Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wind Power Dries Up Demand for Coal Fired Power Plant

If anybody every asks you if a wind farm ever closed down a coal fired power plant, you can tell them they sure as hell stopped the construction of the Bay County power plant in its tracks. It's a favorite canard of wind farm opponents to suggest that wind power has never shut down a coal fired power plant. Well...they're wrong...

Eastern Michigan has been meeting power demand with renewable energy to the point where there just isn't any energy demand to justify the construction of the 2.3 billion dollar coal fired power plant anymore. Consumer's Energy put the plan on hold. Judy Planau of the Michigan Public Service Commission said:

“We have more than enough electricity to meet the current demand,” Palnau said. “Right now, there are no problems in supplying the demand, so that’s a reason why Consumers wouldn’t be building their new plant right now.”

It breaks my heart.

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP — There are big plans under way to generate new electric power in Bay County, the Great Lakes Bay Region and around the state.

But a new coal-fired power plant at Consumers Energy’s Hampton Township complex isn’t in the mix right now.

From a wind-turbine farm in southern Bay County to a cutting-edge biomass-fueled plant in Midland County, other companies are moving forward with variety of energy projects.

It's no concidence that the largest wind farm in Michigan is going up within a stone's throw of where the coal plant would have been.

No one will mistake these miles and miles of flat farmland for the Thumb or the shores of Lake Michigan. But here in the middle of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, where the wind happens to blow just right, the state's largest wind farm is starting to take shape amid fields of corn, beans and sugar beets.

In just a few weeks, enormous steel towers, fiberglass blades, gearboxes and other parts that go into 464-foot-tall wind turbines will be arriving from around the country. About 150 construction workers will begin building the first of 133 wind turbines at the new Invenergy wind farm in the northeast corner of Gratiot County, west of Saginaw.

That along with many other wind farms have unquestionably shut down a coal fired power plant. Cleaner air and cleaner water for the folks in Michigan's thumb region.

Great news. And it's a lot more affordable.

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