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Wind in Vermont?       Dr. Ben Luceben.luce@lyndonstate.edu
Scope of the Issue                     1
Scope of the Issue• 1000+ Lowell sized wind projects would be  required just to make a serious dent in the  Regional Load:...
3
PV                               Sweet zoneResource             Ground Source Heat PumpsPotential    Air Source Heat Pumps...
Impact Summary•   Topographical Impacts          "The block provides possible                                   habitat fo...
Very large roads and platforms areneeded• The Turbines are very  large: 400+ feet high• Weight: Hundreds of tons• Very lar...
7
Wind Turbine Construction    Mars Hill, Maine                            SUMMER 2011
Lowell Mountains   Vermont                   9
Lowell Mountains   Vermont                   10
Lowell Mountains   Vermont                   11
Sheffield Vermont                    SUMMER 2011
Brodie Mountain Massachusetts                                13
14
Mountain Environments are Hydrologically       Important and Sensitive•   Act as sponge•   Large Surface area•   Vegetatio...
Mountain Aquifers              http://www.sonoma.edu/users/n/norwick/document/ford/gws2.html
Hydrological ImpactsSoil Compaction and Impermeablesurfaces impede infiltration, and cancause erosion and have adverseimpa...
Birds• Mountain ridges generate updrafts used by  migrating raptors. (From: Bildstein 2006).ANR to Eolian: “The land, Cost...
Bats• Endangered species of bats do  live in Vermont (Myotis  Sodalis)• Bats can be killed by merely  flying close to turb...
Global Populations vs. Local Impacts• Wind proponents commonly cite other  sources of bird mortality as being much  greate...
Noise and Health• “Infrasonic” noise from wind  turbines appears to be affecting  the health of susceptible people  in the...
Noise and Health• One example of related peer-reviewed  research:  – “Responses of the ear to low frequency    sounds, inf...
”The noise generated by wind turbines israther unusual, containing high levels (over 90dB SPL) of very low frequency sound...
Hear for yourself?• A single visit to a local wind project is not a basis  for evaluating noise impacts• Noise varies grea...
Setbacks?• “It is concluded that no large-scale wind turbine  should be operated within 3,500 meters [2.2  miles] of any d...
Property Values• “A wind "farm" …is tantamount to an "inverse  condemnation", or regulatory taking of private  property ri...
Property Values• “Wind turbines are often perceived to have substantial  negative impacts on local residents, and new rese...
Vermont Brand Study• Commissioned by the State of Vermont  Tourism Department• Released in 2010                           ...
29
“Unspoiled, Beautiful,Mountains”
The Economics of Wind Power
Subsidies for a Renewable EnergyTechnology are fine if….• They are helping to make the technology  reasonably affordable (...
Cost Trends of Wind Power What DOE Predicted in 2002                                             Actual40                 ...
Wind’s bad cost trend is why…• Wind is still deeply dependent on subsidies• People tend to believe its cheaper than it is•...
36
Summary of Wind Power Cost• Well above $.10/kWh in the Northeast (even  with subsidies)• Ridge line wind particularly expe...
Solar Power Cost Trend• Department of Energy’s Solar Technologies Market  Report• http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51847....
Additional Transmission Costs         for Eastern Wind Power• The Northeast Grid is already fairly congested• According to...
Question: On a resource basis alone, can wind power make a substantial contribution to reducing US greenhouse gas emissions?
Answer:• In the Midwest, maybe.• In the Eastern US, no, unless offshore wind  turns out to be viable.                     ...
2x Speed means 8x Power:Annual Turbine Energy Production =(8760/1000) x 1.9 e ½ r A v3Here, e is the efficiency of the tur...
43
State by State Wind Power Potential fromthe Department of Energy(source: www.windpoweringamerica.gov)                     ...
Relative Ranking of State Wind ResourcesSource: www.windpoweringamerica.gov (see previous slide)Capacity                  ...
Total for Onshore Eastern Wind Resources• As estimated by DOE (unlisted states have little or  no potential), in peak giga...
Effective Onshore Wind Power Capacity in the entire Eastern US• NREL data applies to CF=.3• NREL Estimates Eastern Peak Ca...
These DOE estimates are likely a gross over-estimate of the real onshore wind potential inthe East:  Myriad local siting i...
Renewable Alternatives to Wind?Really only one serious one for the Eastern US:                 Solar Power
Solar is the Renewable:• Total   Insolation: ~120,000 Trillion Watts• Total World energy demand: 30 TrillionWatts• Current...
Burlington Airport 1.5 MW PV PlantDOE: Utility-Scale PV Potential is greater than 34 time Total US ElectricityDemand
DOE: Rooftop PV Potential ~ 700 gigawatts     > 30% Total US Electricity Demand
Solar Power Cost Trend                                           Decrease since                                           ...
Solar Energy Distribution for Montpelier,VT
56
Typical Grid-Tied “Inverter”                 Simple!
A PV collection area of less than 1% of the    cleared farmland in VT would produce the    equivalent of VT’s entire elect...
Optimal Plan for Reduction of Carbon      2010 – 2015                2015 Forward Higher efficiency          Continue ot...
Further Discussion?                      62
Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12
Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12
Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12
Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12
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Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12

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Ben Luce details the facts behind wind power in Vermont and compares the resource to other renewable options.

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Ben Luce Presentation on Wind in Vermont From Grafton Vermont 11-26-12

  1. 1. Wind in Vermont? Dr. Ben Luceben.luce@lyndonstate.edu
  2. 2. Scope of the Issue 1
  3. 3. Scope of the Issue• 1000+ Lowell sized wind projects would be required just to make a serious dent in the Regional Load: 28,000 MW (peak) 40,000 MW (peak) • Lowell Wind Project = .3*63MW = 19 MW (effective average capacity) • It would require 1789 Lowell Projects to meet an average load of 34,000 MW.Data Source: Energy Information Administration, “Today in Energy”, July 12, 2012: 2http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7070
  4. 4. 3
  5. 5. PV Sweet zoneResource Ground Source Heat PumpsPotential Air Source Heat Pumps Solar Hot Water Farm Cellulosic Biomass Concentrating Solar Power Midwest Wind Power AD has Ridgeline Wind Power Anaerobic Forest Biomass special New Big Hydro benefits Digesters Microhydro Impact
  6. 6. Impact Summary• Topographical Impacts "The block provides possible habitat for wide ranging• Hydrological Impacts species of concern such as• Habitat Fragmentation & Loss pine martin and Canada lynx."• Impacts to birds and bats -Billy Coster, senior planner and policy analyst with the• Noise Impacts ANR, to Jack Kenworthy, chief executive officer of Eolian• Aesthetic Impacts: Rewewable Energy – Ecotourism – Environmental valuing• Impacts to the Social Fabric of local communities• Implications for the effectiveness of and public support for renewable energy investments 5
  7. 7. Very large roads and platforms areneeded• The Turbines are very large: 400+ feet high• Weight: Hundreds of tons• Very large trucks and industrial strength roads are needed• Extensive bulldozing and blasting is required 6
  8. 8. 7
  9. 9. Wind Turbine Construction Mars Hill, Maine SUMMER 2011
  10. 10. Lowell Mountains Vermont 9
  11. 11. Lowell Mountains Vermont 10
  12. 12. Lowell Mountains Vermont 11
  13. 13. Sheffield Vermont SUMMER 2011
  14. 14. Brodie Mountain Massachusetts 13
  15. 15. 14
  16. 16. Mountain Environments are Hydrologically Important and Sensitive• Act as sponge• Large Surface area• Vegetation• 3D Water table
  17. 17. Mountain Aquifers http://www.sonoma.edu/users/n/norwick/document/ford/gws2.html
  18. 18. Hydrological ImpactsSoil Compaction and Impermeablesurfaces impede infiltration, and cancause erosion and have adverseimpacts on streams“The Lowell wind project is a high-risk site with steep elevations andvery erodible soils, the Applicantshave proposed the use of alternateBest Management Practices, whichare essentially untested andunproven at scale this large,” statedGeoff Goll of Princeton Hydro, anexpert who testified to the VermontPublic Service Board on the LowellProject
  19. 19. Birds• Mountain ridges generate updrafts used by migrating raptors. (From: Bildstein 2006).ANR to Eolian: “The land, Coster notes, is a gateway for migratory birds en route to the Nulhegan Basin.” (Orleans County Record, 5/23/12)
  20. 20. Bats• Endangered species of bats do live in Vermont (Myotis Sodalis)• Bats can be killed by merely flying close to turbines• Some projects (e.g. Lowell) are now using turbines specifically designed for lower wind areas (lower wind speeds), which may be particularly problematic for bats.
  21. 21. Global Populations vs. Local Impacts• Wind proponents commonly cite other sources of bird mortality as being much greater than with existing wind development.• Impacts from tens or hundreds of thousands of turbines?• Impacts to local ecosystems?• The cumulative, long-term impacts, both local and global, are what ultimately matter. 20
  22. 22. Noise and Health• “Infrasonic” noise from wind turbines appears to be affecting the health of susceptible people in the vicinity of turbines• Large turbines essentially “shake the air”• This can be amplified by the resonant effect of buildings.• Similar to health impacts on people working in buildings with improperly configured ventilation systems.
  23. 23. Noise and Health• One example of related peer-reviewed research: – “Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines” – Hearing Research, Volume 268, Issues 1-2, 1 September 2010, Pages 12-21 – Alec N. Salt, a, and Timothy E. Hullara – a Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, Box 8115, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA• See summary at http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/windmill. html
  24. 24. ”The noise generated by wind turbines israther unusual, containing high levels (over 90dB SPL) of very low frequency sound(infrasound).” (Washington University Group)
  25. 25. Hear for yourself?• A single visit to a local wind project is not a basis for evaluating noise impacts• Noise varies greatly with: – Wind direction and weather – The observer’s specific location – The specific room you are in• See: “The Problems With Noise Numbers for Wind Farm Noise Assessment”, Bob Thorne, Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 262. 24
  26. 26. Setbacks?• “It is concluded that no large-scale wind turbine should be operated within 3,500 meters [2.2 miles] of any dwelling or noise-sensitive place unless the operator of the proposed wind farm energy facility, at its own expense, mitigates any noise within…” – Source: “The Problems With Noise Numbers for Wind Farm Noise Assessment”, Bob Thorne, Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 262. 25
  27. 27. Property Values• “A wind "farm" …is tantamount to an "inverse condemnation", or regulatory taking of private property rights.....an uncompensated taking.” – Michael S. McCann, CRA McCann Appraisal, LLC Chicago, Illinois 60611 mikesmccann@comcast.net 26
  28. 28. Property Values• “Wind turbines are often perceived to have substantial negative impacts on local residents, and new research by Clarkson School of Business Assistant Professor Martin Heintzelman and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Ph.D. candidate Carrie Tuttle shows that, in some communities, these impacts translate into declines in property values.” – http://www.clarkson.edu/business/centers/environmental economics.html• “The Clarkson study clearly shows value impacts out to three miles … and clearly shows the closer the turbine, the greater the impact.” – Michael S. McCann, CRA McCann Appraisal, LLC 27
  29. 29. Vermont Brand Study• Commissioned by the State of Vermont Tourism Department• Released in 2010 28
  30. 30. 29
  31. 31. “Unspoiled, Beautiful,Mountains”
  32. 32. The Economics of Wind Power
  33. 33. Subsidies for a Renewable EnergyTechnology are fine if….• They are helping to make the technology reasonably affordable (or better, competitive)• They are supporting development which is truly sustainable, and important for reducing emissions.• Otherwise, they can be counterproductive 33
  34. 34. Cost Trends of Wind Power What DOE Predicted in 2002 Actual40 Wind COE cents/kWh3020100 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 Source: US Department of Energy (Second plot: 2011 Wind Energy Technology Market Report) 34
  35. 35. Wind’s bad cost trend is why…• Wind is still deeply dependent on subsidies• People tend to believe its cheaper than it is• The industry is on the verge of collapse 35
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. Summary of Wind Power Cost• Well above $.10/kWh in the Northeast (even with subsidies)• Ridge line wind particularly expensive: – Extensive site development – Relatively small projects – Transmission costs – Impact management• About the same as solar today, and more so full costs are included. 37
  38. 38. Solar Power Cost Trend• Department of Energy’s Solar Technologies Market Report• http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51847.pdf 38
  39. 39. Additional Transmission Costs for Eastern Wind Power• The Northeast Grid is already fairly congested• According to Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO New England Inc: “A conservative goal for 5,500 megawatts of wind power and 3,000 megawatts of hydro power through 2030 would carry transmission costs of between $7 billion and $12 billion.” – From: “New England grid chief: Cooperate on wind power”, by David Sharp, Associated Press Writer, August 16, 2010.• 4000+ miles of new transmission lines 39
  40. 40. Question: On a resource basis alone, can wind power make a substantial contribution to reducing US greenhouse gas emissions?
  41. 41. Answer:• In the Midwest, maybe.• In the Eastern US, no, unless offshore wind turns out to be viable. 41
  42. 42. 2x Speed means 8x Power:Annual Turbine Energy Production =(8760/1000) x 1.9 e ½ r A v3Here, e is the efficiency of the turbine, r is the density of air (which we can take as 1.23 kg/m3),A is the swept area (m3), and v is the average wind speed (m/s).
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. State by State Wind Power Potential fromthe Department of Energy(source: www.windpoweringamerica.gov) 44
  45. 45. Relative Ranking of State Wind ResourcesSource: www.windpoweringamerica.gov (see previous slide)Capacity - in peak gigawattsRanking State 1901 1 Texas 2 Kansas 952 3 Montana 944 4 Nebraska 918 5 South Dakota 818 6 North Dakota 770 Western 7 Iowa 570 US 8 Wyoming 552 9 Oklahoma 517 10 New Mexico 492 . 15 New York 25.6 25 Maine 11.3 29 Pennsylvania 3.3 27 Vermont 2.9 Eastern 30 New Hampshire 2.1 31 West Virginia 1.9 US 33 Virginia 1.8 34 Maryland 1.5 35 Massachusetts 1.0 45
  46. 46. Total for Onshore Eastern Wind Resources• As estimated by DOE (unlisted states have little or no potential), in peak gigawatts (GW): – New York: 25.6 GW – Maine : 11.3 GW – Pennsylvania: 3.3 GW – Vermont: 2.9 GW – New Hampshire: 2.1 GW – Virginia: 1.8 GW – West Virginia: 1.9 GW – Maryland: 1.5 GW – MA: 1.0 GW• Total: 52 GW (50% in NY)
  47. 47. Effective Onshore Wind Power Capacity in the entire Eastern US• NREL data applies to CF=.3• NREL Estimates Eastern Peak Capacity = 52 GW• Effective Wind Capacity: .3*52 GW = 15.6 GW• Current average US consumption = 470 GW• Potential average onshore Eastern wind penetration into current US load: (15.6 GW/470 GW) x 100% = 3.3%• Long term: Probably less than 2%• Maximum CO2 reduction: ~ 1% 47
  48. 48. These DOE estimates are likely a gross over-estimate of the real onshore wind potential inthe East: Myriad local siting issues were not included
  49. 49. Renewable Alternatives to Wind?Really only one serious one for the Eastern US: Solar Power
  50. 50. Solar is the Renewable:• Total Insolation: ~120,000 Trillion Watts• Total World energy demand: 30 TrillionWatts• Current US Primary energy demand:~3.3 Trillion Watts• Solar collectors covering 1-2% of theSahara would provide all World electricaldemand.
  51. 51. Burlington Airport 1.5 MW PV PlantDOE: Utility-Scale PV Potential is greater than 34 time Total US ElectricityDemand
  52. 52. DOE: Rooftop PV Potential ~ 700 gigawatts > 30% Total US Electricity Demand
  53. 53. Solar Power Cost Trend Decrease since report’s release• Department of Energy’s Solar Technologies Market Report• http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51847.pdf 54
  54. 54. Solar Energy Distribution for Montpelier,VT
  55. 55. 56
  56. 56. Typical Grid-Tied “Inverter” Simple!
  57. 57. A PV collection area of less than 1% of the cleared farmland in VT would produce the equivalent of VT’s entire electricity demand*. With zero clearing, blasting, bulldozing, and little or no new power lines.*This estimate follows assuming 15% PV modules, and an average production of 3 kWh/dayper kilowatt of PV capacity. Future PV technology will likely decrease this area significantly. By“total collector area” it is meant not counting spacing between individual collectors. This isthe appropriate measure to evaluate the scale of the resource because spacing requirementsvary with installation type. For example, there is no spacing to add in for contiguous roof-topsystems.
  58. 58. Optimal Plan for Reduction of Carbon 2010 – 2015 2015 Forward Higher efficiency  Continue other measures Vehicles Weatherization  Greatly expand Photovoltaic transition if Energy efficiency cost has indeed trended Solar Hot Water low enough. Geothermal Heating Plan for, and begin, Photovoltaic transition 61
  59. 59. Further Discussion? 62

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