Wind generation - a utility perspective...
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    Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    I work at a utility that is securing wind gen due to state (and soon to be federal) mandates. Wind is clean and free and abundant... So from a utility perspective, wind generates or not all the time. You can't plan for it, count on it, or predict it. It must be intergrated into the grid but the grid is maintained at very precise tolerances. So what utilities have to do is have another source of generation that can spool up right away to replace the fluctuating base load of wind gen. Its literally a 1 for 1 proposition. For every megawatt of wind we MUST put in another megawatt of something reliable - like natty gas or coal. What the US will see in the next couple years is the blush coming off the rose for wind. Wind is an emitting genration source based on the backup needed. It will turn out to be much like ethanol where the hysterical hype from the left (and the media) will turn out to have much severer consequences. This is true for most all things .... DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE.



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    So we have the backup, but do they have to run when the wind is blowing? If not, other energy sources are not being used.


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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Even at 1 for 1 that's still a 50% reduction over using strictly fossil fuels - how is that bad?



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    There are plenty of ways to use wind power that can alleviate the problem of intermittant supply.

    For example, using some of the power generated to convert water into hydrogen gas, which can be stored and used in a manner very similiar to natural gas to generate power.

    That's just one idea I know of - I'm no expert, but I'm sure there are others that are currently viable and will be developed in the future.

    Wind power and ethanol is not even close to a fair comparison.


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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    I think I have heard one way to store wind energy was to use underground caves to store compressed air and then use the compressed air to power turbines when the wind doesn't blow. I can't remember where I read this - seems somewhat fantastic to me but at least someone is trying to find solutions.



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Im so amazed driving through Iowa how many of these are standing in fields now. Its incredible. And you dont really realize how huge they are until you see a guy walking next to one.



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by bostinelosd View Post
    Im so amazed driving through Iowa how many of these are standing in fields now. Its incredible. And you dont really realize how huge they are until you see a guy walking next to one.
    I didn't realize how big they were untill I saw all the trucks hauling the blades for them across the state. The blades alone are huge!



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by SpokaneCY View Post
    I work at a utility that is securing wind gen due to state (and soon to be federal) mandates. Wind is clean and free and abundant... So from a utility perspective, wind generates or not all the time. You can't plan for it, count on it, or predict it. It must be intergrated into the grid but the grid is maintained at very precise tolerances. So what utilities have to do is have another source of generation that can spool up right away to replace the fluctuating base load of wind gen. Its literally a 1 for 1 proposition. For every megawatt of wind we MUST put in another megawatt of something reliable - like natty gas or coal. What the US will see in the next couple years is the blush coming off the rose for wind. Wind is an emitting genration source based on the backup needed. It will turn out to be much like ethanol where the hysterical hype from the left (and the media) will turn out to have much severer consequences. This is true for most all things .... DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

    Ok, Ok we get it...you are feeling violated for having to leave your comfort zone of fossil fuels.

    Here's the real deal...there isn't one find all end all answer to the energy problems that we are having. There are many methods of generating renewable energy or capturing energy in a clean manner. Here in Iowa, which is the second windiest state in the Union, wind is a very viable option. Biomass is also a very good option as well.

    The need for a reliable back-up is common sense. By your logic, solar energy is a horrible energy option as well, because if there is a cloudy day, you don't get energy.

    When you have to have 1 to 1 energy availability, why not put in a co-generation system that produced electricity with both biomass and coal. There we just reduced the amount of fossil fuel used even more.

    In conclusion, people are going to have to realize that renewable energy has its drawbacks, but what doesn't. People are going to have to step out of their comforts zones and change their frames of mind before renewable energy will be widely excepted.

    Once again I will put in a plug for Iowa States Biorenewable Energy Research...Check them out.

    Thermochemical



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    I didn't realize how big they were untill I saw all the trucks hauling the blades for them across the state. The blades alone are huge!
    The first time I saw one, I was wondering why they were transporting 777 wings across the state



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by ajsp View Post

    The need for a reliable back-up is common sense. By your logic, solar energy is a horrible energy option as well, because if there is a cloudy day, you don't get energy.
    You still get energy from solar cells on a cloudy day. You can see on a cloudy day, can't you?



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Every wind turbine thread turbine thread needs this video: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL-cRuYAxg0"]YouTube - Danish Wind turbine Accident[/ame] While this doesn't really deal with renewable energy production, it is amazing to see the forces involved in those things.



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    I think I've read somewhere that these massive turbine fields can have some fairly substantial affects on the local weather pattern.


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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    I think I've read somewhere that these massive turbine fields can have some fairly substantial affects on the local weather pattern.
    First it was Global Warming now Global Winding (is winding a word?!)



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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by cygrads View Post
    First it was Global Warming now Global Winding (is winding a word?!)
    FWIW, it was something I read about why the entire state of Kansas doesnt just turn into a large "wind field" and the reason was because of how it would change the weather around it or something...

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2...ng_weather.htm

    http://www.livescience.com/environme...ind_mills.html


    Last edited by The_Architect; 06-13-2008 at 05:37 PM.
    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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    Re: Wind generation - a utility perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    FWIW, it was something I read about why the entire state of Kansas doesnt just turn into a large "wind field" and the reason was because of how it would change the weather around it or something...
    Maybe Kansas should try it - maybe it will create fewer tornados!



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