All the Motionless Windmills

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Vermillion Service Plaza exit 139, Interstate 80, Ohio – 10 PM 11/13/16

I am troubled by thoughts of those accursed windmills in the Texas Panhandle.  I know I promised to give the topic a rest – and I have.  But those standing-idle turbines are a mystery that haunts me.

To review:

There is a forest of giant wind turbines to the east and south of Amarillo, Texas.  I have driven past them along Interstate 40 and US 287 which extends southeast from the windswept plains of that region.  The ones closer to the city are generally found to be turning and presumably producing some level of usable electricity.  But those further east are standing idle and unmoving.  There are hundreds of them.  They are not cheap and I estimate these to be of the variety that cost 2-4 million Dollars(1) each.  I have passed these machines repeatedly since May and they show no sign of ever coming to life.  I can see that the powerlines needed to bring their energy to market are not yet complete.  And yet, there are a few construction cranes (these too, mostly idle) that tell me they are still building new ones, albeit slowly.

“Sitting in a Door” in Cleveland, Ohio – 7 AM 11/14/16

This is another one those places where drivers are expected to be born knowing where the Receiving Office is, there being no number or sign on door number 31.  Best to stumble into the warehouse lunchroom and those guys will help you find it.

Suppose you were the administrator of this government subsidized windmill project.  Would you not make sure that each wind turbine would have the infrastructure in place to come  online and start generating power immediately upon its completion? Me, too.  So, why is this near Billion Dollar investment standing idle for seven months that I have witnessed – and obviously for years as these began to be built?  The electric grid network they serve covers the entire state of Texas.  We, as taxpayers and electric ratepayers are funding these things directly and indirectly.  The government n mandated rates are higher than for coal or natural gas generation (…and yet, there must be a 100 percent backup from either gas or coal for when the wind don’t blow).  This should be a public scandal of major proportions.  But, I’ll bet that  if you have heard anything about this, it was from me and not from any “journalists”.

 

Now for the “Shocker”.  There is a duplicate of this exact situation in Ford County Kansas!  I have also seen this one many times over months.  Hundreds of completed, idle turbines made obvious by having a stand of operating windmills nearby.  And this one also has many dozens of towers partially built with the blades and nacelles (the pivot center where the generator is housed) lying around them waiting to be assembled.  There were just two or three construction cranes in that field.  In three or four passes by this mystery I have never actually seen crews working on them.  Kansas is not on the Texas electric grid, but the Federal subsidies are paid by taxpayers everywhere in the US.

If that is not enough:

After I pass the forest of the Kansas version of idle windmills, I find a staging area for windmill parts that stretches out a mile or more along the highway and back as far as the eye can see.  There are hundreds of windmills worth of tower sections, nacelles and blades stored there.

wind-turbine-fireAbove:  No, I have not seen any units on fire!  And yet, there are an unexpected amount of photos like this on the internet.  No, I chose this photo to symbolize what is happening to your tax and electric rate dollars – having financed the accumulation of at least Two Billion worth of idle windmills in Texas and Kansas.

 (1) Wind Turbine Cost:

http://www.windustry.org/how_much_do_wind_turbines_cost

Over The Road,

Steve

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