“Never reported by the Maine media: Maine’s wind potential is 89% below the national
average” on Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Power – Maine: Read the Article >>
Folks, this is the wind industry’s miserable track record of production in Maine. It is their own data. They cannot hide from this failure, unless we allow them to do so. Look at those capacity factor numbers for the particular projects and aside from Mars Hill, we can truthfully and forcefully say this unreliable, unpredictable, non-dispatchable source of electricity produces less than 25% of its installed capacity. Make this known to everyone. Challenge wind power supporters with the truth and ask how this can possibly be justified as economic sense? —- Maine Wind Sites Production for entire year 2012: read article >>
Citizen Task Force on Wind Power – Maine: http://www.windtaskforce.org/
Wind farm construction on Vermont ridge lines: Photo Gallery
Opponents of wind power: http://fairwindct.com/?p=1061
The not-so-green mountains: http://fairwindct.com/?p=1063
It is not too late for Vermont to stop and take a serious look at wind turbine development on our mountains.
In fact, now is exactly the right time to step back and evaluate what we know, and build on experience.
When polled, most Vermonters say they support wind energy. Imagining the Searsburg turbines, I answered “yes, even near my house.” They are only 197 feet tall, unlighted, not too many, not very visible. I thought they were beautiful when I saw them in 2001.
When Vermonters started calling VCE in 2009 seeking assistance with wind proposals, I quickly learned the technology has changed.
Today’s machines are “big. They’re very, very big,“ said Jeff Wennberg, while promoting the Ira project. Vermont’s Public Service Board (PSB) has approved four projects with turbines ranging from 410 to 459 feet tall. Vermonters have not been asked what they think about anything that big.
Vermonters who live near mountains where wind turbines have been proposed have learned about all the issues associated with the technology. Call them NIMBYs or wackos, yell at them if they use the word “industrial” instead of “utility scale,” call them a vocal minority or a fringe group, they now number in the thousands and have had to become educated by reason of location.
If you live in the “sacrifice zone” of wind energy development (draw a circle with a radius of two miles from the ridgeline — you get the impacts but no compensation), you learn that wind turbines:
a) collapse, catch fire, throw ice, throw blades,
b) kill birds like raptors, and endangered bats
c) require cutting bear-scarred beech trees and fragmenting wildlife habitat
d) destroy songbird habitat
e) require hundreds of thousands of pounds of explosives to blast miles of new roads
f) require impervious road construction on highly erodible soils
g) require filling headwater streams and degrading water quality, resulting in fewer fish
h) make noise extending over a mile that can interrupt sleep and make people sick
i) are being permitted less than 200 feet from property lines
j) have blinking lights and industrialize the landscape
k) divide communities; turn neighbors, family members and towns against each other and more, with issues unique to ridgeline development in Vermont.
One large project is under construction in Sheffield, with 16 turbines 420 feet tall and seven miles of new roads. This kind of development is new to Vermont, and has the potential to change the face of the state. With more than a dozen communities targeted for proposals, this subject deserves more thoughtful consideration than is provided by two lawyers and one businessman in Montpelier who are making decisions on a case-by-case basis without any statewide planning.
Questions have been raised about PSB-approved wind projects that will be answered soon, once the Sheffield project goes on line and operates through a winter. We have the perfect opportunity to evaluate the performance of First Wind’s project.
Will the stormwater control design protect the high quality water resources and control the volume of water coming off the mountains?
Will noise be a problem for neighbors?
Will the technology withstand brutal winter conditions?
Will lights be an issue?
Will wind turbines inhibit or enhance tourism and the second home market?
How many permanent jobs with benefits will be created?
What will the capacity factor be?
How many birds and bats, and what type, will be killed?
What happens to the wildlife whose habitat is changed?
Will the PSB enforce its conditions?
We are in a fragile economy, with a glut of electricity available in New England at low cost for the foreseeable future. The price of solar energy is declining every day. More than 90 percent of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions are from heating and transportation.
With so much at stake for Vermont, the prudent thing to do is stop, look and listen. Wind developers and our political leaders owe it to all Vermonters and our wild creatures to make sure we get this right.
On Friday, former Gov. Jim Douglas was on Vermont Public Radio and was asked about big wind turbines. He said, “…the natural beauty of Vermont is our strong suit, and to put these big machines on our precious ridgelines is not something that’s in the state’s interest…. I think it’s the wrong choice for Vermont.”
We have a lot to lose. Getting it wrong will be a very expensive mistake. For those people living near Vermont’s big wind energy proposals, it already has been.
Annette Smith is executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
Charlestown Citizens Alliance: May 13, 2013 -The Steering Committee of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance has taken a position on the Whalerock proposal for two utility scale wind turbines since it was first proposed in 2009.
We continue to oppose the process devised by members of the (2008-2010) Town Council who worked in consultation with the developer to create an ordinance that would meet the needs of the developer rather than the environment and people of Charlestown.
In 2010, we opposed the partnership agreement between the (2008-2010) Town Council and the developer because it was not in the financial interest of Charlestown and because it undermined the roles of the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board authorized by the Town Charter for review of all applications for development. More specifically,
We opposed the 2010 decision of the (2008-2010) Town Council to exempt the developer from Site Plan Review and application for a Special Use Permit.
Recent History: Legal and regulatory actions of the two Town Councils elected since November 2010 have eliminated the flawed Partnership Agreement and now at least the Superior Court will require that the developer seek a Special Use Permit from the Zoning Board.
Zoning Board’s Decision: In their decision to grant a Special Use Permit, the Zoning Board must make positive findings as outlined in the Standards for Large Wind Energy Systems and the general findings for a Special Use Permit in the Zoning Ordinance. More specifically, that the proposed project will not result in adverse impacts to the welfare of the community, will not alter the general character of the surrounding area, and will not disrupt the neighborhood.
We do not believe the Zoning Board can make these positive findings and we urge the Board to acknowledge the negative findings by rejecting the application for a Special Use Permit.
Documents explaining our position in more detail are available at our website. The first of these is: Zoning Board must make positive findings that there will be no adverse environmental impacts resulting from the two Wind Turbines We will have additional documents explaining our positions in coming days.
Wind energy may become a significant part of American energy production. Where turbines are sited is critical to the success of the industry. The size and type of turbine is also an important component. Putting turbines where they conflict with people and wildlife creates resistance to the industry and may indeed harm neighbors and the environment. The land where the Whalerock turbines are proposed is not an appropriate site for very large scale wind turbines.
Residents who cannot attend the Zoning Board hearing should send your thoughts and testimony to the Zoning Board by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail to:
Charlestown Zoning Board,4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI 02813
Tell your neighbors and friends about our email list, forward them this email or our web site address and let them know we are a free service!!