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HART Stakeholder Discussion: Siting and Public Acceptance Susan Williams Sloan Director, State Relations American Wind Energy Association. Siting and Acceptance of Wind. Public Acceptance Sound Shadow Flicker Land Use Property Value Subsidies. Wildlife Eagles Migratory Birds Bats

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Presentation Transcript

HART Stakeholder Discussion:

Siting and Public Acceptance

Susan Williams Sloan

Director, State Relations

American Wind Energy Association

Siting and acceptance of wind
Siting and Acceptance of Wind

Public Acceptance

  • Sound

  • Shadow Flicker

  • Land Use

  • Property Value

  • Subsidies


  • Eagles

  • Migratory Birds

  • Bats

  • Lesser Prairie Chickens


  • Proper siting of wind farms is one of the most critical issues facing the industry today.

  • No energy source or human activity is completely benign. However we decide to power our society, there will be some impacts.

  • The wind industry has been especially proactive in its efforts to minimize its impact on local and regional wildlife populations.

Proactive industry leadership
Proactive Industry Leadership

AWEA works with:

  • American Wind Wildlife Institute

  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative

  • National Wind coordinating Collaborative

  • Habitat Conservation Planning

    • (regional permitting and planning, including The Great Plains Wind Energy HCP)

U s fish and wildlife service wind energy guidelines
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wind Energy Guidelines

  • Released March, 2012

  • Amount to the highest standard for wildlife protection voluntarily undertaken by any industry

  • Goes far beyond what is required by federal law by protecting species that are not afforded protection by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, or Endangered Species Act.

    According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Guidelines:

  • Provide a structured, scientific process for addressing wildlife conservation concerns

  • Promote effective communication among industry, federal, state, tribal and local conservation agencies

Lesser prairie chicken
Lesser Prairie Chicken

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation:

Lesser Prairie Chicken Conservation Action Plan Draft Released

  • Released April 9

  • Meeting today

  • Proposes use of voluntary best management practices

  • Core area habitat approach, but no mapping yet available

  • AWEA and Wind Coalition members reviewing draft, will provide comments

Public acceptance
Public Acceptance


Health impact studies, released in 2012, that were prepared by independent panels of experts commissioned by the states of in Oregon and Massachusetts reaffirmed the position that

there is no causal link between sounds associated with wind energy production and health issues.

Shadow Flicker

Scientific evidence suggests that shadow flicker does not pose a risk for eliciting seizures as a result of photic stimulation.

It is predictable and can be mitigated.

Public acceptance1
Public Acceptance

Property Values

  • conclusive evidence of persistent post-construction effects from wind facilities have not been discovered despite a number of studies using a variety of sophisticated statistical techniques

Land Use

  • While wind farms do require large areas of land for planning purposes and physical layout of the facility, the actual amount of disturbed land is quite small.


  • Fossil fuels: 5X more direct subsidies than renewables.

  • Hidden subsidies of health and environmental costs: $120 billion annually in health damages alone

    • National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, October 2009

Bipartisan congressional support
Bipartisan Congressional Support

  • S 2201: two-year PTC extension

    • Introduced in March 2012 by Sen. Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Udall (D-CO)

    • 8 cosponsors, incl. 3 Republicans

  • HR 3307: four-year PTC extension

    • Introduced in November 2011 by Rep. Reichert (R-WA-08) and Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR-03)

    • 87 cosponsors, incl. 19 Republicans

Ptc public endorsements
PTC Public Endorsements

  • Sen. Grassley (R-IA):“I’ll continue to champion the environmental and economic benefits of the wind production tax credit and work to extend the wind incentive as soon as possible.”

  • Sen. Moran (R-KS)“Congress must quickly work to reauthorize the wind production tax credit.”

  • Rep. King (R-IA):“The PTC means keeping investment dollars in the market place – not in the hands of government.”

  • Gov. Fallin(R-OK):“Unfortunately, the leading wind project developers and manufacturers are canceling their plans for 2013 and wind development will grind to a halt due to the uncertainty of a PTC extension.”

  • Govs. Brownback (R-KS) and Branstad(R-IA):“Our states have experienced the economic benefits of wind energy first hand, and we cannot overstate the importance of extending this tax provision early in the year so the wind industry has the certainty it needs to grow." 

Ptc 3 rd party endorsements
PTC 3rd Party Endorsements

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “When Congress fails to act, provisions such as the wind Production Tax Credit… do not operate efficiently. Industries that are in their infancy are damaged because the code provisions they need to rely on to build up are not there. The damage is real as products are not developed and projects are not undertaken…Congress must act now to extend these vital provisions.”

  • Renewable energy industrial consumers including Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Staples, Starbucks, Campbell's Soup, and Yahoo

  • More than 370 member PTC coalition (NAM, EEI, American Farm Bureau Federation, United Steelworkers, environmental groups…)