Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Audubon Pennsylvania

From Audubon Pennsylvania:

Ridgetop Important Bird Areas, Raptors, and Wind Turbines

Excerpt: Audubon Pennsylvania stands behind the USFWS in calling for three years of pre-construction monitoring, as well as post-construction monitoring and ongoing mortality and risk assessment, conducted by agency biologists and/or those independent of industry. … Multi-year pre-construction monitoring is critical because of annual variation in migration routes, due to variation in bird species distribution, weather fronts, and resulting wind conditions.

Siting Recommendations

Audubon Pennsylvania recommends to avoid siting turbines on ridgetops that concentrate raptors during spring and fall migration…

In addition, Audubon Pennsylvania advocates the protection of unfragmented forests, Important Bird Areas (IBAs), areas supporting federally and state Threatened and Endangered species, and Landscape Conservation Areas (PA Natural Heritage Program - www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/pndi). More appropriate turbine sites would be post-industrial (brownfield) sites, away from major migratory corridors. We seek to minimize fragmentation of intact forest blocks, as PA currently supports large breeding populations of forest birds. The fragmentation of large forest blocks is listed as a bird population stressor in many of our IBA conservation plans (the plans can be found at http://pa.audubon.org). Siting wind turbines on "brownfields" (post-industrial sites) rather than large, intact forest blocks would minimize such fragmentation and reduce impacts. [emphasis added]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lessons Learned: Mars Hill Town Manager

Mars Hill is Maine’s first industrial wind plant. Its 28 wind turbines have been operating about a year, making headlines about homeowners complaining of noise problems from the start.

From Portland’s Channel 6 website:

Winds Of Change: The Future Of Wind Power In Maine

“A group of about 18 homeowners in Mars Hill is angry about loud noise that is produced by the wind turbines. The neighbors say the noise is not consistent, that it can vary with weather and wind conditions. At times, it's almost inaudible. But at other thimes, they say, the noise can reach over 50 decibels in their homes, disturbing sleep and making life uncomfortable.

”The Maine DEP has been conducting sound testing for months, but still has not released the results. UPC Wind says it wants to do something to alleviate the problem, but so far there is no definite guideline for what that will be.

"And in one step along the wind power learning curve, the Town Manager of Mars Hill says he believes future wind projects should have guidelines for how close wind turbines are placed to homes. He says a turbine within 2,500 feet should have to get a noise easement from the homeowner, to avoid problems with complaints later on.” [Emphasis added.]


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wind power overstated -- only 8.7%

PRESS RELEASEMarch 29, 2007
ERCOT Response to U.S. Rep. Joe Barton
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

ERCOT study: 6,300 MW of wind had same load carrying capacity as 550 MW of thermal generation (i.e. 8.7%, due to unreliability of wind generation when power demand is highest)

"...wind does not blow at a constant level, and in Texas is often at a low level at the time of the peak electrical demand during summer afternoons. ERCOT studies the availability of wind generation using its historical wind generation data. Using 2006 data, ERCOT has determined that 8.7% of the installed wind capability can be counted as dependable capacity during the peak demand period for the next year. Conventional generation must be available to provide the remaining capacity needed to meet forecast load and reserve requirements. "

Source: ERCOT

Note: Texas wind capacity is 20x Pennsylvania, so how little is the useful electricity from PA turbines?

Wind turbine 'blows over'

But 'how can a wind turbine blow over when the wind's not blowing'?