WOW – More Mega Watts from Cape Scott Wind Farm on Global Wind Day!
Global Wind Day & Cape Scott Wind farm is Powering UP!
Most of Northern Vancouver Island was in the dark starting at 11 pm Saturday evening, as crews worked to make the final grid inter-connect to the Cape Scott wind farm. By 7 AM the restored power included 99 more peak watts of clean green electricity, available to the planet. The marine forecast is for 10 to 15 knot winds, so here comes wind powered electrical current from Cape Scott, British Columbia.
Some may recall my first post in this wind series, Tilting at Windmills; a Turnabout Indeed, which looked in depth at the Cape Scott wind farm. Stage 2 of this project could begin by August, adding another 25 turbines that produce 44 Mega watts of electricity under peak wind conditions.
This chart shows European Union employment facts as reported by the European Wind Energy Association. Similar benefits from wind power occur globally. Here is a synopsis on wind power in the U.S.A. as quoted from the Global Wind Energy Council 2012 annual market update:
“The US wind energy industry had its best year ever in 2012, installing 13,124 MW and surging past the 60-gigawatt milestone for total installed wind power capacity. The record year for new wind power resulted in 28% annual market growth . . .
Sailing against the winds of a down economy, lower demand for new power, and continued policy uncertainty, the industry invested roughly USD 25 billion (EUR 19.2bn) in the US in 2012, with much of the investment going toward rural parts of the country. The vast majority of wind projects, over 98%, are installed on private land in the US, with wind project owners leasing land directly from the landowner. The local property tax payments and land lease payments to farmers and ranchers bring significant annual revenue to local communities across the country.”
This chart shows what 8 Mega watts of wind power can do. The example is for homes in Europe, which use substantially less energy than Canadian or American homes.
I love the photo below, because I’m so keen on wind power. You’ve figured that out by now, I’m sure.
How we perceive things is always subjective, and how things are presented affects how they are perceived. As the saying goes . . . beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What a person sees is not always the reality. I’ll use the photo to illustrate.
Here are two scenarios: 1) You live in this house with co-operative ownership of the turbine, that pays a $1000 dividend per month – likely you’re quite content with the beauty of wind power.
Conversely, 2) You don’t own the turbine, and its noise is disturbing. You own the house, and when it get really windy, the windows rattle. You’re not so keen about wind power – you’re downright angry!
OK – here is an interesting detail about the photograph. In reality the house is quite distant from the wind turbine, even though it appears to be nearby in the image! My use of a telephoto lens (and the way I tell the story) shapes your perception of things. There is no doubt a zoom lens makes things look closer. A subtle distortion also occurs – distant objects (like the turbine) appear disproportionately larger than foreground objects (like the house). In other words, objects aren’t enlarged equally. Our perception is not only changed, it is also distorted.
In all honesty, no technology is completely benign. This includes wind. And oil and gas, as well. During this series I have tried to present the facts in an objective and factual manner, although purposely I have added a subjective flair. Most of your feedback has been positive, and in my opinion this bodes well for wind power – sort of like mother, God, and apple pie.
So here is a green light to wind power, on the streets of Toronto anyways.
Don’t forget that wind power can be fun and innovative, too! Imagine, airborne wind turbines?
I will conclude through your voices and with some of the comments you made during this series on wind power:
Glenn Dukes at civilrightskiosk.com said “At first, they (the wind turbines) were, I hate to say it, a bit of a “blot on the landscape”. . . Would I prefer looking at the pristine, green ridge through haze of a climate-induced brush fire or fossil fuel smog? On the whole, wind power is a necessary part of a patchwork of solutions that can take us to a more sane and sustainable world.”
Cyclocross cd1972 said that “In Germany we have some problems with birds and bats getting killed by the wind turbines. I think scientists will find a solution for that problem soon.”
Kaitlin Kelly at broadsideblog said “The ongoing challenge is the power and economic might of the oil/gas lobby, which — here in the U.S. where I live — is enormous.
Jeanne over at JM Light said “I am happy to read about your wind farm, understand the concerns about the birds, and agree a solution can be found – I encourage you to keep posting.”
A favourite comment was from my friend Louise in Scotland, who said “I enjoy all your pictures and posts, Bruce, but this one really blew me away. Everywhere David and I go in the world, we see wind turbines. You highlight their beauty.”
Although the lights were out on the North Island last night, we declare energy independence!
This concludes Watts of Wind – enough WOW for NOW . . .
The full WOW Wind series can be accessed via my category cloud.
Cheers to all, and thanks for reading – Bruce