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Tilting at offshore wind

Re “Offshore wind project shows power, potential” (Eileen Woll Op-Ed, Aug. 25): In spite of continuing propaganda from Dominion Energy, crony capitalists and other environmental predators, wind-generated electricity is neither “clean” nor “green.” A two-megawatt windmill with its tower and base requires mining 300 tons of iron ore and burning 170 tons of coking coal to produce 200 tons of steel, all of which is transported by oil or natural gas. Consequently, mining, production, and transport, per windmill requires more energy than what a windmill will produce in its expected lifetime of 15 years, less at sea.

While a windmill might add some energy to the grid when the wind decides to blow, a windmill adds no capacity to a system since electricity produced is not dispatchable. In other words, one can never count on wind to blow on demand. Therefore, windmills have to be backed up by dependable, fast-acting, non-intermittent sources, typically natural gas, causing the public to pay for electricity production twice: first for extremely expensive low-value electricity from windmills, then from reliable hydroelectric, hydrocarbon or nuclear sources.

To add insult to injury, residents of Denmark, the world’s leader in offshore-generated electricity for decades, pay the highest rates for electricity in Europe, more than 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, more than three times the price currently paid for electricity in Virginia.

M. S. Medeiros, Jr.

Kitty Hawk