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Wind Energy in the Appalachians
 

Wind Energy in the Appalachians

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An objective Cost/Benefit Analysis of industrial scale wind energy in the Appalachian Mountains and more specifically in the Blue Ridge Mountains

An objective Cost/Benefit Analysis of industrial scale wind energy in the Appalachian Mountains and more specifically in the Blue Ridge Mountains

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  • Thanks, EdWhen we started this presentation, we introduced you to our evaluation process as a Cost/Benefit Analysis.Up to this point in our presentation we’ve focused upon our potential environmental losses. Now, we need to review the benefits.As a result of the introduction of this alternative mass electrical generation industry, we’ve been given a unique opportunity appreciate our extraordinary living environment in the Blue Ridge.Provides electrical energy without atmospheric pollution, with the exception of supply and maintenance service provider industries.By reasoning of displacement, the wind developers suggest Metric Tonnes of elimination of “greenhouse gas production”On Poor Mountain, March 2010, the wind developer stated that a proposed 15 turbines would produce enough clean energy for 10,000 Roanoke Valley Homesand eliminate 98,ooo mT of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

Wind Energy in the Appalachians Wind Energy in the Appalachians Presentation Transcript

  • Wind Energyin the Appalachians
    Cost / Benefit
    Analysis
    Blue Ridge Mountain Defenders
  • Precautionary Principle
    • In 1982, the United Nations World Charter of Nature gave the first international recognition of the PP, stating that when "potential adverse effects are not fully understood, the activities should not proceed".
    • 1992 Rio Declaration states: The best environmental policy is to protect the environmental systems as a priority, in particular where the results of an action are unknown.
    • A principle of "no regrets".
  • for REFLECTION
    • Can people choose to live more simply so that energy production may be reduced rather than expanded?
    • How are we responsible stewards of the earth if by attempting to conserve resources in one area (e.g., producing clean energy) we are at the same time causing destruction in other areas of the environment?
    • Does the placement of industrial scale wind turbines near rural communities benefit one segment of society, while exploiting vulnerable rural populations and ecosystems?
  • Consider our legacy
    to the
    world of our
    grandchildren.
  • Island of Green
    Mountain ridges are just as fragile as Wetlands
  • Turbine Installation On A Vermont Ridgetop
  • Water Degradation
    Siltation of creeks and tributaries
    Sediments clog streams
    Harm aquatic life
  • Water Degradation (cont.)
    Contamination of groundwater aquifers will affect springs & wells, & ultimately rivers & reservoirs.
    Contamination of surface water will affect spring water for homes.
    AFTER
    BEFORE
  • Oil in Turbines
    Leaking oil can enter soil & both surface & groundwater.
    Oil will add fuel to forest fires caused by lightning, mechanical problems, or carelessness.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, due to their inefficiency in energy production, wind turbine installations
    DO NOT REDUCE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT.
  • Turbine Construction = Habitat Destruction
    Present
    Honeysuckle Road
    Future
    Honeysuckle Road?
  • Poor Mtn. Sugar Maples
    Present Upland Forest
    Roanoke County Ridges
  • Tree Species of Concern
    AMERICAN CHESTNUT
    CAROLINA HEMLOCK
    DISEASED HEMLOCK
    CANADIAN HEMLOCK
  • Native Fishes Will Suffer From Stream Siltation And PollutionBrook Trout , Roanoke Logperch & Madtom
  • Habitats of Game Species will be Disturbed & Game Numbers Reduced
  • Songbirds Restricted ToVirginia’s Mountain Tops Will No Longer Be Seen
    VEERY
    JUNCO (SNOWBIRD)
    CANADA WARBLER
  • Migrating & Resident Hawks Will Be Decimated Season After Season
    OVER 2700 HAWKS WERE SEEN OVER POOR MT. ON SEPT 22ND, 2009
  • Hawk Count—September 2010
    • From the Poor Mt. Hawk Watching Site, during 35 hours of observation, the tally was 813 raptors, which included:
    • 3 ospreys
    • 5 bald eagles
    • 23 accipiters
    • 2 peregrine falcons
    • 746 broad-winged hawks
  • Bats are in trouble the world over. Let’s not send them over the edge.
    ENDANGERED VIRGINIA BIG-EARED BAT
    ENDANGERED INDIANA BAT
  • Unusual Mammal Residents of the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Jumping
    Mouse
    Eastern
    Woodrat
    Red-backed Vole
    Long-tailed Shrew
    Spotted Skunk
  • Poor Mountain Ridgeline Trail
    • The VA Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries has added a 3.2 mile stretch along the top of Poor Mt. to the VA Birding and Wildlife Trail System
    • How are we responsible stewards of the earth if by attempting to conserve resources in one area, we are at the same time causing destruction in other areas of the environment?
  • Benefits
    Enhances community’s appreciation for extraordinary Blue Ridge living environment
    Provides electrical energy without atmospheric pollution, with the exception of supply and maintenance service provider industries (heavy metals for generators, petroleum products, steel & fiberglass)
    By reasoning of displacement, the wind developers suggest Metric Tonnes of elimination of “greenhouse gas production”
    On Poor Mountain, March 2010, the wind developer stated that a proposed 15 turbines would produce enough clean energy for 10,000 Roanoke Valley Homes
    and eliminate 98,ooo mT of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
  • Benefits, cont’.
    Provides financial revenue … stream to the property owner.
    Estimate: $7,000 -$10,000 per turbine per year /gross
    Provides financial revenue … stream to Roanoke County
    government.
    Estimate: $800,000 -$1,000,000 per year /gross
    Provides jobs. One or two fulltime plus periodic maintenance and support personnel, annually. During construction, local graders, excavators and raw materials suppliers will be hired to assist the specialty construction workforce, who installs the turbines.
  • Costs
    ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS
    for 15 wind turbines on Poor Mtn.
    Funding?
    30% Federal and other grants and subsidies ; not including annual maintenance subsidies or investment tax incentives
    30% Federally-insured loans
    30% private investment
    10% wind developer & turbine manufacturer – “…they have no skin in the game.”Larry Summers, WSJ Oct 2010
  • Costs, cont’.
    PLUS
    Higher Electricity Rates
    Renewable Energy Credits
    1 Mwh = 1 REC
    31 States have Renewable Portfolio Standards enacted that require power companies to supply a designated percentage of electricity distributed in the state, to be from renewable energy providers. – A False Market
    Power companies are routinely granted rate increases by the states, to pay for this relatively scarce electricity resource.
    So, while the taxpayer provides the majority of the funding for this industry, the consumers pay still MORE!
  • Costs, cont’.
    Appropriated Land Area
    ~ 2000 A tract / 18 turbines x 2.5 MW = 44 ½ acres per Mw
    in the Appalachian Mountains
    Poor Mtn.: 4.75 miles of new 100’ wide (minimum) access corridors on the ridges to connect each 3 to 5 acre turbine site. –Denuded Areas
    Little or No CO2 benefit
    in the Appalachian Mountains
    Wind is intermittent, therefore supplemental
    Coal will likely remain on line in the Appalachians for base load requirements.
    Beech Ridge Wind Energy Center, WV
  • Scope
    15?, 18?, 36?, 54?
    1.5Mw?, 2.5Mw?, 4Mw?
    on Bent Mountain &
    Poor Mountain in
    Roanoke County
    Are we considering 15 or 18 turbines on Poor Mountain...
    or
    …thousands on Appalachian ridges across Virginia
  • Tools
    for Evaluation
    Roanoke County
    • DOE Wind Data Charts
    • 6 Years Data from local automatic weather station
    • Google Earth
    • Local & Statewide professional resources
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Floyd County
  • In March 2010, Invenergy stated there proposed 15 turbine project would be capable of generating enough electricity to provide for 10,000 Roanoke Valley homes.
    Our Finding: 5,104 Homes
    LESS 10%
    Transmission/
    Distribution Losses (510)
    4,594 Homes Annually
  • Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area
    Population: 303,200
    Households based upon US Census Data: 2.2 per household
    138,000
    Electricity Requirement for RMSA
    541 – 2.5 Mw Wind Turbines
    44.5 x 541 x 2.5 = 6o,186 Acres of Mountain
  • Can site basedgeneration systems be a better clean energy solution?
    Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
    Solar Panels
    Bloom Boxes
    All provide equal or greater supplement in both urban & rural locations and reduce transmission and distribution losses
    Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
    VAWT
  • Does the placement of industrial scale wind turbines near rural communities benefit one segment of society, while exploiting vulnerable rural populations and ecosystems?