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Waverly’s wind power fairy tale

Had the wind industry focused on home-based wind mills that let you generate free power for your house, then kick over to the paid power grid when the wind stopped, consumers might have seen some benefit. Instead wind companies pushed for “farms” where the big money could be “farmed” from power companies, who in turn “farm” the added cost from your wallet. Wind power is an inflationary fairy tale that no one is willing to tell.

At the new wind farm in Waverly, its owners have tapped the Latin root of the Kansas state motto and named the operation the “Ad Astra Wind Farm.” A more fitting name in that vein would be: “Eyeis Pull The Wool Overus.”

Indeed, the only thing going “to the stars” with Waverly’s wind farm will be the monthly electric bills of the KCP&L customers who will be forced to pay for this silly venture into environmental conscience cleansing.

The real value of the Ad Astra farm is that it provides for the eastern side of the state a nearby example of the overall farce of wind farming -- a visual representation of the half-truths and snake oil so relentlessly sold by the wind industry and its lackeys in the environmental movement; a touchable, feelable manifestation of the pointless spending of your hard-earned dollar. What the Little Big Horn was to the U.S. Cavalry, the Ad Astra Wind Farm is to your household budget.

Seldom has so simple and poignant a fact gone so blatantly and purposefully ignored by so many -- from the manufacturers of wind equipment to the pitchmen in the companies selling it, to the state regulators who eventually forced KCP&L and other power companies to buy it, to the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

At the new wind farm in Waverly, its owners have tapped the Latin root of the Kansas state motto and named the operation the “Ad Astra Wind Farm.” A more fitting name in that vein would be: “Eyeis Pull The Wool Overus.”

Indeed, the only thing going “to the stars” with Waverly’s wind farm will be the monthly electric bills of the KCP&L customers who will be forced to pay for this silly venture into environmental conscience cleansing.

The real value of the Ad Astra farm is that it provides for the eastern side of the state a nearby example of the overall farce of wind farming -- a visual representation of the half-truths and snake oil so relentlessly sold by the wind industry and its lackeys in the environmental movement; a touchable, feelable manifestation of the pointless spending of your hard-earned dollar. What the Little Big Horn was to the U.S. Cavalry, the Ad Astra Wind Farm is to your household budget.

Seldom has so simple and poignant a fact gone so blatantly and purposefully ignored by so many -- from the manufacturers of wind equipment to the pitchmen in the companies selling it, to the state regulators who eventually forced KCP&L and other power companies to buy it, to the electric customers who will shoulder the rate increases to pay for it: Wind power only works when the wind blows.

Most of us would like to charge our cell phones, toast our Pop Tarts and run our kidney dialysis machines all the time -- not just when the wind is blowing. But take what the wind company websites tell you at face value and the reality is you’ll get to watch the milk in your fridge turn to cheese way before you see less Co2 emissions.

Let’s work the math: Ad Astra opens up and the wind blows, so KCP&L shuts down its La Cygne coal powered plant and lays off those workers since power from La Cygne is no longer needed. Local developers buy the old “Fairyland” park off Prospect Avenue in Kansas City and relocate it to the former La Cygne plant site to become Linn County’s biggest tourist draw.

Then the wind stops. Some towns have no power; some towns are in perpetual brown-out. Emporia and Cottonwood Falls battle it out in a Flint Hills Mad Max-style epic for the last plug-in at the Flying “J” truck stop on U.S. 50.

The answer to the equation is always the same: KCP&L still has to power its electrical grid at 100 percent regardless of how much wind power state regulators force it to buy to please the environmentalists. The reason? Because people still want electricity whether the wind blows or not. Companies have to generate for the whole grid all the time, because no one knows when the wind will blow and when it won’t. Grid power can’t be stored and used later.

Not a single chunk of coal is saved; the Wolf Creek nuclear plant still has to keep generating. The net electrical and environmental impact of Ad Astra will be a big, fat “0.”

Except for the impact on your electric bill of course. Power companies eventually have to raise rates to pay for the wind power they’re forced to buy, as KCP&L requested of the state corporation committee in 2012. Those rates are paid by the customers, so we’re funding wind projects that do no good except to placate regulators and warm the bosoms of tree-huggers.

Had the wind industry focused on home-based wind mills that let you generate free power for your house, then kick over to the paid power grid when the wind stopped, consumers might have seen some benefit. Instead wind companies pushed for “farms” where the big money could be “farmed” from power companies, who in turn “farm” the added cost from your wallet.

Wind power is an inflationary fairy tale that no one is willing to tell.

Dane Hicks, is president of Garnett Publishing, Inc. Email him at dhicks@garnett-ks.com


Source: http://www.ottawaherald.com...

AUG 4 2015
http://www.windaction.org/posts/49346-waverly-s-wind-power-fairy-tale
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