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Wind’s big footprint  

Credit:  The Montreal Gazette, www.montrealgazette.com 12 April 2011 ~~

Re: “Hydro power’s dirty side” (Gazette, April 9).

In the article, you state: “Land that would be occupied by a wind farm producing equivalent energy to Romaine River project: nine square kilometres.”

Actually, it requires the installation of at least 4,650 megawatts of wind power to achieve an average output of 1,550 megawatts, with a capacity factor of 33 per cent to match the output of Romaine.

At an average of 0.8 square kilometres of land area per megawatt of wind power, because wind power is very dilute, the wind turbines will be spread over approximately 3,700 square kilometres, or 13 times the area of the Romaine reservoirs. There will be wind turbines as far as the eye can see. The direct footprint on the ground would be approximately 200 square kilometres for roads, pylons, maintenance buildings, substations, etc.

Most importantly, Romaine still has to be built to provide electricity for the periods when the output of the wind farm is zero. That is, if the objective is to have a reliable electricity supply for the benefit of the people of Quebec and the industries that provide jobs.

When the cost of the support for wind power is included, using The Gazette’s figures, wind-power cost is 14.8 to 18.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

H. Douglas Lightfoot

Baie d’Urfé

Source:  The Montreal Gazette, www.montrealgazette.com 12 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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