On July 30, the Times-Call ran a wind and solar “puff piece” based on a study by a self-proclaimed conservative organization known as The Western Way. It was founded by Scott McInnis, who was a leading gubernatorial candidate in 2010 until his exposure as a plagiarist led to Hickenlooper being elected. Its claimed conservative credentials are considered rather dubious, given its support of various left wing policies. It is likely just a bunch of crony capitalists as are most wind and solar fellow travelers.
The report contains the usual bloviation expected from wind and solar advocates. It says that renewable energy, mostly wind, across the eastern plains of Colorado is expected to grow to 6,069 megawatts by 2024. That means, based on the cited 95,000 acres required for the 600 megawatt Xcel Rush Creek facility, there will be about 950,000 acres of eastern Colorado dedicated to these bird killing monstrosities. And the power they actually provide, on average about 20% of the name plate rating, will be about 1,200 megawatts. That same amount of power could be provided by one modern natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant on about 500 acres or less.
And that 1,200 megawatts of power from the 950,000 acres of wind turbines is essentially worthless because it cannot be depended upon to be available when required so it must be backed up by conventional power plants of the same capacity. It could even be said to be less than worthless because of the deleterious effects of the intermittent wind power on the stability and reliability of the electrical grid. As to the economic benefits cited, it comes mostly from government subsidies anyhow. We’d all be better off if those subsidies were just given directly to the farmers instead of being cycled through the wind and solar developers.
Carl Brady |