Nebraska Wind Energy

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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:35 am

Brad wrote:Two agriculture heavyweights, the Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Cattlemen, are joining the fight for increased development of wind energy in the state.]


In other words, farmers and ranchers are salivating at the chance to make a few grand per year on each turbine on their property.
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Brad
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Postby Brad » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:37 am

icejammer wrote:
Brad wrote:Two agriculture heavyweights, the Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Cattlemen, are joining the fight for increased development of wind energy in the state.]


In other words, farmers and ranchers are salivating at the chance to make a few grand per year on each turbine on their property.


I know my grandfather is looking forward to it!
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Postby MrPoloShirt » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:52 pm

So what do these Cattlemen want?  More subsides to build their wind turbines?

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:42 pm

The Miss and I just watched that tonight. We were totally impressed with the quality of the production. It could have easily been a national PBS production.
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Brad
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Postby Brad » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:02 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:The Miss and I just watched that tonight. We were totally impressed with the quality of the production. It could have easily been a national PBS production.


Yes, they did a good job.  

Speaking of wind energy, check out the photo section.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:48 pm

[font=Georgia]Personal turbines going up[/font]

Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise wrote:A Fontanelle couple is first to install a wind turbine in Washington County under new incentives to encourage home owners to generate their own electricity. "We're pioneers," said Delford and Lois Brandt, who live on a bluff overlooking the Elkhorn River where their 45-foot wind turbine was installed Saturday. A second wind turbine goes up east of Kennard next month at the hilltop home of Blair chiropractor Ted Japp, his wife Lauri and two children.

The Japp family expects to save $3,000 a year in electric costs after paying $33,995 to Prevailing Power of Shenendoah, Iowa, for a 46-foot wind turbine capable of generating 10 kilowatts per hour at maximum wind speed. "After the initial cost, here is really no more expenses for 25 years," Japp said. He has calculated that his family will sell their excess electricity to OPPD in March and April when it's windy. It will balance out in July and August when the Japps need to buy a little extra power due to summer air-conditioning costs and less wind.

Washington County joins Sarpy County and the City of Lincoln as Nebraska's first jurisdictions to pass a law encouraging wind turbines. To cushion the cost, Ziemann said the Nebraska Energy Office offers loans up to $75,000 at 2.5 percent interest as further incentive for homeowners to buy wind turbines.
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Brad
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Postby Brad » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:00 pm

That's cool NPPD will loan you the money.  And a great rate too.
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Postby Dark Eyes » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:34 pm

There's a story in today's paper about a northwest Omaha homeowner who wants to put up a wind turbine.   The thing will cost $3,000 - $6,000 and generate maybe 800 kW-hours of power per year.    Economically, this makes absolutely no sense.    


As for the other story cited on this thread...



The Japp family expects to save $3,000 a year in electric costs after paying $33,995 to Prevailing Power of Shenendoah, Iowa, for a 46-foot wind turbine capable of generating 10 kilowatts per hour at maximum wind speed. "After the initial cost, here is really no more expenses for 25 years," Japp said.


No expenses for 25 years?   This machine is maintenance-free for a quarter-century?

Save $3,000 per year in electric costs?   Cripes, how much power does the Japp family use, anyway?   At 8c per kWH, $3,000 translates to about  37,500 kWH.     That's more power than my house consumes in three years.    

"....capable of generating 10 kilowatts per hour at maximum wind speed."
Take out the "per hour" and this might be a technically correct statement.  
Too bad the wind rarely blows at design speed.

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Postby Brad » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:14 pm

Some people care more about the environment than economics.  If I had extra money, I would pay a premium for Green Power.  I want my kids to see the same waterfalls in Yosemite that I did!
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Postby RegisResident » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:04 pm

Dark Eyes wrote:There's a story in today's paper about a northwest Omaha homeowner who wants to put up a wind turbine.   The thing will cost $3,000 - $6,000 and generate maybe 800 kW-hours of power per year.    Economically, this makes absolutely no sense.    


It might not make economic sense but if the person has the money, let them do it. It is too bad that the neighbors are against the whole thing- I would love it if one of my neighbors wanted to put up a small windmill or solar panels. They might not be the prettiest thing in the world, but its making electricity without polluting.

I really wish the Midwest was as progressive as the coasts when it comes to being green and alternative energy sources.

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Postby GetUrban » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:13 am

New technology is always real expensive, with no return on investment, when it first comes into the mainstream. I remember when simple portable plus-minus, multiply-divide calculators fist came out in the early 1970's they cost $250 and were sold only at business/office equipment dealers. Now they're $2 and a fraction of the size. The same thing happened with plasma and LCD flat panel TV's....once $5k-10k, now $300-1000k for a decent one.

I think the same thing will happen with wind energy and photovoltaic technology. We've got to stop burning so much coal and using so much water in the process.
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Postby OmahaBen » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:51 am

RegisResident wrote:It might not make economic sense but if the person has the money, let them do it. It is too bad that the neighbors are against the whole thing- I would love it if one of my neighbors wanted to put up a small windmill or solar panels. They might not be the prettiest thing in the world, but its making electricity without polluting.


Except for the pollution created in making the windmill, and the pollution created gathering the materials, and transporting everything.

It could be like the hybrid cars - any environmental gains created by getting better mileage are offset by the extra pollution created in the manufacturing process. Plus, unless things have changed since I last looked at solar cells (and they very well could have) solar cells require lots of toxic chemicals that harm the land unless they are properly recycled/disposed of once they become damaged or otherwise need to be replaced.
Last edited by OmahaBen on Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby OmahaBen » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:52 am

GetUrban wrote:We've got to stop burning so much coal and using so much water in the process.


Then starting building nuclear, because solar and wind are not viable options for replacing coal plants. Nukes are.

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Postby Dark Eyes » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:44 pm

If a private citizen wants to spend money on a wind turbine or solar panels, it's their choice and their money.

But there are many in the federal government who want to force utilities to have more wind & solar generation, regardless of how little sense it makes economically.   Plus, they want to make fossil-fueled generation more expensive.   Ratepayers will bear the costs of this, whether they like it or not.

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Postby RegisResident » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:02 pm

Dark Eyes wrote:If a private citizen wants to spend money on a wind turbine or solar panels, it's their choice and their money.

But there are many in the federal government who want to force utilities to have more wind & solar generation, regardless of how little sense it makes economically.   Plus, they want to make fossil-fueled generation more expensive.   Ratepayers will bear the costs of this, whether they like it or not.


I think you have been watching too many commercials from the petroleum industry. Our country needs to move away from fossil fuels if we want to remain competitive in the global economy and the only way to do that is with some help from the Federal Gov't. Burning fossil fuels for energy is not sustainable, especially when other technologies exist that can produce energy without fossil fuels. There is more than enough renewable energy in our country to meet all of our power needs. We need to move away from a fossil fuel economy to a green/renewable economy so that we are not dependent on unstable nations to feed our fossil fuel addiction- at least with renewable energy the cost will continue to go down, unlike the cost of fossil fuels, which will always increase. Also, cap-and-trade doesn't increase costs to customers, it forces utilities to become innovative to reduce emissions and use alternative fuels. It also creates a new market for carbon permits- something that can actually help utilities reduce their costs by selling the permits to bigger polluters. There are already groups of states in this country that run their own cap-and-trade programs that have been very successful, but to have the most impact it needs to be a national cap-and-trade system.

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Postby OmahaBen » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:06 am

RegisResident wrote:We need to move away from a fossil fuel economy to a green/renewable economy so that we are not dependent on unstable nations to feed our fossil fuel addiction- at least with renewable energy the cost will continue to go down, unlike the cost of fossil fuels, which will always increase.


Let's be clear, there is absolutely no shortage of coal in this country, nor are we dependent on unstable nations for coal. The USA is the Middle East of coal; we've got more than we know what to do with. The price of coal is not going to increase sharply anytime even relatively soon.

So when you say fossil fuels in the context of your arguments above, you mean oil and to a lesser extent, natural gas. The problem is that oil is a very transportable energy source and useful for movable objects. There's no easy replacement among so-called "green" sources. Electrifying cars and trucks is an option, but one that right now has its own shortfalls (charging time for batteries, generating capabilities, antiquated electrical grid, etc.)

Also, the gap right now between renewable energy and fossil fuels on a $/kWh generated is enormous. Even if green power closes that gap, it is still an issue of how much and how quickly that gap closes. Otherwise we're wasting money we don't have on a problem that won't arise until well after other problems bite us in the *** first.

The ultimate goal is certainly worthwhile. But the solution you propose is not feasible. Say we switch to electric automobiles. That's going to put an enormous strain on our electrical grid. And we're going to shut down all coal plants on top of it? Yeah, there's absolutely no way for wind and solar to cover that. Again, the pragmatic answer is nuclear plants.

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Postby Brad » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:54 am

No one is saying there is a shortage of coal or any fossil fuels.  Many people want to protect the environment.
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Postby OmahaBen » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:38 am

Brad wrote:No one is saying there is a shortage of coal or any fossil fuels.  Many people want to protect the environment.


Regis's argument lumped all fossil fuels together, when the argument made (increasing costs and reliance on foreign supplies) applied solely to oil.

Otherwise, I agree in principle, but I'm not willing to cut my nose off to spite my face.

Wind and solar are great complimentary power sources that can take the strain off the grid in peak usage periods and allow us to get away from natural gas and oil-fired plants. They'll probably even help supply needed new power since NIMBYs do their best to prevent or greatly slow construction of others. However, they are not viable replacements for the mainline power generators like coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric generators which are the backbone of our power grid and provide the vast majority of our power.

If you want to get away from coal, you need to turn to nuclear and hydroelectric dams. And since environmental groups hate the latter, that leaves solely the former as the viable option.

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Postby Brad » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:45 am

OmahaBen wrote:
Brad wrote:No one is saying there is a shortage of coal or any fossil fuels.  Many people want to protect the environment.


Regis's argument lumped all fossil fuels together, when the argument made (increasing costs and reliance on foreign supplies) applied solely to oil.

Otherwise, I agree in principle, but I'm not willing to cut my nose off to spite my face.

Wind and solar are great complimentary power sources that can take the strain off the grid in peak usage periods and allow us to get away from natural gas and oil-fired plants. They'll probably even help supply needed new power since NIMBYs do their best to prevent or greatly slow construction of others. However, they are not viable replacements for the mainline power generators like coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric generators which are the backbone of our power grid and provide the vast majority of our power.

If you want to get away from coal, you need to turn to nuclear and hydroelectric dams. And since environmental groups hate the latter, that leaves solely the former as the viable option.


They should build a HUGE hydroelectric dam across the Platte River at I80 and flood Ashland :;):

However |expletive| like this sucks:

Hetch Hetchy Before....
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Hetch Hetchy After....
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Postby Dark Eyes » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:47 pm

you need to turn to nuclear and hydroelectric dams. And since environmental groups hate the latter, that leaves solely the former as the viable option.


Environmentalists haven't exactly embraced nuclear power, either.


Also, cap-and-trade doesn't increase costs to customers


The Waxman-Markey bill, and its Senate counterpart, will significantly increase the cost of electricity.  These higher costs will be borne by consumers.

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Postby GetUrban » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:02 am

OmahaBen wrote:
GetUrban wrote:We've got to stop burning so much coal and using so much water in the process.


Then starting building nuclear, because solar and wind are not viable options for replacing coal plants. Nukes are.


Nuclear is part of the answer, assuming the waste can be dealt with safely. The point is we need multiple solutions. Solar and wind can help supplement the other high-capacity sources. Much like how day-lighting (when available) is being used more often in new buildings to supplement artificial light. Conservation must also be part of the equation.

Also, many people don't realize how much water coal and nuclear plants use. "Clean coal" uses even more water.

The problem with wind is I'm not so sure I like the appearance of huge wind turbines scattered across the entire landscape. It's certainly interesting to see (from the ground or air) all of the new wind turbines popping up, but how is it going to look in 20-30 years when every available piece of land is covered with them, and some have fallen into disrepair or have been abandoned for newer technology? I'm holding out hope for more efficient local photo-voltaic solar solutions with power storage capacity for times the sun is not shining.
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Postby joeglow » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:54 am

RegisResident wrote: Also, cap-and-trade doesn't increase costs to customers, it forces utilities to become innovative to reduce emissions and use alternative fuels. It also creates a new market for carbon permits- something that can actually help utilities reduce their costs by selling the permits to bigger polluters. There are already groups of states in this country that run their own cap-and-trade programs that have been very successful, but to have the most impact it needs to be a national cap-and-trade system.


Holy f-ing sh*t.  Do you believe that???

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Postby Brad » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:12 am

Wend Energy Conference this week (mon/tues).  I think its in Kearney.
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Postby OmahaBen » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:52 am

Dark Eyes wrote:
you need to turn to nuclear and hydroelectric dams. And since environmental groups hate the latter, that leaves solely the former as the viable option.


Environmentalists haven't exactly embraced nuclear power, either.


Environmentalists don't hate nuclear power as a group. It's the "Nuclear power is scary! It'll kill us all!" NIMBY crowd that hates nukes.

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Postby Brad » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:14 pm

Trenton and Jeff on Grow Omaha talked about wind energy.

[wmp]http://www.growomaha.com/archivedshows/show293.mp3[/wmp]
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Postby RegisResident » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:18 pm

joeglow wrote:
RegisResident wrote: Also, cap-and-trade doesn't increase costs to customers, it forces utilities to become innovative to reduce emissions and use alternative fuels. It also creates a new market for carbon permits- something that can actually help utilities reduce their costs by selling the permits to bigger polluters. There are already groups of states in this country that run their own cap-and-trade programs that have been very successful, but to have the most impact it needs to be a national cap-and-trade system.


Holy f-ing sh*t.  Do you believe that???


Yes I do. I studied and developed some of the models that were used to help show the costs and benefits of a cap-and-trade system. It has been a few years since I did the research and worked with the models but it is simple economics...

While the cap-and-trade system is designed to prevent increases to customers, it doesn't mean that utilities won't take the opportunity to raise rates. Just look at how OPPD has been asking customers to conserve, conserve, conserve, and then when their revenue is too low because customers are conserving energy they bump up the rates.

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Postby cdub » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:44 am

http://www.environmentomaha.com/index.p ... 8&Itemid=8


You can all offer your own opinion on January 20!  Environment Omaha is kicking off work on the Resource Conservation portion of the master plan at 630 at the Scott Conference Center.

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Postby Brad » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:54 pm

I just noticed what appears to be a small windturbine on the side of center street right at the end of the I680 to EB Center exit ramp.  Next to the creek by Rockbrook Village.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:45 am

Brad wrote:I just noticed what appears to be a small windturbine on the side of center street right at the end of the I680 to EB Center exit ramp.  Next to the creek by Rockbrook Village.


Welcome to November! ;)

http://www.omaha.com/article/20091106/N ... /1007/AP09

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Postby Brad » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:24 am

Either that thing doesn't make much energy or that sign uses a lot...
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Postby Seth » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:53 am

Brad wrote:Either that thing doesn't make much energy or that sign uses a lot...


From the picture in the OWH article, it appears to be a Windspire vertical turbine.  According to the manufacturer's website (http://www.mariahpower.com/windspire-overview.aspx), the standard model is rated at 1.2 kW, and generates an average of 2000 kW-h per year in 12 mph average wind conditions (which averages out to 228 W).  The 12 mph average is consistent with the wind map for Omaha (http://www.windcoalition.org/images/pho ... 0m_800.jpg).

I haven't seen the sign, but large, lighted signs can consume a lot of power, and could easily be more than the 228 W year-round average the turbine produces.

Jay Leno has similar vertical turbines from another manufacturer at his Big Dog Garage: http://www.popularmechanics.com/automot ... 16780.html .

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Postby Brad » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:16 am

Heineman signs wind energy bill

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100412/N ... nergy-bill

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LINCOLN -- Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law Monday morning one of the major bills of the 2010 session -- a measure to encourage privately owned wind farms in Nebraska that will export electricity to other states.

Legislative Bill 1048 is designed to remove the barriers to private generation of electricty set up in the 1930s when Nebraska became the nation's only public power state.

“This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska,” Heineman said.
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Postby DTO Luv » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:31 am

Meh. I drove across Iowa again yesterday and seeing all of the wind turbines was just another reminder of how behind on everything Nebraska is. I find it odd that wind energy is good enough to sell to other states but not good enough for the people of NE? Heinemen says he's opposed to mandated renewable energy standards that are already in place in other states. Again, how far behind do you want to keep Nebraska? Another article I read the other day leads me to believe we'll never have a major wind energy source here unless we're forced to; OPPD still burns coal. Union Pacific is the or one of the largest coal haulers in the country. Peter Kiewit is one of the largest miners of coal. All companies donate heavily to political candidates and causes opposed to renewable or other sources of energy. Since bringing wind energy to NE would mean a financial loss to UP and PK (two very large and influential political donors) I don't see NE getting on board with wind energy for a long time. Even OPPD's self imposed goal of only 10% of their energy being from renewable sources in 10 years seems minimal and a token effort at best.
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Postby nebugeater » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:45 am

Here is a good source of the # or wind turbans, the year they were brought on line, and the history of their output for Nebraska

http://www.neo.ne.gov/statshtml/89.htm
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Postby DTO Luv » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:08 am

nebugeater wrote:Here is a good source of the # or wind turbans,


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Postby Brad » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:40 pm

New wind law brings fast action

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100715/N ... ast-action

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LINCOLN -- On the day it took effect, a new state wind-energy law has inspired a proposal for a half-billion-dollar wind farm near Elgin, Neb.

Invenergy, based in Chicago and said to be the nation’s largest private wind developer, filed an application Thursday to build a $448 million wind farm between Elgin and Petersburg in northeast Nebraska.

The farm would have 133 wind turbines and generate 200 megawatts of power, making it the state’s largest wind farm, and the first owned by a private company to export energy outside the state.

The State Legislature passed a law this spring, Legislative Bill 1048, in hopes of inspiring private development of wind farms. Such firms have experienced financial and regulatory barriers because of Nebraska’s unique status as a public power state.
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Postby Brad » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:59 am

Gov. touts state to wind firms

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100818/M ... wind-firms

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Two of the nation’s largest wind-energy developers said Tuesday that Nebraska could jump-start the lagging development of wind here with one simple yet controversial step — adopt a renewable energy standard, to require the use of “green” energy.

Developers from Minnesota and Kansas said that would demonstrate Nebraska is serious about developing its under-used wind resources.

Such mandates have been adopted in at least 29 states, including Iowa. Minnesota, for instance, mandates that 25 percent of its power come from renewable sources, like wind or solar, by the year 2025. In Kansas, the standard is 20 percent by 2020.


--

Wind farm proposed near Ogallala

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100816/M ... r-ogallala

Paul Hammel
WORLD-HERALD BUREAU wrote:
A Michigan firm is proposing a $20 million wind farm southeast of Ogallala, Neb.

The firm, Green Oak Renewables of Bad Axe, Mich., said in a press release that the 10 megawatt project would require purchases of $4 million in local materials and labor, and pay $35,000 a year in local property taxes.
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Coyote
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Postby Coyote » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:47 pm

[font=Georgia]Wind energy projects accelerating[/font]

Leslie Reed WORLD-HERALD BUREAU wrote:A Chicago-based company has won initial approval from state authorities to proceed with its plans to build a 200-megawatt farm between Elgin and Petersburg. It would be Nebraska’s largest wind energy farm so far.

The Laredo Ridge wind farm near Petersburg, with a capacity of 80 megawatts, is scheduled to begin commercial operation this week. The Flat Water Wind Farm, capable of generating a maximum 60 megawatts of electricity, began commercial operation Tuesday at its location near DuBois.

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Postby the1wags » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:34 am

Wind developers wait for tax deals

"By comparison, Nebraska had 337 megawatts of wind energy capacity, ranking 25th in wind development.

Yet Nebraska has the nation's fourth-best wind resources — enough, it's said, to provide 120 times the state's electric needs.

Two years ago, Nebraska, the nation's only public-power state, passed a law removing barriers for the construction of wind farms that export power. Since then, competing states have cut taxes and offered new incentives to entice developers."

Link to the full Omaha World Herald article...

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120221/N ... -tax-deals

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Postby bigredmed » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:12 pm

Wind developers are the Gasohol manufacturers of 2012.   They only make a profit because they get the govt. to fund their losses.

Of course these guys and the cellulosic alcohol industry are waiting, if these were good investments, they would have put out their own money.   They are not good investments, so they hang back and let the leftwingers  b-word about this issue until congress slides some money their way and a new set of "development" projects get built.

The big wind farms are fundamentally flawed due to simple physics.  Their blades have to be long in order to generate wattage and amps at a level that will travel any distance.   The longer the blades are, the more prone to wind damage they get.   The longer they are, the heavier they are, so they have a lot of inertia to overcome.   Between the damage risk at high wind and the inertia at low wind, they are severely limited in just how much wind they can be used in.

This means that most windfarms don't generate anywhere near their "rated capacity".    If I build a megawatt wind farm, but lock it down at 35 miles an hour, and it needs 10 mph to turn, then I have a 25 mph range to operate in and only one good direction.

If we are going to get our energy budget under control, we have to stop acting like we spent our high school science class smoking pot and start thinking creatively, but also practically.

1.  Now that electricity is used for a lot of DC circuits (your TV, radio/stereo, iPod, cell phone, PC, iPad, and furnace controls are all DC), all of these require wall warts (transformers).  Wall warts waste electricity in the form of heat.   Maybe we think about the house of tomorrow having DC circuits and limited AC?  Maybe that in the blood feud between Tesla and Edison, it might turn out that Edison was right?  Our computers won't care where their juice comes from, and one big step down transformer per neighborhood could shoot DC current into everyone's house and do so at greater efficiency because they can dissipate heat faster.   Consider how much of your electric consumption is really a DC circuit.   You would be amazed.

2.  Local DC generation is cheaper and much more efficient than trying to generate AC and shipping it from these big windfarms.   Solar panels have cratered in price.  Small scale wind generators like our grandparents used before the REA could generate quite a bit of current.   Batteries are better now than ever, and deepcycle battery research is now hitting it's stride.

If we could get some small scale solar and wind generation going, maybe we shave some percents off our oil imports?


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