Is the Answer Blowin’ in the Wind? 
Seems there’s been quite a lot of hot air..um..news about wind power lately.

This just in (and we’ll call it If a wind turbine turns in Oregon, will the lights go on in Los Angeles?): Southern California Edison recently announced it has signed a two-decade contract with Oregon-based DCE (an affiliate of Caithness Energy) that will provide 909 megawatts of wind power to SCE customers.

(According to the glossary at the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center, a megawatt has enough “electrical capacity to power 1,000 average California homes.”)

Eventually 303 wind turbines will be installed across 30 square miles in North-Central Oregon by 2012 and, according to an SCE news release on the matter (link above), the project is “expected to generate 2 billion kilowatt-hours per year of renewable energy,

Now that’s a nice breath of fresh air.

Speaking of fresh air, let’s title this one There’s more than one way to float your boat. SkySails, a Hamburg manufacturer of “towing kites”(they look a lot like parachutes ) for cargo ships – and the company claims using them will save a, well, boatload, of fuel as cargo ships travel hither and thither across the globe.



Touting its product as “New Energy for Shipping!” the company says it aims “to reduce fuel consumption of modern shipping by the utilization of environmentally friendly, free-of-charge wind energy.”

And they’re not blowing a lot of hot air, either

(OK, we’ll stop with the bad puns)

Seriously, SkySails in a July news release, reported that a “160 square meter kite generates up to 8 metric tons of tractive force – this approximately corresponds to the thrust of an Airbus A318 turbine engine. Depending on wind conditions, ships in the future shall be able to post fuel savings of between 10% and 35% using this auxiliary propulsion system.”

Let’s breathe deep with that good news!




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