Wind Turbines Proposed Poor Mountain/Bent Mountain Area
This is an argumentative research essay in which the issue selected is wind turbines' proposed poor mountain/bent mountain area. Invenergy, a privately held company in United Sates, proposed to build some electricity generating wind-turbines on top of the Poor Mountain. This Poor Mountain is situated in Roanoke County. According to the company officials, this project will set a bench-mark for other companies as it will result in building more than fifteen turbines. The land area held for this purpose would be about 2000 acres and it will fulfill the electricity need of more than 8000 households in Roanoke County.
Background or History of the Issue
The issue of building turbines on the Poor Mountains in Roanoke County was proposed by a private company named Invenergy. The logic behind proposing the building of wind turbines is to provide excess electricity to Roanoke County on cheap prices. This will result in lowering the cost of electricity and increasing the supply so as to meet the demands of Roanoke County. This project would be profitable due to the reason that on top of poor Mountains, there is an excess of wind speed, a previously constructed road and access of power line for transmission. The visual impact of the project would be minimal as there are already constructed communication towers of various companies on the top of Poor Mountains. (Berg 2008b)
There are two fundamental categories for modern wind-turbines; the vertical axis and the horizontal axis group. In case of turbine of horizontal axis, there are blades that swing in vertical plane. This is same as that for propellers of aero planes. It is the shape of these blades which increase the speed of wind, once it passes through them. As a result, a low pressure area is created behind while a high pressure area is created in front of these blades. The reason why blades spin is the difference of these two pressures. In case of the vertical axis, the blades spin on the same rule. What differentiates the horizontal axis from vertical axis is the shape of the blades. Due to changed blade shape, there is a difference of pressure in the blowing wind making the assembly to spin. In this type of scenarios, the movement of blades is generally in plane which is parallel to the surface same as the movement of eggbeater. The electricity is generated mostly through the horizontal axis wind-turbines. (Style and Wright 2005)
People of Roanoke County lack the knowledge related to scientific sources which are existing apart from the industry of wind turbine. In a research, it was found out that industrial turbines generally affect larger area of Mountains as compared to plane land. Industrial wind-turbines generally emit greater number of vibrations and sounds having lower frequencies, as measured in decibels by "C" scale. Headaches, insomnia, nausea and seizures are generally caused by the emission of these vibrations and sounds resulting in a greater effect on the health of human beings exposed to these vibrations and sounds.
The Exact issue
The installation of wind energy turbines on the top of Poor Mountains in Roanoke County is the issue which I will be focusing on. I will be evaluating the positives and negatives of this project and will conclude the study based on the research. In this regard, I will be taking an argument for one side i.e. whether the proposal should be accepted or it should be rejected.
I will also be evaluating the Federal Aviation Authority's argument about this project. This can also form the basis of this research. The issue surrounding this research is whether the proposal of installing wind turbine on the top of Poor Mountains in Roanoke County would be beneficial to the County in generating cheaper electricity which fulfills the needs of the people of that county.
I am against the installation of wind energy turbines in the top of Poor Mountain in Roanoke County. Wind energy is one of the most significant innovations of this century. It can only be used with high-tech energy support having battery storage. This is used for wind generators for residential area and not for industrial turbines having a height of 443'. These 443' wind turbines were proposed for Roanoke County but these turbines are generally not supported by the battery storing devices. According to researchers, these wind turbines can operate in Roanoke County only for 25% of their efficiency because this county is very low in altitude as compared to surrounding areas. Due to this reason, wind acceptance for this county is very low; and so the wind turbine needs more power. In case of industrial turbines, highly efficient and stable energy sources are required which includes energy like natural gas or coal. These are necessary to maintain the demanded wind as per our turbines requirements. Due to variability of winds' strength and presence, the coal power should variant up and down as soon as possible. Pollution is increased by fluctuations in operations of coal power. There is no capacity for storage of wind energy in this project. (Phipps 2007)
Additionally, it is a fact that the solar/wind energy is very expensive and uncommon technology for maintenance and installation. In other words, we can say that this energy is too expensive to maintain and build. If we compare the wind energy to the traditional electricity generation, it is very expensive and difficult to achieve desired results through wind energy. It is a fact that wind energy turbines are 7 times more expensive as compared to the traditional sources of electricity. In case of wind turbines, approximately 16000 times more land is required for production of one-third of the electricity. Additionally, the energy payback of wind turbines costs 20 times more than that of the traditional sources. But it is also a fact that electricity generation through wind-turbines is cheaper as compared to that from the solar energy. Wind turbines are an economically friendly, green alternative to fossil fuels. (Kamperman 2008)
In case of no wind, the wind turbines will not be able to rotate and so the generation of electricity will be zero. Although, the blades of wind turbines are so sensitive that even a minor breeze of wind causes the blades to rotate. But when there would be zero wind, the generation of electricity will also be zero. This will definitely affect negatively on the economy of households and factories as they would not be able to get electricity. (Frey and Peter 2007)
Another point is that there was a huge investment by Roanoke County in relocating people to this area. The installation of wind turbines in this area will disturb the residents and create conditions that the residents will have to relocate to some other location.
The Federal Aviation Authority has claimed that the proposed wind turbines on top of the Poor Mountain in Roanoke County will not harm the flights as the area is low and the height of wind turbines is not more than the flights' flying zone. Therefore, FAA has clearly accepted the proposal but we cannot just rely on FAA views. We have to look certain other areas as analyzed in this report. For example, there would be no chances of hindrances in air traffic but the Poor Mountain in Roanoke County is so low that there would be a problem of shortage of wind for wing turbines to be fully productive.
The proposed site for the installation of wind turbines has some characteristics which can create hindrances in completion of this project. The transmitting waves of wind turbines will be affected by transmitter towers for TV, radio and safety communications. The blades of the turbines can affect the communication towers' transmitting waves. The blades of the turbines would be very tall which will require increased height of the aviation flights. This can also be a danger for air-traffic at Roanoke Airport. There would be some environmental hazards too. The building of wind turbines would be dangerous for birds as the rotating blades of turbines, high air pressures and increased erosion of mountain soil will result in deaths of a large number of birds. (Style and Wright 2005)
Due to so many negative effects of building wind turbines on the top of Poor Mountains in Roanoke County, the value and business of property will definitely flourish. This will de-motivate the investors and the economy of the county will be affected negatively.
From the above discussion, it is very clear that the building and maintenance of wind turbines on the top of Poor Mountains in Roanoke County will not be feasible. Firstly, the wind turbines require some battery storage which will be difficult to maintain in Roanoke County. Secondly, the county is situated at a very low altitude which makes it difficult for the blades of wind turbines to rotate so as to generate electricity. In other words, we can say that this can cause a problem as there…