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1 - 13 of 13 Comments Last updated Apr 1, 2011

Since: May 07

Fairfield, NY

#1 Mar 24, 2011
From today's O-D Opinion Letters:

Wind farms grow mainly thanks to money

Wind turbines promise to save our planet through free, clean energy.

But our wind is intermittent, seasonal and at best unreliable. GE, a major manufacturer of industrial scale turbines, has reported “the effective capacity of wind turbines in New York is 10 percent due to seasonal and daily patterns of wind generation being largely out of phase with New York electrical grid requirements.”

In Central New York, it is not likely our air conditioners will ever be run by electricity produced by wind power. To add insult to injury, grid managers need to keep a “hot backup” generator spinning to fill in electricity when the wind isn’t blowing. These backup generators run on fossil fuel and produce CO2 pollution. There is virtually no CO2 displacement by wind turbines.

So, what keeps the industrial wind turbine business spinning? Money. Federal and state tax incentives drive this business. The wind farm project in Litchfield would have an effective tax rate of minus 164 percent. Without these kinds of generous subsidies, the wind turbine business would disappear, only to the detriment of a handful of investment bankers, a few landowners and the developers.

Money is the manure that makes wind farms grow.

DOUG WHITFIELD

Clayville

Since: Oct 10

Utica, NY

#2 Mar 25, 2011
just skipping over the fact that you are blowing smoke out of your ass, i would rather see a couple billion go to wind farms than over 90 billion go to oil companies...
jon

Ithaca, NY

#3 Mar 27, 2011
bolowhard
FairfieldSmellsLikeCowPoo wrote:
From today's O-D Opinion Letters:
Wind farms grow mainly thanks to money
Wind turbines promise to save our planet through free, clean energy.
But our wind is intermittent, seasonal and at best unreliable. GE, a major manufacturer of industrial scale turbines, has reported “the effective capacity of wind turbines in New York is 10 percent due to seasonal and daily patterns of wind generation being largely out of phase with New York electrical grid requirements.”
In Central New York, it is not likely our air conditioners will ever be run by electricity produced by wind power. To add insult to injury, grid managers need to keep a “hot backup” generator spinning to fill in electricity when the wind isn’t blowing. These backup generators run on fossil fuel and produce CO2 pollution. There is virtually no CO2 displacement by wind turbines.
So, what keeps the industrial wind turbine business spinning? Money. Federal and state tax incentives drive this business. The wind farm project in Litchfield would have an effective tax rate of minus 164 percent. Without these kinds of generous subsidies, the wind turbine business would disappear, only to the detriment of a handful of investment bankers, a few landowners and the developers.
Money is the manure that makes wind farms grow.
DOUG WHITFIELD
Clayville

Since: Oct 10

Utica, NY

#4 Mar 27, 2011
maybe we should stick him in front of a windmill. it'd run 24/7 without any other wind!

Since: May 07

Fairfield, NY

#5 Mar 28, 2011
Did the letter writer state any incorrect facts?

Since: Oct 10

Utica, NY

#6 Mar 28, 2011
yes actually.

Since: May 07

Fairfield, NY

#7 Mar 29, 2011
woozle and what wrote:
yes actually.
Which ones?

Since: Oct 10

Utica, NY

#8 Mar 29, 2011
well, the first and most blatant one is the effective capacity in new york being 10%. that is true if you took the entire state as a whole. however, companies do not want turbines in areas with no wind. despite what everyone thinks, government grants do not pay for wind turbines as a whole. they allow it to be viable by offering incentives to companies to develope them in areas where they will work. given the advancements in wind technology, the area they are in, and the altitude the ones in fairfield generate at, they have a potential of near 100% capacity. the problem is that the demand is not entirely there yet. now, before you start bitching about that, remember this is a good thing. we don't want fossil fuels to stop producing power before renewables are in place to take over for them. now, i personally still support nuclear power, but given recent events, that is less and less likely. so, what do we have left? wind solar and hydro. it's either that or we all get to sit around at 80 years old and realize we are responsible for the death of our kids andd grand children by destroying the environment they get to live in.

Since: May 07

Fairfield, NY

#9 Mar 30, 2011
woozle and what wrote:
well, the first and most blatant one is the effective capacity in new york being 10%. that is true if you took the entire state as a whole. however, companies do not want turbines in areas with no wind. despite what everyone thinks, government grants do not pay for wind turbines as a whole. they allow it to be viable by offering incentives to companies to develope them in areas where they will work. given the advancements in wind technology, the area they are in, and the altitude the ones in fairfield generate at, they have a potential of near 100% capacity. the problem is that the demand is not entirely there yet. now, before you start bitching about that, remember this is a good thing. we don't want fossil fuels to stop producing power before renewables are in place to take over for them. now, i personally still support nuclear power, but given recent events, that is less and less likely. so, what do we have left? wind solar and hydro. it's either that or we all get to sit around at 80 years old and realize we are responsible for the death of our kids andd grand children by destroying the environment they get to live in.
I'm not sure I follow this line of reasoning. Are you saying that the Fairfield wind turbines are operating at nearly 100% capacity because they serve a small geographic area? If so, what is your source for this information, so I can read more about it.
Turdburgler

Syracuse, NY

#10 Mar 30, 2011
I thought you were talking about the senile former mayor of little falls, Ted Wind Sr.

Since: Oct 10

Central Square, NY

#11 Mar 31, 2011
no, what i am saying is that over all, the wind capacity for new york state as a whole may be round 10% as the article said, but that is as a whole. places up near fairfield and other hill country have a lot hight wind capacity. not because it is a small area but because of the geography of the area. now, you go take that unusually windy areas like barto hill and the other surrounding areas, then go about 300 feet in the sky where you don't have trees and buildings effecting the wind streams, you have the ability to run the wind turbines at near 100% capacity. that is why the built them there. even without the government grants they still need to be profitable otherwise they would go bankrupt once the grants dry up.

Since: May 07

Fairfield, NY

#12 Mar 31, 2011
woozle and what wrote:
no, what i am saying is that over all, the wind capacity for new york state as a whole may be round 10% as the article said, but that is as a whole. places up near fairfield and other hill country have a lot hight wind capacity. not because it is a small area but because of the geography of the area. now, you go take that unusually windy areas like barto hill and the other surrounding areas, then go about 300 feet in the sky where you don't have trees and buildings effecting the wind streams, you have the ability to run the wind turbines at near 100% capacity. that is why the built them there. even without the government grants they still need to be profitable otherwise they would go bankrupt once the grants dry up.
So you're saying that wherever wind turbine facilities are built, there will be constant wind and they'll all run at near 100% capacity. I do get that, however you should know that in the summer, the air is frequently still in Fairfield as soon as the sun goes down and for hours during the day. Of course the windmill companies did their pre-testing and they should know this. I will be interested to see if the turbines are spinning at 350 feet during those times. Inland NYS is actually not the wind capital of the universe.

Perhaps you can elaborate on your statement about lack of demand for electricity causing the windmills to run at lower capacity. I don't follow that.

Finally, it is a fact that the wind turbine companies get federal and state subsidies for building these facilities. They will get them for a certain number of years. When they run out, the turbine facility is sold to another company who gets fresh new subsidies. This is how they make profits. A little 37 - turbine facility like the one in Fairfield cannot possibly be profitable without subsidies. I look forward to reading Iberdrola's financial statements, if they can be acquired.

Since: Oct 10

Utica, NY

#13 Apr 1, 2011
ok, let's make the math easy on this. say that the entire grid these windmills are contected too needs 100 kwh at any given time in terms of demand. now, without these windmills the grid has a supply capacity of 110 just to be safe. these 110 are made from coal plants and other forms of dirty power that we are trying to get rid of. now, these windmills at whatever percent they will operate at give us 20 kwh. that brings the total supply up to 130 kwh for this grid. now, over time as a nation we do tend to use more and more energy, so now let's say the demand is 105 kwh. that still leaves us with a grid supply of 130 kwh. we can now close down some of the dirty(as in pollution) electric plants to bring us to 115 kwh which would still give us a buffer in the case of one going down for repair or something. my whole point with this is that we are trying to get off of fossil fuels. but you also don't want to have rolling brown outs in teh process, so you need to have the clean sources of electricity in place before you start to phase out the dirty sources.

now, in terms of the federal funding. the windmills respectively of their cost, i would argue are just as profitable over time as other forms of fossil fuels if you take away from federal subsidies from both. the problem we have right now is that coal oil and natural gas ALL receive billions a year in federal subsidies. since you have a ton of politicians in Washington that are bought and paid for by these companies, those subsidies are not going to go anywhere any time soon. on a fiar field, wind solar and hyrdo power can compete and would slowly increase. the problem though is without subsidies to make to make wind solar and hydro more profitable than the other forms they will not grow fast enough to break our dependence on fossil fuels. this is something as a nation that we desperately need to do both for our economy and our environment. the clock is ticking on this. we can't wait. forests are dieing from acid raid. ask some of the local maple growers how many maples tree have died off before their time in the last decade. one i talked to said he's lost over 30%. that's too high a number to be just chance. now, would i love for us to be able to keep out beautiful views, but it comes down to this choice, learn to live with the windmills now, which compared to the wktv tower don't look all that bad and are not made of a material which can rust so they will stay looking the way they do now in the future, or learn to live with a view that contains 50% dead forest 20 years from now.

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