Economy slows wind projects

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: General |


From an article by posted on the Janesville GazetteXtra:

MAGNOLIA TOWNSHIP — The slumping economy and financial crisis have temporarily claimed another victim: wind energy projects in Rock County.

Wind developer EcoEnergy—and other developers across the country—have slowed their projects in Magnolia and Union townships in light of the recession, said Wes Slaymaker, vice president of wind development.

“Overall, that project (Magnolia) and a number of others pretty much industry-wide have … slowed down on activity,” he said.

He and other developers hope things pick up with the Obama administration’s push for renewable energy.

“There’s really no movement since October,” he said of the Magnolia project. “Nobody’s able to close any deals, a lot of belts are tightened.”

The Magnolia Town Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved a one-year renewal for a conditional-use permit for the wind measurement tower at County B and Highway 213.

The 197-foot tower went up in April 2007 to collect wind data, and Slaymaker said company officials are pleased with the findings. Calculations using tower data show the average annual wind speed should be 15 mph at 264 feet, which would be the hub height of a wind turbine.

Gathering data from the tower is the first step in a proposed 100-megawatt project proposed for the township.

Just north in Union Township, EcoEnergy is working with Wisconsin Public Power on a three-turbine project. Another measurement tower went up late last year in the township at County C and Highway 104. Slaymaker said initial results show average wind speeds of about 15.5 mph extrapolated to 264 feet.

“It’s providing more data to better characterize the whole area,” he said.

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2 Responses to “Economy slows wind projects”

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Here we go with the EcoEnergy wind data again. First we were told the wind is free. Later after exposing the seriously flawed data from the Magnolia met tower we are now told it’s secret. The “free wind data” is reported as one number one time each year. What’s up with that?
Extrapolate: synonyms are assume, envision, guess, theorize. It’s interesting that EcoEnergy can extrapolate to such fine detail as one half mph. After a few months of collection the wind in Union is 15.5 mph, guess (extrapolate) again. Their extrapolating technique in Magnolia proved to be off as much as 10 mph when compared to real wind data collected by Federal agencies.
Wind developers like EcoEnergy need to extrapolate (guess) many things in order to sell turbines. These are a few examples.
How much power a turbine will produce?
How many homes each turbine will serve?
How much foreign oil we will save? (This is a good one because we don’t generate electricity with oil.)
How many birds and bats will be killed?
How many carbon emissions we will save?
How many jobs will be created?
How much wind generated electricity really costs?
How much coal power is used to start, run, and park turbines?
How much property value will be lost as a result of turbines sited too close to homes?
How many residents will suffer adverse health effects from the noise?

The Union Wind Ordinance is not “restrictive” it serves to protect public health and safety. The “bill” (Siting Reform) referred to would remove local control for siting turbines. That means a wind developer like EcoEnergy could do whatever they want wherever they want with no local control. Call, write, or visit your State Representative and Senator and ask that they not support this bill. Trust the local Town officials that you elected and the Plan Commission members appointed by them to protect your health, safety, and welfare. Follow the Town of Union example, they have done a great job.
The Town of Union Wind Ordinance is based on rock solid science, not extrapolations.

Eco REFUSED to share any of the raw wind-speed data from Eco’s tower with the local Town Board. But just ask them–they will tell you they have nothing to hide. Except that the last time they ‘posted’ their version of data, they would NOT refute the claim of a U.W. student and professor that, according to THEIR calculations, suggest Eco came up with the average wind speeds by NOT INCLUDING DAYS WHERE THE WIND SPEED WAS ZERO! Example: 30 day period to collect data. 10 of those days have ZERO wind speed, and all the rest have 15 mph. If you leave the days of zero wind speed OUT of the calculation for average speed, the ‘average’ would be 15 mph (barely enough to spin the turbine at all). But, if you use the math that the rest of the world uses to calculate an ‘average’, it would be 10 mph, well under what is required. All of the surrounding small airports’ reported wind speeds were averaged by the student/prof., and the results were stunning: Nowhere NEAR enough wind to operate these things around Union. Eco’s answer was (and I kid you not)’well, you know that the F.A.A. [Federal Aviation Administration] instruments are often faulty.’***If citizens in Wisconsin let the legislature give the PSC total control of this, like Eco wants, then there will be no such thing as ‘local control’ of anything. Instruct your state senators/representatives to vote NO for socialized, government control of your land, especially when local governments rose to the occassion, did their research (which the PSC did NOT do), and came up with their own reasonable regulations for siting.


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