Guess how many wind turbines it would take to power 20% of America's energy needs (according to Michael Skelly). No, this is not how big a wind farm needs to be to fill RICL, but this is Michael Skelly's dream for 20% wind energy for America.
150,000 wind turbines
Guess how many acres that will require at 65 acres per wind turbine.
15,234 square miles.
That's a lot of wind farms.
Can you imagine a wind farm covering 27% of Iowa?
Iowa only grew 9,300,000 acres of soybeans in 2012.
Can you imagine a wind farm covering every soybean field in the state of Iowa and plus another half million acres.
That's Michael Skelly's dream for America. Really. It is. I bet Skelly wonders where we come up with this stuff. Well, when a narcissist loves to put his face on the internet as much he does, it isn't all that hard to find.
BTW, the wind doesn't blow at Michael Skelly's home in Houston.
Consider this map of wind going up and down the center of the nation. To reach Michael Skelly's goal, that would probably be close to a coninuous band of windmill.
What about the coastal winds? What about the Great Lakes and all that rich wind near the urban centers. If you listen to Clean Line Energy's sell job these winds are not an option. In their world the only option is transmission from the center of the Continental United States.
What about energy storage? Well, you know how coal generation talked down wind energy in the 70's? They laughed at the idea of wind energy having any impact. That's how Clean Line perceives energy storage. Why?
Probably because energy storage would reduce the need for transmission as the Midwest could keep more of the energy created at night (wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, natural gas, or coal) and disperse the energy during the daytime at peak demands. Transmission projects will become less relevant as the energy storage industry grows.
BTW, if you see the folks at Clean Line, ask them "Who builds a Merchant Transmission Line and operates it at less than 50%?"
What else will be on this powerline when the wind isn't blowing?
Is the DACT proposed HVDC line through Iowa and Illinois to eastern markets competition for Clean Line Energy?
What about the proposed transmission by MidAmerican Generation? Is that competition?
Why do we need RICL over those other projects? Why do we need any of those projects?
Bill Gates had a dream of a PC in every home.
9.75 million acres of windfarms, that's Mr. Skelly's dream.