Monday, April 29, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Regarding the letter “Wind energy is a win-win for all”: There is nothing further from the truth.
Wind energy is expensive. My latest copy of Wind Power Engineering states the lowest cost at 11 cents per kilowatt. That is much higher than the base cost of any other resource NV Energy uses.
Further, what that doesn’t state is the utility is required to have back-up power, as the wind doesn’t blow every day. So we need that cost added in. And we all know that has been the reason for recent price increases.
Further, wind power has no surge capabilities. This is a hard thing for the layman to understand, but for instance, your air conditioner unit turns on, it will need 20 amps for a few microseconds, which of course the windmill cannot provide. So the surge power is off-loaded onto the base energy source. This is all fine, until the harmonics caused by more than a 15 percent unresponsive load creates an outage. The solution is simple: have a battery backup.
So let’s get this straight. A windmill produces electrical energy at 11 cents per kilowatt, then we need battery backups, which aren’t cheap, and we need to keep the gas turbines running. Wow, I cannot wait for the true cost of wind energy to hit my bill, but it will be disguised as plant expansions, etc.