GMP and Wind Energy

by Willem Post

GMP is offering to buy the Nelson’s hillside farm at the asking price to show that real estate values do not decline due to noisy 460 ft tall wind turbines on 2,000 ft high ridge lines and to get the Nelson’s invited guests off the Nelson’s land so GMPs TNT blasters can proceed with the partial destruction of Lowell Mountain. If the Nelson’s do not agree to sell and do not agree to remove their guests from their land, then GMP will take the Nelson’s to court and sue them for about $1,000,000; the Nelson’s are a very elderly couple.

This is a PR disaster for Vermont’s wind energy oligarchy that will be heard all over the world during Vermont’s foliage season. See VTDigger.

GMP’s wind turbine facility is much larger than Vermonters had in mind when they agreed to wind power. They had in mind much smaller facilities, more in line with Vermont notions of small is beautiful and complying with Act 250.

They had in mind not ruining ridge lines with 21 strobe lights, cutting hundreds of trees without permission, filling in wetlands, building roads to haul up rotor blades that are 180 ft long, and build 21 wind turbine monsters on environmentally-pristine, 2,000 ft high ridge lines. The wind turbines make lots of noise, especially low frequency noise and infrasound which are most harmful for people and that are mostly ignored during rushed government hearings. See below websites.

GMP is building this project not for Vermonters, but for its parent company in Quebec which will reap the financial benefits. The high costs of the expensive, variable wind energy will all be rolled into jobs-destroying higher electric rates for Vermont households.

Wind energy subsidized with an equivalent of 50% of the capital cost: 9.6 c/kWh.  Average annual grid prices in New England: 5c/kWh

That is just what working Vermonters need: paying for flood damage with higher gas taxes, a miserable economy, rising prices of goods and services, higher electric rates, and an irrationally-exuberant, renewables-vendor-inspired Vermont Energy Plan with 90% renewables to outdo the Germans which are going for 50% by 2050.

The real kicker is that several recent, independent studies, based on real time 1/4-hour grid operation data sets, performed in the US (Colorado and Texas) and the Netherlands, have shown that wind energy does not reduce CO2 emissions, because gas-fired, quick-ramping gas turbine balancing plants are needed to operate at part-load to be able to quickly ramp up when wind energy ebbs and to quickly ramp down when wind energy surges.

This part-load-ramping operation is very inefficient for gas turbines requiring extra fuel/kWh, resulting in extra CO2 emissions/kWh. The extra fuel and extra CO2 emissions mostly offset the fuel and CO2 wind energy was meant to reduce. See website.

It would be much wiser and more economical to shift subsidies away from expensive renewables that produce just a little of variable, intermittent energy. Those renewables would not be needed, if we use those funds for increased energy efficiency, because it provides the quickest and biggest “bang for the buck”, AND it is invisible, AND it does not destroy pristine ridge lines/upset mountain water runoffs, AND it would more effectively reduce CO2, AND would create 3 times the jobs at less cost per job all over Vermont, AND would not coddle the wind oligarchy in Vermont and Quebec, AND we can do it without public resistance and controversy.

Willem Post: BSME New Jersey Institute of Technology, MSME Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MBA, University of Connecticut. P.E. Connecticut. Consulting Engineer and Project Manager. Performed feasibility studies, wrote master plans, and evaluated designs for air pollution control systems, power plants, and integrated energy systems for campus-style building complexes. Currently specializing in energy efficiency in buildings. He is a founding member of the Coalition for Energy Solutions.