May 12, 2012
Letters, Washington

Wind projects expensive

The Spokesman-Review, 12 May 2012

In the April 29 guest column, “Clean energy best for state,” there was a deceptive statement made regarding the output of the Palouse Wind power project. The whole truth should be known.

The statement was, “It will provide enough clean electricity to power more than 30,000 Washington homes.” The whole truth is that on a few hours per year it will provide three times the power required for those homes. On a few more hours, it will provide no power at all, when the wind does not blow. Which hours these are cannot be scheduled.

This diversity means that wind must be backed up by a running generator at all times, hot and ready to pick up the load, making wind power on the whole an economic and environmental boondoggle.

Wind is free, but equipment, land leases, maintenance, financing and profit is not. This project would not exist but for tax credits and mandates requiring that utilities purchase the power, most often from a third party, at high cost. Ratepayers and taxpayers must, in effect, pay for duplicate sets of generators and compounded expenses and profits.

Part of the increase in your Avista rates will be due to this project.

Tom Horne


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