Yep, we need more wind farms [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Yep, we need more wind farms


Roop
07-26-2002, 10:55 AM
FYI - Roop

Newest wind farm bid targets Nantucket
N.Y. developer would put 231 turbines south and east of island

From the Cape Cod Times, July 26, 2002
By staff writer John Leaning

The waters around Nantucket are suddenly getting crowded by wind farm proposals.

Developers from a Long Island firm have disclosed plans to build one of the world's largest wind farms on one of four sites southeast of Nantucket.

Winergy LLC of Shirley, N.Y., owned by Dennis Quaranta, wants to build 231 wind turbines that would generate enough electricity to power 225,000 homes.

The plans would dwarf a proposal by Cape Wind Associates to build 170 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, a plan that is undergoing state and federal environmental review.

The Winergy project price tag is estimated at $700 million to $750 million, which would be financed by a multi-national corporation based in Europe. The developers said they hope to begin producing electricity in three to four years.

Winergy has not filed permit applications with regulatory agencies, but Robert Link, the firm's permit compliance officer, said Winergy officials will meet with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers next week, at which time, Link said, Winergy will file a formal permit. The company has met informally with Army Corps officials to discuss the proposal.

Winergy officials said the company also will seek property rights for the area where wind turbines would be located. Winergy secured such a permit from the state of New York for a fish farm proposal off Long Island, Link said.

That lease gives the firm property rights to a 200-acre site off Plum Island, but Winergy officials plan to ask the Army Corps to amend the permit to allow up to six wind turbines that they plan to be operational within 14 months, Link said.

"We are the only two people who have ever received an open ocean water column lease," Link said, referring to himself and Quaranta..


Following Cape Wind's footsteps
Winergy's plans come on the heels of the Cape Wind Associates proposal for a 170-turbine wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal on Nantucket Sound north of Nantucket.
Cape Wind's project is in the early stages of an environmental review process which is expected to take more than a year to complete.

Because it is between Cape Cod, and Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Cape Wind's idea has also attracted considerable opposition, who argue the location is inappropriate for an energy-generating project.

The Cape Wind project also has supporters, who say the environmental benefits from renewable energy outweigh the problems associated with visual concerns, the potential harm to endangered marine animals and birds, and interference with commercial fishing and navigation.

Cape Wind president James Gordon wouldn't comment yesterday on the specifics of the Winergy proposal, but he endorsed the idea.

"We need a lot of renewable energy, and I applaud those folks that want to responsibly develop off-shore wind, or any renewable energy project," he said.

"I've always said I hope our efforts and discussions on our project will inspire other people to look at indigenous energy resources," he said, noting daily reports of environmental problems linked to fossil fuel emissions.

Winergy's four sites, selected after more than two years of study, avoid many of issues now plaguing Cape Wind's plan. Link said the company deliberately selected locations that would not have visual pollution issues, and where interference with marine animals, commercial fisheries and birds would be minimal.

"I do not want to have a long talk with a right whale," he said.

Another major criteria, he said, was water depth, since technology is limited to working in 50 feet of water or less. The average depth in all four areas being explored by Winergy is 60 feet or less.

Still, opponents are concerned that the rash of off-shore proposals is not good for the Cape and islands.

"We have taken no position on (Winergy's) project, but the larger point is, we are being deluged by power plant projects on coastal waters," said Isaac Rosen, a spokesman for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an opponent of the Cape Wind proposal. "Before we industrialize the ocean, before we spread sprawl from the land to the water, we have to take a step back and do some long-term thinking."

A third company, the Texas-based Sea Energy Generation Inc., has expressed interest in a possible wind and wave energy plant about 20 miles southeast of Nantucket in an area known as South Davis Shoal.

David Spalding, business development director for Sea Energy Generation Inc., said the firm has completed its engineering report and the paperwork for the application. He said the 20-to-30-wind-turbine project, which may add wave energy production later, would produce 70 to 80 megawatts, and cost between $80 million and $100 million.


'Tattered regulatory quilt'
The sudden spurt of development potential for the waters near the Cape and islands has refueled the debate over how such activities should, or should not, be controlled by the federal government.
Currently there is no specific federal regulation that controls renewable energy projects in federal waters, out to 200 miles from shore.

There is a bill pending in Congress to give the Minerals Management Service within the Department of Interior some jurisdiction, but critics say the bill is too weak.

In comments delivered earlier this week to the federal Commission on Oceans Policy, U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-MA, applauded the effort, but added, "the current version falls short of the stated objective.

"I am deeply concerned that the legislation may advance without a full assessment of its impact on the public interest in the marine environment - in effect, stitching yet another small patch to an already work and tattered regulatory quilt," Delahunt said, urging the commission to review the legislation and make recommendations to Congress "to devise a more comprehensive management regime that achieves a responsible balance," he said.

The Army Corps, which is the lead federal review agency for off-shore wind project, is taking a hard look at some of those issues.

Corps officials acknowledge that while they may issue a permit to construct something, that does not bestow any property ownership or rights for the sea bed to a potential developer.

"The permit by itself does not convey any property rights," said Karen Adams, chief of the permits and enforcement branch with Corps' New England headquarters in Concord.

"It is their (the developers') responsibility to ensure they have whatever real estate interest they need to have, but it's not clear if they need to establish a real estate interest," she said.

For off-shore oil and gas leases, there are clear regulatory requirements for leases issued by the federal government, she said, but there is nothing in the regulations about renewable energy projects.

"That's why the legislation has been proposed," she said.

Nick
07-26-2002, 11:13 AM
God forbid we wait and see if the the first one is even economically prudent, let alone environmentally transparent!

Nick

John Desjardins
07-26-2002, 11:50 AM
Even where the farms are in place they can't decide what to do with them. Http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stories/0,1413,106%257E4994%257E753590,00.html

juro
07-26-2002, 01:01 PM
And all that hubbub's about two towers in a rural inland area. Compare that in scale to what is brewing on the cape and islands...

Lefty
07-30-2002, 09:47 AM
In the globe today:

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/211/metro/N_E_eyed_as_natural_locale_for_wind_power+.shtml

Quentin
07-30-2002, 10:57 AM
The recent article mentions the plans for windmills in the Berkshires. I thought they had already killed those plans. Guess not, or maybe they made new plans.

The cell phone towers are bad enough, and they don't even spin or make noise. There's gotta be a better way.

Lefty
07-30-2002, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Quentin
There's gotta be a better way.

That's the problem there's only fossil fuels and Nuclear. I'm not ready to renounce these wind generators so fast. Cape Cod is going to hell in a handbasket in other ways too so I question the impact of towers out to sea on the asthetic. The number of Trophy homes being built on cape is disgusting. Poor zoning along the byways has led to campy trashy commercial over- development. Nitrogen loading of the shellfish beds is still increasing ("oh I must have a golf green for a lawn"). It's ironic to see enviromentally active folks (like the forum) come out against a clean renewable energy source. Everyone wants to use more energy but nobody wants to pay the price. Personally I conserve energy. I keep a cold house, avoid air conditioning if I can, shut lights off, drive a 4 cylinder, and generally have the same outlook on trash and recycling. Does that make me a green hero? No. But I'm doing my part. Throughout the last 2 decades we have become more and more energy dependent. How many 2 story foyers do you see on new oversized houses now? SUVs with low MPGs? I just don't see having it both ways. Using more energy (you personally) and fighting clean energy development. Do you see the double sidedness of that position? I'm not trying to razz anyone, just point out a contradiction. I say let's wait for more data from studies on impact. IF the only thing is visual, it's a small price to pay for a cleaner world. The air quality already sucks enough in the northeast.

Lefty

John Desjardins
07-30-2002, 11:33 AM
Q, IMHO the comments on the Berkshire county and Princeton projects are just another example of the Boston papers knowledge deficit of the state west of rt 495.

John Desjardins
07-30-2002, 12:17 PM
Lefty, you hit the crux of the problem and it is us. Point well taken.

FredA
07-30-2002, 12:18 PM
Opinion at this point is that Terry's right on target in principle and with comments on the Cape. With the Cape going to hell from sprawl and dot. com. trophy houses I have a hard time understanding all the fuss. Looking at net impact, windmills offshore are far less objectionable aesthetically than what's happend in the last 25 years of Cape development. If economic and technical feasability are proven (still questionable I think) and this isn't going to be some government funded science project, I'd find it hard to oppose.

juro
07-30-2002, 01:09 PM
Lefty -

You're missing the point. No one is against clean energy here, but some are against this proposal because of where the windmills would go. The generalization that an organization like the forum speaks out against clean energy is pure hogwash, it's a conscientious angling community speaking out against the abuse of our natural resources.

Why don't we put the windmills in the parking lots of the campy trash areas you mention, or for that matter on the golf green lawns? Because we are too stuck up to do it. We'd rather trash the shoals instead.

The problem is not people accepting or not accepting clean energy. The problem is that we are too stuck up to deal with our own mess. Don't take our mistakes out on the ocean. Accept the consequences of an over-successful societal structure on our own turf. The ocean does not belong to us. We pretend the land does. Let's not overstep our bounds. There is no honor in trashing our natural resources for our own gain. Clean or dirty, we need energy for our own selfish purposes.

.02

Lefty
07-30-2002, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by juro

... The generalization that an organization like the forum speaks out against clean energy is pure hogwash, it's a conscientious angling community speaking out against the abuse of our natural resources.

Well I didn't get the sense that the opposition here supported anything but outright rejection before enough consideration was given to the larger energy consumption picture.
C'mon it's only cause you fish there. If you hung out in the White Mts. every weekend it wouldn't be an issue. Besides, who cares about whether or not a small bunch of guys with $90,000 boats off of Nantucket see some towers. I don't. Either we all start conserving or belly up to the bar and develop new technology where it works best

Originally posted by juro

Why don't we put the windmills in the parking lots of the campy trash areas you mention, or for that matter on the golf green lawns?

Because there's no wind there.
Originally posted by juro

The ocean does not belong to us. We pretend the land does. Let's not overstep our bounds. There is no honor in trashing our natural resources for our own gain..


Hmm...I'm reminded of a few guides who make a good dollar guiding on Monomoy.

Lefty
07-30-2002, 01:35 PM
BTW,
We are expected to set a new energy consumption record today at an estimated 27,000 megawatts.

juro
07-30-2002, 01:52 PM
If you didn't get that sense, you didn't read the posts.

Funny you mention it, the White Mountains are home to the windiest places recorded on earth. There is plenty of wind at the height of these towers on the campy parking lots, that's more BS.

My footsteps on Monomoy are gone with the next tide.

Roop
07-30-2002, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by Lefty


It's ironic to see enviromentally active folks (like the forum) come out against a clean renewable energy source. Everyone wants to use more energy but nobody wants to pay the price.

I say let's wait for more data from studies on impact.


Terry, I've been wondering when you were going to chime in.

When I started these 2 threads it was for 2 reasons:
1. To make people aware of what is going on (basically a land grab)
2. And to get people to discuss the pro's and cons of a wind power plant in Nantucket sound.

While I am against it right now due to lack of concrete information, I don't consider my position hypocritical and I think that anyone could understand that.

A major concern of mine is the price tag, $500MM? I believe a majority of that is going to come out of the taxpayers pocket and I have yet to see a cost/ benefit study that supports the project or a wind project that's been installed and has proven it's value.

It's easy to use the green argument to support the project and I can see why people would support it for that reason but, is it just camoflauge for some companies that have figured out how to make more money off my tax dollars?

I think in the end, the people this is supposed to serve, the residents of Cape Cod & Massachusetts, should vote on it. Not have it pushed through by a lobbying group with the bucks to buy their vote.

Also I think it's silly to make it about the haves vs. the have nots, "$90,000 boats", the class war argument doesn't help anyone.

Last time I checked, federal resources belonged to the people. Shouldn't the people decide what happens to them?



Roop

Lefty
07-30-2002, 03:06 PM
Roop,
Good points. And I knew that I was invoking the "Class war" argument. I usually try to avoid that pitful as I realize hard work is behind many self made fortunes. But in the case of Nantucket I'm willing to make an acception. Sharp dude. Thank you for a thoughtful response. Much better than Juros slaps. Where's the moderator?:chuckle:This thing has NIMBY all over it big time. Lots of unsubstantiated claims being made. The scientists need to have their turn at the plate too. As far as a land grab I dunno. Are you against all logging and livestock grazing on public lands as well? How about commercial fishing? What's your stance on closing down certain zones to help the fisheries recover? Public land use gets merky fast.

Hawkeye
07-30-2002, 03:21 PM
Show me the facts!

1. Will it perform as advertised? If yes then thats a green light by me, if no then a red light.
2. What will the environmental impact be? Positive green light, Neutral green light, Negative very likely red light (how negative)
3. Will even one penny come from tax dollars? Red light
4. Concerning items 1 and 2 can significantly better results be achieved elsewhere? If yes then red light.

Based upon Roops information that this will be at least partially taxpayer funded then I am against it no matter the answers to the other questions. If it is such a good idea then let the corporation find private investors. If its a good idea but will run on a tight margin then find a way to provide performance based incentives but do not pay for its development or operation with tax dollars.

I have to cop to some NIMBY feelings but Id like to think Im mature enough to let them go. Ill sacrifice the aesthetics and deal with the navigation issues if we get a productive and efficient source of clean power.

Roop
07-30-2002, 04:06 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lefty
Are you against all logging and livestock grazing on public lands as well?

Yep, let them do it on their own land.

How about commercial fishing?

Nope, nobody controls where the fish roam to so how can you tell someone where he can and cannot fish. Controlling the harvest is the answer.

What's your stance on closing down certain zones to help the fisheries recover?

Against it. Regulate areas for control and protection of the fisheries that are in danger - not all fisheries.

Keep 'em coming. Better yet, I just ordered a new $90,000 boat, why don't I have one of my staff swing by to pick you up and we'll discuss over cocktails while the lads rig and cast our fly rods for us. ;)

juro
07-30-2002, 06:15 PM
Lefty -

I thought the tone of my replies matched the tone of your posts exactly ;)

Juro

Quentin
07-30-2002, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by Quentin
There's gotta be a better way.

The only "better way" that I can think of is this: It doesn't have to be the cheapest, most efficient, best-return-on-investment way if it means "spoiling" our relatively unspoiled places. I would rather see them put windmills, solar panels, water turbines (and whatever else they can come up with) in the cities and other places that are already industrialized even if those places and methods don't provide the best "bang for the buck". If it provides any benefit at all, without adversely affecting the environment, then they should be doing it.

For example, do they already have all the solar panels they can fit on the roofs of all the industrial buildings, office buildings, apartment buildings and malls in the country? Why not? Do they have turbines in the storm drain and flood control systems, or the inflows and outflows of the wastewater treatment plants? Wouldn't that help a little bit? What about all those ugly smokestacks? Maybe they could put the windmills on those. Heck, they could probably even put turbines inside some of them.

Here's another thing, although it's a little off topic and not 100% "green": Do they still bury your trash and/or dump it at sea? Then they're burning fuel just to throw away more fuel! Why not burn the garbage (as cleanly as possible, even if it costs more that way) to generate power instead? I know, I know -- then they'd have to find a place to build the conversion plant, which would add yet another smokestack to the horizon and spew some pollution no matter how "clean" they make it. Still, in my opinion, that's better than just dumping the garbage.

FrenchCreek
08-06-2002, 11:56 PM
1- Don't let the windmills go ahead... There has been a 15 year research project in siouthern Alberta on windmill generation of electricity. As I understand it, in pure economic term (politics & lobbying & gov't subsidies aside), the cost to generate 1 MW is about 2.3 MW. The consumed energy to construct the windmills etc. is 2.3 times greater than the maximum it can generate. The payback is in the order of 60 years and the "life expectanc" of the windmill is about 12 years.....
I beleive that you can find excat research data on one of the government sites
2- I have an interest in several natural gas producing wells and I expect that you will all continue to buy cheap, environmetally friendly natural gas and continue to convert coal fired generators to clean burning natural gas...

juro
08-07-2002, 10:31 AM
Don Quixote would have loved this idea, it's insane yet romantic.

Although it was intuitively obvious that it's flawed, thanks for providing the metrics to prove it. Knowing that your advanced degree is in economics and your profession is energy, I interpret this as a damn good professional opinion.

John Berger
08-08-2002, 11:16 AM
I can answer your questions Hawkeye
.
1) It may well perform as advertised in that it will generate power. What they dont advertise is that their business model is to sell the power for a premium - that is, the power is not just more juice added to the grid - it will be marketed to those who want to pay more for "green" power. The fact that most of those buying the green power will just be buying the same dirty power they paid before will not be disclosed.

2) Environmental impact - no matter how much you spend you will never know till you try. I just hope that they are required to do the same about of review as an non-green energy product would.

3) Lots of money for this will come from taxes. There is no way they would even consider it without the taxpayers money. The big thing they are trying to sneak through is free use of the land. If it was an oil company who wanted to use the shoals they would have to bid for the right in an auction and then pay lease fees. I think the wind people should face the same process, but then it would never happen.

4) Sure better results can be had elsewhere - but only if they offer more subsidy and better terms, if it was a free market process these things would not be built at all.

The bottom line is that some smart businessmen hope to profit off of consumers desire to buy green and the plan on doing so on the taxpayers backs. I love the idea of wind power, but right not the reality stinks.

Lefty
08-12-2002, 11:16 AM
Provided that the above is true, I am against the taxation for private profit concept unless the gain to society is overwhelming. This case sounds marginal. Not sure about the "Green" marketing issue. That's tinkering free market competition. If we don't want the gov to run and operate it, we have to give the private interests some leeway on how they do their marketing. Can you picture the "Cape and Islands Power Authority"? Yuk.

Papa-G
08-13-2002, 10:15 PM
I have just one piece of input as I do not know much about wind power generation. This evening on the local news (Binghamton, NY) it was announced that our local Federal Building was to convert to using "WIND POWER". This power is being generated in up-State NY and merged with the power grid. This all sounds good until the next shoe drops. The COST! All of this new power for the federal building is estimater to cost the taxpayers an additional $8,000 per year. This is just ONE building and not a very big one at that. In my view the idea is a good one but there must be more work done to bring the cost down. One must remember that the cost of power in Binghamton is about $0.14 per Kilowatt hour. It is my understanding that we, in New York, pay some of the highest electrical rates in the US and to have the cost of WIND Power to rise above that by $8000.00 for one building is unacceptable. :tsk_tsk: