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View Diary: Obama Administration announces first offshore wind farm project (198 comments)

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  •  post your supporting data (17+ / 0-)

    beliefs aren't convincing. show your work.

    as for infrastructure costing hundreds of billions of dollars, that money largely gets paid to people building that infrastructure, which goes back into the economy.

    viewsheds are an absurd thing to get upset about with wind farms, but not everything else we've built over the past century. reminds me quite a bit of all of the concern about high speed rail, but the crickets we hear whenever another highway expansion project is approved.

    •  Most wind farms are sited by existing power lines (5+ / 0-)

      Also, please note that shipping power hundreds of miles is inherently wasteful, no matter what you think about how the power is generated and by what transmission means.

      •  balancing predictably fluctuating sources of power (7+ / 0-)

        on a regional scale allows a steady supply of power overall. decentralization when possible is always a good principle, but there is a need for rebuilding a 20th century energy infrastructure to meet the needs of the 21st. transmission lines are part of that.

        •  What you're saying doesn't have anything to do (0+ / 0-)

          with carrying out public electric generation utility practice.   Electric utility system operators are not engaged in managing "on a regionscale....steady supply of power"   Utility operators don't do that.   What they do is to balance their load with generation resources in their utility jurisdiction.   Most electric utilities do not want to be net importer or exporters of electricity on their utility systems.

          Investments in electric generation transmission resources are important, but they are not going to create the kind of activity you are describing.

          •  utilities already do lots of importing/exporting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            power, at least on the west coast grid. CA and WA trade power back and forth, using WA's excess hydropower generation when CA has need of it, and then CA selling it back and WA letting the water build up at night.

      •  What do you mean by wasteful? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lurkyloo, Gordon20024, Roger Fox

        You can only "waste" a non-renewable resource, in that you have diminished the original stock but not received full benefit. For instance, if we extract ten thousand tons of iron ore and "waste" five hundred tons of it in the process, that five hundred tons is gone from the limited deposit we are mining but has given us no benefit.

        Wind energy is renewable and effectively limitless. We do not diminish the stock of wind by harnessing it, the way we diminish the stock of non-renewable resources by using them. Any power that is lost in transmission was free in the first place and its loss does not take away from anything. Thus even quite high losses in transmission are tolerable, so long as enough power gets through to economically justify the cost of the turbines and power lines.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:48:06 PM PST

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        •  Ever hear of transmission line loss? (0+ / 0-)

          A nominal value for typical transmission line loss due to electrical resistivity in lines and system components might be in the order of 10% in typical in-utility-system distribution.   If you increase the required transmission line distance to generation sources hundreds of miles away, the amount of transmission line energy losses will increase with increasing transmission distance.

          I'd suggest taking a course in thermodynamics and electricity and magnitism before you commit further time and energy to setting national energy policy.

      •  Transmission will always be wasteful... (5+ / 0-)

        ...but ultra-high voltage lines vastly reduce the "leakage."

        But a good combination of conservation, distributed energy (like rooftop solar) and solar and wind farms connected to the grid will reduce the amount of transmission lines that are needed.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:52:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  trans line loss> AC=7% DC=3% (0+ / 0-)

          If we replaced 100 gigs (out of 500gigs) of
          AC transmission capacity with DC, that would save the rough equivalent of 4 gigs, or 8 average size coal plants.

          Not a real life example, but idealized.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:46:49 PM PST

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      •  In the past yes, but offshore (0+ / 0-)


        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:15:05 PM PST

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    •  What data do you require? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, AllisonInSeattle

      AWC will provide 7 gigs initially, up to 35 gigs upgraded, following the coast its near every major coastal east coast city from NYC to Virginia Beach.


      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:14:09 PM PST

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      •  i was thinking especially about this line: (0+ / 0-)

        "(And, I believe, jeopardizing the health of those who are forced to live near them.)"

        but there was plenty of FUD elsewhere in the post.

        •  Is there any difinitive science (0+ / 0-)

          on illnesses from living next to transmission lines pro or con?

          When in fact the qualifier is quite clear, "I believe". The intent is clear.

          The wind industry is trying to become "Big Wind," to take over from "Big Coal."
          With a LCO cost to generate of 3.3 to 6.5 cents per kw hr, wind is attracting a lot of capital. In fact I recently wrote about the size of offshore wind projects, and the growth in the investments.
          There are a number of companies planning to build wind farms in the Midwest, where there are pretty good wind resources (though nowhere near as good as off the coasts) - but then they need to build thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines to ship the electricity to the eastern and western population centers.
          The trend to HVDC transmission is clear over the last 20 years, the ability to transmit electricity 2000 miles is something that sets HVAC apart from HVDC. HVDC gives us the ability top move renewable sources to where they are needed.
          The transmission lines will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, all told (plus the fat profits the federal government guarantees them, to mitigate "risk"), and disrupt thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of citizens - taking their properties and ruining viewsheds. (And, I believe, jeopardizing the health of those who are forced to live near them.)
          Well HVDC takes up half the space as HVAC, so the comment may have overstated the impact.

          The 380 mile long Atlantic Wind Connection is estimated to cost 5.5 billion dollars. The TVA is getting interested in new HVDC projects.

          The offshore wind farms, by contrast, may be more expensive than building them on land, but they will already be near the population centers and can tie in to the existing grid far more easily (and cheaply).
          Again the example set by the Atlantic Wind Connection can put wind power into cities such as NYC, Newark, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Trenton Annapolis, Dover, Norfolk, Richmond. All these cities are within about 50 miles of the coast.

          AWC is planned with a 7 gigwatt capacity, Upgraded with a ultra high voltage DC cable will add another 28 gigawatts of capacity. A 3rd upgrade would bring it up to 63 gigawatts. Thats about 15% of the national demand.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:15:42 PM PST

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