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Wind Wise Radio — FAA Pressured, Creaky Turbines, Nevada Rejection

June 23, 2012

 This Sunday Harley Keisch and Lisa Linowes host Wind Wise Radio’s news roundup. They interview Audra Parker, the President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, about that organization’s call for a federal investigation. They also speak with former physics professor John P. Harrison about turbines aging badly, and in the third segment Wind Wise Radio discusses the Bureau of Land Management’s rejection of wind development on public lands in Lincoln County, Nevada.

In Massachusetts, Freedom of Information Act requests have turned up evidence of the massive political pressure put on the FAA to ignore its own experts who were worried about the danger posed to aircraft navigating Nantucket Sound.

The call for the investigation has been answered.  Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, who is leading the inquiry into Solyndra sees this as another instance of the Obama Administration pushing a dubious green energy project for political reasons.  Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency are involved in approving portions of this project, the wind farm also comes under the jurisdiction of Stearns’ subcommittee.

Said Stearns, “It appears that an investigation is warranted in the case of Cape Wind to determine if the FAA acted inappropriately due to political pressure from the Administration.  I intend to work with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on this issue.

Wind turbines do not age gracefully.

We will speak with John P. Harrison, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Physics Department, Queens University Ontario about research indicating that capacity factors decline as wind turbines get older.

The capacity factor of a turbine is the actual output, measured over time, vs. the “nameplate” capacity claimed by the manufacturer. The capacity factor is determined by dividing the actual output with the maximum possible output.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has rejected an application from Wilson Creek Wind Company, LLC, to develop a wind generation project on public lands in Lincoln County, Nevada.  

The proposed Wilson Creek Wind Project would have consisted of up to 350 wind turbines generating up to 990 megawatts of electricity on approximately 31,000 acres of the public lands in the Wilson Creek Range, including Mt. Wilson, Table and White Rock mountains, and Atlanta Summit.  We will discuss the project.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris Kapsambelis permalink
    June 25, 2012 7:22 am

    What is even more important than Capacity Factor is Capacity Value (CV) which is a measure of energy availability when needed. Conventional generators have a CV of 90% or more. Since wind energy cannot be scheduled, their CV is close to 0%. The links below will provide more detail.

    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/true-cost-of-electricity-from-wind-is-always-underestimated-and-its-value-is-always-overestimated/

    http://www.masterresource.org/2010/09/wind-not-power-iii/

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