Iowa Wind Power

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BCClone

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Farm ground should be taxed the same as commercial property as it is commercial property. It's a joke that $300k worth of farm ground is taxed at $750 per year. I pay that for my $300k commercial property every month.

300k would be a rougher 40acres around me. 40 acted would be about 1400 per year. You are about half way there.
 
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Sigmapolis

Minister of Economy
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It depends how you define oil and gas subsidies. The disingenuous would add in tax deductions offered to any business and call it a subsidy or assign an arbitrary dollar amount to CO2 emissions.

Other than a few state level incentives, there are no oil and gas subsidies.
Energy is a capital-intensive industry. So you end up with a lot of write-offs for depreciation. But you are right -- these are not particular to the energy sector, and other capital-intensive industries (e.g., airlines and shipping companies, railroads, some types of heavy manufacturing and construction firms) use them just as much.

There is kind of a point that the uncollected social cost of carbon dioxide emissions constitutes a "subsidy" of sorts. It is a cost burden "they" (back to that in a second) impose on society, and society not making them pay for that maybe would constitute a "subsidy" in at least economic terms. I would argue, though, that the ones would should pay that cost are end-use consumers, not the energy industry. After all, nobody ever pointed a gun at me and forced me to drive a car with an ICE engine, to use a gas furnace, or to hook up my TV to a coal power plant. Consumers are the ones who want the low cost and the high levels of convenience and reliability associated with fossil fuels, so they should pay.

Of course, that is not how they use the term "subsidy." They mean it as if we write big checks to the fossil fuel sector for no particular reason, so why shouldn't we write big checks to clean energy sources?

(1.) We don't. Not in the way they mean it.

(2.) We already do. We have had a wind PTC since 1992 just to provide one example.
 

besserheimerphat

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Apr 11, 2006
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OK, now that is impressive. But what the heck happened? It looked like an explosion, but I know it wasn't.
I don't know if this got answered later in the thread, but the faster the blades spin, the more the entire fan structure is pulled apart by centrifugal forces. Above a certain speed, the force overcomes the strength of one of the components. As soon as any component becomes detached, the whole assembly becomes unbalanced which causes high vibration/displacement, parts that shouldn't touch do, and with the momentum basically everything flies apart.
 

BCClone

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First year I had to deal with a turbine. Boy did they mess things up you agreeing to it. They talk about the 0.5 to 3/4 acre pad they sit in will be formed to enable the best usage. They didn’t mention that they also reshape the whole hill and basically screwed up 20 acres by changing the soil structure, altering the water run off (current tile may be worthless because they changed the dominant flow) they bowed a current tile but since it wasn’t completely broken they won’t fix it. Nothing like having an elbow in your field tile to back up water and mess things up.

The 5-6 foot wide driveway they talked about is a 20 foot road that is even wider at spots. Not sure why you need to allow two way traffic on a turbine path. They tell you you can have all the rock they bring in for temporary fill but when the time comes you only get the muddy scrapings and if they don’t remember a driveway, they may either tear it out or actually steal the rock you had on it. These turbines are a screw job to the farmers.
 

SpokaneCY

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If you look at Iowa alone, the wind share is around 40%.

If you look at MISO, then it is more like 10%.

The former is not really an accurate picture of how the system works. The latter, while it has its complications (especially distinguishing between MISO-North and MISO-South), is much more realistic.

Let me be clear I am not somehow against the development of wind assets in the state. Far from it -- I think it is a lovely development for the state. I just recognize it has its limitations at this point.

The wind is good, and every MWh you have off it is saved generation from coal or gas. But wind has the unfortunate habit of being "counter" to load -- people mostly need power in the day/summer, and wind is best at night/during the winter. Solar does a much better job of tracking higher load events in that way.

So we are still going to have that coal/gas/nuclear fleet throughout the Midwest to back the wind up for the foreseeable future. I think the next "big thing" is going to be large-scale battery storage.

Storage is what renewables need to truly start competing with thermal power for baseload and peak energy. Right now, renewables are just kind of "there when they are there," but if you could move the generation around, even just a few hours throughout the day, then the economics of this completely change.

Wind could also be really useful in a future with a ton of electric vehicles. You would likely charge them overnight, so the wind would pair up with that load shape very well to charge EVs.
West coast energy guy here - well FORMER energy guy as I retired Oct 1. When my utility put in wind (we've done numerous projects) we list the capacity factor at 30-35% meaning the nameplate of the generation - lets say it's rated at 100 mwh - you can only count on 30-35 mwh to serve load due to the variability. So if you NEED 100 and can only count in 35, you NEED dispatch able power from hydro, natural gas (HURRAY FOR NATURAL GAS!!!!!) or coal.



In the inland NW, high pressure events are the real weather makers - high heat and super cold - and wind is not associated with either event.
 

Sigmapolis

Minister of Economy
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West coast energy guy here - well FORMER energy guy as I retired Oct 1. When my utility put in wind (we've done numerous projects) we list the capacity factor at 30-35% meaning the nameplate of the generation - lets say it's rated at 100 mwh - you can only count on 30-35 mwh to serve load due to the variability. So if you NEED 100 and can only count in 35, you NEED dispatch able power from hydro, natural gas (HURRAY FOR NATURAL GAS!!!!!) or coal.



In the inland NW, high pressure events are the real weather makers - high heat and super cold - and wind is not associated with either event.
Yeah, wind output curves are unfortunately inverse to load. Wind is good at night and in the winter, and we generally need the juice more in the day or during the summer. Storage could help with that, though, if large-scale and economical. A lot of new load developing at night (charging EVs and for heating) and during the winter (heating again) might smooth out the load curve and/or even flip it around to be proportional to wind, at least in the long-term.
 

barometriclow

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Jan 31, 2009
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Ankeny
First year I had to deal with a turbine. Boy did they mess things up you agreeing to it. They talk about the 0.5 to 3/4 acre pad they sit in will be formed to enable the best usage. They didn’t mention that they also reshape the whole hill and basically screwed up 20 acres by changing the soil structure, altering the water run off (current tile may be worthless because they changed the dominant flow) they bowed a current tile but since it wasn’t completely broken they won’t fix it. Nothing like having an elbow in your field tile to back up water and mess things up.

The 5-6 foot wide driveway they talked about is a 20 foot road that is even wider at spots. Not sure why you need to allow two way traffic on a turbine path. They tell you you can have all the rock they bring in for temporary fill but when the time comes you only get the muddy scrapings and if they don’t remember a driveway, they may either tear it out or actually steal the rock you had on it. These turbines are a screw job to the farmers.
Don't you have a contract with stipulated requirements?
 

BCClone

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Don't you have a contract with stipulated requirements?
Yeah, but these contracts get flipped so much that you end up signing about 4-5 of them and they leave just enough ambiguity in there that they can tell you one thing and do something different. Plus, unless you plan to sit and watch them do everything (these things are done while corn is growing) quite a bit will not be discovered until after they happen. Then you have to have proof of exactly what they did, it’s pretty stinking hard to prove they reshaped a hill five foot one way and added another 3 degrees of slope another way unless you have before pictures, which who takes pictures of all their farms when the first encounter of these people happen.

This farm has been in the family and farmed by us since 1890. We know the farm when something small changes, but we don’t have exact measurements the quantify what happened.

If someone built your house and placed it 3-4 inches deeper than they should, would you be able to know that it was a couple inches too low if they dirt work to give the illusion it wasn’t? Most would just take the builders word that they built it to grade because they reshaped most of the lot.
 
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barometriclow

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Jan 31, 2009
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Ankeny
Yeah, but these contracts get flipped so much that you end up signing about 4-5 of them and they leave just enough ambiguity in there that they can tell you one thing and do something different. Plus, unless you plan to sit and watch them do everything (these things are done while corn is growing) quite a bit will not be discovered until after they happen. Then you have to have proof of exactly what they did, it’s pretty stinking hard to prove they reshaped a hill five foot one way and added another 3 degrees of slope another way unless you have before pictures, which who takes pictures of all their farms when the first encounter of these people happen.

This farm has been in the family and farmed by us since 1890. We know the farm when something small changes, but we don’t have exact measurements the quantify what happened.

If someone built your house and placed it 3-4 inches deeper than they should, would you be able to know that it was a couple inches too low if they dirt work to give the illusion it wasn’t? Most would just take the builders word that they built it to grade because they reshaped most of the lot.
Sorry for your experience. As an engineer who has managed construction I am used to tight contracts and tight supervision. As the late Bruce Wilkiams always preached have a lawyer review any contract.
 

NWICY

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Sep 2, 2012
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Sorry for your experience. As an engineer who has managed construction I am used to tight contracts and tight supervision. As the late Bruce Wilkiams always preached have a lawyer review any contract.
Individuals against a large corporation, the corp wins that one 99.9999999% of the time.
 
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BCClone

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Sep 4, 2011
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Sorry for your experience. As an engineer who has managed construction I am used to tight contracts and tight supervision. As the late Bruce Wilkiams always preached have a lawyer review any contract.
They always do. As you know, contracts are only as good as the paper they are written on many times.

@motorcy90. You marked one of my posts as dumb, please explain your reasoning.
 
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