Robinson: At home with the wind

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Andy Robinson of Plainfield.

A few months ago, crossing the Columbia River from Washington to Oregon, I found myself in the middle of a huge wind farm – hundreds and hundreds of turbines turning above a rolling landscape of farm fields and sagebrush. I drove for nearly an hour through this landscape, wind towers to the horizon in every direction.

I will admit that I found them beautiful.

Driving through the Pacific Northwest, I thought about the “wind wars” back home in Vermont, and all the people I know and admire on all sides of this debate. The arguments about wind are partly about aesthetics, but also about habitat: is it worth fragmenting our forests in the interest of producing energy? This is an important question, but I’ve noticed an undertone that makes me uncomfortable: the idea that our landscape is somehow more special than others, and therefore more worthy of protection.

I don’t know enough science to compare the biodiversity of a Vermont ridgeline to the sagebrush hills eastern Oregon – a landscape filled with deer, elk and bald eagles – but this is what I know:

• Across Appalachia, mountaintops are being blown apart for coal, and this “mountaintop removal” mining is destroying entire ecosystems and communities. Some of that coal is burned for electricity by New England utilities – and once it enters the New England grid, that electricity is in used Vermont.

• Natural gas “fracking” threatens groundwater in Pennsylvania and other eastern states. Fracking was just banned in Vermont – a huge step forward – yet some of the gas produced elsewhere is burned for electricity by New England utilities. Once it enters the New England grid, that electricity is used in Vermont.

• Hydro Quebec’s dams have flooded vast valleys in northern Quebec, destroying hundreds of square miles of pristine forest and forcing the relocation of several indigenous communities, threatening their way of life. This electricity is sold directly to Vermont utilities; it comprises about one-third of what we use in our state.

What are we willing to sacrifice? Is it worth giving up a Vermont ridgeline so that one less valley will be flooded in Quebec, or one less mountaintop destroyed in West Virginia, or one less well drilled in Pennsylvania?

Except for the few who live off the grid and generate their own power, we are all complicit when we flip on the lights. Vermont may feel like a precious island – one that we strive mightily to protect – and yet we are connected to the rest of the world in many invisible ways. Unlike a wind tower on a local ridgeline, it’s easy to ignore what we can’t see from home, like the rising oceans that flood island nations in the Pacific and wheat fields in Bangladesh.

Like it or not, we benefit from the sacrifices that others have already made, are making today, or will make very soon. With the possible exception of Vermont Yankee – a radioactive cleanup project we will hand to our children and their children – we accept the benefits but outsource the costs to others.

What are we willing to sacrifice? Is it worth giving up a Vermont ridgeline so that one less valley will be flooded in Quebec, or one less mountaintop destroyed in West Virginia, or one less well drilled in Pennsylvania? Are we willing to use less – much less – energy while paying more for what we use? Are we willing to shift our definition of beauty?

My family strives to do the right thing. We insulated our house, installed a solar hot water system on the roof, and heat our home with wood. We grow a lot of our own food and support local farmers. We share one car. We use about one-third the electricity of a typical Vermont household. None of these things feels like a great sacrifice.

Yet I make my living flying back and forth across the continent, and probably the worst thing you can do for the climate is to get on an airplane. Ironically, many nonprofits that hire me are working to protect the earth against the impacts of climate change. At one end of my Northwest trip I worked with a river protection group; at the other end, a network of conservation land trusts. En route, I burned a lot of hydrocarbons.

I am still searching for the right level of sacrifice in my own life. I suspect it will require far less travel, a lower income, and even less consumption. Like many of my colleagues and neighbors, I believe we should prioritize local energy production and conservation over commercial wind farms.

But I also know this: If I looked up and saw a wind turbine on the ridge beyond my back yard, it would remind me that other people, other communities, and other ecosystems are bearing much higher costs than we are. And I would willingly accept it as our share of the burden.

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58 Comments on "Robinson: At home with the wind"

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Steven Farnham
3 years 8 months ago

Well said, but I doubt the anti-wind lobby will tolerate any of it.

Steve Wright
3 years 8 months ago

Right about that, Steven. Our goal is to protect the mountains not acquiesce in destruction of them. Isn’t that ironic, facing off against the array of enviro groups who support mountaintop blasting in their own state?

Michael Lamere
3 years 8 months ago

Andy. Excellent. Thanks for telling it as it really is!

Peter Romans
3 years 8 months ago

Robinson implies that a few wind turbines here will eliminate coal mining. Expression of this completely baseless notion is grossly irresponsible. He has obviously done no research because any knowledge would debunk this fantasy.
Wind turbines are valuable in enabling the self righteous to feel good about their own lifestyles. Between Robinson’s admission of mass consumption of carbon, “environmentalists” multiple homes, Jay Peak’s water park, etc, the hypocrisy is a little hard to bear.

Steve Comeau
3 years 8 months ago

Peter,
Using term “hypocrisy” in this case is rather harsh. It takes a long time for people to understand how much energy they really use and to figure out how to reduce, even when they want to. No person is an island, and we all have responsibilities to others, which frequently can mean travel or other consumption. But, in the long run we do need to come to terms with the idea that heated pools, multiple homes, long commutes, and frequent travel cannot be justified.

Peter Romans
3 years 8 months ago

If Robinson really wants to accept some of the “burden”, he might consider a donation to some of the folks whose property has become worthless due to proximity to IWTs. That should erase any carbon guilt he may still have. Robinson may have taken his cue from the governor, who said he would be happy to live under an IWT when he isn’t indulging in another tropical carbon debauchery.

Fred Woogmaster
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you for this thoughtful and provocative commentary. America is a deeply divided country. I was reminded of the power of the chant: ‘The People United Will Never Be Defeated’ and the many marches for justice. Happy Birthday Dr. King. You spoke truth to power for all who are committed to liberty, equality and justice. Thank you M. Robinson for this piece.
Like it or not, WE – are all in it together.

June Cook
3 years 8 months ago
Andy’s opinion piece: Once again, the argument that we have destroyed our environment in places, therefore, we should continue destroying in the name of what? Fairness in our destruction? How many birds, bats have been killed in those wind turbines you see as beautiful. How much pesticide will will be used to poison the earth, atmosphere, and water to compensate for the natural ecology that’s been destroyed. Did you know the wind turbines in the Pacific Northwest are being shut down because there is too much electricity generated. The consumers now pay not only the production tax credit but also… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago
To clarify June Cook’s statement that wind farms are being shut down: This is partly an issue of lack of transmission lines and partly a hydropower issue tied to salmon, as well as a regulatory conundrum. It is illogical to imply this is an argument for not doing wind here. Here’s the scoop, from Green Economy Post: Wind farms up here in the Pacific Northwest may soon be shut down temporarily because there is no transmission capacity to move this green renewable power to where it is needed. A record snowfall in the mountains at the headwaters of the Columbia… Read more »
Randy Koch
3 years 8 months ago
Dear Andy There are actually quite a number of houses on the market in Sheffield, Lowell and elsewhere that are near turbines. I’m willing to bet you could buy one for a song too since some neighbors have a very bad reaction to living near turbines and some are probably desperate to sell. It seems that audible sound frequencies, infrasound, and blade flicker pretty much drive some people nuts. But if you feel that moving to Sheffield for example is above your your own “right level” of sacrifice, I don’t blame you: in fact I congratulate you for the sacrifices… Read more »
Trish Sears
3 years 8 months ago
Thank you, Andy, for your very thoughtful contribution. You articulated exactly what I have been feeling all along w/re to wind power on our ridges. As I write this I can look outside my window and see the windmills on Lowell Mountain turning. I see them and I am comfortable with our contribution and trade-off to help meet the power needs of our community, of our world. And I have to acknowledge what you pointed out as what I don’t see up close and personal, the tradeoff the people who live(d) where Hydro-Quebec is and that the coal and fracking… Read more »
Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago
Trish, are you comfortable knowing that people are getting sick from the wind turbines in the Lowell and Sheffield mountains, that the neighbors of the Georgia Mountain wind turbines are being awakened at night? What ever happened to compassion? Here’s a good write-up of a collaborative study of wind turbine noise done at homes where people have abandoned their properties http://aeinews.org/archives/2254#more-2254 Let’s have an honest conversation about the issues that are affecting Vermonters, and let’s get some good information about whether or not the wind turbines are creating useful electricity (right now we know that their major interaction with the… Read more »
John Greenberg
3 years 8 months ago

Please explain how “right now we know that their major interaction with the grid is that their output has to be constrained because they produce power when it is not needed.”

Thanks.

Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago
John Norden ISO NE spoke at a DOE-sponsored conference in June 2011. This is a transcript: “…Then there’s the operational concerns about how do you handle the variability (of wind) – do you need to increase your automatic generation control environments? Now, you know, we carry an insurance policy called operation reserve, so if we lose a large facility on the system we need to be able to replace that within 15 minutes to meet our reliability standards. Right now, New England has about 300 megawatts of wind on the system. It really doesn’t have an impact on us. It’s… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago
Annette, John Norton is describing a common condition on grids that have less than 3% annual wind energy. Present annual New England grid wind energy is about 0.7%, i.e., noise. But when it goes over 3%, it will not be noise. More OCGT capacity has to be in spinning mode (3600 rpm, burning about 6-8 percent of rated output fuel, no output to the grid) and in part-load-ramping mode to ramp up with wind energy ebbs and ramp down with wind energy surges. For now, not a problem for the New England grid, as it has ample OCGT and CCGT… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago
John, Annette is not a power systems analyst, so we have to cut her some slack. Please, see my below comment to Avram, who would have lay people (99% of the population) believe integrating wind energy to the grid is a piece of cake; even the German’s, no technical slackers, have major problems with just 7% annual wind energy on the grid. http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated The New England grid has about 0.7% annual wind energy. Usually, problems don’t arise on most grids, until about 3% annual wind energy on the grid, based on grid operator experience. On a related subject, people have… Read more »
Brian Machesney
3 years 8 months ago
1) I would like to see a comparison of who is asked to sacrifice in order to provide power vs. who consumes that power. Inasmuch as energy generating plants are not generally considered to be appealing to have in one’s backyard – be they carbon-fired, nuclear, wind, water or solar – they seem often to be sited in locations where there are either few resources to resist them or where supposed economic benefits are claimed to outweigh possible deleterious effects. Logically, this means that the primary consumers of power are allowed (encouraged?) to be ignorant of the sacrifices their habits… Read more »
Lance Hagen
3 years 8 months ago

The net for wind power in Vermont is:
– Power costs are 3 to 4 times higher than existing power
– Ridge lines are scared. Natural environment destroyed.
– No or insignificant reduction in CO2

Why would anyone want them, other than the ‘feel good’ that they did something, even though it accomplished nothing!

Lance Hagen
3 years 8 months ago

I should add to my list

– Potential health hazard

I am not sure I agree with this health hazard claim. But it does have more plausible evidence than “natural gas “fracking” threatening groundwater “

Craig Kneeland
3 years 8 months ago
Excellent piece Andy. I also see local wind turbines on a regular basis and feel good, in the same way I feel when I see a hydro turbine producing power from a nearby stream. If we use it, we need to produce it. Local production of energy is justified as an incentive to use less imported energy from questionable sources with inefficient delivery. Until our local generation approaches our local usage we should move full speed ahead with lowest impact sources, like wind. Those that worry about property values in sight of wind generators should try purchasing some of the… Read more »
Steve Wright
3 years 8 months ago
Craig, Well, it’s really nice that looking at turbines makes you, “feel good,” since that is an approximation of is intellectual rigor. “Feeling good” is hardly an effective starting point for making informed decisions on complex issues. While you feel good a family living near the Sheffield turbines is being tormented and are trying desperately to find additional lodging. What can you offer them? On November 3 and 4 of this past year 33 residents–most of them from Albany, some from Lowell–petitioned the Public Service Board to stop the intolerable noise from the Lowell turbines. Their homes were invaded, being… Read more »
Elinor Osborn
3 years 8 months ago
This is a thoughtful piece, but if Andy’s logic is carried out further it would take us to this— Because of all the environmental damage due to fracking, mountain top removal, river damming and mercury release, we should do our part and cause more environmental damage just because it has already been done some place else. Would industrial wind be worth the environmental and health damage if it closed down any fossil fuel generating plants? There is no use debating that because wind does not close any of those plants. They have to be turned on 24/7 due to wind… Read more »
Avram Patt
3 years 8 months ago

This is simply not true:
“They have to be turned on 24/7 due to wind being intermittent.”

Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago

Avram, please provide some proof. Show us in real world terms what fossil fuel plants are reducing their consumption when the 750+ MW of wind in the New England grid are producing electricity. How’s it actually working? I’m not interested in hearing anything more about the output of the turbines. I want to know how it is being integrated into the grid.

Avram Patt
3 years 8 months ago
Annette, this is really not not rocket science. Someone in your position should by now have a basic understanding of how the ISO New England system works at an elementary level. The ISO dispatches power plants to go on and off, to ramp up and down, every hour of every day of the year. It is constantly fluctuating and this is true even if there were zero wind turbines in New England.. Some plants run only for very brief intervals a few times a year. Baseload plants run almost all the time. Generatrs are called up or down to meet… Read more »
Avram Patt
3 years 8 months ago

http://www.iso-ne.com/

Anyone can see what’s happening on the New England grid.

3 years 8 months ago
Avram, It is somewhat more challenging to accommodate wind energy to the grid than you describe. During the past 5 years, numerous meetings have been held by grid operators to exchange information on how to cope with variable wind energy. Germany has major problems balancing 7% annual wind energy. http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated In New England, 30% of the hours of the year there is not enough wind speed (7.5 mph, per Vestas) to turn the 373-ft dia rotors of 459-ft high IWTs, such as on Lowell Mountain. Winds on ridge lines are notorious for being irregular. Hence, even greater wind speeds are… Read more »
Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago
Avram, I do have enough understanding of how the grid works, and of how power plants work, to know that I am asking good questions that still have not received good answers. Your answer is just more conjecture and theory. An Australian did a study of the integration of wind energy into the grid where it was assumed (just as you assume) that the wind energy was displacing coal generation. He was able to get very detailed data about the coal plant’s operations (something that is not available here) and found that while the wind energy was being put into… Read more »
Peter Romans
3 years 8 months ago

Patt’s reply to Smith scores high for it’s sarcasm and condescension but fails in data content. Why are wind advocates routinely unable to provide conclusive data? You would think that Patt would want to end this controversy with irrefutable evidence. Alas, more theory and belittling.

3 years 8 months ago
Re: Andy Robinson’s Revelatory Road Trip: The undertone that I notice, in such essays as Robinson’s, is laced with ignorance of the facts, and the astounded naiveté of one who just discovered that the earth is indeed round. Robinson’s new-found view of the American landscape (i.e.mountain-top removal, fracking, destruction of habitat and native people’s land) is only new to any who have chosen not to see until now… not to those who have been paying attention for years, to those of us who never imagined, wanted or pretended we live on the Island of Vermont. In fact there are no… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago
Hi Peggy — Good to hear from you. First of all, I respect your history as a fierce advocate for social justice, and admire your passion and commitment to the Earth and to your community. I too have a long history in the movement. I have been working professionally for social justice and conservation for more than 30 years, and have tried to walk the talk in my personal life as well. For example, when my wife and I were married 25 years ago, we decided not to have children together because we felt it was the kindest act we… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago

Andy,
Go on a windy day ,more than 25 mph winds, to really enjoy the noise.

Nils Behn
3 years 8 months ago

Well stated Andy. I appreciate your admission of guilt and your desire for us all to do the same. We are all implicit in the current state of the planet’s health. Suggestions by the Anti wind contingent (who, whether they like it or not are encouraging and strengthening the fossil fuel industry through their actions) that what we do here has no effect on coal, gas, etc., are obviously baseless and makes me suspicious that they may in fact have been ingesting ostrich DNA through some horrible GMO experiment we were never meant to know about! : )

Steve Wright
3 years 8 months ago
Andy Robinson is a competent observer and participant in the U.S. conservation scene. I have enjoyed working with him in this arena. His fundamental thesis, however (stated in his last paragraph), is fundamentally, grievously, flawed, i.e. tear up our landscape so that some other place will not tear up theirs. He must know that the level of human caring for each other doesn’t really exist when it comes to the act of making money and consolidating political power. That is another “inconvenient truth” about humans. Ironically, he would choose to alter portions of critical upland habitat in his own state… Read more »
Frank Seawright
3 years 8 months ago
It was not specifically mention where these turbines were located along the Columbia River so I looked for some images and at google maps. The terrain there does not look like the tree-covered mountains we have here and it also does not look like there is as much rainfall. We all know what happens here when we get a heavy rainfall over a short period of time. I noticed yesterday a report of some researchers at Dartmouth who are studying the affects on streams after a storm like Irene. I copied this section from the Boston newspaper: “A report published… Read more »
Moshe Braner
3 years 8 months ago
Until we have stiff carbon taxes, or a firm and decreasing “cap” in place on carbon emissions permits, we delude ourselves if we think that erecting some wind turbines will reduce the burning of fossil fuels. The new (wind-powered) “water park” at Jay Peak, with a retractable roof so that the starry winter sky can be better viewed from an 80-degrees tropical mimic, destroyed any faith I may still had in the sincerity of the powers that be when it comes to electrical power. This “park” is just as obscene as the infamous indoor ski slope in Dubai. And I… Read more »
3 years 8 months ago
Never, should Vermont ridge tops be torn apart to install wind towers. It is a costly mistake, a destruction of the environment, of wild life habitat and pathways. As I said before, hillside Vermonters consider their ridgelines sacred, so it is also desecration.It’s like a murder. Once committed, it can’t be reversed. Andy fixed up his house to use less energy but many of us don’t have that sort of money and we don’t qualify for state or federal assistance. The money would be better spent to help cut energy costs for communities. Isn’t that what “buy local” means? Our… Read more »
Stanley Shapiro
3 years 8 months ago

During the recent gubernatorial debates the incumbent stated he would never want to live near an airport when the question of the F-35’s came up.Close to 400ft wind turbine s would be OK? The issue of turbine noise and the consequent real health risks imposed cannot be ignored especially over mountains and magnified in valleys. while turbines are considered renewables, in Vermont, they will not accomplish one iota of positive impact on climate change

Colleen Thomas
3 years 8 months ago

Thanks Andy for your thoughtful and inspiring reflections. I think you strike the tone and sensibility that reflects the majority of Vermonters on this issue.

Steven Farnham
3 years 8 months ago

See, Andy? What did I tell you? And they’re just getting started. Just lop off a few more mountains in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee, and keep that old rust-bucket of Entergy’s screaming on overdrive in Vernon, but don’t you dare stick some little pinwheels in the sacred ridge of the Green Mountains. Sounds like a reasonable tradeoff to me.

Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago

Little pinwheels? Is that what you call 459 foot tall machines that put out noise that extends out for miles?

Carl Werth
3 years 8 months ago

Annette – if you live far enough away from them, like most of the pro- ridgeline IWT folks apparently do – then, in the distance, they probably do look just like little pinwheels.

3 years 8 months ago

They do to pinheads

Steve Wright
3 years 8 months ago

Steven,
Can and will you explain the mechanism by which blowing up mountains–i,.e. building more industrial wind–in Vermont, will reduce the same in West Virginia?

Our folks keep asking these questions and the response seems to go something like this: “Build more industrial wind energy facilities in Vermont because I feel good when I look at them.”

Such a strategy seems to be wanting.

Steve Comeau
3 years 8 months ago

Andy, I disagree with your description of Hydro-Quebec. It is non-carbonbased power that is always available in the huge amounts necessary. Given the other options, it is currently the best available source of electricity for Vermont on a large scale. The dams are mostly located in remote and nearly uninhabitable locations.

3 years 8 months ago
Hi Steve — Two points here: 1. Hydro-Quebec dams have displaced a number of indigenous communities (the Cree people) and flooded their traditional hunting and gathering areas. What may seem “remote” to you is actually someone’s home. Those who protest industrial wind development make the exact same point about people living near the towers. In any large scale development — dams, wind towers, whatever — somebody’s interests will be harmed. The question is whether the contribution to the greater good offsets that harm, and who decides. These are important, complex questions, and are worthy of the debate we are having.… Read more »
Peter Romans
3 years 8 months ago

Much of Robinson’s description of HQ could apply to wind turbines in the Kingdom. He is still missing the point: are turbines really making the contribution that corporate marketing wants us to believe? Any evidence, whatsoever?

3 years 7 months ago

Andy,

For perspective:

When white folks arrived from Europe in the 1600s, more than a few indigenous communities were displaced and obliterated.

What happened to the natives in Quebec due to HQ is a Sunday school picnic; these natives were generously compensated by the Canadian government.

3 years 8 months ago
Great conversation here. Reads a powerful illustration of what Jennifer Jacquet called “The Anthropocebo Effect” – “a psychological condition that exacerbates human-induced damage—a certain pessimism that makes us accept human destruction as inevitable.” http://edge.org/response-detail/23701 Vermont remains a rare and beautiful thing because of stubborn, stubborn people thinking for themselves and having a venue to speak up about it. Billboards were reasonable, too. Too often “sensibility” is just small talk to justify complacency. Robinson is an eloquent writer but there’s no meat here. This piece was interchangeable with any other Thomas Friedman article: a shallow argument built around a travel anecdote.… Read more »
Annette Smith
3 years 8 months ago

VCE’s presentation to the energy siting policy commission proposes a different approach to renewable energy development:

–VCE Presentation to VT Energy Siting Commission 6, Jan 11, 2013
Power Point: http://www.vce.org/VCE_Presentation_11113.pptx (this is a large file, but there are animations that do not show up in a .pdf so if you want to go through the power point while listening to the audio, use the power point) Or you can watch the video which has both the power point and the audio. It’s 30 minutes total.
–Audio: http://vce.org/VCE_EnergySitingCommission_011113.mp3
–Video:

3 years 7 months ago

Thank you, Annette! Very much appreciate the brainfood.

3 years 8 months ago

Also wanted to recommend this link:

http://www.uvm.edu/~phines/

Paul Hines has done some superb work analyzing and visualizing our regional & national power grids.

Carol Geery
3 years 8 months ago

I’m glad Andy Robinson is “at home” with wind, since the closest operating wind turbine in Sheffield is more than 30 miles from his home in Plainfield and Lowell is more than 37 miles away. There’s no need for him to be concerned about the proposed projects at Grandpa’s Knob or Brighton. These are more than 50 miles away from his home.

Convert these distances to 1000-1500 feet from his home and I’m sure he would have a different narrative.

Jeff Parsons
3 years 8 months ago

Thanks Andy,

You’ve hit on the strongest reason for Wind Projects. We have to take some responsibility for “turning on the lights”. Hydro Quebec is not done, 2 years ago they diverted 70% of the flow of the massive Rupert River, just for us. HQ has much more planned and remember is not just flooding valleys it’s drying up large landscapes to increase the water behind giant reservoirs. We can’t stand by and let everyone else take the hit for us.

Alex Barnham
3 years 8 months ago

If homo sapiens sapiens continue to pillage planet Earth in the name of comfort, destruction will rain down upon all, the wise and the unwise. The real question is, will homo sapiens sapiens live up to their name? Just looking around, I venture that most homo ss are not focusing on the real answers and are just playing the blame game.

Jeff Parsons
3 years 8 months ago

PS. Andy to lessen the effects of fragmentation-wind projects in Vermont have gated roads, and minimal vehicular traffic once construction is completed.

Alex Barnham
3 years 8 months ago
From the number and length of comments, it is apparent that “feelings” are high either for or against wind farms. The same type of “feelings” were also high for or against the interstate highways and various other massive projects for public usage. Here is another aspect – we have outstripped our ability to live sensibly on this planet. We live like royalty and call ourselves impoverished. Unsustainable, voracious appetites for energy, food, water, clothing will certainly come to an end. The people who are sitting in the drivers’ seats are no better prepared to drive than those who are riding… Read more »
3 years 7 months ago
Annette, ” I do know that when the wind blows, wind turbines put electrons into the grid.” From: http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/171561/co2-emissions-and-chevy-volt-vs-honda-civic-ex-l ALL generators on the US grid are synchronized and spin at 60 revolutions/second, i.e., their electromagnetic waves enter the US grid in a synchronized manner and at 60 Hz; chaos would ensue, if the waves were not in sync. The speed at which energy travels down a power line is actually the speed of the electromagnetic wave, not the movement of electrons. The waves move from higher to lower voltage areas. The waves do not travel inside the power line, but… Read more »
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