The Omaha Public Power District once produced and delivered its own electricity to its customers.
Now OPPD’s dependence on electricity produced by others has dramatically increased. This dependency has, in my opinion, significantly reduced the reliability of the electricity provided to OPPD customers.
OPPD, like California, is now very dependent on others for providing electricity. Both have aggressive goals for rapidly expanding the amount of electricity produced by wind turbines. That wind power is so unreliable that only a small fraction of a wind turbine’s rated output can be counted on. Nebraska’s nearly 500 wind turbines can supply only a fraction of the power necessary to replace the recently closed Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. That growing number of wind turbines is already blighting the countryside.
Central power plants have a minimum design life of 40 years. An 80-year lifespan is now feasible. Wind turbines can generate electricity effectively for 12 to 15 years. One study estimates wind turbine routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity produced by wind farms in the next decade, a cost likely to be passed along to its customers.
Decades of generous subsidies have failed to encourage the innovation needed to make this energy competitive. Bluntly, wind turbines cost too much and wear out too quickly to offer a realistic energy supply alternative.
Rich Andrews, Sun City, Ariz.
Retired OPPD employee
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