Tuesday, January 11, 2011

25 million smackers to power 3000 homes

copied and pasted from our local newspaper:

With the approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), City Council must now decide whether to move forward with the wind farm, which would carry an approximate cost of $25 million to the City.

The project consists of four, 2-megawatt (MW) wind turbines, which would generate enough electricity for about 3,000 Medicine Hat residences. It would be located on the east side of Box Springs Road near the City’s northern boundary.


YIKES. So Math whizzes - how long will it take those 3000 residences to save enough money on their electric bill to match the 25 million dollar price tag?

If it's 25 million to develop the land, purchase the turbines, tie it into the grid for FOUR turbines, how much will it cost to put up as many as needed for the whole city? for Calgary? for Toronto? How much does it cost to maintain them after the 25 million dollar start up? Are you prepared to carry the cost for this?


  1. I wonder how many migratory birds will these wind-turbines kill. Opps sorry this is green power and the birds killed by these wind-turbines don't matter

  2. A 1200MW nuclear reactor costs about $13 billion to construct. That works out to about $11 million per megawatt. The wind turbines in question work out to $12.5 million per megawatt. Now that you have some context do you still think it's outrageously expensive?

  3. Oops, I just noticed that was for 4 2MW turbines. That lowers the cost to just over $3 million per megawatt or less than a third the cost of nuclear.

  4. Will work as long as the wind blows! About 30% of the time is the norm.

  5. Thanks Robert. I have no clue about nuclear power plants at all lol. All I can say is that the $25 million is the cost my city would have to pay, but I don't know if there is more that the province is dishing in or not. I haven't seen info on that yet but I have seen past articles saying they were approaching the province for funding in this endeavor. Incidentally, we have already had charges on our utility bills a year or so ago for this windfarm, before they even knew where they were going to put it.

    Another thing about the cost - we already have our electrical grids up and running and they are doing good. We rarely have outages unless something happens like someone crashes into a transformer. So this will be in addition to what we already have and therefore is an excess cost that many people think is somehow going to save them money in the long run. If we already have extra charges on our bills before it's even built, how is that saving us money? If property taxes increase or other forms of city services are scaled back in order to fund this project, it again does not save consumers any cash.

    That's why I ask if it's worth it to put down money like this for something that we arent even sure is necessary (ie the questions surrounding global warming/climate change).



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