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Project at transmission plant will be completed this year

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7267) is outfitting its Russell's Point, Ohio transmissions plant with a fancy new pair of "utility-scale" wind turbines.

Exactly how big is "utility-scale"?  The new turbines will tower 260 feet in the air and come equipped with 160 feet (97 m) blades.  The installation, integrated by Juhl Energy Inc. (PINK:JUHL), will likely use Suzlon Energy, Ltd.'s (BOM:532667) largest turbine package, the S97.  Capable of producing 2.1 megawatts of power, the turbine is ideally suited for slower wind speeds.  The lower rotation speed also reduces risk to airborne wildlife.

The turbines are expected to pump out 10 percent of the total electricity the plant needs to operate.

Honda has pledged to cut its products' CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020 and promised "significant" cuts at its plants, as well.  While Juhl has suffered some financial setbacks in recent years, it does have a lot of experience in the industry, having supervised over 237 megawatts of wind energy deployment.

Suzlon S97
The Suzlon S97

The plant in Russell's Point makes transmissions for most Honda vehicles manufactured at plants in the U.S. ranked the 2013 Honda Accord, produced at the company's nearby Marysville, Ohio plant, the third "Most American" car on the market (as ranked by number of domestically manufactured parts).

Ford Motor Comp. (F) and Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOWhave announced solar power installation projects at their U.S. manufacturing plants.

Source: Juhl Wind

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RE: Yawn...
By Mint on 1/30/2013 11:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
It does vary, but relative variations get significantly smaller the more different areas are introduced to the power network. About 33% of the mean production of a local group of wind farms is reliably available.
No, it really doesn't get much smaller. That's a myth perpetuated by environmentalists who have never looked at any data.

Wind patterns are highly correlated over geographically large areas. Take a look at this for example:

That's the total wind power for all of Europe. Big enough area for you? Nonetheless, the variation is still from 4% to 60%, mean 20.1%.

Your 33% figure is false, but even if it was true, that's not remotely good enough. Say you had 100GW of nominal wind power with a system-wide capacity factor varying from 10% to 60%, with 30% average. The min is therefore 33% of the average, as you claim. If you wanted to minimize wastage of wind power, you'd need 40GW of natural gas backup to fill in the blanks and create 50GW of baseload, and it would run 50% of the time.

To summarize, for 50GW of continuous power, you need to build 100GW of wind and 40GW of natural gas, the latter running idle 50% of the time (and therefore charging more per kWh).

Alternatively, you could build 50GW of CCGT running efficiently at steady state. Modern CCGT runs at 60% efficiency.

On top of that, ramping natural gas up and down to fill in the blanks left by wind runs less efficient and usually in OCGT mode. So each kWh of wind energy doesn't stop 1 kWh of CCGT emissions. All you save with wind is the fuel cost, because capacity has to be almost the same. With natural gas as cheap as it is, wind will have to reach $0.03/kWh to reduce systemwide cost of generation.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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