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  1. “The utility projected a monthly bill increase of $1.59 for a typical residential customer in the first year through the deal.”
    Diffuse harm and concentrated benefits.
    The beneficiaries are few and get the $1.59 aggregated over many individuals and they will fight vigorously to recieve it. Those who pay the extra $1.59 without seeing any benefit don’t have much of an incentive to care; it’s only 10-15 minutes of labour at the minimum wage; if they object at all they do so on principle or when a sufficient number of wind-farms pile up that they begin to feel it.

  2. Wind farms and nuke plants have a common traits: High capital cost and offsetting the use of natural gas. Incentives for both will benefit all tax payers by reducing the cost of NG. Wind reduces the NG that peaking plants use and nukes offset base load NG.

    1. Wind would offset peaking NG plants only if the wind speed matched the electricity demand peaks, which is unlikely.

    2. You haven’t read these:
      Wind does not significantly reduce CO2 emissions:
      http://www.masterresource.org/2009/11/wind-integration-incremental-emissions-from-back-up-generation-cycling-part-i-a-framework-and-calculator/
      Emissions INCREASE, due to Wind Energy in Colorado:
      http://ipams.org/wp-content/uploads/BENTEKStudy_How_Less_Became_More.pdf
      Peter Lang shows that the CO2 AVOIDANCE COSTS OF WIND, including necessary backup are $830 to $1149 per tonne CO2 avoided, vs Nuclear at $22 per tonne CO2 avoided, compared with a standard Black Coal Power plant:
      http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/lang-wind-power-co2-emissions.pdf
      #1 Wind Energy country, Denmark has the highest power rates in Europe and produces the highest CO2 emissions of 881 gm CO2 per kwh of electricity, #2 Wind Power Germany produces 601 gm CO2 per kwh, while Nuclear France produces 83 gm CO2 per kwh.

    3. Kit – “Wind reduces the NG that peaking plants use and nukes offset base load NG.” That is like the electric company saying that an electric heater in my office will reduce the amount of NG used to heat the house and lowwer my gas bill. Do you work for NG? (if not I apologize in advance, it sounds like something an NG person would say. )
      Electrical utilities are required by federal/state law to have 10% spinning reserves. That means the generator is running at a speed equivalent to produce 60hz electricity! There are some states that allow some qualified peaking units to provide this spinning reserve even though not spinning. (Maybe that is the problem with BPA) The higher efficiency NG turbines CAN NOT recover from a loss of wind unless it is spinning. Further these units have their peak efficiency (the rated cost per kwh and co2 emissions) at 90-100% NOT sitting there spinning (like your car at a stop light). That means it is WASTING NG. The Peaking generators can recover from a loss of wind BUT there is the spin up time, It is less BUT not instantaneous. They were not fast enough to prevent the blackout in OH/MI. There is no large infrastructure of high tension lines, and wind mills need stepup transformers, substations, protective systems, etc. to hook up to high tension lines. Even you should know that you can’t hook up a propane tank to a transcontinental pipeline. Thus, these turbine are spread around in the areas where the wind farms are – and sitting there spinning, to minimize perturbations. In the grand scheme of things, does the PNW use less NG now by adding wind to the mix? Since they already had lower efficiency peaking generators, They probably do. But the real question is “How much less – in total – NG would they be using – TODAY – if they had NO wind turbines and the most efficient NG turbines (and I emphasize the most efficient) for the power they wanted generated at the time? An electrical engineer that knows all of the problems and regulations associated with electrical distribution will tell you that adding wind to the mix makes things less efficient, and that you are wasting NG, an engineer (salesman) that works for NG will tell you the opposite!
      If T.B Pickens wants Wind Turbines – then he is going to make millions off of NG – PERIOD. No other explanation/justification needed.

      1. Actually Rich I work in the the nuclear end of electricity generating industry. I have a lot of experience listening to people with an ax to grind explain why they do not like how their electricity is made.
        As far as lectures go yours is better than most. You sound very authoritative. Of course it is all BS.
        I happen to think that wind turbines are mechanical failure test platforms but I would like to be proven wrong by this generation of wind turbines. They are interesting technology but I will wait to be worried about too much wind in the mix.
        The way to promote nuclear power is to talk about great performance of nuclear power plants not making up stuff about insignificant sources of electricity.

  3. Agree with Cape Wind being a ripoff. It will cause our rates to rise with no good reason: it isn’t like more power is being produced when we need it.
    Still, the travails of the Cape Wind project proved an important precedent in Massachusetts: that the common good has to come before NIMBYism. I’m glad that it was approved, for that reason, but now it should be required to sell power at prevailing rates into the ISO-NE pool, not get some special long-term contract from National Grid for very unreliable power at $0.24 per kilowatt which is basically hosing the ratepayer for the private benefit of Cape Wind developers.

    1. Of course, I would be more glad if Cape Wind was canceled, Pilgrim 2, Pilgrim 3, Seabrook 2, and whatever nuclear power plant they were – once upon a time – going to build up in Montague near where I live were built. Far more reliable, cleaner, and will drive rates down to reasonable levels, instead of an expensive wind-powered boondoggle.

  4. My parents own a home in Cape Cod. It’s a really great place I love to go in the summer (especially when they’re not using it and I can bring a few friends). The only thing about it is that it only has an air conditioner in the master bedroom and my parents are rather strict about not adding any additional air conditioners (and certainly not central air conditioning) to the house because Cape Cod has some of the highest electricity rates in the country. It can get very hot and muggy in the summer.
    I’ve done a lot of research on Cape Wind and the estimates for how much it could add to bills vary a lot, but if it goes over budget (which I think it probably will) it could have a staggering effect on local electricity rates because it could fall back on the local utilities to foot a big part of the bill.
    I’ve actually been seriously looking into whether it may be cheaper to buy a high compression diesel generator and use that when the place is being occupied. It could be run on the equivalent heating oil which is legal for static uses.
    Figure 2.39 dollars per gallon and about ten kilowatt hours per gallon running at a nominal throttle, that’s about 24-26 cents a kilowatt hour from a diesel generator.
    As is that is slightly above the (staggering) cost of residential electricity on the Cape, but in the near future it may turn out to be a lot cheaper to burn your own fuel

  5. Go for it Steve if you like listening to diesel generators while you are at the beach.
    However, if you really like listening to diesel generators get a job at a nuke plant testing the backup diesels then you can afford to buy all the electricity.
    I spent a summer at OCS in Newport RI. Do not recall it being very hot or humid. Spent a winter there a couple of years later and it was very cold but not as cold as Idaho.
    I love rich kids complaining about the cost of electricity for their AC at the beach house on Cape Cod.
    Very amusing!

    1. Hey I for one am not a rich kid, yet I’m definitely complaining about high cost of electricity (rich people like Al Gore have no such worries). The idea of consumers searching for cheaper energy in all ways possible is not absurd at all, in fact this is what has been happening to our industry. To produce pair of jeans for example, it takes an average of 100 kWh of electricity. That explains why people in wind-powered Denmark for example, produce no such clothing but are wearing jeans made in Pakistan and India. On a consumer level, some folks can’t afford electric air conditioning for their home, so when it gets really hot they can be found in their air conditioned cars, idling the engine. These are all symptoms of the problem, which is caused by uninformed decisions being made in high places.

  6. The $1.59 is a completely erroneous figure. They state that 50% of the electricity sold has a base price in 2012 of $0.207 per kWh, and the 3.5% increases are on top of that figure. This means that the residential customers will have to go from paying around $0.16 per kWh to over 20 cents at base – at least a 25% base increase. THEN the 3.5% annual increases kick in.
    And all of that on top of tax credits on the capital investment. So, we are increasing the deficit to force utilities to pay for more expensive electricity. I don’t know how to say it other than that is stupid. Really stupid.

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