The Recorder newspaper published an interview with Judge Theodore Morrison, retiring member of Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC). Judge Morrison served on the Commission when it reviewed and conditionally permitted the controversial 39-megawatt Highland New Wind Development wind energy facility proposed for Allegheny Mountain in Virginia. Judge Morrison's comments are worth noting given the aggressive campaign now underway by the wind industry to pressure Congress into renewing the Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) as part of the Economic Stimulus Package.
In his interview, Morrison referred to the Highland Wind project as "symbolic" in the larger scheme of electricity demand. "It was only for 40 measly megawatts ... People shouldn't think we can get away from large [conventional power] plants with these," he said, adding that "I wish people would get realistic about the promise of renewables."
Energy expert Thomas Tanton notes that up to 65% of wind turbine installations are foreign sourced. Thus, if the extension were to be added to the Stimulus package, the only economies "truly stimulated" would be those countries (Denmark, Germany and India) that have the lion's share of the world turbine market."
The US Senate will be voting this week on a stimulus package. It's time for all of us to contact Congress and ask our representatives to get realistic about what the American taxpayers gain in return for the billions in public dollars spent on wind energy subsidies.