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Grid power... questions!


rancherman

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I'm smack in the middle of  a  large wind energy project...  266  proposed windmills  covering  54,000  acres.  

The company  that  bought up all the  eminent domain rights  for this  project is a  'for profit'  company.  Not a  public utility  company.

We all know  the  'green'  initiative  money  from  the  Fed  is   THE  only  way  this  is  happening...

 

My part of  the  state is  well  serviced  with   hydro electric,  coal fired,   and   2  nuclear   generators.... one of  which was shut down after the    big tsunami  in  japan, which coincided with our extremely wet  spring and  Missouri river  flooding..., the  worriers  wanted that reactor  shut down at the time.  I believe it's  been  recently  restarted.

 

Lets  say,    25%  of  our  states  needs  are met  with hydro,   50%  coal,  and  25%  nuclear...   and  suddenly,  an additional  400 megawatts  are  injected  to this   supply  via the   windmills...   (that's the  claimed  capacity of all the  wind towers)

Can someone  explain to me  how  this  plays out?   How  would the consumer dollar  be split...  I'd  think   none of the  other  generating plants are  willing to   throttle back,  just so   a  windmill  site  gets  their fair share of the  consumer dollar?  

And since  we  can't  guarantee  constant wind,   I'd  think  the  coal guys  and  nuclear plants  would have to  keep  their boilers  at least on  'hot standby'...  which  costs money.

I for one   think  capturing the wind, water,  you name it... is  a  wonderful idea...  but  how it's  being  'paid for'  is  another  ball of worms!     Our local  public power   district was wary  5 years ago when  first approached..  they  didn't  think their  customers  would like the  higher rates they would charge  to help pay for the new infrastructure..  they've  since  gotten on board

Federal law says   they must pay retail for the  new power. Thanks  uncle sam. 

So,   here we have an out of  state  investment corporation,  who has  gobbled up  a  county sized  chunk of  ground...  getting  money from  US  to develop it,    sell the energy @ retail..      win/win  for  'them'.

 

My main 'beef'  with this whole  project is...    These  guys are the  real winners.

I have to deal with the  sights, sounds,  higher  real estate valuation (taxes)   a new phenomenon  of  'looky lou's   gawking around,    and  probable   higher  energy costs... 

Ok,   I wouldn't mind  the  higher costs  if  WE  (as  a community)  owned and controlled  where the power  was  being  sent...  This power will be sold  to the high bidder.   (Chicago, Kansas City... wherever)  

Hell,  I can't even  erect a  small windmill to pump water for cattle (Such as the one in my avatar)  unless I am  1/2 mile away from a proposed  tower!  THEY  NOW OWN OUR 'WIND'...

Edited by rancherman
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well,  there  has  been a couple of   locations  within this  area that  have been  dismissed... due to  Bald eagle nests..  

They've spent  (ha ha,  your tax dollars)   a  LOT of  money  in past 3 years,  just  for the impact studies..   which  I guess for the  wildlife sake,  this is  good.

 

Western Nebraska had  a  blade  strike  with an eagle...   they got  BIG  problemos now!

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I HEAR ya!     I am afraid of  the  'brown noise'  LOL...  24/7,     and   any   possible   effects  from the  'field'  coming off the  180k  volt   power line..

 

Oh,  I  wonder if  they'll all have  the  little  blinky lights... the ones  that all blink  simultaneously???      I swear,   that'll give me  epilepsy for sure!

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They have been building them mills like crazy in central WA state over that last couple of years. I knew a gentleman that owned some of the property they were built on. He had 3 windmills on his property and the government is paying him a healthy $2500 monthly per mill for rights to his land. He quit his day job!!

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The way it works for the power is all of it goes to "the grid". Then it gets sold to whoever wants to buy it weather they are in Maine or Oregon or Nebraska. The way the grid is everyone pumps into it and then you pay what ever supplier for the power.

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I love it better yet when I'm looking at my inverter down stairs and the "Input Amps" shows a negative number even 1-5 amps. I love selling my excess power. But I know my loads will consume it later on. Nothing new... As for power production I think its great they are looking at alternate green energy but some of the laws and such are BS though.

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The windmills are free energy..  Though I'm told they cost a ton to maintain.  Anyhow, it's just like Tom says, its sold all over.  When a plant shuts down for maintenance, the power is sourced elsewhere.  However, I think it costs more money for the power company when they have to buy power to make up for what they can't produce for their customers.  A lot more.  In the summer when everyone has their A/C on, power stations can't keep up.  They have to buy power and start huge diesel generators just to feed our souls.  The windmill thing eases all of these peaks that power plants cant keep up with.  Coal plants can throttle back, nuclear plants are 100% all the time.  Spring and Fall is when there is the least use because it is that perfect temp when you don't need A/C or heat.  Then in the winter everyone kicks their electric heat back on (for those who use electric).  I would say christmas would be a very high load same with thanksgiving because everyone has their oven on.

 

There are some hugggggge reservoirs of water in places around the US where the water drains down into a separate reservoir through turbines generating power during the day.  This is how they get energy for the high A/C use periods..  At night the load is lower so they have pumps that pump the water back up to the higher reservoir.  Obviously rain is a big win.  They are just huge man made lakes..  

 

Companies actually get some sorta incentive to use "green power", but it costs extra per kwh, and the power doesnt come from the windmills per say, its a gimmick.  

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yes or no question here:

wouldn't  nuclear  be considered  the ultimate  'green'  power source???

 

............one truckload of  fuel.....  lasts   what, 10 years??      These  windmills   are slated  for  a  20 year  life span,   Funny thing here,  the  few   'mills   built  20 years ago,  are being  scrapped,  and  NOT  being  rebuilt.  the  site is  abandoned...  which mean to me  "they are not  feasible"   Apparently there is no  money (federal)  for  'upgrading a project'   Just  NEW  projects.

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Well, imho, nuclear can be quite safe, but there are others that don't think so. The real problem is how to dispose of the spent fuel. There has been some talk of drilling disposal wells in my area since we are one of the most geologically stable areas in the country, but I don't think it will fly.

Far as the 20 year old windmills, chances are the technology that they use is probably antiquated by today's standard and the retro fitting costs are most likely quite high, high enough to not be feasable.

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OH,  no doubt  the  20 yo  mills  are    not near as  efficient.....  I'm wondering  why  they aren't  replaced  with  new upgrades..  I mean,  everything is in place..  infrastructure,   right-a-ways...  zoning...

 

The only thing I can  figure is   'no money/incentive'  from   Uncle $am...      for  'existing'  sites.

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