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Old 10-07-2008, 04:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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BTW, funny cartoon... I liked it :-)

Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob View Post
Can somebody confirm that Altamont is now on-grid? .
Sorry jamesqf and Bicycle Bob, the Altamont Pass windmills are on the grid... I was sort of mixing past with current news. PG&E eventually built that substation in the late 80's-early 90's. I'm not suggesting any conspiracy. Back then, one of the owners was floating an interim plan to use that untapped electricty to produce hydrogen, and bottle it at the wind farms. PG&E got there act together and the rest is history.

But there's more news about those wind machines in the last 6-8 months. Several environmental groups have sued and won, won the appeal too, i think to get <some? all? not sure...> windmills on the Altamont Pass torn down. I don't know all of the particulars, or which farms, or which machine design the court action relates to, but birds of prey 'strikes' were deemed environmentally unfriendly and if I understood the program I watched corectly, some owners of windmills received court orders to tear them down and have been doing so.

Again, I don't know all the particulars, I don't know anyone conected to that industry anymore, all I saw was a short program on local cable that made my jaw drop... the program focused on the bird strikes, projections of numbers of killed hawks and other birds of prey (based on some actual carcass counting), and the lawsuit victory and the next lawsuit being brought to not only tear these 'bad neighbors' down, but to have them completely removed from the sites, cut up, and recycled (with oversight, or course). Reminded me of a UN solution

It would seem there is no apeasing some groups.

Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob View Post
Personally, I think that the best available solution to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power is pumped hydroelectric storage. It is reasonably efficient, and can use existing facilities. A lake that is silting in can still be dredged to give full performance for a few days at a time. If I build off-grid, I plan to hook my windmill to a water pump, and a generator to a pelton wheel, but I'll move that to the house forum.
I once visited a foundry in the Sierra foothills, who's big claim to fame was Pelton wheel manufacturing in the late 1800's. They had examples of enclosed pelton wheels (double sccop design) that were claimed to be very efficient. I love the idea of storing the energy by pumping water into an elevated water tower, then using that to generate electicity for your home, say, at night with no wind. It sounds like less trouble than batteries... WOuld you close loop the system and use anti-freeze?

Last edited by metromizer; 10-07-2008 at 04:53 PM..
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