August 22, 2007

Cape Wind would not reduce use of Canal Generating Plant

Wendy Williams, in yet another self-promotional piece, this one at Renewable Energy Access (Aug. 20), writes unconvincingly: "I'm not very polished when it comes to publicity." Another howler is this:

"Cape Wind would reduce the use of the oil-fired power plant on the Cape Cod Canal."

Cape Wind's massive turbines may reduce the electricity generated from that plant, but not necessarily the oil it burns.

The Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich is a traditional thermal plant. It can't be simply switched on and off as needed, because starting up first requires heating up water to make the steam that powers the generators, and that can take hours. As a back-up to wind, therefore, it would be switched to standby mode when the wind rises, in which mode it continues to burn fuel to create steam but the steam is released and not used to generate electricity. Thus, the plant would be ready to switch back to generation mode as soon as the wind drops again.

That's the sad fact. The 24-square-mile Cape Wind facility would not clean the air or reduce oil barge traffic.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism