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Wind turbines are simply unreliable

I’ve been writing about how wind power doesn’t make dollars or sense.

Consider the following:

• When not producing power, thousands upon thousands of wind turbines suck or draw electricity off the main grid to warm components, run lights and operate switch gear, sensors, etc., causing non-productive costs pushed out onto the ratepayers.

• It is rumored that there may be some projects going in next to old projects rather than maintaining the old ones.

It is said the money isn’t in the maintaining, it is in the government subsidies of new projects and the hoped for lucrative carbon cap and trade credits, which they want to sell in the near future, etc., causing higher costs pushed out onto the ratepayers and taxpayers.

Such “carbon credits” – another government shell game – will also further cripple industry and stifle jobs.

• Wind turbines are so undependable that in some situations, gas-fired turbines have to be built anyway as backups to support renewable energy’s erratic production.

A cost of more millions of dollars per project and/or other windmill projects put unreasonable expectations on BPA, both causing more unnecessary and higher costs pushed out onto the ratepayers and taxpayers.

• Last summer when it was hottest, and the dams were not producing much because of a depleted water supply, the wind seldom produced – a time when the wind turbines were really needed. Negative benefit to rate payers.

• Last winter when it was really cold, when power plants were running all out, there was little to no help from the wind. Negative benefit to rate payers.

• During normal periods, the wind turbines cause more wear and tear on fossil power plants, not to mention higher emissions. This happens because of the up and down (spinning reserve) and on and off cycling of the fossil plants as they try to keep the grid stable.

This creates higher emissions caused by gas turbine megawatt load changes emitted into the atmosphere and, as always, higher maintenance costs pushed out onto the ratepayers.

• There are times when there is an abundance of electricity because of water behind the dams, such as in the spring. Fossil plants have traditionally shut down to do maintenance. But I suspect they are now kept on line longer to assist the vacillating wind production. This is an extra expense, as gas is more expensive than water. The longer run causes more emissions and wear and tear on the fossil plants, and it shortens the maintenance period to keep machines reliable, causing higher costs pushed out onto the ratepayers.

I will be writing more on this subject.

Leonard C. Routson

Umatilla