November 17, 2005

Wind power titbits and news

According to a March 2004 report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by Craig Cox of Bob Lawrence and Associates (Alexandria, Va.), each of the foundations for the 108 GE 1.5-MW wind turbine towers in Lamar, Colo., contains 1,250,000 pounds of concrete and steel rebar.

According to a Nov. 17 story in the Providence (R.I.) Journal, the hole prepared for a single 660-KW Vestas V47 wind turbine tower at a Portsmouth Abbey is 13 feet across and 26 feet deep.

In Wayne County, Pa., it has been widely reported, the Waymart Wind Farm company is trying to get their tax assessment lowered from $282,410 to $31-45,000 per 1.5-MW turbine. In Meyersdale, Pa., the owners of the wind power facility pay the town $640 per 1.5-MW turbine instead of taxes. Nobody should be surprised that these people try to get out of paying their fair share. But who in supportive communities thinks the crumbs they might throw for a while are worth the tremendous loss of open or wild land?

Finally, the Baltic Times reported on Nov. 16 that Estonia is no longer favoring wind power over other renewables: 'Einari Kisel, head of the Ministry of Economy and Communications' energy department, puts it bluntly: "We do not want to have too many wind mills," he says. "The price of wind energy is expensive. The unstable production causes additional costs to other producers."' The wind developers argue that the high cost and low benefit can be mitigated by selling CO2 credits to countries that must meet Kyoto Accord targets (or at least buy enough tokens of non-CO2 production instead of actually reduce emissions). That is, embrace energy-laundering.

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