Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clean Energy in Offshore Wind

Five offshore windmill proposals received for lakes Erie, Ontario
By Mark Sommer

Five proposals have been received to construct offshore windmills in Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario.

Richard M. Kessel, New York Power Authority’s president and chief executive officer, announced Friday that a review process will get under way that is expected to end with one or more developers selected by early 2011.

Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, an environmental advocate who then ran for political office, said the BP oil leak was a reminder of the need to push for environmental change.

Brian Smith, Western New York program director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, also praised the move toward harnessing the wind in the Great Lakes.

"We can walk in a new direction towards a cleaner, safer energy future for our Great Lakes. We can break our dependency on fossil fuels, and begin a new energy future by investing in clean, renewable, domestic wind energy,” Smith said. Read more here.

In another article, it was stated that the goal is to erect a cluster of about 40 to 166 wind turbines directly on the lake to generate a minimum capacity of 120 megawatts of power. Sharon Laudisi of the State Power Authority stressed that there would be a long process of environmental review, and that issues such as aesthetics would come into play. Also, turbines would be located possibly five to six miles away from the shoreline, as reported in The Buffalo News.

Oil leak underscores need for offshore wind projects
By Brian Smith
If we are serious about getting off of fossil fuels, and serious about a renewable energy future, we must fully examine offshore wind in our Great Lakes. Read more here.

Focus on wind power, energy conservation
Regarding the May 10 editorial, “Nuclear power now,” the quickest path to reduced dependence on foreign oil involves energy conservation and wind power. Unlike nuclear power, a typical land-based wind project can be built in as little as three years. In the Great Lakes region, there is enough wind resource to meet all our energy needs.

With improvements to the grid, wind power can act as “base load” energy because the wind is almost always generating commercial quantities of power somewhere within the wider region. Currently, when it is windy, up to 15 percent of Erie and Wyoming counties’ electricity demand is being generated by the wind facilities located in these two counties.

The wind subsidies The News criticized result from flawed public policy. Ontario’s Green Energy Act incentivizes renewable energy with policies similar to those the U. S. government used to retool American industry in 1942. Last year the program generated $9 billion in private investment commitments as well as enough renewable projects to produce about 75 percent of the output of Rochester’s Ginna Nuclear Power facility. Ontario’s renewable energy program is really a “high value industrial development” program designed to generate tens of thousands of high-paying industrial jobs.

Derek Bateman

Video link
to presentation on Ontario’s Green Energy Act is here.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

How do we break our dependency on fossil fuels with an Industrial Park of wind turbines? The research I have done shows me major environmental issues with these industrial parks. This is definitely not a clean and green energy. It's a very expensive, supplemental energy that could destroy our drinking water, kill thousands of birds & bats and creates energy-sprawl. They only last for 10 to 15 years. Before using my hard earned tax dollars, I'd like to see the science proving it helps.