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Old 12-05-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Surely the vast amounts of energy generated and the resultant financial benefits of Altamont and Tehachapi insured maintenance and upgrades to those wind farms was part of the deal right?

Been there and done that. Been where and done what?

Why weren't those "ancient" turbines replaced? Did the wind stop? Nope. Did they not generate enough electricity to make them worthwhile to upgrade or replace? Closer...
Altamont Pass celebrates 'repowering' of wind farm - San Jose Mercury News

Strengthening the inter area grid solves many problems. If one could absorb local excess energy situations across the western US there would be very few such incidents.

This is basically the cheapest of all power. We ought to be in a position to use it.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:25 PM
 
8,829 posts, read 3,883,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Surely the vast amounts of energy generated and the resultant financial benefits of Altamont and Tehachapi insured maintenance and upgrades to those wind farms was part of the deal right?

Been there and done that. Been where and done what?

Why weren't those "ancient" turbines replaced? Did the wind stop? Nope. Did they not generate enough electricity to make them worthwhile to upgrade or replace? Closer...
I think that your windmills there were so much a boondoggle. But with these sorts of energy/technology decisions one has to decide based on best current knowledge and guess when to say 'go'. Just like my solar panels in 2008. I have saved a bunch. But had I held off installation until today, as the prices and efficiencies have so improved, I probably would have saved even more in the longer run.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,501,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Wind farms do not disrupt the land. Each turbine encumbers about an acre. Turbines are normally spaced about 2-3 rotor diameters apart so that is about 600-900 feet between turbines.
Yep. Just do a Google search on Windy Point/Windy Flats (or any other wind farm you choose) and then select Images, and you can pull up hundreds of photos that show what these installations really look like.

There's no land destroyed, for one thing. And clearly far, far less land is being utilized than the "100 acres per tower" figure that was claimed earlier in this thread.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Wind...w=1150&bih=605
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,501,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
Go to Altamont Pass in California to see what industrial wind power looks like after 30 years of abuse. Drive around Tehachapi Pass.
I used to drive by them when they were being built, in the early 80s, and when they went into full operation, and for years following. I even used to fly over them in a private plane when I lived in the area. Now when I see what they are doing today, pulling down the obsolete old "Generation I" turbines and towers, and replacing those with much larger and more powerful and more ecologically sound "Generation II" turbines, it's hard to believe how futuristic they all seemed when wind power first emerged as a real thing over 30 years ago.

Quote:
In Washington state alone, over 140,000 acres in wind farms. That is approaching the size of Mt. Rainier National Park.
There's that same bogus figure you posted before, even after you were thoroughly debunked. Apparently you can't really make your case without relying on misinformation. Here's that calculation again... 1,400 towers X 5 acres each = 5,700 acres of non-destroyed land being utilized.

Quote:
The energy generated is primarily in the spring.
In Washington, yes, but according to the US Department of Energy records it peaked in California in either June or July in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. We see the same pattern with our wind farms here in Hawai'i.

Wind power in California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
When the Federal Government buys it....and dumps it without using it because the dams have to run full bore to protect endangered fish. If the wind power never makes into the grid is this good economic policy?? Why do the taxpayers pay for it when they get NO BENEFIT.
Yes, it's a weird situation when it happens, which is not every year. But when the spring melts are high the dams have to run at full power to help preserve the salmon runs, because they weren't designed to dump excess water safely. So wind farms have to shut down at times, as do coal fired generating plants, to avoid overloading the transmission grid. Improving that transmission grid is a key priority for taking full advantage of all the various power capacities all year long.

Quote:
Yes, conservation is part of every off-grid design. Why should it not be required of urban residents?? Is conservation a bad idea in your eyes??
You already asked that, and my answer is still no, conservation is not a bad, in either sense of the word. As a matter of fact I personally think it's the FIRST idea to consider. And I think there's plenty of evidence that all levels of government are taking this on, all over the country.

Quote:
Wind and solar is only competitive with massive Federal expenditures through subsidies. Why destroy thousands of acres of public land for nothing?
There's that same old misinformation being repeated again. Sorry, you need to find a new song to sing because that one is completely busted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Been there, done that. The turbines in Altamont Pass are ancient. Go look at a wind farm with GE 1.5 MW turbines and come back with some relevant observations.
What are your recent observations? Personally I see old obsolete equipment being removed and replaced with Gen II equipment... larger, more powerful, more robust, quieter, safer for birds, etc... I see old access roads and obsolete transmission lines being removed, natural habitat being restored. The lessons learned over the first 30+ years of operation at Altamont Pass and Tehachapi Pass are being put to good use as we move into a new chapter of renewable energy. California is already generating 5% of its total electrical power requirement from the non-polluting renewable free energy furnished by the wind, and that portion will continue to rise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Surely the vast amounts of energy generated and the resultant financial benefits of Altamont and Tehachapi insured maintenance and upgrades to those wind farms was part of the deal right?
As is often the case with a brand new technology deployment, mistakes were made. Hindsight is always 20/20, eh? But lessons have been learned, and this is clearly a new era. For one thing, the industry is far, far bigger.

I see they make many of the same points I make. It's neat to see this sector being rehabilitated, and moved into the 21st century.

We had a similar situation here at Southpoint, where the original installation in the 80s basically lasted 20 years, the last few of which they were limping along due to various maintenance issues, including shortages of critical parts. And that was part of the growing pains of a fledgling industry. But a couple of years ago new Gen II equipment was installed which is improved in every way, and the old towers and turbines were dismantled and recycled. We also have another installation on the NW corner of the island at Hawi that has been so successful over the last 6 years that a bigger and better Hawi II wind farm is in the planning stages.

Quote:
Strengthening the inter area grid solves many problems. If one could absorb local excess energy situations across the western US there would be very few such incidents.
Exactly. That's why grid improvements are so important to the increase in renewable energy sourcing.

Quote:
This is basically the cheapest of all power. We ought to be in a position to use it.
It's not the whole answer, but it's a valuable part of the renewable energy portfolio. Well sited windpower installations provide a good complement to solar energy, filling in the night hours, to name just one obvious benefit.

Last edited by OpenD; 12-06-2013 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:16 AM
509
 
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The first generation of windmills at Altamont and other places were put in place thanks to Federal tax code subsidies. Basically, you could write off three times your investment and make money off the TAXPAYERS. The Reagan Tax Reform passed in 1987 removed that subsidies and the windmills were abandoned and left to fall down.

The CURRENT wave of Federal subsidies is why those areas are being "restored" to wind farms today. After this wave of subsidies ends.....do we wait for the third wave of subsidies to fix the problems with wind turbines??

I was talking to a farmer that has about a 100 turbines on his property. After ten years the windmill ownership is transferred from the out-of-area utility to him. Ten years is exactly when the subsidies stop for the utility. So I asked him what his plan was ten years from now. Well, he hoped that the Federal government would require Bonneville Power Administration to keep purchasing the electricity generated whether they needed it or not. Then as the windmills fell apart he was hopeful that the salvage value of the metal was enough to get them removed from the farm. Then he hoped that Congress would pass a funding so he could restore the gravel pads and huge roads that criss-cross his property.

Do you notice in that scenario.....that there is no benefit to the taxpayers. Just taxpayer money continually transferred to big money interests.

The ecological impact is much more than the footprint of the windmill. You really need to see the huge roads and associated facilities constructed to access the turbines. Take a "science" ecology class and pay attention when the professor starts talking about habitat fragmentation. Don't take one of those so called ecology classes that Al Gore took at Harvard for liberal arts majors.

IT IS ALL ABOUT TAKING TAX DOLLARS AND TRANSFERRING THEM TO BIG CORPORATIONS. Nobody would build a large wind turbine unless they made money off the TAXPAYERS.

Did you notice in the articles I posted that Governor Inslee (D) Washington is fighting a audit of the wind program. I think he knows that it is a boondoogle. Of course, the INDUSTRIAL WIND COMPANIES are one of his prime campaign contributors.

WE HAVE THE BEST GOVERNMENT MONEY CAN BUY.

Last edited by 509; 12-06-2013 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: DC
6,496 posts, read 6,411,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Surely the vast amounts of energy generated and the resultant financial benefits of Altamont and Tehachapi insured maintenance and upgrades to those wind farms was part of the deal right?

At some point

Been there and done that. Been where and done what?

It all

Why weren't those "ancient" turbines replaced? Did the wind stop? Nope. Did they not generate enough electricity to make them worthwhile to upgrade or replace? Closer...
Too many attractive greenfield locations available. In addition the existing turbines have some grandfathered rights that a new turbine would probably not have. They will be repowered.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:26 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,931,690 times
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I,too, drove around the mid-west a lot and didn't see anything wrong the turbines there. All were in fields probably in the hundreds of acres in size. The plants growing or the cows a grazing didn't seem to care. Could be bad for some birds though.

I'd rather we run wind, solar PV/Heat, hydro - rather than natural gas, Coal, diesel, gas, or nuclear. Embracing multiple technologies where appropriate should be the goal. In other words, no one size fits all. And it may be appropriate to run the fossil fuels and nuclear plants too.

Sorry, but it is going to be really tough for people to give up electricity.

As much as our government isn't perfect and as much as the big corps. get the 'breaks', it is still way better than alternative.

Even though I don't agree that there is nothing for us, non big corp., tax payers to utilize.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:06 PM
509
 
2,865 posts, read 4,029,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
I,too, drove around the mid-west a lot and didn't see anything wrong the turbines there. All were in fields probably in the hundreds of acres in size. The plants growing or the cows a grazing didn't seem to care. Could be bad for some birds though.

I'd rather we run wind, solar PV/Heat, hydro - rather than natural gas, Coal, diesel, gas, or nuclear. Embracing multiple technologies where appropriate should be the goal. In other words, no one size fits all. And it may be appropriate to run the fossil fuels and nuclear plants too.

Sorry, but it is going to be really tough for people to give up electricity.

As much as our government isn't perfect and as much as the big corps. get the 'breaks', it is still way better than alternative.

Even though I don't agree that there is nothing for us, non big corp., tax payers to utilize.
I am all for windfarms in urban areas and in farm lands IF PRIVATE INVESTORS DO NOT REQUIRE TAX DOLLARS.... It is the public lands of the west that I object being converted to industrial alternative energy generating areas.

You don't have to give up electricity.....just quit wasting it!!! On my off-grid house the fridge runs on propane!!
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:14 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,707,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
I am all for windfarms in urban areas and in farm lands IF PRIVATE INVESTORS DO NOT REQUIRE TAX DOLLARS.... It is the public lands of the west that I object being converted to industrial alternative energy generating areas.

You don't have to give up electricity.....just quit wasting it!!! On my off-grid house the fridge runs on propane!!
The issue with wind farms is capital cost. Once in they are about the cheapest source of power available.

So no one walks aways after 10 years. Once up and running they are a gold mine. It is getting them up and running that costs.

The use of tax dollars is a problem. But no where as difficult as you seem to think it is. If you don't subsidize your power sources others do. And they eventually end up with a huge advantage in manufacturing cost and technology. See PV and China.

So you can refuse to subsidize...but only at the cost of wiping out your local industry.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:42 PM
509
 
2,865 posts, read 4,029,941 times
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I disagree.

What I learned in my economics classes were that subsidies were for industries that could not compete. By definition, subsidies are for losers.

China is a totalitarian government surviving on the slave wages of its people. OK....do we follow them?? Japan thought it could pick winners and losers in the 1980's and then seemed to work until 1987. It is 25 years later and they have still not recovered.

There is no local industry when it comes to wind and solar...the big money is in China. We are using tax dollars to create Chinese employment to maintain a totalitarian government!!

Wind and solar is NOT a cheap source of power. I have a solar house.....I live the "dream" or nightmare. Trust me...you don't want a solar house IF you have grid power available. Until the economics of that changes and urban residents WITHOUT tax subsidies switch to solar or wind the Federal government should quit wasting money.

It is NOT about capital costs...it is about subsidies. That is why the utility company is pulling out after ten years and leaving the farmer holding the bag. At some point EVEN the Federal government will quit buying wind power and dumping it because they CANNOT feed it into the grid.
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