Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mayor Bloomberg <=> Rocket Scientist

Ah, Mike, what's the problem? Human nature is why we're in favor of terms limits. Because no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how much expertise is developed in one area, no matter how noble, every politician after a certain point just can't resist hearing themselves talk. Now the Mayor is still far from Joe "I love to hear the sound of my voice" Biden or Barry "We are the ones" Obama territory, but he's been developing troubling signs of heading down the same road. His latest scheme is wind power, as he hops on the T. Boone Pickens bandwagon.

We're in favor of all energy sources that make sense, and perhaps wind farms far off the coast of NYC will prove economic, but does the Mayor grasp how much total power NYC demands? As of May 2008, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) estimated total peak demand in NYC would reach 33,809 megawatts. That's 33,809,000,000 watts. Peak usage in the summer of 2007, according to NYISO, was 32,169 megawatts.

To put that in perspective, the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point, run by Entergy, together have a maximum power generation capacity of 2,069 megawatts. (See Entergy 2007 Investor Report at

The world's largest wind turbine, the Enercon E-126, has a peak power generation rating of 6 megawatts, and the E-126 is a monster with a rotor diameter of 413 feet. And, of course, it only produces peak power when there's a steady wind of, we believe, 17 knots. Commercially available GE wind turbines are rated at, depending on the model, 1.5, 2.5 and 3.6 megawatts of peak production power. (See GE Energy - Wind Turbines at

With this in mind, the New York City subway system uses, according to the IEEE, approximately 500 megawatts during peak rush hour usage. (See IEEE-USA Today's Engineer at

Therefore, to run the NYC subway alone, it would take from 84 of the monster E-126 turbines to 333 of GE's current 1.5Mw models. And that's assuming the wind is blowing steadily at a peak production speeds; add in an additional 50% capacity to account for turbines out of production for maintenance, lower wind velocity, etc., and you wind up with, conservatively a need for 122 to 500 turbines for the subway alone. Now, Mr. Mayor, where exactly at you going to put these? If offshore, where do the transmission lines comes ashore?

Our brainiac Mayor can put all the pinwheels he wants up on the Brooklyn bridge, on top of every skyscraper and in Lady Liberty's torch, but they won't make a dent in the city's powers needs. Which highlights that the green coalition has no viable answers to our actual current energy needs. But hey, if we could harness the power of good intentions we'd have solved the energy problem long ago.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?