Saturday, July 4, 2015

Data Points -- July 4, 2015; My Favorite -- 43 North Dakota Counties Lie Inside The "Oil-Rich Williston Basin" -- The Dickinson Press; Global Warming To Result In Record ND Crops This Year; Hopefully A Milder Winter

I am agnostic apathetic when it comes to wind power. When I first started blogging about wind power I was very, very much against wind power because I felt folks who supported wind power were simply ignorant about the fact that wind power has not one redeeming feature. Now that anyone in positions to decide whether to support wind power should know the non-merits of wind energy, I have become agnostic apathetic on the subject. It's a democracy and if folks want to put up wind towers to feel good, that's fine with me. I don't have a dog in that fight.

A while back I had decided I would not post any more stories on wind energy and if you scroll through the blog you won't find many wind energy posts.

But periodically, it's important to post a story to keep track of the industry, simply out of curiosity.

So, the data points from this article in The Dickinson Press:
  • another out-of-state company wants to put in a wind farm in the middle of the Bakken to help Massachusetts meet its renewable energy mandate
  • one small project in North Dakota more than doubles total amount of renewable energy generated by the state of Massachusetts itself
  • the majority of Tioga-area farmers, ranchers, and neighbors like Massachusetts enough to do this
  • 75 lightning attractors in the middle of an oil field with too much flaring, 150 MW
  • $250 million project
  • $250 million / 150 MW = $1.7 million / MW
  • there are 43 counties in the oil-rich Williston Basin (North Dakota has 53 counties)
  • Williams County Zoning Commission voted overwhelmingly  (4 -1) to deny the project
  • still requires ND PUC okay
This particular wind farm is slightly more expensive than a previously approved ND wind farm. The Antelope Hills Wind Project northwest of Beulah in Mercer County was advertised for the same amount ($240 million, to be exact) for slightly more electricity than what the Tioga project is going to provide (172 MW - Beulah; 150 MW - Tioga). 

As a reminder,

From an August 25, 2014, post, this is 30-second sound bite for "cost of renewable megwatt":

  • Solar: $3 million / MW
  • Wind: $2.5 million / MW
  • Natural gas: $865,000 / MW
Meanwhile, Where It Counts

On a more pleasant note, the reports from the fields are incredible. The Dickinson Press is reporting that global warming has really helped the North Dakota farmers this year. Crops are looking good and two weeks ahead of schedule. A few more years of global warming and ND farmers will be able to put in three crops annually instead of just one or one-and-a-half. From the linked article:
Agronomists and farmers alike agree that spring and early summer weather patterns have created favorable growing conditions thus far in southwest North Dakota.
North Dakota has such a wide variety of crops that like different conditions. As an example, canola plants like cool conditions while corn prefers warmer temperatures.
The best part about the article: the photograph. Enjoy.

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