Greenblatt noted that while wind power could produce impressive amounts of peak energy during strong gusts, the biggest problem was wind power’s intermittency. The problem could be addressed by a process called compressed air energy storage, where excess energy could be used to pump compressed air into underground storage facilities that could include abandoned mines. When the wind was not blowing, he said, the compressed air could be tapped and combined with the burning of natural gas to create high-efficiency electrical generators approximating the efficiency levels of coal-fueled power plants.
Articles from Nebraska
Wind farms in Kansas, Nebraska and California will play a role in Colorado Springs Utilities’ compliance with a voter-approved mandate on renewable energy. But homes and businesses in Colorado Springs won’t be getting electricity produced by harnessing wind in those places. Instead, renewable energy credits will be logged into Colorado Springs Utilities’ books.
The turbines do bother some folks, including Glenn R. Schleede, a retired power company executive from Round Hill, Va., who said the wind power industry puts out “absolute baloney” to justify its existence. “I’m tired of subsidizing Warren Buffett companies,” Schleede said, referring to federal tax subsidies that go to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a division of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that is headed by Buffett. Those are MidAmerican’s turbines in the fields around Schaller. Schleede’s criticisms, mostly in academic-style papers he writes, concentrate on the economics of wind power and what he called “false claims about how this is good for an energy system.” “In fact, these things, because they’re intermittent and volatile and unpredictable, they don’t really add a lot of capacity to an electric grid,” he said. “When you see these things advertised, they talk about how many megawatts of capacity, the number of homes served and all that garbage. “I would maintain that they don’t serve any homes.”
A privately owned wind farm project for northeast Nebraska was placed on hold by the Nebraska Public Power District.
A decision by Nebraska Public Power District Friday to review potential opportunities for expanding the utility's involvement in wind energy projects is an important development for Nebraska, said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union.
Nebraska’s first privately owned wind farm could be built somewhere in northeast Nebraska.
"The two wind turbines we bought are supposed to last 20 to 25 years," Stradley said. "But, in order to last that long, we should have minor problems, and those weren't minor." LES relies on a coal power plant in Wheatland, Wyo., and two power plants near North Platte for most of its electricity. Wind turbines only work if there is wind, he said - they can't generate electricity when the wind is still.
But putting up wind turbines and generating electricity from wind power is not a simple solution. There are a number of factors to consider when installing turbines, and one of the most important factors is something called transmission.