Archive for the ‘Lake Erie’ Tag

LEEDCo announces partnership with GE for offshore wind turbines

A big step forward in the pursuit for wind energy off the north shore was announced today at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER Conference in Dallas. Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) announced that it will be partnering with GE for the Northeast Ohio offshore wind energy project.

This step has been in the planning for almost two years now. I’ve been to some of the public meetings for the Lake Erie wind development project, and recently I was struck by the sense of determination about the wind farm. I don’t think I can recall that sense of positive vision taking shape since maybe the Gateway development.

via Green City Blue Lake

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LakewoodAlive to host forum on wind energy feasibility in Lake Erie – cleveland.com

From the Sun News (Cleveland):

Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force members will discuss the possibility of wind energy in Lake Erie at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Harding Middle School, 16601 Madison Ave in Lakewood.

The results of the initial feasibilty study were made public in May (see Wind power initiative on Lake Erie passes feasibility test). Estimates for the next stage of the demonstration project – deployment of turbines in a pilot project – range from $77 million to $93 million.

NPR: Power Hungry: Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid

File under tres cool: Interactive map of the current US electrial grid.

Interactive power grid map from NPR

Is anyone else surprised by the relative lack of high-voltage lines in the Northeast and Great Lakes states? Is that because there is enough local generation capacity to meet local needs? Or is it an artifact of the way the power “system” was built?

I am not an electrical engineer, but it seems to me that a few more high-voltage lines to somewhere outside the region would be prudent. Profitable, even – selling surplus power becomes more economical when delivered over higher-voltage (less lossy) transmission lines. And building in some redundancy would also be a good thing, in case of an attack on the transmission grid. I am not a mad bomber, either, yet it seems to me that those transmission towers are pretty vulnerable structures.

Hello world!

Some explanation about myself: I am not usually this serious, but I take energy independence really seriously. So I am going to try really really hard to be serious on this blog. My goofy side is on display enough places anyway.

Anyway: about me. I’m concerned about the environment, but don’t consider myself an environmentalist – and definitely not a tree-hugger.

I’m concerned about the possibility of global warming, but I don’t know enough to say either “We need to act NOW” or “It’s all a lot of hand-waving.” Kind of the same way I feel about UFOs – I know enough to say I don’t know.

The T. Boone Pickens plan to replace the fuel for our vehicles with natural gas (hopefully, produced domestically) and replace natural-gas-powered power plants with renewable (specifically wind) energy strikes me as bold, visionary, and incomplete. More on that later. To sum up: it’s a good place to start a discussion about national energy policy.

I am encouraged by the effort underway by elected offficials in Cuyahoga County to assess the feasibility of
commercial-scale wind generation in Lake Erie, but concerned that they’re missing the larger picture. More on that later, too. To sum up: should county government be trying to pick the winner in the renewable energy lottery, and is the goal to lessen dependence on coal-fired plants for generation or to reinvigorate NE Ohio’s manufacturing sector? Those goals aren’t entirely compatible.

Anyway, here’s my point: reasonable people can disagree, hopefully without being disagreeable. If climate change is real, if energy independence deserves to be a national priority, if refocusing national energy policy on renewables is a sound strategy for economic growth or environmental protection or both then Americans ought to be able to find some consensus onĀ  those issues. Note that I said “consensus,” not “agreement.”

So here we go!