Craven County Wind Energy


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This was a presentation at the CCTA (Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association) meeting of 3/18/14, in New Bern, NC. A major concern is that Craven County currently has a very weak wind law. The talk was about why they should upgrade it to what neighboring Carteret County has done.

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  • Another informative slideshow. I've shared it with some of my 'green' friends who still support 'environmental' organizations that support wind and solar out of self-interest and politics (spelled money).

    It's funny (sad actually) how the realities of the mining of rare Earth elements needed to build wind turbines ('it's over there) don't affect them as much as the realization that they're paying higher taxes for the privilege of paying higher electric rates.
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Craven County Wind Energy

  1. 1. Craven County: Next Target? John Droz, jr. Physicist & Environmental Advocate Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association 3/18/14 (rev 3/19/14)
  2. 2. Make SURE to View This Presentation in the FULL SCREEN Mode! Click the “FULL” icon in the lower right hand corner.
  3. 3. NOTE: SlideShare has had some issues with translating presentations properly. Hopefully they are temporary. If some slides are hard to read, or are missing graphics, please download the PDF version, which is much better quality. (To do that click the “Save” button above the window: it’s only a 9± MB file.) (Otherwise, use your keyboard arrow keys to navigate. This will allow you to proceed at your own pace.)
  4. 4. Craven County = Next Target? This is a presentation given at a CCTA (Coastal Carolina Taxpayers’ Association) meeting in New Bern, NC March 18, 2014, to 75± attendees. This is an overview discussion about some key aspects of industrial wind energy, and what happened with a proposed project (Mill Pond) in neighboring Carteret County. This is a complicated matter, so I have tried to strike a balance between being too technical and too simplified. The more information about our electricity options, see EnergyPresentation.Info. The underlying message is that our energy decisions should be made on the basis of sound SCIENCE — not on what special-interest lobbyists say. Please also carefully checkout my energy website:, which has hundreds of economic and environmental studies regarding industrial wind energy. The “NC” menu at is a page that has other useful supporting information specifically about the proposed Mill Pond project. My hope is that after Craven County legislators get more informed — and do some Critical Thinking — that they will be in a much better position to update their current wind energy ordinance. In my live presentation there was commentary that accompanied each slide, and that is not included here. If there are questions about this material after you carefully go through this and the referenced links, I will be glad to personally respond to any emails you send me: “”. Please see References and Credits, my brief “resume,” the copyright notice, disclaimer, contact information: all at the end of EnergyPresentation.Info. [Note that I will indicate updates on the material by a revision date on the first slide.] If you like what you see, please pass it on to other open-minded people, plus your federal, state, and local representatives. — ENJOY! john droz, jr.
  5. 5. Craven County Carteret County Proposed Mill Pond Project ?
  6. 6. In all planning regulations… The net social good produced from an activity, needs to be accurately weighed against any local liabilities
  7. 7. What’s The Point Of A Wind Ordinance? “To protect the health and welfare of our citizens, local businesses, our environment, and the military.”
  8. 8. Newport Public Forum: 11/26/13
  9. 9. A Lot More About What You’ll See Tonight, is Online at:
  10. 10. This is the “NC” page of “”
  11. 11. The Soundbite: Wind Energy = High Cost, Low Benefits
  12. 12. What would you think if the government said: “We think that Windy’s fast food is healthy, so to encourage more people to eat it, we will — 1 - Give W’s a 30% cash rebate of the cost of any store, + 2 - Pay W’s an extra 50¢ for every hamburg they sell, + 3 - Allow W’s to charge an inflated price for their food, + 4 - Give W’s preferential treatment over their competitors, + 5 - Ignore environmental or health regulations W’s violates, + 6 - Mandate that all citizens buy 10% of their meals at W’s.” — Food For Thought —
  13. 13. Using “back of the envelope” calculations it works out that the Mill Pond developers will be making a profit of something like: $50 Million a year!
  14. 14. Who Am I? Brief History Several Problems Some Solutions Questions & Answers
  15. 15. Part 1: Who Am I?
  16. 16. “A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to create interest.” — Winston Churchill
  17. 17. My Three Hats Here: #1 - Physicist #2 - Economist #3 - Environmentalist
  18. 18. A NY State Environmental Success
  19. 19. My basic position is that — 1) we do have environmental and energy issues, and 2) these matters should be solved scientifically.
  20. 20. It’s Lobbyists vs Science —and Science is Losing
  21. 21. “Shut up, you moron! Do as you’ve been told. It’s for your own good!” Wait a minute — something feels wrong here!
  22. 22. See much more at All of the Above All of the Sensible An intelligent, Science-based energy policy slogan:
  23. 23. Written by a Utility Company CEO — a few copies are available today
  24. 24. Part 2: a) NC Energy History [in a Nutshell]
  25. 25. Senate Bill 3 Mostly Wind Energy ALL on the Coast
  26. 26. Part 2: b) Some Marketing History
  27. 27. The basic objective of any con.
  28. 28. How were snake oil salesmen able to take advantage of good people? 1 - By telling them what they wanted to hear, and 2 - By counting on the fact that few people take the time to properly check things out!
  29. 29. We look back and say how could these people be so gullible? But is it any different today?
  30. 30. Yes — It’s Worse!
  31. 31. There is no penalty for making unscientific claims.
  32. 32. “Houston-based company, Torch Renewable Energy LLC, expects its proposed wind and solar energy facility to bring lots of benefits to both Newport and Carteret County, without any negative impacts.” — Carteret News Times: 11/15/13 chutz·pah noun ˈhu̇t-spə, ˈḵu̇t-, -(ˌ)spä Shameless Audacity Example of CHUTZPAH-------------------
  33. 33. So we’ve come full circle.
  34. 34. The solution to almost any con is simple: 1 - don’t believe everything you hear from sales people, and 2 - thoroughly check things out!
  35. 35. Part 3: Several Problems — a) Quick Background
  36. 36. Twelve Turbines in a Rural Community © john droz, jr.
  37. 37. By this I mean that: 1) wind energy is not a technically sound solution to provide us power, or to meaningfully reduce global warming, and Wind Power Fails to Deliver the Goods 2) wind energy is not an economically viable source of energy on its own, and 3) wind energy is not environmentally responsible.
  38. 38. Science is a PROCESS that Works Like This: When a new idea is proposed as a potential solution to a problem, it is up to the advocates to PROVE its efficacy (not the other way around).
  39. 39. In the case of Wind Energy, this has never been done! The Process is an analysis which is: 1) comprehensive, 2) objective, 3) transparent, and 4) empirical.
  40. 40. TECHNICAL (e.g. reliability, dispatchability, transmission, other Grid limitations) ECONOMIC (e.g. taxpayer cost, ratepayer costs, agricultural impact, property values, net jobs, etc.) ENVIRONMENTAL (e.g. CO2 savings, noise, flicker, birds & bats, other health effects, raw material extraction and processing, etc.) Sound Scientific Solutions — a comprehensive assessment that covers ALL important concerns:
  41. 41. Part 3: Several Problems — b) A Teensie Technical Tidbit
  42. 42. No amount of wind energy will replace a coal facility (or reduce its use)
  43. 43. How many Golf Carts would it take to equal the Capability, Performance & Cost of 1 Truck? X ? =
  44. 44. There is NO SUCH THING as wind energy by itself!
  45. 45. Wind Energy MUST HAVE a fast-responding, augmenting source of power available 24/7/365. NO other conventional source of electricity has this requirement!
  46. 46. For a variety of technical and economic reasons, this fast-responding, augmenting source of power is usually GAS.
  47. 47. ALL statements about the consequences of this wind project (calculations of cost, impact on air quality, etc.) MUST address the WIND + GAS Package.
  48. 48. “Integrating the variable capacity of wind energy undermines the time- tested, science driven technology plan required of all utilities. And that just isn’t right.” Another technical issue with Wind Energy
  49. 49. “Families would have to get used to only using power when it was available, rather than constantly.” When National Grid’s CEO was challenged about integrating wind energy, he said: An even more disturbing assessment from a utility executive.
  50. 50. The developer & wind supporters’ omission of these (and other) technical realities is a serious misrepresentation.
  51. 51. Part 3: Several Problems — c)Eying Environmental Effects
  52. 52. Some citizens say that they support similar wind projects because they are “Green.”
  53. 53. Is Wind Energy Really Green? Let’s take a quick look at just one part of a modern turbine...
  54. 54. Many Wind Turbines use 2000± Pounds of Rare Earth Elements per rated MW. So what?
  55. 55. The processing of Rare Earth Elements involves dozens of steps, of caustic chemical baths, or blast furnace separations. Each of these results in a waste stream of severely polluted air, water, and residue.
  56. 56. Read for Yourself...
  57. 57. The processing of the Rare Earth Elements, for just one 100 MW wind project... 1) destroys 20,000± square meters of vegetation, 2) generates 6,000,000± cubic meters of highly toxic air pollution, 4) produces 600,000,000± pounds of contaminated tailing sands, & 5) results in 280,000± pounds of radioactive waste. 3) poisons 29,000,000± gallons of wastewater,
  58. 58. Yes, that’s right: processing the REEs used by just one 100 MW wind project’s turbines results in 280,000± pounds of radioactive waste!
  59. 59. A 100 MW wind project will also create an enormous amount of CO2... 64,000,000± pounds: from the turbines manufacture, 12,000,000± pounds: from the concrete bases, 80,000,000± pounds of CO2: TOTAL. 4,000,000± pounds: from misc assembly and delivery.
  60. 60. There are other adverse environmental consequences as well...
  61. 61. Eagle Rule Weakens Current Protections and Sanctions Eagle Deaths
  62. 62. Will clear-cutting 100+ acres of forest, benefit wildlife?
  63. 63. This is the type of clear-cutting that can be expected.
  64. 64. How will turbine fires impact the surrounding forest?
  65. 65. Health Effects of Low Frequency Noise Can Cause Death
  66. 66. So, is Wind Energy Really Green? An objective look says NO!
  67. 67. After carefully looking into this, reconsider the following marketing claims: 1 - Is Wind Energy really “renewable”? 2 - Is Wind Energy really “sustainable”? 3 - Does Wind Energy really give us energy “independence”? The inescapable answer is NO!
  68. 68. “The current rush for large scale wind developments, connected by a hugely centralized grid system shows a poverty of imagination and thinking rooted in the early 20th Century. If attention continues to be focused on increasing renewable energy targets, without any requirement to demonstrate what each development will achieve in greenhouse gas emissions reductions (including all aspects of the generation and transmission), we face a worst case scenario, where we achieve renewable energy targets through inappropriate developments and at great cost to important environments — only to discover that our greenhouse gas emissions are up, along with our energy consumption, and our energy supply is not secure.” As time goes on, more true environmentalists are speaking out — — The John Muir Trust
  69. 69. Part 3: Several Problems — d) Economics Explained
  70. 70. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G about the economics here is problematic!
  71. 71. Does wind energy provide economical electricity ? NO, not compared to conventional sources. Look at the real economics from three perspectives — a) Total Costs = higher than conventional sources. b) Ratepayer Costs = higher than conventional sources. c) Taxpayer Subsidies = higher than all conventional sources, combined!
  72. 72. “In the simplest of terms, special interest groups and wind developers are asking you to pay more for a less reliable product. And that just isn’t right.” Some utilities are now starting to speak out. Here is a statewide ad run by Idaho Power:
  73. 73. “It doesn’t matter how clean it is, if it’s not affordable or reliable.” President & COO of Duke’s US Electric business, says:
  74. 74. But what about local economics?
  75. 75. What are the NET jobs and economic benefits to NC? Answer: There will be job and economic losses. (See next slides!)
  76. 76. Local Job Impact
  77. 77. Here is a comprehensive study about how wind development affects Tourism...
  78. 78. Here are the study’s conclusions about how wind development affects Tourism...
  79. 79. Here are the latest Craven County Tourism Jobs data... 1040 jobs x 4% = 42± jobs lost /year Over the 20± year life of the wind project: = 840 job years lost (just related to tourism, in Craven County)
  80. 80. Some Craven County Annual Job Impacts Due To a Wind Project This does NOT include additional job losses due to: — the higher cost of electricity, — military impacts due to mission disruptions, etc.
  81. 81. Local Economic Consequences
  82. 82. Here are the latest Craven County Tourism Income data... $119 million x 4% = $5± million lost / year. Over the 20± year life of the wind project: = $100± million lost (just related to tourism, in Craven County)
  83. 83. Here is a government study about one financial impact from wind development...
  84. 84. Here are their conclusions of the crop loss due to killed bats in Craven County...
  85. 85. The bat costs do not take into account other consequences of losing bats — like more human health problems due to an increase of mosquitoes...
  86. 86. Some Craven County Annual Economic Wind Project Impacts This does NOT include additional financial losses due to: — Tax reductions from nearby property devaluations, — Health effects from turbines, — Health effects from insect proliferation, — Higher cost of electricity, etc. = a $154± million loss over the 20 yr project life!
  87. 87. Craven County Wind Project Impact Net Annual Job Loss = 35± Net Annual Economic Loss = $8± Million
  88. 88. Part 3: Several Problems — e) Military Interference
  89. 89. NC Energy Policy and the NC MILITARY: on a Collision Course
  90. 90. Military/Civilian Issue #1: Physical Obstructions =Less Reliable Aircraft Operation
  91. 91. Military/Civilian Issue #2: Aircraft Radar Interference =Less Reliable Aircraft Control
  92. 92. There are two different Radar uses: 1 - Aircraft Control 2 - Nexrad Weather
  93. 93. NOAA Defined Radar Affected Areas: “Significant Impacts Likely” <-------- 11+ miles --------> Radar Mill Pond
  94. 94. 7” = 10 miles = 16.1 km 3 km = 1.3” •Red: No-Build Zone (3 km) = Severe impacts likely. •Everything else on this map = Significant Impacts Likely. Cherry Point Turbine Radar Impact Map Cherry Point Airfield Mill Pond Project Beaufort Airfield 5 km 3.1 m
  95. 95. Turbine ATC Radar Interference Causes a Flight Safety Issue The Radio Frequency reflection off of wind turbine blades can produce echos just like that of aircraft, causing the following: a. False targets (showing aircraft where there are none). b. False locations (showing an aircraft in the wrong place). c. No targets (not showing an aircraft when one exists). Each of these can be a life-threatening event.
  96. 96. “A wind facility will create areas where we can not reliably observe or control military/civilian air traffic.”
  97. 97. Military/Civilian Issue #3: Weather Radar Interference =Less Reliable Aircraft Operation
  98. 98. Based on their investigation and experience, NOAA has identified the following: • False storm identification due to reflection from turbines, • Potential loss of low-level tornado/severe weather signatures because of blockage from turbines, • False mesocyclone and tornado vortex detection due to anomalous velocity values, • Incorrect velocity values due to contamination by turbine blade motion, • Incorrect VAD wind profiles & velocity de-aliasing errors, • False echoes downrange from wind farms due to multi-path effects, • Anomalously large reflectivity values due to reflection from turbines, • False or anomalously large radar-estimated precipitation amounts (esp Storm Total Precipitation) due to reflection from turbines, and • False low radar-estimated precipitation amounts due to radar beam blockage. What Are Some Significant Weather Radar Impacts?
  99. 99. Military Overview:
  100. 100. The introduction of 32 C.F.R. Part 211: The most recent DoD document on this:
  101. 101. A revealing hearing about this matter:
  102. 102. Some Facts about NC Military & Wind Energy 1 - The DC DoD Clearinghouse has assumed all authority for approving wind installations. 2 - Because of this political directive, ALL NC military personnel have been commanded to stand down regarding any NC wind projects. 3 - Internal figures we have seen are that DoD has been submitted 1000’s of applications, and zero have been rejected.
  103. 103. The only basis for DoD to reject a wind project: A high and unfixable national security risk These are not allowable reasons for DoD to reject a wind project (see 32 C.F.R. Part 211): Decrease in aircraft safety Increase in risk to lives of military personnel Lowering of CP’s operational readiness Reduction of CP’s mission fulfillment Tens of millions of $ needed to mitigate That CP might be closed or transferred Any other reason...
  104. 104. Possible Wind Project Military “Mitigations” 1 - The developer makes a superficial change (e.g. moving some turbines a short distance), 2 - The developer makes a small financial donation (e.g. $1 M towards a $50 M taxpayer expenditure), 3 - Cherry Point accepts a diluted mission, 4 - Cherry Point offloads some of its mission to other facilities, or 5 - Cherry Point closes, or moves to another location.
  105. 105. Does H484 Assure Military Protections? NO! 1 - It evokes the DoD Clearinghouse process. 2 - It depends on active military speaking out. 3 - It relies too much on the developer. 4 - It does not include other meaningful protections. 5 - It sets an unnecessarily high bar to be met. 6 - Ultimately it’s all left in the hands of DENR.
  106. 106. Our Best Solution to Protect NC Military Bases Combining retired military, with proper environmental rules and health standards will provide the optimum defense of NC bases.
  107. 107. Part 3: Several Problems — f) A Visual Perspective
  108. 108. Crystal Coast Plaza Highway 70
  109. 109. Crystal Coast Plaza Highway 70
  110. 110. Crystal Coast Plaza Highway 70
  111. 111. Mill Creek Rd Home
  112. 112. Mill Creek Rd Home
  113. 113. Mill Creek Rd Home
  114. 114. So a More Objective Assessment of Industrial Wind Energy Concludes that: Technically — it’s a net loser Environmentally — it’s a net loser Economically — it’s a net loser Employment — it’s a net loser Militarily — it’s a net loser
  115. 115. How Can It Be Proper Siting When: Some nearby families will have heath effects? Proximate homes will lose value? Eagles and raptors will be killed? Many bats will die, resulting in multiple losses? Hundreds of acres of trees will be cut down? Local employment will decrease by 100±/year? There will be a $10M+ annual economic loss? Our weather forecast quality will be reduced? Aircraft will be at a greater risk for collision? Cherry Point will be a higher risk BRAC casualty?
  116. 116. Part 4: Some Solutions
  117. 117. The Objective is to Provide Meaningful PROTECTIONS for: Citizens, Local Businesses, the Environment, and the Military.
  118. 118. Protections for the health and safety of local families. Protections for residents near any proposed wind project, to be allowed the quiet enjoyment use of their property. Protections for the home values of hard-working citizens. Protections for existing Craven County businesses. Protections for Craven taxpayers and ratepayers. Protections for the birds, bats and wildlife in your community. Protections for your natural resources. And, Protections for our military brethren, who put their life on the line to defend the very rights that are endangered here. What Are these Protections?
  119. 119. What’s the Most Effective Way to Provide Such Protections? 1 - Property Value Guarantee 2 - Adequate Setbacks 3 - Proper Acoustical Limit 4 - Environmental Assurances 5 - Decommissioning Rules ------------------------------------------------------------ An Escrow Account is also recommended
  120. 120. Citizen/Environment/Military Protection Rating * In each of these cases the County or Town law is given credit for what is specified in the state law, which is underlying. The scale for each item is that a 10 equals optimum protections. An Optimum Law would have a rating of 100% (with a Total score of 70).
  121. 121. Citizen/Environment/Military Protections * In each of these cases the County or Town law is given credit for what is specified in the state law, which is underlying.
  122. 122. 1 - The objective of a Tall Structure Ordinance is NOT to exclude industrial wind energy — rather it is to provide quality protections for local citizens, local businesses, the environment, and the military. 2 - Industrial wind energy has no legal entitlement to make a profit at the expense of harming our citizens, our economy, our environment, or our military. 3 - If an industrial wind energy business can not operate in your community without consequentially harming your citizens, your economy, your environment, or our military — then they should not be given a permit to operate! The Big Picture
  123. 123. 1 - Improve the Craven County wind law. 2 - Fix SB3 & H484 in the next NC legislative session. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 - Persuade DENR to abide by their Mission Statement. 4 - Improve the DoD Wind Energy Clearinghouse process. 5 - Contact NCUC, asking that they follow their statutory requirements in reviewing any wind project. 6 - Contact the NCUC Public Staff to aggressively do their job as consumer advocates before the NCUC. Plan of Action
  124. 124. Don’t Take The Bait
  125. 125. for Giving This Matter Some Critical Thought! THANK YOU
  126. 126. I’ll Try To Answer Any Questions You Have — or email me: