About Wind Energy
- Wind energy contributes to our energy security
Wind is an inexhaustible, domestic resource that helps reduce our dependence on imports of natural gas, oil and other fuels that often come from unstable countries. By diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio, we can lessen the impact of disruptions including oil embargoes and natural disasters (such as the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster that damaged oil refineries along the Gulf Coast).
- Wind turbines are extremely efficient
The energy payback time (the amount of time until the project generates at least as much energy as was needed for the manufacture of its generation equipment and mining its fuel source) for wind better than that of conventional power plants. The process uses kinetic energy from moving air which is converted to electricity at the generation point. It is one of the most effective ways of reducing the production of greenhouse gases. U.S. wind power plants already serve more than 4.5 million average households with 12 million people.
Wind turbines only require a minimal amount of land. Land between turbines on wind farms remains available for other continuation of existing uses such as recreation, grazing, farming, and wildlife habitat.
- The wind industry is committed to safety
The wind industry is committed to compliance with federal, state and local laws regarding wind turbine effects to human health, including potential audio, visual, or physical effects.
Wind turbines are quiet and do not pose health hazards. An operating modern wind project at a distance of 750 to 1,000 feet is no louder than a kitchen refrigerator (American Wind Energy Association, 2007). The sound turbines produce is similar to a light whooshing or swishing sound, and is much quieter than other types of modern-day generation equipment. Even in rural or low-density areas (where there is little additional sound to mask that of the turbines) the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than that of turbines.
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC recognizes potential “shadow flicker” or “icing” conditions and provides prevention and mitigation efforts in accordance with industry standards and laws.
- Wind power offers real environmental benefits
Wind requires no mining, drilling, or transportation of fuel, and does not generate radioactive or other hazardous or polluting waste. Wind power offsets other, more polluting sources of energy and reduces the contribution of electrical consumption to greenhouse gas emissions. This is important because electricity generation is the largest industrial source of air pollution in the U.S.
Power derived from fossil fuels and nuclear plants uses water for both creating steam to turn turbines and for cooling, in addition to consuming non-renewable mineral deposits. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s report, "20% Wind Energy by 2030," electricity generation accounts of half of all water withdrawals in the nation, to the tune of 1.6 to 1.7 trillion gallons per year. Under the DOE’s “20% Wind” model, wind energy generation would save approximately 4 trillion gallons of water through 2030.
Wind power supplies affordable, inexhaustible energy to the economy. It also provides domestic jobs and other sources of income in the County. The direct employment and use of local contractors by Wind energy facilities helps the local economy.
- Wind power benefits the economy
Wind power supplies affordable, inexhaustible energy to the economy. It also provides jobs and other sources of income. Wind energy helps local and rural communities. Fossil fuels and electricity from nuclear energy are prone to price fluctuations and transportation costs. Clean wind power, on the other hand, is efficient because it’s localized, renewable, and generates income from the source of power.
Wind energy projects create long-term and short-term jobs in the maintenance and construction fields.
- The wind industry makes protecting wildlife a priority
The small footprint of the equipment in a wind project turbines does not cause interference with wild and domestic grazing animals. Wind turbines overall impact on deer, cattle and sheep is negligible. Deer and cattle graze under wind turbines.
Wind energy development’s overall impact on birds is low compared with many other human-related activities. Avian studies and other wildlife surveys are conducted at wind sites before projects can receive permits.
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is an industry leader in developing the wind industry’s first company-wide Avian and Bat Protection Plan. The plan contains a corporate policy requiring proactive measures for wildlife protection and establishes a process for contacting agencies and non-governmental organizations for their input early in the site assessment stage of a proposed project It sets up internal policies for pre-and post-construction monitoring of birds and bats. Proper site design, impact assessment, permit compliance, nest management, training, mortality reduction measures and mitigation are all addressed in the plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff have been working with the company’s environmental staff for nearly a year to review and refine the plan, Iberdrola Renewables, LLC recently added a wildlife biologist to its environmental team, who is responsible for the implementation of the Plan at each project.