Proposed turbine size, click to enlarge.

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concerned resident said...

With such large turbines proposed so close to so many homes it is inevitable that amenity values such as landscape and peaceful quietness will be lost. It is a logical conclusion that property values will be adversely effected with a high possibility that no one will want to buy. Pro-wind farm people and organisations such as wind farm developers, EECA, NZWEA and even PNCC, claim that property values near wind turbines are not affected and can actually increase. What is the reality here?

Palmerston North said...

The reality is in fact very simple. Wind farm developers always live elsewhere so claims that property values are not affected is a hollow assertion. Developers are insulated from verifying their claims because there are no national standards to say what is an acceptable offset distance between a house and a turbine. Totally inadequate noise standards which have been developed by the wind industry itself is a further barrier to justice for victims. A private and extensive survey of the impact of wind turbines on people has in fact already been done here in the Manawatu and the survey makes sober reading. It is unlawful for a brothel to be established in a residential neighbourhood and rules also apply to gang headquarters and to businesses which are home based. But a noisy, intrusive wind farm has the government's blessing.

Wind farm developers claim the support of affected parties but the
details and methodology of such surveys are never provided. The
credibility of such surveys is zero because of the vested interest to achieve
their goals. To obtain credibility such surveys need to be initiated,
endorsed and financed by independent third parties who have no interest in
the outcome. This has never been done.

The proof of the pudding is that wind farm applicants are not prepared to
buy out properties close to wind turbines. If property values are not
affected and other claims made such as no noise are true, the wind farm
applicants have nothing to lose by buying up properties, because they could
on-sell them. Why don't they do this? Presumably they don't want to stuck
with property that can't be sold. Thus, wind farm applicants are not
prepared to back up the claims they make. The only property known to us which was bought by a developer is one currently owned by the Te Rere Hau wind farm but no one wants to buy it - indeed who would - there are 92 turbines to come and a further application in the pipeline for more than 30 more.

Lofty said...

keen to hear the context of the turbine collapse- looked to me like an intended collapse hence the nice movie.. could it just be that the failure happened during failure testing typically done in the field of material science to avoid failure in real life?
and another thought re turbine fire ..yes they do happen but so do plane crashes which doesn't stop people from getting on a plane..

Palmerston North said...

Hi Lofty.
No, the video of the turbine collapsing in Denmark earlier this year was not a test. These turbines cost around $6 milion NZ installed and the technicians only just escaped with their lives. Shortly after this failure another in Denmark imploded and a national enquiry was launched. Here is a quote from The Copenhagen Post , the leading Danish newspaper ...

Minister demands explanation for windmill collapse

By The Copenhagen Post

Published 25.02.08 00:00

"The climate minister will begin an investigation
into two separate cases of Vestas wind turbines
collapsing within the past week

The climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, is calling
for an investigation to determine the cause of two
violent wind turbine collapses in Denmark in the
past week.

Both of the windmills were produced by Vestas, and
Hedegaard's request to the Energy Board comes
after other breakdowns both here and abroad have
been reported in the past two months."

As far as your comment on turbine fires, your argument is disingenous. A turbine on fire in our water catchment will cause a disaster. In the eighteenth century the area the reserve now covers was incinerated and it has taken nearly two centuries to recover. A fire today is the greatest risk to the reserve, the surrounding pine forest and Hardings Park, not to mention the many houses amongst the pine plantations. During this past summer there were months on end where the drought we experienced created tinder dry conditions.

This is from the Turitea Reserve Management Plan

Section 4.7 Protection from Fire

"The major catastrophic threat to the Reserve is fire. Major loss of vegetation through fire would impact on the achievement of many objectives under this plan through damage to flora, fauna and ecosystems and degrading the quality of the water supply. A high level of fire protection and risk management will continue to be required."

What degrading of the water supply actually means is that there will be massive and uncontrollable erosion in the reserve leading to siltation of the dams once the plant cover is gone. New dams would cost a fortune to replace and this would bankrupt the city and its residents. Palmerston North would cease to be a viable city.

Do you live in Palmerston North ?

river banjee said...

If these energy development organisations such as MIghty Power just brought properties instead of offering payment for the turbines to be on people's property which I understand to be around $20K for each turbine a year guaranteed for 20 years then there would be no need for contstant debate like this. It is my understanding that approx 120 turbines were proposed for this area. That amounts to around $2.4 million dollars rent per year, half of which the council would get for placement on the reserve and the other half to the land owners who can walk away. The people who have no turbines on their land consequently are unable to sell their land as property values decline and they are stuck with the noise which impacts on their psychological health and well being. If the power company justs buys the land for the turbines (and surrounding land)outright then people might be more willing to have the turbines in their regions. If they did so, then the power companies could lease the land out to those who might like to use it for grazing, however, like any living species, it is possible that there were be some negative effects on any such animals. Another concern I have is that if the power copnaies such as Mighty Power are able to pay such high rents for each turbine, then they must be making enormous profits out of something that their greed leadsto the death of poor people who struggle to find enough dollars to pay a power bill of $120 per month (and subsequently loose their life as the power is turned off, i.e. a recent case of a woman in Auckland on life support). Was this not Mercury Energy which is owned by Mighty Power that was instrumental in this death? I suppose with huge profits some fat executives are nott sitting on the bones of their arse like the majority of us average joe bloggs.

Mata Hari said...

I recently had a run in with trade me. They were running an auction selling carbon credits for an established SOE wind farm operator. How can wind turbines remove CO2 from the atmosphere? I know they have a fancy answer, but it still seems like fraudulent behavior to me. Your thoughts!

Palmerston North said...

Sure it's fraud. Maintenance of wind farms and of course their establishment create a "huge carbon footprint." As CO2 levels have been rising but temperatures have actually been declining, only the Mafia could come up with such a scheme to monetize an invisible, odourless and tasteless trace gas which is essential for all life on earth ! Oh, did we say Mafia ? Well change that to " government "
Turbines don't suck CO2 from the atmosphere but they will certainly suck money from our wallets at a time when we all face rising inflation. Emissions trading has the potential to sink the economy but that won't stop the lunatics who are running the asylum. Nor do facts like the level of CO2 has in the past been ten times today's miniscule level and the world still experienced ice ages. We are simply at the end of an interglacial period which has experienced a very mild warming. The Northern Hemisphere winter 2007/2008 in fact wiped out almost 70% of the last 100 year's "warming" No computer model predicted this. It is only hubris which has stopped these facts from becoming more generally known. It's all about revenue gathering and letting polluters off the hook by letting them buy an indulgence to allow them to continue to pollute unabated.

This is from the Dominion Post Weds 25/6/08.

"The Sustainability Council has railed against the bill, saying that $1.2 billion in subsidies to offset the initial cost of carbon trading, going mainly to seven of New Zealand's largest companies, would be coming out of the pockets of ordinary New Zealanders.

The bill provides for subsidies to be paid partly on the basis of emissions from fossil fuels and also for expected increases in the companies' electricity bills.

The payments till 2018 will provide, on average, a 90 per cent subsidy on 2005 levels of emissions and a 90 per cent subsidy for increases in the cost of power due to emissions charges.

Sustainability Council executive director Simon Terry said householders, road users and small and medium businesses, responsible for only a third of national emissions, would be forking out to cover the massive "corporate welfare" bill.

"[These rules] are a one-way bet for these companies, at the expense of the rest of the community."

Blobbles said...

Stark choices:

Live with a windfarm on your back door step
Live with a nuke plant on your back doorstep
Live with no hot showers or lights
Live with climate change

Wait a second! I know which one I would choose and it ain't the last 3!

I sure as hell would buy a house near a windfarm if it came at a 20% discount! They hardly make any noise (after visiting the PN ones earlier in the year, wouldn't want to live under one, but 300 metres and you can only hear a low hum, much better than city traffic noise which is erratic and wakes you up...) and I consider them to be quite awe inspiring. Especially the big ones!

Remember too that the wind farm won't be there for ever. Once a better source of power is found they will be dismantled and recycled... until then, if you want hot showers - put up or shut up. Not in my backyard only works if you are willing to completely change your lifestyle...

Palmerston North said...

Note that Blobbles and Lofty who are wind farmers and anxious to profit from the misery turbines will inflict on their neighbours have been allowed to post. We have done this because we have as strong a commitment to democracy as we have to protecting the environment and property values throughout the city.
As you can see Blobbles can't wait to buy up houses at a 20% discount. Well he has plenty to choose from as there are many desperate sellers on the Pahiatua track, on Polson Hill, in Moonshine Valley, Summerhill - especially Pacific drive - Ngahere Park, Turitea Road, Kahuterawa Road.
Blobbles raises the old canards of nuclear power and climate change. With the money Blobbles hopes to get he certainly won't be hanging around here to listen to turbine noise.
Climate change - ah, the new euphemism for "global warming," something that isn't proven science. In fact today the Tararua foothills were covered in snow and the city experienced sleet and an unprecedented hailstorm. You may have also observed that none of the wind turbines were working today as there was no wind at all.
Blobbles and Lofty are welcome to publish their names and contact details in this blog so sellers can contact them directly.

concerned resident said...

Hi Blobbles

I have studied all the links and information provided in this blog and have become sufficiently informed to post you a reply also.

Live with a windfarm that has destroyed your amenity and property values
Live with hot showers and lights only when the wind is blowing
Live with the unproven science of climate change and get fleeced by dubious carbon credit and other funny money type schemes
Live like a vulture poised to swoop in and exploit others’ misfortune
Live your present lifestyle without energy conservation and nuclear power will eventually be the only option because wind farms will never fill the gap.

Look at the all the houses and sections that are being put on the market, e.g. end of Polson Hill, Ngahere Park and Kahuterawa Valley. Wait a bit longer and you will buy able to buy at 40-50% discount out that side of town and 20% in the city as a flow on effect.

Until I woke up to the reality and growing evidence that wind turbines:
· create significant noise nuisance in certain wind conditions (you must have been fortunate to be spared the thumping the day you were there).
· unreliable in that they only generate at capacity with the right wind and thus require immediate response backup (mostly thermal)
I also thought like you because I was duped by the unproven hysteria of climate change and renewable energy targets at any cost regardless of whether such projects are sensible development, e.g. concentrating too many turbines in the Manawatu rather than having a wide geographic spread to overcome intermittency of the wind and improve reliability.

There is growing evidence that wind turbines are not the answer. However, they do have a role within a nationwide strategy that is presently lacking.
As for decommissioning that won’t happen with the spectre of peak oil. The turbines will be left as rusting hulks as testament to man’s folly and headless chook type foray to maintain unsustainable lifestyles.
By the way are you open to rational debate or are you someone who benefits financially from the mad scrabble for wind turbine sites in the Manawatu?

Consider some extracts from the submissions made to the British House of lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry into the Economics of Renewable Energy, viz wind generation:

The premise for renewable energy is largely based on the perceived necessity to mitigate climate change. Climate change is currently assumed by politicians and the media to imply global warming. However, the concept of anthropogenic global warming is politically-driven by the IPCC. All the forecasts by the IPCC for global warming are based on computer models of the earth’s climate. The behaviour of the climate is non-linear and chaotic and the mechanisms which influence climate are not fully understood.

. With so little understanding of how the climate works (the effect of the sun, ocean currents, the atmospheric layers and constituent gases etc), it is evident to any scientist that, with so many degrees of freedom and unknown parameters, the computer models can produce any outcome desired. If we cannot reliably calculate the weather more than a few days in advance, how is it that the IPCC can make forecasts for the climate 100 years ahead? I submit that there is no validity for global warming forecasts. Evidence shows that the earth has been cooling since 1998 despite increased CO2 emissions and increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. None of the climate models have predicted this cooling whilst CO2 concentrations have been increasing

global warming when, based on historical evidence and not computer models, global cooling may be more likely. The evidence is in the form of the Milankovitch cycles (the earth’s eccentric orbit around the sun, the tilt of the earth’s axis and the precession of the earth’s axis), the sun-spot cycles and the behaviour of ocean currents such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (El Nino and La Nina) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation).

because of the variability of the wind, wind turbines only produce electricity at about 25% to 30% of their rated output (capacity or load factor). Fourthly, because of the intermittency and unpredictability of wind the electricity production bears no relation to the demand for electricity. In summary, wind turbines are enormous, produce a pathetically small amount of electricity, intermittently, unpredictably and not when it is most required.

It is frequently claimed that the output from wind developments will supply so many houses. In reality, as Fig 1 published by National Grid shows, the output is so intermittent and unpredictable that it cannot be relied on as a supply. An electricity system cannot store energy in significant quantity so that its operation requires there be an exact balance at all times between the demand and generation output. Thus any source of generation which cannot be relied on to produce power on demand requires to be backed up by conventional fossil fuelled generation. The burdens of this are met entirely by consumers and comprise ( a) the capital costs of providing this spare generating plant but also ( b) the increased operating costs required to ensure that the system can compensate for the short term and unpredictable swings in output from wind farms.

dealing first with (a,) the capital costs of support plant, it is sometimes claimed that wide dispersement of installations throughout the country will greatly mitigate the requirement for such back-up but experience does not support this

An analysis by the Grid arm of the large German utility E.On has demonstrated that this additional back up thermal generating plant needs to be 80% of the installed wind turbine capacity, a figure which is supported by the Irish Grid,

Turning to (b), the need for operational support, since output from wind generators can vary dramatically over a short time any reduction must be compensated for by quick response conventional generating plant. However fossil fuelled plant, such as a large coal fired generation, takes typically 10 hours to start and load up from cold so that it becomes necessary to run sufficient back up plant at less than rated load whenever the wind turbines are in operation.

For now we can only believe that turbines are being used as giant political pawns, soon to be peppering the countryside, making millions for astute investors, whilst local communities are split and their health and homes negatively impacted in exchange.
Two of the household were feeling ill. They had already dropped the house price by 17%. People who had put in an offer withdrew once they found out about the wind farm. They were stuck. They showed us a response from the developer which refused to acknowledge any problem with any issue, no proof of health problems or effects on animals (their dogs behaved differently once the wind farm went up). The drop in the house price was put down to the credit crunch.

Denmark is considering compensation for those people who have had wind turbines imposed on them and we should do the same. People who suffer are trapped, being unable to sell their homes for anywhere near market value. The real cost is the gradual destruction of rural communities, “robbing the poor and giving to the rich”. Local people have their amenity, quality of life and possibly their health taken away from them.

Jane and Julian Davis’s evidence

Our house, which we own, on our tenanted arable farm, is 930m from a wind farm, and is downwind of the prevailing wind. The wind farm, comprised of 8 wind turbines, each 100m high at blade tip with 2 MW capacity, became operational in the summer of 2006. Immediately we started having problems with the noise and hum coming from the wind turbines.

By May 2007 we were forced to abandon our home as a place in which to sleep and live; we currently rent a property 5 miles away so that our family can live as near a normal life as possible. Our house is now likely to have a value of just the land - £35K-£50K and is no longer marketable as a home for people to live in.

We did not object to the wind farm in the planning stage as we had no reason to think that there would be any issues for us and we believed, at that time, that wind power was a good way of meeting the energy gap.

In our experience Wind Farm developers mainly target small, rural communities. We know that the industry somewhat insultingly calls these NGA’s. (Naive, Gullible and Apathetic) areas and they are prime targets. (Not, as we had naively thought, as a result of scientific research to pinpoint areas of high wind and appropriate locality, but simply areas where landowners wish to farm “wind turbines” alongside crops and livestock). Rural communities do not have the financial resources to fight inappropriate wind turbine applications. What is interpreted as apathy by developers is often a loss of morale within communities after prolonged campaigns over wind turbine applications.

Noise and the Nature of Noise. Our own experience and research suggests that the intrusive nature and the volume, depth, breadth and intensity of the noise are not yet fully understood. We find it very interesting that across the world people, such as ourselves, who suffer intensely from the noise use the same phrases to describe it. Phrases such as “a toy in a tumble dryer”, “a train that never arrives” “a thumping heartbeat”, “someone blowing in your ears”, “2 or 3 helicopters flying above my house”, “a low-pitched, penetrating non-directional hum”, are used by sufferers in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and other countries. These people usually experience the problem before realising there are others who have already been exposed. Yet developers still promise that noise will not be an issue.

The planning regime is therefore in part responsible for encouraging this headlong rush for onshore wind which, if left unchecked, will lead to an over –reliance on a technology which is unreliable, intermittent and, on current evidence thus far, has failed spectacularly to live up to the claims made for it by its supporters in terms of both energy production and reductions in CO2 emissions

There has been a legal ruling on the loss of property value against a couple in the Lake District who sold their house without telling the buyers that a wind farm was likely to be built nearby. The judge, Michael Buckley, upheld the purchasers’ claim that their house had been de-valued as a result of the noise pollution, light flicker and damage to visual amenity caused by wind turbines, and he ordered the vendors to pay compensation of 20% of the purchase value of the house.
A study of eight properties near a proposed wind farm in Carmarthenshire estimated that the total loss in value if wind turbines were built nearby would be in excess of £1.5 million, or typically 20–25% on each property.

ThermalGeneration said...

Blobbles you are a clown.

Will wind turbines prevent climate change? Are they even carbon neutral? (I guarantee they dont even come close to 'paying for themselves')

Will wind definetly provide hot showers? Not without thermal baseload generation.

If climate change is an issue, generation is a small contributer... are you willing to stop driving, using cheap, mass produced disposble goods, fly, eat food made through a carbon hungry ag. industry?

I doubt it, so stop being a martyr and think that we are going to save the planet by installing a wind turbine.

Looking at wind turbines to answer our prayers is about as valid as using sailing ships rather than air transport, or horse and cart rather than ICE vehicles.

Now that we have all agreed that we dont want to save the world (we still all fly, drive etc), we may as well look for a sensible solution to our power problems... we have one of the greatest coal resourses per capita in the world (second only to Australia). We could use that or simply sell it to someone else and they will use it - carbon is released either way.

ThermalGeneration said...

Who cares about Palmerston North anyway?

Kahuterawa Vindicator said...

I am a resident in the Kahuterawa valley. I have seen Mighty River Powers presentation at the Convention Centre and feel it is there to simply put accross a false message to our community. They have the 'answers' to our questions, but funny enough they are very vauge and do not give ANY reassurances. We will fight for our rights to be heard, and to have our opinions listened to.

Palmerston North said...

If John Cleese had known about the Turitea wind farm he would have accused PNCC of engaging in the assisted suicide of the entire city.

From the Sydney Morning Herald

March 7, 2006 - 12:54PM

John Cleese has upset the mayor of Palmerston North by calling the city the "suicide capital".

Comedian John Cleese has upset officials of a New Zealand city by describing it as the country's "suicide capital".

Cleese said he had a "bloody miserable time" in the North Island city of Palmerston North during a live show tour of New Zealand last year.

The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star made the comments in an audio diary on his website about the My Life, Times and Current Medical Problems tour, which he will take to Australia later in the year.

Cleese heaped praise on other towns and cities where he performed, but introduced Palmerston North as the "suicide capital of New Zealand".

"If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick," Cleese said.

"We stayed in a little motel, the weather was grotty, the theatre was a nasty shape and the audience was very strange to play to.

"We had a thoroughly, bloody miserable time there and we were so happy to get out."

The mayor of Palmerston North, about 150km north of Wellington, was not amused.

"Obviously he still has trouble with his medical problems and may need some more medication," Heather Tanguay told the Manawatu Standard newspaper.

Tourism official Julia Sanson said: "We are just sorry that John didn't have more time in Palmerston North and the Manawatu region to form a qualified opinion.

"I think we all know not to take him too seriously," she told the paper.

However, some of the city's businessman see opportunity in Cleese's views.

"Boring Palmy ... let's build on that," joked chamber of commerce chairman Paul O'Brien, suggesting tours of Palmerston North's dullest places and meetings with resident bores.