Vestas Always Knew Wind Turbine Noise

Mass DEP Wind Turbine Advocate Ken Kimmell
Mass DEP Wind Turbine Advocate Ken Kimmell
Vestas Wind Company & Mass Department of Environmental Protection   See here and below a 2004 Vestas Power Point Presentation by Vestas employee Erik Sloth which acknowledges the legitimacy of complaints over wind turbine noise and the systematic underestimation of noise impacts through failure to account for common variables affecting wind turbine noise emissions on site.

See also the essay below by Max Rheese concerning Vestas recent efforts to deny adverse impacts and the blatantly false assertions by Vestas and other wind energy supporters, including the Massachusetts Department of Environmental "Protection" under Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell that there is "no evidence of harm" from wind turbine noise.

Vestas and the Massachusetts Dept of Environmental "Protection" are fellow travelers, two peas in a pod, falsely proclaiming the "lack of scientific proof" of harm from wind turbine noise -- even though both of them certainly do know better.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of MADEP in 2011, Mr. Kimmell, co-authored the "Wind Energy Siting Reform Act"  as general counsel for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for Governor Deval Patrick whose primary purpose was to consolidate control of permitting of wind energy facilities in Massachusetts under a permitting authority appointed by the Governor, depriving local communities of their traditional jurisdiction over development within their own borders.

As Commissioner of MADEP, Mr. Kimmell rushed out the infamous MADEP wind turbine noise "study," which was produced through a non-public process after a handful of meetings by a "panel" of individuals selected by MA DEP who all have previous ties to the wind energy industry.  

The study failed to review or consider evidence of harm from wind turbine noise that was submitted to it and blatantly misstated and mischaracterized the conclusions of several well-known studies of wind turbine noise that it did review, in the study findings, in the executive summary and in the MA DEP press releases which accompanied the publication of the report and which proclaimed I(falsely) that there is "no evidence of harm" from wind turbine noise.

The MADEP study, which is routinely cited by the American Wind Energy Associations, the wind energy trade association, and by other wind turbine proponents in permitting hearings has been exhaustively critiqued and widely discredited as "junk science" -- i.e. a political tool produced at the instigation of a political hack, rather than an objective scientific document.

Please also note that the MA DEP has declined to enforce existing noise regulations for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (according to an archaic 1972 standard that is woefully inadequate in protecting residents from the most harmful aspects of wind turbine noise) where noise from wind turbines has exceeded the statutory limit. 

In order to appreciate how an institution like the Massachusetts Department of Environmental "Protection" could have become so politicized and corrupt, one need only review the resume of Commissioner Kimmell.

Prior to joining the Patrick Administration and authoring a bill that attempted to engineer the development of wind energy in Massachusetts by brute force, Mr. Kimmell was an eponymous partner of the law firm Bernstein, Cushner & Kimmell (currently known as BCK Law), which serves as the general counsel to both the Cape Light Compact (CLC) and the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC).  The Cape Light Compact and the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative are the largest clients of BCK Law.

When Mr. Kimmell joined the Patrick Administration in January 2007, BCK Law was in the process of assisting the Cape Light Compact to form CVEC "to do the things that the Cape Light Compact was legally prohibited from doing" -- principally, to install industrial wind turbines on the Cape & Vineyard. 

As residents of the Cape & Vineyard may recall, it was CVEC's publicly stated ambition upon its founding in 2007 to install "20 to 30" giant industrial wind turbines on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard over a ten year period.

Note also that the Commissioner's chief deputy, Ms. Alicia (McDevitt) Barton has been rewarded for her work in overseeing the production of the official, pseudo-scientific MA DEP "Shameless Whitewash of the Harmful Impacts of Wind Turbine Noise" (as it is unofficially known) by being appointed to head up the Mass Clean Energy Center. 

As residents of Cape Cod well know, the Mass Clean Energy Center never saw a wind turbine project that it didn't love.  In recent years, representatives of the Mass Clean Energy Center offered ardent testimony in towns from one end of Cape Cod to the other in favor of installing 400 and 500 foot wind turbines in Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, Harwich, Brewster and Bourne -- to name a few -- promising that none these installations -- some of which were to be sited within 500 feet of residences -- would never harm a soul!

Residents of Cape Cod may recall that the Mass Clean Energy Center actually purchased two Vestas V-80 wind turbines to be installed in the town of Orleans -- before the Orleans water commission had actually approved the idea of installing them.

When the Orleans water commission denied approval of the project, the Mass Clean Energy Center tried desperately to foist them off onto one town after another in Massachusetts while it kept them in storage for years in a warehouse in Texas. 

Ultimately, the Mass CEC did find a sucker who was willing to buy the equipment at a hefty discount, after MA CEC agreed to prepay the sum of $1 million for 20 years of production of Renewable Energy Certificates from the wind turbines.  These two wind turbines -- rechristened Wind I and Wind II -- are now the prized possession of the Town of Falmouth, MA.

After the wind turbines began to cause dire problems for nearby residents -- as evidenced by extensive studies and as agreed by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (twice) and by a court of law (even as the Falmouth Board of Selectmen and Falmouth Board of Health stuck their heads in the sand), the Town approached the Mass CEC to appeal for forgiveness of some financial obligations to ease the burden of removing this health menace. 

In one of her first official actions as head of the Mass CEC, Ms. Barton -- Commissioner Kimmell's former deputy at the MA DEP who orchestrated the sham study on wind turbine noise that didn't discover any harm because it strenuously avoided looking for any -- sent Falmouth a message which can be paraphrased, as follows:

"Mass CEC to Falmouth: Drop Dead."

Actually, it was worse than that.

The Mass CEC -- under the direction of Ms. Barton, the former senior official of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental "Protection" and chief deputy of Commissioner Kimmell -- actually offered the Town of Falmouth a bribe to increase the hours of operation of the wind turbine! 

Yes, it's true.  Ms. Barton and the Mass CEC offered to forgive the debt that the Town of Falmouth owed to Mass CEC, but only if Falmouth agreed to run the wind turbines flat out!

Financial assistance, yes. 

Sympathy for the plight of residents in Falmouth who are being tortured on a daily basis by the operation of the wind turbines?  Absolutely not! 

Residents of Cape Cod may also recall that Ms. Barton's predecessor as head of the Mass Clean Energy Center -- who was instrumental in brokering the deal to get the wind turbines out of the warehouse in Texas where they were hurting no one and into the ground in Falmouth so that they could torture residents there and tear the community apart -- was Ms. Carter Wall.

Ms. Barton took over the reins at the Mass Clean Energy Center when Ms. Wall left government service to take a lucrative position in the private sector as the Director of the Performance Solar Division of a firm in Boston called Broadway Renewable Strategies, which is a subsidiary of the Broadway Electrical Company.

As residents of the Cape & Vineyard know, the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) announced with great fanfare in 2012 that CVEC had hired Broadway Electric, through Broadway Renewable Strategies, to install approximately 66 MW of solar installations on the Cape & Islands at a projected total cost of $200 million.  

As noted above, CVEC and its parent organization, the Cape Light Compact, are the largest clients by far of Commissioner Kimmell's former law firm, BCK Law.

Regrettably, however, as Commonwealth Magazine and the Cape Cod Times reported last month, workers for Broadway Renewable Strategies suddenly walked off the job at all the CVEC photo voltaic installation work sites because Broadway Electrical is going out of business. 

After months of protracted delays, a change in banks, a change in equity investors and a unilateral demand for better contractual terms for the investor group, Broadway Renewable Strategies managed to meet the permitting deadlines for a grand total of 13 MW of the original 66 MW of PV projects proposed by CVEC and trumpeted in the CVEC press release.

Then Broadway went belly up, without warning, leaving all of the CVEC projects in limbo.

The good news is that BCK Law has made millions of dollars doing all of the legal work for CVEC -- and continues to generate huge fees in the current desperate attempt by CVEC to resolve the crisis precipitated by the "Performance Solar Division" under the direction of the former head of the Mass Clean Energy Center, the patron saint of the Falmouth wind turbines, Ms. Carter Wall.

To date, the Cape Light Compact has funneled over $3 million in CLC ratepayer funds to CVEC, the illegitimate shell corporation that CLC's attorneys, Bernstein, Cushner and Kimmell (a.k.a. BCK Law) helped CLC to form "to do things that CLC is legally prohibited from doing" -- such as building industrial wind turbines. 

All of the CVEC wind turbine proposals were repudiated by the local communities that were designated to host them (but not before the Mass Clean Energy Center invested at least $200,000 in these ill-fated projects).  

The vast majority of the proposed CVEC photovoltaic installations with the "Performance Solar Division" of Broadway Renewable Energy are dead and the remaining handful are in serious jeopardy since they must be permitted, completed, tested and operating no later than June 30, 2014 -- and since there is no one to install them.

But CLC and CVEC have bigger problems than the sudden demise of these CVEC projects, the most recent in a long series of failed endeavors. 

For just as some people are appalled by the specter of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental "Protection" scheming to enable developers to harm them; other citizens have taken issue with the efforts of Bernstein, Cushner & Kimmell to assist its client, the Cape Light Compact, in creating s shell company called CVEC for the express purpose of "doing things that CLC is legally prohibited from doing." 

A Special Committee of Inquiry of the Barnstable County legislature investigated the governance and finances of CLC and CVEC, including the relationship between CLC and CVEC, and raised many serious questions.  In its Report, the Special Committee highlighed a series of dubious transactions that occurred in the months preceding the formation of CVEC, when CLC was working with BCK Law to form the new shell company. 

The Special Committee issued a final report in May of 2012 that was highly critical of CLC's financial sponsorship of the shell company, CVEC; expressed concern about the lack of transparency and accountability of both organizations, including financial transparency and accountability; recommended a forensic financial audit; and recommended an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Inspector General.

After further months of wrangling with CLC and CVEC, the Assembly of Delegates voted on December 4, 2013 to request assistance from the AG and the IG to conduct a thorough investigation these two public bodies, including their governance and their finances; the propriety of their financial relationship (with CLC operating CVEC as a de facto subsidiary); and the potential conflict of interest arising from BCK Law serving as general counsel to both entities.

From all appearances, it seems that the Attorney General and the Inspector General will respond, or are already responding to the request by the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates for a thorough investigation of CLC and CVEC.

Just as one cannot eliminate the harmful adverse impacts of wind turbine noise through artful propaganda and wishful thinking -- as Vestas and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental "Protection" have tried to do; so one cannot simply evade legal restrictions by running the illegal activity through a shell company that has been formed "to do the things that one is legally prohibited from doing," with 100% of the shell company's expenses paid by the parent entity that believes it is sufficient merely to pretend that it is all legal.   Click here to see;  Vestas Wind Company Always Knew About Noise & When https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2014/02/16/what-vestas-knew-and-when/


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