The view of Lake Erie that we deserve, but don't get!

photo credit baltimoresun.com

Photo credit: baltimoresun.com
Article link for photo: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/features/green/2009/06/post_9.html

What is the problem with our society that we don't have this sort of thing going on? The wind is FREE FUEL. How can you go wrong with using free fuel? The lake is shallow. How can you go wrong with the ease of installing bases for the wind turbines? We have enough technology for installing bird-avoidance devices and methods. We can make these turbines in Ohio. Etc. We're ready to do this.

But we're still not doing this. We're still paying First Energy a premium for converting coal (55%), nuclear reactions (29%), oil and natural gas into electricity:

http://www.firstenergycorp.com/environmental/Facts-At-A-Glance/Environme...

Why are we sitting here on the shores of a large, wind-swept lake, eating digested hydrocarbons and nucleons, when we can simply make use of free air movement which will never run out? Who does First Energy really serve?

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Too many NIMBY's . Then you have the PETA types, worried that the little birdies are gonna get killed by flying into them. Hey, after a few of their buddies get chopped up, they'll figure it out. Mother Nature is resilient.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

The NIMBY thing concerns me greatly. It has to do with the "M" part -- since it isn't "My" backyard in the lake itself. It's public property. Hence it can be used for public purposes.

So we are a society that tosses people out of their own homes in a neighborhood adjacent to a new auto plant with nary a care, yet AT THE SAME TIME we would give coastal property holders the ability to put a stop to wind turbines miles offshore.

It's not a NIMBY issue; it's an issue of CLASS WAR.

Very good point GZ .The last time I rode out along the lake shore, it hit me that it was getting to where you almost couldn't see the lake for the big $$ condos. Just how much control do they want over the lake.

I can't see any logical complaint to putting those wind turbines a mile or two offshore.

Question for the science minded; with nothing to block the view, how far would those things have to be offshore before they weren't visible FROM the shore? Based on their usual height and the curvature of the earth and so on?

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_far_can_a_person_see_before_the_curvature_...

The given calculations indicate that a 2m-tall person can see 5km to the horizon line, past which the curvature of the planet hides things of minimum size. The farther the object is from that horizon point, means that the taller the object can be while still being hidden.

Running the same calculations for a 200ft (61m) turbine+tower combination, yields 27.9 km. The combination (picture a straight line connecting the top of the person to the top of the turbine, just skimming the planet's curve line) is about 33km or 22mi. Hence, to have such a turbine assembly completely hidden, it would have to be 22mi offshore.

I've disregarded things like wave heights and perhaps temperature inversions that bend light enough to significantly move that horizon line. I've also disregarded people standing on higher vantage points, like looking out of the 2nd stories of their ridiculous condos. 8^D

it really brings to mind how backward this area can be in matters of development.

As I looked at it for about five minutes, I thought of how the status quo is so difficult to change in this region. Folks just do not want to look to the future and let go of old ways.

Energy companies that got wealthy doing things the old way do not want to relinquish the holds that they have on our area. Short-sightedness is the main cause of the decay of this region, unfortunately.

Wind turbines have been around for quite awhile and with our location on Lake Erie, we should have been on the cutting edge of that development.

I would think wind turbines might qualify as a shovel ready project. If you believe everything you read, isn't it possible to get a few truckloads of federal stimulation dollars for this? It would make a good investment.

Of course, it might make our electric rates fall, which has every chance of attracting industry - and we couldn't have that, could we? Next thing you know, there would be jobs available in Toledo. Then where would we be?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Yes

And that was the reason Marcy Kaptur traded her Cap & Trade vote for a $3.5 billion power marketing association. That money will be loaned to projects like offshore wind turbines and solar fields in the region.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

the money is spread amongst too many projects and never affords any of them enough funds to finalize their efforts. And how much of that 3.5 billion will actually make it to our region? Crap and Tax will end up costing the consumer much more in the way of increased prices for their consumables via the corporations passing their tax increase down. I really get tired of Marcy coming home and attempting to make a BIG SPLASH by waving an over-sized check in front of the cameras and claiming see what I am doing for N.W. Ohio. We give X amount of dollars ( x =100% ) to the Government in way of taxes and receive a grant back for 40%. Why not just keep the 100% of tax dollars in N.W. Ohio in the first place? Let us decide to fund the projects we see most beneficial for the region, not what some Governmental feel good legislation (Grant - Pork) is mandating.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

And how much of that 3.5 billion will actually make it to our region?

A lot. A division of Owens Corning manufactures the composites used in wind turbine blades. First Solar is the market leader in low cost solar panel production and Toledo is the hub for thin film solar technology. This will benefit our area even if no wind turbines are placed in Maumee Bay.

We give X amount of dollars ( x =100% ) to the Government in way of taxes and receive a grant back for 40%. Why not just keep the 100% of tax dollars in N.W. Ohio in the first place?

Because we're paying for two wars and social welfare programs.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

No, HB, it won't be "a lot" when you consider the important qualifiers ... notably, political grabs to cronies ... but largely, environmental-impact studies and lawsuits. If you wanted to install an overhead rail system in Toledo, for instance, you'd eat up a cool $10 million just in studies and in defending yourself from NIMBY lawsuits. Installing a wind-turbine field in Lake Erie would invoke tens of millions of this sort of BULLSHYT overhead cost. I'm guessing $40 million ... assuming the lawsuits don't kill it dead after the first half of that is spent.

Just today, I was reading in the Blade about how the regional jail at Stryker wants to implement pay-to-stay. In reporting this wonderful (SARCASM) fact, the article happened to mention that the LC jail already does this, yet does not handle the billing for said services. The billing is handled by a private company, that takes 70 PERCENT of what's paid. ParkSmart does something similar downtown, and of course we all know the same thing is happening with those red-light cameras. The city is getting RAPED by these private companies, and those arrangements could ONLY have been accomplished as a matter of bribery.

LAKE ERIE FREEZES.

SHEESH.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

The wind still blows in the wintertime. These units can be constructed to withstand any amount of pressure the may suffer by the encroachment of the impending ice flows, and conduits to feed the power would be buried under the lake floor where the ice seldom if ever forms.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

so long as they're out of shipping lanes it'd be perfect. KK's right. might even be able to drive out to them in the winter for maintenance --

LMAO....they would snap like twigs....

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

The PETA protest is a stupid argument.

My fan at home has a screen over it to protect my dogs from getting their tails in it. The same thing can be done quite easily to keep the little birdies out as well.

MikeyA

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

seems like a simple solution doesn't it?

Amazing how people figured that one out over 80 years ago. But today people's knee jerk reaction is to protest.

MikeyA

any word of the conversion of the Toledo water plant into a hydroelectric facility?

MikeyA

The "Clean Energy" crowd conveniently forgets where a wind turbine has to be placed in order to be effective. For best effency, a wind turbine needs to be located on top of a rise, bluff or mountain.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hills/cc/gallery/index.htm

View of Cefn Croes before:

AND AFTER:

According to the photographer, these two pictures were taken in the same spot looking the same direction.

Is the environmental damage caused by wind turbines worth the expensive energy they produce?

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Yes

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

You beat me to it. Yes, it's worth the damage to the environment - two or three times over, in fact.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

The latter photo looks to be computer-generated. The comapartive scale of the hilly areas and the wind turbines seems off.

This is not to say that the landscape hasn't been marred by these turbines which probably power one-tenth of the buildings in the region.

"This is not to say that the landscape hasn't been marred by these turbines which probably power one-tenth of the buildings in the region. "

1/10 of the buildings in the region at an environmental cost of what?

I have heard, but I cannot verify, that to power New York City with wind turbines, you would have to cover the entire state of Connecticut with a wind farm. That includes demolishing ALL buildings, housing, wildlife habitat, farms, forests etc.

http://caveatbettor.blogspot.com/2008/08/q-how-much-wind-farm-to-power-new-york.html

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

First off, just cutting the power to NYC and leaving it off has a certain appeal to me. I never really cared for NYC anyway. It sucks up money and produces nothing worthwhile.

The idea of paving the entire State of Connecticut and turning it into a giant wind farm in order to keep NYC running could best be decided by the population of NYC. If they want to keep the Big Apple lit, Connecticut just has to go. So is it worth it? I don't really think so, but then I don't live in NYC or Connecticut. I say let them worry about it.

Meantime, just switch off the power. There's a good man.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Yankee Stadium, too? Hoooah!
Now if there were just some way to do this in Detroit!

LCBM, are you joking? Cefn Croes is in Wales, which experiences winter. The 2nd photo was taken IN THE WINTER, evidenced by the browned fields, overcast sky and SNOW. Or are you going to assert that the old Welsh legend of the Mad Sugar Fairy is true? X^D

The only "environmental damage" I see is that caused by roads, which must run to each tower in order to service them. Tell me: What pavement is required on the surface of Lake Erie? 8^P

"a wind turbine needs to be located on top of a rise, bluff or mountain."

actually they have them along I-10 just to the North of Palm Springs and to the south of Desert Hot Springs. This area is a valley. They will work where ever the wind blows.

MikeyA

Traverse City has had a wind turbine since 1996-- it is located about 15 minutes west of the city limits in a field along the highway most traveled to reach Lake Michigan.
My kids have always considered this a tourist site--a marker on the way to our campsite. It's not necessarily ugly, just big...but it is now part of the landscape.(You cannot see it from Traverse City, nor from the lake.) I'll bet the people who live in that rural area think differently.

With that being said, it doesn't produce much power. According to the Traverse CIty Power and Light Company, it powers 125 residences and businesses...
A city the size of Toledo would need just under 3000 of these placed strategically for maximum wind
(http://www.tclp.org/facilities.php). 3000 windmills won't be so friendly on the eye.

I'm not the first to point out that 125homes per turbine isn't terribly productive, though it could supplement other forms of power.

Some googling suggested that the turbines installed by Rt. 6 near BG produce enough to power 785 homes apiece. That's 6.28 times more productive, linearly reducing your Toledo-serving field size to 478 turbines.

As for "strategically", check out this wind map of Ohio and Lake Erie at 100 meters altitude (about the height of BG's turbines):

http://www.greenenergyohio.org/page.cfm?pageID=1287

(This should download as a PDF, but you might have to rename it to "windmap.pdf" or something.)

The highest potential for wind only as a function of speed is in Lake Erie. However, everything north and east of a line stretching across the state from Dayton to Columbus to Mansfield to Cleveland is fairly prime wind territory ... the speeds mostly being in the range of 7-10 m/s on a scale of 0-10 m/s. These areas (expressed as three colors of purple) encapsulate a LOT of high-voltage transmission line corridors.

If the photos of wind farms that I've seen are any indication of density of tower placement, we can conservatively say that each 300ft assembly is spaced within a square 450ft on a side, hence 202500sf, or 0.0073 square mile. If it takes 478 of those to run Toledo, then Toledo's field requires only 3.5 square miles.

Lake Erie has 9940 square miles. I think she can spare 4 of those square miles for us ... about 1/30th of 1 percent.

Round One to GZ!

What's the cost of electricity from a wind farm like the one you're describing?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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