I had to chuckle when I read Rachel Shimshak’s response, “Stable contracts for wind power help ratepayers,” (In Focus, Dec. 18) regarding the large amount of financial assistance and incentives that the wind developers receive. Ms. Shimshak states she is giving the “full story.” Please.
Ms. Shimshak did a good job of overgeneralizing winds comparable costs while not addressing winds disadvantages. At the time of this writing, Dec. 20, the wind has not blown for two full weeks. If we were dependent upon wind energy, we would be having blackouts. Her justification of the wind industry’s subsidies by comparing them to the petroleum industry is hilarious unless they intend to put sails on our cars. Stating wind pays its way only deals with a small part of the cost equation. Ask BPA how much of its excess revenues have been reduced because of wind.
Implying the region needs wind as we offset coal is at best misleading. Washington and Oregon are soon to approach 6,000 megawatts of combined wind power. There are only two coal plants in Washington and Oregon, which total 2,200 megawatts. Wind cannot adequately replace any dispatchable energy like coal or hydro. Wind is dependent upon them.
Yes, wind does have its place in the Northwest but we have already placed wind in too many places.
RICH SARGENT, Richland
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