Blittersdorf proposes two 500-foot wind turbines in Irasburg

David Blittersdorf

David Blittersdorf

One of the state’s most prominent renewable energy developers is proposing to build more wind power in a region of Vermont that has been divided over such projects for years.

David Blittersdorf wants to erect two wind turbines on a Northeast Kingdom ridgeline in the 1,100-person town of Irasburg and produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes.

Blittersdorf is president and chief executive officer of AllEarth Renewables, which installs commercial solar power projects across Vermont and has been named one of the state’s fastest-growing companies.

The two wind turbines he is now proposing for property he owns in Irasburg would measure just under 500 feet high and sit on a quarter-mile piece of land on Kidder Hill.

The Kidder Hill Wind Project would generate 5 megawatts of electricity — more than twice the planned capacity of some of the state’s largest solar farms, and they would run more than twice as efficiently as solar farms do, he says.

Blittersdorf said Thursday he wants local residents to participate in leasing about 10 percent of the power the wind farm produces to lower their electricity bills. He said 20 people came to a neighborhood meeting at his log cabin to discuss the community wind portion of the project.

Blittersdorf said the message was this: “We are really trying hard, and we need to have your input to the Public Service Board and others to help us move this so you can participate. If you can be part of this, everybody wins.”

He intends to file 45-day notice next week of his plan to apply to utility regulators at the Public Service Board for a state-level permit, called a certificate of public good.

Brian Sanville sits on the Irasburg Selectboard. Sanville said Blittersdorf came to a meeting on July 27 to pitch the Kidder Hill Wind Project, but the meeting was canceled.

“I said, ‘I think the people should know what you’re talking about.’ It kind of startled [Blittersdorf] that I said something like that,” Sanville said. “We’ve already got lawyers involved.”

The board spoke about the project on Aug. 3, according to the meeting minutes, and “is concerned” about the project. Blittersdorf contests that the board is holding secret meetings, and he’s having trouble getting in touch with the Selectboard to inform the public about the project.

The town plans to speak to a local doctor and wind expert for advice, and officials have contacted the town attorney to discuss how to intervene in a regulatory proceeding, according to Sanville.

He compares the experience to the controversial Lowell wind project, “These two towers that he’s planning on putting up are 99 feet higher than the Lowell ones,” Sanville said. “I mean, that’s huge.”

Local strife over wind siting

In its current form, the project would have fewer turbines but longer blades than some of the most controversial industrial wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom, including those on Lowell Mountain.

The First Wind Project in Sheffield had 16 turbines that were more than 400 feet tall, according to the Northeastern Vermont Development Corp. The Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell was for 21 wind turbines more than 450 feet tall. Other wind projects have been built in Ferdinand, East Haven, Derby and Holland, according to the development corporation.

Blittersdorf would bring back some of his project team that built four turbines on the border of Georgia and Milton. That project, called Georgia Mountain Community Wind, produces enough power for 4,000 homes — or about twice as much as Blittersdorf is proposing in the Kidder Hill project.

The Northeastern Vermont Development Association has formally opposed wind projects in the region since it released a report from its wind study in March. And local activists have been telling state regulators for years that wind turbines cause public health problems.

“The NVDA sees one clear benefit to industrial wind energy, one clear problem, and a host of troubling questions,” the organization wrote in its wind study. “It is the position of the NVDA that no further development of industrial-scale wind turbines should take place in the Northeast Kingdom.”

The study also concluded that focusing on electricity generation “is not the most effective way” for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The state should instead address transportation and heating because they are “larger” contributors to climate change, the study said.

The study said industrial-scale wind turbines “have created significant local, regional, and state land use planning issues.” It concluded that homeowners are more likely to see a negative impact on their property values if the property is closer to a wind project.

The association urged the Vermont Department of Health to investigate any health claims Vermonters attribute to living near wind turbines.

Public health concerns

Annette Smith, director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment in Danby, said she’s been advocating for residents in the Northeast Kingdom for years to shine light on residents’ health problems.

“When you go around these neighborhoods, you find out that people can’t sleep at night,” Smith said. “They’re sleeping in their basements. They’re running fans all the time. This is really bad.”

Smith says Vermonters aren’t suffering from simple “noise” problems from wind energy. The large turbines are essentially industrial-scale fans that change the acoustics of the neighborhood, and there’s no technology available to install in a home that would protect people’s health, she says.

“This is not something you just recover from overnight,” Smith said of the acoustical effects on Vermonters’ health. “It’s severe, long-term damage that’s happening to people—and the best thing you can do is escape? Absolutely nothing should go forward on wind until they address the existing problem.”

Blittersdorf says the more than 250 potential documented symptoms from wind turbine exposure, including seasickness, aren’t accurate.“There’s no such thing as a documented health effect from wind turbines,” he said. “Wind turbine syndrome is not a medical reality.”

However, Sanville says he’s also heard of Vermonters getting migraines or having other health problems because some turbines spin as fast as 200 miles per hour. “There are more than just looks to it of a windmill,” he says.

David Snedeker, executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, said his board has not taken a position on the Kidder Hill Wind Project. He said the association’s wind study committee largely left the health issues up to medical experts.

However, the association has helped communities oppose wind development in the past. The association can now help Irasburg oppose the project and submit its wind study to the Public Service Board if the association gets involved in a the upcoming Kidder Hill Wind Project proceeding.

“Most importantly, they’re very divisive projects,” Snedeker said of wind. “They pit community against community, and they, I think our board believes, disrupt the ordered development of the region.”

The Irasburg Selectboard will take public comment on the issue Monday.

Erin Mansfield

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  • John Baker
    • Glenn Thompson

      Taller wind turbines increases rated power…not so much capacity factor! Capacity factor will still be determined by wind conditions in a specific area!

      • John Baker

        Ahh Glenn, how I missed your exclamation points!

        If I have two turbines at the same site with different hub heights, the turbine with the higher hub height will get higher wind speed.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_profile_power_law

        The rated power of the wind turbine doesn’t change with hub height unless it’s a different model. The higher wind speed will give it a higher capacity factor.

        I take it you didn’t look at the chart.

        • Glenn Thompson

          The larger the turbine the greater the rated power due to the rotor dia. The larger the rotor dia, hub height is increased proportionally. It may vary according to manufacture, but it would be difficult to design and have work a wind turbine that has a blade length greater than hub height….now wouldn’t it? 🙂

          Examples are!

          Rotor dia 30 meter = Rated power of .3 MW
          Rotor dia 50 meter = Rated power of .75 MW
          Rotor dia 70 meter = Rated power of 1.5 MW
          Rotor dia 80 meter = Rated power of 1.8 MW
          Rotor dia 100 meter = Rated power of 3 MW
          Rotor dia 125 meter = Rated power of 5 MW
          Rotor dia 150 meter = Rated power of 10 MW

          Why do you think they continue to design and build this behemoths larger? I stand by my claim, CF has more to do with location and available wind. Stick one of these things in an area where the wind doesn’t blow, the CF = 0. Just like if they stick a bunch of solar panels in a cave, the CF of those would also = 0.

          Please go ahead and post more links on stuff, I already know about! 🙂

          • John Baker

            I wish you spent more time understanding the links I posted so I wouldn’t have to keep correcting you…

            The turbines at Georgia Mtn are Goldwind 2.5MW PMDD GW100.

            If you one GW100 on at a 80m hub height and another GW100 at a 100m hub height at the same location, the 100m hub height turbine would have a higher capacity factor.

            Increased rotor diameter doesn’t always mean greater rated output, take the Goldwind 2.5MW PMDD line for example.

            They make 3 models with varying rotor diameters all with the same rated output of 2.5MW.

            http://www.goldwindamerica.com/media/2012/12/Goldwind_25MW_Product_Brochure.pdf

          • Glenn Thompson

            John Baker,

            “I wish you spent more time understanding the links I posted so I wouldn’t have to keep correcting you…”

            You’re not correcting me on anything, but it is obvious you ignore all the facts I post here.

          • John Baker

            Glen, it’s obvious from the “facts” you are posting that you don’t understand the fundamentals of wind power or turbine design.

            “Taller wind turbines increases rated power”

            Incorrect as you mistakenly assume that a “taller wind turbine” always means a larger diameter rotor therefore a larger rated power. Both of those assumptions are incorrect.

            “The larger the turbine the greater the rated power due to the rotor dia.”

            As I already pointed out above, Goldwind makes a 2.5 MW (rated power) with three different rotor sizes.

            “The larger the rotor dia, hub height is increased proportionally.”

            Not always, take the Vestas V90-2.0 MW for example. You can get the same unit with the following 4 hub heights: 80 m, 95 m, 105 m and 125 m.

            “I stand by my claim, CF has more to do with location and available wind.”

            That is the entire point of raising the hub height, to increase the available wind.

            As long as you keep making mistakes, I will keep correcting you.

  • Lance Hagen

    Talk about SPIN. Blitterdorf’s statement:

    “The Kidder Hill Wind Project would generate 5 megawatts of electricity — more than twice the planned capacity of some of the state’s largest solar farms, and they would run more than twice as efficiently as solar farms do, he says.”

    Since PV solar runs at about 12% to 14% capacity factor in Vermont, making a claim of “twice as efficiently as solar farms” isn’t a great step forward. The old 450 ft turbines were planned the run at 35% capacity factor, though I don’t think the ever achieved better than 25%. So now with the new 500 ft turbines, Blittersdorf plans only 24% to 28% capacity factors.

    http://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2014/09/pv_energy_frcst_update_09152014.pdf.

    Blittersdorf made this sound like a great achievement versus solar. Maybe he should have stated that these turbines are 3.7 times LESS efficient as nuclear (which runs at better than 90% capacity factor)

    • Willem Post

      Lance,
      Wind energy in New England has an overall capacity factor of 0.262, whereas Vermont Yankee had a CF = 0.90+, one of the highest in the US.

      VY would run, at near rated capacity, for about 500 days, stop 3 – 4 weeks for refueling and do planned maintenance, and then would run another 500 days.

      Energy Returned on Invested Energy, ERoIE, specifically deals with the process of investing ENERGY to get ENERGY. It does not deal with USING that energy. It is important to keep them separate. It is very complex as it is.

      For example, in case of coal, it may be surface-mined, or deep-shaft-mined. The invested energy could be assumed to be the various energy inputs of setting up, and maintain and operate a mine-mouth mining business to get coal out of the ground, and ready it for storage on the coal pile, before loading it into a unit train (100 cars, each 100 ton).

      Here is a site, which has a RECENT summary of ERoIEs based on a survey of prior articles listed at the bottom. See table 1, which indicates:

      – Coal……………………27 – 80; mine-mouth
      – Natural gas…………20 – 67; wellhead
      – Nuclear………………..5 – 15; gaseous diffusion; not for commercial fuel.
      – Nuclear………………50 – 75; centrifugal enrichment
      – Hydro………………….100+
      – Wind……………………18
      – PV solar………………6 – 12; depending on location
      – Bio-diesel………………1.3
      – Wood pellets………….1.46
      – Ethanol fr. corn………1.18

      ERoIE of Wood Pellets: This study shows the ERoIE of wood pellets is about 1.46, meaning it takes 11,266,413 Btu of various energy inputs to produce a ton of wood pellets having about 16,400,000 Btu. See page 18 of URL.
      https://focusonenergy.com/sites/default/files/research/katerswoodpelletmfg_report.pdf

      ERoIE of Ethanol from Corn: This study shows the ERoIE of ethanol from corn is about 1.18. Energy invested to yield one unit as net energy = ERoIE/(ERoIE – 1) = 1.18/(1.18-1) = 6.55, i.e., about 7.5 liters of ethanol is returned by investing about 6.5 liters of ethanol* to yield 1 liter of ethanol as net energy.

      * The sum of the various energy components of the goods and services, facilities, equipment, etc., that is equivalent to the energy in 6.5 liters of ethanol to produce 7.5 liters of ethanol.
      http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/node/6760

      NOTE: The ERoIE values for wind and solar would be lower, if adjusted for needed support systems, such as:

      – Back up generating capacity adequacy, MW, to provide energy when wind and solar are insufficient.
      – Back up flexible capacity adequacy, MW, for inefficiently ramping up and down at part load to balance variable energy.
      – Transmission and distribution systems adequacy.
      – Energy storage.

      A modern society needs a minimum ERoIE of 7 to function at a basic level, about 10 – 14 to function at a high, modern level. Anything below those numbers would be unsustainable from a modern society viewpoint, i.e., for starters, biofuels, wood pellets, and ethanol from corn would be unsustainable!! To take from society increasingly greater quantities of resources to subsidize what is unsustainable is ludicrous.
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513003856

  • H. Brooke Paige

    Great Idea, John – “publish the hub height” so the Industrial Wind Turbines seem less threatening ! Is there some new technology that allows these monstrosities to operate without the blades ? vtdigger is correct in conveying the true size of the machines which is best described by including the blades and the TOTAL height.
    Blittersdorf’s vision of covering one third of all Vermont ridgelines with these eyesores is sheer insanity ! He tells us we need 200 miles of these grotesque contraptions and now we learn that he thinks they need to be even bigger to operate efficiently.

    What an Idea – What a View !

  • Randy Koch

    John Baker: how come hub height interests you more than blade tip height?

    • John Baker

      Because that is a design parameter that people who work with and understand wind power use.

      • Annette Smith

        People in the industry always focus on how to maximize production and get deep into the details of how to make as much money as possible. If the industry would spend half as much time and effort trying to understand the public’s perspective, they might get a less hostile reception. The dimension that matters to the public is the total height.

  • John McClaughry

    “enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes.”
    I understand the difficulty a reporter has in explaining the magnitude of a generator. That works for baseload nuclear, but this is really misleading for wind. These turbines will produce enough electricity for 2,000 homes (2500 watts per home) maybe 24% of the time, when the wind is blowing sufficiently hard. The rest of the time (76%) the power grid and/or a backup gas turbine will produce the required power, or those 2,500 homes will go dark..

    • John Baker

      For someone with a physics and engineering background, your analysis is laughable.

      Average 2013 VT household electrical use = 569 KWh/month
      Yearly usage of 2000 VT homes = 13,656,000 KWh
      Yearly output of proposed wind project @ 31% capacity factor = 13,578,000 KWh

      This methodology is the same no matter what the power source.

    • John Greenberg

      John McClaughry:

      Taking your figures at face value: “These turbines will produce enough electricity for 2,000 homes (2500 watts per home) maybe 24% of the time …” means that they would produce 2500 times .24 or 600 watts per home. The average home in Vermont, not coincidentally, consumes a bit less than 600 watts per month. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pdf

      If your beef is that the wind doesn’t blow all the time, then just say so. Maybe you’ll find a reader somewhere who never thought of that.

    • John McClaughry

      Energy 101: the average home does not consume “600 watts per month”. As John Baker points out above your comment, the average home energy consumption is 569 Kwhr/month. If you don’t get the difference between “600 watts” and “569 Kwhrs”, you badly need a refresher course.
      Last January (peak month) our single family home consumed about 900 Kwhrs. I have a 5 Kw generator for outages. Because of starting motor loads, 5 Kw capacity is not enough to start up oil furnace, well pump, and freezers at the same moment, so I shut off two of the three, then bring the generator on.
      My main point is that citing wind power capacity as “enough to provide power to X homes” never seems to include “when the turbines are running at full capacity, which is 24% (or 26% or even 33%) of the time”.

      • John Greenberg

        John McClaughry:

        You’re quite right. I wrote in haste. I meant of course “a bit less than 600 kilowatt hours per month. “

  • Linda Baird-White

    Would be very wise to hold off on ANY further approvals for Windmills or Solar Panel (fields) before blighting Vermont’s landscapes any further until more is forthcoming about this new development. See link. Extremely interesting.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/08/150805-transparent-solar-could-turn-window-phones-into-power-generators/

  • Willem Post

    The energy production of the two ridgeline wind turbines would be about 2 x 2.5 MW x 8760 h/y x capacity factor 0.30 = 13140 MWh/y. They are 500 ft tall, as measured to the tip of the blade.

    Lowell Mountain wind turbines are 459 ft tall and have 373 ft diameter rotors (much larger than a football field).

    Wind energy cannot stand on its own. Wind energy is intermittent and variable, which may cause instability issues in the fragile Northeast Kingdom high voltage grid, per ISO-NE.

    Wind energy needs to be backed up by traditional generators, in case of not enough wind to turn the rotors, which happens AT RANDOM about 30% of the hours of the year in New England.

    Infrasound, frequency less than 20 cycles per second (20 Hz), inaudible to the human ear, but audible to animal ears, has been identified as being harmful to health of pregnant animals and their newborn babies (as documented in Denmark) and to people, all as described in these articles, which have been read by tens of thousands of people.

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61309/lowell-mountain-wind-turbine-facility-vermont
    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/84293/wind-turbine-noise-and-air-pressure-pulses

    What wind energy proponents say about infrasound is self-serving blather to confuse people, similar to what tobacco companies said about cancer.

    Blittersdorf likely wants to start construction before overly generous federal subsidies expire at the end of 2016.

    He likely will sell the entire output to a utility for about 10 c/kWh, as he does with the Georgia Mountain project to Burlington Electric Department.

    Such a price is possible, only because the costs of production were reduced with various subsidies, provided by taxpayers, and profit tax avoidance due to accelerated depreciation in 5 years, instead of the normal 20 – 40 years in the power industry.

    NE wholesale prices, at which utilities buy some of their energy, have been about 5c/kWh during the past 5 years, due to an abundance of nearby, low-cost, low-CO2-emitting, DOMESTIC, natural gas.

    Why should we mindlessly continue with increased, decades-long, heavily subsidized, expensive, wind turbine build-outs in New England, when another RE alternative, i.e., low-cost, near-zero-CO2-emitting hydro energy from Canada, is available RIGHT NOW, at much less capital cost, much lower energy cost, and much less environmental cost, as is clearly shown in this article?

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2219181/increased-wind-energy-versus-increased-canadian-hydro-energy-new-england
    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/332911/high-renewable-energy-costs-damage-vermonts-economy

    See URL, Euan Mearns’ comment, August 6, 2015, at 5:39 pm.
    http://euanmearns.com/obamas-co2-deception/

    • Tom Sullivan

      “near-zero-CO2-emitting hydro energy from Canada, is available RIGHT NOW, at much less capital cost, much lower energy cost, and much less environmental cost,”

      Oh really?

      4,000 square miles of native american land flooded,
      the drowning of “10,000” caribou due to a dam release,
      loss of fish habitat
      mercury pollution
      redirecting the flow of rivers

      Nice try Willem, but it’s not environmentally friendly, and it isn’t native american friendly.

      http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/canada/hydro-quebec-and-native-people

      http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/88654/big-hydro-environmental-impacts/

    • John Greenberg

      Willem:

      Thank you for removing the false pricing information from your litany about HQ power. That’s a step forward.
      HQ power is “available RIGHT NOW.” Beyond the power we’re already purchasing from HQ, significant blocks of additional power would require additional transmission lines, which are NOT available right now.

      My understanding is that the one with the earliest planned schedule (TDI) HOPES to be available in 2019. It is my further understanding that none of these projects has received all of the necessary permits. Indeed, I’m not sure if any of them has received ANY of the necessary permits.

      • Willem Post

        John G.

        Building out thousands of 2.5 to 3 MW wind turbines on hundreds of miles of New England ridge lines would take at least 20 – 25 years and at least $80 billion.

        NOTE: The annual average 2014 New England ONSHORE capacity factor = 1,928,000 MWh/(836 MW x 8760 h/y) = 0.263. Most proponents of wind energy, including in Montpelier, VT, stubbornly keep proclaiming wind energy has a capacity factor of 0.32 or 0.33, whereas all New England production evidence of the past 5 years proves otherwise.

        If 40% wind energy in New England were 50% Onshore + 50% Offshore:

        – Capital cost =(20% x 127,108,000 MWh)/(8,760 h/y x CF 0.263) x $2.8 million/MW + (20% x 127,108,000 MWh)/(8,760 h/y x CF 0.40) x $4.0 million/MW = $59.87 billion,

        – Plus about $15 billion in grid upgrades,

        – Plus capital cost for changing (retiring, building new) the mix of the OTHER generators to enable balancing the variable, intermittent energy, AND to provide energy when wind energy is inadequate, including as low as 1 or 2% of energy on the NE system.

        About 50% of the onshore wind turbines likely would be US-built; GE. The other 50% likely would be foreign-built; Denmark, Germany, Spain.

        Almost all of the offshore wind turbines would likely be foreign-built; Denmark, Germany, England. Europe has about 15 years of experience and the US has zero experience with offshore wind turbines installations.

        The WHOLESALE cost of that wind energy would be about:

        Onshore: 10 – 15 c/kWh WITH existing subsidies; about 15 – 20 c/kWh WITHOUT such subsidies.
        Offshore: 20 – 25 c/kWh (based on Cape Wind, et al., projections) WITH existing subsidies; about 25 – 30 c/kWh WITHOUT such subsidies.

        The building of the below New England Clean Power Link would likely be completed in 2019, and the other three lines likely would follow as well, because low-cost, near-CO2-free hydro from Canada is just too great a bargain to pass up, compared with the 20+ c/kWh energy of heavily subsidized SPEED projects (per DPS), and the 10 – 15 c/kWh wind energy on ridge lines, which has such a low price only because of the federal and state subsidies due to expire at the end of 2016.

        Proposed HVDC Transmission Lines:

        Getting a significant quantity of hydro energy from Quebec, New Brunswick and Labrador would involve:

        – About $5 to $7 billion in new HVDC transmission lines for all of New England,
        – NO significant grid changes,
        – NO significant generator mix changes, plus
        – The wholesale cost of the hydro energy likely would be about 5 – 7 c/kWh under 20-year, market-based, contracts. A MAJOR LONG-TERM plus for the New England economy.

        – Blackstone, a Venture Capital Firm, is planning to build a $1.2 billion, 154-mile, 1000-MW, HVDC transmission line that would run beneath Lake Champlain. The line, called New England Clean Power Link, would carry hydroelectric and wind power generated in Canada to metropolitan energy markets in the Northeast. As part of the plan, Vermont utilities have the option to purchase 200 MW of power should they want it in the future. The 200 MW could mean an energy supply of up to 200 MW x 8760 h/y x CF 0.90 = 1577 GWh/y, or about 21.6% of Vermont’s 7400 GWh energy consumption in 2050, as projected by the EAN report, January 2015 revision.

        – Eversource Energy is planning to build a $1.4 billion, 1200-MW, HVDC transmission line, called Northern Pass, which would run mostly through New Hampshire to provide energy to southern New England markets.

        – Champlain Hudson Power Express, a $2.2 billion, 333-mile, 1000-MW, HVDC transmission line under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River to New York City.
        http://www.chpexpress.com

        – Northeast Energy Link, a $2 billion, 230-mile, 1100-MW, underground, HVDC transmission line from Orrington, ME, to Tewksbury, MA.
        http://www.northeastenergylink.com/project/

        • John Greenberg

          Willem:

          I said nothing about “Building out thousands of 2.5 to 3 MW wind turbine ….”

          In fact, your response simply ignores my comment altogether.

          Please stop claiming that HQ power is available “RIGHT NOW” when it isn’t.

          • Willem Post

            John G,

            The likely completion of the transmission line by 2019 is short term availability of a lot of clean hydro energy, that could not be provided by wind turbines for at least 10 years (based on past in NE performance and with help of huge subsidies), AND at a much higher capital cost, AND at a much higher energy cost.

          • John Greenberg

            Willem:

            2019 is not “RIGHT NOW.” If you just said that “HQ power is likely to be available in 2019,” rather than that it is “available RIGHT NOW” I would not have written any of the now 3 comments to set the record straight. Since you tend to repeat these comments ad nauseam, I was (and still am) hoping to nip this one in the bud.

          • Willem:

            In the context of the state’s renewable energy plan that will take us decades into the future to reach the goal of 90% renewables, it’s perfectly reasonable to refer to 2019 as now.

            Arguments focused on a couple of years in the state’s lengthy program are nothing more than a diversionary tactic to take attention away from all the problems related to renewable energy policy……like cost, the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar power production, uncertainties of storage technologies, local community concerns, aesthetics, use of ag land, negative impact on wild life, negative impact on real estate values, failure of the legislature to establish siting standards and the list goes on.

            So instead of focusing on the list of very significant negatives that have real consequences for all Vermonters, its much easier for John to squabble over your use of “Right Now” in getting Canadian hydro into the state. His argument is specious and avoids the real issues of the state’s energy policies.

          • Willem Post

            John G.

            If New England were to build out wind turbines on ridge lines and offshore to achieve 40% wind energy due to the future shutdown of coal, oil, and nuclear plants (they provided 38% of NE energy in 2014), the existing gas turbines and hydro plants in New England could not possibly balance the variable wind energy.

            Just as Denmark requires major grid connections to hydro plants of Norway and Sweden to balance its wind energy, so would New England need major connections to the hydro plants of Quebec, New Brunswick and Labrador.

            It would be utterly irrational to spend about $80 billion over several decades to build about 22,046 MW of wind turbines on ridge lines* + balancing connections to Canada to produce expensive wind energy for the low-growth New England economy, when large quantities (MWh/yr) of low-cost (likely about 5-7 c/kWh), near-CO2-free, renewable, hydro energy (made from rainwater), at about $10 billion of HVDC lines, could be available to New England starting in 2019.

            * If only 50% of the above 40% were generated on ridge lines, then (0.20 x 127,108,000 MWh/y)/(8760 h/y x CF 0.263) = 11,023 MW of wind turbines, or (3649) 3 MW units, and, at 6 units per mile, about 613 miles of ridge line would be required.

            At present, NE has about 836 MW of wind turbines (about 300 units) which took about $2.2 billion and 10 years to build.

            Where will the subsidies come from to build 12 times more units on ridge lines, and to build all of the offshore units?

            New England household electric rates may become as high as Denmark, i.e., about 30 eurocent/kWh

            No rational person would want to go that route.

        • Willem Post

          Addition to above comment:

          If New England were to build out wind turbines on ridge lines and offshore to achieve 40% wind energy due to the future shutdown of coal, oil, and nuclear plants (they provided 38% of NE energy in 2014), the existing gas turbines and hydro plants in New England could not possibly balance the variable wind energy.

          Just as Denmark requires major grid connections to hydro plants of Norway and Sweden to balance its wind energy, so would New England need major connections to the hydro plants of Quebec, New Brunswick and Labrador.

          It would be utterly irrational to spend about $80 billion over several decades to build about 22,046 MW of wind turbines on ridge lines* + balancing connections to Canada, to produce expensive wind energy for the low-growth New England economy, when large quantities (MWh/yr) of low-cost (likely about 5-7 c/kWh), near-CO2-free, renewable, hydro energy (made from rainwater), at about $10 billion of HVDC lines, could be available to New England starting in 2019.

          * If only 50% of the above 40% were generated on ridge lines, then (0.20 x 127,108,000 MWh/y)/(8760 h/y x CF 0.263) = 11,023 MW of wind turbines, or (3674) 3 MW units, and, at 6 units per mile, about 612 miles of ridge line would be required.

          At present, NE has about 836 MW of wind turbines (about 300 units), which took about $2.2 billion and 10 years to build.

          Where will the subsidies come from to build 12 times more units on ridge lines, and to build all of the offshore units?

          New England household electric rates may become as high as Denmark, i.e., about 30 eurocent/kWh

          No rational person would want to go that route.

          • Kevin Daniels

            In addition to misrepresenting his knowledge as to the cost of any future HQ contracts, Willem appears to be neglecting to add the $2,000,000 per MW of the new transmission lines which would be required to deliver that power.

            FYI, they’ve started construction off Block Island on the first US off-shore wind turbines.

            http://dwwind.com/

          • Willem Post

            Response to Kevin Daniels comment of August 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm.

            HVDC lines have very little loss/mile compared to HVAC lines. There are dozens of onshore and offshore HVDC lines in Europe. Just Google.

            Here is a URL, go to page 49, and you will see HVDC transmission adds less than 1 c/kWh to the cost of energy.
            http://www.naruc.org/grants/Documents/Silverstein%20NCEP%20T-101%200420111.pdf

            Four proposed HVDC lines:

            New England Clean Power Link, $1.2 billion, 134 miles, 1000 MW; $895,000/mile; $1.2 million/MW

            Northern Pass, $1.4 billion, 194 miles 1200 MW; $721,650/mile; $1.17 million/MW
            http://northernpass.us/project-overview.htm

            Champlain Hudson Power Express, $2.2 billion, 333 miles, 1000 MW; $660,660/mile; $2.2 million/MW
            http://www.chpexpress.com

            Northeast Energy Link $2 billion, 230 mile 1100 MW; $869,565/mile; $1.82 million/MW
            http://www.northeastenergylink.com/project/

            EXAMPLE OF EXPENSIVE OFFSHORE ENERGY:

            Kevin, if you have more recent data, please let me know.

            The 28.4 MW Block Island Offshore Wind Project has a 20-yr PPA starting at $0.235/kWh in 2007 (base year), escalating at 3.5%/yr which means the 2027 price to the utility will be $0.468/kWh. A State of Rhode Island suit is pending to overturn the contract; the aim is to negotiate to obtain a lower price.
            Power production is estimated at 28.4 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.39 = 0.097 GWh/yr.
            Capital cost is estimated at $121 million, or $4,274/kW. Federal subsidies would be 30% as a grant.

          • Willem Post

            Addition to above comment:

            SUMMARY OF ESTIMATED CAPITAL AND ENERGY COST OF ALTERNATIVES

            Below is a summary of the estimated capital cost and energy costs of the three alternatives to provide an additional 15,170 GWh/y of hydro energy to New England.
            http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2219181/increased-wind-energy-versus-increased-canadian-hydro-energy-new-england

            ……………………………100% ridgeline…..50% ridgeline/50% offshore…….Canada Hydro
            Turbines…………………..18.41…………………………17.86
            Grid upgrade, NE……….4.00………………………….4.00
            Transmission, CA………4.00…………………………..4.00…………………………….5-7
            Generator mix……………2.00………………………….2.00
            Total………………………..28.41…………………………27.86…………………………….5-7

            The WHOLESALE cost of the wind energy likely would be about:

            Onshore: 10 – 15 c/kWh, WITH existing subsidies; about 15 – 20 c/kWh, WITHOUT such subsidies.
            Offshore: 20 – 25 c/kWh (based on Cape Wind, et al., projections), WITH existing subsidies; about 25 – 30 c/kWh WITHOUT such subsidies.

            NOTE: NE wholesale prices, at which utilities buy some of their energy, have been about 5c/ kWh during the past 5 years, due to an abundance of nearby, low-cost, DOMESTIC, natural gas.

            NOTE: Wind energy proponents claim the cost is 9.5 – 10 c/kWh, but those spreadsheet results are based on too high CFs of 0.33, too low capital cost/MW, too low O&M costs/MWh, and too long 25-year useful service lives.

            NOTE: About 50% of the onshore wind turbines likely would be US-built; GE. The other 50% likely would be foreign-built; Denmark, Germany, Spain. Almost all of the offshore wind turbines likely would be foreign-built; Denmark, Germany, England. Europe has about 15 years of experience and the US has ZERO experience with offshore wind turbines installations.

  • Bruce Wilkie

    Tells me that if Blittersdorf owns land in any other of our NEK towns, we must remain vigilant.
    The time to check town land records is NOW, before any more tows get Blittersdorfed.

  • Don Peterson

    Residents of Irasburg have two things to consider:

    Two wind turbines won’t provide any significant tax relief.
    Each new development makes it easier to argue for the next installation, ie your ridge lines are already compromised, so why not compromise it some more?

    Meanwhile, crafts bury and Greensboro, without ugly ridge line development, become more desirable, while Irasburg becomes less desirable.

  • Jim Wiegand -Wildlife Biologist

    Correction………..With the unaccounted for energy taken off the grid and flowing into these two turbines, on paper they will produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes. The energy claimed will even receive tax credits from ignorant taxpayers.

    Recently a golden eagle was killed at the Altamont turbines and it made big news in the Bay Area. Fortunately this fatality could not be hidden by the wind industry because the eagle was being monitored independently. Without this monitoring the public would have NEVER been told about this fatality.

    This eagle carcass will be sent to the Denver Eagle repository. Since 1997 approximately 31,000 unaccounted for eagle carcasses have been sent to this facility. Despite media propaganda and an industry/Interior Department cover-up, wind turbines are the number one killer of eagles in regions of wind farms.

    Over the last 30 years several thousand eagles have been killed at Altamont and the public really has no idea exactly how many have been shipped off to Denver. This includes bald eagle carcasses because turbines are so closely sited to Los Vaqueros Reservoir.
    For decades the FWS has quietly processed and shipped these eagle carcasses to Denver and there exists a paper trail hidden by the Interior Department.

    Something else hidden from the public is how little “net” energy these eagle killers really produce for the grid.
    .

    With accountability none of these worthless wind turbines would be built.

    • John Baker

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_Wind_Farm

      “The small turbines used at Altamont are dangerous to various raptors that hunt California Ground Squirrels in the area. 1300 raptors are killed annually, among them 70 golden eagles, which are federally protected; in total, 4700 birds are killed annually.[4] Overall there has been an 80% decline in golden eagles in Northern California, with no golden eagles nesting near the facility, although it is a prime habitat.[5] Considered largely obsolete, these numerous small turbines are being gradually replaced with much larger and more cost-effective units. The larger units turn more slowly and, being elevated higher, are claimed to be less hazardous to the local wildlife. This claim is supported by a report done for the Bonneville Power Administration.”

      They are doing a pretty bad job of covering it up.

  • Luann Therrien

    “The First Wind Project in Sheffield had 16 turbines that were more than 400 feet tall, according to the Northeastern Vermont Development Corp. The Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell was for 21 wind turbines more than 450 feet tall.
    “Other wind projects have been built in Ferdinand, East Haven, Derby and Holland, according to the development corporation.””

    Who ever reported this information needs to check the facts. These proposed projects were shot down by the very innocent citizens that would have been tortured by them.

  • Cheniece Goding

    These projects that are supposedly to benefit the community should be consulted on by the community. Anything that harms the citizens on any level should not be considered. Their health and wellbeing should be a priority, not profits.

    • Annette Smith

      Developers of these wind projects live in their alternative world where there are never any problems with wind turbines and there is never a noise issue and no harm is ever done. They externalize their costs and make a lot of money at the community’s expense.

      Their projects are enabled by a citizen legislature captured by the renewable energy industry for a decade, and a regulatory body that has no public participation process (all public comment is off the record, and intervenors act in the role of their own attorneys, not themselves) and rubber stamps all applications for renewables (with rare exceptions) because the legislature told them to.

      Round and round we go, destroying democracy and our environment in the name of saving the planet, with no evidence that building all these renewables in the current big grid system is doing anything to save the planet, while anyone with eyes open sees dead bats and birds, displaced bears, people tortured by sleepless nights, reduced property values, increased stormwater runoff.

      So disappoint to see renewables go the path of Entergy.

  • Glenn Thompson

    From the article!

    “The Kidder Hill Wind Project would generate 5 megawatts of electricity — more than twice the planned capacity of some of the state’s largest solar farms, and they would run more than twice as efficiently as solar farms do, he says.”

    The CF of solar in Vermont is approx 12. Doubling that would = 25. I’m not going to do cartwheels over that number!

    Also, from the article!

    “Blittersdorf says the more than 250 potential documented symptoms from wind turbine exposure, including seasickness, aren’t accurate.“There’s no such thing as a documented health effect from wind turbines,” he said. “Wind turbine syndrome is not a medical reality.”

    Then, Blittersdorf is completely ignoring the health impact of InfraSound (the type of sound which wind turbines do produce) on the human inner-ear.

    http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wind.html

    • John Greenberg

      Glenn Thompson:

      A careful reading of the article to which you link shows that it does not contradict the claim Mr. Blittersdorf made: namely that “There’s no such thing a documented health effect from wind turbines.” Indeed, just the opposite is true.

      Dr. Salt’s article lists a variety of ways that infrasound from wind turbines COULD “affect you,” but it makes no claim that infrasound from wind turbines DOES affect anyone.

      Instead, Dr. Salt makes a negative claim: “Each of the above mechanisms is based on published data showing the phenomenon exists, thus making it a scientifically plausible process.”

      In other words, Dr. Salt is claiming that the case against the POSSIBILITY of damage has not been made: “No one has shown that any of these four mechanisms cannot occur.” Though some wind proponents may have made the assertion that Dr. Salt is refuting, that’s not the claim Mr. Blittersdorf made.

      Affirming that health effects COULD occur is NOT evidence that they do, and it is quite far from suggesting a “documented health effect from wind turbines.” Indeed, the article actually explicitly confirms Mr. Blittersdorf’s statement: “However, the degree to which each phenomenon occurs in humans following prolonged exposure to the infrasound from wind turbines HAS NOT YET BEEN DEMONSTRATED.” (emphasis added)

      Dr. Salt then goes on to suggest: “We agree that the effects of wind turbine noise on humans are largely unexplored and more research is needed.” That’s a perfectly reasonable position, with which I agree.

      But until research shows that there actually IS an effect, it does not suggest any reason to stop building wind turbines. That’s especially true since the damage from most of the other forms of electricity generation which wind turbines displace cause very well-documented health and environmental effects. Unsurprisingly, this is the conclusion reached by most state boards, regulators, etc. who have examined this question and every scientific study I’ve seen so far.

      Also unsurprisingly, it’s not what you and other opponents of wind turbines want to hear.

      • Willem Post

        John,
        Here is a documented health effect of wind turbines after they were installed near a mink farm in DENMARK:

        In Denmark last month, 1,600 animals were born prematurely at a mink farm. Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival. The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines at a distance of 328 meters, or about 1,000 ft.
The wind farm consists of four 3 MW turbines, VESTAS model V112, reaching out to 140 meters in height at the tip of the blades. When they became operational last fall, a first mishap was reported by the mink farmer at a parliamentary committee on wind farms in January this year.

        http://www.masterresource.org/2014/06/health-effects-from-wind-turbines/#sthash.FysYqvvo.dpuf

        NOTE: The 3 MW turbines are exactly the same as at LOWELL MOUNTAIN!!!

        The Green Mountain Power, 63 MW Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility with (21) 3 MW Danish, Vestas V-112 wind turbines, 367.5-ft (112 m) rotor diameter, 275.6-ft (84 m) hub height, total height (275.6 + 367.5/2) = 459.3 ft, stretched along about 3.5 miles on 2,600 ft high ridge lines, has nothing to do with community-scale wind, everything with industrial, utility-scale wind. The housings, 13 ft x 13 ft x 47 ft (3.9 m x 3.9 m x 14 m), on top of the 280-ft towers, are much larger than a Greyhound bus.

        http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/84293/wind-turbine-noise-and-air-pressure-pulses
        http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61309/lowell-mountain-wind-turbine-facility-vermont
        http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/332911/high-renewable-energy-costs-damage-vermonts-economy

        • John Greenberg

          Willem:

          Your second paragraph quotes the WHOLE report on this incident and is, as far as I can see, repeated only on a series of anti-wind websites (including yours, obviously) with no further amplification or particulars anywhere. No details, no examination of other possibilities (all minks are otherwise perfectly healthy everywhere and at all times?), and assuredly no peer review.

          I suppose we can debate what to call a documented health effect,” but my standards would require, at the rock bottom minimum: 1) actual detailed documentation: expert qualifications, names, dates, physical examination, etc. etc. and 2) more precision about correlation (let alone causation) than a vague statement about “the only thing different at the farm since last year.” (The ONLY thing?? Really??) Scientists make at least SOME attempt to CONTROL variables, rather than assuming that “the only thing different” is this or that.

          Besides all that, I believe Mr. Blittersdorf and Dr. Salt are referring to health effects in human beings.

          If the barrel is down to this, it would appear to be pretty empty indeed.

          • Willem Post
          • Willem Post

            John,
            “anti-wind websites (including yours, obviously)”

            Your slurry remark is uncalled for.

            It is well known, I am in favor of wind energy in the Great Plains, and other such windy places, but not on mostly pristine ridge lines in New England, which have marginal capacity factors (see NOTE), AND high costs of construction, AND high costs of O&M/MWh, AND shorter useful service lives because of the harsh climate conditions.

            NOTE: The annual average 2014 New England ONSHORE capacity factor = (1,928,000 MWh)/(836 MW x 8760 h/y) = 0.263. The data are from the ISO-NE website. In other years, the CF has been as low as 0.24, based on ISO-NE and FERC data.

            Most proponents of wind energy, including in Montpelier, VT, stubbornly keep proclaiming (even in front of the PSB) wind energy has a capacity factor of 0.32 or greater, whereas all New England production evidence of the past 5 years proves it is much less.

            Warren Buffett said wind turbine projects do not make sense without the subsidies. Based on spreadsheets I have obtained over the years, I agree with him.

            Canadian hydro power makes a lot more sense, and Blackstone, THE PREMIER venture capital firm in the world, seems to think so as well.

          • John Greenberg

            Willem:

            All but one of these links are to simple repetitions of the same story, often in exactly the same words. It’s no mystery that news stories, once written, are often repeated many times in many places on the internet.

            However, you let one slip through by accident.

            It’s written by “a research scientist who has worked in the fields of freshwater ecology, biological conservation, behavioural ecology, invasive species management and plant pathology. I have also worked as a lecturer at an Australian university. I am passionate about people having access to good quality scientific information and would like to see a greater understanding of what “science” is and how the scientific process works. I am particularly interested in the infiltration of pseudoscience and non-science into our science classrooms, and the politicisation of climate science.” https://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/about/
            Here’s what he says about your article: “Something to note about this article is that it is very vague. It mentions veterinarians but does not provide any references to any official reports about the incident. The author does provide a link to a Danish blog that mentions the farmer and where his farm is and discusses his submission to a Danish parliamentary committee. The language in that article is very emotive and would appear to be written with a particular slant. It also doesn’t cite any official veterinarian reports, merely mentions “veterinarians”. The farmer himself, as reported, made claims that the politicians must all be deaf and in need of hearing aids and are “in the pocket” of the wind farm industry. On reading it I was given the impression of a crazy old farmer with NIMBY syndrome and an anti-green bent looking to blame someone for problems on his farm.
            So, what could be the problem? Firstly, I’m not a mink expert, but just a little bit of reading the scientific literature reveals that minks are subject to a range of diseases and conditions including botulism, black leg, septicemia, encephalitis, rabies, deafness, dwarfism, distemper, liver flukes and other parasites. Some of these diseases result in a range of abnormal behaviours including cannibalism and tailbiting. Of most interest though, is the possibility that these minks contracted Aleutian Disease. This disease is well documented (paywall) as causing spontaneous abortions in minks. Maybe that’s it?
            This paper discusses the disease in Denmark. The part that I find particularly interesting comes from the very first lines of the abstract.
            In Denmark Aleutian mink disease (AMD) is a reportable disease with law enforced annual screening of all mink farms. Furthermore, all mink moved between farms have to be tested negative for AMD before moving. If more than 3 seropositive animals are found by counter current immune electrophoresis (CIEP), the farm is regarded as AMD infected according to the legislation.
            That would be a real bummer for a mink farmer in Denmark with a dislike of politicians. How much easier to blame those awful wind turbines? Just saying.

            The article “relies heavily on references from the Waubra Foundation. Sourcewatch has a comprehensive discussion about them and I urge you to read it all. I will sum it up though. They don’t live anywhere near Waubra, spread misinformation about wind power, actively lobby against it in Australia, are funded by fossil fuel interests and have very close associations with conservative politicians and a far right-wing fossil fuel funded “thinktank”. Can anyone say “vested interests”?”
            https://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/more-wind-turbine-syndrome-madness/

            Maybe you should read the links you cite before posting them.

        • Willem Post

          John G.

          Here is a site about women’s menstrual cycles being affected by nearby wind turbines.

          Remember, this was never a problem with the small, 150 – 200 kW turbines in Denmark.

          After Vestas started to build 3000 kW units near people, the complaints came in, and birth defects on a mink farm occurred. Few wind turbines are being erected in Denmark out of fear the infrasound produced by the turbines harms human health. A government investigation is ongoing.

          http://wcfn.org/2014/07/10/denmark-wind-turbines-disrupt-menstruation/
          http://www.principia-scientific.org/another-wind-farm-horror-story-from-denmark.html
          http://ileanajohnson.com/2014/06/what-do-mink-have-to-do-with-wind-turbines-and-virginia-energy-council/
          http://www.windaction.org/posts/42288-power-of-infrasound-from-wind-turbines-sick#.Vcojs3hU3cM

          • John Greenberg

            Willem:

            What Blittersdorf, Dr. Salt, and I are all asking for is DOCUMENTED evidence, not sketchy anecdotes.

            Here is the entirety of the substantive evidence about this incident that is reported in your links: “The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre (nursery) going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstrual cycles. They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow. Five have recently resigned. The owner is now closing his business for fear of being held liable should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland.” http://www.principia-scientific.org/another-wind-farm-horror-story-from-denmark.html Not coincidentally, this report is by the same guy who did the one on the minks: Mark Duchamp.

            No one has suggested that there aren’t anecdotes about health and environmental impacts from wind turbines. Many have been presented right here in VT Digger.

            Your presenting more of them here, in response to comments about the lack of documented health effects speaks volumes, but not even a whisper of that is about actual documented or scientific evidence.

  • John Baker

    Perhaps Kathy Nelson should set a precedent by doing some basic research before demanding corrections from other people.

    A simple Google search would have turned up numerous examples like this one.

    http://tradewindenergy.com/wind/wind-resources/#megawatt

    See my post above where I correct John McClaughry’s misconceptions regarding how to calculate how many homes a wind turbine (or anything else) will power.

    • John Baker

      Georgia Mtn posts their monthly production numbers at

      http://georgiamountainwind.com/production-data/

      For 2014, the turbines produced 32,510,679 KWh for a capacity factor of 37% (Which is much higher than Willem says is possible in New England)

      The website also says that they meets the needs of 4,200 average Vermont households.

      Let’s do the math:

      Average 2013 VT household electrical use = 569 KWh/month
      Average yearly use of 4,200 VT homes = 28,677,600 KWh.

      You’re right that Georgia Mtn is lying about meeting the needs of 4,200 VT homes, the number is actually 4,761!

      Keep trying.

      • Kathy Nelson

        John Baker,

        I don’t take a developer’s word on production. Especially not a developer with as poor a record of honesty as David Blittersdorf.
        Please provide some links from ISO or FERC showing the production figures.

        News break! One of GMP’s antique wind turbines at Searsburg burned up last night.

        http://www.wcax.com/story/29745020/gmp-searsburg-wind-turbine-catches-fire

        This is the second serious failure at Searsburg:

        http://www.windaction.org/posts/17503-catastrophic-turbine-failure-at-vermont-wind-farm-raises-doubt-about-turbine-safety-longevity

      • Willem Post

        John Baker,

        “(Which is much higher than Willem says is possible in New England)”

        I never made such a statement, because I have known for years Mars Hill in Maine is another site with exceptional high CFs, usually 0.35 or greater. In general, such high CFs are rare in New England.

        Keep in mind: The best wind sites on ridge lines are known and likely built on first.

        Based on actual production data logged by ISO-NE: The annual average 2014 New England ONSHORE capacity factor = 1,928,000 MWh/(836 MW x 8760 h/y) = 0.263. In prior years, it has been as low as 0.24!!

        Most proponents of wind energy, including in Montpelier, VT, stubbornly keep proclaiming wind energy in New England has a capacity factor of 0.32 or greater, whereas all New England production evidence of the past 5 years proves that the New England CF is much less.

        Because we are “saving the planet”, it is the NE numbers that count. Crowing about one or two exceptional sites, and slurring people will not “save the planet”.

  • Don Peterson

    An interesting observation:

    Realtors posting to zillow.com, where millennials shop for their land, are seeing fit to disclose that lots are “near the Lowell wind farm” or even “in sight of the wind towers”.

    But photos never show the towers, so maybe it’s not a selling point…

  • Ethan Rogati

    I live in Milton. I am a photographer. The Georgia project makes a nice photo subject, but for Milton, that’s the only benefit. All of the power goes to Burlington. Milton and Georgia get all of the negative impact.

    • John Baker

      All the power doesn’t go to Burlington, it goes into the power grid. Burlington Electric may have a power purchase agreement (PPA) but that doesn’t change the laws of physics.

      Milton and Georgia receive taxes from the project.

      http://www.miltonindependent.com/georgia-wind-towns-sign-tax-agreement/

      • Randy Jorgensen

        Ethan’s property taxes also went up AGAIN this year. Vermont’s grand redistribution of education tax funds spread that out over every single town in the state.

  • Luann Therrien

    Have read and reread this article.

    Have read the comments.

    Same sentences on a different article.

    One side:
    Comments come from those who consume electrical power, while not dealing with how the power is created.
    Question for you all, have you personally changed the way you live to conserve power and reduce your carbon footprint?
    Or is it just, plug it in, pay my bill and that’s that? We do not care how we get our power as long as we have it?

    The other side:
    Comments from those negatively impacted or those who have an understanding of the negative impacts of dealing with powers creation.
    These people living off in the boonies with a relatively low carbon footprint already, but have Industrial Power Factories essentially in their back yards while the power produced is shipped off to other areas.

    That is ONE of the things that disgusts me the most about all this. Here we were living an off grid lifestyle, in the middle of the woods, being totally responsible for how our power was made and used.
    Then greed led people to create an Industrial Wind Facility in our backyard without one thought on how this factory would impact others, just as long as their bank accounts get bigger.

    To Blittersdorf and all the other nay sayers of the negative impacts. We, a family of four lived with the negative impacts for three years. Three long excruciating, torture filled years. I quite frankly do not care how many studies you pull out, we are the unwilling participants of our own study. Not only were we subjected to the torture of continuous audible and inaudible noise, we were also ridiculed for speaking out, ostracized, the butt of jokes….. you get the idea. The reported recorded symptoms you claim do not exist have a funny way of coming up missing, along with the Drs. jobs who dare speak up on the subject.
    The torture has many layers, physical, mental, lack of trust in anyone or anything, forced to abandon a huge piece of our lives all for someone elses gain.
    Don’t even start will the amount of property tax reduction, what a complete joke that is. There is no reduction on the school tax, only a percentage on the rest. First off our taxes had gone up and up with no obvious benefits to the payers. About a year before the project went online the taxes had been re-assessed, the year after property values were assessed again, basically bringing the price back down to where they were before the price hike and that is with the money off of what is given by First Wind now Sun Edison. Public record, check it out.

    • Randy Jorgensen

      Luann Therrien,

      Thank you got sharing your experience. Bravo for standing up for what YOU believe!

  • Willem post

    John,
    When in doubt, the ISO-NE reports the most accurate wind energy production data for New England.

    The CF = 0.263 in 2014 for all of New England.
    See my above calculation.

    In other years, it has been as low as 0.24

  • Willem post

    John,

    In 2014, the New England CF was 0.263, based on actual production on the ISO-NE website.

    In prior years, it has been as low as 0.24

  • Willem Post

    John,

    Based on ISO-NE data of wind energy production for 2014, the CF = 0.263
    See my above calculation.

    In prior years, it has been as low as 0.24

  • Willem Post

    Peter Y,

    Response to August 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm comment of Peter Y.

    Thank you.

    I am well aware of his “nip in the bud” objectives.

    Getting more hydro from Canada is by far the quickest and lowest in cost course of action for New England.

    Please read my article and mark the LIKE button.

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2219181/increased-wind-energy-versus-increased-canadian-hydro-energy-new-england

    The low-cost hydro energy and the low-cost natural gas would boost the New England economy.

    Any objective, rational person would agree, but New England RE aficionados see them as a threat to their RE business models, which, BTW, are heavily dependent on federal and state subsidies.

    With a reduction of subsidies, many of them would be out of business, as happened in Germany, after the solar feed in tariffs were cut.

    P.S. Here is another article about an RE boondoggle.
    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2225851/economics-and-co2-emissions-montpelier-district-heating-plant

    • Willem Post

      Addition to above comment:

      Peter Y,

      New England, if foolish enough to invest at least $50 billion in wind turbines to have 20 – 30 percent of its annual energy from wind, would need major HVDC connections to the Quebec, Labrador and New Brunswick grids to balance its wind energy, as doing it with gas turbines would cause them to operated inefficiently due to ramping up and down, at part load, i.e., more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh.

      For example, Ireland had an island grid with a minor connection with the UK grid until October 2012. Eirgrid, the operator of the grid, publishes ¼-hour data regarding CO2 emissions, wind energy production, fuel consumption and energy generation. Drs. Udo and Wheatley made several analyses based on 2011 and earlier Irish grid operations data that offer clear evidence of the offset percentages increasing with increasing annual wind energy percentages.

      The Wheatley study of the Irish grid shows: Wind energy CO2 reduction effectiveness = (CO2 intensity, metric ton/MWh, with wind)/(CO2 intensity with no wind) = (0.279, @ 17% wind)/(0.53, @ no wind) = 0.526, based on SEMO data.

      If 17% wind energy, wind energy promoters typically claim a 17% reduction in CO2, i.e., 83% is left over.

      If 17% wind energy, actual performance data of the Irish grid shows, 0.526 x 17% is reduced = 8.94%, i.e., 91.06% is left over.

      http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

      What applied to the Irish grid would apply to the New England grid as well, unless the balancing is done with hydro, a la Denmark.

      Europe is facing the same problem, but it is stuck with mostly gas turbine balancing, as it does not have nearly enough hydro for balancing.

  • Willem Post

    Kathy,

    Georgia Mountain sells all of its production to BED, and does not have to report its numbers to FERC, etc.

    In 2013 production was 25,397,000 kWh, per BED records, for a CF = 0.29.

    Going to 0.37 in 2014 is quite a jump. Eventually, BED will publish its 2014 power purchases.

    • Kathy Nelson

      Thank you Willem. I hope your accurate understanding of this situation will help Mr. Baker and Mr. Greenburg to seek verifiable figures before they so willingly submit to the deceptions of wind developers.

      Please, Reporter Mansfield, take into consideration that the figures for numbers of homes powered by wind energy must be considered dubious, as should the production figures posted by Blittersdorf for Georgia Mountain Wind.

      • John Greenberg

        Kathy Nelson:

        The simple arithmetic I presented doesn’t depend on ANY number from developers, other than the nameplate capacity of the intended turbines.

        The 24% capacity figure I used in the calculation came from comments here by Lance Hagen and John McClaughry. Neither is a developer.

        In any case, I then showed how the math would work if the capacity factor actually ended up being higher or lower than 25%.

        • John McClaughry

          Re capacity factor: “The annual average 2014 New England ONSHORE capacity factor = (1,928,000 MWh)/(836 MW x 8760 h/y) = 0.263. The data are from the ISO-NE website. In other years, the CF has been as low as 0.24, based on ISO-NE and FERC data.” (Willem Post, above.)
          I cited 24% – the lowest; perhaps should have used 26.3%. I tend to believe ISO more than “developers”.

  • Stan Shapiro

    The Guardian on Friday August 7 published a fascinating article entitled TEN BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD.. ‘ A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold was in this esteemed list of seminal works.Described as one of the most influential books about the natural world ever published.The truth is industrial wind turbines represent a “violent conversion’ from wilderness to human use.They are an abomination of the ” land ethic’ . They are the quintessence of humans being arrogantly above nature. Leopold stated that we can act like we are a part of nature or we will destroy it. Wind turbines in Vermont are promoted by people who at their most elemental level are committing crimes against the’ biotic community’.

    • Willem Post

      Stan,

      Well said.

      Wind turbines are promoted by clever cliques of in-state and out-of-state, multi-millionaires to rake in subsidies, tax credits, fast depreciation and RECs to become even richer, and selling their variable, intermittent , i.e., junk energy, at 10 c/kWh under 25-year contracts. That low price is only possible, because of the various subsidies.

      Buffett said wind turbines do not make any sense without the subsidies. I am sure he has the spreadsheets to prove it, as do I.

      Then there are the suckers, who have been told this will “save the planet”, and the politicians, raking in campaign contributions, mouthing talking points provided to them by RE “think tanks”, like VPIRG, using climate change to get elected/stay in office, the way others use single-payer to get elected/stay in office.

  • Phillip Lovely

    Instead of flapping our collective wings on-line, those who oppose this disgusting project need to get out of our chairs and help Irasburg push this right off the table.

    Blittersdorf has the notion that he can build these turbines on his private land and sell the power to GMP. This must not happen. His hyperventilated comments to the effect that we must reduce energy consumption by 75% and build these projects as fast as possible, regardless of the will of the people, the impact on wildlife habitat, streams, the earth itself are obnoxious and self-serving. I am furious with the Chittenden County developers who keep returning to the NEK to dump their projects on us. Again, I ask: if these wind projects are so critical and necessary, why aren’t they springing up in the Champlain Valley?

  • John Baker

    Hmm, why would they put wind turbines where the wind is?

    http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/pdfs/wind_maps/vt_50m.pdf

  • Paul Lorenzini

    W?hen Blittersdorf, lives 365 consecutive days camped out under a wind turbine, He will gain credo, but not one second less, will condemn him to scum. Rich scum.

  • Barbara Morrow

    When is the Northeast Kingdom going to stop being the Path of Least Resistance for industrial wind?

    When is someone going to discuss decommissioning costs?

    When is someone going to care that the produced energy doesn’t benefit the NEK?

  • Kevin Daniels

    If you had bothered to click the link two posts above yours, you would see where the wind resources are located in Vermont.

    Here is some more general information.
    http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/windmaps/

    What would you like to discuss about decommissioning?

    Why don’t you read the decommissioning section in CPG for the Lowell project and come back with some specific questions?

    http://www.greenmountainpower.com/upload/photos/236KCW_QA_Feb_2013_FINAL.pdf

    https://www.vermontelectric.coop/content/Transmission_Upgrades_CPG.pdf

    Your last sentence is plain nonsense unless the NEK doesn’t use electricity.

  • David Blittersdorf

    THANK YOU John Baker, Kevin Daniels and John Greenberg for getting wind power facts and actual, real data into this comment stream. I don’t have the patience to set straight all the mis-calulations, myths, fairy tales and out & out make believe Mr. Post, Mr. McClaughry and Ms. Smith come up with. Best, David

    • So David Blittersdorf has appointed himself to declare the winner in the industrial wind and solar cost –benefit debate.

      How un-shocking for such a remarkable call to be coming from Mr. Blitterdorf, one of the few people in Vermont to personally benefit from unfettered, unchallenged and poorly justified industrial wind and solar development in the state.

      Despite assurances given by pro-solar and wind interests, there exists legitimate concerns about the true societal economic and environmental benefits to be derived from the massive and arbitrary march to 90% renewables. Dismissing them as myths, fairy tales and out and out make believe will not make them go away. To the contrary, words of this nature only draw attention to the problems inherent with the spread of industrial wind and solar development….. problems that are real and must be addressed.

      Mr. Blittersdorf’s attempt to end the debate reveals his profound anxiety that the truth about industrial wind and solar will be harmful to him and his cause…..thus he wants it stopped.

      Sorry Mr. Blittersdorf, but the debate will go despite the angst it is causing you.

    • Annette Smith

      Seems the renewable industrialists are getting nervous as their house of cards unravels.

      DB takes a pot shot at me alleging I spread myths and fairy tales.

      Yesterday a solar developer took a pot shot at me in a legal filing with the PSB saying, “anti-renewable energy advocate Annette Smith, one of the coal and gas industry’s best friends in Vermont,” a statement for which there is not one shred if evidence.

      And Tony Klein is quoted today in the Times Argus saying this:
      “He said solar progress should not be stopped. Instead, he urged board members to get what he called “proper information” out. “I hope you spread the real facts and information on all of this because it’s not getting out there,” he said. “It’s getting scary and it’s getting ugly with the nastiness that is being generated.””

      Want the real facts? Give me a call. I have a long list of stories about how our communities are being divided, degraded, and dictated to by the likes of those in power who are supporting externalizing costs onto Vermonters. This will stop, as the renewable industrialist model is unsustainable and is creating enormous backlash throughout the state.

  • Luann Therrien

    My Letter to the Editor started coming out in papers.

    Irasburg residents VS. David Blittersdorf and his proposed Industrial Wind Project

    “The article headlined “Blittersdorf was not allowed to speak” ( Barton Chronicle, Aug. 10) regarding an Irasburg Select Board meeting is incorrect and misleading.”

    Most people understand one needs to have a presentation put on the agenda of a Select Board meeting. David Blittersdorf had not done this, even if he had there is a chance his presentation may have come up second.

    This part is right, “The Select Board made it clear from the outset that people would be allowed to speak only when recognized by the board, and comments should be directed to the board, not to other members of the audience.” That any new business would need to wait until the end.

    The meeting had already started when the people in the room recognized D.B. had entered the room, at this time he stood with his topographical maps on presentation boards and asked to if he could say something . He was told New Business would need to wait until what was on the agenda had concluded.

    D.B. was only shut down from speaking during the current agenda when some people tried to question D.B directly. At which point they were directed to keep their statements directed to the Select Board.

    Was not until the subject on the agenda had concluded when D.B. stood with his presentation boards, he was told by the Chair that they did not believe anyone wanted to hear what he had to say, but if anyone wanted to hear what he had to say to please stay. At which point most everyone stood and exited the room and D.B handed the Select Board a formal letter of complaint for trying to keep him from speaking and informed about the meeting. For someone who claims to have “just come upon” the meeting, he seemed well armed for it. Yes, he probably had the presentation boards in his car. But unless he had a copier in his pocket, he had to have brought the letter with him.

    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WIND ENERGY ISSUES; The Swanton Wind Fair will take place August 22nd 2015 from 1pm to 4pm, follow the signs on Rocky Ridge Road (off of Rte 105) All Vermonters need to know what potential Industrial Wind Neighbors are up against and what they face if a project goes online, before it goes online. For information: email: [email protected] or call (802) 528-5242.

  • Mark Milazzo

    This is a good discussion about a very important topic to Vermont but the point/ counterpoint comments that goes on and on between a few people is not beneficial to the discussion.It shows up in other topics on VTDigger. It is obvious these individuals have issues with each other. I never thought I would say this but maybe it is time that VTDigger limit the number of comments you can post on one story.

Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Blittersdorf proposes two 500-foot wind turbines in Irasburg"