March 25, 2011
Letters, Utah

Cost of wind turbines

Deseret News, 25 March 2011

In Seth Jarvis’ letter (“Cost of electricity,” Readers’ Forum, March 20), he highlighted the alleged hidden costs associated with coal-fired power plants. However, he fails to address the hidden costs associated with wind turbines. I will address two significant ones:

1. Wind turbines take up an immense amount of land which is extremely detrimental to the environment.

2. Wind farms that provide anything but exceptional peaking power require shadow generators. Because wind farms are not dependable – providing power only 30-60 percent of the time – gas fired power plants (or the like) have to be available to take up the slack. It is an extremely costly and inefficient to build these shadow plants and then only use them part time.

While we need to find ways to reduce the pollution coming from our power generation facilities, we need to do it wisely – sensibly reducing pollution at existing facilities while finding sustainable new power sources that are dependable. Wind and solar farm currently do not provide that dependability.

Larry A. Myers

Salt Lake City

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