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Wind study means more hot air

Our impressive upper-level winds (average year-round 13.8 mph, no less) will make those jumbo-jet-sized turbine blades churn merrily. That's far faster than the 9 mph the super-efficient Siemens generators need to start turning over - and turning us on. I know the estimated 3,600 lucky Hutchinson Island recipients of this windy bounty are besides themselves with excitement over the news. I'm not so sure how the other hundreds of thousands of FPL customers feel about footing most of the $45 million bill.

So, we learned this week there is enough wind at the beach to power Florida Power & Light Co.'s six turbines after all.

I know that'll come as a relief to many folks. Around 80 percent of you, by some estimates.

I know you were concerned the giant utility would take the plunge at going green without some solid empirical backup in their corporate back pockets, so to speak.

So, it's with great pleasure that I note a study was completed by one of FPL's sister companies, WindLogics. It says there's plenty of wind on Hutchinson Island. Shame on all you doubters on the beach and along Indian River Drive. FPL wouldn't ask one of its own to make this stuff up, now would it?

Apparently, the experts say, it's all about where you measure the gusty stuff.

Confirming what the Birkenstock brigade has been saying all along, FPL agrees that at ground level our wind's pretty puny. But measure it at above 200 feet off the ground and it's a different story.

Our impressive upper-level winds (average year-round 13.8 mph, no less) will make those jumbo-jet-sized turbine blades churn merrily. That's far faster than the 9 mph the super-efficient Siemens generators need to start turning over -... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

So, we learned this week there is enough wind at the beach to power Florida Power & Light Co.'s six turbines after all.

I know that'll come as a relief to many folks. Around 80 percent of you, by some estimates.

I know you were concerned the giant utility would take the plunge at going green without some solid empirical backup in their corporate back pockets, so to speak.

So, it's with great pleasure that I note a study was completed by one of FPL's sister companies, WindLogics. It says there's plenty of wind on Hutchinson Island. Shame on all you doubters on the beach and along Indian River Drive. FPL wouldn't ask one of its own to make this stuff up, now would it?

Apparently, the experts say, it's all about where you measure the gusty stuff.

Confirming what the Birkenstock brigade has been saying all along, FPL agrees that at ground level our wind's pretty puny. But measure it at above 200 feet off the ground and it's a different story.

Our impressive upper-level winds (average year-round 13.8 mph, no less) will make those jumbo-jet-sized turbine blades churn merrily. That's far faster than the 9 mph the super-efficient Siemens generators need to start turning over - and turning us on.

I know the estimated 3,600 lucky Hutchinson Island recipients of this windy bounty are besides themselves with excitement over the news. I'm not so sure how the other hundreds of thousands of FPL customers feel about footing most of the $45 million bill.

Not to worry, Eric Silagy, VP of development for FPL, assured us this week in a statement. "That's only 33 cents per customer per year, less than the price of a postage stamp."

Problem licked? Don't think so. I see the doubters are already out of the closet, pooh-poohing the FPL study.

"It looks to me once again that FPL is perpetrating a fraud on the people of St Lucie County," said one of them, attorney Julie Zahniser, the head of the shadowy Save St. Lucie Alliance.

Now I know that comment really stung Mr. Silagy, who's been telling us all along that this project is on the up and up, that it's no tax dodge. It's legit to the max, Silagy has always said, and his study proves it.

So do a couple of other studies FPL has on its Web site, www.stluciewind.com.

I was particularly struck by the "Sound Level Impact Assessment," performed by Epsilon Associates, Inc. of Maynard, Mass. (which has no connection with FPL I could detect).

According to the Epsilon engineers, "the highest level of turbine sound is likely to be present when the wind turbines are at their maximum sound levels."

Well, duh, dudes. Wassup, too much time at the beach?

Epsilon had more surprising news. Beachside residents may have been suffering undue noise for years, without any turbines.

The World Health Organization's Guide for Community Noise recommends outdoor sound levels for residences should not exceed 55 decibels "to prevent serious annoyance."

The ambient noise level at two proposed turbine beach locations? 59 decibels, kids.

The sound of crashing surf on county beaches already seriously annoys. No wonder FPL won't allow any homes anywhere near them. Those pesky homeowners would be suing the nuke plant; the county, maybe even God. You can't please anyone these days, can you?

 


Source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/...

APR 27 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14684-wind-study-means-more-hot-air
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