Wind power

Looking to the future, the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power is adding more renewable energy to its power-generating mix.
Alex Doty
Feb 8, 2013

 

The public power provider recently announced that it struck a deal with Beebe Renewable Energy’s Phase 1B wind power project.

“We’re always looking at what would be good enhancements to get more diverse in our generation mix,” said Annette Allen, the Grand Haven utility's general manager.

The project is an expansion of the existing 81.6-megawatt Beebe 1A Project that was constructed in 2012 under a purchased power agreement with Consumers Energy. The project is owned and operated by Excelon Wind and is located east of Ithaca in Gratiot County.

“We’ve had this project come up before and it looked like it’d be a nice fit,” Allen said.

The Board of Light & Power will purchase up to 2.4 megawatts of energy from the Beebe project for 20 years. The agreement calls for a price not to exceed $48.95 per megawatt-hour.

“Although we don’t need it, it’s a good fit as it’s a good price for renewables,” Allen said. “It’s only a small piece, but it is a good first step.”

Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb said that while the municipal utility has to comply with renewable energy standards, she is skeptical of wind energy’s potential to meet future power requirements.

“I don’t think it is a good, long-term solution to our energy needs,” she said. “I certainly don’t think this is a long-term solution to anyone’s energy requirements.”

In light of a new state mandate (Public Act 295), power providers are on the lookout for opportunities to consider additional renewable options. The act requires power generators to produce 10 percent of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2015.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

horst

Thanks Laivan. That's some pretty interesting stuff. I'm going to keep watching this company closely. If it has real merit and can be a retro-fit I can see the current turbine manufacturers designing this into their products. The owner of the company is spot on with the cost too. A 1.5mw turbine cost $3 million in 2010. Today we are building 2.75mw for $3.3 million but I sure Vald will find an expert on the internet that say I'm wrong, even though my job is knowing final project costs.

Vladtheimp

Hey Horst, you know your business and I don't - fact is, these costs, while interesting, are irrelevant to how we will be providing for automobiles, buses, trains, air travel, and home heating for the foreseeable future, if at all, given the amount of electricity we use.

By the bye, having been personally involved in many construction projects, I'm impressed that your job is knowing final project costs. If you could accurately project them from the design phase, you would be rolling in dough and be able to build your own personal turbine driven existence. I'm assuming you know what the final project costs are after completion. This is relevant only to the amount of taxpayer dollars we are wasting on those magic beans without any idea of final costs. Good luck, my friend, I'm sure you excel at what you do.

horst

Anyone that thinks wind/solar will replace fossil fuels as the main power source is smoking crack. The problem with Europe, they are reaching the tipping point in making too much wind power for demand during off peak periods. If you don’t use it or have storage capacity (which is too expensive) the power is but there is still a cost. The US has a great advantage because we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Wind and solar are inconsistent so we will always need power plants. One thing that never gets factored into the savings by the anti-renewable people is the cost saving of building smaller power plants (and power plants are very expensive) because the renewables pick up the increase needed capacity.

Vladtheimp

Horst,

You seem like a rational fellow, so keeping things in perspective, if you don't believe in global warming, which according to the rabid environmentalists will be catastrophic, how can you justify what we are doing to ourselves in its name: our kids can't get over the counter asthma inhalers, we can't have A/C as good as it was decades ago, we can't have cheap, effective incandescent lighting, we are losing manfacturing jobs hand over fist in part because of environmental regulations, we are spending trillions we don't have all to combat future global warming>

Sure, it is wise to develop alternative sources of energy, sure it makes to marginally improve air quality through such other sources, but if global warming is not the catastrophic event claimed by those who profit from its existence, what in the wide wide world of sports justifies what we are sacrificing in its name? I would sincerely like your view on this.

GH55

Using the words "effective" and "incandescent" together is an oxymoron. I will say again, the most efficient and conservative use of energy is that which you don't use.
As a "light" bulb, the incandescent bulb is less than 5% efficient in converting electricity to light. It is very efficient at converting electricity to heat.
The typical incandescent light bulb produces about 16 lumens per watt, compared to the 60 lm/Watt of a typical CFL.
Regardless of the argument on how to produce electricity in this country and the world, and the results of that production, why would we waste effort and capital building facilities, to just needlessly waste that power on completely inefficient output devices? The incandescent bulb itself is "cheap", because its an inefficient poor producer of the commodity you purchased it to produce. Unfortunately, the power wasted to produce that "cheap" light, is not cheap!
Are we that arrogant that we think there is a bottomless pit of everything to satisfy our ravenous gluttony?
I guess I just don't understand the link between "conservatives" and the mass comsumption society we have today.
Perhaps, I am just a cheap liberal, in that I can't stand having to pay for stuff that I can get much less expensivly by using CFL's, making sure my home is well insulated, not driving a ginormous behemoth, and finally participating in recreational activities that are not almost solely based on the comsumption of gasoline!
I really don't see a whole lot of sacrificing going on in what many call "The World".

Lanivan

Good words, GH55. This discussion on wind turbines, renewables, conservation, and global trends highlights the Great Divide between those of us who make decisions based on facts, and those that rely on "faith" in what they hear or are told what to think. Like gun control, health care, and a whole host of other issues, global warming is dissected to uncover that one argument they can manipulate with the fire of the prophets.

Vlad's bringing up incandescents is just so much red meat. I'm betting dollars to doughnuts he has CFL's all over his house. At this point in time, nobody with 1/2 a brain could actually believe incandescents are energy efficient.

The fact that the scientific community is almost unanimous in its fact-based assertion that climate change is indeed happening at record speeds due to human activity can and will not be recognized by skeptics. It's always much easier to rest on our laurels and pine for the past rather than making sacrifices and recognizing the need for change.

Vladtheimp

Sorry Lanivan, incandescents all the way except for a couple of night lights and some florescents. I much prefer the soft light from the old light bulbs. More to the point, what business does the government have to tell manufacturers not to make incandescents, and refusing me the opportunity to buy them? Oh yea, the catastrophe of global warming that is a scam, no matter how many times you regurgitate the Al Gore, government subsidized biased climate scientists. Next you'll tell me I can't buy Primatene Mist, can't use chlorofluorocarbons, have to have a government approved smart meter to see how much energy I am using, will be subject to government installed traffic cameras, will be subject to government drone surveillance - Wait a minute . . . .

Lanivan

O, I see - you're one of those who still mourns the demise of Geritol. I'm thrilled you still can find a plethora of incandescents all over creation, since you are so enamored by them. Next time you're stuffing your shopping cart with a hoarders instinct, take a moment and read the CFL boxes. They are making them (and have been for years) in all kinds of degrees of "soft" light. And the price has gone down dramatically. I have some that haven't needed to be changed in over 3 years. I note you don't seem to rebut the argument they represent big energy savings.

But this is all beside the point in Vlad's World (and those who think like him), where anything even remotely resembling Big Brother Government is cause for spasms of paranoia. Gun control a government invasion? Health care a government attempt to anesthetize the citizenry? Global warming/climate change produced and directed by Government? Try explaining that to the whole fishing villages in Alaska that are having to close up shop and move inland because they are going underwater.

Once again, I must turn to former Vice-President Dick Cheney's profound and most convenient 1% Doctrine - if there is just but 1% of a chance of global warming/climate change, we must act.

GH55

Using the words "effective" and "incandescent" together is an oxymoron. I will say again, the most efficient and conservative use of energy is that which you don't use.
As a "light" bulb, the incandescent bulb is less than 5% efficient in converting electricity to light. It is very efficient at converting electricity to heat.
The typical incandescent light bulb produces about 16 lumens per watt, compared to the 60 lm/Watt of a typical CFL.
Regardless of the argument on how to produce electricity in this country and the world, and the results of that production, why would we waste effort and capital building facilities, to just needlessly waste that power on completely inefficient output devices? The incandescent bulb itself is "cheap", because its an inefficient poor producer of the commodity you purchased it to produce. Unfortunately, the power wasted to produce that "cheap" light, is not cheap!
Are we that arrogant that we think there is a bottomless pit of everything to satisfy our ravenous gluttony?
I guess I just don't understand the link between "conservatives" and the mass comsumption society we have today.
Perhaps, I am just a cheap liberal, in that I can't stand having to pay for stuff that I can get much less expensivly by using CFL's, making sure my home is well insulated, not driving a ginormous behemoth, and finally participating in recreational activities that are not almost solely based on the comsumption of gasoline!
I really don't see a whole lot of sacrificing going on in what many call "The World".

rainbowjoe

For what it's worth, I have a friend who worked for two years on wind turbines around the country. He thought it would be a good career but recently bailed because, he said, they are maintenance nightmares and he thought the whole wind turbine frenzy is a money fueled sham. Every three months each turbine consumed 50 barrels of lubricants (petroleum products), and all the moving parts and electronics were in need of constant servicing. He doesn't have anything good to say about wind turbines as they currently exist, and he's a pretty sharp young man.
I was always curious why the acres and acres of turbines I saw while traveling through Iowa and Wyoming were often idle.
Me, I'd prefer to let the markets and technology determine our energy sources rather than our globe-trotting, blowhard former VP.

Lanivan

"I'd prefer to let the markets and technology determine our energy sources rather than our globe-trotting, blowhard former VP".

Aren't markets and technological advances currently determining our energy sources? Why the need to bring our former VP into the equation? (although I'll be the first to admit I love an opportunity to trash former VP Dick Cheney - and there so many opportunities).

Why can't we just acknowledge that the record-breaking speed of global warming/climate change due to human activity is being embraced by the global market and technological communities as we speak, regardless of any one player?

Vladtheimp

"Aren't markets and technological advances currently determining our energy sources?"

You can ask this with a straight face? Government has its huge paw on the scales of every energy source - killing coal with over-regulation (before you reject this, see the United Mine Workers); subsidizing the crap out of so-called green energy that has wasted billions but lined the pockets of Obama supporters, making it more difficult to extract oil, attempting to make fracking economically infeasible, regulating the auto companies to force them to produce unsafe and unwanted econo-boxes. I'm shocked that as a business person you seem to have no idea of what an open and free market looks like. Government minimally impacting the free market by imposing reasonable health and safety regulations is one thing - attempting to dominate the market and picking winners and losers, generally by the liberal application of consumer/taxpayer dollars is something else again.

To paraphrase Darth Vader per Lanivan - Once again, I must turn to former Vice-President Dick Cheney's profound and most convenient 1% Doctrine - if there is just but 1% of a chance of government becoming even more totalitarian than it already is, risking being labeled as paranoid we must act

Lanivan

It seems government energy incentives are as American as apple pie and the Constitution. If you are truly concerned about subsidies to green energy, I encourage you to read this (not long) report from the Yale Center for Business & the Environment..http://cbey.yale.edu/news/181/15...

I guess the government has been picking winners and losers since our founding fathers - and we sure don't want to mess with that tradition, do we?

It explains that during every great expansion of the American economy there is a link to the discovery of a new energy source. And that the more mature, developed fossil fuel industries have received, both past and present, many billions more in government subsidies than green/renewable energy industries.

In the Bush years 2002-2008, about $72 billion in government subsidies went to fossil fuel industry, vs $29 billion to renewables. And about 1/2 of that went to corn-based ethanol - a Bush mandate, a huge boon for corn/food agribusiness, and an environmentally very bad idea.

"Killing coal with over-regulation? If - and this surely is a big if - you are sincere with that absurd statement, you might want to read the book "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future". You might think, by the title, that the author has an agenda, and you would be right. But it's a fascinating read. You will discover that our coal mining industry is not run by a bunch of over-supervised and over-regulated choir boys, as you suggest.

As to my business experience, the entirety of that experience/compensation has been in open markets, with only a very reasonable governmental presence - I have a pretty good grasp of open markets vs governmental impositions, and your argument just does not jibe with my experience.

Vladtheimp

It turns out that they are all tax "breaks." I even hesitate to call them "breaks" because some of them amount to little more than Congress defining accounting terms such as "capital equipment." And the total amount of earnings not collected in taxes (which liberals define as a "subsidy") is about $4 billion per year. Here is how that breaks down.

Domestic manufacturing tax deduction -- $1.7 B. This is a tax deduction given to every manufacturer in the US. Per CNN, it was "designed to keep factories in the United States." If that deduction were eliminated for oil companies only, it would mean singling out oil companies from all other manufacturers.

Percentage depletion allowance -- $1 B. Any industry can write down a portion of the cost of its capital equipment as part of the cost of doing business. Right now, oil in the ground is treated as capital equipment. Again, this "subsidy" amounts to how the cost of doing business is defined. All companies get it, not just oil companies.

Foreign tax credit -- $850 million. Companies get credit for taxes they pay to other countries. All companies get this "subsidy," not just oil companies. Should a company pay tax on tax? Should only oil companies pay tax on tax?

Intangible drilling costs -- $780 million. According to CNN, "[a]ll industries get to write off the costs of doing business, but they must take it over the life of an investment. The oil industry gets to take the drilling credit in the first year." Among these four tax "breaks," this smallest one was the only one that treated oil companies differently.

The above tax "breaks" explain how much tax revenue is not collected from all oil companies. How much is collected?

Exxon recently released its first quarter results for 2011. The number grabbing the headlines was Exxon's profit: $10.65 billion in a single quarter. The number not given quite as much exposure was the taxes it paid in that same quarter: $8 billion, or 42% of income before taxes.

And what does Exxon do with all that money it has left after paying $8 B in taxes? It put $7.8 billion into capital and exploration, as part of its plans "to invest between $33 billion and $37 billion per year over the next five years to develop new energy supplies."http://www.americanthinker.com/2...

Lanivan

Off-topic News Flash: Former Vice President Dick Cheney has just publicly declared the Obama administration's Drone offensive, and I quote, "A good policy". What a reasoned (droll?) Darth Vader!

As for as this other micro breakdown from the Tea Party you have cut and pasted as an attempt to bolster your paradigm, it basically just solidifies the fact that you are against anything that government touches. Put another way, if government is involved, in any way, you are against it for that reason only. Government makes such a satisfying whipping boy, doesn't it?

Thank goodness there are forward-thinking people out there - both in the public and private sectors - that are innovating, designing, investing, manufacturing, and recognizing that the future is sustainable renewable energy, in conjunction with the responsible harvesting of our fossil fuels. Government tax breaks/incentives/subsidies (fill in the blanks) are but the continuation of a long tradition of investing in the future of our country.

Vladtheimp

Just a coincidence that the private sector actors in electric cars, solar and wind happen to be getting huge and real subsidies (not tax breaks available to other businesses) from the Obama administration, and just further coincidence that many of the biggest recipients are big donors to Obama, eh Lanivan?

Unlike your slur, I am wholeheartedly in favor of everything the government touches pursuant to its enumerated powers in the Constitution - I WOULD like to see its touch even-handed and competent though.

As far as the detailed information I provided from "The American Thinker" I haven't heard any factual rebuttal that it is incorrect. Probably hard to find those facts at Think Progress and Daily Kos. . . . not to mention the Obama media.

Lanivan

Apparently you chose to not read or at least discount my Yale link, casting it aside for your "The American Thinker" - I'd really like to hear your take (as an American thinker) on my link, specifically - not as just more "Obama media". As for the assertion that recipients of Obama energy subsidies just happen to be big donors, I have but one word - Halliburton. There are so many more, but don't feel like diving into the muck.

As a constitutional scholar and a tea party sympathizer, just what would you suggest Obama do regarding the advancement of renewable energy sources, if anything? "Unlike your slur, I am wholeheartedly in favor of everything the government touches pursuant to its enumerated powers in the Constitution - I WOULD like to see its touch even-handed and competent though".

What would this look like? Do you feel Bush was being even-handed and competent when he pushed his corn-for-ethanol mandate ( and have you checked into whether Archer Daniels Midland was a major donor)? For that matter, why don't you ever mention Bush, other than when repeating my "liberal drivel" (knowing I'm hardly liberal)? Why do you dismiss all but your selections as "Obama media"?.

Not a slur, just curious.

Vladtheimp

Read and discounted based on: (1) the authors failed to make the distinction between subsidies (handouts) (provided by bureaucrats in Obama's Executive Branch exclusively to alternative energy firms, like guaranteed loans that will never be repaid) and tax benefits provided under law to all firms, including both oil, natural gas, and alternative energy firms; and (2) the authors of your link are financially tied to alternative energy. Come on, Lanivan - citing a venture capitalist whose "goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns", who sits on the Board of Directors of numerous alternative energy firms, including Tesla? And a graduate student at the school of environmental studies and the Staff Director to the Massachusetts Committee on the environment?

Why would I mention the former president-the guy ruining the country right now is Barack Hussein Obama, as much as you would like to ignore the fact he has presided over our miserable economy and disjointed foreign policies for over four years.

If you want to talk about ADM, see http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-... Some excerpts:
"Between 1975 and 1977 Andreas gave $72,000 in ADM stock to the children of David Gartner, then-senator Humphrey's chief of staff. After President Carter named Gartner to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1977, news of the ADM windfall leaked out. Because ADM, like other major agricultural and grain corporations, is heavily involved in commodity futures trading, the handouts raised red flags throughout Washington." ........ "Mother Jones, for example, has reported, "In a recently released deposition, Richard Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, recalled a 1972 personal visit from Andreas in which he delivered an unmarked envelope containing $100,000 in $100 bills. The cash spent a year or so in a White House safe before Nixon, with the Watergate investigation closing in around him, decided to give it back." . . . . "The Washington Post described Andreas as "one of the great financial 'switch hitters' of American politics," meaning that ADM will bankroll any politician who supports ethanol or sugar subsidies regardless of political creed or ideological convictions.(6) Andreas has done a masterful job of diversifying his investments by carefully cultivating both Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. The New York Times in 1990 called Dole "ADM's staunchest ally on Capitol Hill."(7) The Wall Street Journal likewise recently reported, "In the Senate, Mr. Dole has been the chief promoter of the ethanol subsidy."

Lanivan

I see...(retribution for wily weasel comment?).

Your Cato Institute source explains clearly, and answers those questions you did not.

Thank you for your time.

Vladtheimp

On government, see this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/op...

Lanivan

I'd love to hear your opinion on former Vice President Dick Cheney's comment that Obama's drone offensive was "a good policy".

Vladtheimp

Glad to comply. 1. Any policy that requires civilians (and especially lawyers) in Washington rather than military commanders in the field to determine how to carry our the war on a day to day or hour to hour basis, including what enemy combatants should be targeted for the "Obama Death From the Sky Program" is micromanaging war to a ridiculous and dangerous extent; 2. If the enemy combatants are Americans wearing a towel instead of foreign terrorists wearing a towel, in a combat zone overseas, it shouldn't make any difference about the field decision to incinerate their butts; 3. If Cheny is suggesting something different than 1 and 2 above, he is wrong. I'll add 4. If progressives and leftists, including Holder and Obama disagree with 1 and 2, they are equally wrong.

Lanivan

Now I am getting uneasy - John Bolton has now spoken out in favor of Obama's Drone "Micromanagement". What a web of inherent paradoxes - of form vs outcome, constitutional restrictions vs leadership.

Thank you for your time.

rainbowjoe

No, Lanivan, I don't believe it is the markets and available technology that are solely determining our energy sources. I think government is being far too heavy-handed in this matter, largely because it is being influenced by vocal earth muffins and environmentalists. Coal is widely available and cheap, as is natural gas, and "scrubber" technology has long existed to rid coal of its high sulfur and pollutant content. I'm not against wind power, but only if it's economically feasible and can be developed without massive government subsidies. I also oppose subsidies to other energy sources, particularly in light of our current fiscal condition.
I'm not sold on climate change, either, but that's just me. Weather has always been cyclical, and I recall the cover of Newsweek several years ago warning us of "The Coming Ice Age."
And ex-VP Chaney is worthy of some bashing, too.

Lanivan

rj - Take a moment and read this link. I found it to be very interesting in presenting the big picture of government involvement in the development of new energy sources. http://cbey.yale.edu/news/181/15...

Lakota05

Of course Mayor McCaleb is against wind energy........she is against anything green. Apparently though she couldn't be more proud of her heritage (The Netherlands), she knows nothing about that either.

Pages

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.