I’m all in favor of wind energy. If it works, do it. But the notion that windmills will be anything more than a small aspect of electricity production is blowing smoke.
I previously highlighted the problem in Britain, where wind turbine owners are paid not to produce electricity, Our Future? Wind Farms Forced To Shut When Wind Blows.
Now it’s happening here, Wind farms in Pacific Northwest paid to not produce:
Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest — built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced — are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region’s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.
The problem arose during the late spring and early summer last year. Rapid snow melt filled the Columbia River Basin. The water rushed through the 31 dams run by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., allowing for peak hydropower generation. At the very same time, the wind howled, leading to maximum wind power production.
Demand could not keep up with supply, so BPA shut down the wind farms for nearly 200 hours over 38 days.