Is solar energy the best source of energy? – Daily Press

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For the sake of clarity, I wonder if you could add a few words to the articles you write about solar and wind farms as sources of energy: “…powering more than XXX homes intermittently.”

With one megawatt, a base load plant (coal, oil, natural gas) can power 400 to 900 homes. It’s basically all the time.

With one megawatt, a solar farm can power 164 to 190 homes. Why the difference? The sun does not shine at night, and clouds during the day prevent power generation.

With one megawatt, a wind turbine can power 200 homes. This number is now changing as the wind turbines have increased in power, but the fact remains that the wind does not always blow and sometimes it blows too hard. In both cases, production drops.

I note that in no case have I seen a mention of energy storage associated with these new sources. Thus, wind and solar electricity have no place in any energy management plan except as a supplement, unless the system can replace the load of about 150 homes per megawatt with a load of base. Conservatively, this replacement power should last a week or more.

I am not aware of any plans by power producers for this amount to be available when ‘renewable’ sources come online.

Jim Hurst, James City County

James City County sent an investigation into the Jamestown Road intersection.

Recently I had to go around many two lane roundabouts in Michigan. What they all had in common was that they were an absolute nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists trying to navigate these intersections, and they were terrifying for drivers trying to figure out how to avoid them.

Please do not allow the VDOT to place roundabouts near busy pedestrian crossings – this would be a disaster for public safety on so many levels.

Karen Bodett, James City County

It was instructive to compare the mindset of Williamsburg city managers to that of James City County administrators in the Gazette’s recent coverage of property tax rates.

City managers seem to understand that they are working for the taxpayer and have offered to reduce tax rates to offset the impact of rising property assessments.

In James City County, however, the bureaucrats want to keep the windfall so they can build bigger buildings to house even more bureaucrats to handle projects of dubious value.

I hope my fellow counties will demand clarification from their supervisors as to their state of mind and remember this upcoming election.

Digby A. Solomon, James City County

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