February 26, 2013

Windmills on the East Coast

A two-fer with lagniappe. First from FOX News:
Cape Cod community considers taking down wind turbines after illness, noise
Two wind turbines towering above the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Mass., were intended to produce green energy and savings -- but they've created angst and division, and may now be removed at a high cost as neighbors complain of noise and illness.

"It gets to be jet-engine loud," said Falmouth resident Neil Andersen. He and his wife Betsy live just a quarter mile from one of the turbines. They say the impact on their health has been devastating. They're suffering headaches, dizziness and sleep deprivation and often seek to escape the property where they've lived for more than 20 years.

"Every time the blade has a downward motion it gives off a tremendous energy, gives off a pulse," said Andersen. "And that pulse, it gets into your tubular organs, chest cavity, mimics a heartbeat, gives you headaches. It's extremely disturbing and it gets to the point where you have to leave."
Next up -- there are nice subsidies for putting the damn thing in but who pays for their maintenance. From the Portsmouth, Rhode Island Patch:
Council Hears Wind Turbine Proposals
The Portsmouth Town Council heard a number of possible outcomes for the town's wind turbine generator, but did not vote during public and executive session on Monday night.

The town council is weighing possible options for its broken wind turbine generator, which has been stopped since last May.

Last July, the town council learned repairing the wind turbine next to Portsmouth High School could cost the town anywhere from $200,000 to $1.5 million.
Finally, an inconvenient truth -- basic Newtonian Physics department. From Anthony at Watts Up With That:
Rethinking wind power � Harvard study shows it to be overestimated
Cambridge, Mass. � February 25, 2013 � �People have often thought there�s no upper bound for wind power�that it�s one of the most scalable power sources,� says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don�t seem likely to �run out� on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Yet the latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.

Each wind turbine creates behind it a �wind shadow� in which the air has been slowed down by drag on the turbine�s blades. The ideal wind farm strikes a balance, packing as many turbines onto the land as possible, while also spacing them enough to reduce the impact of these wind shadows. But as wind farms grow larger, they start to interact, and the regional-scale wind patterns matter more.

Keith�s research has shown that the generating capacity of very large wind power installations (larger than 100 square kilometers) may peak at between 0.5 and 1 watts per square meter. Previous estimates, which ignored the turbines� slowing effect on the wind, had put that figure at between 2 and 7 watts per square meter.

In short, we may not have access to as much wind power as scientists thought.
DERP! You are extracting power from the wind's movement and just now, you are surprised to realize that this makes the wind slow down? Once again, there is no alt.energy source that can provide baseline delivery. For every megawatt of installed wind capacity, there is another megawatt of natural gas generating capacity running on hot-standby for when the wind fails. Nuke and LFTR please. Stop wasting my tax dollars on stupid stuff... Posted by DaveH at February 26, 2013 9:56 PM