The John Locke Foundation is to be commended for its most informative update on status of wind power presented at Carteret Community College last night. Its presentation clarified that:
(1) Wind power causes power plants to release more emissions and is not a reliable source of electrical energy requiring backup power plants to run in “spinning standby” to continually adjust the 60 cycle requirement of electricity. This 60- cycle feature assures your home receives a continual supply of exactly 60-cycle per second of electrical energy. Failure to do so will cause those heat pumps and electrical motors to “burn up” requiring replacement at your expense. This mode, to compensate for the variability of generation due to fluctuating wind velocity, also causes the plants to burn more fuel and emit more emissions than if the wind farm were not operating. Your car meets emission testing annually. Do you approve windmills being excused for the emission/fuel consumption increases?
(2) Wind farms generate roughly 30% of their rated capacity. Thus your windmill rating is highly overrated for the power actually delivered, i.e., it’s like “buying a truck to haul a wheel barrow load.”
(3) North Carolina, while passing legislation (Ridge law) prohibiting windmills along its mountain peaks is now looking to pack our coastal area with wind farms since in 2007 it passed SB3 which mandates utilities purchase up to 10% of their total generation from windmills and other alternative energy sources by 2017. Both Progress Energy and Duke Power have rejected purchasing wind power at the excessively rates from the wind developers versus what they actually pay to purchase power from other utility generators. Any difference, if enacted, means you, the utility customer, will pay higher electrical rates attributed to the high priced wind power purchases. Remember it’s a state mandate forcing consumers to pay more for higher priced windmill purchases. How much more are you willing to pay to support this higher priced energy?
(4) Wind power has been shown to be deadly to birds and bats and efforts to mitigate their deaths have failed. Western windmill projects may exterminate their supply of bald eagles unless the wind farms are shut down. Will duck hunter bag limits be adjusted for the coastal windmill kills?
(5) Wind power takes more than 88 times as much land as coal plants. A 1,000 Mw facility will require as much land as that occupied by Fayetteville, Raleigh and Wilmington combined. Do you approve the taking of your land by public domain for wind farms as state law sanctions it under current mandates?
(6) Wind power cannot have any effect on energy independence. The generation of electricity using petroleum represents on 1.5% of all petroleum consumption. Does this sound like a solution to our energy crisis?
(7) The National Academy of Sciences reports that wind power will not significantly reduce nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and the effect on carbon dioxide will be miniscule. Then what does wind generation offset? It looks like another flawed governmental mandate.
Thank you John Locke Foundation for taking the time to inform the public with information that would have never been released by wind farm advocates and the national press media. Keep up the good work separating hype from facts.
WILLIAM F. “FRED” FULCHER
Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.
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