April 1, 2007

Two-thirds backup for one-third power from wind

An interesting bit of data was found in a news article (click the title of this post) about the costs of the "successful" wind energy facility in Judith Gap, Montana.

To make it work, the utility has to buy 90 MW of "firming" power. The Judith Gap facility has a nameplate capacity of 135 MW. As with all wind turbines, because the power generation varies with the wind, the average output over a year is likely less than 45 MW.

So to get an average of 45 MW from wind, the utility is buying 90 MW from other sources that it didn't have to before.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism