Library filed under Technology from Oregon
Then I saw the $20,000 price tag. Suddenly, I wasn't thinking about renewable wind power so much. But in the end, it won't be the cost that keeps my family from generating its own kilowatts annually. It'll be the wind, or more correctly, the lack thereof. Terry Kelly, the member-services manager at Salem Electric, said that despite the growth of wind power in Oregon during the past 15 years, there just aren't that many sites in Salem that are appropriate for wind turbines. It seems, he said, that there just isn't the wind speed necessary to drive those big, bad blades.
PORTLAND Oregon Wind Corp. and Portland State University are testing four 40- watt vertical axis wind turbines at the school's campus this summer. The 40-inch-tall Helyx wind turbines built by Portland-based Oregon Wind Corp. can generate electricity for about $1.50 per watt, according to the company's co-founder, Toby Kinkaid. "That's pretty close to what the big boys can achieve," he says. Kincaid plans to sell the machines for $60 each by the end of 2007. One Helyx operating at full capacity can only illuminate one light bulb, but a shelving unit dubbed the WindWall can pool the energy generated from up to 36 turbines, according to Kinkaid. Oregon Wind Corp. says it needs $500,000 in equipment to enable mass production of the fiberglass blades.
An Oregon State University engineering professor has helped design a new “micro” wind turbine that can be mounted along the edges of building roofs to generate electricity. The new small-scale turbine design could revolutionize the wind power industry, with rows of small rooftop turbines enabling power generation in urban and suburban settings, instead of only from large, towering, traditional wind farms in rural areas.
Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
Editor's Note Presented on October 20th during the 2006 Electric Market Forecasting Conference sponsored by EPIS, Inc. this addresses, in part, the issue of whether emissions are reduced with the addition of industrial wind energy. This is a large pdf file (8.55MB) and is available via the weblink below.
The land around him stretches open and bare except for the single wind-reading tower. But the accumulated data has confirmed the area's potential, and, soon, PPM Energy, Baker's boss and one of the nation's largest wind developers, plans to erect 147 turbines, each 30 stories high, a massive project by industry standards. His job isn't just about the wind. It's about converting wind speeds into kilowatt-hours. It's about pricing each of those units of energy. It's about the money. "We sell electricity, not miles per hour," Baker explains.
The largest landfill in Jackson County is transforming itself into an alternative energy farm that will burn waste methane to produce a steady 3.2 megawatts of power for the next century. The Dry Creek landfill takes in 900 tons of municipal garbage a day. But construction has just started on a powerhouse, which will go online next spring with two large, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines, to use that decomposing garbage from Jackson and Josephine counties to convert into energy. A third engine may be added later. It's the first green landfill in Southern Oregon. Burning 1,040 cubic feet of methane per minute, its output would continually power about 3,000 homes, said Dry Creek General Manager Lee Fortier, a civil engineer who designed the landfill. Similar green energy farms are in Eugene and Corvallis. Energy will be sold to Pacific Power and fed into the grid.