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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Kenbo Offline OP
Just came across this news item So Cal wind farm contract I know it is still early days but anyone involed in this project?

I thought this was big till I clicked the link at the bottom of the page Green light for world's biggest windfarm

Think I will have to go and invest all my cash in a fiber glass factory [Linked Image]

Thought---what happens to all these wind turbines in 20 years time when they have past their usefull life span? Striped for copper then left to rot out at sea? Not so eco-friendly then


der Gro├čvater
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,796
Likes: 15
At a wholesale price of about 8 cents a KWH this wind farm will only be producing about $36,000 a year worth of electricity. (based on the 10 year projection of 4.5GWH) I wonder how much it will cost them to build and maintain it? Sure sounds like a money pit to me.

[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 12-23-2006).]

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
I believe that they are claiming 4.5GW of _capacity_, not 4.5GWh of production. These are vastly different numbers.

As a rough estimate, figure that on average you only use about 1/3 of your capacity, since the wind doesn't blow all the time. There are 8766 hours in a year, so 4.5GW of capacity give you about 1.3*10^10 kWh per year. That is real money.

As I understand it, wind power is currently approximately competitive with new gas turbine power production...but only if the interest rates are right, and the life of the turbines is long enough to amortize the investment, and fuel costs stay high. With wind you put most of the money in up front as capitol investment; with gas turbines you pay for the fuel. Given how much fuel costs, you can see how much this must mean wind power costs _up front_ if the two are roughly competitive.


Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,796
Likes: 15
Yup I figured that out.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,796
Likes: 15
I guess it will really come down to what the maintenance costs are. They also have the PETA folks complaining about the birds and people like the Kennedys who say wind farms are too ugly to be near their house.
Time will tell. I believe Palm Springs has had a wind farm for quite a while.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
I believe Palm Springs has had a wind farm for quite a while.

At least since 1982. I used to drive by it travelling from Tucson where I was stationed to Los Angeles.

There are also some wind farms up by Tehachapi, Ca., those I have know to be there since at least 1997.

Stupid should be painful.
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
Does anyone know where these are being built/manufactured? There's been a lot of windmill parts (literally, The HUGE poles and blades) coming out of Fairless Works lately. How likely is it for them to haul them across the country, rather than get them from a mill out there or Asia?

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 51
the ones they installed in Sth Australia on eyre peninsular were out of ireland!

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421

the hubs for GEWind
Clipper Windpower

are cast right here in LaPorte Indiana......

I think the machine work is done back East.on the GE hubs

[This message has been edited by togol (edited 12-25-2006).]


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