Camp Perry wind turbine project “no longer moving forward”

Plans for a wind turbine at Camp Perry have been dropped in response to a lawsuit from two bird conservancy groups, the News Herald reports. Originally proposed in 2012, the $1.5-million wind turbine project was already halted once when the American Bird Conservatory and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory sent notice that they would file a lawsuit unless the military ceased its plans for the project. Last year, the Ohio Air National Guard then revived the project.
 
Now, however, the American Bird Conservatory and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court (see our March 20, 2017 blog post), arguing that “the project violated the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws.” The National Guard Bureau then responded to the lawsuit in June, informing the groups that the Air National Guard will “no longer be pursuing the construction of the turbine.” The conservancy groups “subsequently agreed to drop the lawsuit.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

Ohio House removes wind setback compromise from proposed state budget

The Ohio House of Representatives has dropped a proposed reversal of stricter wind turbine setback requirements from the state budget bill, nawindpower.com reports. The setback limits were increased to 1,125 ft. from the property lines of the nearest adjacent property in 2014 (see our June 18, 2014 blog post), making them “among the country’s most restrictive,” according to the article. Andrew Gohn, eastern region policy director for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said, “House lawmakers . . . turned away economic growth by ignoring the business community’s plea to make Ohio attractive for companies wishing to power their facilities with renewable energy.” A recent AWEA study showed Ohio could gain $2 billion in capital investments and thousands of jobs by reversing the stricter limits (see our June 7, 2017 blog post). For more, read the full article

 

Renewable Energy, Wind

Reversing stricter wind turbine setback rules could gain Ohio $2 billion

A recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) study shows that Ohio could gain billions in investments and thousands of jobs if wind turbine setbacks were reduced, Gongwer Ohio reports. Renewable energy advocates are urging the Senate “to reduce the wind turbine setback through the budget process,” according to the article. AWEA’s study “projected Ohio could gain $2 billion in capital investments, 13,000 jobs and more than $660 million in tax payments to local governments and schools” if setback requirements were reduced. Local government and economic development groups say 2014 legislation that increased wind turbine setback requirements from 550 feet to 1,125 feet (see our June 18, 2014 blog post) “effectively killed new wind farm development” in the state. AWEA Deputy Director John Hensley said reversing that legislation could also bring in “$440 million in land lease payments to farmers and landowners over the next three decades,” and that “the economic benefit will just snowball from there.”

Renewable Energy, Wind

Wind and solar made up more than half of new U.S. capacity in 2017’s first quarter

Wind and solar power “provided more than half of the new electrical generating capacity added to the U.S. grid” during the first quarter of 2017, nawindpower.com reports. A new report from the SUN DAY Campaign, which cites statistics from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said wind and solar together contributed 50.84% of new capacity during that period. Additionally, renewable sources “now account for almost one-fifth (19.51%) of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity.” If growth rates continue at the current pace, “renewables should top 20% before the end of the year”; renewable generating capacity is “rapidly approaching that of coal (24.25%),” according to the group’s analysis. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

U.S. wind industry invested over $14B in 2016, adding 15,000 jobs

For the second straight year, the U.S. wind industry installed more than 8 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power in 2016, adding jobs “over nine times faster than the overall economy,” nawindpower.com reports. The industry invested over $14 billion “in new wind farms built in rural America” and added nearly 15,000 jobs in 2016.  A report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) shows U.S. wind generation “grew nearly 19% during 2016, and as of the start of this year, it provides 5.5% of the nation’s electricity,” according to the article. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, “last year, wind energy became America’s No. 1 source of renewable generating capacity, further advancing U.S. energy security.” Kiernan also said the wind industry is “on the path to reliably supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Wickliffe first in Ohio to install new “Wind Sphere” technology

A new wind turbine technology called “Wind Sphere” will be installed this month at the Park Ohio PMC Manufacturing Plant in Wickliffe, The News-Herald reports. Green Energy Technologies, a Park Ohio company, “designed the Wind Sphere with a shroud that amplifies the wind,” according to the article. The system allows for shorter blades that increase energy output, “making the wind turbine more conducive to populated, urban environments,” even allowing for rooftop installations. The Wickliffe Wind Sphere will be the “first of its type to be installed in the state of Ohio.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Renewable energy tax credits making huge impact on U.S. jobs, economy

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says federal tax credit extensions for wind and solar power are creating “huge gains” for U.S. employment and the gross domestic product (GDP), nawindpower.com reports. The nonprofit NRDC “analyzed the impact of the tax credits” for wind and solar that Congress extended at the end of 2015. The group published its findings in a report that shows “Ohio will add more than 10,000 jobs in 2018, and the state’s GDP is expected to get a boost of nearly $1.2 billion that year.” Kevin Steinberger, policy analyst in the group’s Climate and Clean Air Program, said, “[g]ood tax policies to boost wind and solar projects are creating new jobs, growing our economy, and providing climate and public health benefits.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

What does repeal of the Clean Power Plan mean for the environment?

President Trump recently signed an executive order rescinding the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) (see our June 9, 2014 blog post), a move that eliminates the nation’s first mandate for power plants to reduce carbon emissions. Without that mandate, “America’s electrical power industry could continue to emit high levels of CO2,” according to Ken Kimmell, president of science advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, in a recent CBSnews.com article. The CPP would have helped the nation move toward “cleaner sources, like [natural] gas, and even really clean sources, like renewable energy, such as wind and solar,” which would provide “significant health benefits,” Kimmell said in the article. Cleveland.com reports that White House spokesman Sean Spicer said dismantling the CPP will “strengthen the nation’s energy security by ‘reducing unnecessary regulatory obstacles that restrict the responsible use of domestic energy resources.’” For more, read the full CBSnews.com and Cleveland.com articles. 

Environmental, Federal Climate Legislation, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

Birding groups file lawsuit to block Camp Perry wind turbine

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) have filed a 31-page lawsuit in a U.S. District Court, asking the court “to block construction of a large wind turbine at Camp Perry near Lake Erie,” Cleveland.com reports. The two groups “are asking the court the halt the project until the National Guard obtains the proper permits and conducts environmental impact assessments required by the Endangered Species Act,” according to the article. The BSBO and ABC “successfully halted construction of the 600-kilowatt wind turbine” in 2014 after “determining the Air National Guard had failed to obtain the proper certificates.” Subsequently, the National Guard “completed an environmental assessment and obtained permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,” which the birding groups “maintain are inadequate.” In October 2016, the groups announced their intent to file the lawsuit if the Air National Guard did not halt their plans to build the turbine (see our November 22, 2016 blog post). For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Buckeye Wind case goes to Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on an extension of certificate for the Buckeye Wind turbine project, the Urbana Citizen reports. The issue currently before the Ohio Supreme Court is whether a motion for extension constitutes an amendment to the original Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) certificate. Buckeye Wind attorney Michael Settineri “said nothing has changed in the project facility from when the board approved the amendment to Buckeye I through the motion for extension.” Settineri notes, for example, that “the turbines [are] in the same location and the setbacks remain the same.” By contrast, Jack Van Kley, an attorney for Union Neighbors United, argues that the extension is a substantive change that necessitates a re-evaluation of the project pursuant to current safety regulations. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind
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