For those readers inclined to learn about the underlying economics of wind power: case study in Ontario, two parts

(The following was originally posted on March 27, 2012) The neighbors of the Vinalhaven wind turbines have never sued Fox Islands Wind or FIEC. Legal costs incurred by FIEC are covered by $.01/kwh surcharge out of about a $.25/kwh rate charge.

Neighbors are in the unenviable position of explaining and refuting a raft of misinformation, all orbiting the myths of wind power. It was bad enough that neighbors can’t get our points to the Vinalhaven public, unlike Fox Islands Wind (FIW) that uses the FIEC monthly bill to disseminate incomplete and biased information. The wind turbines selected us by fact of geography. FIW would not answer our complaints and so we were pointed in the direction to state regulators. It took us nearly two years to explicate — for the entire state of Maine — the gaps and inadequacies of the state’s own noise regulation applied to wind turbines. The protocol finalized by the state was nixed in the summer of 2011 through political intervention by FIW and the Governor’s Office. This isn’t “propaganda” as some have suggested. This is fact and these facts (Vinalhaven Neighbors’ History of Wind Turbine Legal Issues) will come out in our case against the State of Maine in Superior Court.

Government is supposed to afford citizens both fair and equal treatment and due process. It has been a nightmare to experience how the Vinalhaven wind turbine operator, FIW, and its supporters blame the wind turbine neighbors for only exercising our rights. It has been an enduring disappointment how islanders have been misled about the costs of “litigation” when the truth is that one penny of the average electric rate serves one purpose: to employ lobbyists, engineers, lawyers and consultants to conceal turbine noise data from the state and from the public.  That one cent is a small fraction of high island electricity costs — much higher than the mainland and mainly due to the cost of the wind turbines — and that one cent scarcely compares to the costs neighbors continue to incur.

But the mountain of trouble, discomfort, and cost is overshadowed by an even larger irritation: the myth that wind power is making a contribution to solving our nation’s energy problems. The problems neighbors have encountered with wind turbine noise forced us to look much more closely at the financial issues and economic claims made for wind power. The facts are dismal. Even if one supports federal tax policies that benefit wind developers and investors, the underlying economics demonstrate that wind is a marginal, inefficient, and negligible influence on electric power generation.

MasterResource, “a free-market energy blog”, recently published a report on wind power in Ontario by William Palmer, an Ontario Licensed Professional Engineer, who has been responsible for Operations Performance Assurance at the Ontario Bruce B Nuclear Station and was authorized by the federal regulator in Canada as a Nuclear Shift Supervisor. He has also become a credited member of Canadian Acoustical Association and the Acoustical Society of America. “It has been claimed that industrial wind turbines allow Ontario to shut down coal-fired electrical generating stations. But the facts reveal this to be a myth.”  Read on:


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