Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

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Indy
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Saco looks into harnessing power of wind
Associated Press

Saco officials are exploring whether it makes sense to erect a wind turbine to generate electricity and cut down on the city's energy costs.

Members of the City Council's energy committee, along with Mayor Mark Johnston and City Administrator Rick Michaud, plan to visit Hull, Mass., where two wind turbines save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in electricity costs.

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/york/060401windpower.shtml

Catherine
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Goooood! I am trying to figure out if it's possible to get something out back on the huge ridge and plateau back there. How many acres do you need for one of those?

David Hughes
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

depends on the size of the windmill. For a typical home setup you want 300 feet of clear wind pathway.

Might try sending Country a PM, last I knew he had a smaller windmill he might be willing to part with.

Indy
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

http://www.awea.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_energy

depends on how many watts you want. You could put a 500-kw on your roof, and power 1/4-1/2 a typical household needs. Or, you could get one of those 200 footer 5MW models, which takes up a dozen acres (mostly for the clean air flow required). But if you've got a plateau, and trees are not in the way for 360degrees (or at least the direction 75% of the wind comes from) then you're golden.

doing a site analysis for cost/benefit is the first step.

Dan Billings
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

I bet any town that tries to generate its own power will end up increasing the cost of their power.

Naran
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Dan - short-term, or long-term?

Dan Billings
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Both.

When does the government do anything efficiently?

Indy
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

based on what? or is that just cynicism about guv't? i do admit that the quote about the turbines paying for themselves in a few years is a bit of wishful thinking once all costs are considered - installation, systems, upkeep, etc....

Mark T. Cenci
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

I'd like to think this was a money saving option. But how can it be? There are thousands and thousands of businesses in America that use electricity. They are all seeking to lower costs and increase profits. If they could do it with windmills, it would have happened by now.

Dan Billings
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Great point!

And there would be businesses setting up such windmills all over the place.

Virgil Kane
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

I don't think it's that simple for a couple reasons. For one, there are plenty of examples through history where people are slow to adopt new and better technologies for various reasons. When technologies are in widespread use, someone always stands to lose if they are replaced and may use political influence to slow/stop the inevitable. Besides, people are comfort creatures, and generally go with what they already know. Second, using wind technology to generate electricity would entail a huge up front expense that many small businesses would not want to risk, when they could just call up CMP and say, "could you turn on my electricty?"

Indy
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

the push for wind and solar is really big right now, with electricity costs increasing - and folks realizing that we have a limited supply of energy in the ground. unfortunately most wind projects proposed are huge, and the perception therefore is that they must be unsightly and have a large environmental impact, so many enviros are uneasy about them. but, like with these hull and saco projects, they can be sited individually or in small clusters, on land that couldn't be used for much anything else. maine is fortunate in that we have good wind energy potential along the coast, and even better in the western foothills.

Dan Billings
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

[quote="Virgil Kane"]I don't think it's that simple for a couple reasons. For one, there are plenty of examples through history where people are slow to adopt new and better technologies for various reasons. [/quote]

True, but do we really want the government experimenting using the taxpayer's money?

Mark T. Cenci
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

[quote="Virgil Kane"]I don't think it's that simple for a couple reasons. For one, there are plenty of examples through history where people are slow to adopt new and better technologies for various reasons. When technologies are in widespread use, someone always stands to lose if they are replaced and may use political influence to slow/stop the inevitable. Besides, people are comfort creatures, and generally go with what they already know. Second, using wind technology to generate electricity would entail a huge up front expense that many small businesses would not want to risk, when they could just call up CMP and say, "could you turn on my electricty?"[/quote]

This is wishful thinking. We're not experiencing a handful of business who are hearing about wind power for the first time. We're seeing the non-reaction of the sum total of all businesses and windmill energy has been touted for decades.

And businesses don't have the luxury of waiting around to make economic decisions. Do you understand how competitive it is out there? If it makes any sense, or even if it may make sense in the future if things tilt slightly, some business will embrace the gamble and do it. Then, if the gamble pays off, the others must fall into line or they will be at a disadvantage.

And cost is not an issue, only because there are many, many well capitalized businesses to lead the way. And they don't. Or they do because of some uneconomically sound tax subsidy proffered by preening politicians pandering for votes. Or the owner has a hobby or a fetish that he indulges at the business's expense.

Look, the real problem is that the cost of military incursions to stabilize oil markets is not reflected in the prices of oil. That's why Rush is so blatantly wrong in saying "the first Iraq War was to stabilize the free flow of oil at market prices". That's such utter nonsense. How can oil be considered a free market commodity when hundreds of billions of military dollars must be spent by gov't before it can be produced reliably and safely?

Political insanity in the Middle East is every bit a cost in oil production as is bad weather in the North Sea. Except these particular costs are "off budget", paid for by American taxpayers.

If these costs were indeed reflected in the price of oil, then wind and solar may very well be more competitive.

Indy
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

although not directly offsetting the cost to taxpayers, the cost of oil is rising due to the instability and to the availability. it will likely climb higher as there are very few large untapped reserves of oil left that can be extracted efficiently.

Mark T. Cenci
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

Demand is up, and delivery is subject to disruption. However, the price adjusted for inflation is hardly a bit higher than in the 1960's.

A giant field was just discovered off Mexico and more will be found. If prices do rise, technology will advance to capture oil that is now uneconomical, exploration will increase and efficiencies will be developed.

Oil will dominate for generations. Get used to it.

mediadog
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Saco looks into harnessing power of wind

I've heard for years about how the sun and the wind are the answers to our energy needs. Schools ought to stop encouraging this fantasy. In fact, solar panels and windmills will never be more than mere role players in the generating game. The major players now and in the future will continue to be coal, oil, hydro and nuclear. As Mark advised in his earlier post, get used to it.

Dan Billings
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Turbine setbacks leave towns

Turbine setbacks leave towns twisting in the wind
Saco's windmill didn't deliver enough power, Kittery's unit broke, and the manufacturer is now in bankruptcy court.
By EDWARD D. MURPHY, Staff Writer

November 21, 2009

SACO — The city thought it was ahead of the curve back in 2007 when it bought a windmill that was supposed to provide power for a transportation center built around a station for the Downeaster train.

The $200,000 windmill never came close to meeting expectations,

Press Herald

I told you so!

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