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Wind power

Would you be supportive of a wind farm in NWA?   20 votes

  1. 1. Would you be supportive of a wind farm in NWA?

    • Yes
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    • No
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49 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

After hearing more and more about rising energy costs I know many areas are looking more into wind power, especially out west. I don't think Arkansas is as attractive a place to develop it compared to states just west of us because a decrease in winds compared to the plain states and mountain west. I saw a map for potential wind power areas and I believe NWA was one of the better spots in Arkansas. I was curious what people thought about it if someone decided to put a wind farm in the area. While many seem supportive of them there are those who see them as eyesores and not worth the effort. The biggest problem for our area I believe is the fact that summer is our biggest power usage but it's also when we tend to have the least amount of wind. It would be more useful in the other times of the year. But then you could also argue then it's not worth the effort again. Seems like as I keep traveling out west I am seeing them pop up more and more and thought I'd get some local input. I'm also curious to see whether there's a difference between Fayetteville residents and other NWA residents.

Edited by Mith242

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Posted

I'd support wind power in NWA but I think that there are going to be a couple of problems. Frist of all, I just don't know if we have enough wind to make it profitable, it is kind of borderline there. Secondly, I don't know where they would put them. It would be another NIMBY problem because they stand at around 200 ft tall. I can't remember at what wind speed they start generating, I believe it is like 10-15 mph. Does anyone know for sure?

If you drive west on I-40 through Weatherford, Oklahoma, they have 100s of these all around the city and interstate. I think that it is neat driving around them but I don't know if I would want to look at them everyday.

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Posted

I'd support wind power in NWA but I think that there are going to be a couple of problems. Frist of all, I just don't know if we have enough wind to make it profitable, it is kind of borderline there. Secondly, I don't know where they would put them. It would be another NIMBY problem because they stand at around 200 ft tall. I can't remember at what wind speed they start generating, I believe it is like 10-15 mph. Does anyone know for sure?

If you drive west on I-40 through Weatherford, Oklahoma, they have 100s of these all around the city and interstate. I think that it is neat driving around them but I don't know if I would want to look at them everyday.

Yeah it's Weatherford. They've been there a year or two. Some have started popping up northwest of Amarillo the past year. There are some in New Mexico as well but they're barely visible from the interstate. The bad thing is NWA is supposed to be one of Arkansas' most viable options for wind power. I got the impression the biggest problem up here is the fact that most of our wind aren't in the summer when we have our peak usage. But yeah I can see NIMBY being a 'big' problem. They are pretty big. Of course you'd want them tall here so that they're above the treeline. But even if people were generally open to the idea they would probably change their mind if you told them it was going next door. I always thought they were pretty interesting to watch for some reason.

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Posted

I would say off Beaver Lake, but we don't wan't another Coose Hollow. :whistling:

May'be along 540, it's our best chance at getting "skyscrappers"!!

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Posted (edited)

I believe there is a lot of research in England for urban wind turbines. These would be able to fit on roofs to collect urban wind patterns which would be different from a normal turbine. I read an article in Business 2.0 about one such turbine that was shaped spirally but like a piece of art (which made it more attractive). This would be efficient for providing energy in about 1/3 of US urban locations. However the price tag about $50,000 is a little pricey considering no reason to use it for efficiencies sake (yet). It would generate enough electricity to power a whole household.

Anyways, I tried hard to find an article on the internet about it, but just found many other British websites broadcasting the same ideas with different forms for the turbines. Anyways, it would be a great idea if it gets a lot cheaper. Seems like our area hasn't had any problems with having windy conditions frequently the past few years, even in the summer.

The thing is with solar power and wind power and geothermal stuff I think we should have used these things a long time ago and saved us all of our energy bills. It also helps you appreciate any weather that we get outside if you're a typical non-appreciative-of-diverse weather person.

**Added: Ok, I search google pictures and found it. It's not as pretty as I thought, but I found the article with it: Urban Wind Turbine

qr5turbine.jpg

Edited by cowbreath

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Posted

Thanks for that article and pic. I've only seen a few of those spiral ones. Most of the ones you tend to see are the more typical three bladed propeller looking ones.

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Posted

I don't think the Ozarks is an ideal location for wind turbines due to all the hills and natural beauty of the region, but I'd like to see a few of them setup for private use. I know that if I had a house on a lot of acreage and had $50K in change I would set one up.

As far as large-scale alternative energy sources in NWA, I would expect that the Ozarks would offer more prospect in geothermal energy that in wind power.

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Posted

I don't think the Ozarks is an ideal location for wind turbines due to all the hills and natural beauty of the region, but I'd like to see a few of them setup for private use. I know that if I had a house on a lot of acreage and had $50K in change I would set one up.

As far as large-scale alternative energy sources in NWA, I would expect that the Ozarks would offer more prospect in geothermal energy that in wind power.

I think there's some geothermal, but I don't think the Ozarks is one of the better spots in Arkansas to do that though. Seemed like we were on the lower end, statewise, if I remember correctly.

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Posted

I think there's some geothermal, but I don't think the Ozarks is one of the better spots in Arkansas to do that though. Seemed like we were on the lower end, statewise, if I remember correctly.

I guess that doesn't leave much hope for alternative energy production in NWA. I guess there's not much you can squeeze out of a rock and there just isn't enough wind up here.

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Posted

I guess that doesn't leave much hope for alternative energy production in NWA. I guess there's not much you can squeeze out of a rock and there just isn't enough wind up here.

Just use solar power for the summer and wind the rest of the year.

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Posted

Just use solar power for the summer and wind the rest of the year.

For the private homeowner who wants to have a wind turbine and solar panels just to brag about that's fine, but NWA doesn't have enough sunny days to make even solar power worthwhile.

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Posted

Did anyone watch ABC News tonight? They had a segment on wind turbines. It seems if it's too windy they have to be shut off. And people are complaining due to the eyesore they have become.

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Posted

Did anyone watch ABC News tonight? They had a segment on wind turbines. It seems if it's too windy they have to be shut off. And people are complaining due to the eyesore they have become.

I think that they shut off at around 60 mph. How often does it hit 60+, not very often around here unless it is during a severe thunderstorm. Being shutoff should not be a consideration on wind power. It is a matter of a 2-3 hours per year at most. I can see the eyesore arguement but we already knew that much. Wind power is still a great idea.

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Posted

Yeah they will shut off but as Colby mentioned I don't think we'd have to worry about them turning off too much. As far as solar goes, aside from some solar panels and such that will probably be it. Even other states that have more sunny days than Arkansas don't have solar power plants yet.

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Posted

Even if building wind turbines in NWA was feasible, who's going to pay for them? And where will they go? It would take hundreds, maybe thousands of acres of open, flat land to generate enough electricity to be worthwhile and at a cost of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars.

Before something idiotic like wind turbines is to be built, maybe state and local governments should start an energy conservation program, like giving homeowners and businesses a tax break for utilizing energy saving techniques and products such as:

  • installing energy-efficient light bulbs
  • installing solar panels
  • installing new insulation or upgrading existing insulation
  • sealing air leaks in attics and basements
  • installing energy-efficient windows
  • installing thermal shades and draperies
  • replacing old heating equipment with more efficient models
  • installing programmable thermostats
  • replacing old air conditioners with high efficiency cooling equipment
  • replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient models

Yes, most of these products cost a lot of money, but they not only reduce energy costs, but actually increase the value of homes they're installed in. With so many older homes being remodelled and on the market I wonder how many are being upgraded with some of these energy savings techniques and products?

The federal governement already gives a federal tax break for these energy savings, but it should be the responsibilty of state and local governments to promote them.

Federal Tax Credits & Rebates

Beginning in 2006, homeowners can take advantage of incentives to make their homes energy efficient.

Tax credits are available for home energy efficiency, solar energy, passenger vehicles and fuel cells. The federal tax credits were origanlly in effect for work done between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2007. On December 20th President Bush approved a bill on December 20th that will extend federal tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The wide-ranging Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 extends the production tax credit through 2008 for electricity produced from wind power, geothermal power, biomass, landfill gas, small irrigation power, and trash combustion facilities. It provides a similar one-year tax credit extension for new properties that produce geothermal power or make use of solar energy; for homeowners that purchase solar water heating, solar photovoltaic, or fuel cell systems; for businesses that purchase fiber-optic lighting systems, solar energy systems, or fuel cell power plants; for new energy efficient homes; and for energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings.

The act extends the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds program through 2008, and increases the total annual amount of tax-credit bonds to $1.2 billion. It extends special tax allowances for cellulosic ethanol facilities to include plants placed in service by 2012. It also extends the research and development tax credit, which encourages businesses to invest in new innovations.

For more information: http://smartenergyliving.org/cm/Energy_Eff...ts.rebates.html

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Posted

Even if building wind turbines in NWA was feasible, who's going to pay for them? And where will they go? It would take hundreds, maybe thousands of acres of open, flat land to generate enough electricity to be worthwhile and at a cost of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars.

I don't think you'd have to do that much for it to be 'worthwhile'. These windmills are rather tall and I think they could be built to be above the tree level. I also don't think you'd have to have flat land either. I saw something over the weekend about it. Granted this was basing it off of numbers from a wind farm from Texas. But each of their windmills generates enough power for about 300 houses. But their probably going to get more wind than we would here. They're pretty tall, the ones I saw, the propeller attached around the 240 ft level.

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Posted

I don't think you'd have to do that much for it to be 'worthwhile'. These windmills are rather tall and I think they could be built to be above the tree level. I also don't think you'd have to have flat land either. I saw something over the weekend about it. Granted this was basing it off of numbers from a wind farm from Texas. But each of their windmills generates enough power for about 300 houses. But their probably going to get more wind than we would here. They're pretty tall, the ones I saw, the propeller attached around the 240 ft level.

After reading up on wind turbines on Wikipedia.com I agree with most of what you say. The biggest of these wind turbines can genreate 35MW... that's impressive, but probably way too expensive to build. But, if what you say is true that some of the wind turbines they could build here could generate even 5MW each then a few of them could be useful to an extent. Ridgelines are actually the best suited environment for wind turbines, whihc NWA has aplenty.

There's still the matter of who's going to build them and will 'Scamco' be interested in buying the generated electricity, or would these wind turbines actually compete with local power companies??? Iwas the case then I'd quickly change my vote to support wind turbines here.

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After reading up on wind turbines on Wikipedia.com I agree with most of what you say. The biggest of these wind turbines can genreate 35MW... that's impressive, but probably way too expensive to build. But, if what you say is true that some of the wind turbines they could build here could generate even 5MW each then a few of them could be useful to an extent. Ridgelines are actually the best suited environment for wind turbines, whihc NWA has aplenty.

There's still the matter of who's going to build them and will 'Scamco' be interested in buying the generated electricity, or would these wind turbines actually compete with local power companies??? Iwas the case then I'd quickly change my vote to support wind turbines here.

Yeah I'm not sure who would be deciding to build these. I'm not sure but I think in some of the western cities/towns I've seen it might have been a decision the city or town itself made.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah I'm not sure who would be deciding to build these. I'm not sure but I think in some of the western cities/towns I've seen it might have been a decision the city or town itself made.

I'm still not sure who would really benefit from these wind turbines? You would think that if they increase the supply of electricity then utility costs would go down, but I know there would be a lot of bureacracy involved that will probably keep people from saving any money on their electric bill. I still believe that promoting energy conservation could have a more noticeable impact on energy costs. I'd be willing to bet that the cost of just one of these wind turbines could pay for upgrading thousands of homes to some of the energy saving products that I listed before.

Edited by masons_dad1

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I'm still not sure who would really benefit from these wind turbines? You would think that if they increase the supply of electricity then utility costs would go down, but I know there would be a lot of bureacracy involved that will probably keep people from saving any money on their electric bill. I still believe that promoting energy conservation could have a more noticeable impact on energy costs. I'd be willing to bet that the cost of just one of these wind turbines could pay for upgrading thousands of homes to some of the energy saving products that I listed before.

True, doing both would be even better. But I the cost of the windmills would offset any initial settings. I don't know if it would save individuals (unless they bought one for themselves) but it would be a cleaner source of energy. I believe most of our power plants around here are coal.

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Posted

Yeah it's Weatherford. They've been there a year or two. Some have started popping up northwest of Amarillo the past year. There are some in New Mexico as well but they're barely visible from the interstate. The bad thing is NWA is supposed to be one of Arkansas' most viable options for wind power. I got the impression the biggest problem up here is the fact that most of our wind aren't in the summer when we have our peak usage. But yeah I can see NIMBY being a 'big' problem. They are pretty big. Of course you'd want them tall here so that they're above the treeline. But even if people were generally open to the idea they would probably change their mind if you told them it was going next door. I always thought they were pretty interesting to watch for some reason.

Here is what they look like in Weatherford, Oklahoma. There are hundreds of these surrounding the city. I took this while heading west on I-40 last week on my way to Sayre, OK.

509471475_76c8bf79ec_b.jpg

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Posted

Thanks for the pic Colby. I've been meaning to stop by there one of these days on my way out to Albuquerque.

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Posted

Here's some links to YouTube videos of the Oklahoma wind farm and a video from the BBC about one of the problems with inland wind turbines... plus a humorous promotional video for wind power:

Northwest Oklahoma Wind Farm (Warning: Tear Jerker):

Weatherford Wind Energy Center: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2wFTciBQd2Q&amp...ted&search=

Windpower Failure [bBC News]: http://youtube.com/watch?v=902hN3YRpfY&amp...ted&search=

$10,000 Wind Energy Video Contest (Warning: PG Rated):

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Posted

Here is a wind power potential map for the U.S. The darker the blue, the better the wind potential is. As you can see NWA and West Central Arkansas have the best potential in the state for wind energy.

513579998_f29bff8327_o.gif

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Posted

Thanks for the map Colby. It seems somwhat close to one I've seen before in the past.

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