Wind energy is often called “renewable energy.” Since we don’t support wind turbines, people will ask, “Don’t you support renewable energy?” The answer is very simple, we don’t support intermittent energy, because that’s what “renewable” energy really is.
Massive wind turbines only generate electricity when the wind is blowing, and how much they produce varies tremendously with the wind. Without wind, a huge 3 Megawatt turbine can’t even charge your cell phone, it’s just a multimillion dollar, 500 foot tall lawn ornament.
Unlike the wind, the electric grid is always on
The electric grid, that wondrous network of power lines that carries electricity to every corner of our nation and around the world, needs a lot of reliable and scalable generating capacity. Every time you flip a light switch or turn on your coffee maker, you expect the electricity to be there, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Businesses depend on that same grid to power their machines, every hospital, school, office and retail store, expects the power to be there when they need it. Our jobs and our economy depend on it.
Wind energy answers to the wind, not you
When demand for electricity increases, power plants can bring more of their capacity online, the generators are there, the fuel is there, it’s available power that responds to us, but wind energy only responds to the wind. When a scorching hot summer day causes everyone to turn on their air conditioner and the utility must provide more energy, there may be no wind, something that is very common on those very same summer days, demand and supply don’t match. Wind energy isn’t stored anywhere for later use, the wind turbines connect to the grid and provide as much or as little electricity as the wind decides, there is no more to add when you and I need it.
Wind energy is a big step backward
When we learned how to produce electricity from stationary electric power plants it revolutionized our economy. Energy could now be delivered by wire anywhere power was needed. Machines, previously driven by belts powered by steam engines, could now run on small electric motors and be set up anywhere. Almost every piece of modern technology uses electricity so we need the most reliable, “always on” sources possible and lots of them.
Wind turbines, instead, take us backward into that pre-industrial era, a time before we learned to make electricity when and where we needed it, taking our future, our jobs and our economy and subjecting them to the whims of the wind with energy production we can’t control. It’s not the future, it’s not reliable and it’s not smart.
Tammy C Truitt says
I just want to commend you on your posts. They are full of great information that is presented in a refreshingly honest manor. I have visited your site often since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Even though I have been working for a safe responsible setback, Pioneer continues to insist 1,000 feet from the foundations of our homes and the height of the turbine plus 20 feet is safe for the traveling public on our roadways.
Does Pioneer have an office in your area? Who stays in your area fulltime from Pioneer? You haven’t mentioned any wildlife surveys, do you know what has been done regarding them? Bird surveys can be hugely helpful, especially if you have a threatened or endangered species.
Paul Crowe says
Pioneer Green Energy, like most wind developers, seems to want the shortest setbacks it can manage to get from the communities it operates in, based on their desire to squeeze in the most turbines in the smallest space available. If you read what the manufacturers require during a wind turbine emergency, like a fire or a runaway turbine, they say you need to clear the area within 500 meters (1640 feet) of the turbine. So any setback shorter than that puts people, buildings and roads in danger and in need of evacuation should something go wrong, and, unfortunately, things do go wrong. Any setback shorter than 1640 feet is based on money, not safety. 1640 feet is an absolute minimum, though some communities are requiring much more.
Their wildlife survey seems to be someone sitting out in a field somewhere. We don’t know because no one from Pioneer or the township seems willing or able to supply any details.
Pioneer doesn’t have a permanent office in North East and there’s no reason why they should. As soon as they get what they want, they’ll be long gone, leaving a huge mess behind for the residents to deal with for decades to come.
Tammy C Truitt says
You are right, setback minimums must be 1640 feet or people will be placed in the unsafe zone.
Implementing the 1640 setback for roadways is paramount. Ice can build up on the turbine and be thrown several hundred yards. The blade speed at the tips can be as high as 200 mph. These ice chunks can weigh over a hundred pounds and with 150 foot plus blades, I am sure they can be quite large.
If a bus full of kids leaving school encountered one of these chunks, I fear it would not end well.
Wind developers say they automatically shut down operations in the event of icing, but I have found several videos where this did not happen. I fear for the safety of our children leaving school in the event of a snow or ice event.