September 27, 2009

Buxton Wind meeting


Sen Basnight opens the meeting


I drove to Buxton on Friday to listen to the report on the feasibility of industrial scale wind generation in our area. I came away encouraged, impressed and more than a little concerned. I was encouraged and impressed by the report. They committee did what appeared to be a good job of reviewing the various factors that would keep a wind site form working. After eliminating most of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds but not the ocean, they estimated where the winds were suitable for turbines. The answer came up a small area in the sound west of Avon NC and most of the ocean off southern Hatteras, Ocracoke, Portsmouth Islands and south down to Morehead. You can review the full report and a summary at the Wind Committee's web site.
What worried me was the tone of many of the comments. The anger of many Hatteras Island residents was predictable but there was an edge to them that was reminiscent of the health care debate. Nasty, angry and with no trust. The consensus comments were - Fix our access problems and The environmental groups will never let you build the turbines. Don't even try. There were some strong supporters and a couple of very insightful comments about the lack of economic impact. There was not study of the effect on tourism, good or bad, No estimate of jobs created, if any or other costs or benefits to the area. There was a commitment to involve the Hatteras Electric Membership Coop in the project, an involvement that could mean big bucks for the coop - but don't count on it.
The best moment for me was after the most aggressive anti government comment, one that basically get government out of our lives, let the private sector do it, stop subsidies and a call to get the Bonner Bridge replacement started. It was a Tea Party diatribe that ended with an overt threat to get with the small government program or get voted out of office. Sen,. Basnight rose and responded that a.) the wind project needed to be done and b.) don't talk about cutting govt spending and ask for $400 (corrected) million dollars for a new bridge. It is hypocritical (my word not his). He got a nice ovation.
Manny Madieros got up and denied global warming, denied any viability of wind power as a generating source, exagerated the problems and ignored the impacts of his proposed solution - nuclear power. It was the predictable moment that reminded everyone that this was just one step in the long path to finding answers to our energy needs. We have heard Manny before and we will hear him again.
What's next? There seemed to be a commitment from Duke Power to built a demonstration project with 2 or 3 big turbines in the Pamlico Sound off Avon. they would be marginally visible from the shore. This will involved a lot more studies and meetings and arguments, discussion and probably blog posts. That said you got the sense that people were serious about moving forward with this. There was no pie in the sky rhetoric (well not much) There was a realistic acceptance of the strengths and drawbacks of off shore wind generation. There was an clear acceptance of the imperative for change on the part of both those on the dais and those in the audience.

Same topic different thought.
I continue to be impressed with the power of social networking. I decided to post microblog posts during the meeting using Twitter. I found out later that a couple of people actually found the stream of tweets and followed them. I have attached the full stream of tweets as a reference for how I saw the meeting while it was going on. I find it remarkable that using a handheld device (an Iphone) I was able to post messages read by people who were interested in what I was posting. I continue to be impressed by the power of tools like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr to increase communication between people with similar interests but little chance for random contact. If you aren't leveraging some of this power to increase your quality of life you are missing a great chance. It is not hard and it can be very rewarding.
The Tweets follow (tip the links are to photos. The photos aren't great) - Ciao

Basnight kicks off buxton wind energy meeting http://twitpic.com/j24m5 #nc #wind9:07 AM Sep 25th
Basnight if we turn our back on global warming we have made a big mistake9:11 AM Sep 25th
Basnight. Don't want to see towers up close but at a distance is ok Now introducing Gov9:14 AM Sep 25th
http://twitpic.com/j25fd purdue speaks. Son getting married ln Ocracoke on Sat9:17 AM Sep 25th
Gov purdue. The new gold will be green . Intro e Green czar John Morrison9:19 AM Sep 25th
Purdue. Nc can position herself as a world leader in green energy. NC wll will do evething we can to do lead9:21 AM Sep 25th
Rep Tim Spear up next. Here to listen to presentation &people9:22 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Presentation to start. Feasibty study. Dr. Joe Simon duke power to start Study area Pamlico & albemarle sounds and ocean9:28 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Turbines up to 500ft w/ up to 50 turbines in farm. Looked at wind resource & enviro impact9:31 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Buxton wind energy summit live tweet. Good wind in east Pamlico sound9:34 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. 40% wind capacity on offshore waters is very promissing. Winds over sounds s of hatteras also good9:39 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. High bird conflict along coast. We can reduce risk. Avoid white colors9:43 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind fish conflicts mimic bird conflicts. Human use similar as well9:46 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind synergies turbine bad provide substrate for oysters. Could help water quality9:48 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind foundation either big piling or gravity disk weighted w/2000 tons of rock9:52 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Excluded all no go areas for any reason. Eastern pamlico small area ok. Offshore lot of space is good9:57 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Best winds off Raleigh & onslow bay offshore9:59 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Develop about one sixth coul provide 20% of power for NC10:01 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Need more wind estimates Get transmissio corridor resoved Pamlico Sound could be demo area for 1 to 3 turbines10:03 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Cost 12 milion per turbine At 10 miles would be visible from the beach10:05 AM Sep 25th
http://twitpic.com/j2agg. Model of turbine. Need more research on hurricane impact10:07 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Ad for Duke Energy as state partner in project. Questions next10:09 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind duke power on what we are doing to save the world. 2 things important fix grid eliminate carbon10:16 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind questions. What is process? How do we make sure it is no impact as promised?10:21 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind process us many meetings. Web site for study google nc wind study10:22 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. What is economic impact. & ROI for wind energy10:23 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Beach access issue mentioned as government impact Answer is a few turbines don't provide good ROI. Big projects can bee good10:26 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Comment wind investment is good for economy Comment. Need commiment fron Feds and enviro will stop the project10:34 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. comment about replacement of bonner bridge & access issues demonstrate power of enviros10:35 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Comment. Get government out of it. Let private industry out of it stop spending our taxes dollars on these projects10:37 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Basnight bridge permits in Feb. fish & wildlife not our friends.10:41 AM Sep 25th
#nc #winds. Basnight don't say you want small government. Then ask for tax dollars for bridge10:42 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. Comment. Fear the enviromental groups. Comment. Use local electric coop10:43 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind comment. Economy is bad. Fix access issue. Nothing to with wind10:49 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind comment from. Billy Mosely. Surfer dude. He supports thanks.10:52 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind. http://twitpic.com/j2fym. Bobby Owens NC Utility Comm10:56 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind comment manny mederios. Anti wind blow hard. I will bring balance10:58 AM Sep 25th
##nc #wind Maderios. Myth of global warming. Wind needs back up power increases cost. Wind provides wimpy power. W/ lavish subsidies11:01 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind maferios. Wind power is socialism. Global warming is bunk11:03 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind Prof Stan Riggs rebuts mederios on global warming. Meeting losing people at good clip11:05 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind Peterson defends enviros and says this all needs to happen or face the consequences11:11 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind question. How restricted is acess to water around turbines.11:12 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind ? Acess fishing around turbine. Answer not much impact from demo project in sound. Could improve rec fishing11:16 AM Sep 25th
#nc #wind meeting continues with anti wind skeptics and & advocates for hatteras economy. Time for me to go. Ciao11:21 AM Sep 25th

3 Comments:

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Kevin Schwartz said...

Awesome post. One possible typo - probably $400 million rather than $40 million for the new bridge. $40 would barely get ya a pylon.

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Russ said...

Good post. Manny is too focused on nuclear. I cannot be convinced that solar, wind, geo, hyrdro, and even nuclear can't work together, and in some places, one will be more viable. Wind is certainly an option here and s/b explored. Tying beach access to alternative power is stupid. The ORV angries are way off base.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger dukestarco said...

I liked the presentation, especially the part where Duke Power is picking up the bill. I haven't changed my mind and still think wind will be too expensive but I think the study is needed. But at some point I don't want to keep studying this to death. Colleges will keep studying as long as the money keeps flowing in. New city in southwest Florida being constructed. Will be population of 25,000 and entirely 100% solar. Infrastructure and solar farm is going in now and homes and business once the economy picks up a little. It is called Babcock Ranch. Public/Private venture with private picking up most of cost. I am like Russ and open to all forms of energy as long as it helps keep us independent. That is why I think we should continue to explore offshore alternatives also. Not a popular stand but an honest one. Off shore drilling will pay royalties that can help us develop other forms without breaking the backs or working people.

 

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