Reposted here from the original Letter to the Editor at the Rutland Herald.
Today’s article in the Herald from the AP regarding the New England Wind Integration Study that was just completed for ISO-NE (our power grid manager) has prompted this letter. First I’d like to reiterate that ISO-NE doesn’t publicly support wind power. The AP accurately used the word “agnostic” to describe our grid managers’ stance. When I interviewed an ISO-NE spokesman, I was told, “We take what we get and make it work.” The representative I spoke with would not comment on the value of wind to the grid. That speaks loud and clear to me.
Here is what ISO-NE had to say a few days ago. “ISO-NE’s goal is to operate the power system reliably and that includes preparing for future conditions that could affect system operation, including the potential impact of regional policy objectives.”
Two words in that statement raise a red flag for me: affect and impact. Those words leave me wanting to know what ISO-NE, the one organization whose expertise could shed some light on what we should do, really thinks. Again, that won’t happen. Their job is to react to public policy in the best way they can. At any cost.
I will admit the study does say that wind could, with significant infrastructure improvements, eliminate our “oil-fired” generation in New England. In 2007 U.S. oil was used for only 1.6 percent of our power generation in the U.S. The study also claims wind will be able to offset a portion of our natural gas-fired generation. That would not include the large thermal plants that take many long hours to ramp up and down. They are referring to gas turbine-powered, peaking units which pick up the load when we have a shortfall. Another small savings in the big picture.
The study says none of this is possible without $19 billion to 25 billion in transmission upgrades. The CEO of VELCO mentioned “speculative” transmission projects at a recent renewable energy conference. I’d like to ask the reader, “Are you going to sacrifice your quality of life for a ‘speculative’ transmission line in your backyard?” Personally, I’ll make no sacrifice to enable these expensive, environmentally destructive, useless, space hogs on our Green Mountains or in our national forest. Wind power is being forced on America by the very well-positioned wind industry.
For example, look who did the NEWIS study for ISO-NE. GE, EnerNex and AWS Trupower. Google these guys and see what they do for a living.
It has been calculated that a complete build-out of wind in the eastern U.S. will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by only 2 percent. GE didn’t do that study.
Wind is a sham.
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