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February 15, 2010

The Skeletons of Wind Energy

Posted by The MaryHunter at February 15, 2010 12:30 PM

Andrew Walden details the rise and fall of failed wind power in the United States in a long but highly informative American Thinker article. Besides the detailed history, the author reveals the visual and environmental impact of this anti-oil, anti-coal, anti-nuclear power scam. Even as Congress wants to devote more taxpayer money to this dubious alternative energy source, great monuments of this epic fail scar the landscapes of Hawaii and California, two of our most environmentally aware states.

Kamaoa Windmills 006 crop.jpg
Kamaoa Wind Farm, Hawaii. (image)
Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy.
Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming. By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties. In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company.
Tehachapi Wind Farm, California. (image)
California's wind farms -- then comprising about 80% of the world's wind generation capacity -- ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

But wait -- isn't wind energy all about protecting the environment?

Altamont's turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, "probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project." In 2004 the group unsuccessfully challenged renewal applications for 18 of 20 Altamont wind farms.

Stay tuned for more skeletons of the green energy movement, coming to a community near you. Please warn your fine-feathered friends.