Wind Turbines

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Witness » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:37 am

Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas

In the US, it's cheaper to build and operate wind farms than buy fossil fuels.

This week, the US Department of Energy released a report that looks back on the state of wind power in the US by running the numbers on 2018. The analysis shows that wind hardware prices are dropping, even as new turbine designs are increasing the typical power generated by each turbine. As a result, recent wind farms have gotten so cheap that you can build and operate them for less than the expected cost of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant.

Wind is even cheaper at the moment because of a tax credit given to renewable energy generation. But that credit is in the process of fading out, leading to long term uncertainty in a power market where demand is generally stable or dropping.

2018 saw about 7.6 GigaWatts of new wind capacity added to the grid, accounting for just over 20 percent of the US' capacity additions. This puts it in third place behind natural gas and solar power. That's less impressive than it might sound, however, given that things like coal and nuclear are essentially at a standstill. Because the best winds aren't evenly distributed in the US, there are areas, like parts of the Great Plains, where wind installations were more than half of the new power capacity installed.

Overall, that brings the US' installed capacity up to nearly 100GW. That leaves only China ahead of the US, although the gap is substantial with China having more than double the US' installed capacity. It still leaves wind supplying only 6.5 percent of the US' total electricity in 2018, though, which places it behind a dozen other countries. Four of them—Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and Portugal—get over 20 percent of their total electric needs supplied by wind, with Denmark at over 40 percent.

That figure is notable, as having over 30 percent of your power supplied by an intermittent source is a challenge for many existing grids. But there are a number of states that have now cleared the 30 percent threshold: Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, with the two Dakotas not far behind. The Southwest Power Pool, which serves two of those states plus wind giant Texas, is currently getting a quarter of its electricity from wind. (Texas leads the US with 25GW of installed wind capacity.) ... tural-gas/

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by robinson » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:47 am

ed wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:13 am
Not a mention of impact on wildlife or what impact low frequency thrumming might have on humans.
Killing millions of birds and bats is a small price to pay for saving the world.
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Bananas?-Yes » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:59 am

I assume that vocabulary "thrumming" is something to do with vibrations and that is an area where a lot of folks don't pay a whole heck of heed to. In choppers we are always paying attention to whether it is a high or low frequency vibration, because high frequency means get on the ground immediately. And I mean that 'immediately' as in no matter who owns the ground below. In fact, immediately is not soon enough.

But I seem to remember in the O'Club that a flight surgeon once went on and on about how they knew so little about the possible problems with low frequency vibrations. That was over thirty years ago, so I suspect they have more information now. I hope they do.

And that business of natural flight creatures giving up their lives for us nonflying animals seems a tough one to make conclusions about. It ain't no small price for the flying creature who has that midair collision.
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by ed » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:51 am

Remember the VLA(that was a radio telescope thingie I mean VLF? It have off low frequencies to help track subs (do I have that right?). Problem was that it fucked up the navigation of porpoises and whales. Then again, sea mammals are so yesterday ...

eta ... submarines

Here we go:
If you were a blue whale, the water in most of the world’s oceans would be so murky that you wouldn’t be able to see your own flukes. Which is why most marine species use sound to navigate, feed, find mates, and communica—BLUURRRRGGGGHHHH AAAARRROOOOOO WAA WAA WAA—oh, sorry, pardon the interruption.

That’s just the noise of whales cheering. See, they just won a major noise pollution battle against the US Navy. For over a decade, the Navy has been trying to convince the courts that they can use an ultra-loud sonar array in a way that is safe for marine life. But on July 15, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that no, actually it’s not safe at all.

The Epic Fight to Protect Whales From the U.S. Navy
The ruling came down to a Navy-friendly interpretation of the National Marine Protection Act, which prohibits any US citizen, agency, or organization from harming creatures like whales, dolphins, and seals. That ruling was made by NOAA’s Fisheries Service, putting them in cahoots with the Navy. However, NRDC and several co-defendants took NOAA Fisheries to court, and eventually won the case. As a result, the Navy will be barred from using its deep submarine hunting sonar in much of the world’s oceans during peacetime.

Sonar Subwoofers
The US hasn’t faced any real naval threat in decades. During the 1970s, however, the Soviet Union was developing quieter submarines. At the same time, the ocean itself was getting noisier from activities like oil drilling and marine shipping. The US Navy wasn’t just worried about a sneak attack from the deep: Submarines that creep close to an enemy’s ships or shore are capable of all sorts of clandestine shenanigans, like eavesdropping on short range communications.

So the Navy started working on a special long-range sonar tool. They called it Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active, or SURTASS/LFA. One quick aside: That is a monstrous acronym with three S’s, none of which stands for sonar! But sonar it is. The system deploys from the aft ends of special sub-hunting surface ships. Once lowered from the massive reel, the system’s 18 source projectors—basically huge, aquatic subwoofers—emit loud, low-frequency tones. ... ing-sonar/
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Witness » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:43 pm

Wyoming wind farm making same power with 80% fewer turbines

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow an electric utility to redevelop Wyoming's first commercial wind farm so it produces the same amount of power with far fewer turbines, an example of the growing feasibility of renewable energy in the top U.S. coal-mining state.

Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines. The wind farm atop the barren and blustery ridge called Foote Creek Rim west of Cheyenne will continue to generate about 41 megawatts, or enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes.


Increasingly efficient renewables and inexpensive gas-fired electricity are bad news for Wyoming's coal mining industry, which employs about 4,700 miners and supplies over 40 percent of U.S. coal. Several bankruptcies, including one that shut down two of the top-producing U.S. coal mines in the state's northeastern Powder River Basin area of rolling grasslands, have hit the industry in recent years.

At Foote Creek Rim, PacifiCorp plans to replace its 600-kilowatt Mitsubishi wind turbines with 2- and 4-megawatt Vestas turbines. The Vestas turbines will have larger blades spanning 120 yards (110 meters) and 149 yards (136 meters).

As the new turbines go up, the existing ones will be decommissioned next April. ... g%20state.