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Physics
1. The economics of Wind Power: According to a recent article, the average cost of constructing a 1.0 MWe land based wind power generator is approximately US$1.37M. What is the average cost (dollars/kWe) to construct a wind power facility?
2. List some of the reasons that the output power may be less than the rated power.
3. Compare the cost of a wind power facility to that of a new generation coal-fired plant. Power Engineering Online, April 3, 2007, carried the following story in its Industry News section: “Duke 800MW coal plant cost put at $1.53b.” Click here for the full story. It is suggested in the story that the Duke coal plant will cost an additional sum of money during construction. Using the figures in the Duke story, estimate the cost (dollars/kWe) to construct the plant. Compare and comment on the cost of the Duke plant to the cost of a wind facility.
4. One of the common arguments against wind power is that it will contribute to bird mortality.The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) argues that the mortality rate due to wind turbines is small compared to other sources of bird mortality, including: automobiles, airplanes, windows in buildings and cats. Another concern expressed regarding the Cape Wind project is that the project may prove economically unsustainable, raising the possibility that wind turbines may eventually be abandoned, leaving an environmental hazard. What is your assessment of these arguments?

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