New Video – YERT Conversation 7.1: Community-Powered Wind Energy

Dear YERTians,

We’re still cleaning up the mess we made of our sleep schedules in the process of birthing the Vermont video, but we haven’t forgotten about you! The Michigan and Illinois videos are in the works, and in the meantime we’re delighted to get under the hood a little bit with wind energy.

Just click here or the picture below to watch "YERT Conversation 7.1: Community-Powered Wind Energy"

Andrew Stern, President of New England Windpower, LLC, generously showed us around the Hull Wind project during a brisk morning in Massachusetts, and answered our deepest wind energy questions– at least as deep as we could muster on minimal sleep. The good news is that as we learn more about wind energy, we get more excited about it. For juicy contrast, as we learn more about coal, we get more depressed.

Another nifty feature of this video is that if you listen closely you will hear the swooshing sound that comes from a relatively small windmill. The newer, larger windmills generally rotate more slowly and make even less noise. We literally set up the camera right beneath the blades, and the sound only gets softer as you walk away from it.

And it simply looks cool. There’s something extraordinary about seeing such a giant object moving around and around. And around.

Win(d)somely Yours,

Julie, Ben, and Mark (Your YERT Team)

P.S. And now for Breadcrumb(s)! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out this resource:

  • Hull Wind publishes a handy brochure explaining everything about the project, from cost estimates to pollution saved to awards to links containing additional information. Enjoy it here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d like to take this windy opportunity to clarify a previous statement made in YERTpod7: Words of Wind-dom in Massachusetts. Mark Rodgers of Cape Wind kindly offered the following clarification, particularly referencing the point that the electricity from Cape Wind would indeed first serve power needs near Nantucket Sound before flowing to the rest of New England. He notes:

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative held a public forum on Cape Wind held on October 31, 2002. The MTC held a series of these session to clarify the facts regarding the project by inviting panels of disinterested experts to answer questions from the 71 stakeholder attendees.

The first panel at this session was entitled "Electricity Supply, Reliability, Pricing and Air Impacts" and included Charlie Salamone, NSTAR’s Director of Transmission System Planning. The question and answer by Mr. Salamone at the pages 5-6 of the attached report disposed of this issue definitively:

"Q: There has been some confusion about whether or not power generated by the Cape Wind project will be consumed on the Cape. As an example, assuming all operations normal, if Cape Wind generates power (i.e., 100mw, 300mw, or 400mw) — where is it consumed?

A: From a physics perspective, electrons flow along the path of least resistance, so if Cape Wind is the closest source of electrons, physics indicates that the electrons will flow to the closest load, which will likely be on the Cape and Islands. In this example, if you presume the Canal plant is running, the electricity coming [from off-Cape] through the Bourne substation and into the Cape & Islands grid would be decreased by the amount of power being generated by Cape Wind."

This finding filtered up to the 3rd point of the MTC Highlights of what was learned, see:


1 thought on “New Video – YERT Conversation 7.1: Community-Powered Wind Energy

  1. People experienced with wind turbines know that the quietest place is right under them. The noise propagates outward from the blades and is loudest at about 45-degree angles from their plane.

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