Wind power is whipping up demand for better forecasts

  • Article by: DAN HAUGEN , Midwest Energy News
  • Updated: October 6, 2011 - 11:38 PM

Federal agencies and a St. Paul weather forecasting firm are testing new technology, hoping to learn whether investing in better prediction tools is worth the expense.

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esandeenOct. 7, 1112:03 PM

The Midwest ISO actually does a very good job of forecasting wind already, and they make the forecast (and the reality) public; see the realtime graph showing both at http://bit.ly/qFjdA1 Today looks pretty steady, so not so interesting, but other times they clearly are doing a good job of forecasting variable wind output throughout the day, so that it can be successfully integrated on the grid. I think it's pretty amazing, overall, and very cool that they make this info public.

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kingjulienOct. 10, 11 9:51 AM

The only "interest" being "whipped up" here is the ongong desire to funnel $billion$ more tax and electrical rate money into a unrealiable expensive form of electrical generation that has already proven its failure. Fresh Energy and other wind lobbying groups wrote your MN law mandating wind. Even with the mandate, de-regulation, exemptions and $Billions, wind continues to prove the only thing produced reliably by wind turbines is renewable energy credits - the currency of cap-and-trade. The legislature is FINALLY examining the cost of the 2007 MN Renewable Energy Standard - thank you Rep. Peggy Scott. MN Rural Energy Association estimated the cost to MN electrical rate payers to be @ $100 million in 3 years. Meanwhile, the lobbyists have weighed in again with former lobbyist, now head of Dept of Commerce Division of Energy Resources, Bill Grant, explaining that the legislature should try to measure all sorts of imagined and modeled possible costs insteady of actual dollars. I encourage Rep Peggy Scott and others to stick to FACTS. Enough already with having our energy policy set and our money squandered on bubbles, kites, rainbows and unicorns - and when that has not worked, the wind industry just plain lies.

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looncallOct. 10, 11 2:51 PM

So, per this story: two agencies deployed a dozen instruments....at $1 million per installation....to help determine whether there's a business case for improvements nationwide. Let the wind industry bear the cost of determining whether there is a business case. I would like research and development put into things that are actually sustainable to start with. And, if government money (tax payer money) is given to prop up private companies, then the private companies should have to stop standing behind "trade secrets." Wind power is produced by companies that are public when they need public money, and are private when they need to hide information that reveals their down side. They have lobbied and written the laws. If there is this much spent on instruments(and the labor, data analysis, maintenance, administration, etc. that goes along with this effort), wind power looks more like a losing, complicated, and expensive proposition than ever.

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junifer15Oct. 10, 1110:37 PM

The road to hell is paved with good intentions - and bad ideas. The American people need to look beyond the glossy photos of the happy children running through the field of wind turbines with kites and dig into the facts. Large wind energy conversion systems are pollutants, from the moment we mine for the rare earth minerals, to the day they go on line with coal, hydro, nuclear and gas plants running alongside to keep the grid stable. Come on people, step up on behalf of the state and tell your elected leaders that we want renewable energy but we want something that actually works.

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