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Gas Generation Phaseout

Ed Reid's picture
Vice President, Marketing (Retired) / Executive Director (Retired) / President (Retired), Columbia Gas Distribution Companies / American Gas Cooling Center / Fire to Ice, Inc.

Industry Participation: Natural Gas Industry Research, Development and Demonstration Initiative Chair, Cooling Committee (1996-1999)   American Gas Association Marketing Section...

  • Member since 2003
  • 767 items added with 33,428 views
  • Jan 18, 2022

The US currently generates more than 500,000,000 Megawatt-hours, or approximately 25% of electric utility annual electricity production, in coal-fueled generating stations, which the Administration has said will all cease operation by 2030. The US currently generates more than 800,000,000 Megawatt-hours, or approximately 37% of electric utility annual electricity production, in natural gas fueled generating stations, which the Administration has said will all cease operation by 2035. US natural gas fueled electric generation has more than doubled over the past 10 years because of the lower cost of natural gas and the higher generating efficiency of natural gas combined cycle powerplants.

The US currently generates 338,000,000 Megawatt-hours, or approximately 8.4% of all utility-scale electric generation. This electricity is generated by approximately 60,000 wind turbines with a total nameplate capacity of 122,465 MW operating at an average capacity factor of approximately 32%.

Replacing the generating capacity of the US coal-fueled generating fleet would require installation of approximately 625,000 MW of wind turbine rating plate capacity, plus the electricity storage capacity to store the output of the wind turbines for the maximum number of days duration of a potential “wind drought”. Additional generation capacity would be required to recharge storage after such a “wind drought” while meeting the contemporaneous demand on the grid.

Replacing the generating capacity of the US natural gas generating fleet would require installation of approximately 1,000,000 MW of wind turbine rating plate capacity, plus the storage capacity required to make the wind generation reliable and dispatchable, and the additional generating capacity required to recharge storage after periods of low/no wind generation.

US wind turbine installations peaked in 2020 at 14.2 GW (14,200 MW). Installation of 625,000 MW of wind turbine rating plate capacity over the period 2022-2029 would require installation of an average of 78 GW of new wind turbine generating capacity per year, or 5.5 times the capacity added in 2020. Installation of an additional 1,000,000 MW of wind turbine generating capacity over the period from 2030-2034 would require installation of an additional 200 GW of new wind turbine generating capacity per year, or 14 times the capacity added in 2020.

The current installed cost of new wind turbine generating capacity is approximately $1.3 million per MW. Assuming anticipated cost reductions resulting from increased manufacturing volume would be offset by cost increases resulting from increased demand for the rare earth materials required for fabrication of the wind turbines, the total cost of replacing existing fossil fuel electric generation with wind generation would be approximately $2 trillion. This estimate does not include the cost of the land on which the wind turbines are installed, the cost of the storage batteries required to make the wind capacity reliable and dispatchable and the cost additional transmission infrastructure required to connect the wind farms to the existing electric grid.

The replacement of both the coal and natural gas generating capacity would be deferred toward the ends of the required decommissioning periods to assure grid reliability through the transition, as operating experience was gained with the replacement wind and storage infrastructure.   

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jan 19, 2022

Edward, A big challenge for sure but still able to be done and save consumers money while doing it. We have had the technology but not the will to change to renewable sources. How much energy does it take to pump all the water to produce steam and make COAL fired Electricity? How much energy does it take to mine and transport the coal and then take care of the waste it produces on site and the air pollution it creates ? 

   With Natural Unnatural gas how many explosions has it created in homes and buildings? How long with the Fracking continue that has pulled the last of the unnatual gas out of the ground? How much water does a unNatural gas plant use? How much do all those Peaker gas plants cost? 

   When you compare all the energy we can do it with Renewable Energy and will be ahead for doing it. 

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Jan 19, 2022

We will need major long duration battery development before "we can do it with renewable energy".


Here's another viewpoint:


Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 11, 2022

That article is so full of errors it doesn't make any sense at all

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 24, 2022

“A big challenge and we can do it”. Sure,  as long as folks mindlessly embrace the green energy’s actual motto: “We had to destroy the environment to save the planet”.

Logic and science do not support the empty slogans currently in vogue for “transforming” energy production. As Germany has discovered, excessive reliance on unreliable green energy economically crushes the poor and middle class.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 11, 2022

Not at all, through winter Germany has had the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe. Before that its wholesale electricity prices were 10-20% lower than France. Its retail prices are remarkably high, but because of a long focus on energy efficiency the average German family spends less of their income on household energy than the average French family and German Industry spends significantly less than French Industry on electricity.

Logic and science do not support any of your assertions. You, not I, picked Kansas to illustrate the limitations of renewables and yet here we are with Kansas on the verge of 50% renewables. YTD 23 TWh out of 51 TWh from all sources

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Jan 24, 2022

According to the EIA in the 12 months to the end of October the US generated 2,515,000 GWh from fossil fuels. No one has ever proposed that it would all be replaced by wind, in fact solar installations are outpacing wind so at best half the total will have to be replaced by wind. Modern onshore wind turbines supply about 3.3 GWh/MW and that is continuing to improve due to taller masts, better blade aerodynamics, larger rotors, and more precise positioning of turbines so modern wind farms are achieving 40~50% CF, more than double the early systems. But assuming there is no further improvement that means that the US would need 380 GW of wind, slightly over 1/3rd of the number you postulate. Once built operation is around $12~15/MWh

Again, with no improvement in technology and no improvement in cost that is less than $500 bn over 15 years, which to put it in perspective is 3% of the expected military budget over that period or the cost of 20 plant Vogtles, the twenty plant Vogtles would produce 350,000 GWh vs 1,260,000 GWh from wind.  

On the other hand, providing 2,500 TWh per year from gas at current prices will cost $70~80bn per year in fuel alone so operation and fuel will cost about $45/MWh. 

As for difficulty. Scotland which has an economy less than 1% of the US has built one wind turbine a day for the last 5 years, the US could easily build 100/day at an average of 3.5 MW that is 125 GW/y, so clearly no problem reaching 380/15 or 25 GW/y.  Alternatively, Australia with an economy 1/15th of the US is installing 2~3 GW of unsubsidised wind per year i.e. 30~45GW/y for the US.  

In summary your projections are completely wrong

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 24, 2022

The area required for your vaunted wind turbines is immense and is not without ominous impacts on the marine environment. That area becomes even larger when the wind shadowing impacts are factored in for really large ocean subsidy farms masquerading as power plants.

The United Kingdom’s over reliance on wind is becoming economically painfully destructive to the poor and middle class being hammered by huge electric bills.

All of this economic misery just so the liberal elite can feel good about themselves while not particularly suffering from the consequences of their actions. Worse yet, the claimed problem remains in the future with the dates of “dire consequences” constantly slipping.
Climate Change is a malicious marketing campaign to enrich the investment class and increase the power of the liberal elite.

Curiously, there is no way to factually prove claims of Armageddon. How convenient.

Rather than kowtow to the liberal establishment hellbent on increasing their power, deploy energy resources based on providing reasonably clean and reasonably priced energy.


Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 9, 2022

Dear Michael. How can I put this in the gentlest possible terms? learn some arithmetic. Immense, Ominous. The immense holes in the ground for coal mines, the thousands of miles of railway track to move the coal and the immense damage to groundwater and land downwind of coal power plants is what you should worry about.

Wind farms are usually built on open grazing land, low growth scrub or forest. Whatever activities happen there keep happening, crops still grow, cows and sheep still graze, and trees are still harvested. The wind turbines usually take 200~300 square meters including access tracks out of every 600,000~1,000,000 square meters so a farmer with 5 turbines on 2,000 acres loses $500/y of farming income and earns $50,000/y in rent, regardless of markets, seasons, and weather. Please explain how the farmer is worse off.  If the US builds another 110,000 modern wind turbines at even 300 square meters per turbine, that is 33 square km less than the area of one large coal mine and its associated infrastructure. 


Tens of thousands of farmers earn rental for their land and in turn spend that in rural towns, rural counties earn taxes, 100's of millions will partly or fully generate their own power at lower cost than they can buy it.  How in the name of all that is sensible is that kowtowing to the liberal elite? Utilities are entering into long term PPAs for wind and solar in the range of $25~35/MWh, show me a gas, coal or nuclear plant that can match that. i.e renewable energy is clean and cheap  

The UK overreliance on imported gas is what is forcing power prices up, not wind which is generating at the same cost it always has.  

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 26, 2022

Most of the wind turbines in Kansas are built on crop lands, not scrub lands. The machines are generally built on ridge lines where there is steady wind. Those areas are limited to Western Kansas. Eastern and Central Kansas are not favorable for wind production.

 The machines are located hundreds of miles from load centers and that requires the use of transmission lines.

Given the large size of farms in Western Kansas and sparse population in Western Kansas, I seriously doubt your claim of “tens of thousands” of Kansas farmers.

If some firm wants to build wind turbines, then kindly pay your fair share and stop passing the financial risk onto the taxpayer and consumer. Also, don’t screwup the environment, including the wildlife. Not too much to ask.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 26, 2022

Further observations.

The big spreads in Western Kansas are generally owned by corporations. 
The average wind turbine land lease is around $4000/ year, which is a minor fraction (less than 1%) of gross revenue for a typical machine. 
Average cost of Kansas farm land around $4000 per acre.
Typical machine, including access road, takes out a acre or two of land. Actual impacted (uninhabitable due to debris being flung) area is about 200 acres per machine.

Impact on raptors and bats: unknown. We do know, however, wind turbine owners are exempt from laws involving killing eagles and endangering migratory birds. Shoot an eagle, end up with huge fine and possibly jail time. Chop the eagle up in a wind turbine, no problemo because you have a get-out-of-jail-free card..

Looks to me like the investors benefit a lot more than the small number of Kansas family owned farms that host wind turbines.

Where does most of the energy go from Western Kansas wind farms? Probably Denver - much closer than cities in Eastern Kansas. Would not be surprised if a premium is paid by Colorado to acquire Kansas green energy as Colorado is a liberal run state.


Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Jan 27, 2022

Just in case you haven't looked at a map lately Western Kansas is a small share of US wind production

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 1, 2022

You brought up Kansas.  In general, the adverse impacts of wind in the Midwest are similar. Texas panhandle is somewhat different because of the dry conditions there somewhat limit agriculture.  However, large Texas cities are not near the panhandle and higher transmission system loses occur.

Completely covering the Midwest with wind turbines is a bad idea. A balanced deployment is reasonable.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 7, 2022

Location of wind farms in KS.


Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 7, 2022

Here is map of grid in KS from 2004 - before almost all of the above wind was built.


Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 10, 2022

Not sure your map is up to date. There are a lot of machines being built in Western Kansas but that is in response to investors trying to capitalize on subsidies before that advantage disappears.
Most of the reliable generation (coal and 1 nuclear plant) is in the Northeast corner of the state and that is where most of the population resides. 

The bulk of the wind turbines are closer to Denver and Oklahoma City. To get power to Kansas City results in line losses of about 12 percent.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 10, 2022

Not my map - source is from Oct 21, 2021.  Pretty up to date.

Seems fairly obvious when comparing locations of wind to grid that they are being built along existing transmission lines. Makes sense.


You said:

The machines are generally built on ridge lines where there is steady wind. Those areas are limited to Western Kansas. Eastern and Central Kansas are not favorable for wind production.


There are a lot of machines being built in Western Kansas

These statements are incorrect.


Here are four recent wind farms - none of which are in Western KS. In fact two of them are in Far Eastern counties and a third is 55 miles North of coal plant in what you call NE part of state.


Eastern part of state:

2021 - Jayhawk Wind(195 MW) in Crawford County - far East part of state south of Kansas City

2021 - Neosho Ridge(300 MW) in Neosho County - second county in from Eastern border

2021 - Irish Creek(310 MW) in Marshall County - north of  Jeffrey Coal Energy Center


Central part of state:

2021 - Expedition Wind(199MW) in Marion County - NorthEast of Wichita(largest city in KS)


I did find a couple a bit further West - let's call it South Central.

2021 - Cimarron Bend 3 (199 MW) in Clark County - south of Dodge City

2021 - Flat Ridge 3 (118MW ) in Barber County - SW of Wichita 


The bulk of the wind turbines are closer to Denver and Oklahoma City.

This is also incorrect. Every one of these plants mentioned above is closer to Kansas City vs Denver.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 7, 2022

Wind generation has grown rapidly in KS over the last 6 years.  New additions will slow in coming years. Perhaps more solar will be added.


Wind Capacity will grow by an additional 21% in 2021. 


This means that wind generation should be around 30 TWh over the next couple of years. Add in the 11 TWh of nuclear generation and KS has 41 TWh of Zero carbon generation.  


KS is a net exporter of electricity - retail sales are below 40 TWh.   Add in a little solar and some storage and KS could easily shut down its remaining coal.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 7, 2022

"This means that wind generation should be around 30 TWh over the next couple of years."

No way, Joe. People in Kansas - and everywhere else - have had enough of putting up with the obscene land use impact of renewable energy - of "Build in Your Back Yard", out-of-state profiteers turning their beautiful countryside into industrial parks:


"In recent times, property owners have increasingly opposed new wind developments, fearing potential damages to property values and what some believe are harmful health effects.

"After Florida-based NextEra announced plans to build more than 80 turbines in Reno County, residents launched a months-long campaign to pressure the company and county leaders to either force turbines farther from their land or call off the project. It worked, and the county blocked the project, though NextEra and a group of landowners sued to overturn the decision.

"In August 2019, Sedgwick County leaders voted to ban wind and solar energy installations to protect the aviation industry in Wichita. That decision was made after a planner told the county commission that wind turbines could affect airport operations."


Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 8, 2022

Bob - you said.

No way, Joe.

Here's the math.


KS had about 6,300 MW of wind capacity on average in 2020. In 2021 (based on EIA data) an additional 1,423 MW of wind was added - most of it in December.


This is an additional 22.6% of capacity.


Adding an additional 22.6% of generation to 24 TWh gets you to 29.4TWh. In other words, we are already there - no new wind needed. Throw in the 11 TWh of Nuclear generation and KS already generated more zero carbon electricity than it consumes.


Obviously, wind capacity additions in Kansas will slow down dramatically but there are still some projects coming in the future.

Evergy Seeks to Add More Wind Energy

The RFP solicits bids for Evergy’s purchase of wind resources of up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) that will be in service by 2026.

2021 Wind Energy Resource RFP

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power company, has issued a 2021 Wind PSA RFP to obtain up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of Wind Resources via multiple purchase and sale agreements (PSA) for purchase of 100% equity interest in the project companies selected.

Proposals will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the final 2021 Wind PSA RFP. Projects must have a minimum name-plate rating of 100 MW and be operational by December 15, 2024, or December 31, 2025.

To qualify for consideration Wind Projects must interconnect to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) RTO and be located in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri.


Next up solar....




Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 8, 2022

"....there are still some projects coming in the future."

No there aren't, Joe. Just the same rosy predictions that never materialize, that don't take into account the massive land use impacts of of renewable energy.

31 million birds are killed in the U.S. each year by collision with electricity power lines - and a Princeton study claims transmission would have to double to meet 2035 climate goals.

How many dead birds are too much, Joe...or are they all expendable to accommodate your dream?

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 9, 2022

It is amazing what you learn when you check other people's assertions. No-one can afford new wind and solar, but the US is expected to install 71GW of wind and solar this year and 80-90% of all new power generation worldwide is expected to be renewable which at typical capacity factors will produce about 170-200 TWh. Its best ever year.  For nuclear, its best year for installations was 12 GW which will generate 96 TWh. Over the last two years it has averaged 3-4 GW 

By the way, Joe was almost spot on, about Kansas. At the end of November Kansas had 7,318 MW of wind online and to the end of November had generated 22.9 TWh from wind. For the full year of 2022 with all plants online for the whole year it will be around 26 TWh.  0.05% of Kansas 45 million acres of farmland (22,500 acres) shared with agri-voltaics would produce another 12 TWh/y and unshaded roofs in Kansas should be able to produce another 6 TWh so we can easily meet 40 TWh of demand from wind and solar let alone nuclear, biomass or hydro, By the way, the DOE has calculated that Kansas has potential for 2.5 GW of hydro. 

According to the USDA Kansas has 12,5m acres of wheat with a gross yield of $203/acre or about $70/acre after costs and before farm subsidies.  A farmer who built a little six acre 1 MW solar farm and sold power at $18/MWh after operating costs would earn about $40,000 or around $6,500/ acre. If he put a wind turbine in the corner of a wheat field where the harvesters can't operate, he can earn $5-8,000 for land that produces nothing 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 9, 2022

Peter, the number of empty, unsupportable predictions in your posts is increasing. Look at the frequency at which these phrases/words occur:

"is expected to" - 2

"will" - 2

"should, would" - 2
"has potential for" - 1

The only thing renewable about renewable energy is its broken promises.


Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 10, 2022

There is a requirement in Kansas law that essentially requires the deployment of efficient, cost effective power. That is likely to be the subject of lawsuits if the utility (Evergy) attempts to go overboard with green energy.

in point of fact, the Kansas generation mix is coal, nuclear, some gas and some wind.  That mix demonstrates the wisdom of a balanced approach.

Areas with heavy reliance on natural gas are now seeing stupefying increases in prices. The unreliable nature of green energy can only provide limited relief.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 10, 2022

Look up state energy profiles on the EIA website

The mix in Kansas in 2020 was about 2,100 GWh from renewables, mostly wind, 50 GWh from nuclear, 1,100 GWh from coal and about 220 GWh from gas.  Even in 2020 renewables were the biggest source and on current trend will pass 50% this year.  

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 10, 2022

in point of fact, the Kansas generation mix is coal, nuclear, some gas and some wind.


No it's not. You appear to be talking about the generation mix is 2010. The times they are a changin'


The current Kansas generation mix is large amount of wind, nuclear, some coal and tiny amount of gas.



Also at least 80% of coal generation will be gone from KS within 10 years. The trend shown in chart above will continue. Here is sample of what's to come.


Evergy Moves up Timeline to Close Coal-Fired Plants

Evergy plans to close two of its coal-fired plants within nine years as part of its efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels, according to a report filed Friday with regulators.

The utility will close its a coal-fired plant near Lawrence by the end of 2023. The plant is Evergy’s oldest, with its remaining units dating back to 1960.

Evergy also will close Unit 3 of the Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys, Kansas in 2030, rather than in 2039 as originally planned, The Kansas City Star reported.

Evergy plans to replace the 1,153 megawatts of power from fossil fuel generation with 3,200 megawatts of wind and solar power by 2030

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 17, 2022

Joe, the generation mix is balanced. No one source is a majority, which is my point.

Remember the Texas fiasco of a few years ago? Kansas was not particularly impacted because the resources are balanced. In fact, power from coal units was sold out of state at a really healthy profit.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 10, 2022


Western Kansas is a a really tough environment for solar panels, considering the dust, wind, hail, tornadoes, wind, heat, cold, extreme temperature swings. Also, located hundreds of miles from major load centers. Solar panels also chew up valuable crop land. 
From a practicality standpoint, solar panels as an income producing investment for Western Kansas farms and ranches are more trouble than they are worth. Wind turbines make a lot more sense.

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Jan 26, 2022

The cost and performance numbers for solar are worse than for wind. The storage requirements to make solar dispatchable are also greater than for wind. Ignoring the need for storage and its current unavailability doesn't make it go away. A reliable renewable plus storage grid requires long duration storage.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Jan 27, 2022

Surprisingly, most energy is used during the day and particularly in the US when the sun is shining in summer. Further at least 15% of the energy that is used at night is so called offpeak energy that is used for water heating, ice making, municipal water transfer etc. Most of that can be done more economically during the day with solar leaving wind backed up by hydro to supply 50~100% of the night time demand. 

 Most of the long duration storage will be existing hydro/pumped hydro 

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Jan 29, 2022

Existing hydro/pumped hydro would not suffice for a national renewable plus storage grid. More of either would be vigorously resisted, as it has been in the recent past.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 1, 2022

You must not live in the upper middle part of the country. Gets brutally cold here in winter and we use a lot of energy keeping ourselves warm. Solar is more or less useless in winter, although wind turbines can be useful. In summer, dust and pollen quickly coat surfaces and trees are providing shade in most cities.  From a practicality and economic standpoint, solar is not particularly useful. Is different in sunny southwest and parts of California.

My real point is no specific energy approach fits all areas. Best methods depend on where you are. 

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 4, 2022

I agree entirely that no form of energy is suitable to supply all demand. That would be about as silly as saying all transport must be by rail. I think the US should maintain existing nuclear as long as possible. It will also need so called dispatchable renewables, such as better regulated hydro, geothermal, waste to energy, and maybe some solar thermal, but wind and solar will be the bulk suppliers and yes there will be redundant capacity just as there is now. 

However the biggest thing the US can do is continue and accelerate its energy efficiency gains. The US uses about 15-20% less energy per dollar of GDP than its peak, but still almost twice as much as Italy or Germany  

Richard Nielsen's picture
Richard Nielsen on Feb 7, 2022

I simply find this notion ridiculous. Mathematically speaking it will require the use of 75% of the available land in the continental US to make this pipe dream come true.  People wax on about the size of a coal mine... yet they fail to mention the millions of acres of reclaimed land that is now in use as prime grazing, commercial real estate or the many other uses.  Not only is it expensive, why on earth would you spend that amount of capitol on something that is only 9% efficient, and has a reliability rate of 34%.  Amazing.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 9, 2022

Mathematically, the US needs another 100,000 modern 4 MW class wind turbines, 400 GW of rooftop solar and 250 GW of agri-voltaic, to replace all the current fossil fuel electricity. The wind turbines at about 1/8th of an acre each will use 12,500 acres, The solar farms at 250 kW/acre will share one million acres with sheep, goats and horticulture. The US has 654 m acres of grazing land, Corn ethanol uses 38m acres.  Weyerhaeuser owns 12.4 million acres of forest and the US fells 11m acres of forest every year.  Coal, golf courses, railroads and airports use 2-3m acres for each category. The land used for renewables is trivial in the scheme of things.

 As for 9% efficiency I am not sure where you get that from, modern solar panels are 18-22%. wind installed in the US since 2015 has averaged 40% capacity factor. Alternatively, gas used in combustion turbines steam turbines and reciprocating engines has averaged about 10% capacity factor 

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 10, 2022

Sheep, goats, and horticulture? Huh? Where do you live? Cattle are on grazing land. Agriculture lands involve corn, soybeans, sorghum, etc. Solar panels are incompatible with agriculture. The later needs sunlight to grow. Also, crops need to be harvested and the necessary machinery is really big.

As far as wind turbines are concerned, the land requirements must include a large exclusion zone, as missiles/debris are hazards. Works out to be roughly 250 acres per turbine.

Wind and solar can be useful, but not if mindlessly deployed just to satisfy the green energy religion.


Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 11, 2022

They don't have to be mindlessly deployed. The US has 640m acres of grazing land of which about 10% is used for sheep and goats. It needs 2m acres of solar farms which have about 20% actual land coverage, the rest as I said is ahared with sheep goats and horticulture

Richard Nielsen's picture
Richard Nielsen on Feb 22, 2022

Can you show me a picture of solar farms that are grazable? I have yet to see one that is good for anything other than that black ugly window field.  I think you missed on your math, because until we come with a practical long term storage, you are a few million short on wind turbines, you do realize that wind shuts down for self protection at -20F, so there is about 3-4 months a year that the wind farms in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wyoming and Montana are completely useless.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 25, 2022

Visual search query image

So wind shutting down for self protection in cold conditions explains why Scotland, Norway Sweden and Denmark are building more. There are such things as winterised turbines, just as gas lines, gas turbines and even wells have to be engineered for cold conditions

Richard Nielsen's picture
Richard Nielsen on Feb 28, 2022

Do you realize a 'winterized' wind unit uses more energy then it produces? You let me know when the area's you mentioned see the average winter temps of the Dakota's, Montana, Wyoming, and Minnesota. They do not even come close.  Next time you are at the store, see how much mutton is in the meat department compared to beef.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 7, 2022

Ed - All data in your first paragraph is incorrect.


Your data source is for utilities only.... you might want to switch to Table 3.1.A which shows all sectors.


Also Wind Capacity factor in 2020 was 35.3%


Here is snapshot of generation since 2015 -




Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Feb 8, 2022

The data was clearly stated as utility data.

Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 9, 2022

So? Ultimately more and more customers and IPPs will supply energy, possibly up to 1/3rd of the total. Do you suggest we do not count them

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Feb 9, 2022



Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Feb 24, 2022

An inspection of the average Kansas wind speed by county demonstrates that the highest averages are in the West Central and the middle Northwestern part of the state. The lowest average speeds are in Eastern Kansas, including the Southeastern corner of the state, as well as the Southwestern corner.

The machines are placed on ridgelines because the wind speed is higher as you move upward from ground level. Contrary to the Wizard of Oz depiction, large swaths of Kansas consist of gently rolling hills. although that may not be apparent by simply flying over the region in a commercial airline. When you actually see where the machines are placed, it is obvious they are on ridgelines.

Unclear why any windfarms would be located in the Southeast corner of Kansas because the average wind speed is significantly lower than West Central and Western Kansas. The Southeastern corner includes a lot of reclaimed coal strip mines - makes for really good fishing because of the extensive small lakes and ponds.  Any wind turbines in that area are likely simply investment subsidy farms, although there is a 345 KV transmission line in the vicinity of the claimed location of wind turbines. I have never seen them when driving South on US Highway 69 and wind turbines are hard to miss.


Peter Farley's picture
Peter Farley on Feb 28, 2022


In the past wind power cost so much and generation at low wind speeds was so poor that you had to select the best wind sites for renewables to make money. Now as turbines cost less, 100-120m towers have become economical and larger rotors commonplace you can get 40%+ capacity factors all over Kansas. Turbines now have cut in speeds as low as 7 mph and reach maximum output at 24mph or even lower, so the cost of power to the customer now can be half made up from transmission and distribution, so the logical thing to do is locate wind turbines close to loads or at least underutilised transmission lines. Thus although a wind farm in western Kansas might be able to produce more energy, it may not always be able to sell it due to transmission congestion or the cost of power + transmission is higher than that of the eastern Kansas plant right beside the load. That is why 20 years ago only a few places in the US with consistent high wind such as Altamont pass made sense for wind power, now in more than 70% of the US wind power can be produced for less than gas or coal power

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Feb 28, 2022

...but only if you ignore the need for backup or storage.


Ed Reid's picture
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