Tag Archives: windmill

NV Energy windmill program generates rebates, little electricity


NV Energy windmill program generates rebates, little electricity

By Anjeanette Damon

State agency runs out of money to pay for more costly solar power

A year ago, a Reno clean energy businessman warned the Public Utilities Commission that if it didn’t set a few standards for NV Energy’s wind rebate program, its customers could end up footing the bill for turbines that rarely produce electricity.

One reason behind his concern: To be eligible for rebates, customers didn’t need to prove that the wind actually blows enough to justify installing a turbine on their property.

“This could allow unscrupulous developers to sell turbines to unsuspecting customers who will not generate electricity from an installed turbine because there is no wind to power the turbine,” Clean Energy Center managing member Rich Hamilton told the PUC last May. “This problem is especially vexing because ratepayer money could be contributing to the cost of such turbines, which could give the Wind Generations program and the wind industry a black eye.”

The PUC agreed that such a standard would be a good idea but sided with NV Energy’s position that it was too early to move forward with it just yet.

A year later, however, Hamilton’s warning appears to have been spot on.

The electricity produced by NV Energy’s $46 million wind rebate program has fallen far short of expectations.

In a startling example, the city of Reno’s wind turbines — for which the city received more than $150,000 in rate-payer funded rebates — produced dramatically less electricity than the manufacturers of its turbines promised.

“These manufacturers, when they gave us the turbines, they said they were designed to be mounted on a parapet at this height, and that’s what we did,” said Jason Geddes, who runs the city of Reno’s renewable energy program. “But when we started getting actual wind flow patterns, we realized their claims were wrong.”

As first reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal, one turbine that cost the city $21,000 to install saved the city $4 on its energy bill. Overall, $416,000 worth of turbines have netted the city $2,800 in energy savings.

Not all of the city’s turbines performed so poorly. But on average, the small wind turbines installed statewide through NV Energy’s program have yielded disappointing results.

“There is a lot of difference in some of the generators relative to what the (manufacturers) claim,” said John Hargrove, who manages NV Energy’s Renewable Generations program. “A generator can claim to put out 100 kilowatt hours, but that’s based on an assumption that there’s a certain amount of wind. If you don’t have the wind, you won’t have the output.”

That’s exactly why Hamilton pleaded with the PUC to impose a requirement that customers first prove their wind resource before winning a rebate.

“I’m terribly worried about the future of the program,” said Hamilton, whose company does solar and wind projects. “We really, really feel strongly about this. I’m a rate-payer. And if the rate-payers are paying for this, the rate-payer should be getting the most bang for their buck.”

Hamilton also believes equipment standards should be in place to minimize faulty turbines, some of which have fallen apart.

That’s happened both in Reno and in rural Nevada. Geddes said one of his turbines that was rated to 110 mph fell apart in a 105-mph gust.

A more catastrophic failure occurred on a farm in rural Nevada, when a large turbine spun apart only days after it was installed. No one was injured, largely because it was in a remote locale.

“It was very spectacular,” said Matt Newberry, who runs NV Energy’s wind program. “It was only up for a matter of days. We’re relieved we haven’t had any more of those.”

Unlike the solar industry, which has figured out how to correctly install productive solar generators on rooftops and in parking lots across the state, the wind industry in Nevada is still in its infancy.

So far, statewide, about 150 turbines have been installed through a rebate program created by the 2007 Legislature.

Under the demonstration programs, cities, schools, businesses and homeowners are eligible for a rebate up to the full cost of the turbine depending on a variety of factors including the system’s wattage.

The vast majority of the projects are in Northern and rural Nevada. Most of the cost of the program is born by rate-payers of Sierra Pacific, as NV Energy’s Northern Nevada sister company is known, and not the utility’s Southern Nevada customers.

The PUC is again considering the requirements advocated by Hamilton — requirements that will govern the program statewide.

Power company officials first worried stringent requirements could strangle the budding industry. But after a year of experimenting with the program, they appear on board with both resource and equipment standards.
Click to enlarge photo

Leila Navidi

Searchlight resident George Beyer listens while sitting next to a photo of a wind turbine during a Searchlight Town Hall Meeting at the Searchlight Community Center about a proposed wind energy project Thursday, June 25, 2009.

“I think it’s a really smart evolution of the program,” Newberry said. “When it was instituted, nobody really knew much about wind in the state. The market itself, even the Legislature, labeled it as a demonstration program.

“But we want to make sure customers are getting good things. We don’t want to see people install them in places where there’s not good wind.”

Hargrove declared the demonstration successful, largely because of how much the company has learned about small wind projects. He noted the wind program doesn’t make much sense in Nevada’s urban centers.

“Rather than putting a little one in the backyard of a home, we’re focusing on much larger projects that go out on a farm,” he said. “While some early projects are not producing great results, it’s not because wind doesn’t work. We’re tightening up our standards.”

In its newest filing before the PUC, the company is advocating a 10-mph average wind speed standard to be eligible for the rebate.

Not so fast, Geddes warned.

He noted that models used to calculate average wind speed aren’t reliable. For example, the city’s two most productive wind turbines wouldn’t have been eligible for the rebate because wind studies said the average wind speed was below 10 mph.

The only accurate way to test average wind speed is to install an anemometer and take readings for a year, Geddes said.

Geddes would rather see a performance-based incentive. To get a rate-payer-funded rebate, a customer would have to prove the turbine produced electricity.

Such an incentive was passed by the Legislature last year. But Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the bill after NV Energy won a last-minute amendment to fund a major transmission line project.

Hamilton countered that investing in an anemometer might not be such a bad idea.

“If you are going to invest tens of thousands in something, it may be worth waiting to do a wind resource assessment,” he said.

SOURCE

To Everything There Is A Reason….Turn…Turn…Turn?

14000 Abandoned Wind Turbines In The USA

Posted by Tory Aardvark

There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape.

The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high.

The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.

The US has had wind farms since 1981:

“Some say that Ka Le is haunted—and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa”– the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles—but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations—Altamont Pass, Tehachapin (above), and San Gorgonio—considered among the world’s best wind sites…
California’s wind farms— comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity—ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills…”

The problem with wind farms when they are abandoned is getting the turbines removed, as usual there are non Green environmentalists to be seen:

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California’s Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law

Imagine the outraged Green chorus if those turbines were abandoned oil drilling rigs.

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised. He asks:

“If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.”

“It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end” therein lies a lesson that is going be learnt by those that sought to make fortunes out of tax payer subsidies, the whole renewables industry of solar, wind and biomass is just an artificial bubble incapable of surviving without subsides from governments and tax payers which many businesses and NGO’s like WWF, FoE and Greenpeace now think is their god given right, as the money is going on Green Climate Religion approved clean energy.

The Green evangelists who push so hard for these wind farms, as usual have not thought the whole idea through, no surprises for a left agenda like Climate Change, which like all things Green and socialist is just a knee jerk reaction:

Altamont’s turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, “probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project.”

The same areas that are good for siting wind farms are also good for birds of prey and migrating birds to pass through, shame for the birds that none of the Green mental midgets who care so much about everything in nature, thought that one through when pushing their anti fossil fuel agenda.

After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize “renewable” energy–including a “Feed in Tariff” even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts.

The tax payers who paid for the subsidies to build the wind farms, then paid over the odds for an unreliable source of power generation will, ultimately be left to pick up the bill for clearing up the Green eco mess in the post man made Global Warming world.

Updated

In answer to several allegations that the number of abandoned wind turbines was made up, the following quote from the article and link will confirm this figure to be true:

California’s wind farms — then comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity — ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

SOURCE

Wind Farms: Monuments to Lunacy

Wind farms: the monuments to lunacy that will be left to blot the landscape

Custom Search


By Christopher Booker

Three separate news items on the same day last week reflected three different aspects of what is fast becoming a full-scale disaster bearing down on Britain. The first item was a picture in The Daily Telegraph showing two little children forlornly holding a banner reading “E.On Hands Off Winwick”.

This concerned a battle to prevent a tiny Northamptonshire village from being dwarfed by seven 410-foot wind turbines, each higher than Salisbury Cathedral, to be built nearby by a giant German-owned electricity firm. The 40 residents, it was reported, have raised £50,0000 from their savings to pay lawyers to argue their case when their village’s fate is decided at an inquiry by a Government inspector.

In the nine years since I began writing here about wind turbines, I have been approached by more than 100 such local campaigns in every part of Britain, trying to fight the rich and powerful companies that have been queuing up to cash in on the vast subsidy bonanza available to developers of wind farms. Having been the chairman of one such group myself, I know just how time-consuming and costly such battles can be. The campaigners are up against a system horribly rigged against them, because all too often – although they may win every battle locally (in our case we won unanimous support from our local council) – in the end an inspector may come down from London to rule that the wind farm must go ahead because it is “government policy”.

I long ago decided that there was little point reporting on most of these individual campaigns, because the only way this battle was going to be won was by exposing the futility of the national policy they were up against. My main aim had to be to bring home to people just how grotesquely inefficient and costly wind turbines are as a way to make electricity – without even fulfilling their declared purpose of reducing CO2 emissions.

Alas, despite all the practical evidence to show why wind power is one of the greatest follies of our age, those who rule our lives, from our own politicians and officials here in Britain to those above them in Brussels, seem quite impervious to the facts.

Hence the two other items reported last week, one being the Government’s proposed changes to our planning rules (already being implemented, even though the “consultation” has scarcely begun) which are drawing fire from all directions. The particular point here, on page 43 of the Government’s document, is a proposal that local planning authorities must “apply a presumption in favour” of “renewable and low-carbon energy sources”.

What this means in plain English is that we can forget any last vestiges of local democracy. Our planning system is to be rigged even more shamelessly than before, to allow pretty well every application to cover our countryside with wind turbines – along with thousands of monster pylons, themselves up to 400 feet high, marching across Scotland, Wales, Suffolk, Somerset and elsewhere to connect them to the grid.

All this is deemed necessary to meet our EU-agreed target to generate nearly a third of our electricity from “renewables” – six times more than we do now – by 2020. This would require building at least 10,000 more turbines, in addition to the 3,500 we already have – which last year supplied only 2.7 per cent of our electricity.

Obviously this is impossible, but our Government will nevertheless do all it can to meet its unreachable target and force through the building of thousands of turbines, capable of producing a derisory amount of electricity at a cost estimated, on its own figures, at £140 billion (equating to £5,600 for every household in the land).

Which brings us to the third of last week’s news items, a prediction by energy consultants Ulyx that a further avalanche of “green” measures will alone raise Britain’s already soaring energy bills in the same nine years by a further 58 per cent.

A significant part of this crippling increase, helping to drive more than half Britain’s households into “fuel poverty”, will be the costs involved in covering thousands of square miles of our countryside and seas with wind turbines. The sole beneficiaries will be the energy companies, which are allowed to charge us double or treble the normal cost of our electricity, through the subsidies hidden in our energy bills; and landowners such as Sir Reginald Sheffield, the Prime Minister’s father-in-law, who on his own admission stands to earn nearly £1,000 a day at the expense of the rest of us, for allowing a wind farm to be built on his Lincolnshire estate.

Even more damaging, however, will be the way this massive investment diverts resources away from the replacement of the coal-fired and nuclear power stations which are due for closure in coming years, threatening to leave a shortfall in our national electricity supply of nearly 40 per cent. If we are to keep our lights on and our economy running, we need – as the CBI warned in a damning report on Friday – urgently to spend some £200 billion on power supply,

But our politicians have been so carried away into their greenie never-never land that they seem to have lost any sight of this disaster bearing down on us. Instead of putting up turbines on the fields of Northants, E.On should be building the grown-up power stations we desperately need. But government energy policy has so skewed the financial incentives of the system that the real money is to made from building useless wind farms.

Sooner or later, this weird policy will be recognised as such a catastrophic blunder that it, and the colossal subsidies that made it possible, will be abandoned. That will leave vast areas of our once green and pleasant land littered with useless piles of steel and concrete, which it will be no one’s responsibility to cart away.

If the Government really wishes to make a useful change to our planning laws, it should insist that every planning permission to build wind turbines should include a requirement that, after their 25-year life, they must be removed at their owners’ expense. Alas, by that time the companies will all have gone bankrupt, and we shall be left with a hideous legacy as a monument to one of the greatest lunacies of our time.

A way has been found to save our village cricketers

There has been another twist to the year-long battle for survival of our little Somerset village cricket club which, as I wrote last Sunday, has been threatened with closure by a bizarre bureaucratic double whammy.

On the one hand, our local council wanted us to pay rates amounting to more than £100 for every home game we play, more than we can realistically afford. On the other, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has ruled that we cannot get any relief on this crippling demand because our constitution did not state explicitly that membership of the club is open to anyone “regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs” (it merely stated that membership was “open to anyone”).

On Monday, in a friendly and helpful letter from Mendip district council, it emerged that a way may have been found round this difficulty. If our cricket club is redesignated as a business, we might qualify this year for Small Business Rate Relief, at 100 per cent.

For the moment, it seems, that the threat has been lifted, and that next season we may again be permitted to take the field on Sunday afternoons without having to pay a tax of over £700 a year – thanks to a scheme designed to promote growth in the local economy.

SOURCE