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Letter: Answer is in the wind

Re “Vt. Yankee shutdown makes matters worse” (Monitor Forum, Sept. 5):

While Marc Brown acknowledges the New England ISO identifies over-dependence on natural gas as a “strategic challenge,” he ignores the solution that’s already readily available: adding more wind power.

Wind provides more than 20 percent of the electricity needs in several states, according to the Department of Energy, and the main grid in Colorado has relied on wind for up to 55 percent of its electricity. While transmission upgrades in New England are needed to accommodate wind resources of similar scale, other regions are adding new power lines to get the benefits of wind. Wind power is making headlines for its increased affordability (costs have dropped more than 50 percent over the last four years) and because it offers long-term, stable prices, which act as a hedge against fossil fuel prices in the same way a 30-year mortgage provides protection from interest rate spikes.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric says adding “wind energy provides OG&E customers with a hedge against higher and volatile fuel prices. . . . (A newly planned wind project) will provide an estimated $268 million of production cost savings over the first five years.” Those savings are passed on to ratepayers.

For example, a 2010 New England Wind Integration Study found that wholesale electricity prices would decline anywhere from $5 per MWh to $11 per MWh if the region generated 20 percent of its power from wind, depending on which sites were used for wind production. Because of the reliability and affordability wind power provides, it’s the right solution right now for New England.

TOM VINSON

Washington, D.C.

(The writer is senior director of federal regulatory affairs for the American Wind Energy Association.)

I believe we need to initiate serious long-term study on wind power and potential downsides. Like our body, the planet has important circulatory systems. In the body if you slow down the flow of blood the tissues suffer. If the lymphatic system is inhibited toxic substances are backed up into the cells and there are more examples. The planet has important Deepwater and aquifer circulatory systems. Deeper in the planet magma flows. We know how critical the jet streams another when flow’s art to the weather and to our existence. Now we have windfarms popping up all of the planet and each one of these when generators is taking energy away from wind circulation to make electricity. What happens if we subtract energy from when flow? I assume a little would have no discernible effect of what happens when we start to transfer energy away from the wind on a large scale? Are we perhaps tampering with something that we need to know more about?

"While transmission upgrades in New England are needed to accommodate wind resources of similar scale, other regions are adding new power lines to get the benefits of wind." New power lines??? Oh..the horror.

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