Michigan township to dismantle wind turbines

A southeastern Michigan township is following the sun — but doing away with wind as a source to generate energy.
AP Wire
Jul 17, 2013

 

The Genoa Township Board voted Monday night to dismantle the wind turbines on township hall property. Officials said they have had difficulty finding replacement parts since the turbines' manufacturer went through bankruptcy, and one of the turbines disintegrated on a windy day.

Township Manager Mike Archinal said the turbines were a test project and helped boost knowledge and awareness about renewable energy, but the township's solar panels have been producing far more energy than the turbines.

The turbines are expected to come down in the next few weeks.

The Livingston County township received a $94,000 grant in 2010 to install the panels and turbines.

Comments

Vladtheimp

What a lovely example of the AP (Administration Press) making lemonade out of lemons to protect the liberal environmentalists and the Obama administration.

Reading this pap you would never know that our tax dollars were spent on a project that caused the wind turbines to be "hazardous and have sent aluminum parts flying into surrounding areas on windy days;" that didn't produce much power, that will be very expensive to remove, that killed unknown numbers of our fine feathered friends http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-..., all in the name of non-existent global warming. The real story is here http://www.michiganradio.org/pos...

Maybe the Trib should look more deeply into stories promoted by the Administration Press before publishing them - it would be less embarrassing!

Lanivan

It's a shame about the bird. I feel just as badly about the thousands of sea and wild life that have died from massive oil spills in the Gulf, Alaska, and, of course, right here in West Michigan when Canadian company Enbridge experienced the costliest oil pipeline spill in US history, and which will take many years to clean up.

http://insideclimatenews.org/new...

Lanivan

Vlad - Thought you'd be interested in a CFL update: I've slowly been replacing my CFL's for LED's - warm white, 10 year warranty, uses 84% less energy, instant full brightness, no mercury, a lifetime savings of about $139.

Vladtheimp

Interesting - I've been hoarding my incandescents because the light is more pleasing to me and my better half, your lifetime is probably longer than mine, and I fully anticipate I will: receive an award for combating global cooling in the near future while having another heat source for our humble homestead.

Lanivan

Geez - you're a stubborn old coot. I imagine you are busy putting up an extra shed in the back 40, specifically earmarked for incandescent storage. But you are wise to keep your better half happy, (being one myself).

Just for the record, the LED's give off, surprisingly, quite a bit of heat - because they are dimmable? Will have to look into it and report back...

Lanivan

The number of megawatts generated from wind power in the US has exploded over the last decade - 2003 = 4,232; 2013 = 60,007. In fact, the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources (non-hydro) more than doubled between 2008-2012. Wind energy generation is the fastest growing energy source of any kind - in 2012, it was the #1 source of new US electricity generating capacity for the first time, providing 42% of all new generating capacity, and it employs about 80,700.

Yet we are far behind China and European countries, such as Germany, in R&D, private and public investments, and amounts of generated energy, as they are appropriating billions more than the US in renewable energy sources. Our competitive edge is on that slippery slope, eroding at an increasing pace.

In Michigan, electricity providers are expected to generate about 10% of their power from renewable resources by 2015. The use of wind and other renewables has increased more than expected - 4.7% in 2012, up from 3.6% in 2010. And the average price of renewable energy contracts is less than what was forecast, and substantially lower than new coal-fired plants. http://www.michiganradio.org/pos...

Some interesting facts:

1.) Us oil production is at it's highest rate since 1998. In fact, there has been a 60% increase in domestic oil production between 2008-2013. The US is producing more oil while using and importing less.

2.) Natural gas production has increased 20% in the years between 2008-2012, with production in 2012 a record high.

3.) Thus far in 2013, the Big 5 Oil companies made a nearly unprecedented $336 million profit per day, yet between 2011 and 2012 produced 3% fewer barrels of oil.

4.) 70% of the tens of millions of offshore acres under lease are inactive.

5.) There were more coal miners employed in 2012 than any year since 1997.

6.) In the last 10 years, the combined profits of US oil companies totaled just over $1 Trillion, yet they received a total of $40 Billion in Federal subsidies.

And yet the House of Representatives just passed a 2014 budget that would:

1.) Retain and expand tax breaks for Big Oil.

2.) Support the expansion of oil and gas production.

3.) Cut investments in clean energy in 1/2.

4.) Eviscerate public health protection from hazardous pollutants.

5.) Reduce advanced energy research investments by 80%.

Could the current House of Representatives be any more blatant in their dereliction of duties by passing an energy budget so unbalanced, so backward-thinking, so out of touch with the reality of the 21st century?

Tri-cities realist

All this production in spite of the Obama administration shutting down leases on federal land. Just imagine the increased production (not to mention added revenue to the fed govt) if leases on federal land were renewed. Thankfully there is still enough private land, and those willing to take a risk, to expand our energy production.

As Rich Smith from dailyfinance.com noted:

"In 2011, Exxon took in $433.5 billion in revenues from its oil business,. But what Exxon calls "cost of goods sold," which includes the cost of the oil it extracted as well as certain production and manufacturing expenses, ate up $304 billion of those revenues, and operating costs consumed another $75.4 billion. Factor in the $31 billion income tax check Exxon wrote to various world governments (a number equal to 75% of its profits), and a host of other, smaller costs. Even when you add in Exxon's $15.3 billion of "income from affiliates," and a $2.8 billion "gain on sale of assets," and Exxon ended up with "only" $41 billion on the bottom line."

Yep that's less than 10% profit, in an industry that involves huge risks. And Ford makes 13% profit, while Apple "gouges" it's customers to the tune of 27% profit. Why don't we hear complaints about those evil companies?

And for the record, according to Smith, Conoco made 4.8% profit, while BP made 4.6% profit. Not exactly the type of numbers most would label "unprecedented", unless we are talking about how LITTLE profit the oil industry makes on an ROI basis. But don't let these numbers rain on your tirade... err... parade. Carry on... (Wing can finish the rest :-))

Wingmaster

Perfectly presented TCR. It unfortunately will be Lannered into how evil......(fill in the blank) are taking from the poor, the children, the old blah, blah, blah.

Class warfare that is destroying the model that has made us the most desirable place to live in the world.

Lanivan

Oh, the Drama! Your assertion that my simple statement of facts is a "tirade" of a "parade" that can be disputed with your defense of Big Oil profits and pronouncement that how really it's just a pittance, really it is - Oh, Please. Who said Big Oil is evil? Putting words on my screen again? We literally couldn't live without 'em. Let's keep things into perspective - Big Oil has received enormous amounts of energy subsidies and tax breaks. Apple and Ford receive enormous amounts of tax breaks explicit in the tax code, as do all major corporations. What's your point? I have highlighted Big Oil only in the context of its relationship to the reason for my 'tirade' - wind power.

As for your shutting down leases comment, you might find this interesting: http://www.facethefactsusa.org/f...

Appears the fact of the matter is that all those "unprofitable" Big Oil companies not only lease vast amounts of federal land, they are sitting on them, leaving them idol - not "profitable" for them to drill at this time. My heart goes out to them.

Lanivan

By the way, even oilman President George W. Bush was in favor of the elimination of oil tax provisions, saying in 2005, "with 55 dollar oil, we don't need incentives to oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives."

Furthermore, when testifying before Congress in 2005, one oil executive stated that removing many of these tax breaks would have no effect on his company's production activity.

One could make a case that you are indeed contradicting your own side.

Wingmaster

What...wait...Bush praising!! The heat must be thawing out your frigid ideology. Oh and since the oil man was brought up, why aren't prices coming down now that his cronies don't have a direct line to the White House. Where is the media on this now that BO is in town.

By the way, I agree, strip all subsides for all energy exploration and developement. Let the best, source win.

Lanivan

Virtually every US energy source has received Federal tax incentives or other subsidies since 1916. Oh wait - there's nothing specifically mentioned in the Constitution about oil, natural gas, hydro, wind, solar, or nuclear subsidies or tax incentives, so I guess we should have created an amendment back in 1916.

Yes - Bush had his hat on straight when he talked about oil subsidies, as much as it pains me to say so. But my frigid ideology is far more flexible than your rigid one, so I can give credit where credit is due. Excuse me while I have a meltdown in the extreme water temperatures of Lake Michigan.

Tri-cities realist

I never said big oil should receive subsidies, nor should solar, wind, etc. As Wing said, let the market decide, remove all energy subsidies.

And I never said it was a pittance, I just pointed out that their profits are really not all that great, considering the HUGE risk they take, but funny how some don't like to look at percentages, if that suits their whim.

As for drama, I intended none. I was simply trying to add a little humor, but apparently you can't handle it without labeling it drama.

An honest question: is the Gulf of Mexico open to US drillers? I recall the Oministration shutting them down after the spill, but was that ban lifted?

Lanivan

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB...

Things are up and running as far as Big Oil drilling in the Gulf, stronger then ever. The Federal Government has provided energy subsidies and tax incentives since 1916. Not likely to end now, except if the House decides to defund and sabotage the Federal government, which is a distinct possibility. http://nymag.com/news/features/r...

I can handle humor just fine....it just seemed like very dramatic humor...

bigdeal

http://thinkprogress.org/climate... hide millions overseas so they son;t have to pay more taxes. Corporate welfare..."Chevron CEO John Watson recently claimed “We’re the highest taxed industry that I’m aware of” while the American Petroleum Institute has claimed the industry pays a tax rate at more than 40 percent. But as Reuters explains, the oil industry uses a different methodology to claim it pays an artificially higher tax rate to the public. The industry “lumps together U.S. and foreign taxes. It includes taxes that are deferred and thus not paid yet. U.S. companies must pay taxes on profits earned abroad, but they can defer these taxes until they bring the cash into the country.” The big five use this tactic of hoarding cash oversees in tax havens, cutting their tax rates drastically. Exxon uses at least 20 tax shelters. These tax loopholes permit Exxon to pay a rate in-line with Mitt Romney, who’s also notorious for tax dodging."

dancingliberal

Thank an almighty for the big oil companies. The will keep our country running strong when and if the economy turns around.

Say no to new taxes

Natural gas powered generators are the answer, not wind power, not solar. If we ban exports of this clean burning and abundant natural resource we can be energy independent within five years at half of what we're paying now for oil. What are we waiting for?

Lanivan

US natural gas is 'immigrating' to Mexico in droves.....http://www.csmonitor.com/Environ....

Wind and solar power is a bit harder to export.....

Call the GHBLP and share your opinion.

Tri-cities realist

And here is an interesting article

www.csmonitor.com/Environment/En...

Tri-cities realist

The real problem with solar (which includes wind) energy is that it is difficult to store, such that when produced, it must be immediately consumed, or lost. Luckily, we have a huge "battery" nearby, in the form of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant reservoir. So during non peak (night) times, the windmills can supplement the electricity required to power the turbines which pump the lake michigan water up into the reservoir, helping to reduce the amount of electricity the turbines would draw from a coal or nuclear powered plant. Then during peak demand, the water is released back into lake michigan, enabling the turbines to produce electricity. In general, the concept makes sense, and increases the overall capacity that would otherwise be produced by building additional power plants... That is as long as the wind is blowing. Even without the windmills, the ludington plant is a marvel, and the best example of reducing the need for additional capacity, by leveling output to match demand... What a concept!

Windmills that are not used to power similar storage facilities, but are only connected to the grid, really don't alleviate the need for more coal, natural gas, or nuclear powered electric plants. The electric companies need to supply the capacity even if the wind isn't blowing, so while they may report how much renewable energy they produced, the dirty little secret is that they "wasted" the same amount of energy that was produced by the traditional power plants, since they can't modulate their output to match demand. But seeing the windmills and solar panels makes some people feel like we are doing our part to save the planet, hopefully I didn't ruin your day.

Whatareyoutalki...

That's a two way street. Coal and Gas both produce more and waste more electricity, or rather will dial back on efficiencies during none peak times. This does allow for on demand electricity when needed, but carries with it a massive waste factor that trumps solar and wind combined. Our entire power grid could benefit from a stored energy solution not just on the renewable side, but given the predictable inefficiencies of solar and wind we target them for this fault, when the blame can easily be spread to almost every source of energy we currently use.

Lanivan

The facts are: Fossil Fuel energy sources are finite, potentially hazardous, and are inherently wasteful. But they are necessary to our way of life. They can be enhanced and made more efficient with common sense adoption of renewable energy sources, which are infinite, not hazardous, and are not wasteful (in the same sense as fossil fuels). A sustainable energy policy that addresses the pros and cons inherent in both is the only way to move forward in a world where energy demand is increasing rapidly.

My point is that we need a government that has an understanding of how the US must position itself, its energy policy, its R&D, and its subsidies to the energy industry, in this century, and we haven't got it in the current House.

truthhurts

Obama thought this one through...give away more money to companies looking for a hand out and then they go into bankrupcy. How many times has this happend?

NO MORE HAND OUTS!!!! here and in other countries!!!! it does everyone a dis-serivce. The reciever doesn't learn anything and the donor has wasted money that is not theirs.

GH55

Your perpetuation of falsehoods does no good, and takes very little effort to dispel. Your handout statement is false, these were loans, intended to be paid back.
A TV ad by a conservative group, (who else?) gives some factually challenged answers to its own rhetorical question, “How exactly does President Obama spend your tax dollars?”
■It wrongly claims that the boss of the General Services Administration “couldn’t make it to Vegas because she had meetings planned … at Solyndra.” That’s not true. The claim linking the two scandals is based on an inaccurate April 10 report that was quickly corrected — nearly two weeks before the ad first aired.
■The ad incorrectly characterizes federal loan guarantees to clean-energy firms as “handouts.” In fact, the low-interest loans are supposed to be repaid and only 2 percent have gone bad.
So, as always, lets not discuss the successes, lets just use the minimal failures to spread untruths. I think a 2% failure rate is actually quite good! Unfortunately, the only reason the "truth Hurts" is because its not truthful!
Like the comments aimed at Lanivan, if you don't have an alternative suggestion, its easy to just complain. Denying global climate change is just ignorant. Travel outside lovely West Michigan to places like Bejing, Mexico City, LA, and then tell me that is not having an affect on our climate.

truthhurts

ok...let me know how many pay their loans back after they file chapter11. To many fail to make the benefit of a few sucsesses worth the cost of the failures. Even local companies that got obama money have failed. There was one in muskegon forget the name and that battery plant in holland.

GH55

I gave the default rate, you must have missed that. It is only about 2% so far, but the Faux News sources only key on what will advance their denier agenda. Solyndra. And you have obviously made no effort to seek knowledge elsewhere.
I can imagine any entrepreneurial effort that only had a 2% failure rate would be praised, but not this time, because it is trying to get us out of the hands of big oil and big coal.
Why do people want to be shackled to this type of energy? Then all they do is whine when the price goes up, which as the cost to extract and the supply goes down, it surely will go higher.
Seek the truth, quite believing the drivel.

truthhurts

oil costs is again Trayvon's Dads fault. READ MY LIPS...NO MORE HANDOUTS!

dancingliberal

Where did you get 2%?

GH55

Vlad the Impaler says: "Reading this pap you would never know that our tax dollars were spent on a project that caused the wind turbines to be "hazardous and have sent aluminum parts flying into surrounding areas on windy days;" that didn't produce much power, that will be very expensive to remove, that killed unknown numbers of our fine feathered friends http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-..., all in the name of non-existent global warming."
How did spending our tax dollars on this project, "cause" the wind turbines to be hazardous? I can understand from an engineering stand point, there may have been some defective characteristics which contributed to the failure, probably why the turbine company is no longer in business, but not sure about the connection between the money spent on the project and the actual causing of the hazrdous condition.
How many birds are killed by automobiles and trucks driving on our motorways every year? I can imagine the number is quite large. So, ban all automobiles and trucks!
One of the reasons the power companies "waste" a portion of its production, is not because the alternative energy does not alleviate the need for the extra capacity, but becasue the grid in place to distribute the electricity does not have a feedback aspect to it. Hence the need for a smart grid with smart meters! But there again, fight that implementation at all costs becasue it is intrusion into our privacy! Smart Meter Syndrome = Wind Turbine Syndrome! Hysteria!
Additionally, the phot accompanying this article is not representative of the wind turbines installed for this project. The ones in question were small verticle, egg beater style, that were of about 1.2kW production capacity. Very small.
They also have about $40,000 left from the grant to pay for the removal and installation of more solar cells.

dyankee

You take down a Cross in Spring Lake or Dewey Hill and no once says a word....you take down a wind turbine in Genoa Twp. and some go fracking crazy. I want to remind everyone here, that the push in this Country for renewable resource (ie) solar, wind, battery, etc... has been manufactured on a false premise called global warming. Global warming is the biggest fraud of our life time. To see America take a 25 year time out to appease the morons of this belief is an epic and cruel lie beyond anything I have ever witnessed before. The brain washing of smart grid this, curly bulb that, Volt manufacturing here, gargantuan wind turbine over there, ozone action day over here, and CAFE standards right in front of us makes me, at times, sit at my desk and laugh damn near uncontrollably while reading these post filled with vile stupidity of chasing this "new" industry called renewable resource. This Country is pouring billions down this abyss with little or absolutely ZERO R.O.I. and some of you want to talk about the power company's "waste" in energy production and the need for smart grids. Good God!! I gotta' believe that China is staring at us in utter disbelief with their jaws dropped to the friggin' floor in witnessing the moronic decisions that our Country is making in the name of trying to stop Global Warming. They too, must have side aches from laughing so hard while elevating their hysterical laughter even more when the thought enters their mind that they STILL can't beat us in a Super Power race!(yet) This country needs to shift back to full throttle with oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear exploration and production and IMO, it can't come soon enough. Wind mills belong on a cookie not polluting the landscape in Ludington. Time to implement the K.I.S.S formula people!(keep it simple stupid)

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