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Wray wind generator fails to produce juice (update)
Rocky Mountain News ^ | July 30, 2008 | Tillie Fong

Posted on 12/08/2009 7:47:25 AM PST by PilotDave

One of the projects touted as an example of green energy - supported by the purchase of carbon offsets from the Democratic National Convention - isn't working, according to an online report.

Face the State, a Web site that follows politics in Colorado, reported this week that a wind turbine in Wray has not been able to produce electricity since it was erected in February (2008) because of a faulty converter .

(Excerpt) Read more at rockymountainnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: energy; energydemocrats; wind
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I was just in Wray last week and thought I would update Freepers on a real life democratic supported, gov owned, wind plant.

Background- The Wray school district built a wind generator, which was funded in part by the State of Colorado and the DNC to tout/show off alternate energy solutions. It was going to pay for itself in the long run by selling the extra electricity.

In short, it's been a disaster. It has never produced any power. In fact, the district spent most of the fall trying to repair/replace the generator. When they turned it on this fall, it ran for a short period and burned up the new power head. It's still just sitting there - a dead money pit...

Of course I couldn't find a recent news story that covered this. I used a link from a previous story in the Rocky Mountain News, which has since gone out of business. Ironic.

1 posted on 12/08/2009 7:47:26 AM PST by PilotDave
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To: PilotDave

Fay Wray?
2 posted on 12/08/2009 7:50:45 AM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: PilotDave

These moronic wind generators never fail to make me laugh.


3 posted on 12/08/2009 7:50:56 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: PilotDave

I recently took a month to tour Texas. I saw hundreds of wind generators out on the west Texas plains.

Having seen others in Wyoming and noting many were not operational, I purposely made a count. It is not too hard, even when driving at 70 mph.

It is very safe to say that 10 to 15% are inoperative. Given an array of 30 or so, 4 or 5 will be still. I made several counts over a three day period and the results were always there. Lots of the wind generators just don’t work.

Boone Pickens was on Cavuto recently. He was touting his bill being proposed to convert 18 wheelers to natural gas from diesel. he has abandoned his lofty wind power scheme.

Wind energy is a costly fraudulent joke


4 posted on 12/08/2009 7:55:08 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: PilotDave

Just another illustration of something illustrated in Atlas Shrugged. The government and industrial looters just care about building stuff with public funds. They just want something to make them feel good about themselves. They don’t know how to make that stuff they build run or be profitable. And the evil part is that they don’t care.


5 posted on 12/08/2009 7:55:31 AM PST by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts soooo good!)
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To: PilotDave

Some part of Europe (can’t remember where) gave up on their wind energy because it took so much energy to manufacture the spinning of the turbine compared to the needed supplementing of other electricity sources, it became unsustainable.


6 posted on 12/08/2009 7:55:52 AM PST by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: PilotDave
Don’t know about the failure to repair this unit. But I do know that power demand has dropped like a rock. Nearest power plant is running at 25 to 30% capacity.
7 posted on 12/08/2009 8:05:19 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: bert

Same thing in Northern Indiana.
I drive by a wind farm with over a hundred of the things just sitting there, taking up space.


8 posted on 12/08/2009 8:05:19 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: SJSAMPLE

See# 7


9 posted on 12/08/2009 8:05:58 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: SJSAMPLE

Whatever the shortcomings of windpower may be, wind turbines don’t provide baseline power. Being far more easily started and stopped than steam boilers, they are used for peak delivery.


10 posted on 12/08/2009 8:11:28 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: PilotDave

I have driven by a forest of windmills in southwestern Minnesota many times and only rarely are all of the windmills turning. I have even seen times when not a single windmill from horizon to horizon was turning. Any notion that we can depend on wind power for even 10% of our electric needs is ludicrous.


11 posted on 12/08/2009 8:14:33 AM PST by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"These moronic wind generators never fail to make me laugh."

Moronic...good description.

They should put those millions of dollars into upgrading the electrical grid and building nuclear power plants...THAT's the solution for the growing population.

Either that, or shut the damn gates and stop letting every tom, diego, and mohammed in here to suck off the national teat.

Wind power...about as dependable in filling our needs as the democrats.
12 posted on 12/08/2009 8:14:55 AM PST by FrankR (SENATE: You cram it down our throats in '09, We'll shove it up your ass in '10...count on it.)
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To: PilotDave


In fact, the district spent most of the fall trying to repair/replace
the generator. When they turned it on this fall, it ran for a short period
and burned up the new power head.

I guess those “Green” SEIU workers need to go back to tech school to learn
the basics of electricity-generating equipment.
(/SARC)


13 posted on 12/08/2009 8:16:39 AM PST by VOA (I)
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To: Mr. Lucky
Being far more easily started and stopped than steam boilers, they are used for peak delivery.

They can be, but the other important piece to the puzzle is what we call in the grid management business dispatch-ability. That is, being able to deliver the juice where and when you need it. Wind generation is essentially non-dispatchable. You either have it or you don't. That means you may have it when you don't really need it or want to use it, or you may not have it when you need it.

And, BTW (as Rush would say), the latter point is why you have the greenies agitating for laws requiring that grid operators get some fraction of their supply from "green sources". That means, to meet that requirement, if your "green source" happens to be online, you HAVE to use it to meet your quota, even though you may not want to use it, for whatever reasons (technical, economic, whatever). Mandates and subsidies from the government (naturally) are the only way a lot of these schemes will have any penetration into the competitive market.

14 posted on 12/08/2009 8:27:26 AM PST by chimera
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To: PilotDave

This is hardly typical.


15 posted on 12/08/2009 8:35:33 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: xcamel
Actually, I was thinking Link Wray


16 posted on 12/08/2009 8:38:19 AM PST by Repealthe17thAmendment (Is this field required?)
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To: The Great RJ
I have driven by a forest of windmills in southwestern Minnesota many times and only rarely are all of the windmills turning. I have even seen times when not a single windmill from horizon to horizon was turning. Any notion that we can depend on wind power for even 10% of our electric needs is ludicrous.

In Iowa we use about 48,000,000 mwh/year. We have 3,000 mw worth of windpower which produces over 7,000,000 mwh of electricity/year and we are building lots more. Do the math.

17 posted on 12/08/2009 8:50:14 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: PilotDave

I was driving to Portland a while back and passed a set of 18 wheelers. Three trucks drove by, each with one huge white cylinder. Another three went by, each with what looked like an airplane wing or huge propeller blade. It was huge. Two more trucks completed the ‘kit’. Eight big trucks came from Portland down the Columbia River Gorge, (Interstate 84), probably from foreign ships off loading in Portland. Does the energy generated from those windmills even equal the energy it takes to get them delivered?


18 posted on 12/08/2009 8:54:57 AM PST by sportutegrl (If liberals could do math, they would be conservatives.)
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To: bert

Wind is still part of TB Pickens plan. He wants wind to help replace Natural Gas Electrical Power generation. This gives more Natural Gas freed up to compete with transportation fuel. Nat Gas from shale formations are now taking some pressure off this but we remain a Nat Gas importer.

Right now TBP’s competes with coal at a low $/BTU. I believe he wants a bigger piece of transportation market and move his Nat Gas more into that higher $/BTU market. But if we are just trading imported oil for imported LNG, the profit is not as high as producing domestic Nat Gas and only using pipelines.

Technology advances have made the Nat Gas from shale economic and greatly improved our reserves. But the daily production level still remains below our current consumption. Adding significant addition demand as transportation fuel will jack the price of Nat Gas and bring in too many foreign suppliers of LNG. Pickens doesn’t want that much completion before he develops his fueling infrastructure and captures a big market share.

My opinion, nothing more.


19 posted on 12/08/2009 8:57:22 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DungeonMaster

What does Iowa do when the wind stops for a while?


20 posted on 12/08/2009 9:00:57 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: thackney

I thought that not too long ago, say late September or maybe October, he was on tv bemoaning problem with wind and was shelving his interest in the projects.

Perhaps not


21 posted on 12/08/2009 9:02:25 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: VOA

Union made, Union maintained.


22 posted on 12/08/2009 9:06:03 AM PST by dusttoyou (libs are all wee wee'd up and no place to go)
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To: Mr. Lucky

“Being far more easily started and stopped than steam boilers, they are used for peak delivery.”

Well... I guess as long as the peak happens to coincide with the wind.


23 posted on 12/08/2009 9:09:40 AM PST by Pessimist (u)
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To: thackney

but we remain a Nat Gas importer

Maybe net, but not entirely. I was recently surprised to learn a significant portion of Haynesville Shale gas is being exported by BG and has saved the Haynesville from shutting down due to low gas demand and low prices.


24 posted on 12/08/2009 9:11:01 AM PST by dusttoyou (libs are all wee wee'd up and no place to go)
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To: Lakeshark
What does Iowa do when the wind stops for a while?

The exact same thing we do when the Duane Arnold Energy Center refuels for a while. Refueling takes about a month and costs about $20,000,000 by the way.

25 posted on 12/08/2009 9:16:48 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: DungeonMaster
I don't understand your answer, perhaps you could explain better.

My question had a serious point to it. You can't store the power a wind generator makes, and you can't count on it actually being windy, so you need a back up.

In Denmark they have an entire power plant running full time to back up when their wind generators don't work. This back up plant has to run all the time, thereby saving nothing in fossil fuel consumption. They might as well not have the wind turbines to maintain. They're a gigantic waste.

Having wind turbines going makes them feel good though.........

26 posted on 12/08/2009 9:24:12 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: DungeonMaster

“This is hardly typical.”
and
“In Iowa we use about 48,000,000 mwh/year. We have 3,000 mw worth of windpower which produces over 7,000,000 mwh of electricity/year and we are building lots more. Do the math.”

OK, let’s turn to the experts. I found the qoute below from a paper on the internet from 2002 (follow link). Bottom line is, wind energy is a crime against the planet...

http://www.mnforsustain.org/windpower_schleede_costs_of_electricity.htm

The small amount of electricity produced by wind turbines, particularly due to their inherently low capacity factors. If all the thousands of windmills in the US as of the end of 2002 operated with a 25% capacity factor, they would produce less electricity (10,260,150,000 kilowatt-hours – kWh) than two 750-megawatt (MW) gas-fired combined cycle generating plants operating in base load with an 80% capacity factor (10,512,000,000).2 The windmills are scattered over thousands acres in 27 states (90% in CA, TX, IA, MN, WA and OR), while the gas-fired plants would take up only a few acres. Also, they are available when needed (i.e., dispatchable), not just when the wind blows.


27 posted on 12/08/2009 9:27:36 AM PST by PilotDave (America; nice while it lasted... I miss it already.)
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To: PilotDave
The small amount of electricity produced by wind turbines, particularly due to their inherently low capacity factors. If all the thousands of windmills in the US as of the end of 2002 operated with a 25% capacity factor, they would produce less electricity (10,260,150,000 kilowatt-hours – kWh) than two 750-megawatt (MW) gas-fired combined cycle generating plants operating in base load with an 80% capacity factor (10,512,000,000).2 The windmills are scattered over thousands acres in 27 states (90% in CA, TX, IA, MN, WA and OR), while the gas-fired plants would take up only a few acres. Also, they are available when needed (i.e., dispatchable), not just when the wind blows.

If we had a million wind turbines that number would be a lot better wouldn't it. That point is not relavent to the viability of windpower. TODAY in Iowa with 3,000 mw of wind at about a 30 percent cap factor we have the equivalent of 1.7ish of our nukes with more coming. Lots more. We could be at 5,000 mw in 18 months. Even more than I've been praying for. Sure we have good wind here, I think we are 12th in the nation. Other States will follow suit based on wind resource vs energy demand and availabity of other energy.

28 posted on 12/08/2009 9:41:04 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Sure.
But our ability to produce and transmit baseline power is becoming more limited when compared to increasing requirements. The enviro-wackos are offering ONLY wind or solar as solutions for this looming capacity gap.

We could build more coal plants, but, well ....
We could build more nuclear plants, but, well ...
We could build more hydro-electric dams, but well ...

And, wind isn’t that easily started if there’s no wind.
What if there’s no sun, either?

In certain areas, you get a higher reliability of wind and solar, but these are never going to supply any reliable quantities of power, even at peak.

They’re using wind and solar as a de facto replacement for baseline generation. They can’t be that stupid, so there must be another goal.


29 posted on 12/08/2009 9:55:57 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: org.whodat

Even if demand is down, why would you voluntarily inhibit a windmill to burn coal or natural gas?


30 posted on 12/08/2009 9:58:54 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: bert

The advertising on mainstream has dropped, but his interest in the projects remain.

http://www.pickensplan.com/about/

He still is going around the country promoting it. But it has less attention than before and a bigger effort on the Nat Gas side of it.

http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/13389

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/12/02/a-conversation-with-t-boone-pickens.aspx


31 posted on 12/08/2009 10:00:01 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DungeonMaster

The math was done and you will end up with higher bills.


32 posted on 12/08/2009 10:01:55 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: SJSAMPLE
They can't be that stupid.

Sure they can.

33 posted on 12/08/2009 10:02:17 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: dusttoyou
Maybe net, but not entirely

Is not net the only figure that really matters?


34 posted on 12/08/2009 10:06:52 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DungeonMaster
Why would a million turbines be better?
It's still:
a) unreliable.
b) cost inefficient by a huge margin.
c) still unable to generate in sufficient quantity.

Like solar, you could plaster the countryside with the things and they still wouldn't make a dent in the overall power requirements. Meanwhile, you're paying more for a novelty and you've given another reason (albeit a pathetic one) for not building more nuclear (or even coal) plants.

It's like the old joke in the automotive supply industry:
"We're losing $1 per unit."
"Sure, but we'll make it up in volume."
35 posted on 12/08/2009 10:07:22 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: dusttoyou

Also, some of the export issues is bottlenecking in the pipeline market. When the gas cannot be moved economically due to limitations in the delivery system, other sources become more economical.

Take a look at the following report. I know it is long and detailed but jump to page 14, Figure 6. This shows where the industry sees the most need to increase ability to move Natural Gas. The biggest expected growth is to get more capacity to move Nat Gas to the Northeast.

Expansion of the U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Network:
Additions in 2008 and Projects through 2011
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/feature_articles/2009/pipelinenetwork/pipelinenetwork.pdf


36 posted on 12/08/2009 10:12:28 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Lakeshark

When the wind stops blowing in IOWA?

It sucks! Holding MinnySoder from flying away. Come to think of it, Iowa sucks WHEN the wind blows as well.


37 posted on 12/08/2009 10:15:24 AM PST by HiramQuick (work harder ... welfare recipients depend on you!)
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To: bert

Pickens owns the mineral and water rights to vast areas of West Texas. He made a deal with the city of Dallas to supply it with water, 500,000 gals a day I think, but they had to build the pipeline from the water to Dallas. I think they agreed.

He abandoned his wind farm recently because no one would build the transmission lines for him.

He has been pushing natural gas for a long time because he has plenty of it. He has pushed municipalities to power their city and state vehicles on natural gas. He has pushed the public transit people to do the same.

Pickens is a shrewd business man. He saw the value of buying up all those mineral and water rights of the vast West Texas plains and now he is pushing to create markets for his products.

The oil and gas are already there and just need to be pumped and transported. So is the water. So is the wind. His raw materials are free, in a way, and he just needs to pay to collect and transport them.

I do not find fault with that. It is free enterprise. There is a need for all he does.


38 posted on 12/08/2009 10:16:49 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: SJSAMPLE
Like solar, you could plaster the countryside with the things and they still wouldn't make a dent in the overall power requirements.

I have to respond to this statement first. Do you really think that the country does not have enough land mass to hold enough windmills to satisfy the country's electricity requirements? You can produce about 40,000 mwh per square mile with windpower in northwest Iowa. Each farmer that gets to lease land to a windmill gets $4000/year and loses 1-2 percent productivity. Again, given iowa's 48,000,000 mwh consumption we can produce the equivalent +/- demand mwh with the land mass of 2 counties out of 99 counties in Iowa.

39 posted on 12/08/2009 10:22:52 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: SJSAMPLE

The plant I told you about is a coal plant, it is mostly running one unit and at low load, lots of rain means hydro is the cheapest.


40 posted on 12/08/2009 10:28:27 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
He abandoned his wind farm recently because no one would build the transmission lines for him.

- - - - - - -

I believe you are mistaken.

Texas Approves Wind Power Transmission Lines
http://cbs11tv.com/greenlife/texas.wind.power.2.773457.html

LCRA TSC Files Application with PUC to Build New 345-kV Transmission Line
http://tdworld.com/overhead_transmission/lcra-transmission-application-1109/index.html
LCRA Transmission Services Corp. last month filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to build a new 345-kV transmission line in Gillespie, Llano, San Saba, Burnet, and Lampasas counties in Texas.

NACEL Energy Passes Milestone for Connecting Blue Creek Texas Wind Project to Grid
http://tdworld.com/overhead_transmission/nacel-energy-transmission-wind-1009/index.html

Southwest Power Pool Approves EHV Transmission Projects
http://tdworld.com/overhead_transmission/spp-ehv-transmission-projects-0509/index.html

There are multiple West Texas related transmission line projects ongoing at various stages of progress.

41 posted on 12/08/2009 10:29:05 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: autumnraine
Some part of Europe (can’t remember where) gave up on their wind energy because it took so much energy to manufacture the spinning of the turbine compared to the needed supplementing of other electricity sources, it became unsustainable.

Spain.

42 posted on 12/08/2009 10:32:38 AM PST by dearolddad
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To: Mind-numbed Robot

He abandoned his wind farm...

- - - - - - - -

I believe over the next two years, we will find that his time table changed, not the project.

Pickens Calls Off Plans For Vast Texas Wind Farm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/07/AR2009070702455.html?hpid=sec-business

Rosser said Mesa Power was also unable to borrow $2 billion for transmission lines to link the wind farm to the Texas grid. “Now we’re going to wait for the state to put the transmission [lines] in, which will invariably be slower than what we were planning,” Rosser said.


43 posted on 12/08/2009 10:34:08 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DungeonMaster

“TODAY in Iowa with 3,000 mw of wind at about a 30 percent cap factor we have the equivalent of 1.7ish of our nukes with more coming.”

Time for some math. 3000 MW is the peak output of the wind farms in IA now. Of course wind power typically operates at 25% or less of peak power. So figure 1000mw per year total output to be safe.

A typical nuke plant generates 1 gigawatt of power per year. That is 1000 times the amount of real power Iowa is producing today in wind power. Iowa’s wind farms have NOT replaced the equivelant of 1.7ish nuke power plants. They are about 1/1000th of one nuke plant. And for every windmill you build you must have a real power plant up and running to be able to jump in when the windmill isn’t turning. Imagine what 1,000,000 of the bird killing fans would be like?


44 posted on 12/08/2009 10:50:57 AM PST by PilotDave (America; nice while it lasted... I miss it already.)
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To: PilotDave
Time for some math. 3000 MW is the peak output of the wind farms in IA now. Of course wind power typically operates at 25% or less of peak power. So figure 1000mw per year total output to be safe.

A typical nuke plant generates 1 gigawatt of power per year. That is 1000 times the amount of real power Iowa is producing today in wind power. Iowa’s wind farms have NOT replaced the equivelant of 1.7ish nuke power plants. They are about 1/1000th of one nuke plant. And for every windmill you build you must have a real power plant up and running to be able to jump in when the windmill isn’t turning. Imagine what 1,000,000 of the bird killing fans would be like?

HOLD IT! You've made an error by a factor of 1000 against Wind power. 3000 mw of windpower at 33 percent power factor makes an instantanious power of "about" 1000mw which is EXACTLY THE SAME as a 1,000 mw nuke.

45 posted on 12/08/2009 10:58:06 AM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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To: bert
Wind energy is a costly fraudulent joke

Not for Boone Pickens as long as he can get the gov't (us, poor serf taxpayers) to foot the bill so he can reap the profits. "He has abandoned his lofty wind power scheme" only because of his failure to get Congress to dump the costs of it on the taxpayer.

46 posted on 12/08/2009 11:16:37 AM PST by penowa
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To: PilotDave

bump to follow the debate.


47 posted on 12/08/2009 11:30:41 AM PST by PLMerite (Ride to the sound of the Guns - I'll probably need help.)
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To: thackney

Will check later, link has some glitch.

Son-in-law is involved with pipelines coming out of the Haynesville. They have bottlenecks in both gathering system and mainline pipeline capacity, but are hard working to improve ASAP.


48 posted on 12/08/2009 11:30:45 AM PST by dusttoyou (libs are all wee wee'd up and no place to go)
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To: DungeonMaster

“HOLD IT! You’ve made an error by a factor of 1000 against Wind power.”
I stand corrected. Sorry, my head is smoking. kilowatt is 1,000 watts. Megawatt is million watts. Gigawatt is billion watts. Iowa’s wind turbines now roughly equal 1 nuke power plant or 2 conventional plants. BTW- those plants still have to be built, and up and running, if we want reliable power because wind is so unreliable... You can’t just fire up that kind of capacity like it’s a Honda generator.


49 posted on 12/08/2009 11:35:32 AM PST by PilotDave (America; nice while it lasted... I miss it already.)
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To: PilotDave
I stand corrected. Sorry, my head is smoking. kilowatt is 1,000 watts. Megawatt is million watts. Gigawatt is billion watts. Iowa’s wind turbines now roughly equal 1 nuke power plant or 2 conventional plants. BTW- those plants still have to be built, and up and running, if we want reliable power because wind is so unreliable... You can’t just fire up that kind of capacity like it’s a Honda generator.

No problem, I'm glad that's ironed out. Wind plant output is actually becoming more and more predictable. I notice the wind is often very calm at night when demand is low and it picks up during the day when demand is great. Weather models for wind speed are surprisingly accurate 24 and 48 hours out. Kind of like the blizzard that we are about to get hit by, the models show what it's going to be doing hour by hour.

50 posted on 12/08/2009 12:01:26 PM PST by DungeonMaster (camel, eye of a needle; rich man, heaven)
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