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Pentagon approves Oregon wind farm

By Juliet Eilperin

The Pentagon has withdrawn its objection to what promises to be world's largest wind farm, allowing for construction to move ahead on the Shepherds Flat project in Oregon.

Senior Defense officials called Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley on Friday to inform them they will update the radar system near Fossil, Ore., so that its operation would not be affected by the 338 turbines that will be installed as part of the project. Both senators had lobbied fiercely for the $2 billion project, which could generate 16,000 jobs nationwide, after the Pentagon held up a permit that needs to be granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Construction had been slated to begin Saturday.

"The bottom line for me is had this not been worked out, blocking this project would have chilled the entire opportunity to generate significant new private investment in clean energy in this country," Wyden said in an interview, adding that the resolution of the impasse "is showing that protecting America in a dangerous world and shaking free our dependence on foreign oil are not mutually exclusive. It's going to be possible to address both of these very significant policy concerns."

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 30, 2010; 1:25 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I missed one point. There is no significant 'private' investment in windmills unless you call the private companies that receive the government subsidized payments that. No private investor is going to be buying, installing, or operating windmills unless there is a huge government tax or electrical utility surcharge paying for the exercise in futility.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 1, 2010 4:02 PM
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How many unemployed people have been told that the entire 'green' economy might amount to one or two percent of the jobs in this country. The tax subsidies required to pay for, and then operate, these windmills becomes part of the job killing federal budget deficit and it is only a matter of time before some PHD Economist points out that the taxes and subsidies cost more in jobs than they give back.

Watching people who call themselves friends of the environment support these windmills is another exercise in just how contorted the minds and logic of these people has to be. The windmills are ugly and noisy and situated in places where people go to enjoy the country. As has already been pointed out, they don't reduce CO2 much if at all; they require carbon based backup systems; they are unreliable and expensive. They kill lots of birds and bats.

But the true believers in the CO2 warmist community love wind mills because they give the appearance of doing something, even if the something goes in the wrong direction and makes no sense economically it makes them feel better. The companies raking in the profits from building and operating these noisy, ugly monstrosities are heavily in favor of more taxes and more subsidies as long as the money winds up in the right pockets.

These will all be shut down when the flow of Government tax money or electricity surcharges end, but along the way a lot of people will take a lot of money from folks who work hard to earn it.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 1, 2010 3:58 PM
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this time without typos! (I hope).
appdev is absolutely right that Land-based industrial wind projects almost never produce more than 20% of their rated capacity. This fact is NEVER mentioned by the wind industry or their shills, or the gullible politicians and public who blindly support this garbage technology that wouldn't even exist without our tax subsidies.

Even more frustrating though, is the related fact that industrial wind projects DON'T REDUCE CARBON.

Because wind projects only produce a pittance of their rated capacity - and because they only produce when the wind blows - and because that wind is intermittent and undependable - existing power plants must remain ON at all times - in order to supply backup power when the wind isn't producing.

Der Spiegel recently reported that Germany - Europe's largest wind producer - has not reduced carbon output by one gram!

China - which is now working to be the world's largest wind producer, is ADDING COAL PLANTS as it expands wind facilities. That's because the coal plants are required to provide electricity for the 80% of the time the wind isn't producing.

Land-based wind is garbage technology - and it ISN'T GREEN.

Posted by: mtumbadjibouti | April 30, 2010 4:08 PM
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Does not say much for the DOD pave paws type systems when the magnets from wind turbines affect their viability. Besides an enemy EMP attack solar flares with 1000x the intensity are pretty commonplace. Chu our energy sec'y has announced today over 100 million in R&D grants for alt. energy production and new battery tech. Part of it is a new microbe that uses the excess energy at peak times to create biofuels to replace fossil fuels which currently are more than 80% of all energy use.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 30, 2010 4:06 PM
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appdev is absolutely right that Land-based industrial wind projects almost never produce more than 20% of their rated capacity. This fact is NEVER mentioned by the wind industry or their shills, or the gullible politicians and public who blindly support this garbage technology that wouldn't even exist without our tax subsidies.

Even more frustrating though, is the related fact that these WIND IS NOT GREEN. Industrial wind projects DON'T REDUCE CARBON.

Because wind projects only produce a pittance of their rated capacity - and because they only produce when the wind blows - and because that wind is intermittent and undebependable - existing power plants must remain ON at all times - in order to supply backup power when the wind isn't producing.

Der Spiegel recently reported that Germany - Europe's largest wind producer - has not reduced carbon output by one gram!

China - which is now working to be the world's largest wind producer, is ADDING COAL PLANTS as it expands wind facilities. That's because the coal plants are required to provide electricity for the 80% of the time the wind isn't producing.

Land-based wind is garbage technology - and it ISN'T GREEN.

Posted by: mtumbadjibouti | April 30, 2010 4:06 PM
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On April 15, Ms. Eilperin told readers that the Shepherd's Flat project and three nearby projects would "generate 3,000 MW" and become the equivalent of "three nuclear plants." While they are large for wind power projects, they are not that large. Ms. Eilperin appears to lack engineering skills and did not tell readers that she was describing the peak power from the wind farms, while the average power will be much less.

The ratio of average to peak power is known as "capacity factor," and it is commonplace for private developers of wind farms to overestimate that when they are trying to sell to investors. Experience of European public power operators, who have to report their results, is that long-term capacity factors for land-based wind farms are rarely above 20 percent.

At that capacity factor, the four wind farms that Ms. Eilperin reported would generate an average 600 MW of electricity, equivalent to one medium-sized coal-fired plant, such as the new Hempstead plant in Arkansas, which has cost less than half the amount estimated for the wind farms. As renewables become a significant share of the energy supply, it's critical to get the finances right, rather than gloss over them as Ms. Eilperin seems inclined to do.

Posted by: AppDev | April 30, 2010 3:42 PM
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I think some Air Force generals were offered assignments in remote Alaskan meteorology stations as an alternative to not approving the Wind Farm ;)

Posted by: kschur1 | April 30, 2010 2:58 PM
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Thank God someone is using his punkin head.

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | April 30, 2010 2:30 PM
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