Archive for June, 2006

Rumsfeld vs. wind farms

Posted on June 29, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

I believe Madison’s Capital Times is the first newspaper to comment on the harm being caused from sidelining so may windpower installations. The editorial below appeared in the June 28th edition.

The coverage of this issue, both locally and nationally, has been
phenomenal, and it has motivated many of our elected officials to go to bat for windpower development here.

Michael Vickerman
Executive Director
RENEW Wisconsin

So much for the Bush administration’s commitment to seeking alternatives to imported oil.

Donald Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense, working in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration, has engineered a government order to halt the installation of windmill facilities across the country.

The move is, at best, premature, as it comes before completion of a study on the dubious prospect that windmill facilities interfere with military radar. Development of new wind farms and facilities, including several projects in Wisconsin, is now halted.

A group of senators, including Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, has written the Bush administration urging that a more reasonable approach be adopted. So has a group of House members who include Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Kind.

Says Feingold: “Indiscriminately halting all wind power projects undermines our efforts to advance clean, alternative sources of energy.”

Feingold’s right. If the administration is serious about keeping America safe not just by pouring money into war but by developing sound energy alternatives, then the president needs to work with Rumsfeld to come up with a more reasonable approach.

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Southwest Windpower displays new turbine

Posted on June 27, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

Skystream #2.JPG

The Skystream 3.7 displayed at the MREA Fair by Southwest Windpower shows that manufacturers still seek the ideal configuration for turbine blades.

The Web site of Southwest Windpower has more information on the 1.8 kW Skysteam 3.7.

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Fabulous fair

Posted on June 26, 2006. Filed under: General |

MV & Content Cropped.JPG

The Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, June 23-25, in
Custer, WI, may have set an all time attendance record. Tom Content,
a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, roamed the Fair and stopped in front of RENEW Wisconsin’s display to interview executive director Michael Vickerman.

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Misplaced concerns stall wind projects

Posted on June 21, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

The Capital Times (June 21, 2006) ran an opinion piece from Michael Vickerman, RENEW’s executive director:

A hastily drafted amendment to a defense bill passed by Congress in January has triggered a chain of events that has now brought wind farm development in Wisconsin to a standstill.

The amendment directed the Department of Defense to prepare a study on the impact of wind turbines on radar installations around the country. After consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department decided in March that it would go on the offensive and challenge any proposed wind farm presumed to interfere with radar operations, even before the study was finished.

More than a dozen proposed projects, all in the Upper Midwest, have since received “notices of presumed hazard” from the Federal Aviation Administration. One of the projects that received the FAA notice, the 133-turbine Forward Wind Center south of Fond du Lac, was set to break ground this spring. Five other Wisconsin projects have been sidelined indefinitely as well, including a five-turbine community-style installation proposed for northwest Dane County.


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Washington money and connections stall wind projects

Posted on June 20, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

In typical political fashion, money and connections succeeded in delaying the Cape Wind Project and wind projects all across the Midwest.

To follow the trail, start by reading a fairly straightforward account on Renewable Energy Access.

Then move on to a dot-connecting story The Cape Cod Voice.

When I finished reading, I wanted very badly to wash away (once again) the unclean feeling I get when I read how the rich and powerful use their connections and money to enhance and maintain their own lifestyles.

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Southern Brown County targetted for wind farm

Posted on June 19, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

From the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Company considers building electric turbines near Wrightstown
By Ed Byrne
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

GREENLEAF -­ The town of Wrightstown is moving swiftly after receiving information from the Brown County Planning Department that southern Brown County is being targeted by a private power company that wants to build wind farms.

The company ­ which was not identified by County Planning staff member Mike Parmentier ­ apparently plans to build a series of large wind turbines in southern Brown County to generate electricity using wind power.


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Defense Dept. relents on one wind project

Posted on June 15, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

According to press release from Senator Byron Dorgan, the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration withdrew their objections to a North Dakota wind generation project:

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2006
CONTACT: Barry Piatt or Brenden Timpe
PHONE: 202-224-2551


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said Wednesday the Bush Administration has agreed to remove the hold it has placed on a wind energy project in North Dakota. Dorgan, at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, also called on the Administration to work with wind turbine developers to address concerns in the future, saying he would offer legislation to fix the problem if officials continue to needlessly delay important renewable energy projects.

The Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had ordered a halt in construction of wind energy projects that are near radar installations – even those that are unlikely to interfere with air navigation. At least one project in North Dakota – a 50-megawatt, 22-turbine project in Oliver County that will generate enough electricity to power 16,000 homes – received a “notice of presumed hazard” from the FAA.


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22 Representatives write to end wind project stoppages

Posted on June 14, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

Today a letter signed by 22 Members of Congress of both parties was sent to the FAA (and an identical one to the Department of Defense). These letters quantify how many megawatts of wind energy projects have been sidelined by FAA Notices of Presumed Hazard. Rep. Ron Kind and Rep. Tammy Baldwin together took the initiative in drafting and circulating these letters. RENEW Wisconsin is much indebted to Reps. Baldwin and Kind for the leadership they displayed in seeking a resolution to this unfortunate situation.

The letters conclude:

In closing, it is clear that we are at a cirical juncture in our nation’s energy future and that we should be encouraging the development of clean, renewable sources of energy — not adding obstacles that will delay or derail them. We urge you to direct the [FAA] regional offices to continue working with the DOD and project developers to mitigate any potential problems, rather than issuing notices that simply block them.


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Agenda for Barriers to Small Wind Workshop

Posted on June 13, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

If you haven’t registered yet, you have got to check out the agenda
for the 2nd Annual Barriers to the Installation of Small Wind Systems conference!

Presenters from all over the US will be talking about virtually every
aspect of the small wind industry today. If you are an installer, site assessor, homeowner interested in wind, renewable energy advocate, utility representative, insurance agent, electrician, elected representative or educator then this is a can’t miss opportunity.

June 20 & 21 at the Jensen Center in Amherst, Wisconsin (right before
the MREA Fair!). Registration fee is only $40 and includes bakery and coffee,lunch and a beer social after the conference each day!

Register online now at Small Wind Workshop.

The agenda brochure has additional details.

Contact Josh Stolzenburg with questions.

Josh Stolzenburg
Special Events and Programs
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
7558 Deer Road
Custer, WI 54423
(715) 592-6595 x 14
(715) 252-1919 cell

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair June 23-25 2006
Custer, WI

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Wind farm doesn’t lower property values

Posted on June 12, 2006. Filed under: Wind | reports on a study of property values near turbines by the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. The study substantiates similar studies on wind farms in Wisconsin:

Despite beliefs that wind farms adversely affect property values, a study examining the impacts on local property values of the Fenner wind farm in New York state finds that property values were unaffected by the 2001 installation of a 20-turbine wind farm in the Fenner Township of Madison County, New York


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