Shear folly

Didn’t we just read in the CH the other day where another wind farm developer got approval for more turbines monsters?

Shear Wind is proposing to build a 30-turbine project, called the Glen Dhu wind farm, located along the boundary of Pictou and Antigonish counties. The company wants to install 14 in Antigonish County and the remainder near Baileys Brook, Pictou County.

One of the question & answers on the Shear Wind promo website is this one:

15. How do the turbines work in an ice storm??

The wind turbines are equipped with sophisticated monitoring and control systems, and in the case of icing, the main control of the turbine will take the appropriate measures to shut down the turbine and only re-start when the icing condition passes.

Icy weather is not unheard of in Antigonish and Pictou Counties. How frequent might these shutdowns be?  One might look to New Brunswick for the answer.

Northern New Brunswick’s cold, icy weather is causing wind turbines to freeze and stop producing power at the Caribou Wind Park near Bathurst.

The new wind farm’s 33 turbines have been generating power since November, but they have been forced to shut down for the past two days due to ice forming on some of the blades.

The wind farm has been battling ice problems all winter.

David Cousins, the Caribou Wind Park’s site manager, said when ice starts forming on the turbines’ blades, they can’t operate.

“As soon as there is ice rain or rime ice, which is fairly common in this area, the performance of the blades of the wind turbine diminishes significantly,” Cousins said.

“Just like how an airplane won’t fly with ice on it, wind turbines won’t generate electricity with ice ..” …

Cousins said they’ve lost about 20 days due to ice since the park went online three months ago.

And again on Wednesday, none of the 33 windmills was operating.

20 days lost out of 90. Hardly reliable. Criticisms of wind farms seem to center on health, noise, and appearance, and these are legitimate concerns, but how about adding cost/benefit questions? Why are we doing this? Is it worth the money we are putting into these schemes? So far Shear Wind is privately funded [obviously investors haven’t learned lessons from the fiascoes in Europe] but how long will that last? Here’s another Q & A from Shear Wind.

17. What funding have you received from the Federal or Provincial governments?

The Glen Dhu wind farm project is a privately funded project. Since 2007, we have been working with the relevant government departments as the project moved through its approval stages. We are currently awaiting approval for our Eco-Energy funding.

Sure. And who gets left on the hook when it fails? The taxpayer.

Some say that Ka Le is haunted — and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa”– the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.
The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River. European wind developers are fleeing the EU’s expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake. But their game is not over. Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of the United States.

And those of Canada. There’s one born every minute.


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