Skip to comments.Wind Turbine Answers Elusive
Posted on 09/17/2012 12:35:00 PM PDT by MichCapCon
Michigan's open spaces could be dotted with turbines nearly 500 feet tall the same height as the 40-story Guardian Building in downtown Detroit if voters pass Proposal 3 in November.
The proposal, which would mandate that 25 percent of Michigan's energy come from renewable sources such as wind by 2025, would require a huge increase in the number of turbines across the state.
The newest turbines have rotor blades that are longer than a football field. Experts are split about how many of the mammoth structures would be needed to generate as much as 20 percent of the state's energy from wind. Most experts think 20 percent of the 25-percent proposed standard would have to come from wind.
However, advocates and opponents of the 25-percent mandate disagree over how many turbines will be needed. Michigan currently has 292 wind turbines in operation with another 240 expected to be online by 2014.
To meet the 25-percent mandate, estimates range from 2,300 to 3,790 more turbines will be needed. Both sides do agree that the newer 2.4 megawatt (MW) capacity turbines will be used.
At issue is how efficient the turbines will be once they are installed. Wind turbines are measured by capacity factor, which tracks the percentage of the maximum energy turbines are capable of producing. Wind turbines aren't always online because wind can be unpredictable. The capacity factor can range from 15 percent to 45 percent in most cases.
The Michigan Environment Council is in favor of the 25-percent mandate and estimates another 2,300 wind turbines will be needed, said MEC Spokesman Hugh McDiarmid.
The MEC is basing its estimate on a 35-percent capacity factor, while Detroit Edison says it uses 30 percent, according to Matthew Wagner, manager of wind development for the company. By comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Administration makes its projections using a 30-percent capacity factor.
Thomas Hewson, principal of Energy Ventures Analysis Inc. in Virginia, said Michigan's existing turbines operate at a 25 percent capacity factor. Hewson said he made that calculation based on data provided by Michigan wind farms to the Energy Information Administration.
Using a 25-percent capacity factor, Hewson estimates a total of 4,082 turbines would be needed, including the 292 turbines already in existence.
Kevon Martis, of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, is against the 25 percent mandate. He estimates at a 30 percent capacity factor, a total of 3,536 turbines would be needed, including the existing 292 turbines.
"The experience of several existing Michigan wind farms suggests a 25 percent to 30 percent capacity factor is more likely for Michigan," said Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "Higher figures are mere speculation at this time."
NO they couldnt the EPA will never give them the permits.
But wind turbines will get an exemption for bird kills.
For a nuke plant every bird that strike and kills their cooling tower must be counted and reported.
Harming or killing a raptor is a federal offence punishable by fine and imprisonment.
Wind turbines kill hundreds every year but the owner operators escape punishment.
Government hypocrisy and insanity.
To solve an unproven problem we are instituting a solution that cost more than any alternative and creates more sever problems than the unproven problem we seek to cure.
“would require a huge increase in the number of turbines across the state”.
Someone should have had the good sense to keep this utter stupidity, confidential.
Two other things would have to have a huge increase to accomplish the ridiculous.
The constant wind tunnel, and the “revenue” needed to build it.
There ain’t no such thing as a constant wind tunnel. So wind turbans are a better idea than wind turbines.
No one knows broke like a state investing in wind energy. When the subsidy dies you have an expensive and difficult maintenance anchor around your neck and a sometime energy producer.
...and the unanswerable question, who is it that says to me or anyone else, that the other sources of energy used in the past, present,and future, are NOT renewable? Huh? They can’t, and they won’t because history and science are on the side of Oil, Gas, Nuclear, wood, Coal, and any other source used in the last 100 years. I just love listening to environmental nit wits, a bigger waste of time than TV.
Cleanest air in the world other than perhaps a pacific island or two, and the nitwits are wasting our time with minutia.
“To meet the 25-percent mandate, estimates range from 2,300 to 3,790 more turbines will be needed. Both sides do agree that the newer 2.4 megawatt (MW) capacity turbines will be used. “
They need some 0W20 lube, good down to -57F.
From what I've read, they require a minimum of 10 mph winds just to turn them. My experience here in S.E. Michigan is that normal winds don't reach the minimum until at least noon and usually die down in the evening unless of course there's a storm or something. That means only about an eight hour window of operation...
That don't mean a hill of beans since these damn things are proven to be federal grant money pits.........
I will be down here in Pensacola making turbines that you will pay for via taxes and higher electricity rates!
Govt needs to hire folks to harvest the shredded poultry downstream to feed to the starving victims of the endless Baraqqi Depression.
Speaking of making turbines, a plant here in SD just laid off workers because of “uncertainty” in the market. I think they make blades.
Without the tax subsidy (which expires end of CY012 and the House shows no interest in renewing) turbines are completely uneconomic.
So I’m sure orders are zip right now.
There’s a big wind farm going in here in N. Central Indiana that the company is hiring anybody with a pulse to get these things up and running by end of the year, otherwise they don’t get the subsidies.
The residents of Michigan had better be prepared for much higher electricity rates. Living in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) of California where we have had hundreds and hundreds of wind turbines for years now, they are an expensive joke. Our utilities are required to purchase that power at above market rates in order for the turbines to be economically viable. Plus, there are Federal subsidies.
We live in the second most windy area of California. Yet, there are days when the wind does not blow. So, conventional power plants are needed for windless days. Plus, it is puzzling to view all of the turbine fans not spinning at all on days when it is windy. Wind turbine and solar panels - two very expensive follies.
...and interestingly enough there is a complete halt to wind farms here in SD. There was at least one ready to go, but before construction started they wisely put the deal on hold.
Don’t think I will ever get used to them. Ugly eyesore.
Go to GE’s website. Look at the spec’s.
Wind generators shut down above 40C and below -10C.
-10 C is about 14 F.
Wind Generators do not run when it is too hot, too cold, too windy, freezing rain and when the wind does not blow.
I call them the “Three little Bears” of generation, they want it just right.
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