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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:06 PM
Original message
Will New Power Lines Run Through Your Back Yard?
Will New Power Lines Run Through Your Back Yard?
By Coral Davenport, CQ Staff


Moving electricity generated by solar energy or windpower from sun-drenched deserts and windswept plains to energy-thirsty cities and towns will require thousands of miles of new power lines, many of which could cut across private property.

That, advocates say, will require strong direction from the federal government including seizing land through the governments eminent domain power.

Renewables without eminent domain will not get to market, said James Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy Corp.

snip//

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., has introduced legislation (S 539) that would authorize the federal government to supersede state and local authority in siting for thousands of miles of new power lines, as part of a broader effort to boost renewable-energy production.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee has a hearing on the concept scheduled for March 12, with the aim of rolling Reids proposal into a larger energy bill in the coming weeks, said panel Chairman Jeff Bingaman , D-N.M.

That will set the stage for a bruising fight with the states over property rights.

more...

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003...
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moundsview Donating Member (150 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Depends on whose backyard it is
If you're a big shot politician on Cape Cod, no problem. If you're a struggling farmer in Western Minnesota, good luck to ya.
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PM Martin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. True.
Bigshots will tell you what to do while doing the exact opposite for themselves.
Hypocracy at it's worst.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. I would have no problem with a solar tower
on my property.

Or a wind turbine either. I live in a rural community, have a hunk of land, and I don't think they'd mess up the view anymore than existing electrical towers do.
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Wind turbines . . .
. . . are really really loud.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Do you know this personally? 'Cause I've stood beneath some mighty big ones and...
...not found them all that loud. The private pilots who fly over my house
make *A LOT* more noise.

Tesha

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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. Bullcrap
When I was in high school I took a tour of a coal fired power plant, but we stopped by a wind farm on the way back. We could barely hear it above the sound of the wind, and even with the engine off, we could not hear it from inside the bus. We were parked maybe 20-30 feet from it.
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
39. I think it depends on the kind of turbine used
and the size of the rotors. Some can get rather loud. http://www.barrhill.org.uk/windfarm/noise/index.html

Many more if you google wind farm and noise. They also are known to kill a lot of birds. A lot better than coal in all aspects, of course. I just don't think I'd want one in my yard.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. At what point do we "underground" the whole system, leaving it less vulnerable to weather? ...
That's what I want to know. My old Public Works boss in Santa Barbara was big on undergrounding the wires 20 years ago, so it's not like it's a new idea. After living here for years and going back to visit my home town on O'ahu, it was a shock to see the beautiful Nuuanu Pali still obscured by power lines that my memory had erased from the picture.

I read quite a few years back that Europeans are always shocked at how much damage to the grid our winter storms and summer tornados do, because they buried most of their lines a long time ago.

And besides, that public works project would be one heckuva Big Dig, wouldn't it?

Only slightly off topic. :eyes:

Hekate


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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. My new neighborhood has all its utility lines underground
and outages are a lot less frequent than they were in my old neighborhood with "telephone poles" everywhere.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. our new neighborhood has underground lines as well- but we get more outages than anywhere else...
that i've lived.

whenever it gets fairly windy, the power will snap of for a second, and then right back on. just enough to screw up all the digital clocks, and cause the directv receiver to go into it's 10-minute(i've timed it) reboot sequence. what's REALLY irritating is when the tv finally comes back on, and then there's another quick outage and it starts all over.
and it's not just our house- it's the entire subdivision- and i've complained to comed a LOT.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. That's a great point. I wonder if anyone has researched the
possibility and if it's not doable, why.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. It's very definitely 'doable' it's just insanely expensive in existing developed areas.
Nobody is willing to pay those enormous costs.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Fixing power failures after ice storms and hurricanes are also insanely
expensive.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Compared to the cost of burying utilities in developed neighborhoods, replacing overhead lines
is dirt cheap. I'd love to have them all underground too but nobody is willing to bear the expense. Please don't hammer me for stating the bad news. :-)
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
34. It's insanely expensive to blast holes in mountainsides for power lines too
:crazy:
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. Perhaps you should leave technical issues to technical people.
hmm?
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. How many transmission line projects have YOU worked on?
I've worked on two, between Oroville and Marysville and between Pisgah and Victorville. I've also been present at a LOT of pre-bid meetings for projects I didn't work on.

You? :shrug:
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. The technology really doesn't exist to "underground" massive power lines over long distances.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 04:02 PM by Tesha
It's far, far cheaper to build those megavolt HVDC links above ground
on towers than it is to bury them. And even buried, they're still not immune
to lightning strikes, and the really big lines aren't damaged by little things
like ice storms.

Tesha

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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. why does it matter if the cables are strung above ground or underground?
:shrug:
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. It has to do with how electricity behaves in close proximity to earth vs. air.
The idea is to keep it far from "ground".
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. and how is europe different...?
if what the poster said about their lines being underground is true?
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Which poster? I don't know who you mean. But anyway, they don't bury
high voltage/high current transmission lines in Europe...or anywhere else.
A residential street's wiring needs are far, far different from multi-megawatt feeder circuits.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Long-distance *TRANSMISSION* lines in Europe look just like ours.
Local distribution lines vary just like ours. Some are
above-ground, and many, mostly in cities, are buried.

Tesha

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Because it's easy to insulate 1 million volts in air and really tough in an underground cable.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 05:06 PM by Tesha
In air, all you need is to provide really big insulators every twentieth of a mile or so.
Underground, you need perfect insulation for every inch of the cable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_curren...



(That's a Swedish transmission line, BTW.)

Cables are sometimes used, but usually for submarine purposes. Here's
an article about a relatively-low voltage (138 kV) submarine system:

http://www.crosssoundcable.com/CableInfonew.html



Tesha

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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Real viability suggests developing a nationwide long distance superconducting buried
electric backbone. While the technology needs more development, with a well funded effort it is achievable in 5 years with rewards that would include 1) ability to bury the backbone, 2) capability to store excess power in circular storage conduits and 3) elimination of the massive power loss associated with overhead transmission lines.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Circular storage?
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Yeah, that's the ticket...just keep those joules running around a racetrack 'til they're needed.

:eyes:
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Actually, that aspect of the poster's post is valid.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 05:18 PM by Tesha
Superconducting magnetic storage is being researched and prototyped.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_magnetic_e...

Tesha

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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I'm all for R&D, even the sort that has little chance of real world functionality...
but this stuff is still way closer to theoretical experiment than practical applicaton. The proponents of stuff like this always conveniently omit to mention the cost (monetary and energy) to provide the cryogenic environment for it to actually work.
I'd rather they worked on fusion which we already know "works", and just dope out how to scale it down to usable levels.

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Well, luckily work on fusion *IS* going on, just not so much in the US anymore.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Sure, that's great...I think WE should be pursuing it. Imagine what might've been done with the
money we flushed down the shitter on the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq! :grr:

(I'm not convinced the Tokamak technology is the right direction, though...it doesn't SEEM to be making much progress, somebody needs to be funding more outside-the-box investigation, IMO)
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. We *WERE* investigating it, but Reagan substantially defunded it.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Cough-choke-gasp!
Buried underground superconducting long-distance transmission lines?

That's a real knee-slapper! :rofl:

One constraint you might find is that there isn't enough helium in the world
to make the required liquid helium. And the high-temperature superconductors
that will operate at mere liquid-nitrogen temperatures can't be made in bulk
quantities yet; that's one reason why LHC used conventional liquid helium
cooling for its electromagnets.

Tesha

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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Wait...what if we just line the tunnels with Republican hearts?
:-)
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
37. 4) Lots of work for environmental consulting firms
:D
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GentryDixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
25. I live in a community where all my utilities are underground.
This is a planned community started in the 1970's.
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
36. They started burying our about 20 years ago
Luckily we live in a neighborhood newer than that so we never have storm outages. As I was growing up there were at least 2-3 a summer from storms and at least 1 from squirrels nesting in transformers.

The neighborhood looks better without them too. They need to get the rest of them buried now. That should create a few jobs.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
28. That's nothing. Consider Easements by Eminent Domain.
They don't take the private property, then run the powerlines over it. They can space the poles fairly wide, and put the lines up fairly high...right over/along your house. These are utilities after all. Completely legal.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. There's a 3 phase 440 KV line running over our property about 120 feet from my chair here.
It's about 40 feet high and causes absolutely no problems or inconvenience to us or our domicile.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Right, but it can greatly hurt property values
depending on the area.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. Yes, that's true. Fortunately our area (shore of a nice big lake) isn't affected.
:D
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
33. "NIMBY makes a comeback"
Watch for this headline in a paper near you.

The loudest yells will be from the "Fuck You" wing of the Repubicans.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
38. You want massive solar projects? You want massive wind projects?
These projects need BIG transmission lines right through the middle of SOMEONE's back yard.
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
42. I wish every building produced it's own energy.
Fantasy is a wonder thing. :)
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