Lonely Conservative:

Here’s another green energy success story. Wind farms built with taxpayer subsidies are now receiving taxpayer cash to sit idle. You see, when it’s really windy they could generate too much power, and we can’t have that.

Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest — built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced — are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region’s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.

The problem arose during the late spring and early summer last year. Rapid snow melt filled the Columbia River Basin. The water rushed through the 31 dams run by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., allowing for peak hydropower generation. At the very same time, the wind howled, leading to maximum wind power production.

Demand could not keep up with supply, so BPA shut down the wind farms for nearly 200 hours over 38 days.

“It’s the one system in the world where in real time, moment to moment, you have to produce as much energy as is being consumed,” BPA spokesman Doug Johnson said of the renewable energy.

Now, Bonneville is offering to compensate wind companies for half their lost revenue. The bill could reach up to $50 million a year.

The extra payout means energy users will eventually have to pay more.

“We require taxpayers to subsidize the production of renewable energy, and now we want ratepayers to pay renewable energy companies when they lose money?” asked Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment of the Washington Policy Center and author of “Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment.”

Go over there and read the rest.

  • bartman44

    Windfarms are an environmentalist’s monument to inefficiency, blight, taxpayer sink-holes, and, not brought much to the forefront, massive raptor-killing machines.

  • chrisk

    For the past five years I have tried to learn as much as I can about wind turbines, wind farms, and wind energy. What I have learned is the following:  

    The power grid is a system that depends on a variety of power sources to supply energy on demand.
    ·       
    Wind energy is available as a function of wind speed, and cannot be scheduled to meet demand.
    ·       
    As a component to the power grid, wind energy requires other power plants to continuously adjust to unscheduled power fluctuations to stabilize and balance grid power output.
    ·       
    This need for balance results in inefficiencies on the part of fossil fuel plants that consume as much fuel as wind claims to save.

    When it comes to wind turbines, and wind farms I believe the following:
    ·       
    They are not environmentally friendly.
    ·       
    They do not reduce greenhouse gases.
    ·       
    In addition to being very expensive, they are an add-on to our system for providing eclectic power .
    ·       
    They are a net job loser.
    ·       
    The annoyance and ill effects they cause is for nothing in return.
    ·       
    Large numbers of birds and bats are dying for nothing.
    ·       
    They cannot and will not replace coal.
    ·       
    Even if they do, the coal they replace will go to China to create worse world pollution. China burns coal without any environmental control.
    ·       
    You cannot trade the health of wind turbine abutters for those affected by coal.
    ·       
    The high cost will not decrease with time (Cape Wind’s initial cost estimate was 500 million. Now, it’s 2.5 billion)
    ·       
    The money wasted on wind can better be spent Sserching for real alternatives.