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Wind farm claims are fuzzy math

I think your readers would be interested in knowing what wasn't said about Constellation Energy's agreement to purchase the Criterion wind project of Clipper Windpower, Inc. ("Wind, solar, 'farms' slated for 2 counties, Dec. 1). ...What the industry is not telling you is that to realize that scenario the wind would have to be blowing and capable of producing 50 percent their of their maximum output thoughout the year.

I think your readers would be interested in knowing what wasn't said about Constellation Energy's agreement to purchase the Criterion wind project of Clipper Windpower, Inc. ("Wind, solar, 'farms' slated for 2 counties, Dec. 1). The industry claims that their poroposed 70 megawatt project consisting of 28 turbines on top of Backbone Mountain in Garrett County will provide enough electricty for 23,000 households. What the industry is not telling you is that to realize that scenario the wind would have to be blowing and capable of producing 50 percent their of their maximum output thoughout the year. In reality, land-based turbines today produce about 30 percent of their rated energy capacity on a yearly average and as little as 13 percent when demand is highest (during hot summer afternoons).

Re-calculated, the amount of energy produced under real circumstances would only provide electricity for 13,700 homes. What's more, Maryland residents use only 40 percent of their electrical energy in their homes. The rest is used in public and commercial buildings and in the manufacture of the goods they use. So the Clipper wind "farm" will provide the electrical needs of the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

I think your readers would be interested in knowing what wasn't said about Constellation Energy's agreement to purchase the Criterion wind project of Clipper Windpower, Inc. ("Wind, solar, 'farms' slated for 2 counties, Dec. 1). The industry claims that their poroposed 70 megawatt project consisting of 28 turbines on top of Backbone Mountain in Garrett County will provide enough electricty for 23,000 households. What the industry is not telling you is that to realize that scenario the wind would have to be blowing and capable of producing 50 percent their of their maximum output thoughout the year. In reality, land-based turbines today produce about 30 percent of their rated energy capacity on a yearly average and as little as 13 percent when demand is highest (during hot summer afternoons).

Re-calculated, the amount of energy produced under real circumstances would only provide electricity for 13,700 homes. What's more, Maryland residents use only 40 percent of their electrical energy in their homes. The rest is used in public and commercial buildings and in the manufacture of the goods they use. So the Clipper wind "farm" will provide the electrical needs of the people living in 5,500 households, not 23,000. To put this into better perspective, there are 2 million occupied housing units in Maryland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

By comparison, the proposed nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs will reliably produce 90 percent of its rated energy capacity all of the time on only 300 acres, whereas to produce an equivalent amount of wind energy throughout a year, it would take 1,900 turbines on 11,200 acres. It is ridiculous to think that Maryalnd will ever be able to achieve its goal of having 20 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2020.


Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com...

DEC 3 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23433-wind-farm-claims-are-fuzzy-math
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