Thursday, September 22, 2011

The folly of Wind turbines at the Lake Worth beach

Comment Up

This afternoon at 2pm there is a workshop (yes, another one) on the beach redevelopment. We will learn why the developers want to take millions more of our money and can't work within budget. They will blame it on the other guy, the usual suspect, and Staff will give us ways that it all can be accomplished by eliminating more from the project.

The recommended project element changes are:
§ Deferrals
§ 1 Small Trellis
§ 1 Entry sign
§ 33% of Benches
§ 2 Cisterns at pavilions
§ 1 small shade sail
§ Solar on pavilions
Material Changes include:
§ Change Bike Trail from concrete to asphalt
§ Playground surface change to rubber mulch (change location)
§ Change promenade material from colored concrete to entry portal pavers with rest
standard concrete
§ Change Casino walks from colored concrete to pavers
§ Change Casino concrete road to asphalt with paver crosswalks

The add/alternate items include:
§ Wind Turbines and pedestals (a feature that Commissioner McVoy is gaga over)
§ Sculptured Landform
§ Granite Markers

The Elements recommended for Utility Capital Improvement Project Funding include:
§ Parking Lot and Roadway Lighting
§ Water System
Elements not in the ILA and previously funded through other sources include:
§ Decal Parking Lot
§ Sanitary Lift Station

"Wind turbines need wind. Not just any wind, but the nicely flowing, smooth, laminar kind. That cannot be found at 30 feet height. It can usually not be found at 60 feet. Sometimes you find it at 80 feet. More often than not it takes 100 feet of tower to get there. Those towers cost as much or more, installed, as the turbine itself. How much tower you need for a wind turbine to live up to its potential depends on your particular site; on the trees and structures around it etc. Close to the ground the wind is turbulent, and makes a poor fuel for a small wind turbine."

Read about the truth regarding wind turbines here.

As wind turbines need wind to produce energy, how much wind do we get at the Lake Worth beach?

Wind speed at the Lake Worth beach.

As this is not the time to get silly about "green," all wind turbines should be deleted from this budget freeing up over $130,000. Solar panels should be explored and discussed more.


Anonymous said...

Oh come on! I want wind mills at the beach!!!! I can't wait to watch for first bird to fly in and get knocked to smithereens and the gleeful look on all the kiddies faces!

Windmills are great, I like them but the most recent stories I have read is that the windmills out in the west is spending multi-millions of dollars to "fix them" to be more bird friendly after be pressured by an Nature Consortium....I know that would never happen in lake worth.

By the way the same issues are happening in the Glades...Lets rethink this before we do it and since we are cutting the budget on that project...Windmills are just not needed. (If someone wants to DONATE the windmills then I'm all for it)

Lynn Anderson said...

No one would be that stupid to donate money to something that clearly will not work.

Anonymous said...

The original $90,000 lighting budget was not earmarked for turtles.

Anonymous said...

If we use the industry recognized speed of 24.6 mph to produce power, and then cross-reference that to the recorded wind speeds at LW Beach, we find that there has not been a single hour in the last eight days when McVoy's wind turbine could have produced energy. In fact, the highest recorded wind speed at the beach has been 13 mph for one three hour period. The average wind speed would be nearly half that, or <6 mph.

In other words, this is simply another boondoggle credited to LW utilities and Commissioner McVoy.

Anonymous said...

So, what is the outcome? Will Mcvoy get his turbine?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when the 'art of politicking' goes very awry. McVoy and his campaigners spread the word like he was the 2nd coming, about his multiple degrees (he's so smart!) and that he speaks different languages (he's even smarter than we think!) and that he had intensive experience negotiating environmental contracts.
While the first 2 points are factually true, neither his education, nor his experience has ANYTHING to do with knowing the ins and outs of running a city.
He's a very nice man, but in no way equipped to tackle the problems facing the city.
I am disturbed/concerned by the fact that on the wind turbine issue, which one would think he really could be educated about, he seems to not grasp the fine print at all.
Seems he wants the turbines at any cost for some reason.
Strange and again, disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, sorry, perhaps I was unnecessarily curt. What I told chan 5 is that I did not envision large scale wind in LW as a major power source. In my mind, that is a separate issue from what we want to do at the beach. There the turbine value is primarily educational. It will also help position the city for future grants and economic development by showing an interest in alternative sources of electricity.

Additionally, because the turbines will be instrumented, we will have actual data on wind generation capacity, at the coast. As we all know, it is frequently windier at the beach than further inland. Can't speak for the winds your friend mentioned, but I would not be surprised if they are drawn for inland areas, and do not attempt quantify coastal wind. The instrumentation will allow us to have actual data, which will be a good thing. We'll also be a first in the area. By the way, these turbines start turning at 7 mph, which is a fairly low threshold. Let's give them a chance, recognizing that wind is certainly not going to be the be all and end all of the story.


Anonymous said...

Commissioner McVoy, please try to understand that the city's DIRE financial issues, cannot allow for the 'hey, why not give it a chance?' reasoning on anything, unless it costs zero dollars and zero man hours.
We cannot afford to have anyone's concentration be on anything except the fiscal salvation of the city right now and for a while to come.,but everyone up there needs to STAY focused and see the forest for the trees (or turbines)

Russ said...

Even a supporter of alternative energy can see this is plainly a boondoggle at a time other, more important details of the beach project are in question. Stick a recording anemometer on the roof if you want data. Personally, helical turbines would be preferred for a variety of engineering and environmental reasons, but for pity's sake not NOW. Not with how poorly every other facet of this POS has been designed and implemented to date. How much of the paved area is exfiltrating? How is rain runoff being collected, and how much will be dumped into the Intracoastal? Enough to provide irrigation to what greenspace isn't covered in asphalt or concrete? Regardless of how you found yourself on the dias or your educational and professional background, worry about the financial shenanigans and lighting issues as well as your part in this fiasco, commissioner. Pay attention. Some of us know far more than YOU about this stuff and are done with the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

The first hurricane to come trhough will blow down Mcvoy's Folly.