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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 18th, 2009, 10:50 pm 
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Erhard wrote:
I know, the turbines look elegant and at a distance can fit quite nicely into a landscape. It's different when you are up close - that's an industrial structure. The farms up north get money to lease their land for the turbines, and for them it's a source of income - certainly easier to live with than their cows' manure heap.

You seem to be implying that industrial structures are somehow inherently ugly.

Actually they can be quite beautiful. You might note, for example, that the Tate Modern in London is housed in what had been a monolithic oil fired power plant. It's position, just across the Thames from St. Paul's Cathedral is celebrated with the London Millennium Footbridge.

It's also perhaps worth noting that much of that beautiful farm land up north is industrial as well.

In Vermont proponents of wind turbines have pointed out that by todays standards if the the modern networks of electrical wires, poles, and pylons along our roads, through our towns, and cutting in great swaths across farmland and wilderness were proposed today they would be vociferously opposed as ruining the pastoral landscape.

For me, the large white wind turbines that I have seen in Denmark, Germany, France, and California are all pleasant to look at. Usually I think they are aesthetically pleasing, but part of my enjoyment is also derived from the knowledge that they are providing relatively clean energy. I have never noticed objectionable noise levels, when I have walked among them, but I am a bit hard of hearing.

I would think that the potential for large scale bird kills on the northern shore of Lake Ontario would be a far greater concern than noise or the alteration of the skyline view. My understanding is that there are some locations where migrating birds gather in large numbers on the northern shores of the great lakes before making the crossing.

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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 2:56 am 
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My understanding is that there are some locations where migrating birds gather in large numbers on the northern shores of the great lakes before making the crossing.


The major pathways cross Western Lake Erie, Lake Ontario is relatively free of the main routes although obviously there are some as there would be in almost any location. Interestingly one of the routes crosses Georgian Bay which has been promoted as a good location for wind turbines.

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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 8:32 am 
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recped wrote:

The major pathways cross Western Lake Erie, Lake Ontario is relatively free of the main routes although obviously there are some as there would be in almost any location. Interestingly one of the routes crosses Georgian Bay which has been promoted as a good location for wind turbines.


That map is good and valid input into the discussion. But we have to understand that "main route" is a relative term. I know that the Toronto Islands is a major migration point: one of my friends heads down every weekend during the migration months to help with the banding and they are doing good "business".

My point is that even though these locations are not listed as major routes on a North American overview map, we should understand that major bird migration occurs in the area, as Steve was saying.

For the Kingston area, I found some description of how the birders see it:
http://www.bsc-eoc.org/iba/mapviewer.jsp

Quote:
In total, some 298 species of birds have been recorded at Prince Edward Point with about 220 species being recorded during the average year. Most of these species are recorded during migration, although at least 74 species nest within the area. The number and diversity of landbirds that concentrate in this small area during spring and fall migration is outstanding. A total of 162 landbird species (excluding raptors) have been recorded at this site including 36 species of wood warbler, 20 species of sparrow, and 12 species of flycatcher. Daily censuses during migration indicated that peak numbers of common migrants such as Tree Swallow, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow were regularly in the range of 200 to 500 individuals. When weather conditions caused particularly large concentrations, numbers of these species were occasionally in excess of 2,000 birds and in some cases as high as 10,000 (Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow) or even 70,000 (Dark-eyed Junco).

The shoals and deep waters off the tip of the peninsula are an important waterfowl staging and wintering area, for Greater Scaup, Oldsquaw and White-winged Scoter. Numbers of scaup (mostly Greater Scaup) approach 10,000 regularly (greater than 1% of their estimated N.A. population) with a recent one-day peak of 39,000 in January 1995. Over the past three years Oldsquaw have also regularly occurred in numbers greater than 1% of their estimated N.A. population with one-day peaks of 37,700 and 37,785 in January of 1996 and 1997. White-winged Scoters also occur in numbers that regularly exceed 5,000 with one day peaks in 1995 and 1996 that exceeded 1% of their estimated N.A. population (12,500 and 15,000 respectively). Other waterbirds regularly recorded in large numbers include Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser.

During fall migration, large numbers of raptors, both diurnal and nocturnal, move over the Point. Up to 2,000 hawks a day can regularly be observed including large numbers of Sharp-shinned, Red-shouldered, and Red-tailed Hawks. Large numbers of Northern Saw-whet Owls also move through the area in the fall. This site formerly supported nesting Henslows Sparrows (globally near-threatened, n


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 8:48 am 
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You seem to be implying that industrial structures are somehow inherently ugly.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :wink: but I have to admit that certain technical creations are beautiful to me as well, including some turbines. But I have to acknowledge they can be an eye sore to others. Just like a rusting automobile can be beautiful too - especially if in the right setting and captured by a good photographer.

The point I am making is that there are impacts from industrial projects, and that these cost of these impacts should be borne by the beneficiaries.

How to determine these compensation can be easy like in the case of a motel that shuts down as it's cut from a highway. Or it can be quite difficult if perception of visual impact is involved. I don't pretend I have a magical formula - the closest I can think of is a real estate assessment.

For example, I am sure that a realtor could assign a current value to the property of the former Guild Inn (it overlooks the lake in eastern Scarborough) and estimate the drop in value if three turbines 150m high are erected, 300m from shore. That could define a compensation that should factor into the cost estimate of wind power project.


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 11:54 am 
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Erhard wrote:
That map is good and valid input into the discussion. But we have to understand that "main route" is a relative term. I know that the Toronto Islands is a major migration point: one of my friends heads down every weekend during the migration months to help with the banding and they are doing good "business".


We've had this discussion of birds already ...

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=31317

Hoop obviously disagrees, but ALL studies of wind farms (specifically for last 10 years) show they have negligible impact on birds (migratory or otherwise). A tubine kills an estimated 1-5 birds/year. Not anywhere near the impact of a glass skyscrapper or a stretch of highway with modest traffic (that kills hundreds). Many of the bird kill scare stories are from early (poorly sited) designs (particularly one wind farm in California, Altamont Pass) that included a trellis tower that was optimal for perching (and smaller blades that spun very fast). A slate of new studies in Europe (cited in thread above) show migratory birds avoid offshore wind farms at night, and many diving birds thrive in their shadow because the base of the turbine provides a reef like effect (boosting fish populations).

Bats appear to be caught in the wind flow of terrestrial designs and become disoriented and sometimes die, and engineers are working on solutions to this problem. Ever see a flock of migratory birds in a coal yard, water treatment facility, landfill, tailing pond, or the like. Birds have a number of very serious threats that imperil their migrations, and a lumbering hulk of a wind turbine (which can easily be avoided) is the least of them.

Photo here of the Altamont Pass Wind Farm. They aren’t building these anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 12:25 pm 
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Quote:
We've had this discussion of birds already ...


I know. But I couldn't let stand a possible impression that these areas are outside of bird migration routes - as a superficial reader might have concluded. As far as turbine planning is concerned, the presence of migration should be acknowledged and if knowledgeable reckoning then concludes there is no impact, then I can accept that.

As you can tell, I haven't completely bought into the perception that bird migration might be unaffected by turbines. I doubt all species behave the same and would like to be prepared if it turns out some specific bird get whopped. For example, 20 years ago, who had been aware that bats - my favorite bird :wink: - would have a turbine problem.

Back to my premise: "NIMBY labeling" is used to bully environmental concerns off the stage. Why should we allow us to be bullied?!

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Birds have a number of very serious threats that imperil their migrations, and a lumbering hulk of a wind turbine (which can easily be avoided) is the least of them.
What's the speed of the end of the turbine blade at a - say - 60km/hr wind? Does anyone know - I've seen it a while ago but I think it's somewhere near 100km/h. That's not exactly "lumbering" unless you are a good distance away.

My guess isn't far off: here's an example of engineering comments from
http://www.reuk.co.uk/Wind-Turbine-Tip-Speed-Ratio.htm
Quote:
Tip Speed Ratio Calculations
The tip speed ratio is given by dividing the speed of the tips of the turbine blades by the speed of the wind - for example if a 20 mph wind is blowing on a wind turbine and the tips of its blades are rotating at 80 mph, then the tip speed ration is 80/20 = 4.


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 12:41 pm 
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Here we go a table from http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en ... rends.html

Image
It shows tip speeds between 50 and 100m/sec.

100m/sec is 3600*100m/hr or 360km/hr - did I get that right?

This means the tip travels between 180 and 360km/hr - wow!

I am not trying to give you a hard time, Idly - but to illustrate that it's easy to be convinced by the wind lobby to believe their power source has only benign impacts.


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 12:52 pm 
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Erhard wrote:

Back to my premise: "NIMBY labeling" is used to bully environmental concerns off the stage. Why should we allow us to be bullied?!


That may sometimes be true, Erhard, but the reverse in often true i.e NIMBYs disguised as enviromentalists trying to bully others off the stage with their biased 'studies' showing exaggerated effects such as bird kill. Go, Dalton, go! :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 1:49 pm 
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According to Danish Wind Industry Assoc, "most wind turbines have a constant rotational speed." Tip speed is 64 m/s (or 230 km/h). 1/4 out from the center is 56 km/h, etc. (with very narrow rotor diameter). Many birds are actually killed by the stationary center post ... and in this, there is not much difference with a communications tower (of which there are many, and few people hounding regulatory agencies to tear down or otherwise re-site to minimize bird collisions).


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 1:54 pm 
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So Toronto should suck up huge amounts of energy, but they can't stand a non polluting blemish on the horizon :-?

What's next, are they going to ship their garbage to us here in Michigan? Oh wait, they already do.....

Pot, meet kettle.

I actually kind of like the looks of wind towers. You can't tell me it would be a noise problem if they are 2-4km off shore.

As for birds being killed, are we better off to build more coal plants or dam another river? I think not.

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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 2:47 pm 
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The good old "they kill birds" argument still flies?

How many birds are killed annually by:
cats
hunters
buildings
cars
trucks
trains
planes
other birds
winter
wind towers?


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 3:16 pm 
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hikerneil wrote:
The good old "they kill birds" argument still flies?

How many birds are killed annually by:
cats
hunters
buildings
cars
trucks
trains
planes
other birds
winter
wind towers?


how about cell phone towers?

I'm wondering how many of the NIMBY's screamed until they had good, uninterupted cell phone service at their cottages are now bemoaning the thought of wind towers being constructed in their "backyards".



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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 3:38 pm 
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How many Blue Jays were killed by Cleveland Indians last year?

Wind power is getting big in Quebec too but costs a lot more right now to get it on the grid than hydro power.


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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2009, 4:28 pm 
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And, not to be outdone, the folks in Tiny Twp are 'up-in arms'.....yet again!!

http://www.simcoe.com/article/128745

As I recall, the NIMBYs of Tiny Twp have made the news once or twice before all the way down to the big city! I'm not sure if Tiny gets its name for the hearts or the minds of its residents. :(

Here's an excerpt from a letter to the ed " To all the people worrying about the bugs, plants and animals that would be disturbed by the construction of wind turbines, why didn’t you worry about these things when you were building your little castles? You may not be saying ‘not in my backyard,’ but you are saying ‘now that I have ruined my little section of the Georgian Bay shoreline, I don’t want anyone else to do so!’ Why would a beautiful white windmill be any more of an eyesore on the shores of Georgian Bay than another building...."

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 Post subject: Re: Blowhard nimbyism...
PostPosted: February 20th, 2009, 9:10 am 
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wotrock wrote:
That may sometimes be true, Erhard, but the reverse in often true i.e NIMBYs disguised as enviromentalists trying to bully others off the stage with their biased 'studies' showing exaggerated effects such as bird kill. Go, Dalton, go! :clap:

Got your goat, didn't it! :lol: I know, the evil environmentalist bullying the industry....

As far as the environmental community is concerned, the bird kill is not the major issue any more after the industry changed the towers' designs and is a bit more considerate concerning the locations. But those towers do kill birds. Other structures do the same and worse, that doesn't mean turbines should not take migration flight paths into account.

But you are avoiding the point I am making: by throwing the NIMBY accusation into the hat, the industry is trying to avoid some major costs of their projects. A reimbursing scheme is present for road construction, but nothing is in place for wind turbine activity.

That extra cost should be paid and levied onto the price of the energy produced to reflect its true cost and avoid another free ride at the public's expense.


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