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Energy: Bat blackout  

Credit:  By: Times-Dispatch Staff, www2.timesdispatch.com 20 October 2011 ~~

“Thirty-five windmills at a Western Pennsylvania wind farm have been silenced at night since a bat that belongs to an endangered species was found dead under one of the turbines,” reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review a few days ago.

Duke Energy shut down the windmills as soon as the bat was discovered Sept. 26. The windmills will start up again sometime in mid-November, when bats go into hibernation. The incident provides more evidence that wind energy’s benefits carry tradeoffs. Not only is it more costly than carbon-based power generation, it is also much less reliable.

Like Gov. Bob McDonnell, we favor an all-of-the-above approach to energy production, including renewable sources such as wind. And like Google and Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, we suspect offshore wind holds promise. Wind also might be able to reduce coal and gas consumption, at least modestly.

But if one dead bat can shut down an entire turbine farm every night for nearly two months, land-based wind power is not going to become a realistic source of base-load generation. Those who contend otherwise may find they are whistling in the dark – literally as well as metaphorically.

Source:  By: Times-Dispatch Staff, www2.timesdispatch.com 20 October 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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