Sunday, March 06, 2011

Grand Dream Loses Sheen
In Glare Of Daylight

by Michael Finnegan and Gale Holland - March 6, 2011 - Los Angeles Times

L.A. community colleges' green energy plan proves wildly impractical. The blunders cost taxpayers $10 million.

One thing was for sure: No matter how it was financed, the bill for all those solar panels and wind turbines would be huge. Eisenberg's cost estimates for taking the nine campuses off the grid ranged as high as $975 million — this for a college system that in 2010 spent less than $8 million on power bills.

An engineering consultant put the cost far higher: $1.9 billion. That number caught the attention of Marshall Drummond, then chancellor of the college district. It was enough to pay for several dozen new classroom buildings. In December 2008, the chancellor summoned Eisenberg and his energy team to explain.

As it turns out, the explanations were riddled with lies, or mistakes - if you believe the pie in the sky dreamer Eisenberg who was enchanted with the idea of green energy.

A few of his ignorant ideas?

Nine wind turbines were proposed for campuses which had so little wind they would barely light up a single light bulb, but cost millions to construct.

Battery solutions were proposed with technology that could not maintain the energy charge needed for the campuses, even ignoring the vastly greater costs over existing energy sources.

Geothermal projects were planned in Southern California where the mild temperatures would not support the concepts.

Solar panels were discovered to be so heavy and the supports so weak that they could not survive an earthquake. Eisenberg's solution was to put the panels on wheels so that the agency charged with approving their construction would not have jurisdiction to block them. That guaranteed that in an earthquake, they would kill the people below them. Eisenberg considered their probable deaths simply one cost of progress.

Eisenberg made commitments for financing that directly contradicted his claims on which approvals were granted, costing the college district $3 million instead of the $300 thousand approved. Eisenberg insisted this was not fraud, but "misunderstandings."

The reality is that Eisenberg is a classic green energy dreamer. He repeatedly ignored all obstacles, failures of technology, cost considerations and practicality of the technology and spent government money to fund projects that were idiocy in the extreme. Green energy does not work and is going nowhere.

This project represents a perfect example of the disasters that Europe has also experienced with their attempts at green energy. Why is it that the proponents of green energy are bragging about our need to catch up with Europe when they are abandoning the idea?


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