Krenzer family fights Iberdrola

Marie and David Krenzer, fourth-generation farmers of their land, are fighting to save their farm in Chili, NY.

Chris Churchill of the Times Union reports, “The Krenzers aren’t battling against the usual farm problems. It isn’t the economy, competition or weather that worry them. Their problem is the Spanish company Iberdrola and a state regulatory process that treats land owners as an afterthought. Continue reading

Third wind turbine blade breaks in East Central Illinois

by Will Brumleve
Paxton Record, November 22, 2013

OAKWOOD — For the third time in 17 months, a wind turbine blade manufactured by General Electric has broken off at an East Central Illinois wind farm.

The latest incident occurred about 9 p.m. Nov. 20 in Vermilion County at the California Ridge Wind Farm operated by Chicago-based Invenergy. Another turbine blade broke in that same wind farm in November 2012, following a June 2012 blade break at the Settlers Trail Wind Farm near Sheldon, operated by Chicago-based E.On Climate & Renewables.

All three blades were on 1.6-megawatt turbines manufactured by GE.

“We are working with GE, the turbine manufacturer, to determine the cause of this incident,” a statement from Invenergy said Friday.

Last March, GE issued a statement saying that an “isolated manufacturing issue” caused the two wind turbines to break in 2012. GE said it had “reviewed the wind farm fleets at both sites to ensure their continued reliability and performance” and “have addressed the manufacturing issue to prevent this from happening in the future.” Continue reading

Orangeville Wind Farm operations suspended after turbine blade breaks

By Matt Surtel
The Daily News, November 18, 2013

ORANGEVILLE — Operations at the Orangeville Wind Farm have been suspended as a precaution, after a wind turbine’s blade broke Sunday morning.

The break occurred about 7 a.m. in the wind farm’s 34th tower, near Centerline Road and Route 20A, according to Invenergy.

The turbine’s commissioning had begun Wednesday and the unit was operating at the time, Invenergy officials said in a statement. No injuries were reported.

“Out of caution, all turbine commissioning and turbine operations at the wind farm have been suspended,” the statement reads. “We are working with GE, the turbine manufacturer, to determine the root cause of this incident.” Continue reading

Connecticut extends wind ban until at least February

by Brad Kane
Hartford Business Journal, November 26, 2013

The Connecticut legislature on Tuesday again extended the moratorium against the construction of wind turbines, with no possibility of the ban being lifted before federal tax credits that expire at the end of the year.The ban on wind construction extends back to June 2011 when the legislature passed a law saying no new turbines could be built until the Connecticut Siting Council came up with regulations on the size, location, and manner of each turbine. The siting council has proposed those regulations five times over the last two years, and each time the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee votes against them. Continue reading

Bipartisan coalition urges expiration of taxpayer subsidies for wind energy in 2013

November 25, 2013

WASHINGTONU.S. Representative Richard Hanna joined a bipartisan group of 52 House members in calling on Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to allow the wind production tax credit (PTC) to expire at the end of 2013 as scheduled under current law.

Since its establishment in 1992, the tax subsidy for wind energy production has grown in both eligibility and cost. Today, the PTC subsidizes wind energy production at a rate of 2.3 cents per kilowatt. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a one-year extension of the tax credit would cost $6 billion and a five-year extension would cost more than $18 billion.  Continue reading

Wind Energy Company to Pay $1 Million in Bird Deaths

By Emma G. Fitzsimmons
The New York Times, November 22, 2013

Duke Energy agreed on Friday to pay $1 million in fines as part of the Justice Department’s first criminal case against a wind power company for the deaths of protected birds.

A subsidiary of the company, Duke Energy Renewables, pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Wyoming on Friday to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law that protects migratory birds. The company was charged with killing 14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds at two wind projects in Wyoming since 2009.

In a plea agreement, the company said it would pay the fines to several conservation groups, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company must also put a plan in place to prevent bird deaths in the future, federal officials said.

“In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths,” Robert G. Dreher, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division, said in a statement.

Birds are often killed when they collide with the wind turbines, meteorological towers and power facilities associated with wind power projects, federal officials said. The golden eagle, which is named for its golden feathers and has a wingspan of about six feet, is commonly found in the western Plains.

Duke Energy said it had already been working with federal officials to limit bird deaths. The company is installing new radar technology to detect birds and using field biologists to look for eagles and determine when turbines need to be shut down, the company said.

“Our goal is to provide the benefits of wind energy in the most environmentally responsible way possible,” Greg Wolf, the president of Duke Energy Renewables, said in a statement. “We deeply regret the impacts to golden eagles at two of our wind facilities.”

The American Bird Conservancy, a nonprofit group that supports protections for bird habitats, said that the plea agreement was a positive step toward addressing bird deaths caused by the wind industry, but that federal officials needed to do more to address violations by other companies.

“All wind projects will kill some birds,” Michael Hutchins, national coordinator of the group’s bird-smart wind energy campaign, said Friday. “It is, sadly, unavoidable, but some areas are worse than others, and we can predict where many of these will be.”


Attorney General Cuomo Establishes Code Of Conduct For Wind Energy Companies Operating In New York

Another item from 2008 that remains relevant.

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 30, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new Wind Industry Ethics Code that establishes guidelines to facilitate the development of alternative energy in New York while assuring the public the wind power industry is acting properly and within the law.  The Code calls for new oversight through a multi-agency Task Force, and establishes unprecedented transparency that will deter any improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials. Continue reading