November 10, 2012
Letters, New York

Wind power not cost-effective around here

Observer-Dispatch | Nov. 10, 2012 |

Thank God Hurricane Sandy proved to be more of a nuisance than a major disaster for our area.

I would like to point out the local wind speeds from this storm are about how much wind it actually takes for an industrial wind turbine to produce 100 percent of its rated power. The Vesta’s 3.0 wind turbine is almost 500 feet tall and 2.4 acres wide. Its use is proposed in Richfield, Litchfield, and Madison.

This turbine reaches its rated power, three megawatts, at wind speeds of 29 miles per hour. (Wind advisories are typically issued at this speed) These turbines don’t begin producing power until the wind blows at almost seven miles per hour.

At seven miles per hour these turbines will produce less than 100 kilowatts. This data is taken from a Vesta’s sales document under the heading “some impressive data”. I’m impressed. This industry has convinced our politicians to give them billions of tax dollars in subsidies over the last 20 years. Not provided anywhere in the company data is how much electricity these turbines consume to run their various electronics, heaters (in winter), coolers (in summer), and, believe it or not, motors to turn the blades when the wind is not blowing!

If developers get just a one-year extension of the production tax credit it will cost American taxpayers $12 billion. The wishful thinkers want wind turbines to work; the science shows they can’t in many areas of our country, and certainly not in our area.


Richfield Springs

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