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What Obstacles Exist Concerning the Siting of Wind Generation? Steve Lindenberg, Department of Energy NARUC Wind Siting

What Obstacles Exist Concerning the Siting of Wind Generation? Steve Lindenberg, Department of Energy NARUC Wind Siting Session November 14, 2007 Anaheim, California. DOE Wind Program Siting Activities. Environmental & Wildlife Radar and Air Space Noise Property Values

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What Obstacles Exist Concerning the Siting of Wind Generation? Steve Lindenberg, Department of Energy NARUC Wind Siting

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  1. What Obstacles Exist Concerning the Siting of Wind Generation? Steve Lindenberg, Department of Energy NARUC Wind Siting Session November 14, 2007 Anaheim, California

  2. DOE Wind Program Siting Activities • Environmental & Wildlife • Radar and Air Space • Noise • Property Values • Economic Development • 20% Vision

  3. Environmental and Wildlife • Collaboration with NWCC and USFWS • Grassland Shrub Steppe Species Collaborative • Cumulative population impacts • American Wind Wildlife Institute • Prairie birds • Raptors and bats • Nocturnal migration

  4. Source: BWEC Report 2005 Wildlife - Avian • Bat Wind Energy Cooperative: • Partnership with utilities to monitor bat-turbine interaction • DOE/NREL funding for 5 years • Investigation of mitigation options • Species-specific research • Prairie chicken habitat • Genetic diversity • Macro issues • Research on flyways • Collaboration with Montana State University and USGS on radar databases

  5. Radar and Air Space Wind turbines are large EMI reflectors Aviation Radar systems cannot easily discriminate between turbine blade movement and airplane traffic. ENERGY TRANSMITTED BY THE RADAR IS REFLECTED OFF OF THE BLADES GENERATOR AND TOWER AND RETURNED TO THE RADAR AS INTERFERENCE 350-500 Ft

  6. Federal Interagency Licensing and Siting Collaborative • Agency collaboration between: DOD, DOE, DOT, DHS, USDA, Interior, Commerce • Goals are to: • Streamline Existing Federal Requirements • Top to bottom review & publication of current requirements • Identify agency “ownership” of wind siting • Establish Coordinating Mechanism • Executive Steering Committee of Agency Principals • Provide overall guidance and resolve potential conflicts • Enhance Impacts Screening Capabilities • Increase number of tools • Develop interactive capability • Long Term: • Clear, timely, predictable Federal agency decision-making on wind siting processes

  7. Siting Toolkit Process A toolkit is being developed for use by wind power developers and government agencies to rapidly assess, evaluate and aid in the approval of wind farm installations. Toolkit will offer: • A different module for each agency, specific to their needs • Rapid preliminary evaluation of siting proposals • Common interface for all agency evaluations • Feedback on deficiencies and interferences

  8. Noise Noise from wind farms at 750-1000 feet is quieter than a kitchen refrigerator. • DOE Activities: • Air acoustics research to reduce noise levels of new turbines • Noise testing – IEC standards testing for commercial wind turbines Source: American Wind Energy Association

  9. Property Values • Fear of declining property values is one of the most-cited reasons for local opposition to wind projects. In some areas, local opposition over this issue is often intense, and can negatively influence permitting decisions. • DOE is conducting assessments of property values near wind farms in the Northeast (4 locations). • No statistically significant property value effects found at initial 4 locations. DOE continues to expand the sample size. • So far, there is no statistically significant evidence that distance from the project matters. • For more information, there will be a report on this issue in early 2008.

  10. Economic Development ImpactsU.S. Average jobs and impacts from 100 MW of new wind Wind energy provides great potential for economic development and jobs. • Property owner revenue: $2,500 - $4,000 per MW/year • Local property tax revenue: varies widely $300,000 -$1.7 million/yr • 100 - 200jobs during construction • 6 - 10 permanentO&M jobs • Local industry stimulation: concrete, towers, roads, electrical services • Manufacturing and assembly plants expanding in U.S. will increase local benefits (e.g., a new blade facility in CO).

  11. A New Potential for Wind Energy in the U.S. State of the Union Address “…We will invest more in … revolutionary and…wind technologies” Advanced Energy Initiative “Areas with good wind resources have the potential to supply up to 20% of the electricity consumption of the United States.”

  12. 20% Wind ReportSiting Chapter Overview To supply 20% of U.S. electricity, the wind industry: • Needs proactive, public-private, efficient approaches to siting • Must advance from case-by-case to regional consideration • Requires expanded scientific data bases on wildlife and other issues For more in-depth information on wind turbine siting and environmental issues, the 20% Wind Vision document contains an entire chapter on these issues, and will be released by the end of the year.

  13. Which issues can NARUC help with to pursue the 20% Wind Vision? NARUC and the 20% Vision • Transmission and System Integration • Evolution of Markets • Technology Advancement and Manufacturing • Environmental and Siting Issues

  14. Thank you Steve Lindenberg Department of Energy steve.lindenberg@ee.doe.gov (202) 586-2783

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