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Facing reality of wind energy

Iberdrola of Spain, owner of Elk River, realized over $9.9 million in PTC allowances in 2007. Foreign companies are not regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission. There are no state or federal regulations of any kind on WECS. Few Kansas counties have wind regulations. WECS will force consumers to pay for their electricity three times; to build the WECS, build conventional power as backup, and additional transmission lines to carry power from the WECS to the grid. WECS will not produce large economic benefits to a community as evidenced by records from Gray County (Montezuma), or Butler County (Elk River). Elk River has produced seven jobs. Most employees live outside the community.

Perhaps it would clarify the wind issue if some basic facts were understood. The term is WECS: Wind Energy Conversion Systems, not "farms," "ranches," or "parks." The structures are industrial-scale turbines.

WECS will produce small amounts of energy with an efficiency range averaging 35 percent at most locations. WECS in Kansas in operation or under construction have the ability to produce 1,014 megawatts of electricity at maximum production; less than a quarter of that electricity stays in Kansas.

WECS will not replace conventional coal, gas or nuclear plants, because wind energy is intermittent, unpredictable, unreliable and expensive and cannot be stored in commercial quantities.

WECS will not reduce our consumption of oil. Three percent of oil is used nationwide and 1 percent is used in Kansas for "peaking" periods when electricity is in high demand and wind cannot be counted on.

WECS will pay money to very few landowners. Elk River benefits four landowners; only one is local.

WECS will transfer massive amounts of taxpayer dollars to wind developers and owners, 65 percent nationwide are foreign; 14 out of the 17 in Kansas are foreign owned. Benefits include PTC (Production Tax... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Perhaps it would clarify the wind issue if some basic facts were understood. The term is WECS: Wind Energy Conversion Systems, not "farms," "ranches," or "parks." The structures are industrial-scale turbines.

WECS will produce small amounts of energy with an efficiency range averaging 35 percent at most locations. WECS in Kansas in operation or under construction have the ability to produce 1,014 megawatts of electricity at maximum production; less than a quarter of that electricity stays in Kansas.

WECS will not replace conventional coal, gas or nuclear plants, because wind energy is intermittent, unpredictable, unreliable and expensive and cannot be stored in commercial quantities.

WECS will not reduce our consumption of oil. Three percent of oil is used nationwide and 1 percent is used in Kansas for "peaking" periods when electricity is in high demand and wind cannot be counted on.

WECS will pay money to very few landowners. Elk River benefits four landowners; only one is local.

WECS will transfer massive amounts of taxpayer dollars to wind developers and owners, 65 percent nationwide are foreign; 14 out of the 17 in Kansas are foreign owned. Benefits include PTC (Production Tax Credits), rapid depreciation schedules and electricity sales.

Iberdrola of Spain, owner of Elk River, realized over $9.9 million in PTC allowances in 2007. Foreign companies are not regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission. There are no state or federal regulations of any kind on WECS. Few Kansas counties have wind regulations.

WECS will force consumers to pay for their electricity three times; to build the WECS, build conventional power as backup, and additional transmission lines to carry power from the WECS to the grid.

WECS will not produce large economic benefits to a community as evidenced by records from Gray County (Montezuma), or Butler County (Elk River). Elk River has produced seven jobs. Most employees live outside the community. Construction crews and vehicles were from out of state.

WECS will pay most counties PILOT payments. (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Considered a "gift" to the county, a "payment without consideration," it is not legally enforceable.

WECS will be totally tax exempt in Kansas unless the current law is changed. WECS will not substantially reduce greenhouse gas, since conventional plants kept in "spinning reserve" to take up slack when wind dies are less efficient.

WECS will contribute to the division and disruption of communities. Riley, Geary, Wabaunsee, Morris, Chase, Butler, Lincoln, Ellsworth, and Ellis counties have all experienced community division involving a wind project. Projects have disrupted communities, split neighbors and even divided families.

WECS will contribute to the destruction and fragmentation of the last remnants of our prairies and open spaces. Elk River's 8,000 acres of beautiful native prairie is now scarred with 100 turbine foundations, trenching to all turbines and about 22 miles of road. The destruction in progress along I-70 at the Smoky Hills wind complex on 25,000 acres of mixed grass prairie shows how native grasslands are turned into an industrial complex that dominates the horizon.

Few developers or power purchasers care about the destruction of the prairie. The notable exceptions are Westar and KCP L who have met with conservation groups and landowners before developing in order to locate their projects more responsibly.

The governor has wisely encouraged developers to leave a portion of the Flint Hills undeveloped, but all open grasslands are at risk.

Rose Z. Bacon ranches with her husband, Kent, in the Flint Hills of Morris County. She was a member of the Governor's Wind and Prairie Task Force.


Source: http://www.saljournal.com/r...

AUG 11 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16435-facing-reality-of-wind-energy
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