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Georgia Power to acquire 250 MW of wind; utility underscores strategy of portfolio diversity

Another Southern Co. utility now has wind energy in its portfolio.

Georgia Power last week announced it has entered into an agreement with EDP Renewables North America that for the first time will add wind energy to the utility's energy portfolio.

Through the contracts, Georgia Power will source 250 MW of cost-effective wind energy from EDP's wind farms in southwest Oklahoma. The wind energy purchased through the contracts will provide enough electricity to power more than 50,000 Georgia homes, the investor-owned utility said. Georgia Power will begin receiving the wind power on January 1, 2016.

Renewable Energy Wins in North Carolina Thanks to Key Republicans

April 28, 2013 - Follow up to the post on Thusday (Lobbying against renewables about to heat up) Sixteen conservative organizations – including the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and The Heartland Institute – made a final push for North Carolina’s bill this week with a letter urging lawmakers that it was their “moral obligation” to oppose government programs that interfere with free markets.

Lobbying against renewables about to heat up

A story on Bloomberg on Tuesday puts it this way “U.S. States Turn Against Renewable Energy as Gas Plunges.” It’s been only a couple of years since fracking has been pumping their secretive fluids into the ground but the profits they extract are now flowing into politics.

NPR airs junk science

In recent weeks, we've reported here on new studies from Australia and New Zealand that strongly suggest ailments attributed to wind turbine sound are actually caused by the "nocebo" (similar to placebo) effect, in which individuals who are led to expect physical symptoms experience those symptoms, whether or not the supposed cause of the symptoms is actually present.

This week's news stories have included two related items, one illuminating and the other less so.

First, the New Yorker blog has an excellent discussion of nocebo, titled "The Nocebo Effect: How We Worry Ourselves Sick," that mentions wind turbine sound only briefly and focuses instead on other activities that have resulted in similar concerns, such as wireless communications. It notes, for example, "After the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo sarin nerve-gas attack in Tokyo ... hospitals were flooded with patients suffering from the highly publicized potential symptoms, like nausea and dizziness, but who had not, it turned out, been exposed to the sarin. This is common in disasters where the agent is invisible, as with chemicals or radiation."

Philadelphia's sustainable program

 Implementing effective and sustainable public space recycling programs is a lot more complicated than just putting out a few recycling bins. Creating the infrastructure to monitor and service these locations is a challenge that most cities have been unable to tackle in scale. But BigBelly Solar is changing that by creating an intelligent infrastructure to support ongoing operations and free up staffing and resources to support new and expanded recycling programs.

Anti-wind rhetoric, par for the course

For many years, an unfounded assertion about wind power has thwarted the best of debunking efforts. That is the claim that wind turbine sound--in particular "infrasound," which normally cannot be heard, but which can come from turbines as well as many other sources in the natural and human environment--has some mysterious characteristic causing a wide variety of illnesses.

Government studies in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.--many of which you will find in the list of references below--have all found no evidence of any mechanism by which wind turbine sound could actually have a direct physical effect on the human body. Instead, as an independent panel of expert acousticians commissioned by AWEA and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) reported in late 2009, the evidence suggests that a person's own psychological concerns (annoyance, fear, anger, etc.) are responsible for the symptoms reported by some wind project neighbors.

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