR

  • For dwellings, summer cottages, etc.: 39 dBA (wind speeds of 8 m/s, 18 mph) and 37 dBA (wind speeds of 6 m/s, 13 mph)
  • For dwellings in open country: 44 dBA (wind speeds of 8 m/s) and 42 dBA (wind speeds of 6 m/s)

The below regulations describe the methods and time periods over which sounds are to be measured:

  • Page 4, par 5.1.1 mentions averaging over various periods. Only the worst average readings of a period are to be considered for compliance.
  • Page 4, par 5.1.2 mentions a 5 dB annoyance penalty must be added to the worst average readings for a period for clearly audible tonal and impulse sounds with frequencies greater than 160 Hz, which would apply to wind turbine sounds.
  • Page 6, par 5.4 mentions limits for indoor A-weighted low frequency noise 10 – 160 Hz, and G-weighted infrasound 5 – 20 Hz.

“If the perceived noise contains either clearly audible tones, or clearly audible impulses, a 5 dB annoyance penalty shall be added to the measured equivalent sound pressure level” That means, if a measured outdoor reading is 40 dBA (open country, wind speed 6 m/s), and annoyance is present, the reading is increased to 45 dBA, which would not be in compliance with the above-required 42 dBA limit.

In some cases, a proposed wind turbine plant would not be approved, because of the 5 dB annoyance penalties. The noise of wind turbines varies up and down. The annoyance conditions associated with wind turbines occur year-round. The annoyance conditions associated with other noise sources usually occur much less frequently.

NOTE: The 5 dB penalty does not apply to indoor and outdoor low frequency and infrasound noises, i.e., 160 Hz or less.

INDOOR

– For both categories (dwellings, summer cottages, etc.; open country), the mandatory limit for low frequency noise is 20 dBA (Vermont’s limit is 30 dBA), which applies to the calculated indoor noise level in the 1/3-octave bands 10 – 160 Hz, at both 6 and 8 m/s wind speed. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure neither the usual noise, nor the low frequency noise, will annoy nearby people when the wind turbines are in operation.

Denmark’s Controversial Noise Attenuation Calculations: The controversy in Denmark is regarding the Danish EPA assuming high attenuation factors for calculating attenuation from 44 dBA (outdoor) to 20 dBA (indoor, windows closed) for frequencies above 63 Hz, which yield calculated indoor noise levels less than 20 dBA. The Danish EPA prefers assuming high factors, because they result in compliance, which is favorable for wind turbines.

However, acoustics engineers have made indoor field measurements (supposedly “too difficult to measure”, according to the Danish EPA), which indicate many houses near wind turbine plants have lower than assumed attenuation factors, which results in indoor noise levels greater than 20 dBA, i.e., non-compliance, which is not favorable for wind turbines.

However, the final arbiters should not be government personnel using assumptions, but the nearby people. Increasingly, those people are venting their frustrations at public hearings and in public demonstrations.

2) POLAND is considering a proposed a law with a 2.0 km (1.24 mile) buffer zone between a wind turbine and any building. That means at least 65% of Poland would be off limits to wind turbines. Future wind turbine plants likely would be offshore.

3) BAVARIA, a state in Germany, just enacted a setback of 10 times turbine height, i.e., 10 x 500 ft = 5,000 ft, almost one mile. In Germany, the wind turbine nighttime noise limit is not to exceed 35 dBA.

The second URL shows what happens when it is sunny and windy in Germany. The excess energy is dumped onto connected grids at near-zero wholesale prices. This has been happening more and more hours of the year.

4) LETCHER TOWNSHIP, South Dakota, voted for a 1-mile buffer zone. Under the approved ordinance, no large wind turbine plant could be built within 5,280 feet of the nearest residence of a non-participating homeowner, or within 1,500 feet of the nearest neighbor’s property line.

5) NEW HAMPSHIRE’s wind turbine code requires the following:

  • Sound: Wind turbine plants must meet a ‘not-to-exceed’ standard of 45 dBA from 8am – 8pm and 40 dBA from 8pm – 8am. The sound measurements are to be taken ‘on property that is used in whole or in part for permanent or temporary residential purposes.’
  • Shadow Flicker: A shadow-flicker assessment must be completed for each residence, learning space, workplace, health care setting, public gathering place (outdoor and indoor), other occupied building and roadway, within a minimum of 1 mile of any turbine, based on shadow flicker modeling that assumes an impact distance of at least 1 mile from each of the turbines. Shadow flicker may not occur more than 8 hours per year at any of these locations.
  • Setbacks: The applicant must complete an assessment of the risks of ice throw, blade shear, tower collapse on any property, roadway, etc. A committee will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether there is a concern with the setbacks and/or the appropriate distance that should be set.

6) MAINE’s wind turbine noise code requires the following:

In 2012, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection adopted noise control regulations that are specific to wind turbine plants.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10(I) of Maine DEP regulations specifies sound level limits for wind turbine plants as 55 dBA from 7am – 7pm (the “daytime limit”), and 42 dBA from 7pm – 7am (the “nighttime limit”) averaged over one hour, at protected locations.

Maine DEP nighttime limits apply as follows:

  • Within 500 feet of a residence on a protected location or at the (project) property line, if closer to the dwelling. The resulting sound levels at a residence itself are usually lower than at 500 feet from the dwelling or at the property line where the 42 dBA “nighttime limit” applies.
  • Beyond 500 feet, the daytime limit of 55 dBA applies 24 hours per day.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10 noise rules establish sound level limits on an hourly basis although compliance for wind turbine plants is evaluated by averaging sound levels over twelve or more ten-minute measurement intervals with turbines operating at full-rated sound output. There are also special provisions and “penalties” that apply when the sound generated by a wind project result in tonal or short-duration, repetitive sounds. This standard is described in more detail in the remainder of this report. See URL.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10, Section I, requires a 5 dB annoyance penalty be added for certain occurrences of tonal and short duration repetitive (SDR) sounds when determining compliance with hourly sound level limits.

7) VERMONT has an ad hoc wind turbine code , i.e., applied on a project-by-project basis.

The code allows a maximum noise of 45 dBA (outdoor), averaged over one hour, as measured at a nearby residence. The averaging makes disappear random noise spikes of 60 – 70 dBA, which disturb the sleep of nearby people.

The code allows a maximum noise of 30 dBA (indoor, windows closed), averaged over one hour.

The code makes no distinction for daytime and nighttime, even though people may want to have open windows, especially during warm nights.

Vermont’s code has: 1) no required buffer zone; 2) no required infrasound limit; 3) no 5 dB annoyance penalty; 4) the indoor limit is 30 dB, whereas the Denmark limit is 20 dB.

In Vermont, residences cannot attenuate 45 dBA (outdoor) to 30 dBA (indoor, windows closed), according to acoustics tests. See URL.

NOTE: If Denmark’s residences cannot attenuate 44 dBA (outdoor) to 20 dBA (indoor, windows closed), and Vermont residences cannot attenuate 45 dBA to 30 dBA (a much easier requirement), then the options are: 1) have lesser capacity wind turbines; 2) locate them further away from residences, i.e., a greater buffer zone; 3) upgrade the attenuation of nearby residences; 4) buy out the owners.

The Vermont code is much less strict than of Denmark and New Hampshire, largely because of the political influence of RE special interests. Five years ago, the Vermont Public Service Board could have copied major parts of the Danish code to create a Vermont code that actually protects nearby people.

Measuring Wind Turbine Sounds: This article describes in detail some aspects of measuring wind turbine sounds.

Everyday noises in the audible range are weighted using a curve that approximates the response of the human ear. See figures 1 and 2 of article. If the A-curve is applied to sound measurement dB readings, they are designated as dBA.

The dB levels of frequencies below about 200 cycles per second, i.e., 200 Hz, are artificially lowered, due to the A-curve application. That includes infrasound frequencies of 20 Hz, or less. See figure 3 of article.

The site background noise is affected by wind speed. At near zero wind speed, as often occurs in rural areas at night, the noise is about 10 to 15 dBA. See figure 4 of article.

Outdoor-to-indoor attenuation of infrasound below 4 Hz is near zero for a wood-frame house 1,300 meters (4,265 ft) from a wind turbine. See figure 8 and 9 of article. Whereas a resident would not hear such noises, they would create significant physical discomfort, such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc., if the noises were strong, i.e., have high dB values.

Figure 11 of the article shows a similar lack of outdoor-to-indoor attenuation of infrasound for a house 8,000 meters from a wind turbine. The conclusion is: Infrasound below 4 Hz travels long distances and is very little attenuated by a wood-frame house.

Infrasound: Sounds with frequencies of 20 Hz, or less, are defined as infrasound. Those sounds are not heard, but felt. A rotor blade passing the mast of a wind turbine creates a burst of audible and inaudible sound of various frequencies. The base frequency is about one cycle per second, similar to a person’s heart beat, and the harmonics, at 2, 4 and 8 Hz, are similar to the natural frequencies of other human organs, i.e., ears, eyes, liver, kidneys, etc., which start vibrating.

The natural frequencies of wood-frame house walls are less than 20 Hz. The infrasound induces them to start vibrating, which creates standing, inaudible air pressure waves inside the rooms of a house. As a result, nearby people find life inside their houses unbearable. Often they abandon their houses, or sell at very low prices.

Infrasound interferes with the body’s natural biorhythms, and causes adverse health impacts on nearby people and animals, including DNA damage to nearby pregnant women and animals, their fetuses, and newborn offspring. See URLs.

Infrasound travels long distances. A buffer zone of about 1 mile is required to reduce adverse impacts on people. However, roaming animals would continue to be exposed.

Acoustics consultants usually deal with OSHA-type measurements of everyday noises. Most of them have almost no experience measuring infrasound, which requires special instrumentation and test set-ups. As a result, acoustics consultants take the easy way out by claiming infrasound does not exist. That measurements of low frequency noise are made to look less on an A-weighted basis helps their argument.

If acoustics consultants admit infrasound does exist, they provide a list of studies proving it does no harm. To which opponents reply with a list of studies that state it does harm to nearby people.

Some governments have used infrasound as a non-lethal weapon for torture or crowd control. It leaves no marks.

The Need for a 5 dB Annoyance Penalty: Rural nighttime ambient noise is 20 – 40 dBA, and urban residential nighttime ambient noise is 58 – 62 dBA. In many rural areas, nighttime outdoor ambient noise averages about 20 dBA.

People who live in urban areas have no idea how quiet it is in rural areas. For example: the introduction of clusters of 3 MW wind turbines, on 2,000-ft ridgelines in New England, came as a total shock to nearby rural people. Being high up, the noise carries far, especially the infrasound.

The dB values to indicate noises are a proxy for sound pressure level, SPL. The ears of people are sensitive to sound pressure. The below table clearly indicates random noise spikes above 50 dB have high SPL values, which are highly disturbing to nearby people, especially at night. Any wind turbine noise guidelines and codes must be based on rural noise values.

A 45 dB noise has an SPL 5.6 times greater than a 30 dB noise; 17.8 times greater than a 20 dB noise.

A 63 dB random spike has an SPL 44.9 times greater than a 30 dB noise; 142 times greater than a 20 dB noise.

 

Noise level Noise, dB Times reference pressure*
Rural average outdoor

20

10.0

Rural average outdoor

30

31.6

Rural average outdoor near a residence

45

177.8

Rural random spike

51

354.8

Rural random spike

57

709.6

Rural random spike

63

1419.2

Rural random spike

69

2838.4

 

* The commonly used reference sound pressure in air is 20 micro-pascal. It is considered the threshold of human hearing (roughly the sound of a mosquito flying 3 m away).

General Comments: As almost all recently installed wind turbines are rated at 2 – 3 MW, and as almost all such units are in rural settings, government noise codes should use the rural nighttime ambient noise level as the basis for limiting wind turbine noises.

Ever-present, random spike noises, with higher dB values, say 60 – 70 dBA, can occur, during an hour, but the “averaging over one hour” makes these noises disappear; hence the reason for Denmark, Maine, etc., having a 5 dB annoyance penalty.

These peak noises are most annoying, they occur at random, and mostly at night. They adversely affect the health of nearby people. As a minimum, they deprive nearby people from getting a good night’s sleep to recover from the prior day, and to get ready for the next day. According to WHO, restful sleep is a basic requirement for good mental and physical health, as are food, water, air, etc.

Denmark holds infrasound is harmful to the health of nearby people and animals. Therefore, it has an infrasound requirement in its wind turbine code. Here is a chart and 4 articles prepared by Rand and Ambrose, two prominent acoustics engineers, which shows Vermont’s noise limit.