The Difference Wind Makes
A press release this week from Green Mountain Power Co. (GMP), a Vermont-based electric utility, talked about the 10th anniversary of the installation of the first wind turbine at the company's Searsburg, Vt., wind farm. It included the following quote:
“The 11 turbines at GMP’s Searsburg plant have generated 110,000 megawatt-hours since they began operation in 1997, which is the equivalent of approximately 14,000 homes being powered by wind for a full year. Every kilowatt-hour generated by wind avoids a kilowatt-hour generated by another source, which on the New England grid is generally natural gas or oil fired during the peak periods when wind generation is at its height.” [emphasis added]
This is an important statement because one of the recent accusations being widely circulated by anti-wind individuals and groups is that wind (a) generates no net electricity, (b) does not offset other fuels and (c) therefore displaces no emissions.
It's a strange contention. About the only explanation I can think of for it is a weakness for conspiracy theories. In any event, GMP owns the wind farm and presumably knows what it is in fact doing. More information on the difference wind power makes can be found here.