Knight and Carver's announcement of layoffs and possible temporary closure is depressing for more than the folks in Howard. The three-year-old facility has been hit by a "lull" in the wind power industry.
The action at tonight's Madison City Commission meeting could bring Knight and Carver's blade production crews a little work: one of K&C's products, the LS56-100 8.3-meter blade, fits 100-kilowatt turbines, which would meet the 150-kW maximum our new wind turbine ordinances would allow. Now if only an enterprising wind power enthusiast can find someplace to erect a turbine that will satisfy the setbacks....
Maybe better news for the wind industry comes from Cape Cod, where the feds have finally approved America's first offshore wind farm. Cape Wind will start producing electricity in time for Barack Obama's reinauguration, with a planned capacity of 468 megawatts. Given that this offshore energy source won't explode or leak 5000 gallons of oil a day, Cape Wind is probably on the right track.
Besides, when one of the only externalities is that the turbines will disrupt the view from the mansions of rich liberal East Coast elites, my conservative readers should be all about more wind power.
By the way, the Washington Post notes that the wind industry is taking a hit from the recession and from uncertainty over the energy security and climate change bill. Wow, if the Senate would have gotten in gear and passed that bill last year, we might have avoided those layoffs in Howard and the death of Big Stone II. Think about that, Senators Thune and Johnson!
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