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Thoughts on Wind Turbines

HangOutdoors

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I received an email from one of the many places I get random stuff from. It discussed the project of putting Wind Turbines, a lot of them, in Lake Erie. Has anyone seen these any where else in the water? Also what is your opinion of them? I read through it and am collecting my thoughts on the topic. Is it really cost effective in the long run as an alternative power source vs. the harm it could do to the waterways?



 

anmut

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They’re noisy on the land, but should be fine in the water.
 

Gym

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They tried that on Nantucket Sound on Cape Cod Massachusetts. The project ultimately went bust due to ecological and social concerns. They did sign some potential large enargy buyers but the power was going to be very expensive.
 

Scottintexas

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They put a bunch out in the north sea, i saw a nat geo or discovery show about them,
Have no idea if they're actually profitable
 

obrien19

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They actually have them on Lake Erie shores in Buffalo
 

Woodsy

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I think we all value the importance of environmental protection. There is no shortage of information online for and against wind turbines. The real challenge I think is finding creditable information.

I would not support such a development if it was proposed in my region. My reasons being:
1. I believe the true carbon footprint (construction, installation, operation, and decommissioning) is significant.
2. Wind farm footprints allow for little other use within the area and impact wildlife.
3. It seems to me these wind farms need government handouts to be constructed. Once the economic life of the wind farm has passed, the companies go bankrupt, and the government is left to pay for decommissioning. So the tax payer pays twice for business that is not economically viable.
4. Wind power is not reliable. Some days are windier than others. You have to build the gas or coal fired power generation station anyways. Hopefully a natural gas one.

I am all for environmental protection and responsible development. I don’t think wind technology has matured enough to be an effective and efficient energy source. But our politicians invest in it, because the perception of green energy like this looks good to voters.

Energy consumption is a hot social topic these days. Surely some will disagree with me. That’s cool. To each their own opinion.
 

ripler

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They are all over Somerset County here in PA, 75% are never moving and they look like shit
 

Enduro900

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Wind, solar and biofuel have all now proven to be inefficient and ineffective to provide consistent power (which I am sure we all want).

The first two because they are undependable, so there needs to be back-up capacity in the waiting, which means a natural gas plant running inefficiently until it is called upon to fill in the gap.....so redundant waste. I was not aware of this but the turbine blades have a limited life, and cannot easily be recycled.....so now there are turbine graveyards (huge fields of old turbines).

The biofuel plants have also been a bust....there is not enough biofuel to supply them, so a lot of them are now harvesting trees/forrests for fuel.....and burning trees releases a lot of carbon.

Michael Moore produced a movie about power sources that is quite interesting called “Planet of the Humans” that opened my eyes to the whole “:renewable power” subject. Surprising as i thought for sure it would have been a “pro-renewables” coming from him and it was just the opposite.....
 
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Canuckjetboater

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Also what is your opinion of them?
@HangOutdoors : Destructive to the environment, animals and humans. Huge expenses BACKLOADED that are rarely discussed. When they reach the end of their operating life, decommissioning them will be a financial nightmare. The massive amounts of cooling oils in them will be a financial and environmental disaster to contend with and many are leaking far earlier than predicted. Many of these wind farms are operated by numbered companies who will likely walk away from them once they start to fail. Who will pick-up that expense? They are a large scale financial and economic disaster in the making. BTW ---- has anyone calculated who will dispose of all of the (EV) electric car battery packs and how they will do so when these all begin to fail?
 

adrianp89

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^^^ As far as battery packs, Tesla Recycles their own in a closed loop system.
 

Canuckjetboater

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^^^ As far as battery packs, Tesla Recycles their own in a closed loop system.
@Adrian242 .....Tesla has already admitted the enormous waste created in the manufacture of its nickel component battery packs and is actively seeking better nickel and nickel processing (a Canadian manufacturer is in talks) I have yet to see data as to how any closed loop system will be effective without the use of tremendous energy and by-products as we known energy can neither be created nor destroyed - anything else is smoke and mirrors and merely the lesser of evils. :cool:
 

TimW451

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@HangOutdoors For the project in your area I’d consider the impact of their presence, esthetically to residents, tourists, and businesses; operationally: who is going to build, operate, and be accountable (is it to add or replace current capacity?); and financially to you and the community (are you going to have a new fee on your power bill, will there be a new tax to subsidized it).

Offshore windpower has been looked at for a long time off the Maryland and Delaware shores. I recently heard that they are looking again at doing it. The resistance is strong, so I don’t expect it to happen, but if Biden is elected president they’ll get the funding if they want it.

While the idea of this and massive solar farms is nice, I think the reality is more like what @Woodsy and @Enduro900 state. The projects need public funding (always more than originally asked for), don’t produce the desired outcome, and leave behind a mess for the public to clean up. If it was good as proponents state, you wouldn’t need public funding.
 
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Miitch

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Not the longest lifespan on those wind turbines when compared to other sources of energy. Some reports indicate new generators or gearing mechanisms every 20 years.
 

zipper

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We do have a few wind farms around us. This 4 turbine farm plus 1 communication tower was built 5-6 years ago. I can only see it from the Blueberry field, on Georgia Mtn. in the distance 5 miles away. People closer have bitched about the noise, but I don't hear it.

20200806_112112.jpg

I depend on fossile fuels for many things around the farm and the boats, yes even the sailboat. I do like personal/private renewable energy though, as we lived off the grid for 9 years with solar, wind and a back-up gasoline generator. It worked great for the apt. over the garage before we built a bigger house. Now it cuts our power bill to less than $100/mo.

20200915_084911.jpg

1kw Whisper wind generator and 800w of solar. I installed the solar panels, batteries and inverter, the main part of the system in 1995. I built the 72' tower and stood it upright with the winch on the ATV in 2001. Picture taken this AM.
 
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adrianp89

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@Adrian242 .....Tesla has already admitted the enormous waste created in the manufacture of its nickel component battery packs and is actively seeking better nickel and nickel processing (a Canadian manufacturer is in talks) I have yet to see data as to how any closed loop system will be effective without the use of tremendous energy and by-products as we known energy can neither be created nor destroyed - anything else is smoke and mirrors and merely the lesser of evils. :cool:
Good point. I think what most people don't realize is we are so carbon based, it is difficult for anything to be 100% carbon free. Switching to more "green" resources may be yield a net-zero benefit now but it is a step forward in the right direction. They will slowly find ways to improve. Over a course of 100 years, improvements of 1% each year could eventually create 100% "green" process. Of course the argument can be made that in the same period oil and gas could become significantly more efficient with a strongly reduced footprint. I don't really fall on either side, as I think both options should be strongly pursued. In the meantime, I don't want to see any of it in my backyard lol.
 

CanTex

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Wind power developed on private vs public land/water ways are 2 very different scenarios. If a developer intents to consume land owned by the public there needs to be a substantial benefit to the general population. This development does not meet that requirement in my opinion, one factor driving lake Erie is the presumed "free land". If wind power generation is developed on private land, without tax breaks or federal loan guarantees then free markets will determine it's viability.
 

jeffrt

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There was talk a few years back about putting them in Lake St. Clair too. Thankfully it was scratched. On a smaller lake, they would have stood out like crazy. We have them all over already in my area (Essex County, Ontario). It's crazy to see all the flashing lights at night from them already around the lake.
 

Wayloncle

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Near us in Oklahoma there are huge wind farms with hundreds of turbines, and more are being built like crazy. I never thought I’d see them so concentrated.
Having a farm way out in the water doesn’t seem to be practical to me, but I don’t know much about the business.
 

Elliott

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It is also troubling that wind farms get a pass on killing protected birds by the thousands. I doubt a traditional power station would remain open if the bodies of raptors and/or sea birds piled up around the plant.
 

zipper

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If traditional power stations include hydroelectric...seen plenty of fish chum spit out of the turbines and spawning waters blocked by dams. But hey, I love coming home and turning the lights on.
 
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