In response to ” Dog and Pony Show at Lowville Wind Farm” which appeared in the Nov. 1-7 issue of North Country This Week: All of the wind farm hype is smoke blowing from the companies involved in locating them and making everyone believe it is the best thing to do. The people who ultimately end up with full pockets from getting wind turbines setup – that they would never allow near their homes.
I travel a lot, to the Midwest, central parts of the US, and occasionally even further west. I have seen at least 50 wind farms, and have talked to more than 100 people involved in the actual set up and wiring them in.
Most everyone I have talked to has said flat out that most wind turbines never pay for themselves if the total cost of the turbine is considered. That means if you take into account the cost of the tower, turbine, impeller, land, subsidies, trucking, foundations, labor, permits, variances, and all other cost no matter how minuscule – the profit seen from a single turbine during it’s entire life span is bupkis, zero, zilch, nada, nothing at all.
The companies that make the turbine, tower, impeller, and all related parts make money. The people who truck the parts, build the foundations, assemble and install the machinery, and all forms of construction for the turbines make money.
The people and companies getting all of the huge government subsidies are sure going to make money. But not the turbines. They are worn out before a profit is realized.
Story from Newsweek states: “The best estimate available for the total cost of wind power is $149 per megawatt-hour. The high costs of federal subsidies and state mandates for wind power have not paid off for the American public. According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, wind energy receives a higher percentage of federal subsidies than any other type of energy while generating a very small percentage of the nation’s electricity.
In 2010 the wind energy sector received 42% of total federal subsidies while producing only 2% of the nation’s total electricity. By comparison, coal receives 10% of all subsidies and generates 45% and nuclear is about even at about 20%.”
I would say that the research in the story Newsweek did was just about as accurate as any I have seen. I have traveled through Lowville many times. I worked in Utica for many years, and my wife has family there. We have always made it a point to watch the turbines when we go through. At most we have seen 8 running, the rest are at idle even though the wind is just whipping.
Same thing in Indiana. Last year we traveled north on Indiana 27 past a huge wind farm in eastern Indiana. My wife and I were at over 70 turbines when we lost count. Only a handful were moving. Yet the wind on the plains was a constant 25 to 35 mph.
The towers and turbines are obnoxious, they are a complete eyesore and create excessive noise and vibration, kill birds, and never turn a profit or any real benefit. So why bother with them.
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