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View Diary: Something to take your mind off indictments: Windfarm blogging (169 comments)

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  •  Love Wind Farms (none)
    I drive through the "farms" in Southern California yearly. I always have to stop and watch as I find it as facinating as a ballet. Here in the west, they are usually placed in areas so barren that they enhance the view.

    After a drive back from Las Vegas last weekend, I passed large areas of highland desert were the wind blows year round from Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. Because of Hoover Damn, we cannot get anyone to invest in wind power.

    Why not have wind power in areas where wind is an asset and pass the power generated by other sources on the power grid?

    •  Unfortunately, you cant "Pass" (none)
      the electricity too for iirc becase of line losses...although I could never figure out how oregan could "sell" power to all of california for example.  

      Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

      by ETinKC on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:17:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oregon, nuttin! (none)
        British Columbia sold power to California during the Enron debacle (of which we're still owed several hundred million, iirc).

        Those high voltage trunks get the job done I guess.

        Plot your political compass scores at KosCompass

        by Hatamoto on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 06:21:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Enron had the court order Oregon to provide power (none)
          Oregon orginally refused and Enron took them to federal court and Bonniville Power was ordered to provide power even if it cost the state, caused brown/blackouts in Oregon.

          Even if it caused them to release more water than was planned and could damage the salmon runs.

          Enron won......

          •  Great bunch of guys, them (none)
            Seems like only yesterday when the Enron scandal was the biggest thing on the block, doesn't it?

            Ahhh, memories.

            In any event, I wasn't trying to say that oregon didn't ship power... I was trying to say that BC, which is considerably farther from california than oregon, made deals and delivered power at that same time.

            Plot your political compass scores at KosCompass

            by Hatamoto on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 05:08:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure what you're talking about (none)
        line resistance for 60 Hz AC power allows for hundreds of miles of transmission.

        DC power can't go more than about 6 miles I think.

        This is why westinghouse won the power wars and thomas edison lost. If I remember my history correctly.

        •  Nah (none)
          DC has lower line losses than AC.  It's just that in the early days, no one knew how to get high voltage DC and high voltage AC was easy.
          •  Power Lines (none)
            There are some problems with long distance high voltage lines.  If I remember correctly, they tend to use ultra-high voltage and there are some field effects that can possibly result in health problems for people and animals living under or near them.  Also, you need to ground everything within the field or else you can get seriously shocked.

            Buckminster Fuller suggested a few decades ago that there should be a circum-polar grid to connect the most heavily electrified areas in the world and allow "wheeling" electricity from Europe, through Russia, to the USA.  It could become the basis for a world-wide grid and provide back-up power capability anywhere (as long as the proper fail-safes were built in with triple redundancy).

            Solar is Civil Defense

            by gmoke on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 09:28:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Urban legend (none)
              There is no evidence that the electro magnetic fields generated by high voltage power lines cause cancer or are dangerous in any way.

              There was a study in holland, I think, that suggested that children going to schools near high power lines have a 1 in a million chance of getting cancer.

              The public was so pissed they were going to close all the schools close to the lines and bus the children to other schools.

              Until someone mentioned that when the child gets onto the bus, there is a 1 in 1000 chance the child will die from an accident.

    •  Location, location, location. (4.00)
      The best places for wind generation are typically so far from population centers that the costs associated with modifying the transmission systems, and power losses from from long distance transmission, add up to enough to keep the utilities from risking the investment. However, there are more and more viable location/population center/distance combinations every day as energy costs continue to rise.

      There's a heck of a nice big wind farm just south of the Wyoming border in Colorado, even though the entire Front Range of the Rocky Mountains has lots of coal, trains to ship it, and power plants all along the way.

      The bottom line is that government should have led the way to prepare for what was clearly known many years ago to be an upcoming energy shortage. Jimmy Carter tried to do just that since that was the time to start in order to ensure a smooth transition. Ronald Reagan put a stop to it, telling us all to trust in free enterprise.

      ANd free enterprise does work, sort of. But free enterprise doesn't jump in with both feet until it's a sure bet. And it wasn't a sure bet until it was too late for a smooth transition. Since massive changes to our energy system is a slow undertaking, we will be paying the price for Republican idiocy for a long time to come.

      I'm a devout believer in irreverence. - JW -

      by John West on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:39:41 PM PDT

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      •  I didn't write that very well. Too distracted. (none)
        Sorry. But I think it says enough to get the point across.

        I'm a devout believer in irreverence. - JW -

        by John West on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:42:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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