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Power Technology

Cape Wind Ready To Bring First Offshore Wind Farm 147

Posted by timothy
from the confident-predictions-led-to-the-big-dig-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Cape Wind Project, a wind farm of 130 turbines to be built in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Cape Cod, can finally move forward as they have been given a green light by the US Minerals Management service. Leaders from labor, civic, and environmental groups across Massachusetts and the country hailed the release of the report, as it is the final federal environmental report needed for the long delayed and much scrutinized project to finally move forward. When completed, Cape Wind will be capable of supplying up to 420 megawatts of electricity, potentially offsetting as much as a million tons of carbon emissions and saving more than 100 million gallons of oil every year. But the environment wont be the sole beneficiary of Cape Wind. It will likely be a boon to out of work Massachusetts residents, as well, given that as many as 1,000 green jobs could be brought to the Bay State in addition to a significant supply of clean, renewable energy."
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Cape Wind Ready To Bring First Offshore Wind Farm

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  • Two major roadblocks (Score:2, Informative)

    by homesnatch (1089609)
    The two major roadblocks were this federal report and Ted Kennedy... Ted's bloated ass is in the hospital and the federal report gives the green light.
  • There was talk of this back when I was in Boston in 2001, it's great news it's finally coming to fruition! My only concern is for the overall turbine design and aging repair costs associated with a salt water environment. Other than that I'm looking forward to seeing this go up!

    • But think of all the other problems this will cause with Views from yachts and Mansions.. err. Think of the poor birds! Think of the fish! For God's sake, think of the children!

    • "Christ what a design! I could eat a handful of iron filings and PUKE a better emergency pump than that!"

      Somehow, your .sig seems remarkably appropriate for this comment. I congratulate you! Besides, I'm always ready to appreciate a quote from First Lensman, a long-forgotten classic of space opera.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by goodmanj (234846)

      My only concern is for the overall turbine design and aging repair costs associated with a salt water environment.

      The Dutch and other European countries seem to have solved this problem (though I guess only time will tell, none of these farms is very old...)

      http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSL3192557920070903 [reuters.com]

      • Define old? I know that back when I was in the Netherlands around '91, they had lots of wind farms along the shores of the Ijsselmeer. I know the Ijsselmeer is fresh-water, and I can't remember whether there were also wind turbines along the seaward end of the lake.

        I'm guessing that the new bit is putting them somewhat over-the-horizon offshore, rather then close to the shoreline where they're more visible.
  • The Loyal Opposition (Score:4, Informative)

    by Van Cutter Romney (973766) <sriram...venkataramani@@@geemail...com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:40PM (#26552387)
    If anyone wants to read what the Alliance To Save Nantucket Sound wants to say about this, it's here [saveoursound.org].
    • Blocked at work. Does it go something like "Save our view from our private (not open to the public) beaches and keep our yachting lanes open?" Or maybe does it go like "Clean power now, just not in my backyard!"

  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:40PM (#26552393)
    Please, sweet jebus, read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. You cannot advance an economy by moving money and jobs from the private sector to the public sector. Every dollar that goes into this project through taxpayer money is a dollar not spent on food, clothing, haircuts, etc. All those local businesses will eventually see that reduced income and be forced to downsize. With government services, the most you can hope to do in the long term is break even. There is no competitive incentive to drive the service provider toward efficiency, and so public services tend to be the least efficient out there, as well as being the most prone to corruption.

    Any thing can be made to seem cheap if you subsidize it with tax money. People only look at that one thing, and not at all the other things that are negatively impacted.
    • by bahwi (43111)

      Hmm, but an unemployed person's lowered income tax(down to $0 from $0) gets spent and increases the economy? I don't see anywhere that says it's all government funded, it is run and operated by a 30-year old company though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Punko (784684)
      .... while completely ignoring the velocity of money. People employed by the govt. still buy things. Especially haircuts.
      • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:08PM (#26553605)

        while completely ignoring the velocity of money. People employed by the govt. still buy things. Especially haircuts.

        I'm not sure how my federal tax dollars are getting routed to support my local barber shop. Did they solve P vs NP [wikipedia.org]?

        Fundamental to my argument is that people have a right to that which they produce. Secondary to that is that people know how best to spend the money that they earn. Those that do not earn their money - e.g. politicians - do not know how best to spend it because they did not go through the trial and error necessary to learn from mistakes. They will invariably take the shortcut of funding whatever is most convenient to them - e.g. helping a friend out (cronyism), indiscriminately trying any suggestions, or simply holding out for pork projects that will buy them another term in office. The most convenient route, it turns out, often violates the most rights, and is the least efficient option.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by extrasolar (28341)

          Secondary to that is that people know how best to spend the money that they earn.

          A flawed premise if ever I've seen one. Find yourself a nation full of rational agents; there you can build your liberatopia.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by brian0918 (638904)
            What you don't grasp is that whatever people spend their money on, so long as it doesn't violate the rights of others, is the best choice precisely because it was made my them, free from coercion. At best, such a transaction provides maximum benefit to both buyer and seller. At the very least, the transaction adds positive information to the market - it identifies an exchange rate where there wasn't one previously.

            In contrast, forced coercion can do maximum harm to buyer and seller, and add uncertainty t
            • by Retric (704075)

              Nobody is free of coercion. Why do you think we spend so much fucking money on advertising?

              • by brian0918 (638904)
                In your world, words fly around free of meaning and context. Back in reality, words have specific meanings and context.
                • by Retric (704075)

                  Words have meanings, unfortunately for you they also mean things which you did not intend. Plenty of people don't pay their taxes and nothing happens to them so while Coercion is accurate you need to use the full meaning of the word. Because, there is nobody actively pointing a gun at you.

                  "Coercion (/ko().()n/) is the practice of compelling a person or manipulating them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pre

                  • by brian0918 (638904)
                    See definition 2 here [wiktionary.org]. Regarding the "gun to my head". While there is certainly no gun to it now, that doesn't make the coercion no less real. Simple inaction on my part, without violating any individual rights, can quickly bring that gun to my head. This is the clearest explanation of the coercion I referred to.
            • by extrasolar (28341)

              What you don't grasp is that whatever people spend their money on, so long as it doesn't violate the rights of others, is the best choice precisely because it was made my them, free from coercion.

              Therefore, according to your argument, any choice made free from coercion is the best choice. Let me say that again: your proposition is that any choice made free from coercion is the best choice.

              So, no matter how much thought was put into that choice, or how much experience the choice was based on, or how much knowledge the choice was based on, or what state of consciousness the choice was made in, it is, according to you, the best choice, only because it was free from coercion.

              If your own proposition is

              • by Cytotoxic (245301)

                Actually, what I think he means is that by definition any choice made by you is the best choice for you. Even if every other person on the planet thinks you are a flippin' idiot. If you choose to spend your last $100 on Arbor Mist, Dove bars and a copy of "You've Got Mail", well then that was the best choice for you because nobody is better positioned to decide for you.

                Or to use my favorite example, if you want to drop out of school at Harvard to camp out in a hotel room with some buddies and write some c

                • by extrasolar (28341)

                  That's fine, but even if we're just thinking about my own personal values, there are any number of times when I make purchases that I regret or weren't as wise as I'd like. Most of the time I choose based on my short-term indulgances at the expense of my long-term well-being. The whole point of this is just to show how when you really take the principled approach that libertarians do, cracks begin to form in the ideology. Human beings just don't work that way, and all libertarians are left with is this n

        • Fundamental to my argument is that people have a right to that which they produce.

          Well, you may want to check with whoever you work for. Most people don't.

          Secondary to that is that people know how best to spend the money that they earn

          Yeah, especially the people who run fortune 500 companies. They do great.
          • by Kenrod (188428) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:53PM (#26554675)

            Most people exchange what they produce for money, which is almost universally exchangeable for something else of value without carrying the risk of a non-cash type of asset. The parent's point is that in a free market people exchange their work for something of value which is owned and controlled by them. People care more about that which they own than that which they do not own.

            And most Fortune 500 companies do just fine in good times and bad. If you are thinking of that the banks have been mis-managed lately, think again. The banks adapted high-risk, high-return strategies because there was an implicit guarantee that the Feds would bail them out. Guess what? The Feds bailed them out. The banks would likely not have engaged in such risky behavior without the meddling of the Federal government through institutions like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and insipidly poor oversight by the SEC and Congress.

            • Bullshit. They adapted those strategies because they knew that the only thing that anyone in the US cares about it short-term results. If they can increase profits, no matter what the true cost, then the heads of these businesses give themselves ridiculous multimillion dollar bonuses and salaries. Oh, and they make sure to write in those golden parachute clauses.

              If that happens to run these companies into the ground, who gives a shit? They still get their golden parachutes, and they keep the money they bonu

        • by meepzorb (61992)
          Fundamental to my argument is that people have a right to that which they produce.

          Don't like to share? Move to a desert island: No one will tax you there. Problem solved.

          We'll check back in on you in 10 years to see just how much you've "produced" all by your lonesome without any public infrastructure.

        • Fundamental to my argument is that people have a right to that which they produce.

          There's a problem with that theory. Most wealth in this country is not generated by people producing but by people leveraging money they inherited. For every dollar I earn by being innovative and earning shares in startup companies, investors who have done nothing but be born with lots of cash earn two dollars. It is the very well known and well documented "wealth condensation" principal, but in the end it boils down to "it takes money to make money". In an unregulated capitalist economy wealth consolidates

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Please, sweet jebus, read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. You cannot advance an economy by moving money and jobs from the private sector to the public sector. Every dollar that goes into this project through taxpayer money is a dollar not spent on food, clothing, haircuts, etc. All those local businesses will eventually see that reduced income and be forced to downsize. With government services, the most you can hope to do in the long term is break even. There is no competitive incentive to drive the service provider toward efficiency, and so public services tend to be the least efficient out there, as well as being the most prone to corruption. Any thing can be made to seem cheap if you subsidize it with tax money. People only look at that one thing, and not at all the other things that are negatively impacted.

      Oh thank you for the Economics 101 lesson, I needed it so dearly. Could you please explain to me how they plan to build these windmills? They will probably be imported from Turkey, right? Not a red cent will be spent on local people or bring local jobs?

      My dad poured cement for the foundations of about a hundred windmills on Buffalo Ridge in Minnesota. Oh, but the project was government subsidized so ... well, I hate to break it to you but he was still paid. He still bought food for our family with

      • by Rei (128717) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:27PM (#26552999) Homepage

        The biggest problem with this argument is that it's completely inaccurate. Its not being paid for with taxpayer money... now. It's being paid for with taxpayer money a couple years from now, plus a couple years worth of interest. The extra things that people are buying with their salaries from this are not coming at the cost to someone else *now*.

        That may seem like a trivial distinction, but if that raises consumer confidence and restores the US (and world) economy even just a little bit sooner, then it's absolutely a good thing. Plus, unlike the other oft cited case of this (war spending), we actually get something out of it other than craters and rubble -- in this case, wind turbines.

        • by FooAtWFU (699187)
          But if the government is doing all sorts of borrowing, then they're competing with all the other people who would like to borrow, and that does impact the economy. It raises the (real) cost of borrowing money. And, especially in today's economic climate, where it is so very difficult to borrow money and government bonds are nice and safe (... well, by comparison ...) it's a real drain on economic growth - how much is hard to gauge exactly, but it's still a very real effect.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Rei (128717)

            People aren't loaning because there's physically no money left. People aren't loaning because they can't tolerate the risk, especially when we just went through a crisis where our risk models catastrophically failed. The safest entity on the planet to loan to is the government of a superpower.

        • by brian0918 (638904)

          The extra things that people are buying with their salaries from this are not coming at the cost to someone else *now*.

          What can happen *now* is that other countries can see our huge debt and decide it's not a good idea to trade with us. They'll want nothing to do with our currency if they see that we have no intention of paying back our debts, that our government is essentially "owned" by other governments. This is one effect of the disastrous economic bailouts that have already been passed under Bush and are soon to pass under Obama.

          if that raises consumer confidence

          Why would it? You've simply increased uncertainty about the future. That drives people to s

      • by Rei (128717)

        Note: When I said "this argument", I meant the GP's, not yours.

    • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:19PM (#26552899)

      How would the private sector fund, build, and run a wind farm? They'd pool capital from a group of people and pay that money out to local businesses to build the wind farm, then operate it with their own employees and charge for the electricity.

      How would the government do it? They'd collect taxes from citizens (in other words, pool capital from a group of people) and pay money out to local businesses to build the wind farm. It may be operated by their own employees, and they'd likely still charge for the electricity.

      The only thing that changed is that the group of investors changes from a small group of people taking a risk with their own money to a large group of people collectively (via proxy) to pool their money to get a service. Government is not some magical entity that springs forth from the nether, nor is it some evil bile-dripping monstrosity. Government is simply the people working together, either literally or by proxy, to accomplish some social goal not being satisfied elsewhere.

      The way the money flows through the economy doesn't change just because you call it government instead of corporation.
      All those private companies and their employees are still going to be payed, and they're still going to contribute to the local economy. The only difference is that the risk and reward is socialized, rather than owned privately. The people obviously demanded it, and since no private company stepped up to the plate, they decided to handle it themselves.

      • by Scareduck (177470) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:27PM (#26553021) Homepage Journal
        And the people get one opportunity every election to toss out malingerers, incompetents, and hacks. Good luck if your pet issue isn't the one that happens to be hot that year. Businesses have to answer to the customer EVERY DAMN DAY. People who fail to notice this difference are arguing about strawmen.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rei (128717)

          So, if I were in the private industry today and wanted to turn our patchwork of local electric grids into an actually coherent national system so it wouldn't be so gorram unreliable, unable to handle localized variable sources, and unable to tell less important consumption to shut off rather than take down the whole grid with it, how would I go about doing that? Who do I turn to in order to loan me the tens of billions of dollars needed to make it a success?

          • Who do I turn to in order to loan me the tens of billions of dollars needed to make it a success?

            The Department of Energy will give you a long-term low-interest loan to do that I believe. They're giving Tesla Motors just that very kind of loan in the next 2-6 months.

            • by Rei (128717)

              I'm sure Tesla Motors would be surprised to learn that they have many tens of billions of dollars coming to them to rebuild the grid. And why are you bringing up federal loans earmarked to make up for shortfalls in the private industry when it comes to the advancement of technology to defend private industry anyways?

              • I'm sure Tesla Motors would be surprised to learn that they have many tens of billions of dollars coming to them to rebuild the grid. And why are you bringing up federal loans earmarked to make up for shortfalls in the private industry when it comes to the advancement of technology to defend private industry anyways?

                I'm simply saying that the Department of Energy is more than interested in not only vehicle electrification, but also intelligent electrical infrastructure and a diversified renewable energy portfolio. So, if they're going to folk out $400M to Tesla, I'm sure they can scrap together a grant or loan for an individual or small business to work on technology/protocols/etc. for building intelligence into the national electrical transmission/distribution system.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rycross (836649)

          Companies will only answer to the customer if it becomes a hot issue too. Do you think Comcast gave a shit when my internet connection wasn't working? Given that they refused to fix it for a month, they sure didn't seem to. Any sufficiently large company is not going to care about their customers unless those customers collectively make them. In other words, unless it becomes a hot-issue and they are in danger of losing a lot of them. Like a politician. You're also ignoring the fact that even though e

        • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:40PM (#26553209) Journal

          Businesses have to answer to the customer EVERY DAMN DAY.

          That's the most persistent illusion about business responsibilities in this sad sad world, and probably the primary source of dissonance between business theory and practice.

          Large businesses have to answer to the shareholder. Every quarter. And they have to pacify, mislead, or (if large and predatory enough) ignore the customer. Continually. While spending a relative (and relatively effective) pittance on PR and marketing, to cover the fact that the customer is the least important participant in the process.

          In this latter fact, they share uncomfortable resemblance to the "public sector."

        • by Candid88 (1292486)

          "Businesses have to answer to the customer EVERY DAMN DAY"

          They do? The 12-month contract documents most people have with their utility & service providers say otherwise. Regardless of technicalities of election and payment cycles, the implication you're making that commercial organizations are somehow the most accountable to the public is flawed. Many commercial service/utility providers are deeply resented by their customers, but at the end of the day, the customers want electric/gas/internet.

          The funda

        • So incredibly wrong I don't even know where to start.

          All employees of Businesses answer to the Bosses. Wether is be a single Boss, a CEO, a board of Directors, whatever. And if this business is a corporation then they answer to shareholders. Supposedly. Except these days almost all shareholders are basically people with 401k plans and the like, who do not have a clear ownership of a specific number of stocks from a specific company. So over here in reality, they don't even have to answer to shareholders. S

      • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:57PM (#26554183) Homepage

        I can't help but notice that you're completely overlooking the main difference, which is that the private sector can only pool money from those who choose voluntarily to participate, whereas the taxes which fund government projects are extracted from supporters and detractors alike. This is no trivial matter; refusing to address it undermines your entire case.

        If it were just a matter of "people working together ... to accomplish some social goal" a simple (private-sector) non-profit organization would suffice. The only reason to turn the project over to the government is to impose involuntary costs and/or regulations on those with a lesser degree of political influence, so that some can benefit at others' expense.

        • A lot of modern business is predicated on coercion, though you're correct in that it's less coercive than actually, 100% forcing you to pay them. Usually, it's by manipulating markets so that you're limited to a choice of paying them or going entirely without the service, sometimes even forcing you to go without vaguely related services if you opt out. For example, the infamous "Microsoft tax" is an effective use of market power by Microsoft to coerce consumers into purchasing Microsoft products whether the

          • You and I obviously mean completely different things by "coercion". When I say that the private sector is funded voluntarily and government project aren't, I mean that the private sector can't damage you or your property or assume ownership of your property without a valid contract. (By "valid" I refer to the "meeting of the mind", i.e. mutual agreement over what the terms of the contract are, as well as a lack of duress (threats of damage or loss of person or property) on either side.)

            I do not consider a p

            • I'm not arguing that they have an obligation to provide me with specific goods or services; but that it reduces individual freedom and is a form of coercion if they attempt to prevent others from providing me goods or services unless I purchase their goods and services as well. This is particularly problematic when entities have monopoly power and so can coerce others into accepting such contracts.

              In general, I only consider contracts valid when entered into by individuals with roughly equal bargaining powe

              • I'm not arguing that they have an obligation to provide me with specific goods or services; but that it reduces individual freedom and is a form of coercion if they attempt to prevent others from providing me goods or services unless I purchase their goods and services as well.

                First, the two "they"s in this sentence refer to two different entities; in my response, the first was the system manufacturers and the second was Microsoft. It is the system manufacturers who are not obligated to provide you with a specific good, the MS-free computer you want. In turn, putting aside issues of copyright for the moment, MS is not obligated to provide them with software to run on those computers. Refusing to do so, at all or unless specific terms are met, is not coercion, either toward the ma

                • Having monopoly control over, say, food, means that there is no "lack of duress caused by the other party". The corporation has gotten itself ownership of all food, so now anyone who wants to eat must pay it.

                  My point is precisely that in monopoly situations such as that, it is not the case that "other options [are] available".

                  In the Dell example, I wish to buy a PC from Dell, which they would like to sell me. Microsoft is not involved in this transaction, as it does not involve their products. However, they

                  • I believe I already defined duress as "threats of damage or loss of person or property". Even if one party did own all food (an exceedingly unlikely scenario), they aren't threatening to damage or take anyone's property or person, so the contract would remain valid on that point.

                    Anyway, if the contract were invalid they still wouldn't have any obligation to give you their food; you'd just be eliminating your primary means of persuading them to do so by refusing to keep your word.

                    Microsoft is not involved in this transaction, as it does not involve their products. However, they exercise their monopoly power to forbid Dell from doing business me me, unless they force me to purchase a Microsoft product...

                    If the use of "forbid" and "

        • by drsquare (530038) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:54PM (#26554679)

          I can't help but notice that you're completely overlooking the main difference, which is that the private sector can only pool money from those who choose voluntarily to participate, whereas the taxes which fund government projects are extracted from supporters and detractors alike. This is no trivial matter; refusing to address it undermines your entire case.

          That's exactly the benefit of government funding, that private investors only want investments that provide instant, guaranteed big profits, and aren't willing to invest in long-term projects.

          Another upside of government investment is that they can invest in things that benefit society as a whole, whereas private investors are only interested in investments that benefit themselves, personally. The tragedy of the commons sums up the failure of capitalism, and why socialism is so important. People working together for the benefit of all achieve more than people trying to better themselves even if it fucks over everyone.

          The only reason to turn the project over to the government is to impose involuntary costs and/or regulations on those with a lesser degree of political influence, so that some can benefit at others' expense.

          Everyone benefits from reduced carbon emissions.

          • That's exactly the benefit of government funding, that private investors only want investments that provide instant, guaranteed big profits, and aren't willing to invest in long-term projects.

            If short-term projects consistently provide faster returns than long-term ones, then such projects should receive more investment -- they'll provide better returns over the long term as well. Anything else just wastes valuable resources by allocating them toward providing goods which won't fulfill as much demand, at the expense of more-demanded ones.

            If your aim is to fulfill some political goal, regardless of the cost, then governments are indeed an ideal way to do that. If you wish instead to benefit socie

          • Another upside of government investment is that they can invest in things that benefit society as a whole, whereas private investors are only interested in investments that benefit themselves, personally. The tragedy of the commons sums up the failure of capitalism, and why socialism is so important. People working together for the benefit of all achieve more than people trying to better themselves even if it fucks over everyone.

            Your claim opposes human nature both in theory and in practice. People working

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by brian0918 (638904)
        Argument from incredulity [skepticwiki.org]. Your argument is quite similar to those used by creationists to argue that certain biological mechanisms could not possibly have arisen via evolution, and therefore evolution is wrong. Your faulty presumption is that wind farms should exist because you want them to exist. If you want them to exist, you should fund their creation, or persuade your friends, family, neighbors, etc, to fund their creation. What you should not do is force everyone to fund what you think is right. Wheth
        • by Rycross (836649)

          No, that's a strawman. I never said that private companies couldn't build a wind farm, and I never said that I couldn't imagine that they would. What I said is that a company isn't stepping up and building a wind farm.

          And yes, I could convince friends, family, and neighbors to build a wind farm... except none of us have the capital to do so. So what can we do? Well, we can get together with everyone and agree that we pool our money for some projects that benefit us all. Maybe we disagree on what. OK,

        • by jcupitt65 (68879)

          What you should not do is force everyone to fund what you think is right.

          We live in a democratic society. Politician's actions are our commonly-expressed will. Don't like it? Vote 'em out!

          • by brian0918 (638904)
            You cannot vote away individual rights. You can vote to violate them, and that is one of the dangers of a democracy, as in any other form of society. The great thing about democracy is representation. That doesn't mean the end results of a democracy are always justified, however, which is what I believe you were trying to imply.
    • It's about national security stupid. It means we're less dependent on OPEC and the King of Saudi Arabia. And, yeah, the cost of energy will probably decline somewhat too, but that's a perk.

      But I disagree with the offsetting argument. The demand for energy is just going to go up to meet the increasing supply.

    • by Candid88 (1292486)

      "You cannot advance an economy by moving money and jobs from the private sector to the public sector."

      That's utter rubbish. Publicly funded capital projects often bring about massive improvements to economies. Las Vegas's economy has certainly improved since the building of the Hoover Dam, to name but a single example.

      Having read many Economics books I know that there are countless contradictory economic eheories out there, some encourage the use of public financing, some encourage the use of private financ

    • This money isn't being pissed up the wall - it's an investment for the local community. Once the project is complete, everyone's electricity bills will be funnelled back into the local government rather than the pockets of whoever supplies the fuel for the current power supply. The current (no pun intended) supplier might even be outside the US so it's doubly beneficial to invest this money locally. If the local government has a revenue stream from this power station, then they can either cut local taxes, o
  • Misnomer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:42PM (#26552409)

    Is it just me or is "wind farm" a misnomer? I always thought of "farm" as production. "Wind farm" makes it sound like they're producing wind. Which is obviously hogwash. Producing electricity, sure, but they didn't call it an "electricity farm."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by space_jake (687452)
      Wind mooch?
    • Is it just me or is "wind farm" a misnomer? I always thought of "farm" as production. "Wind farm" makes it sound like they're producing wind. Which is obviously hogwash. Producing electricity, sure, but they didn't call it an "electricity farm."

      dirt farm

      -noun
      a tract of land on which a dirt farmer works.

  • I know that N*Star [nstaronline.com] already provides an option in Mass. of getting your energy from wind turbines for a smaller fee. I just hope other companies follow suit.
  • In related news... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ruin20 (1242396) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:46PM (#26552469)
    seagull populations decrease as biologists note heavy shark populations near turbines.

    think I'm joking right? [treehugger.com]

    there's already a lawsuit [wired.com]

    1300 raptors are killed annually. Among them are 70 golden eagles that are federally protected. In total, 4700 birds are killed annually. [wikipedia.org]

    although I'm sure these are a little better planned out then they're predecessors I still haven't heard anyone talk about this in a long while.

    • by Crazy Man on Fire (153457) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:14PM (#26552849) Homepage

      What you forgot to mention is the wind farm you're talking about was built over 30 years ago and uses outdated technology. The multitude of smaller turbines turn faster and are much more dangerous to birds than today's larger, more efficient, and slower turning turbines. In fact, the older turbines are being slowly replaced with newer ones to produce more electricity for less money while also killing fewer birds.

      From the Wikipedia article you linked [wikipedia.org]:

      Considered largely obsolete, these numerous small turbines are being gradually replaced with much larger and more cost-effective units. The small turbines are dangerous to various raptors that hunt California Ground Squirrels in the area. 1300 raptors are killed annually. Among them are 70 golden eagles that are federally protected. In total, 4700 birds are killed annually.[2] The larger units turn more slowly and, being elevated higher, are less hazardous to the local wildlife.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You wrote "although I'm sure these are a little better planned out then they're predecessors I still haven't heard anyone talk about this in a long while"

      The reason you haven't heard about it is that it truly isn't a real problem anymore. Generally, when you read about wind turbines and bird kills, you are reading about the Altamont pass. Indeed, most of your own links are references to Altamont. Altamont has about 5000 turbines of about .1 megawatt each. The smaller the turbine, the fast

    • by Facetious (710885)
      "seagull populations decrease..."

      I was indifferent to wind generation before, but now I'm all for it. Are you aware of anything that could kill crows?
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        I dunno but if they could kill crows, I'd be in support of it as well. There's so many here that several of the 200+yr old maple trees were black from the lowest to the highest branches, and they're becoming a nuisance everywhere.

        I keep wishing they'd bring back the bounty.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The Audubon Society likes windfarms in general [treehugger.com] and this one in particular. [msn.com]

      But thanks for playing.
    • Face the facts and decide if you'd prefer a few dead birds or oil spills. They've already happened in that area - the fuel for the electricity plants is shipped in via freighter. There has been a very recent, catastrophic for the environment;oi spill from one of said freighters.

          Animals die. Deal with it or kill yourself.

    • by dwye (1127395)

      > seagull populations decrease

      Promise? Another reason to promote wind farms. Seagull populations are unnaturally high in the area, due to commercial fishing. And they are as annoying as pigeons.

      > 1300 raptors are killed annually

      How many die from the effects of coal-fired plant exhausts?

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:49PM (#26552527) Homepage

    Full disclosure: I am a libertarian with pro-environmental views and a penchant for cool tech like wind power.

    On one hand, the rich Kenedy's [boston.com] of the world don't want their beautiful ocean views ruined by wind mills. Bunch of arrogant, rich, hypocrites that I feel pretty much sums up the Democrats.

    On the other hand, how pissed would I be if someone installed that shit in my local national/state parks?

    We have to ruin all natural areas? Nothing is sacred? We whine when Bush's DOI let exploratory gas drilling in some beautiful areas [sacredland.org]....I whined too. But does wind get a free pass?

    Here's a case where I actually agree with both sides. We need clean energy, and we need pristine natural areas. Build these mufuckin wind farms in farmland.

    • by mypalmike (454265)

      Here's a case where I actually agree with both sides. We need clean energy, and we need pristine natural areas. Build these mufuckin wind farms in farmland.

      It's most efficient to build wind farms where there is wind [windpoweringamerica.gov]. Offshore areas tend to be ideal. I personally think offshore wind farms are aesthetically no worse than offshore oil rigs.

    • Well, you're uninformed. That area ships all of their fuel for electricity production via ship. They have had a few spills, one quite recently. Said fuel is also expensive. The location for Cape Wind is the best location to provide the locals with wind power.

          So either choose between paying for fuel oil and the dangers inherent or suck it up and deal with a few dots on the horizon.

  • So the fact that there has been one in denmark for quite some time doesnt count or what?
    http://www.hornsrev.dk/index.en.html

  • Wind will not be the way of the future. This plant needs 1000 people to produce 420mw of power in a year. San Onofre Nuclear power station [wikipedia.org] produces 2400mw of power (1200 per reactor) and while I can't see the number of people employed there, I'm guessing it isn't much more than 1000 people either. With a negligible carbon footprint and insignificant risk of meltdown (I used to live nearby, was never worried). Oh and San Onofre doesn't care if the wind stops blowing...

    If this keeps up, don't be surprised

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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