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Friday, March 9, 2012

Pay for power you didn't get? Hey, it's "green."

Even discounting for the Fox News spin, it didn't take the wind farmers long to figure out the meaning of the word "farmer."

Comments (14)

Ay'up, we lost most of our crop this year to a bad infestation of wind weevils. Or was it lobbyist weasels....

We have the same exact problem out here, and with a political factor that doesn't make the news reports. If there's one thing that North Texas produces in excess other than future Portland hipsters, it's wind, and everyone went crazy with putting up wind farms throughout the area. Problem is, we also had the electrical industry deregulated at the beginning of the last decade, and the last thing most of our innumerable power companies want to do is put more power into the grid and lower prices. These days, while the windmills aren't producing, we have our local power companies threatening rolling blackouts this summer if they don't get special concessions from the Texas Legislature:


Between this and the Enron fiascos in California, I have to shake my head when people in other states talk about power deregulation as some magical way to lower electric bills. Texas used to have one of the lowest power rates in the country before Rick Perry pushed deregulation, and now we have one of the highest. Even after switching to a lot of energy-saving techniques, my electric bill is now roughly twice what it was a decade ago, and the only option I can see to get it any lower is to build my own nuclear reactor. Oh, wait.

What exactly is the “Fox News Spin”? You mean that they are actually covering a story that isn’t 100% positive about “renewable” energy?

We just drove home from Calgary via the Gorge on Monday.
Lots of windmills everywhere from Canada to Troutdale, most not moving. And we saw a few trucks transporting more windmill parts along the I-84 too. Somebody's making money, and the consumer is paying more for power.
TTR...go buy your own wind mill and solar panels. Should work mighty fine where you live. And yes it is a cash outlay, but then you can tell the power companies to go pound sand. There is some satisfaction in that.

Clever. Now the Obama administration can include Bonneville Power Administration administrative overhead positions among the 5,000,000 green jobs he promised. Victory!

I'm wondering when the kinetic tiles go in...


TTR - thanks for the insight into Texas' troubles. I knew they led the way on installation, but hadn't heard much about how it's working (or not).

Pom Mom - the spin may be the convenient failure to mention that hydro power is far, far, far more subsidized than wind and solar. The BPA is one of the more bizarre structures I've ever heard of. It's a power generator, but first and foremost, it's a distributor of federal dollars.

The crying shame here is that somebody, somewhere, needs that juice. We desperately need to break through the storage barrier. I read recently somebody is going to build one of the first systems that uses the excess wind energy to pump water above a turbine for later generation.

Portland Native, I'm already looking into solar cells. The good news is that we have enough sun to go with the wind. The bad news is that we also have a problem with bad hailstorms (we had a really bad one last summer that dropped golfball-sized hail into my back yard) that tends to destroy unprotected panels. It's possible to protect them with polycarbonate, but the excessive UV down here tends to degrade the polycarbonate in a couple of years, adding to the cost. I'll figure it out.

When will someone get round to suing Al Gore for his pack of lies that really got the "earth has a fever" movement going crazy about green energy and wasting billions?

Right along with a pack of climate criminals at the IPCC, the CRU, NASA and some Universities on government research grants that have provided the cover in the guise of climate science.


The wind developers like to call it "negative pricing." I like to call it insane.

BPA would like to say it's not entirely their fault. Here's their 2010 policy that called for redispatch without negative pricing (i.e., they'd spill water and tell the wind farms to shut down).


Of course, on Dec. 7, FERC sent BPA back to the drawing board because it's redispatch policy was "unduly preferential." I have no idea what that means. It's not like the PPA's require BPA to buy certain minimum amounts of power.

So BPA produces this new policy in which the wind farms will keep producing, then BPA will actually pay third parties to take power produced by the dams. This is f'ing insane, and benefits nobody but the wind power companies, which are, incidentally, almost entirely foreign owned.

People should be fired up about this. As a billboard in the Gorge says, wind energy is a scam, particularly in the NW where we have plentiful hydro.

With apologies, the disputed policy was issued in May of 2011. See here:


The link above is to the announcement for scoping in creation of the policy.

Got to love Big Wind business model. Get taxpayer funds to build windmills then receive ratepayer money to not produce. This then saves them money on operating costs. Next trick they'll pull out of their hat is getting payed to not build more windmills.

Wow, everyone buys the line BPA is spinning here? Seems quite plausible that BPA's real motivation here is to prop up the prices of the power it sells on the wholesale market. (Pretty nice for BPA the power producer that it's also in charge of most of the Northwest grid..)

Anyway, it's all a good argument for pumped hydro!


Who owns the windmill operations?

As I recall, they were from out of state and
then other countries?

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