The article provides a balanced analysis of the performance of wind power production in California during the summer of 2006 when the state experienced power blackouts.
"By most measures these numbers are disappointing. On the day of peak demand, August 24, 2006, wind power produced at 254.6 MW at the time of peak demand. 254.6 MW represents only 10.2% of wind’s rated capacity of 2,500MW. Another perspective on the data, over the preceding seven days, August 17 to 23, wind produced at 89.4 to 113.0 MW, averaging only 99.1 MW at the time of peak demand or just 4% of rated capacity".
The many and varied reader comments are very insightful.
"A widely used power source that has an average 4%-10% capacity factor during the very time when it is most needed is not just disappointing - it is darn near criminal. Taxpayers have provided huge quantities of cash to wind turbine operators, constructors and salesmen. It is time to recognize just what that cash has bought - a feel good, unreliable, unsightly waste of beautiful countryside".
In response there are comments from many professional engineers in both the wind and nuclear power industries.