A few minor pieces of news on the solar and wind power industries.
Possible end of 2.3 cent/kilowatt subsidy
The Wall Street Journal hopefully describes Powering Down the Wind Subsidy. Unless Congress affirmatively acts, the large subsidy to wind power will expire on 12-31-13.
Continue reading “Minor updates on slice-and-dice & wing-toaster projects”
I’m slowing learning about wind farms. An article in The Dickinson Press provides good background: $350M wind farm approved in Stutsman County.
Status of Courtenay
The article focuses on the Courtenay Wind Farm, which is developing 100 turbines rated with a potential capacity of 200 megawatts (2MW/turbine). The state Public Service Commission approved the plan November 13..
Continue reading “Another wind farm approved in North Dakota”
A rule expected to be final soon will give wind farm operators official permission to “take” eagles for 30 years. Unintentional deaths of protected birds will not be prosecuted. For 30 years.
Currently, permits are available for 5 years, but reports I’ve read say no permits have yet been issued under those rules.
A document that appears to be the near-final rule is here. That has the same document number, RIN 1018-AX91, as the OMB announcement here. You can read it for yourself.
I read the first 18 pages of the 87 page rule, up to the point where the document gives responses to comments in the draft rule. Sort of understood it.
Here are a few of the key ideas: Continue reading “Wind farms will soon be able to apply for official permission to slice-and-dice a negotiable numbers of eagles for 30 years”
Today, three articles on energy and publishing.
12-4 – The Business Rusch – The Fierce Urgency of Now (Discoverability Part 3) – Kristine Kathryn Rusch summarizes what’s been long discussed: the days of get it now or you’ll never get it are gone.
Continue reading “More good stuff on the open frontiers in energy and publishing – 12-6-13”
Here’s an analysis you won’t see trumpeted very widely – The Dickenson Press carries an article by Deroy Murdock – Fracking outgreens “green” energy.
After describing the unobtrusive scene of five producing gas wells running from a three-acre pad he previously visited in the middle of drilling, he describes the ecological footprint of gas versus the ‘green’ energy sources.
He compares different industries in terms of a common size. Here is his data:
Water used to generate one million BTUs of energy output: Continue reading “Natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar. Which is easiest on water, land, and wildlife? Um. Keep it quiet, but that would be gas.”
I couldn’t make this up. I’m not that imaginative.
Previous post discussed the guilty plea by Duke Energy Renewables for two misdemeanor violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
In my opinion, the plea agreement signed by Duke is a superb bargain for their operation of wind farms. For only a million bucks, the Department of Justice agrees not to prosecute Duke for any other past takings of migratory birds and any future takings for the next ten years. The agreement covers all four of their wind farm operations in the state of Wyoming. The condition is they need to diligently pursue official permission to take eagles and comply with whatever plans they develop to mitigate migratory bird takings in the meantime.
Let me phrase that differently: Duke gets an official, enforceable, in-writing promise they won’t be prosecuted for taking eagles for up to 10 years. They won’t be prosecuted for slicing-and-dicing eagles, other raptors, or any migratory birds through October 2023. Or until they get official permission to do so. Whichever comes first.
Again, I’m not creative enough to make this up. Seems to me like it would make a great sub-plot to a hyper-ventilating techno-thriller novel.
Read paragraph 16, on pages 10 and 11 for yourself. You can find the document here. Since it is a public document, I’ll quote it at length, just so you don’t think it is the product of my non-fertile imagination.
From page 10, with my emphasis added: Continue reading “Non-prosecution for past and future takings of migratory birds. Let me rephrase that: a ten year permit to kill eagles that hang around slice-and-dice farms in Wyoming.”
Duke Energy Resources pled guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the Migratory Bird Act. Duke admits it killed 163 migratory birds protected by the Act at its Campbell Hill and Top of the World wind farms. The company acknowledges it did not take all reasonable steps to reduce the slice-and-dice casualties. Well, the settlement document doesn’t actually say slice-and-dice, but you get the point.
The AP has the best article I’ve seen on the settlement: Wind farm gets fined for killing eagles. There are a lot of other articles out as well.
The article says this is the first ever prosecution of any wind farm company under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. That makes this huge news.
You can read the settlement here.
The casualties include counts self-reported by Duke Energy Renewables from 2009 through 2013.
Penalties include: Continue reading “First ever prosecution of wind farm for killing eagles and migratory birds”
Million Dollar Way ponders The Irony Of It All – North Dakota Will Lose More Grassland, More Wetlands To Ethanol Than To The Oil And Gas Industry:
And with an ever-increasing number of slicers and dicers killing bats, eagles, hawks, and whooping cranes, the oil and gas industry is starting to look like an oasis of common sense.
Four industries: wind power, solar power, ethanol, and oil & gas. What common sense is visible seems to be in oil & gas.
…is environmentally unfriendly. Maybe. Probably. Possibly.
Continue reading “Compared to slice-and-dice, wing-toasters, and corn-for-gasoline industries, seems like oil and gas is an oasis of common sense”
Estimated avian mortality in 2005 at Altamont Pass:
Two or three dozen golden eagles. Two hundred red-tail hawks.
Let me extend that out – a couple dozen golden eagles and hundreds of hawks…
For 4 decades.
A study published in 2005 estimated the raptor casualties in the Altamont Pass slice-and-dice operation. I’ve looked around for the study. It appears to be in a paywall site. Found multiple references to the study and one good summary.
Continue reading “Another estimate for eagle casualties in Altamont Pass”
Since I’ve been talking about progress of the slice-and-dice operation near Hettinger, N.D. in the southern part of the state, it’s only fair to mention they have made a big step forward. The site owner signed a contract with Montana-Dakota Utilities for the sale of all the electricity from the first phase of construction.
Best details of several articles I’ve seen this on the deal can be found at North American Wind Power: Wind Works Signs PPA For Thunder Spirit Project in North Dakota.
Continue reading “North Dakota wind farm sells electricity from first phase of turbines”
That’s the argument Mr. Robert Bryce hears presented to him to support the idea that it’s acceptable for wind farms to off eagles. It seems the reduction of carbon dioxide from the slice-and-dice operation will benefit eagles and all wildlife so it is okay to set up wind farms.
He explains the fallacy of the argument in an article in the Wall Street Journal – Fighting Climate Change by Killing Eagles.
Mr. Bryce says the carbon reduction from wind farms…
is equivalent to a baby’s burp in a hurricane
Continue reading “We just gotta’ kill eagles to save ’em”
The N.D. Public Service Commission approved the Thunder Spirit Wind LLC wind farm near Hettinger, N.D. The project is designed to generate 150-megawatts from 75 towers.
Construction is planned for this fall (’13), or at least parts will be ordered so the project can grab the federal tax credits.
From the Dickinson Press: ND regulators approve $300M wind farm project in Adams County.
My previous posts:
…is the name of a fun fable at Why not wind power.
The story tells of Kevin who starts a bakery making sugar-free baked goods made possible only with heavy subsidies from the government. Even with that, his baked goods are more expensive than the other bakers in town.
Continue reading ““If Bakeries Worked Like Wind Power”..”
Here’s two criticisms of the high-tech version of medieval windmills, one humorously rhetorical and one serious.
First, wind farms were cutting edge technology 800 years ago – turbines are, quite literally, medieval.
Second, it is a sophisticated way to transfer money from public coffers to private pockets of a select few.
Continue reading “Wind farms – cutting edge technology in 1185 A.D.”
Maybe I’m just slow to catch on to how eagles behave, how wind farms are set up, and how hard eagles work to stay out of the way of said turbines.
While I struggle to get myself educated, I found some bemusement (confused, bewildered) in a report from Bismarck Tribune as the PSC hears facts of Hettinger-area wind project.
Last week I mentioned Adams county approved zoning for a 75 tower wind farm. See Slice-and-dice farm approved in North Dakota.
The Public Service Commission still needs to approve the plan. At the hearing a few things were mentioned.
Continue reading “As long as the golden eagles nesting inside the proposed North Dakota wind farm don’t fly more than 2 miles from home, they will be safe”