Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 3, I don't think you understand wind energy

Day 1 (2nd post below) explained why idle wind turbines do not make them a failure, and how utilities snatch up 20 year contracts to hedge against coal and natural gas price uncertainties.  Day 2 (post below) laid out the prices nationwide.   Today, local benefits of Wind Energy.

Wind farms pay farmers a royalty based on the amount of watts produced.  Currently the big turbines net land owners almost $5,000 a year each.  Kansas farmers harvested over $12 million in 2011.  Due to some odd rules about taxing of power generation equipment, it is not subject to property tax, likewise the coal generation plant is not either.  Instead, in order to get county permits, wind developers enter into agreements to "donate" to counties, school districts, emergency service districts.  In 2011 this netted over $13M in Kansas, in some cases to sparsely populated farm counties.  Annually over $24M of free cash blowing into local banks.

Additionally some counties made upward of $30K in building permits and title registration fees, as each windmill is registered with various leans, mortgages against it etc.  Sales tax in some counties were $40K over normal the year of construction.  Construction workers filled the local motels, camp sites, restaurants, pubs, increased deliveries, sales and services in every sector.  Employment leaped by hundreds during construction of each wind farm, and left 10 to 30 full time employees once in operation, most of them high paying positions.   30 new families with high income into a county of 6,000 is a significant event for these areas.

Saving scarce water resources, done.  Wind (like solar) energy does not use any water, very important in dry agricultural communities.  All conventional sources boil water for steam, much of which is lost during the process, a local catastrophe not addressed in most publicity.

Recruiting new industry is easier when wind mills are in the area.  County officials report when they speak with multinational or high profile companies about expansions into their area, almost all of them have sustainability and clean energy on their checklist.  These are not tree huggers, but they understand in the long run these things mean lower costs.

If you read all three of these posts, and they are accurate and true.  You see that nearly everything we hear and read about wind energy is untrue.  Shame on the press and the wind energy for not explaining this.



Wind 11am est Feb.20

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