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Ballard Power Systems Inc. Message Board

  • william_tarasen william_tarasen May 22, 2006 11:57 AM Flag

    Tilting At Windmills, I

    May 22, 2006; Page A12

    A project to put 130 wind turbines on 26 square miles off Nantucket Sound has generated a lot of hot air in Massachusetts -- and Washington. Contained in the arguments pro and con are partial facts, misconceptions, outright lies and hysteria. What we're not getting is a rational analysis of the Cape Wind project's effects on the supply of and demand for electricity in New England.

    In the interest of full disclosure, my company has spent more than 23 years in the energy business owning and operating a number of alternative power plants. We are the world's largest seller of "petroleum coke," an alternative fuel, and produce a super-compliance coal and coal-bed methane, an alternative for natural gas. We have also explored wind farming in Kansas and California. Oh, and I own a summer house that overlooks Nantucket Sound.

    * * *
    Nearly four years ago, Jim Gordon, founder of Cape Wind, approached me about investing in an offshore wind farm he wanted to build in Nantucket Sound. I was intrigued and decided to examine the economics and risks of the project.

    Jim wouldn't share his economic model with us. So we made our own, to determine if the project was viable. At the time, we estimated that it would require $825 million to construct a 420 megawatt offshore wind farm. Our model assumed that the turbines would operate 40% of the time and Cape Wind would produce 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. The operating costs were estimated at $27.5 million per year or 1.8 cents per kwh; at an estimated price of 6.6 cents per kwh, the project would generate an average after-tax cash flow of $53.6 million per year, or $1.1 billion over 20 years, at an internal rate of return of 20.1%. Jim confirmed with me the same numbers.

    These calculations included a federal tax credit of 2.3 cents per kwh for the life of the project, totaling $37 million per year; an estimated 2.2 cents per kwh state credit of $35 million per year for alternative energy, and five years of accelerated depreciation. Altogether, taxpayers would subsidize Cape Wind to the tune of $72 million a year, passed on to the consumer as higher electricity rates. If it happened, Cape Cod residents' electricity bills would go up by $440 per year. Cape Wind needs the tax and energy subsidies in order to achieve a 20% rate of return, a requirement to secure financing for a high risk, new-technology offshore wind farm.

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    • Do you have a link that shows the geographic distribution of cancer rates as was claimed?

    • In case you missed it, I never said I had a problem with your post. Post away. I most enjoyed your third now completely irrelevant post. Good work! I'll look forward to the day when your first relevant post comes through.

      It's interesting that you found these recent series of posts to be the first irrelevant posts worthy of your comment. Are there not several dozen completely irrelevant posts every day?

    • Freedom of speech includes my right to comment upon your statements !
      Sorry, but that's the way it works !
      You are now on IGNORE.

    • You have a problem with the freedom of speech?

      How is it that your comment "Can't you guys jerk off in a private chat room?" (which you've now posted twice) is somehow more relevant to the topic of Ballard?

      Perhaps you'd like to point out one single solitary post you've ever made that is on topic with regards to Ballard.

      I look forward to seeing your post.

    • Can't you guys jerk off in a private chat room?

    • One last thing gomor...I actually own a kerosene heater. I expect to fully believe the official 911 story some day...I'm just waiting for my heater to melt into a pool of molten slag and remain that way and retain it's heat for months afterwards.

      I'm sure it will happen soon. In the mean time, I'm just going to sit here and wait for my "beliefs" to be formed.

    • Now who said I didn't like any explanation?

      I was just stating my interpretation of what you, green, and EBKennel wrote. Thanks for clarifying your in depth study and analysis though with a completely new analysis of what happened. What did your official story say about WTC7 again? Same story? Failing clips from a fire with zero jet fuel? Got a link?

      Here's a rather compelling analysis by a physics professor at BYU.

      I'd love to hear what you guys think about it. Lots of "scholars" including several "strucutural engineers" have commented on it here:

      I'm sure it's just all quackery though right? I mean only complete nut jobs (and apparently green assuming he isn't a nut job) would would "believe" this kind of stuff right?

    • Will you guys stop masturbating with your ideas re:911 and stick to topic (bldp) ?

    • Hi h2ohhhhh,
      You say:

      �They've done all the detailed analysis and recognize that while neither of them is a structural engineer that it's normal for thousands and thousands of tons of steel and (aluminum?) to buckle from the heat of a kerosene fire and fall at the same rate that a stone would fall if dropped from the same height (despite the fire only weakening the floors that were burning...err...I mean smoking).�

      My first response regarding the collapse of the towers was from memory of something I had read some months earlier. The weak link was not an aluminum part as I erroneously claimed, it was the clips that hold the horizontal floor beams to the outer ring of vertical columns and the inner ring of vertical columns. As I understand it the jet fuel fire, which involved an enormous amount of jet fuel, weakened the clips of one of the floors exposed to the fire enough that the entire floor gave way (i.e. came loose from the vertical columns holding it up) and dropped onto the floor below it. This, in turn caused that floor to shear the clips attaching it to the vertical columns and fall onto the floor below it, which caused that floor to break loose -----.
      This is the �domino effect� that was mentioned in the report. The clips are only designed to hold up one floor, but probably have a sizeable safety factor. The stress on the second floor, from having an entire upper floor drop on it, with the attendant shock of impact from a one-story drop was apparently enough to break the next floor loose and continue on through the structure. When you have a large number of falling floors stacked together and falling almost like free bodies, each subsequent impact will hardly slow down the collection of falling floors. The engineering reports stated that the final falling velocity was about two thirds the velocity of an unimpeded free falling body. I would guess that the horizontal spreading of dust and debris could be accounted for by each falling floor compressing the air in the floor below of it and �blowing out� the curtain walls surrounding the floor.

      If you don�t like this explaination no one is forcing you to accept it - it�s a free country.

      Peace brother - gomor

    • Is it just me or are you arguing with yourself?

      Paragraph 1:
      I too have read the official structural engineers' theories as to why the two 110 story Towers collapsed.I have read the structural engineers' theories as to why the third 47 story tower collapsed.A casual review of their theories shows them to be logical and possibly good theories.

      Paragraph 4:
      In my book the official structural engineers' theories as to why the Two Towers and the Third tower collapsed are outrageous theories.

      Just goes to show you can't believe everything you read hey?

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