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View Diary: Why wind needs feed-in tariffs (and why it is not the enemy of nuclear) (161 comments)

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  •  Working on a large wind/firmed wind project here (18+ / 0-)

    I'm working on a large wind project with many follow on benefits.

     There is a 100 turbine installation planned for six miles east of my town but the 230mw plant is constrained by the 69k feed line and it may be effectively stranded.

     We're currently fund raising the seed money to get a 50k ton/year ammonia plant built that will use this wind resource to crack water for hydrogen. This is a serious effort - local industry leaders and politicians are in favor of the concept and we are very likely to get funding some time in March to pursue this.

     Once the ammonia production is certain there are three big follow on benefits.

     First we get a lot of hot water from the ammonia production, which will be fed to a greenhouse operation, dramatically cutting our food miles and giving fresh fruits and vegetables year round here in sometimes frigid Iowa.

     Second we get a chance to copy what Dr. John Holbrook of the Ammonia Fuel Network is doing in the Pacific Northwest - we can make a business of running an ammonia powered "peaker" generating facility here and allow the decommissioning of a natural gas powered competitor.

     The third and most exciting is that ammonia can replace diesel with minor retooling of engines. We think we can free the Iowa corn crop from fossil fuels for around $25B total, which would make our ethanol totally green.

      And I must add that none of this would be happening without the assistance of the diarist, who put me in touch with some guys from who have helped validate and push this concept along.

    •  sounds interesting (2+ / 0-)
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      blueintheface, Stranded Wind

      can you explain how the ammonia plays into the equation? is it a portable form of energy that can be changed down the road for some fuel or something? i mostly know it as something you dilute for mopping floors.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:09:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ammonia as a fuel - sensible hydrogen use (4+ / 0-)

         I've written about ammonia quite a bit - this diary provides some proof that it is a serious concept - there are links to four years worth of presentations from Iowa State's ammonia fuel conferences:

         Ammonia is basically quite a bit like natural gas - it has three hydrogen atoms instead of four like methane, its quite a bit more dangerous to handle, but it is a manageable energy bearer, unlike hydrogen which is really hard on pipeline infrastructure. I think the best source of a top level view of this will be the Ammonia Fuel Network, which already has experts and is working on getting their web site up. The godfather of this effort is John Holbrook, whom I've interviewed.

         We actually have a company here that builds ammonia engines now - the Hydrogen Engine Center:

         There is a lot more information on the web site, but I'll admit that it could be better organized - one of my tasks for today ;-)

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