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Interior Secretary Salazar on Wind: A Reality Check

By Robert Peltier -- July 28, 2009

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, speaking in Atlantic City in April, added more hot air to the discussion about offshore wind when he stated that windmills off the East Coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, of the coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

Yet such would require offshore wind turbines stacked almost a hundred miles deep from Maine to Florida. I’m disappointed Salazar didn’t take a few minutes for fact-checking and back-of-the-envelope ciphering before his speech or he would have discovered that his estimates are pure bluster.

I am reminded of all this as I read of Germany’s plan to get offshore wind in the mix, forcing power-grid operators to build sea cables at their expense and requiring buyers to pay $0.21/kWh for the power.…