BEEF Daily

Do You Like Wind Turbines?


A wind energy company is headed to court for causing the death of hundreds of migratory birds.

New visitors to the Midwest are often left speechless by the wide open spaces and the endless vistas uninhibited by trees and big buildings. I love living in a place that has room to stretch out, with lots of fresh air to breathe and nature to enjoy. The one complaint in my area of South Dakota, however, is the wind. No matter the season, the wind blows here, and there’s not much to block it.

All that constant wind, however, can be a source of energy. And with government policy that supports their development, wind turbines seem to be sprouting like dandelions across the U.S.

While wind turbines offer a green alternative to fossil fuels, they also have their drawbacks. For instance, the wind doesn’t “always” blow. Plus, some folks consider them unsightly, and others complain of the noise the huge turbine wings make as they rotate. These installations also tend to be located in areas well away from cities, where the real power challenges are. And then there’s the issue of the dangers they present to our flying friends such as migrating birds and bats.

wind turbinesIn fact, recent research in the Journal of Raptor Research states that windmills have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years. That figure could actually be much higher, the article says, and Mike Parr of the American Bird Conservancy, calls the tally, "an alarming and concerning finding.”

And the U.S. Department of Interior reports that fatalities of bats, which are beneficial consumers of agricultural insect pests, have now been documented at most wind facilities in the U.S. and Canada. And it's estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands of bats die at wind turbines in North America each year.


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Well, the federal government recently announced the first-ever criminal enforcement of bird-protection laws at a wind energy facility by fining North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp., $1 million for killing more than 150 migratory birds. This included 14 golden eagles, at two Wyoming wind farms over the past few years, according to Phil Taylor, E&E Publishing, LLC, reporter.

“The government's plea agreement with Duke Energy Corp. could have broad legal implications as the Obama administration and the wind industry grapple with the ecological trade-offs of building commercial-scale wind farms across the landscape. The penalty sends a clear message that wind farms, despite their climate benefits as a source of renewable energy, are no longer exempt from a 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act that protects more than 1,000 migratory bird species.”

Read the complete details of the case here.

At the same time, however, the Obama administration reportedly is moving toward finalizing a rule that would give alternative energy farms a pass for killing bald and golden eagles for decades, just weeks after it took legal action for the first time against a company for doing so. See the article here.

Of course, these companies should do their best to protect wildlife, but wind energy is also a beneficial energy source for many, as well as a boost to small rural communities. It will be interesting to see how the Duke Energy case turns out and its ramifications.

What’s your opinion of wind turbines? Do you like the extra revenue they provide? Do you think they are more trouble than the money they bring in? Do you think they are loud and/or ruin the landscape? Do you think they are environmentally dangerous? Do you think the benefits of the alternative energy source outweigh the downsides? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 31

Gene Schriefer (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

I've stood under a wind turbine and found the noise from the highway a mile a way far more annoying than the swoosh of the blades. The wind farm in our county has done more to preserve farmland and green space than any other policy has before. Perhaps less of an issue on the wide open plains where population is not encroaching. The land is farmed right up to the access road and cattle still contented graze.

Whether they ruin the landscape is rather subjective. What about they house in the country, the bill board, the cell tower? Depends upon one's values.

environmentally dangerous - you gotta be kidding right? as opposed to drilling under a mile of ocean and blowing out the regulator spoiling a thousand miles of gulf coast, or running a supertanker aground in Alaska, tor the leaking of radioactive coolant into the ground water necessitating the abandonment of an entire village?

No they don't generate electricity 24/7, that's what the smart grid is for. You could also electricity from wind to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen and store the hydrogen for off peak hours.

No place will be 100% safe from bird impacts but by locating these smartly, as in outside the major migratory flyways this will be kept to a minimum. Where's the self righteous indignation over the 4400 american lives lost in Iraq and a trillion dollars in debt ensuring the flow of cheap oil?

Is wind perfect, no. Is it competitive with conventional electricity in price, yes. Weighing the risks is it a reasonable alternative, yes I think so.

ridinshotgun (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Wind is NOT competitive with conventional energy in price. My electric costs have gone up almost 45% in the last two years. The reason, according to my energy company, is expressly due to the construction, maintenance, and administration of these wind farms. That was all over the news when the rate increases hit. How could they be competitive in price when you still have to maintain and operate the existing generating processes to make up for the fluctuations and times when the wind doesn't blow? Also, there is a relatively narrow wind-speed window in which these things operate optimally. I'm not sure of the exact numbers and I'm sure it varies by manufacturer, but I know the wind needs to be blowing somewhere between 15-25 miles per hour for optimal generation. Once the wind gets over a certain speed, they shut them down with a braking system to prevent over revving and failure.
I too have stood under wind turbines many times. The noise level changes depending on many things such as wind speed, wind direction, ice buildup, land topography, distance from the tower and your compass heading from the tower. The noise can be a gentle swoosh to a window rattling racket. Don't just walk out on a sunny, breezy day and base your opinion of thousands of windmills on one experience.
I agree that it is subjective on whether they ruin the landscape. However, you can't compare a windfarm of 250 windmills that are almost 400 feet tall and can be seen from 30 miles away to a billboard, the odd cell tower, or a house in the country.
Environmentally dangerous? Yes. And I would add destructive! Each wind tower uses sits on a concrete base of approximately 400 cubic yards of concrete that extends 40 feet deep. Roads are built to each tower and electric lines are trenched to each tower. This will be there forever and this is usually done through prime farmland or native prairie which happenes to be in or near the major flyways. Also, each generator holds hundreds of gallons of a highly toxic oil hundreds of feet in the air. Have you not seen the you tube videos of fires, chunks of ice being flung, and other hazards from these things? I find it interesting that you reference the recent oil disasters (that have been largely cleaned up) and in the same breath, turn around and talk about storing hydrogen as if there are no dangers with that at all!

TLN2 (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

You are correct. Without subsidies wind farms are not viable in the commercial market. Just compare the cost/benefit with nuclear. Art is subjective, wind farms are commercial.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 16, 2013

You've got to be kidding, right? If you think wind energy is a substitute for crude oil, you have a lot to learn. Typically only people getting handouts as a result of government subsidy would even suggest such a thing. How much electricity does the US get from burning crude oil? Learn a little about the world we live in before posting as if you had.

AM (not verified)
on Mar 13, 2014

I agree with this argument.

To those talking about power prices, unless you generate your own power, you're going to be subject to the prices of the grid.

Fossil fuel power is highly subsidized by the government, which has kept both power and gas prices (believe it or not) artifically low. They aren't making any more of the non-renewables, so it's only a matter of time until the prices off-set themselves.

Don't believe me? Check out what happened to Austrailia last year and their coal industry. Just Google it; something we don't hear about in the west.

At some time, renewables will be our most cost effective option for power.

Alex Carone (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Without their tax deferments Wind Farms could not operate in the real business world.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Neither could oil or coal as they are highly subsidized by the government and always have been. If they were not you sir would be going by horse and buggy.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Although I understand the need for clean energy. I believe wind farms (turbines) are visual intrusion on the landscape. I know of someone trying to sell a ranch and they can't because of the turbines are obtrusive.
I would like to see more of an emphasis on home wind turbines for the farm or ranch. Including more affordable solar energy for the farm and ranch as well as residential.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Your assessment of sale are false and a lie, studies have shown that sale or property values remain the same or in many cases increase as property taxes decrease and services provided by local government increases.

on Dec 13, 2013

I think it's pretty rude to stroll in here and call someone else a liar.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 14, 2013

Study all you want, I have two acquaintances that own building sites with a house, but not the land around the building site. The owners of the land around their building sites had signed up for wind turbines. The wind company put turbines right next to their houses (as close as the set backs allow). After living next to those turbines for around two years, both families couldn't take the annoyance anymore, so they moved. That was around four or five years ago, they both still own those sites, no one will even put in an offer on their properties because those turbines sit too close to the houses. Theres is no way you can say these turbines don't affect the value of land, its just plain wrong to think that way.

Appraiser (not verified)
on Dec 16, 2013

Loss of marketability and value is not a lie. It is a fact that repeats itself from project to project. Even the most recent industry study that claims "no statistically significant impact" proves the impacts are actually 26% nearby, before they manipulate the data to obscure the actual data results.

Every independent study I have reviewed finds impacts from 25% upwards to 50%. Turbines need to be setback at least 2-3 miles to avoid the majority of these significant impacts on value.

Of course, people receiving lease income tend to deny the impacts, but even many lessors find out too late what a mistake they made.

Beyond value loss, sleep disturbance and other noise and aesthetic issues, it is a shame how these wind projects pretty much all cause unwelcome division of communities, and they pit neighbor against neighbor.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

It's like ethanol without the Government involved they would be broke. How does it feel to pay for something like that? It's no wonder that our country is broke. Also, I feel that these turbines are "driving" our jet streams and creating weather more extreme than we have seen. There will always be a "cost" for the pleasures in life.

Jim (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

They are the Good, Bad and Ugly. I'll skip the good for the benefit of gold fever and ugly which is only in the eyes of the holder. I've learned to tolerate 23 along the escarpment which by the way had the largest diversity of raptors from the smallest- American Kestrel, fastest- Prairie Falcon, Largest- Golden Eagle and Great Horn Owl with those in between- Red Tails, Swainson's and during the winter Rough-legged. Landowners are and can be held responsible for any takings under the Eagle Golden Eagle Act, Migratory Bird Act and the Endanger Species Act for you profit from the installation and by right you need to be covered under the taking permit along with the developer.Duke Energy in Wyo is only the beginning of the developers who will be held responsible paying fines and required to develop conservation plans which are very costly squeezing the very narrow profit margin. Landowners will have a life time experience when and/or when the project goes into receivership and bankruptcy. (if)

As soon as three years gear boxes need replacement. A learning curve for the crews on how to keep gates closed so the cattle aren't on a walk about.

Then there's the time the gantlet needs to be run to check the livestock as the balds are shedding the snow accumulation.The mind set of a corpsman working under bombard helps.From the distance it resembles artillery.

If the property hasn't had a survey since the 1800 watch the section corner monuments they place. GPS is with out a question more accurate. Yet the property has exchange hands over the years on the original and fence lines. Other than neighbor conflicts it creates a cloud on the title. I spent 186 thousand on attorneys and six years to get a settlement which I'm to say that "I'm satisfied"

Best of luck to those who become involved. Watch your six for there are Huns in the sun ready to pounce!!

W.E. (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Wind energy is among the safest sources for electric power. If we could measure the number of eagles killed by pesticides, poachers' guns, contaminated wildlife and pollution, any one of those things would far exceed the number of deaths from wind turbines. We agree with both Gene and with Anonymous, who would like to see more home wind turbines and affordable solar energy. Spreading the responsibility for energy production among more citizens also would decrease the likelihood of large-scale power failures. We live in a region where most electricity is generated in coal-fired plants. Although there are very tall smokestacks with scrubbers attempting to decrease pollution, a constant brown smudge hovers for many miles over the horizon to the north of our farm. During extreme weather events in a twelve-month period during 2008 and 2009, our rural neighborhood and much of the surrounding area lost electric power for a total of an entire month or even more. Almost everyone in our area depends upon electricity generated by those plants and/or hydroelectric power from a dam many miles away. Those widespread power outages prompted a number of area farmers in a neighboring county to install solar panels. Their rural electric co-operative encouraged this; ours did not. Personally, we would rather have our tax dollars support subsidies for building solar and wind power generators than for growing corn. We grow corn, but the corn subsidies are seldom more than enough to pay for expensive seed, so they are actually subsidizing the seed companies. Why not make subsidies support energy self-sufficiency for rural communities that can be shared with nearby towns and cities instead of corn for ethanol plants? The reason is that independent ownership of wind and solar power generators cannot be as easily controlled and capitalized upon as coal mines, oil wells, fracking operations, and natural gas pipelines. For that reason, individual ownership of clean, safe, sustainable energy generation options like wind turbines and solar panels has been very, very slow. Sometimes, when the common good is not among our highest priority, capitalism actually impedes progress. Our founding fathers knew that: Thomas Jefferson was president; Alexander Hamilton wasn’t.

on Dec 12, 2013

I personally like them, I find them no more intrusive than the noise coming from engines that backfire with no mufflers that you can hear from 1/2 mile away, you can hear the squeaky wells from 1/4 mile away, then you have the odors coming from the tank batteries and salt water disposals. Then in most instances, they have leaks from tanks and pipe lines, and the soil sterilizers that are used to keep the areas "looking nice" run off into your pastures and fields. It hasn't all been rosy dealing with the wind turbines either, but I would rather have those than the oil and gas wells at times. Some of the new horizontal wells going in, I have heard that the companies doing them are not cleaning up very well either, and leaving a mess of all sorts of things for the landowner. We've also had a couple calves killed by the pumping units, due to negligence on the company's part.

ridinshotgun (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Todd, I agree that the oil and gas industry is not perfect. I don't like many of their tactics and practices either. But, if we are going to invest in new energy technology, it should at least be cheaper, cleaner and easier. The wind farms are NONE of those.
Just like the oil explorers, the wind rights developers have snake oil salesmen that come around and tell bald-faced lies to coerce you to sell your wind rights. When you sell, you no longer have control over your property.
I personally know beef producers in Indiana who have had decreased conception rates and much lower feed efficiencies from the vibration, noise pollution and light flicker due to windmills. For the most part, the only farmers/ranchers who will tell you that they llike these things are the ones who have sold out and are bound by non-disclosure/non-defamation agreements that they must sign with the developers. I have copies of the paperwork for a wind farm in my area and I know this to be fact.

Keith Evans (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Nothing ever changes. We are all for industrial progress, just not in my backyard.

Keith Evans

on Dec 12, 2013

I have mixed feelings on the wind turbine. It seems when something new comes up, everybody has to jump on the bandwagon before adequate studies have been done. These studies take time and no one wants to wait. I recall about 10 -12 years ago a study was done in Wisconsin about lower milk production from dairy cows that were housed close to wind turbines. I don't know if that was substantiated or not, but it was made quiet very quickly. We have been using windmills on our ranches and farms for centuries with good effect. However they are not the size and extent of the wind turbines. I would like to know what the long term effects of wind farms are on air currents and the climate. I'm not against wind turbines, but I think more should be studied on the safety and the effects on domestic animals, wildlife, and humans before we turn our open lands into giant electricity farms.

KG (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Birds that fly into these things are not going to live long even if they were not there. They are simply to stupid to live.

Bob Mueller (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Wind used to generate electricity by wind turbines is a very good and cheap source of producing electricity. We have 4 on our farm in southwest WI. These windmills have been in service for 7 years and we have yet to see any birds or foul of any kind killed from the blades on the units. We consider this a very good and cheap way to produce energy, and furthermore there is "NO" !!! pollution to the environment from generating electricity this way. Our farm is on a busy two lane highway and the noise from the traffic is very much more noticeable than windmill noise. Besides being environmentally friendly they produce tax revenue for the area. The only draw back I can see is I wish we had more of them for the money we receive,

on Dec 13, 2013

Your comment is interesting. It sounds like these are not your windmills but the power company's. Do you have any numbers for how much they cost the power company to build and maintain, and how much they sell the output for?

TFStacy (not verified)
on Dec 16, 2013

Jake, the big units cost about $2MM per MW installed, translating to a lifetime cost of energy between $0.06 and $0.12 per kWH, depending on how windy it is where you put the devices. But subsidies make up 60 to 75% of the capital cost, making them profitable for the owners at taxpayer expense. But you then have to understand that the idea of wind energy being competitive with coal, nuclear or natural gas electricity is like claiming that, with enough subsidy, pieces of fishing line cut into six inch strips can be competitive with continuous reels of the stuff!

on Dec 12, 2013

I am a 4th generation cattle/grain farmer in Illinois. I value my way of life living on the farm. I am an advocate of responsible energy development.
Being a landowner, I have been approached by the wind energy developers to sign a lease agreement. I looked beyond the potential dollar signs, the biggest sell tactic the developer uses to get a signature. A signed lease does not guarantee that a turbine will be placed on the property; but it does guarantee that the property owner has given up full control of the leased land. Given time, the property owner will come to realize this, but it will be too late.
I have been researching the health risks that homeowners who live in close proximity of industrial wind turbines are forced to deal with. These health concerns were confirmed when I traveled to DeKalb County, Illinois. I observed wind farms first hand and personally talked with homeowners experiencing devastating health problems of their families living as close as 1,430 foot from wind turbines. Just stopping along the road and listening to wind turbines is not the same as living with them on a daily basis-you need to talk with those who actually live close to wind turbines to understand what they are experiencing.
Once turbines are constructed and the blades start turning, families express the same recurring twelve symptoms including headache, sleep disturbance, nausea, ringing in the ears, pressure in the ears, dizziness, visual blurring, racing heartbeat, vertigo, irritability, panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering (which arise while awake or asleep) and problems with concentration and memory. These symptoms have been coined Wind Turbine Syndrome by Nina Pierpont M.D.,PhD who has been studying this sine 2004 and is the author of the book Wind Turbine Syndrome-A Report on a Natural Experiment.
Wind Turbine Syndrome is caused by noise, vibration, and moving blade shadows. Wind turbines make low frequency noise (below what we can hear), through the range we can hear (audible), to ultrasonic (above what we hear).
The chief noise culprit of the turbines appears to be low frequency noise. Low frequency noise or vibration tricks the body's balance system into thinking it is moving. The human balance system is a complex brain system receiving nerve signals from the inner ears, the eyes, muscles and joints, and inside the chest and abdomen. Because the eyes are involved, visual disturbances from the blade's shadow flicker adds to the balance disturbance.
Brain functions are profoundly affected by our sense of balance and motion. Balance signals are the one kind of sensory signal we simply cannot tune out.
Proper setbacks from homes are the best way to avoid Wind Turbine Syndome.
William Mulvaney, Superintendent of Armstrong, IL schools served on the wind panel that met to try and give direction to the county board on wind turbine ordinances. He recently wrote a letter to the chairman of his county board regarding the health issues he has since observed with some of the students because the wind turbines were placed close to homes. In the letter, he states, "While these issues were brought up at our panel discussions, I was not fully aware of the impact that the wind turbines would have to my school districts. It is never a good thing when children have health issues or families have to leave their homes to get away from the turbines. The revenue generated by the turbines is a blessing to our schools, but the unintended consequences are real."

M (not verified)
on Dec 13, 2013

I agree 100% with your comments. We have hundreds of turbines just a few miles away from our outfit. I personally know many of the folks who have them on their land. The only people who are not completely pissed about the turbines are those who were part of the original turbines put in around 1995. These people were paid near $100k up front per turbine. All other folks wish they would have never see the turbines, period. Issues are: destruction of good land/pasture with no control of where they put their roads or turbines, that easement you talked about gives the wind company full range of their entire property and also keeps the land owner from using that property as collateral for any loan unless the wind company signs off on it (and they won't), landowners cannot drive on their roads for anything or they get fined, wind companies do not control or take care of weeds around turbines and roads, when a rotor or blade blows up, it scatters debris everywhere no one cleans it up.
Aside from the orignial folks, everyone else wishes they would have never seen them.
The wind blows in our country it seems nearly everyday, but the science and numbers say it blows enough to turn those turbines only 35% of the time (remember gotta count all 24hrs a day). The problem is that their is no way to store the energy, so how do you function the other 65% of the time? This is the point our electric coop has brought up when talking about wind power. They need to purchase enough energy from a consistent source to ensure that they can keep the electricity on 24hrs a day.
These turbines put the cart in front of the horse, a large consistent method to store this energy should have been developed before the turbine. I appreciate having electricity nearly 100% of the time, don't really feel like having it only 35% of the time. FWIW

Anonymous from MO (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Green energy? I don't know that I can think of a bigger man-made eyesore... except for maybe a city.
I wonder why a lower (to the ground) solution to capturing wind energy hasn't been developed to reduce the eyesore. I mean, we all know the wind blows along the ground too! (At least I think it's the wind that makes all those snowdrifts!)

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 16, 2013

Perhaps a tertiary search using the words "wind shear" would help you understand better. Sure. Many things are possible if you can print money to pay for them.

Anonymous from MO (not verified)
on Dec 12, 2013

Oh, I'm sorry... I forgot to state my position clearly. No. I don't like wind turbines.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 15, 2013

I am left living with the damage these monsters have reaked on our community. People ARE the collateral damage of wind turbines.
Fight with all you have in you against them. Had we not believed the BS the company was shoving at us we would have fought it in the beginning, now all I can do is warn others to not let them in.
Two sleep meds to sleep in my own bed and both my teenage son and I have developed sudden onset High Blood Pressure since they start all the noise and vibrations we are now plagued with. FIGHT THEM

Mary Kay Barton (not verified)
on Dec 16, 2013

Out in the Great Plains, Texas, and the Dakotas, they are siting industrial wind factories out in the middle of nowhere - not around peoples' homes. (Certainly, all of the added financial & environmental costs of all the added transmission lines is a major concern no matter which state we are talking about.) However, because of mandatory "Renewable" requirements being imposed by many states in the less windy, and much more heavily populated northeast states, industrial wind factories are being sited throughout entire towns, only 500 feet from heavily traveled roads, and only 700 feet from peoples' property lines - rendering many peoples' homes virtually worthless. Let's be real, would you buy and move YOUR family into a home located within the footprint of an industrial wind factory, with its' 420 - 500+ foot tall industrial towers, and their 164-foot-long, 22,000 pound (that's 11 TONS!), bird-chopping blades spinning overhead? I doubt it, but that's exactly what is going on in here in New York State, and in many northeastern states. Here is a summary I put together on why people oppose industrial wind:

Special political favor at the local, state, and federal levels has created an artificial industry: industrial windpower. Industrial wind is "a political agenda" being pushed by 'green' lobbyists under the premise that it will reduce CO2 emissions, and thus, help abate Global Warming (aka: Climate Change). However, the reality is that with approximately 250,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today (over 45,100 of those in the U.S. according to AWEA), and with multi-$Billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars already thrown into the wind - ultimately “skyrocketing” our electricity rates (as President Obama forewarned his 'green' energy policy would), CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced anywhere, nor has any conventional power generators been shuttered thanks to wind. In fact, rounded to the nearest whole number, worldwide electricity generation from wind is still ZERO. Our environment and our rural communities are being destroyed for NOTHING!

Industrial wind is simply NOT civilly, technically, economically, nor environmentally sound energy policy.

1.) Civilly – and Most Importantly: Jesus commanded us to, “Love God with your whole heart, soul and mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (aka: The ‘Golden Rule’ – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)

The only thing that has ever been reliably generated by industrial wind is complete and utter civil discord. Neighbor is pitted against neighbor, and even family member against family member - totally dividing communities. It is the job of good government to foresee and prevent this degree of civil discord, not to promote it. Adhering to the ‘Golden Rule’ would have halted the wind issue in its tracks.

2.) Technically: Large 400 - 500 foot machines that depend on hundreds of gallons of oil and thousands of pounds of rare earth elements (mined in China) per MW, with their spinning 160-foot long, 22,000 pound (11 TONS) carbon-filament blades, on their CO2-emitting, 350+ ton concrete bases, have limited life-spans of only 10 - 13 years. These machines are notorious for frequent break-downs. Their blades often break even when they are new - endangering anyone TOO CLOSE (ie: Invenergy's GE 1.6 blade break in Orangeville – the 3rd one for GE in the past few weeks)

3.) Economically: Because wind provides NO Capacity Value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), wind can NOT replace our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators. Thus, wind needs constant "shadow capacity" from our reliable, conventional generators – a redundancy which Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein admitted “turns ratepayers and taxpayers into double-payers for the same product.”

ONE single 450 MW gas-fired combined cycle generating unit located at New York City (NYC) - where the power is needed in New York State (NYS) - operating at only 60% capacity factor, would provide MORE electricity than all of NYS’s wind factories combined, at about 1/4 of the capital costs – WITHOUT all the negative civil, economic, environmental, human health ( and property value impacts caused by industrial wind factories and all their added transmission lines to NYC.

Wasting money on the wishful thinking of wind has contributed to NYS earning the dubious distinction of having the highest electricity rates in the continental United States – a whopping 53% above the national average. A NYS resident using 6,500 kWh of electricity annually will pay about $400 per year more per year for their electricity than if our electricity prices were at the national average - over $3.2 BILLION dollars that will not be spent in the rest of the economy.

The Institute for Energy Research tallied the numbers and found that each wind job costs $11.45 Million Dollars, and as a result, costs more than four (4) jobs lost elsewhere in the economy.

4.) Environmentally: The sprawling footprints of industrial wind factories cause massive Habitat Fragmentation, and kills hundreds of thousands of eagles, whooping cranes, bats, and other endangered avian life every year, while failing to significantly lower CO2 emissions. The Presidents of the American Eagle Foundation and have both spoken out against this massive avian slaughter. A recent study has shown that as many as 900,000 bats were killed just last year! It has been predicted that when the bats become extinct, man is next.

William Tucker explained in his essay, Understanding E = mc2, that the standard candle for an electricity generating facility is 1000 MW. Since wind turbines operate only 30% of the time [Here in NY they averaged a pathetic 23% in 2012], trying to equal 1000 MW really means covering more than 375 square miles with wind turbines. Even after carpeting over 375 sq miles with industrial wind turbines in a futile attempt to equal just ONE reliable generating facility, those wind turbines still would not work at all much of the time - highlighting Big Wind's inability to successfully replace our reliable, dispatchable power generators.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the fact that industrializing 375 sq miles -- to try and equal what just ONE RELIABLE, conventional generating facility could provide (in a fraction of the space) – is NOT “sustainable”!

Learn more at:,,,

Rich Wilcke (not verified)
on Dec 23, 2013

The truth is that there was a vast amount of research being done by commercial firms on improving on-site generation of electricity in the years from the end of WWI to the creation of the REA. They had every reason to believe there was going to be unlimited demand for on-site electricity since there was no economic rationale for planting poles and long lines in rural areas. When the REA was passed to use taxpayer funds to subsidize loans to electric coops, all that research stopped. In the 1970s, when price controls caused an 'energy crisis', critics of free markets were quick to claim that "free markets" let us down by squelching or just failing to research renewable sources of energy like solar and wind. For the last three-plus decades, there has been increasing pressure for subsidized production of energy. There isn't a giant wind turbine in the world that isn't subsidized by governments. Ranchers who see them as positive replacements for coal or gas or oil are just kidding themselves. They are as socialist as every energy project in the old USSR. And anyone who believes that coal, and later oil, and finally gas were unable to serve without government subsidies beginning in the 1800s is simply confused about their economic history.

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