Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wind farm mysteries

There's a stretch of Highway 10 that I have occasion to traverse a couple of times a month. Between Dundalk and Shelburne the landscape has been hijacked by industrial wind turbines. They begin north of Dundalk now and march to both the east and the west horizons.

The trips up and down Highway 10 have occurred at various times of day and in all weather conditions year round.

Here's the mystery; whether the turbines are running or how many are running appears to be completely unrelated to peak load hours and wind conditions. Obviously when there's no wind nothing is turning. But I've often driven through there when there's a good wind and no turbines are turning, or some are and some aren't.

Time of day seems to have no bearing on the chances of the turbines being used. I've often driven through there during peak electricity usage hours and a handful of them are spinning but most are not.

Since the corporations who put this stuff up enjoy massive public subsidies, would we not expect that the public be advised as to why this resource is used so intermittently? The rationale for wind power is that we can use less fossil fuel on windy days. Should not all those turbines be turning whenever wind conditions permit?

It's a mystery to me...

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