CPA Site Legal Media Legislative Action Congress Article X White Papers CPA Wordpress CPA Facebook CPA Calendar

Advocates For Prattsburgh

Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood

Cohocton Wind Watch

Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County

Concerned Residents of Hammond

Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization

Finger Lakes Preservation Association

Hamlin Preservation Group

Helderberg Community Watch

Jerusalem Preservation Association

Laurel Mountain Preservation Association

Naples Valley Bristol Hills Association

Preserve the Golden Crescent

Save Our Allegheny Ridges

Save Western Ohio

Schoharie Valley Watch

Steuben Greens

Springwater Preservation Committee

Wind Power Ethics Group

Western Catskill Preservation Alliance


Article X



Legislative Action


White Papers

Rick Bolton, BS Physics
Noise and Shadow Flicker expertise

Charles E. Ebbing, BSEE, MSEE
Acoustical Engineer consultant

Blair Hall, BS, MA
Archaeology consultant

Rick James, BME
Noise Control Engineer and Acoustical consultant

Terry Matilsky, PhD
Noise and Ice/Blade Throw expertise

Barry K. Miller, BSME
Mechanical Engineer Wind Projects

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Public Health consultant

Glenn R. Schleede, BA, MA
Energy Analysis and Author

Jack Sullivan, MS
Physics consultant

Gary Abraham, JD
Legal consultant and attorney

Rachel Treichler, JD
Legal consultant and attorney

Eco Energy



Eco Smart


Climate Change Videos

Eco Videos

Energy Videos

Wind Videos

The Green Providers Directory

Cleanhouse of
NYS information

Open Book New York

Enter your email for notice of new CPA posts and summary

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

“Wind Turbine Syndrome”
book now available

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books, 2009), 294 pp. Paperback, $18 USD.

Iberdrola Renovable Stock

The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of independent groups organized to promote sound energy and environmental policy. CPA holds public officials and regulators accountable, while seeking the protection of the public interest.

Eco preservation demands fiscal responsibility and viable technological solutions. Community power requires government transparency and effective industrial regulation. Commerce must balance development and profit with responsible civic stewardship.

The CPA has its home base in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but is open to organizations nationwide and international in scope.

Direct inquiries to:
Citizen Power Alliance,
PO Box 657,
Naples, NY 14512
(585) 534-5581
Washington, DC
(202) 239-1045
New York, NY
(347) 688-2720
or email:

Bookmark the url for CPA Blog:

The address for the CPA Site:

And the CPAgroup WiKi Project:

James Hall - Web Publisher

Anne Britton
Lobbying Director

Mary Kay Barton
Media Editor

Brad Jones
Legal Coordinator

Agenda 21 in New York State – Home Rule and Article X
by James Hall

Sustainability in All Things except Rational Thinking
by James Hall

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud
by James Hall

Advocates for Cherry Valley

Better Plan, Rock County

Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group

Clear Skies Over Orangeville

Cohocton Free

CWW Interactive Community

Eco Energy

Environmental Compliance Alliance

Industrial Wind

Life in Sheldon New York

North Country Advocates for the Environment

Save St Lucie Alliance

Save Western NY

Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood

Industrial Wind Action Group

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD

Glenn R. Schleede, BA, MA

Springwater Preservation Committee

February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 August 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 August 2015 September 2015

Search CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE powered by FreeFind

Citizen Power Alliance on Facebook

DEC Marcellus Shale Information

Latest News on Gas Drilling

Oil & Gas Leasing Resources

Bookmark and Share

Service Disclaimer

CPA Fair Use Notice

eXTReMe Tracker

Citizen Power Alliance - Blogged

Copyright © 2006-2015

Prattsburgh Town Councilman Steven Kula
at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference

Citizen Power Alliance Wordpress

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

COMMENTS TO NYS PSC - Case #14-F-0485
Comments submitted to NYS PSC re: APEX's proposed 'Lighthouse Wind' project, 9/14/15

Case number: 14-F-0485

Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, and members of the New York State Public Service Commission,

This submission is regarding the proposed Lighthouse Wind project along the shores of Lake Ontario - Case number: 14-F-0485.

The Mission Statement of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) according to the PSC's website, reads as follows:

"The primary mission of the New York State Department of Public Service is to ensure affordable, safe, secure, and reliable access to electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water services for New York State’s residential and business consumers, while protecting the natural environment. The Department also seeks to stimulate effective competitive markets that benefit New York consumers through strategic investments, as well as product and service innovations."

Thus, the PSC's own Mission Statement advises AGAINST the installation of unreliable, unsafe, market-altering, environmentally destructive, industrial wind factories!  In fact, to use the word "reliable," and the phrase "protecting the natural environment" -- in any statement referencing unreliable, environmentally destructive industrial wind factories -- is an absolute oxy-moron

APEX's proposed 'Lighthouse Wind' project would forever alter the rural-residential, major migratory flyway along the shores of Lake Ontario, and be detrimental to all New York State taxpayers and ratepayers - especially those residents in the targeted areas.

Fact of the matter is -- Industrial wind energy is a NET LOSER – economically, environmentally, technically and civilly.

The reasons include, but are not limited to:

1.) Economically:

New York State (NYS) has one of the highest electricity rates in the continental United States – a whopping 53% above the national average. This is due in large part to literally throwing Billions of our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars into the wind. High electricity costs drive people and businesses out of the state, and ultimately hurt poor families the most.

According to NYSERDA, the average NYS residential electricity rate in 1999 was 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).  The first NYS wind factories went up in 2000 (Wethersfield & Madison).  20 wind factories later, and the average residential electricity rate in NYS as of February, 2015, is now 19.8 cents per kWh (according to the EIA, as cited by NYSERDA) – one of the highest rates in the nation, and nearly a 50% increase since New York State began mindlessly plastering countrysides with redundant generation of industrial wind factories. (Of further interest – only 2% of NYS’s electricity comes from coal.)

A NYS resident using 6,500 kWh of electricity annually will pay about $400 per year more for their electricity than if our electricity prices were at the national average. That’s over $3.2 BILLION dollars annually that will not be spent in the rest of the state economy.

Why destroy entire towns, when just one single 450-MW gas-fired combined-cycle generating unit located near New York City (NYC) – where the power is needed in New York State – operating at only 60% of its capacity, would provide more electricity than all of NYS’s wind factories combined?

Furthermore, that one 450 MW gas-fired unit would only require about one-fourth of the capital costs – and would not bring all the negative civil, economic, environmental, human health and property value impacts that are caused by the sprawling industrial wind factories. Nor would it require all the additional, habitat-destroying transmission lines to NYC.

I live in Wyoming County of western New York State, where we already have 308 industrial wind turbines strewn throughout five towns here.  Contrary to all the FALSE CLAIMS continually being made by the wind industry, few - if any, meaningful permanent jobs were created here.

The Institute for Energy Research tallied the numbers and found that each wind job costs $11.45 million and costs more than four jobs that are lost elsewhere in the economy, in large part due to all of the subsidies enabling wind to exist and the resulting “skyrocketing” cost of electricity. In fact, on a unit of production basis, wind is subsidized over 52 times more than conventional ‘fossil’ fuels.

2.) Environmentally:

According to the AWEA, the USA has approximately 45,100 Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs). Remotely-sited IWTs are located far from urban centers where the power is needed. This requires a spider web of new transmission lines (at ratepayers’ expense), which exponentially adds to the needless bird and bat deaths caused by IWTs themselves.

Additionally, sprawling industrial wind factories cause massive Habitat Fragmentation, which is cited as one of the main reasons for species decline worldwide.

Studies show MILLIONS of birds and bats are being slaughtered annually by these giant “Cuisinarts of the sky,” as a Sierra official dubbed IWTs in a rare moment of candor.

Governor Cuomo is supporting “dimming the lights” in New York City to help stop migrating birds from becoming disoriented and crashing into buildings. Yet simultaneously, Governor Cuomo is pushing for many more giant, bird-chopping industrial wind turbines along the shores of Lake Ontario - a major migratory bird flyway, and across rural New York State. The 600-foot-high blinking red lights would also create unwanted, disorienting light pollution in night skies.  This blatant hypocrisy is astounding.

3.) Technically:

Because wind provides NO capacity value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), wind requires constant “shadow capacity” from our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators to cover for wind’s inherent volatile, skittering flux on the grid.  Therefore, wind cannot replace our conventional generation sources.  Instead, wind locks us into dependence on fossil fuels – and represents a redundancy (two duplicate sources of electricity), which Big Wind CEO Patrick Jenevein admitted “turns ratepayers and taxpayers into double-payers for the same product.”

The list of accidentsblade failures (throwing debris over a half mile), fires (ten times more than the wind industry previously admitted) and other problems is updated quarterly at a website in the UK. This lengthy and growing list is evidence of why these giant, moving machines do NOT belong anywhere near where people live!

Adding insult to injury, the actual output of all of New York State’s wind factories combined has been averaging a pathetic 24 percent.  If IWTs were cars, they would have been correctly dubbed ‘lemons’ and relegated to the junkyard a long time ago!  Which one of you would buy a vehicle that only operated 24% of the time?  You wouldn’t.  You couldn’t afford to.  It’s just that simple.

Physicist and Malone, NY Town Board member, Jack Sullivan, reported on the reality of wind’s failure to produce in his article:  “Some Lessons from New York.”

Sullivan explained, “Both Vesta and GE turbines have a manufacturer’s life expectancy rating of 20 years, yet no New York wind project is on track to sell enough electricity in 20 years to pay for itself.”

Mr. Sullivan used the wind industry’s 20-year life expectancy claim for his calculations. The inconvenient truth exposed in another report, however, says that “wind turbines last only half as long” as the wind industry has claimed – making the fact that they can never pay for themselves even more evident.  Even the AWEA admits that the life of a typical wind turbine is only 10 to 13 years (January 2006: North American Wind Power).

4.) Civilly - Health, Safety & Welfare of New York State Residents:

The only thing that has ever been reliably generated by industrial wind is complete and utter civil discord (already evident in Orleans and Niagra Counties). Neighbor is pitted against neighbor, and even family member against family member. Sprawling industrial wind factories have totally divided communities, which is already apparent in towns across NYS and the country.  It is the job of good government to foresee and prevent this kind of civil discord – not to promote it.

Regarding Human Health, NYS officials admitted at a 2009 NYSERDA meeting on wind that they knew “infrasound” from wind turbines was a problem worldwide. The growing list of problems globally highlights that these problems are only getting worse.

At the June, 2009 NYSERDA Environmental Groups meeting specific to industrial wind energy, a former noise control engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission, Dr. Dan Driscoll, testified that ‘infrasound’ (sounds below 20 Hz) are sounds you can’t hear, but the body can feel, and that 'infrasound' is known to be a problem associated with industrial wind factories.

Dr. Driscoll said that ‘infrasound’ is NOT blocked by walls, and it can very negatively affect the human body – especially after prolonged, continuous exposure.  He said symptoms include headache, nausea, sleeplessness, dizziness, ringing in the ears and other maladies.

Dr. Driscoll said that setbacks from the 1.5 MW turbines being installed at that time in 2009 should be at least 3200 feet.  Obviously, setbacks from the much larger turbines being proposed by APEX would have to be at least 1 mile (possibly much further) to adequately protect New York State citizens.

NYS Department of Health official Dr. Jan Storm testified that, despite knowing the global nature of the “infrasound” problem, NYS still had not done any health studies (despite having federal Stimulus money available to do so).

Here we are six years later, and indefensibly, NYS officials still have not called for any independent studies to assure the protection of New York State citizens! 

The New York State PSC would be negligent in its' duties of protecting NYS citizens if the PSC were to approve what would be the largest land-based turbines in the nation among New York State citizens' homes without requiring that independent health studies first be done.  

“The Golden Rule,” as espoused by Rotary International’s excellent Four-Way Test of the things we think, say and do, should be the moral and ethical standard our public servants aspire to uphold.  The test asks:

1.      Is it the truth?
2.      Is it fair to all concerned?
3.      Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4.      Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

When applied to APEX's proposed industrial wind factory along the shores of Lake Ontario, the answers are a resounding “NO!”

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Kay Barton
New York State-certified Health Science Educator (retired), Life-long New York State resident, and spokesperson for - New York State citizens for scientifically sound, RELIABLE, affordable electricity for everyone.
APEX's Windy-Disinformation Campaign Continues
         APEX's Windy-Disinformation Campaign Continues
Have you seen the recent sales propaganda brochure APEX has distributed in Orleans and Niagra Counties? 
Much like APEX's website (which pictures APEX's staff in an idyllic countryside setting, with NO industrial wind turbines in sight!), the front cover of APEX's most recent windy-disinformation campaign pictures a farm - without a single industrial wind turbine in sight - absurdly titled: "Wind Energy: Good for Property Values."
How stupid does APEX think people are? Any HONEST Real Estate person will tell you that the most important consideration when buying a property is: "LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!" 
Even worse is the shameless Wyoming County Supervisors who are quoted in APEX’s brochure - Eagle's Joe Kushner and Sheldon's John Knab (both of whom will NOT seek re-election this year, and at least one is reportedly leaving the area).
Both Kushner and Knab pimped their towns out to Big Wind for a few recycled taxpayer dollars, making themselves some of the wind industry’s favorite go-to-guys. Sheldon Supervisor, John Knab, has traveled as far as the state of Alabama (that we know of), speaking on behalf of the wind industry.  Knab and Kushner seem despicably intent on turning more New York State countrysides into bird-slaughtering, industrial wind factories by aiding and abetting Big Wind hucksters, like APEX, with their windy-disinformation campaigns.
The civil discord and environmental destruction Knab and Kushner orchestrated here in Wyoming County is reminiscent of when Native Americans sold Manhattan for a bunch of beads - their ignorance taken advantage of by those who could not care less about them.
APEX’s brochure also disingenuously lists two Orangeville properties as selling above assessed value, while failing to mention that both those properties had significant acreage – most important since farmland in Wyoming County has been going for $6,000 - $12,000 an acre (since the installation of the Batavia yogurt factory). 
For obvious reasons, APEX did NOT mention the fact that at least ten Orangeville properties have sold BELOW their assessed value since Invenergy’s wind factory went up, and many others haven’t sold at all. 
APEX’s brochure also neglected to mention the ongoing lawsuit in Orangeville, and the skyrocketing Wyoming County tax rate, which has risen yearly over the past 12 years (another 9.68% this year), in direct correlation with the installation of wind factories here.  
It’s no surprise that APEX didn’t include this report - which shows a 56% DECREASE in property values near APEX’s Illinois project:
The story is the same everywhere. Sprawling industrial wind factories negatively impact property values!
There’s also pesky little facts like New York State’s “skyrocketing” electricity rates that need to be considered.  According to NYSERDA, the average New York State residential electricity rate in 1999 was 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).  The first New York wind factories went up in 2000 (Wethersfield & Madison).  20 wind factories later, and the average residential electricity rate in New York State as of February, 2015, is now 19.8 cents per kWh (according to the EIA, as cited by NYSERDA) – one of the highest rates in the nation, and nearly a 50% increase since NYS began mindlessly plastering countrysides with redundant generation of industrial wind factories. (Of further interest - only 2% of New York State's electricity comes from coal.)
Regarding industrial wind’s performance - New York State’s wind factories have been averaging a pathetic 24%.  Any other piece of equipment - be it a machine, person or animal, that operated only 24% of the time would have been dubbed a “LEMON” and put out to pasture a long time ago!  Which one of you would buy a vehicle that only operated 24% of the time?  You wouldn’t.  You couldn’t afford to.  It’s just that simple.  But when the state and federal government are in charge of spending our money, economic reality doesn’t seem to matter.
Physicist and Malone, NY Town Board member, Jack Sullivan, reported on the reality of wind’s failure to produce in his article:  Some Lessons from New York.”
Sullivan explained, “Both Vesta and GE turbines have a manufacturer’s life expectancy rating of 20 years, yet no New York wind project is on track to sell enough electricity in 20 years to pay for itself.”
Mr. Sullivan used the wind industry’s 20-year life expectancy claim for his calculations. The inconvenient truth exposed in another report, however, says that “wind turbines last only half as long” as the wind industry has claimed - making the fact that they can never pay for themselves even more evident.
These things aren’t ‘wind farms,’ they’re tax farms - in the business of harvesting our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars, and transferring them into the pockets of rich, multi-national corporations.  All of this enabled because of cronyism in high places and short-sightedness, willful ignorance, and greed of those willing to suck on the teat of wind welfare at the rest of our expense.

Mary Kay Barton
Retired Health Educator, Silver Lake, Wyoming County
Submitted to the Buffalo News in response to opinion piece there, yet to be published.

"First, Do No Harm"

Claims in Dr. Lockwood’s 4/12/15 opinion piece, "No evidence of health damage caused by wind turbines," deserve scrutiny to prevent further damages, and perpetration of a consumer fraud, upon all New York State (NYS) taxpayers and ratepayers.
Dismissing the lengthy list of well-documented problems being experienced world-wide by those now stuck living TOO CLOSE to industrial wind factories, without examining the volumes of information now available on the subject, is contrary to the doctor's moral code: "First, do no harm." 

So many neighbors were complaining in Wisconsin, that Duke's Shirley wind factory was dubbed a “Human Health Hazard."  Here in western New York, Orangeville citizens are now suing for $40 Million due to the negative effects they are experiencing from turbines sited too close to their homes. Though officials have known about the problems caused by wind turbine ‘infrasound’ for decades, tapping into taxpayers’ wallets is trumping the health and safety of rural citizens everywhere. 

NYS officials admitted they knew 'infrasound' from wind turbines was a problem worldwide at NYSERDA’s June, 2009 meeting specific to wind.

Former NYS Public Service Commission Noise Control Engineer, Dr. Dan Driscoll, testified that 'infrasound' (sounds below 20 Hz) are sounds you can’t hear, but that the body can feel.  Dr. Driscoll said that 'infrasound' is NOT blocked by walls of homes, and it can very negatively affect the human body - especially after prolonged, continuous exposure.  He said symptoms include headache, nausea, sleeplessness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc.  (Sleeplessness can lead to numerous health issues.)

NYS Dept of Health official, Dr. Jan Storm, reported that they knew 'infrasound' associated with wind turbines is a problem worldwide, but that NYS hadn't done any studies on it yet, even though there was money available via the Stimulus.  (NYS still has NOT conducted any independent health studies, while continuing to inflict these machines on top of residents.)

The NYSERDA meeting summary report is here.

Regarding Dr. Lockwood’s fears about "Global Warming" - There is no way that an average temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree over the past 50 years could have caused health impacts of any kind. Due to clean air rules already in place, emissions from coal-fired plants have been dramatically reduced over the past 40 years. The EPA even admits that power plants emit barely 3% of all mercury in U.S. air and water. 

Since Industrial wind needs constant “shadow capacity” from fossil-fired generators (to cover for its inherent unreliability), wind actually locks us into dependence on fossil fuels. Despite $Trillions spent worldwide, wind generation has NOT significantly reduced CO2 emissions – anywhere.

Since wind:
1) is NOT significantly reducing CO2,
2) locks us into dependence on fossil fuels,
3.) harms those TOO CLOSE,  and
4) inflicts exorbitant personal, economic, environmental, & civil costs  

WHY would anyone be pushing such a damaging, costly, non-solution?

Mary Kay Barton

Mary Kay Barton is a retired New York State-certified Health Educator, Cornell-certified Master Gardener, NYS small business owner, and a tireless advocate for scientifically-sound energy policies which provide reliable, affordable electricity for all Americans.  She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”
Written back in 2008, and still right-on seven years later...


Nov 5th, 2008 by Administrator

By Margaret Collins

One of the most bizarre aspects of the debate over “wind farms” in West Virginia and surrounding states is the unquestioning acceptance by many environmentalists of wind energy as a credible and environmentally friendly energy source. I have read many articles and letters written by dedicated environmentalists touting the benefits, and discounting or completely ignoring the adverse consequences of wind energy. The prevailing belief of these individuals is that we must embrace wind energy as at least a partial solution to the increased burning of fossil fuels and global warming.

This belief, while undoubtedly sincere, represents a triumph of hope over reality. While wind energy appears at first glance to be a clean, renewable source of energy, it brings with it two fundamental and essentially insurmountable problems, particularly in the eastern U.S.

First, it does not and cannot be made to accomplish its sole intended purpose, that is, to reduce CO2 emissions from America’s electric utility industry. Second, even if it could be made to do so, the environmental consequences of wind in the eastern forested mountains would be so great in comparison to the benefits, that wind should not even be considered in a rational society.

Although most people believe that wind turbines can replace fossil-fuel generating facilities, this is a fallacy, relentlessly promoted by the wind industry and its very slick and effective ad campaigns, lobbyists and promoters. No scientifically valid study has ever shown that the tens of thousands of wind turbines already operating in the U.S. have displaced any CO2 emissions. In fact, a 2007 report of the National Academy of Sciences concludes (assuming extremely and improbably optimistic conditions) that at best, by the year 2020, CO2 savings from wind energy would amount to only 1.8% - a trivial quantity.

The ugly truth is that no matter how many thousands of wind turbines we build, they will have no meaningful effect in reducing the burning of fossil fuels or alleviating global warming. They have not and will not result in the decommissioning of any existing power plant or negate the need to build new conventional fossil-fuel plants.

How can this possibly be? How can America currently be on a course to spend over a TRILLION taxpayer dollars on an alternative energy source that doesn’t work? If wind energy is completely emission- free, how could building more wind turbines not result in reduced CO2 generation? The reasons are complex, but become obvious upon undertaking a little research.


Let’s begin with the fact that wind turbines are very inefficient. A wind turbine nominally rated at 1.5 megawatts (MW) will actually produce only a small fraction of its rated capacity of 1.5 MW. “Rated capacity” or “nameplate capacity” has nothing to do with how much electricity a wind turbine actually produces. It simply reflects the amount of electricity a turbine could produce over a year’s time if it was working at full output, 24/7.

Turbines don’t begin generating electricity until wind speeds hit around 8 mph, and their output is very low until wind speeds reach 32-37 mph, at which point they achieve their rated capacity. At wind speeds over 55 mph, turbines must be shut down to avoid gearbox damage. Because of wind’s unpredictable intermittency (a 100 MW wind facility, for example, might generate at a rate of 80 MWs for a few minutes and a few minutes later generate at a rate of only 5 MWs) engineers use the term “capacity factor” to assess what percentage of its rated capacity a wind turbine is likely to deliver over the course of a year.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the average capacity factor for U.S. onshore wind turbines is a paltry 26%. No wind plants located in the United States—and few in the world—have achieved a capacity factor of more than 30%.
Consequently, a 100 MW wind plant (approximately 70, 1.5 MW turbines) will actually produce on average, less than 30 MWs annually, which is 30% of its rated capacity. Although no power plants work at their rated capacities all of the time, the intrinsic capacity factor for wind is far below other power sources (conventional coal and nuclear plants typically operate at capacity factors of 90% or better). And in summer months, when demand for electricity is highest, but average wind speeds are at their lowest, the capacity factor for wind is less than 10%.

But inefficiency is just the beginning of the problems with wind. A much more serious limitation is the random variability of wind and the fact that the electricity produced by industrial scale wind turbines cannot be stored. There are no batteries large enough to store the electricity produced by a large turbine, and no reasonable expectation that there ever will be. Other technologies for storage such as pumped hydro, giant flywheels, compressed air and supercapacitors are for various reasons, impractical in the eastern U.S. This has profound consequences for “The Grid.”

West Virginia is one of 13 states connected to the PJM Grid, the largest in the U.S. This grid, like all others, requires that electricity be produced as quickly as it is consumed. For grid operators, insuring that supply and demand remain roughly equal is akin to a high-wire balancing act. When customers on the grid increase their demand for electricity by turning up their air conditioners, some generating facility connected to the grid must begin to produce more electricity. When customers reduce their demand for electricity, the output from some generating facility must be reduced.

If too much or too little is produced, brownouts, surges and grid shutdowns occur. Nuclear, coal, gas and other fossil-fuel plants produce steady amounts of electricity more or less continuously. These sources of electricity are able to provide base load (the minimum amount of steady electrical power required 24/7), load following (small changes in output in response to moment-by-moment fluctuations in demand) and peak load (the maximum load during any period). Grid operators control and adjust output through a complex, computerized grid monitoring system which accurately predicts demand within plus or minus 1%, based upon historical usage data, temperature data and other factors.

Now imagine connecting to the grid a power source that is constantly fluctuating, with an unpredictable and uncontrollable output that varies greatly, minute by minute. Adding any significant amount of wind energy to the grid will substantially complicate the already difficult task of instantaneously balancing demand and supply. Because it is unpredictable, uncontrollable and variable, windgenerated electricity is fundamentally different from, and far less useful than electricity generated by other sources. Wind cannot provide base load, load following or peak load. Backup generation from fossil-fuel plants is essential.

As more wind turbines connect to the grid, more conventional generation will be necessary to ensure system adequacy and reliability during periods of peak demand or low wind, and more ramping up or down of fossil-fuel output will be required to compensate for the extreme variability of wind plant output.

The random unpredictability of output and resultant need for backup generation is the Achilles Heel of wind energy. Since base load generation cannot be rapidly varied to match the unpredictable fluctuations in wind plant output, more fossil fuel plants will need to be built and these plants will need to over-generate and maintain a higher level of spinning reserves (idling, but producing no power) to compensate for periods of low winds. This over-generation will be wasted when winds are high. This will in turn, cause more burning of fossil fuels and more emissions than would otherwise be the case. Thus, the more windmills we have, the more back-up generating capacity from conventional fossil-fuel plants we will need and the more over-generation from these plants is necessary. This will result in a near one-to-one duplication of generating facilities, all in a futile attempt to accommodate the transient nature of wind.

How will this reduce emissions and global warming? Of course, it won’t, and in accordance with the law of unintended consequences, erecting thousands of wind plants may, when all of the CO2 - increasing activities attendant to the construction and distribution of wind power are considered, actually cause an increase, rather than a decrease, in the burning of fossil fuels.

Our system of regional grids is based upon the assumption that output of our generating facilities can be controlled to produce “dispatchable supply.” Utilities are obligated to provide electricity instantaneously, when customers demand it. Wind does not, nor can it ever, do that, since it cannot provide base load, load following or peak load. In fact, even when the wind is blowing and the turbines are spinning, it is likely that their output is not being used, because the grid cannot accept the spikes and troughs inherent to wind generation.

Because of the unpredictability of wind and the distance of ridgetop wind plants from the energy-hungry east coast, it will require a near-complete rebuilding of our regional grids to accommodate wind energy of any significant amount. This will require many thousands of miles of new transmission lines, interconnects and substations, which will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, destroy even more of our fastdisappearing rural landscape, and take decades to accomplish. Electric rates will skyrocket. Add the clearcutting of thousands of acres of CO2-absorbing trees to make way for the wind turbines, access roads and additional transmission lines and interconnects and the thousands of square miles of valuable land that must be taken and you begin to appreciate the absolute insanity of this technology as a “solution” to global warming.

These basic facts make it clear that industrial wind energy is essentially useless, or worse. While it does produce electricity, it does not increase capacity, since it cannot be controlled to produce dispatchable supply. In other words, it has an “effective capacity” of zero. Contrast this to the effective capacities of coal, gas and nuclear plants which is above 99.9%!

Contrary to the claims of wind energy developers, electricity produced by wind turbines does not simply “go into the grid” where it can be used when needed. It will not “power” any homes without the backup generation available for dispatch when the winds are calm. It will not replace any fossil-fuel generating plants and it will not reduce C02, mercury or other emissions, but may actually increase them. Even if we windmilled every ridge in the East, the reduction in fossil fuel use and global warming would be essentially zero. All of this is disputed by the wind industry, but they have not and cannot show that it is false. They offer only self-serving trade association “research” as evidence (which does not survive even casual scrutiny) and promises for future technological solutions that never seem to materialize.


The inefficiency, cost and impracticality of wind should alone be sufficient reason to abandon it. But far more problematic is the environmental destruction about to be inflicted on the entire Appalachian Range, from Maine to Georgia.

In the West and Midwest, wind turbines are placed mostly in remote cornfields, prairies and desert lands that are easily accessible by roads, are not forested and are not wilderness. The environmental consequences, while significant, are not catastrophic. However, in the East, the only locations windy enough to justify installing wind turbines are ridgetops. Modern wind turbines are immense - over 450 feet tall, with blade diameters wider than a football field, and getting larger with each new generation. Would you be concerned if a drilling company proposed to erect thousands of drilling rigs on our mountain ridges? Well, they would only be about one-tenth the size of a wind turbine, and they don’t move.

The construction of an array of wind turbines on a forested mountain ridge is a case study in environmental mayhem. Access roads must be bulldozed and blasted out and heavy equipment must be moved into formerly pristine mountain ridges. Hundreds of acres of trees must be clearcut. Topsoil and large rocks must be blasted away and removed to level the ridgetop. The entire mountain ridge becomes a vast construction site up to 15 or 20 miles long. Large foundations (over 60 feet square) are dug and blasted out, and thousands of yards of concrete are trucked up the mountain and poured. Oversize trucks then begin delivering the column and blade sections and giant cranes are moved from site to site as the structures go up.

After construction, security fences are installed and patrolled. Massive erosion and sediment runoff from what is essentially a mountaintop removal job fills streams and creeks. What was once many miles of quiet forestland becomes a huge, constantly spinning industrial complex. The effect on wildlife is catastrophic. Eagles, hawks, songbirds and bats which migrate along ridgetops are chopped to pieces by the thousands. Forest fragmentation and the relentless noise cause habitat loss far beyond the actual acreage affected. Large mammals such as black bears are driven out.

Wind farms will virtually destroy the lives of families who live near them. The constant noise, strobe lights and slowly turning blades create an alien world that permeates all daily activities. Many will not be able to leave, since their property will be significantly devalued. Hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities in the mountains in a forest of giant spinning turbines will be a strange experience, to say the least. All of the mountain ranges in the East are at risk, even National Forest lands. The transformation of the last remaining wild and scenic areas into industrial wasteland will be accomplished in just a few years if wind developers have their way.

When wind developers target a community they typically employ three very effective strategies. First, they cleverly use their “green” facade to gain acceptance by local politicians, environmentalists and an uninformed public. Second, knowing that few people understand the complexity of wind power issues, they make unsupportable claims. Finally, if the first two don’t work, they garner support from locals by essentially buying them off – with taxpayers’ money! Other than a handful of property owners who will make a few thousand dollars a year leasing their land for wind turbines, the only people who will benefit are the outof- state wind developers and their wealthy investors who are hoping we are too foolish to realize that we are once again about to be exploited.

Unquestionably, mountaintop removal and strip mining have been harmful to our mountains, but building thousands of wind turbines will not result in any reduction in these activities. Why would we accept and even encourage another round of devastation from those seeking to exploit us? How can true “environmentalists” possibly condone the conversion of our signature ridges to the industrial wasteland they will become? How can anyone who truly loves mountains possibly support this absurdity? We need to think clearly here and do our homework, rather than just accepting without questioning the lies and distortions being pushed by big industrial wind interests.


If wind turbines don’t work and are immensely damaging to the environment, why are we building them? As you no doubt have guessed by now, it’s all about the money. The only reason wind turbines are built is because they are fantastic tax shelters for wealthy investors. Federal tax subsidies for wind now exceed $7 billion, and at over $23.00 per megawatt hour, far exceed those for any other type of generation facilities. These billions are shrewdly applied by the wind industry to hire lobbyists and make political donations, thus keeping the subsidies flowing. Taking advantage of the fear of global warming, the industry has very skillfully lobbied and placed promoters in government positions so as to influence Congress, governors and legislators to enact “renewable energy mandates” and provide ever-increasing tax breaks favorable to wind development. Crafty entrepreneurs like T. Boone Pickens create $50 million saturation ad campaigns to curry public support for continuation of these massive taxpayer subsidies. He does not plan to lose money.

Gullible local officials are easily swayed by the promise of huge tax revenues that rarely materialize. Unions and workers support these projects, hoping to get a piece of the action, only to find out later that most construction work is performed by out-of-state workers, and permanent jobs relegated to one or two low-paying maintenance positions.

Sadly, the vast majority of people have successfully been brainwashed and are clueless as to the folly of wind turbines and the damage they will cause. Support for wind energy is based solely on politics, ignorance and smart lobbying, not on science.

At some point it will become apparent that wind simply does not and cannot be made to work, just as it is now becoming obvious that corn-based ethanol does more harm than good. Eventually, governmental and public support will wane and the increasingly expensive tax credits will be eliminated as we turn to clean energy sources that actually work, such as geothermal and nuclear energy. But before that occurs, many more billions will have been wasted and much damage will be done, irrevocably. Wind developers hope to get as many turbines up as quickly as possible before the subsidy spigot is turned off. When that happens, there will be wide-scale abandonment of existing wind turbines. Since removal costs will be prohibitive, they will become rotting hulks, littering hundreds of miles of ridgetops, a sad legacy to inflict upon our children.

So, I ask all environmentalists who “believe in wind” to please do some research and become informed of the realities of industrial wind energy in the eastern highlands. Be skeptical of the claims of those who have financial incentives to promote this scam. Go to , and to learn more and view the destruction occurring under the guise of “green energy.” Consider intervening in PSC hearings and oppose the coming onslaught of “wind farm” applications. If nothing is done, in a few years our once-beautiful mountains will be littered with thousands of massive industrial wind turbines, strung along the ridgetops in every rural, mountainous county in the East, especially West Virginia. Their slowly turning blades, flashing lights and relentless noise will permeate the entire Appalachian Plateau. You will not recognize this place. It will become a vast and otherworldly industrial site. If we let this happen, we will forever regret it. Surely, we are smarter than this.

This article was written by Margaret Collins of the WV Highlands Conservancy
Fenner, NY Wind Turbine Collapse


↑ Grab this Headline Animator

CPA members and partners are encouraged to send out a
Citizen Speak campaign mailing to your own contact list