Audra Parker's Aug. 1 letter, "Wind farm boosters careless of facts," is disingenuous at best.
Her pet is the Talisman project consisting of two wind turbines in 150 feet of water off Scotland. The facts: Each 5-megawatt turbine is perched atop a four-legged undersea foundation structure, similar to an oil rig platform. Each platform weighs 1,250 tons, compared with a monopole in shallow water at 180 tons. Talisman powers a nearby oil platform. There is no cable connection to land, because that would have been too expensive.
The total project cost was $61 million, of which $27 million was in government construction subsidies. That works out to $6.1 million per megawatt installed — two to three times the cost of shallow-water projects.
This is not a utility-scale project. In a cautious statement Talisman Energy has said: "Current forecasts for electricity prices will never render this Demonstrator Project economic. It is an R&D project, not a commercial one, and as such requires public sector funding in order to proceed."
We certainly look forward to the development of additional sites such as South of Tuckernuck and other deeper sites as they become viable in the coming decades. Economics is the deciding factor.
Barbara J. Hill
Executive director, Clean Power Now
Hill would have the public believe that the South of Tuckernuck Island alternative site proposed by Cape Wind and Mineral Management Service is not viable because it is in deeper water. The fact of the matter is that this site is perfectly viable. In fact, the wind rating at South of Tuckernuck is a step above Horseshoe Shoal! Projects in Europe are being permitted in depths greater than any at South of Tuckernuck.
Which brings us to the her final statement:
Economics is the deciding factor.
I didn’t realize that environmental not-for-profits were concerned about the market...
Shouldn’t Hill and her friends at CPN focus on proper ocean management and the realization of deep-water technology instead of watching the checkbooks of private developers?
Don’t just take it from me, go to their website:
Ah, yes. “Supporting a clean, healthy environment.”
All this from “A grassroots organization.”
Barbara - I am happy you care more about economics than the environment.