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(41,763 posts)
Thu Jan 19, 2012, 09:06 PM Jan 2012

World's Largest Wind Farm in Wyoming to Be Equipped with 1000 Wind Turbines


The 2500 GW to be generated are part of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy facility, a 2012 energetic priority for the US Interior Department.

World’s biggest wind farm could be built in Wyoming with 1,000 wind turbines. Europe was the global leader with cumulative installed wind energy capacity of 86 GW at the end of 2010, Asia was second with 58.6 GW and North America was third with 44.1 GW of wind power.

Anyone who has ever travelled through Wyoming comes away realising that the US state is an iconic symbol of wide-open spaces, intimidating mountain ranges and powerful winds.

Building on this natural bounty, it now seems likely that the state will soon be home to North America’s largest wind farm — as many as 1,000 wind turbines generating up to 2,500 megawatts of emissions-free electricity for 30 years.


note: I'm pretty sure they meant 2500 MW - not GW...
27 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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World's Largest Wind Farm in Wyoming to Be Equipped with 1000 Wind Turbines (Original Post) jpak Jan 2012 OP
A little further down in the article they say 2500 MW madokie Jan 2012 #1
This message was self-deleted by its author txlibdem Jan 2012 #2
Bravo! Now *that* is a wind farm! txlibdem Jan 2012 #3
At 4-6 billion dollars, that is a pricey project. Massacure Jan 2012 #4
It's cheaper than nuclear jpak Jan 2012 #5
WRONG and DISENGENUOUS!!! PamW Jan 2012 #8
Naturally you cannot do math correctly jpak Jan 2012 #9
Where do wind turbines produce power 70-90% of the time consistantly? nt NickB79 Jan 2012 #10
Numerous Scientific ERRORS!! PamW Jan 2012 #11
Sorry Pam - you are wrong again jpak Jan 2012 #17
You left off the part where you showed that she was wrong. FBaggins Jan 2012 #20
Faulty Reading Comprehension PamW Jan 2012 #22
BIG DEAL!! PamW Jan 2012 #12
It is a big deal when you post things that are not true jpak Jan 2012 #18
Which you have YET to demonstrate. PamW Jan 2012 #23
I demonstrated that your BOGUS unscientific wiki reference was wrong jpak Jan 2012 #24
There's at least one huge wind farm there now DavidDvorkin Jan 2012 #6
Wyoming is one of the best areas for wind farms to be txlibdem Jan 2012 #7
It's going to be more than a few massive solar farms in the desert XemaSab Jan 2012 #13
Would you rather have the world's widest expansion of rooftop PV yet only make 3% of the electricity txlibdem Jan 2012 #14
I've done field work on these projects XemaSab Jan 2012 #15
And I care because... ? txlibdem Jan 2012 #16
You appear to be laboring under the misimpression XemaSab Jan 2012 #19
Intent does not have to be the same as effect txlibdem Jan 2012 #21
Interesting OKIsItJustMe Jan 2012 #25
I know that anecdotes are not data XemaSab Jan 2012 #26
Sometimes, anecdotes are the only data we have OKIsItJustMe Jan 2012 #27

Response to madokie (Reply #1)


(7,531 posts)
4. At 4-6 billion dollars, that is a pricey project.
Sat Jan 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
Jan 2012

Does that include upgrades the transmission infrastructure I wonder?


(41,763 posts)
5. It's cheaper than nuclear
Sat Jan 21, 2012, 02:22 PM
Jan 2012

$5 billion for 2.5 GW of wind is $2000 per installed kW

The two reactors (2 GW) built in Florida will cost $20 billion = or $10,000 per kW



(1,825 posts)
Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:39 PM
Jan 2012

$5 billion for 2.5 GW of wind is $2000 per installed kW

The two reactors (2 GW) built in Florida will cost $20 billion = or $10,000 per kW

Naturally, you forgot to include the capacity factor.


The above comparison is made on the basis of the installed "nameplate" rating of the generators.

But you don't get the "rated" output of the generator all the time. You have to include the capacity factor.

The capacity factors for nuclear power plants are typically > 90%

The capacity factors for wind turbines are typically 20% - 40%


Your figure for the cost of the new Turkey Point reactos is WRONG!!
Don't get your cost estimates off anti-nuke websites which tout this ridiculous $20 B numbers.


February 2008 — For two new AP1000 reactors at its Turkey Point site Florida Power & Light calculated overnight capital cost from $2444 to $3582 per kW, which were grossed up to include cooling towers, site works, land costs, transmission costs and risk management for total costs of $3108 to $4540 per kilowatt.

If we correct with the typical capacity factor for recent years of 91.2%, the nuclear cost is $3408/kw to $4978/kw.

If we correct the wind turbine costs for a 20% to 40% capacity factor, then the cost of wind is $5000 / kw to $10,000 /kw ( 40% to 20% CF)

When you do the math CORRECTLY taking into account the capacity factor, then nuclear wins.



(41,763 posts)
9. Naturally you cannot do math correctly
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:31 AM
Jan 2012

You forgot to include the costs nuclear fuel - and of disposing spent fuel - and decommissioning.

And your numbers do not include the fact that nuclear power plants only convert 30% of the energy released from fission into electricity.

Wind turbines are MORE efficient than nuclear power plants in converting primary energy into electricity.

And you FAIL to understand the wind turbines have produce power 70-90% of the time and are available 100% of the time.

Finally, you fail to understand the true cost of those two nuclear plants under construction in Florida is 18-22 billion dollars - and climbing.






Your wiki reference is bogus



try again


(1,825 posts)
11. Numerous Scientific ERRORS!!
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 03:47 PM
Jan 2012

Last edited Sun Jan 22, 2012, 06:35 PM - Edit history (1)

I didn't "forget" anything. We were doing the calculation of build cost and not the whole life cycle costs of the plant. The costs associated with fuel are less than 1% of the cost of operating the plant; the major costs for nuclear are capital costs. The same with fuel disposal and decommissioning.

We see again that you are NOT a SCIENTIST. You present the 30% figure ( closer to 40% ) as if it is something unique to nuclear power. How typical. The reason for that efficiency is a UNIVERSAL Law of Physics called the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and it doesn't just apply to nuclear power plants.

Evidently you don't know that there is another Law of Physics that applies to wind turbines
called "Betz's Law":


According to Betz' Law a wind turnbine can NEVER be more efficient than 59.3% Only a ducted turbine, and not a free air turbine comes anywhere CLOSE to the 59% limit.

That's a maximum. If the wind is not blowing then a wind turbine is capped at 0%.

When there's no wind, people will be GLAD to have that 40% efficient nuclear power plant supplying them with power when the wind turbines are providing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I find it really funny that renewables proponents carp about efficiency limits, when they are at the mercy of Mother Nature. If Mother Nature is not offering any energy because it is nightime, or cloudy, or the wind isn't blowing or the tide is out.....whatever; when Mother Nature is offering [b ]NOTHING then a renewable energy project is limited to getting PRECISELY NOTHING.

I LOVE the RANK DISHONESTY of the wind proponents talking about 100% availability. Yes - when there is nothing wrong with the turbine but the wind isn't blowing, the wind proponents chalk that up to 100% availability.

BIG DEAL - the fact that your wind turbine is "available" to do work if the wind was blowing doesn't do BEANS at providing what the public needs which is power.

The people can be without power because the wind isn't blowing, but the self-righteous wind proponent proudly proclaims that as 100% availability.

Just wait till the public realizes that they can be WITHOUT POWER, and the wind proponents "think" that they are batting 1.000 because they are "available".

Sorry, but just being "available" is NOT going to cut it with the pubic. They want the power to be delivered.

Being "available", doesn't feed the bulldog!!!

Another basic tenet of Physics that you are evidently unaware of is that the power of the turbine goes as the 3-rd power of the wind speed. If the wind speed is cut in half; you have half the mass of air going through the turbine. However, since the kinetic energy per unit mass of the air goes like the SQUARE of the speed ( elementary physics ), then the energy per mass goes down by a factor of 4, and therefore the reduction by 2 of the mass flow rate, and reduction by 4 of the energy per mass; gives you a drop by a factor of 8. So when the wind speed drops by (1/2), the power drops by (1/2)^3 = (1/8).

Even on the best days, your wind turbines are not getting 100% of their max rated wind speed.

Again, when the public realizes that they can be getting NOTHING while the wind proponents count that as batting 1.000 because they are "available", then the public will realize they don't want much of that.



(41,763 posts)
17. Sorry Pam - you are wrong again
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 07:44 PM
Jan 2012

In the real world - wind turbines achieve 70% of theoretical Betz efficiency.

0.70 * 0.59 = 0.41 or 41%

Nuclear reactors have a thermal conversion capacity of only 30%

You are not a real scientist.



(26,835 posts)
20. You left off the part where you showed that she was wrong.
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 11:22 PM
Jan 2012

70% of Betz efficience (which, btw, only exists at a narrow range of wind speeds, not all operations) is significantly below the number she cited.

A more important factor that you've conveniently ignored in your cost comparison: 20 to 25 (possibly 30) years after it's built, the wind farm is being decommissioned. The nuclear plant is still going strong. You have to build a second wind farm (at a substantially higher price).

And what's this nonsense about thermal efficiency? What possible relevance does that have? It's a MUCH lower efficiency if you take into account that reactors basically run on E=MC2. What percentage of the mass of fuel is actually converted? It's really tiny... but so what?

Rancho Cielo Solar Farm sits on 700 acres. What percentage of the solar energy falling on those acres is converted to electricity? Why does it matter?

Some wind farms cover tens of thousands of acres. What percentage of the wind energy in the first 100M above ground is captured by those turbines? What difference could it possibly make?


(1,825 posts)
22. Faulty Reading Comprehension
Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:20 AM
Jan 2012

Your problem is faulty reading comprehension.

What do you "think" you "proved" me wrong on? I said the efficiency of wind turbines has to be below the Betz efficiency.

You say they achieve 70% of Betz. Evidently, you didn't learn in elementatry arithmetic is that 70% of "X" is less than "X" ( For X > 0 ).

Also nuclear reactors do better than 30%. They are in the high 30s approaching the 40%

As FBaggins points out too, wind turbines can reach 70% of Betz; but they don't operate consistently there.

In fact, recent reach at Lawrence Livermore National Lab shows that wind turbine efficiency drops when the atmosphere is turbulent:


The team found that power generated at a set wind speed is higher under stable conditions and lower under strongly unsteady conditions at that location. The average wind power output difference is as high as 15 percent less wind power generation when the atmosphere is unstable.

So if the atmosphere is unstable - you lose 15% in power. That takes care of the very slight efficiency advantage of wind.

Wind turbines can lose 20% of their "expected" energy due to turbulence in the atmosphere:


Beside, who cares about efficiency when the power generation facility is down. If the wind isn't blowing, you don't get energy.

What would you rather have as an energy source when there's no wind; a nuclear power plant that doesn't care that the wind is not blowing, but gets 35% efficiency; or a wind turbine that can get 40% efficiency; but is outputting NOTHING, because there's no wind. The choice is obvious.

Wind has its place in the energy mix. The National Academy of Science and Engineering states that renewables like solar and wind can make up about 15% to 20% of our electrical energy capacity. However, if you go much higher; then they state that the public can't depend on the reliability of electrical energy to the degree they do now because solar and wind are so variable.

You wouldn't know a real scientist if you saw one in his/her lab coat.



(1,825 posts)
12. BIG DEAL!!
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 03:54 PM
Jan 2012

Your wiki reference is bogus



BIG DEAL You think it proves anything because a bunch of anti-nukes oppose a nuclear power plant.

So they oppose it. Big Deal. Let's see what the Licensing Board has to say.

The Licensing Board could say, "Having listened to the anti-nukes and their arguments, we conclude that they are full of fecal matter and that their arguments don't hold water".

You must think that when an attorney objects in Court, that counts for something. It doesn't count for anything unless the judge sustains it. If it is overruled, then it's means NOTHING to the trial.

Let's see what the Board rules!! They may just as well IGNORE the flotsam that they got from the anti-nuke groups.

You have a very strange concept of what constitutes "proof".

You case isn't bolstered by uncorroborated flotsam. But evidently you "think" so.

Let's see what the Board rules and what the NRC says. I bet at the end of the day, the pro-nuclear side is going to be laughing all the way to a couple of new nuclear power plants in Florida.



(1,825 posts)
23. Which you have YET to demonstrate.
Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:29 AM
Jan 2012

It is a big deal when you post things that are not true

Which you have YET to demonstrate.



(41,763 posts)
24. I demonstrated that your BOGUS unscientific wiki reference was wrong
Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:00 PM
Jan 2012

and that capital cost of those FL reactors is nearly twice what you claim.

It's $8,500 to 11,000 per kW and climbing



(19,522 posts)
6. There's at least one huge wind farm there now
Sat Jan 21, 2012, 03:16 PM
Jan 2012

I've driven past it on the way from Denver to Grand Teton/Yellowstone.

It stretches for an amazing distance.


(6,183 posts)
7. Wyoming is one of the best areas for wind farms to be
Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:00 PM
Jan 2012

Compare the wind output in the Western edge of Wyoming (plus a broken band that runs just east of center of Wyoming from north to south).

Specifically, look at maps 2-2 thru 2-5 and 2-12 thru 2-15 and compare wind speeds to another state... Wisconsin for instance. Wyoming has far better wind potential so that is where we should be putting lots of wind farms.

Wind, coupled with massive solar farms in the desert southwest could supply 100% of America's energy needs... with the inclusion of energy storage adequate to the task. These maps make it clear.


(60,212 posts)
13. It's going to be more than a few massive solar farms in the desert
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 04:37 PM
Jan 2012

it's going to involve the destruction of an ecosystem for profit.

It's also going to replace a system of centralized generation with... a system of centralized generation.


(6,183 posts)
14. Would you rather have the world's widest expansion of rooftop PV yet only make 3% of the electricity
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 05:25 PM
Jan 2012

Your argument that it would "destroy an ecosystem" is fallacious. What do you think unchecked Global Climate Change is doing *already* to that ecosystem and millions of others around the world? It will be utterly destroyed by 2050 at the latest: most climate models reveal irreversible climate change by 2030 unless coal, oil and natural gas is ENDED asap.

You want to save a postage stamp of desert while dooming the world. Not really smart #1 because without massive amounts of solar power coming from the only places in America where it makes sense to do so (and ending fossil use asap) your laser focus on one tiny microcosm will witness its destruction from global climate change anyway -- you will have accomplished NOTHING.

And #2 they take all reasonable precautions to relocate the affected wild populations before construction begins. Check and mate. Solar panels and solar thermal collectors need to be built where the sun provides the most benefit to them... and that is the desert southwest.


(6,183 posts)
16. And I care because... ?
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 06:13 PM
Jan 2012

What does that have to do with anything, other than to substantiate my opinion that you care about a relative postage stamp so much that you would doom the world to get your rocks off "doing good" or whatever pleasure mechanism you've rationalized it to be. You prove my point. Period.

"Winning" against a solar company means that we all LOSE to the coal, oil and natural gas frackers.


(60,212 posts)
19. You appear to be laboring under the misimpression
Sun Jan 22, 2012, 10:18 PM
Jan 2012

that solar companies are motivated by wanting to save the world.


(6,183 posts)
21. Intent does not have to be the same as effect
Mon Jan 23, 2012, 07:42 AM
Jan 2012

Companies in a Capitalist society that relies on a monetary system are intent on making money. Personally, I don't care who is making money on solar, just as long as the solar farms are placed where they will do the most good -- where they will end the use of the most coal, oil, or fracking natural gas. And that will be exactly the effect of having large numbers of massive, huge solar farms in the desert southwest.

Effect, not intent. We need to END the use of all fossils (coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, heating oil and all other derivatives, and fracking natural gas) BEFORE THEY END US.


(19,951 posts)
25. Interesting
Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:51 PM
Jan 2012

Last edited Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:27 PM - Edit history (1)

You seem to assume they want to destroy it.

Generally speaking, I think traditional “solar companies” are socially responsible. There have been a number of companies who have labored for years in this industry, despite the fact that it was difficult to make a living at it. They just thought it was the “right thing to do.”

Now, we’re seeing growth, and other companies are getting involved, who may not be as responsible.

How responsible has the nuclear power industry been historically?


[font face=Times, Serif][font size=5]Abandoned Uranium Mines On The Navajo Nation[/font]

[font size=4]Description and History[/font]

[font size=3]The Navajo Nation is situated on a geologic formation rich in radioactive ores including uranium. Beginning in the 1940’s, widespread mining and milling of uranium ore for national defense and energy purposes on the Navajo Nation led to a legacy of abandoned uranium mines (AUMs). Some Navajo residents may have elevated health risks due to the dispersion of radiation and heavy metal contamination in soil and water.

The Navajo Nation brought these concerns to national attention at a Congressional hearing involving EPA, DOE and BIA on November 4, 1993. During this hearing, EPA personnel provided testimony about its federal authority under Superfund Law and offered to assist the Navajo Nation. EPA initiated a study in 1994 aimed at assessing human exposure to radiation and heavy metals from every known abandoned uranium mine (AUM) on the Navajo Nation. EPA has provided this assistance through the Superfund Program. Response actions have been taken utilizing Superfund’s Emergency Response authorities and while remedial action, listing sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) is a possibility, but not likely.

In August 2007, EPA completed a large study identifying 520 AUMs. In October 2007, EPA testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing followed by a meeting with select committee members to identify and respond to current issues raised by the Navajo Nation. EPA and several other Federal agencies are currently developing Five Year Action Plans to address AUMs and related issues.

In June 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission finalized a five-year plan for cleaning up the legacy of abandoned uranium mining on the Navajo Nation. A copy of this plan can be found by accessing the link below under Site Documents and Reports or by clicking HERE. A web-feature was also created to highlight this accomplishment and that can be accessed by clicking HERE.

[font size=4]Cleanup Results to Date[/font]

[font size=3]Superfund Removal Actions:

Structures: In April 2001, USEPA completed removal of two radioactive structures (hogans) in the Oljato (Monument Valley) and Teec Nos Pos (Four Corners) chapters. In 2008, EPA assessed 113 structures and 57 residential yards. And as a result, we have remediated 27 structures and 10 yards.

Northeast Church Rock Mine Site: In May 2007, USEPA conducted two removal actions involving excavation and backfilling of radium contamination in four yards adjacent to the mine site. In 2009 and 2010, USEPA oversaw United Nuclear Corporation's interim removal action of over 100,000 cubic yards of radium contaminated soils and sediments that had migrated beyond the mine onto the Navajo Nation. For more information on the Northeast Church Rock Mine Site, please click here.

Water: Over the last 30 years, IHS and USEPA have spent over $50 million on water infrastructure.

Mines: The Navajo AML reclaimed and mitigated surface hazards for over 200 AUMs.

[font size=4]Potentially Responsible Parties[/font]

[font size=3]Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.

Investigations of the former mine lessees and operators are on-going.

UNC has cooperated on investigation and cleanup activities at the Northeast Church Rock Mine site.



(60,212 posts)
26. I know that anecdotes are not data
Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:05 PM
Jan 2012

but my friend works with Native kids in a town in northern New Mexico and all they want to do when they grow up is work in the uranium mine.


(19,951 posts)
27. Sometimes, anecdotes are the only data we have
Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:20 PM
Jan 2012

If there is rigorous, scientific data collection, anecdotes may be discounted, but, when you think about it, many of the “facts” we accept regarding the past are really supported by nothing more than anecdotal evidence. (We call it history.)

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