Industrial Wind Turbines are no answer to protecting the environment …

Willem Post writes, at the end of another lucid analysis of wind power production and costs: “… wind energy is NOT a viable CO2 reduction technology, AND it acts as a disturber of the grid which makes the grid less efficient and less stable, AND it is very expensive.”

To this we add: AND three wind turbines have cost neighbors of the Vinalhaven wind turbines more than $100K to date, simply to reach the judiciary in an attempt to press the State of Maine to do its regulatory job, against the objections of Fox Islands Wind. This monetary damage doesn’t begin to reflect the cost to quality of life and health of some residents living nearby.

Below is a URL with production data reported by the wind turbine facility owners in Maine.

BY LAW, the quarterly data is reported by wind turbine facility owners to the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, FERC.

The results are dismal, much less than the optimistic capacity factors used to get financing from banks and investors, and approval from government regulators, the public and legislators.
These wind turbine facilities on ridge lines are not economically viable, not even with the present huge subsidies.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blog/show?id=4401701%3ABlogPost%3A43514

HOW IS THIS RELEVANT TO VERMONT?

GMP will likely NOT rue the day it spent $160 million to put 63 MW of these IWTs on the Lowell ridge line, plus about $10 million, required by ISO-NE, for equipment to integrate the variable wind energy to the grid. GMP was going to place the burden on the other suppliers to the grid, but the ISO-NE said it follows the “USER PAYS” rule, well familiar to GMP. Not a problem for GMP; it just rolls the extra cost in to rate schedules.

GMP will charge ALL of its additional costs to the captive rate payers in its service area, 70% of Vermont households and businesses, already stressed-out, because of the Great Recession, and a near-zero-growth economy, and financing subsidized RE follies.

Whereas, GMP was grossly misled and engaged in self-deception, it had the resources to determine the facts BEFORE proceeding, unlike lay-people.

Independent energy systems analysts, with decades of experience, had advised against it, but were shoved aside, ignored, even belittled.

GMP COULD have started with one 3 MW turbine to see how it would perform, but that was not impressive enough, as Shumlin wanted to proceed as quickly as possible, build as many IWTs as possible, destroy as many ridge lines as possible, to get as much state and federal subsidies as possible for Vermont’s wind oligarchy, which consists mostly of multi-millionaires in the top 1%.

New England annual average grid prices are about 5 c/kWh, nearly unchanged for the past 3 years, and likely to stay that way, because of a LONG-TERM, abundant supply of natural gas.

Hydro-Quebec energy is available at about 6 c/kWh. It is STEADY, CO2-free, available 24/7/365, rain or shine, windy or not windy.

Vermont Yankee’s energy is available at about 6 c/kWh. It is STEADY, CO2-free, available 24/7/365, rain or shine, windy or not windy.

Lowell Mountain energy, heavily-subsidized with state and federal subsidies, is available at about 10 c/kWh, per GMP. Its cost would be 15 c/kWh, unsubsidized, per US-DOE. GMP will roll its extra cost into already-stressed households and businesses.

New England, with fair-to-good wind conditions only on 2,000-ft or higher ridge lines, about 30 percent of the hours of the year near-zero wind energy is produced, because wind speeds are insufficient (7.5 mph) to turn the rotors, or too great for safety, as during stronger weather fronts or tropical storms, such as Sandy and Irene, passing over the ridge lines.

About 60% of the wind energy is produced during about 30% of the hours of the year, mostly at night, and mostly during winter. When wind turbines are not producing sufficient or no energy, they DRAW energy from the grid.

Wind energy is variable and intermittent and requires gas turbines to ramp down with wind energy surges and ramp up with wind energy ebbs to maintain a stable grid. This requires extra fuel/kWh and emits extra CO2/kWh.

At greater annual wind energy percentages on the grid, these extras mostly offset what wind energy was meant to reduce, i.e., wind energy is NOT a viable CO2 reduction technology, AND it acts as a disturber of the grid which makes the grid less efficient and less stable, AND it is very expensive.

See below URLs which have had about 10,000 views till now.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61309/lowell-mountain-wind-turbine-facility-vermont
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/71771/energy-efficiency-first-renewables-later
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/84293/wind-turbine-noise-and-air-pressure-pulses
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/89476/wind-energy-co2-emissions-are-overstated

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