Wind farm ordered dismantled

Mark Duchamp writes in with this news from the Lerida, Autonomous Community (state) of Catalonia, Spain:

A judge ordered the removal of 45 wind turbines on the grounds that planning laws were violated. There was no “general municipal plan” establishing a “reserva del suelo” – i.e. the land was not legally declared appropriate for the erection of wind turbines.

The wind farm in the Serra del Tallat, located between Passanant i Belltall (Conca de Barbera) and Vallbona de les Monges (Urgell) ACN / Núria Torres

Spanish Version:
http://www.lavanguardia.com/medio-ambiente/20110517/54155159411/un-juez-de-lerida-ordena-desmantelar-un-parque-eolico-de-45-molinos.html

English Version:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lavanguardia.com%2Fmedio-ambiente%2F20110517%2F54155159411%2Fun-juez-de-lerida-ordena-desmantelar-un-parque-eolico-de-45-molinos.html

According to another article going back to January 22nd, Spanish architects from the Autonomous Community (state) of Cantabria complained that windfarms will make it impossible to have the southern valleys declared World Heritage Area, despite the many romanesque churches and buildings making them worthy of that designation.
http://www.amigosdelromanico.org/noticia/id_10032.html

About these ads

72 thoughts on “Wind farm ordered dismantled

  1. Llieda, as I know it, has touched my heart to be tearing down these things. They seem to be sprouting up everywhere in Spain at the moment. Solar panels are also being installed with gusto, and with the odd diesel generator so as to produce power at night and claim extra subsidy.

  2. NIMBY. What happens when emission-reduction zealots start pulling strings? Or better yet, if bureaucracies are already stumped by what constitutes a World Windbag Site, will this result in vista-trading and the Aesthetic Forcings on Climate? Perhaps Cap and Tirade will become fashionable. Sit back and enjoy!

  3. Yay for Spain.

    At least they’re hitting a GOOD pollution reduction target by removing these unsightly birdshredders from the landscape!

  4. During a quick Googling for more info, I found mention of a judge-ordered dismantling, but while the area is the same (far as I can tell) the number of turbines and the company is different from that mentioned in the Google-translated article. Is the mention I found about another wind farm being ordered dismantled?

    Acciona to appeal against 25 turbines dismantling in Catalonia – report

    (ADPnews) – May 18, 2011 – Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy company Acciona (MCE:ANA) will appeal before the Supreme Court of Catalonia against a decision of a court in Lleida to take down 25 of a total 33 wind turbines at 49.5 MW Serra del Tallat wind farm, sources from Acciona told news agency Efe yesterday.

    Serra del Tallat wind farm has been in operation since 2007. Acciona has five wind farms in Catalonia, northern Spain, with a total 195 MW.

  5. I presume they will dig up the monsterous concrete blocks these wind mills are embedded in.
    Nah, didn’t think so.
    Where are the REAL enviromentalists when you need them?

  6. Gotta love this – A Spanish wind farm is to be dismantled because it does not have planning permission!

    Watermelons use every legal planning, environmental impact and resource management loophole to delay, derail or shut down hydroelectric, thermal and nuclear power projects. This shows that the same weapons can succeed against wind power.

  7. So we just have to sit back and watch the extreme ecologists tear each other to shreds, then. No mention of Big Oil or Koch or any other of the usual Evil Doers here. Just a couple of pressure groups with different ideas of how to Save the World from Human Beings.

  8. The irony here is that modern day Don Quixote-like idealists, out of touch with reality and out to save the world from itself, are the ones building the windmills.

  9. If they insist on building these tax-payer subsidised bat battering bird bisecting monstrosities, then they should do it where we dont have to look at them. And Scotland dosent count because its also a tourist destination. It would be interesting to find out the cost of de-commissioning which no doubt has not been accounted for when working out the true cost of wind generated electricity.

  10. Investing in wind is getting more and more dodgy: the public mood is swinging against it, the scientific basis of global warming is worthless and more and more contrary evidence keeps pouring in and now the courts are on our side.

    You’ve got to admire the politicians for being so brave to stand by their beliefs in the face of growing public hostility? (sarc off)

  11. My understanding of chaos theory is that a butterfly in Sydney can cause a tornado in New york – I suggest wind turbines can do a lot more damage than that. Thank goodness the vicissitudes of Spanish law it may have saved very many such events somewhere on this benighted planet.

  12. The judges’ pronouncement (in translation) was poetry to me!

    The judge has made a good decree
    to break up windy mills:
    the turbines have no right to be,
    and brought too many ills,
    would lead to civic misery,
    and uglify the hills.

    “Tolerance of this action may
    lead unacceptably
    towards a malefaction, a
    wrongful fait accompli
    whereby, without regulations
    whatsoever (I guess)
    or licence, authorizations
    implement, more or less,
    general systems such as this
    with impact of great shape,
    but are the poor antithesis
    befitting this landscape.”

    Google translations, you’ll agree,
    can sometimes lead astray
    and there is little poetry
    for Alexander K;
    these words have minuscule beauty—
    it’s what they all convey.

  13. Huge areas of Spain, that used to be very attractive with mountains and historic hilltop towns, have been ruined by rows of windmills along the ridges, spoiling the views in all directions. The picture at the top is typical, not exceptional.

  14. Not to worry.
    When the sea level rises they [the wind farms], will be underwater and the tourists will be whale watching.

  15. Kum Dollison wrote:
    “Meanwhile, Wind produced 24,796 Megawatt hrs of electricity in California, yesterday.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20110517_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

    NO Meltdowns were reported.”

    From CA’s own energy site, they report for 2009 (last year listed) a total consumption of 267837 MkwH = 267837 x 10^9 wH = 2.68 x 10^ 14 wH. So the daily use was about that number divided by 365 = 7.3 x 10^11 wH = 730,000 MwH. So the daily production you quoted is about 25,000 MwH/730,000MwH = 3.4% of the total needed (in 2009!) to run California. Good luck with that!

  16. @Kum Dollison

    Wind generated 24,796MWhrs over the day. Excellent. A pity, though, that at the time of peak demand (27,000MW+ between 19:00 to 21:00) wind generated at it’s lowest level of the day (2,500MW).

    Geothermal, on the other hand, produced a rock steady (oooh – pun!) predictable output all day.

    Wind sucks. Just because it _can_ be used to produce power doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do so.

    Dermot

  17. —-this brings to mind womethihng which I’ve been worrying about recently: when TPTB finally realise that their windmills are useless or worse — what are they going to do with them? How do they dismantle them and carry them away (especially the sea ones), and what are they going to do with all the metal?

  18. Don’t forget, a lot of that “Imported” electricity is Wind. As for Geothermal: I love it. Biomass, solar? Ditto.

    If you’ll notice, Ca got 73,659 megawatt/hrs from ‘Domestic” renewables (doesn’t include Large Hydro, or Nuclear,) yesterday. That’s a smidge over 12%.

    Fossil fuels, on the other hand, seem to be down to around the 22% range. (plus whatever FF-generated power they might have “imported” – which I believe is probably down to a pretty small number.)

    I believe that, within 10 years, Ca will be pretty much “out” of the “electricity from Fossil Fuels” business. It’s hard to see how that could be a “bad” thing.

  19. Sonya Porter,
    leave many where they are as monuments—some lasting for centuries, no doubt—of how man can combine ingenuity with stupidity.

  20. I drive a lot around the Spanish countryside and to see one of these windmills, which blight the landscape, actually working is a rare sight indeed.

    Ask the average person in any country, state, or province, which has invested heavily in wind power about their opinions on this form of electricity generation and you are likely to receive a string of invective.

    Very simply, it is an eyesore, plus very expensive and unreliable and should be no part of any sane country’s energy strategy, until sometime – if ever – an effective means of storing electricity is invented.

  21. California will report success with their renewables, regardless of the actual data. Soviet Army Units were always reported at 100% readiness.

  22. Anybody flying in to Malaga airport can see how much these things spoil the countryside, as they proudly stand along the mountain ridge lines, motionless and silent.

  23. @kum dullison

    Meanwhile, Wind produced 24,796 Megawatt hrs of electricity in California, yesterday

    ….which equates to about 4% of the total demand for electricity in the state. Put another way, 24/25s of California’s juice did not come from wind.

    It was also highly variable. A maximum hourly production of about 1700 MW, down to a minimum of about 600 MW. With the exception of solar (which clearly is not going to do much in the nighttime), all the other renewable resources give a predictabel and smooth output…and could be controlled to match demand. Wind doesn’t and can’t.

    Windmilss fell out of widespread use when the steam engine was invented, because steam was a much much much better power source. Nothing has changed in the basic physics and calling them wind turbines, not windmills makes no difference. They are a crap way to generate power for anything other than rich hobbyist purposes.

  24. Kum Dollison says:
    May 18, 2011 at 6:56 am
    “I believe that, within 10 years, Ca will be pretty much “out” of the “electricity from Fossil Fuels” business. It’s hard to see how that could be a “bad” thing.”

    Kum, whilst I live on a lovely Mediterranean Island called Cyprus with full on power and NO windmills, my son resides in San Fran. I pointed out your post to him and he shrugged and said…”Ca is full of weirdo’s, look who they elected Governor!

    Perhaps you are correct and Ca will no longer use fossil fuels in 10 years. It will be interesting to drive over the border into Ca and see a dark state or at least one lit up by importing fossil fuelled electricity from other states!

  25. @ Soyna
    6:36
    Greenpeace is going to take all the windmills and mount them on their boats that are used to harass businesses and people.
    The windmills will provide the electricity for the electric motors that turn the props and as they move, the wind gets stronger and generates more electricity, and so on… and so on………… perpetual motion.
    Oooops! Sorry. I don’t think Greenpeace is in favour of windpower anymore.

  26. Pete, I live in Ms, not Ca. However, I used to see California in the news quite a lot. A lot of stories about “Rolling Blackouts,” Enron, nat gas from Tx, etc.

    I haven’t seen any of those stories, lately. I guess the ‘lights’ are “staying on,” eh?

  27. “Investing in wind is getting more and more dodgy: the public mood is swinging against it, the scientific basis of global warming is worthless and more and more contrary evidence keeps pouring in and now the courts are on our side.”

    Public approval is negatively impacting the prevalance of windfarms…
    or…
    …the shift is hitting the fan.

    Granted, it isn’t a large part of the story, but regardless, to me, there is untapped gloating potential in the notion that a windfarm is going to be torn down because it encroaches on a site filled with old churches of historical significance. As a Christian American who is constantly seeing the ACLU make it a crime to publicly display a crucifix, there is a joyful rustling within my soul that, somewhere, a house of God took priority over a totem to Gaia.

  28. @kadaka – The report you found concerns an appeal of a January 2009 ruling against another facility.

  29. “I believe that, within 10 years, Ca will be pretty much “out” of the “electricity from Fossil Fuels” business. It’s hard to see how that could be a “bad” thing.”

    At the bottom of the page it shows that CA’s largest source of power was “imports”. So maybe someone could explain why if CAs’ policies are working, why imports are so high?

    Why haven’t renewables replaced imports in CA? Isn’t this the same problem the UK had over the winter? They had to import energy from France. What happens to the UK if France doesn’t have any surplus? How many would freeze to death in winter without power?

    What happens to CA if your neighbors don’t have any surplus? Are you going to shut down the state for the day if it is cloudy and the wind isn’t blowing? How many power plants could you have built with the loss of the economy for a single day?

    The worlds largest proven reserves of coal. So much new shale gas that the price has gone down to the point where it is nearly free. Hundreds of years of known supplies at current consumptions levels. Enough to convert the economy from oil to gas, including automobiles.

    What is the answer? Ask China. They are about to eat your lunch.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20110517_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

  30. Kum said:

    “I believe that, within 10 years, Ca will be pretty much “out” of the “electricity from Fossil Fuels” business. It’s hard to see how that could be a “bad” thing.”

    That might be true, but probably because everyone moved out to avoid the ever increasing taxes and the Governor turned out the last of the lights in Sacramento! Beautiful state full of stupid people who want something for nothing all the time.

    I’m sorry to see that the wind mills referenced in this article must be torn down on a technicality, especially if they are providing needed energy. However, I do appreciate the irony. You just can’t make this stuff up. :-)

    Bill

    Bill

  31. The folks that post here are generally quite bright, yet it hasn’t dawned on anyone’s mind what will actually happen here. The windmills aren’t going anywhere. They will remain on those hills until they decay away. Why? Because the company doesn’t have enough money to take them down.

    I base this, not on any facts at all, but on knowledge of human nature (which equates to what businesses do, also). The companies (limited-liability) that put up wind-farms are set up just for that purpose, that is, to build wind-farms. They skim off as much as they can from the subsidies, tax breaks, and investors, and if some judgment like this comes down, the company goes bankrupt. Any extra money has already been secured as salaries and/or dividends. The only collateral that the company owns is sitting on those hillsides.

    The way to get around these shenanigans is to force companies to post a bond, set up in an escrow account, that will pay for removal. No wind-farm business owner in their right mind would go along with that, and so very very few wind-farms would actually get built.

    Anyone think I’m wrong? Then cite a reference to any wind-farms that have actually been dismantled by the original company that put them up.

  32. reason says: May 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

    ” there is a joyful rustling within my soul that, somewhere, a house of God took priority over a totem to Gaia.”

    Very poetic! s.

  33. KD:

    several years ago in california we saw the price of electricity in the san diego area allowed to float.

    all of a sudden businesses that had contracted for large amounts of electricity (heat treaters, welding companies……..) found it more advantages to go out of their stated business and sell the electricity that they had contracated for.

    once the prices settled out those businesses never went back to the work that they had been doing and industry in the area took a terrible hit.

    remember its the dumb little details that will get you.

    c

  34. Janice:
    the windmills will get torn down and it will be paid for by the local “authorities”.

    there are to many “nephews” involved for this mess to fail.

    C

  35. The sad thing for me is that this thing turned on a legal/planning issue. It should never had got this far in the first place. If this landscape was so important either visually or on historical/ heritage grounds those values should have been understood and recognised much earlier.
    Douglas

  36. Janice says:
    May 18, 2011 at 9:50 am
    [———, yet it hasn’t dawned on anyone’s mind what will actually happen here. The windmills aren’t going anywhere. They will remain on those hills until they decay away. Why? Because the company doesn’t have enough money to take them down.

    I base this, not on any facts at all, but on knowledge of human nature (which equates to what businesses do, also). –The only collateral that the company owns is sitting on those hillsides.

    The way to get around these shenanigans is to force companies to post a bond, — that will pay for removal—-Anyone think I’m wrong? Then cite a reference to any wind-farms that have actually been dismantled by the original company that put them up.]
    ——————————————————————————
    Janice. How right you are. And no one seems to look further ahead than their own nose. I couldn’t believe that these turbines could have been built in an area such as this in the first place but they were, on the taxpayer’s dime, without producing reliable energy and when decommissioned cannot be removed without the taxpayer stumping up the cash. Where oh where is the leadership?

    Douglas

  37. “What happens to CA if your neighbors don’t have any surplus? Are you going to shut down the state for the day if it is cloudy and the wind isn’t blowing? How many power plants could you have built with the loss of the economy for a single day?”

    IIRC, San Diego very nearly found out last year, when the City Council vented their OUTRAGE!!!11!1 over Arizona’s illegal-immigration crackdown (SB1070), and moved to boycott any and all things Arizonian. As it turned out, a rather significant portion of the city’s power supply is “imported” from AZ companies.

    _____

    Scottish – glad you liked!

  38. PaulM says “Huge areas of Spain, that used to be very attractive with mountains and historic hilltop towns, have been ruined by rows of windmills along the ridges, spoiling the views in all directions”.

    Yes indeed. I recently drove the whole length of Spain from North to South and the experience was horrendous. These monstrosities have destroyed the tourism industry in much of Spain (as they are now doing in areas of Wales).

    Ironically, many of the cafés along the way, now empty of tourists, had names like “Bella Vista”.

  39. Janice of course is right, these abominations will not be dismantled, other than at taxpayers expense.

    Douglas is eight, they should never have been built in the first place.

    Kum Dollison must have shares in wind power. I suspect the reasons CA is no longer having brownouts & rolling blackouts is twofold.

    1) They import a heap of power.

    2) The big power users, (industry,) have already left.

    DaveE,

  40. Who knew that there was a group of people in this world that would be this excited over a permitting issue simply because it involved a renewable energy source…

  41. You may recall that I was holidaying I Andorra last August and had to ferry family members to and from the Barcelona airport a few times. Leaving the airport we follow the route to Lleida (which is also spelled Lerida, apparently) and turn off about 40km before getting to the town. There are many windmill installations along that route from Barcelona. In the 5 or 6 trips I made I never saw one of them operating despite reasonable breezes on some of the days.

    I assumed they were an art installations … not for power generating purposes.

  42. reason:

    i forgot about that.

    in the los angeles area it was called “San Diego cutting off their nose so that they could more efficiently stomp on their @#$%s.)

    C

  43. Wind mills are easy to decommission, one small inexpensive strategically placed charge, then call in the recyclers, including those that crush concrete for reuse. Problem solved.

  44. Beautiful picture. I wonder if the turbines could be declared sculptures?

    I’m one of those rare birds (not homogenized by the turbine blades) who likes the aesthetics of the large wind turbines.

    Of course they are a complete waste of money. But I still like the aesthetics. At least as long as I don’t have to live in proximity.

  45. M Simon
    I don’t think you’ve quit grasped the Aesthetic issues. It’s a question of scale, and proliferation. And, if the process continues you will be living in proximity….. As of course we all will be.

  46. fenbeagle,

    I’m an engineer, aerospace. I love large scale. 747-400s warm my heart. The skies should be full of them.

    De gustibus non est disputandum

Comments are closed.