Assumption: We’re going to place all the needed windmills and batteries inside Howard County’s footprint. We’ll let other counties put in their own windmills. We’re going to need land for the windmills and land for the added transmission lines. As these windmills expire (20-25 years) we’re going to need landfills to bury the retired windmills, blades, and batteries. The batteries include toxic materials so that’s a separate landfill.
You’re going to need 70 acres per MW of designated land for windmills, transmission lines, landfills and battery storage. Howard Electric’s Howard County load plus Glasgow, plus Fayette, plus New Franklin is roughly 35 MW, which would cover 2,450 acres. However, the wind only blows 25% of the time (in windy parts of N.W. Mo. its 33%). So, you’re going to use the wind when it blows and have 3 more sets of windmills that go to batteries so that on a normal 25% windy day you’ve got power all day.
That requires us to build 35 MW times 4 to make sure our batteries are charged on a normal 25% windy day and we’ve got power all day. So that means we’ve got 140 MW times 70 acres or 9,800 acres.
But wait a minute, there are times when we have 2 days without wind. Well, to cover those days, we’ll need 140 MW times 2 added to the 140 MW for a normal 25% day. That’s 420 MW times 70 acres or 29,400 acres.
Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we will admit during hot muggy August there could be a week without wind. Ok, that’s 140 MW times 7 or 980 MW times 70 acres, which is 68,600 acres. Howard County has 301,000 acres, so we’ve got acres to spare. Although, I think our landfill for retired blades just got bigger. We will stop there. Now we’re going to need some Tesla batteries to store all this green power. A tesla wall battery is $8,800 after tax credits for a 5 KW unit. There are 1,000 KW in one MW, so we’re going to need 200 tesla wall batteries for each MW.
Therefore, we’ve got 980 MW of windmills to create energy to store in batteries for a non-windy week and we will need 980 MW’s of battery storage, so that’s 196,000 tesla wall batteries at $8,800 each. Let’s assume they’ll give us a discount down to just over $2,500 (think utility scale pricing, confirmed by existing utility contracts). So, we’re going to need $490 million dollars in batteries just here in Howard County, batteries which only last 20 years.
Each windmill is $1.5 million, so we’ll need another $1.47 billion for the windmills. We still need about $50 million to pay for transmission lines, distribution lines, and substations to connect all these windmills. You thought the Grain Belt transmission line was intrusive. Then there’s the cost of the landfills in Howard County. Add it all together and it easily totals $2 billion plus.
But, we’ll borrow it and pay for it over 20 years (batteries and windmills only last 20 years). So, if we can get 0% Greenpower interest rates, that works out to over $100 million per year just for Howard County.
Since there’s roughly 10,000 people in Howard County, that works out to $10,000 for each adult, child, and newborn baby, payable annually, and 22% of our land is being used for transmission lines, windmills, batteries and landfills.
That 22% is probably a good number nationally. 22% of our nation’s landmass would be used for new transmission lines, windmills, batteries and landfills.
And by the way, at the end of 20 years in Howard County, your going to need a very expensive landfill to protect our water supply when you dump 196,000 toxic batteries in a Howard County landfill.
On a national level at $10,000 each, that works out to $3.5 trillion dollars and on a national environmental level, $3.8 billion toxic lithium batteries will probably eliminate our worries about climate change. We will have new worries.