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Stimulus money will buy wind turbine for U of M research in Rosemount

Federal stimulus funds will be used to install a wind turbine at the University of Minnesota’s Rosemount research facility and create Web-based graduate and undergraduate course programs on wind power and technology.

Finance and Commerce reports that the funding was announced last week by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who said Minnesota is one of three universities to receive a combined $24 million to study wind energy technology and research, development and educational opportunities.

The other universities are the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and the University of Maine, which will connduct advanced rotor and drive-train mechanical control testing and testing offshore wind turbine prototypes.

The planned Minnesota wind turbine will be used to study mechanical power transmission and electric generator systems.

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by david granneman on 10/19/2009 - 05:14 pm.

    hello all
    if the university needs to buy some windmills for research, they can call T.BONE.PICKENS. he is selling windmills from his vast texas windfarm at bargain prices. he realized what the europeans have all ready learned. they found that without massive government subsidies that wind energy is not practical – IT IS A MONEY LOSSING ENTERPRISE.
    wind energy is the most expensive, unreliable energy source which would require a complete rebuild of our electrical infrastructure to allow it to be intigrated to our electical system. instead of waisting money on windmills, we should be looking at the companies building very small, self contained nuclear power plants. the dutch gave up on windmillS 100 years ago and SO SHOULD WE

  2. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/20/2009 - 07:01 am.

    It is always a great benefit to society when the Luddite’s “race backwards” is lost to the race “forward” that technology and science represents.

    I can only imagine those few that represented the Luddite movement when the space race was taking place. Arms in the air saying a waste of money, we’ll never achieve any of the goals, etc.. etc.

    I would say that most all of the technology and science that represented both the civilian and the military space programs has come to fruition in our society today. The “wasted money” of the research years has yielded huge leaps forward in communication, medicine and aviation. Computer science is a whole other area of research whose results speaks for itself.

    I suppose that at this moment, wind energy is not where it’s potential could be. But I imagine that the very same could be said for most research efforts in other areas that have yet to reach there full potential.

    I would also state that the price of oil has much to do with Mr. Pickens’ current “turbine surplus”. It was a cost effective business plan at 147.00 pr bll of oil. Oil closed yesterday at 79.41. Not if, but when oil does double in price. Mr. Pickens will be though of as a visionary for having the business sense to invest in wind energy. Ultimately there will be technology that we have not yet invented that will possibly solve our energy needs.

    Thank goodness for our engineers and scientists that are forward looking and dare to fail so that they may make advances in the future.

  3. Submitted by david granneman on 10/20/2009 - 04:48 pm.

    hello all
    the real reason t.bone.pickens has abandoned windmills is because without a total rebuilding of our electrical infrastructure, the energy produced can not be integrated to our present system. our present system is designed to have power provided by stable and relieable power plants. wind and solar energy is not stable or relieable, but rather constantly varying. in the past we have had massive power outages caused by a power station or line failure. this is caused when a source fails or reduces output power, this causes surges in the system to try make up for the loss. before we could use wind and solar power we would need to create a very expensive new SMART SYSTEM to distrube the power.

  4. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/20/2009 - 05:30 pm.

    We have already taken steps to achieve those very goals. This of course needs to be done regardless of wind energy. The current energy grid is how old Dave? This administration is clearly taking the steps to move our infrastructure to the next level. An aging infrastructure that has gone neglected for far too long.

    The U.S. Department of Energy has set up a competitive process to award an estimated $4.3 billion for projects that will upgrade the nation’s electric grid.

    The report, called “Transforming America’s Power Industry,” said that by 2030, the electric utility industry will need to make a total infrastructure investment of up to $2 trillion. An estimated $880 billion of that investment needs to be in transmission and distribution systems including smart grid projects, the report said.

    In addition, it provides $80 million for resource assessment and $10 million for the development of new interoperability standards for the grid.

    The $10 million will go to the National Institute for Standards and Technology to help implement a smart grid interoperability framework “that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems.”

    Yup, moving forward….

  5. Submitted by david granneman on 10/20/2009 - 05:46 pm.

    hello all
    The funding Obama devoted to get high-voltage lines ready for handling the additional load of alternative supplies is less than 5 percent of the $130 billion that power users, producers and the U.S. Energy Department say is needed.

    Without more investment, cities can’t tap much of the renewable energy from remote areas, said Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He serves as the administration’s top official on grid issues and recognizes the dilemma it faces

    to read the rest of the article see below
    Wind Promises Blackouts as Obama Strains Grid With Renewables

  6. Submitted by david granneman on 10/20/2009 - 05:58 pm.

    hello all
    The U.K. has all the natural advantages. It is the windiest country in Europe. It has one of the continent’s longest coastlines for the more productive (and less obtrusive) offshore farms. It has a long-established national power grid. In short, if wind power is less than successful in the U.K., its success is not guaranteed anywhere.

    But wind infrastructure has come at a steep price. In fiscal year 2007-08 U.K. electricity customers were forced to pay a total of over $1 billion to the owners of wind turbines. That figure is due to rise to over $6 billion a year by 2020 given the government’s unprecedented plan to build a nationwide infrastructure with some 25 gigawatts of wind capacity, in a bid to shift away from fossil fuel use.

    Ofgem, which regulates the U.K.’s electricity and gas markets, has already expressed its concern at the burgeoning tab being picked up by the British taxpayer which, they claim, is “grossly distorting the market” while hiding the real cost of wind power. In the past year alone, prices for electricity and natural gas in the U.K. have risen twice as fast as the European Union average according to figures released in November by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. While 15 percent energy price rises were experienced across the E.U., in the U.K. gas and electricity prices rose by a staggering 29.7 percent. Ofgem believes wind subsidy has been a prime factor and questions the logic when, for all the public investment, wind produces a mere 1.3 percent of the U.K.’s energy needs.
    Wind Power Exposed: The Renewable Energy Source is Expensive, Unreliable and Won’t Save Natural Gas.

  7. Submitted by david granneman on 10/20/2009 - 07:00 pm.

    hello richard
    do you think it is wise to send vast sums of money to restucture a system that is working quite well, just to allow it to incorportate a power source that is impractical and plagued by numerous problems. this would be akin to spending thousands of dollars to remove the efficent well running engine engine in your car so you can install a boiler and steam engine so you can run you car on wood.

  8. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/20/2009 - 07:22 pm.

    Thank you for making my point Dave.

    Best to all

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