Texas loves to talk up the fact that it is the biggest wind power state and even ranks high world-wide compared to other countries. But somehow, that didn't seem to serve the residents of the great Lone Star State on February 2. ...But no worries, I have the perfect solution: Next time power plants are "tripping," ERCOT should issue an order for the wind to blow harder in West Texas.
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The proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear reactor would be sited on about 350 acres. The 1,200 offshore wind turbines needed to produce the same amount of energy would require 74,000 acres. Onshore, 2,400 turbines would be needed and would require 8,500 acres. This is a lot of land or water and a big impact on the rich mountain ecosystems and habitats or ocean ecosystems about which we know little.
For people who believe one of Maine's highest conservation priorities should be the preservation of the state's unorganized territories as the timberlands and outdoor-recreational lands they have traditionally been - and I count myself among those people - the greatest threat to the North Woods is large-scale development of any kind.
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Five years ago, I was among the 90 percent of Vermonters who, when polled, supported wind development even on ridgelines near my home.
Now, after two years immersed in the subject, I no longer support the utility-scale wind energy projects proposed for Vermont; nor do many of the Vermonters who live around the mountains where wind prospectors are pursuing projects.
Our land, culture and futures are too important to rush to one potential energy solution when so much is at stake. Too few have truly studied the emerging detriment, poor efficacy, and hidden costs - some irreversible - of industrial wind. Until that information is properly studied, evaluated and publicly available to the people of Hawaii, it cannot and should not be pursued or presented as the inevitable solution to our energy crisis.
Wise people (and politicians) often say perception is more important than reality. Take the case of wind energy in Connecticut. What are the perceptions and what are the realities? With the proposed wind projects in Colebrook and Prospect currently being so hotly debated, perhaps it's timely to consider a few points.
It's well-documented and accepted - even among developers - that wind projects create very few permanent jobs. Big Wind and its media allies gloss over this fact and make the argument that economic activity "no matter how brief" justifies permanent degradation of our state's most valuable natural assets.
There's nothing that sells a bad idea like the promise of economic salvation.
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What happened to the Town of Fairhaven's announced plans to put two commercial-sized wind turbines near their waste water treatment plant?
Is the wind turbine project going forward after the length of time the commercial venture was stalled by the growing number of opponents in Fairhaven?
The advocacy group contends that several species of birds, including golden eagles, whooping cranes and greater sage-grouse, will be endangered by "poorly planned and sited wind projects," according to Kelly Fuller, a conservancy spokeswoman.
But Nebraska authorities involved with approving wind farms in the state have shown that they are already fully aware of the potential problem.
Over the last five years, environmental degradation to our beautiful natural landscape is occurring without the public's knowledge as closed-door negotiations among local and state government and energy companies take place. And, of course there is very limited federal, state, and local regulatory oversight.
Joe Coburn, president of the Mercer County Commission, said the board has not had any real discussions about whether or not to create a ridgeline ordinance for Mercer County. Coburn added he wasn't aware of any entity interested in building a wind turbine farm in Mercer County. ...Why repeat the same mistake made by Tazewell County.
Our concern and objective here is to assist in getting a full and accurate picture of what this sort of commercial, industrial-size power plant entails with factual information. In a larger sense, this will help explain the serious effects such a project in operation will mean for the health, safety, quality of life and property values in this area.
Having seemingly achieved the dubious goal of bringing the nation's first offshore wind farm to Massachusetts, one might imagine Governor Patrick and the rest of the Wind Culters would be content to take that honorific to the cocktail circuit and bask in the adulation of their like-minded peers. But no. Governor Patrick and the rest of the WCs will not rest until they have imposed over-priced wind power on the whole of the Commonwealth.
Since this setback issue is new for the insurance companies, actuaries for the insurance companies will be figuring out the exposure to commercial wind turbines only after they are installed in your neighborhoods. Massachusetts residents within the commercial wind turbine zone should be advised how to insure against a commercial wind turbine and tower.
According to analysis based on data used by the National Grid to monitor power generation, the amount of power produced by wind developments across the UK fell to as low as 2.5 per cent of potential generation capacity, while demand rose to its highest levels. This is a derisory amount. It begs searching questions about the Scottish government's ambitions to go flat out for renewable power generation.
Citizens opposing the plan to install 360 miles of turbines across Maine are made to look like selfish people whose only concern is their view.
But now the huge cost of this plan is coming to light. Now the health issues are being exposed as our neighbors suffer from long-term exposure to low frequency noise. Now DEP sound standards are being proven as inadequate for turbines' unique noise.
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Unfortunately, while the price tag and impact are a lot less than the biomass plant, so is the expected return.
While the city-owned utility had hoped to build two or even three biomass plants and produce as much as 20 percent of the base load power the utility needs, the impact of solar will be much, much less.