Impact on Landscape and Zoning/Planning
It now appears likely that the state's Site Evaluation Committee will grant a permit for the construction of 33 410-foot tall, blinking-light-topped wind turbines across seven or so miles of horizon, and the huge road system needed to construct and maintain them. ...we have become a state willing to sell its scenery and its very skyline for profits and power going elsewhere.
On March 17, the state Department of Environmental Protection rejected for a third time Gamesa Energy's plan to install industrialized wind turbines on Shaffer Mountain. What part of "no" doesn't Gamesa - and Berwind Corp. - understand?
DEP's eight-page "Technical Deficiency Letter" was sent to Timothy Vought of Shaffer Mountain Wind LLC and lists questions that must be answered if the permit application is to be resubmitted.
Endless Energy's effort to put a wind farm on top of Redington Mountain near Carrabassett Valley is a bad idea that won't die the death it sorely needs. In fact, the idea seems to get worse all the time. Knocked down four times, twice by the Land Use Regulation Commission, once by the Governor's Wind Power Task Force, and once by the legislature in its 2008 Wind Power bill, this commercial creature is still on its feet however barely.
Current setbacks in Michigan allow a wind turbine to be constructed only 1,000 feet from an adjacent residence without the homeowners consent. This rule applies to all inhabited structures including schools, hospitals, churches, and public libraries. This distance of 1,000 feet is an arbitrary guideline recommended by the state of Michigan.
Some residents who live too close to wind turbines complain of noise pollution and shadow flicker. Health problems and sleep disturbances have been documented in people living within one and a half miles of turbines.
Today we are faced with many issues regarding the previous ecological misuse of our planet. In our mad dash to correct the maligning of our environment we are grasping at alternative sources of energy: mainly wind, solar and hydro. Wind power is the concern of this letter, and Harley Lee's project on the Redington Range is the center of that concern. I wonder if, in our rush to seek alternatives to foreign oil, we may be overlooking our most valuable local natural resources.
The decision to build the Tranquillon Ridge Wind Farm by county planners was made much too quickly and with the near exclusion of input from Lompoc. Mark these concerns: ...
Even if Virginia-based AES or Oregon-based PPM Energy secures enough land to make the project feasible, the project could take years to complete - if ever. But there's no doubt wind power is increasingly practical - and that officials would like Allen County to jump on the bandwagon.
"Hopefully the people out there will accept it," said Commissioner Bill Brown. "This could provide $1 million of income (for landowners) every year, increase assessed value and help the community. Wind farms also tend to generate plenty in property taxes, Burdick said.
The question is: Will Coomer and other landowners conclude the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? And even if they do, would such a huge and potentially controversial project be approved by government regulators?
Sentiment against the proposal is running deep and strong. ...
While we are all for the "green" movement and alternative forms of energy, we agree with opponents who are worried about what 40-story high windmills will do the aesthetics of Garrett County. As was pointed out at the hearing, structures of that height easily dwarf anything else in Garrett County, including the seven Wisp ski resort. ...Before the project can go forward, the Department of Natural Resources has to adopt a policy on whether to allow turbines on state lands.
The state's forests in Garrett County are among the most beautiful and pristine sites in Maryland. Marring them with skyscraper wind turbines would seriously mar that beauty.
I have been a resident in the town of Arkwright for almost 10 years. In my opinion, the town board meeting was not an indication of "the community coming together." A community is not together because the town supervisor declares that to the local media to sway public opinion. A community does not come together when proposing ideas and addressing important concerns to the leaders of our town is looked at as "confrontational questions" and "obvious objections." This is not about who agrees with wind power and who disagrees with wind power. The community is divided because Horizon is a huge company, no longer an American company, that has come into a small town with landowners desperate for money, in a society that no longer supports local farming, and a town board basing decisions on financial gains and nothing more. The result: 47 gigantic wind towers up to 330 feet and a turbine size of up to 300 feet, in an area that was considered residential/agricultural a year ago and has since been switched over to industrial zoning.
In Enfield, developer John Rancich has proposed building 10-12 wind mills on Connecticut Hill. The wind farm proposal is controversial, to say the least.
About 50 people packed a public hearing recently about a town proposal to limit where wind farms can be placed in relation to the nearest road. The hearing came amid allegations of previously secret meetings that violated the state's open meetings law. Rancich contends the "setback proposal," as it is known in Enfield, will wipe out his plans for a wind farm.
All of this tension makes you wonder if a wind farm is worth it. We have neighbor fighting neighbor and governments under stress to regulate something they are not familiar with. The end result is the building of large structures that could, if placed in the wrong spot, disrupt our county's landscape. That said, we aren't opposed to wind farms. We just want them placed in the right locations.
Contrary to what you may have heard, the Great Bear Rainforest is not under attack. Neither is Premier Gordon Campbell backing down from his promise to protect environmentally significant portions of the central coast because the province is considering applications for electrical-power generation in the region.
As The Sun's Larry Pynn discovered this week, the province is looking at proposals for a large wind farm and four commercial run-of-the-river power generation projects that have the potential to infringe on either existing or planned conservancies. ...The 2006 legislation defining the conservancies on the central coast specifically forbids "large hydro-electric" developments, but permits run-of-the river projects designed to provide power to local communities not serviced by the provincial power grid. ...But the legislation is silent on wind power and does not specifically forbid transmission lines.
Lack of vision and an inability to understand the importance of preserving a town's character and its sense of place, combined with the negative impact of commercial development, has made Fairhaven what it is today. A big part of our problem has been Executive Secretary Jeff Osuch and this non-elected public official's ability to control town government. His blind confidence in new technology has made us a testing ground for pet projects.
This time, the town has been sold on two giant misplaced wind turbines by using a smokescreen of environmentalism. Again, he has masterfully played town government to make it happen.
While the process of formulating that policy is under way, all wind applications must be put on hold.
Fenland is now on the tipping point of total rural landscape and skyline industrialisation. I say enough is enough.
As a veteran of the wind turbine war over East Hill in Cherry Valley, I have advice for residents of Fulton and Richmondville.
Electricity is so cool. Always there for us, at the flick of a switch. But where, exactly, does it come from? And what gets hurt on its way? When deciding how to generate power, this much is clear. Oregonians don't like nukes. Too scary. And they don't like coal. Too dirty. They're not even sure about liquefied natural gas. What is that stuff, anyway?
Hydro? Sure, Oregonians used to like hydro. But that was then: before salmon started disappearing by the gazillion. This is now: We're tearing out dams, not building new ones. But wait, here comes the answer: blowing in the wind.
Make that in the safe, reliable, clean, green, free, fish-hugging wind. We all love windmills, right? But hang on there, Bub. What about loving windmills in your backyard?
Comparing Allegheny Ridge to Shaffer Mountain is like comparing apples to oranges. And these differences are the reason Gamesa's industrialization of this section of Shaffer Mountain will be stopped. It's all about the siting. The siting of these industrial facilities, if not regulated soon, may well doom the ablility of industrial wind to reach its full potential. The people of the Commonwealth are not going to stand for the destruction of the last of our highest quality wild habitats, especially when we have hundreds of thousands of acres of reclaimed strip mines, with great wind, that have already been destroyed.
The PSB attached a number of conditions to their approval of the project. As the Ridge Protectors, a group of people who have opposed the project for years, say, the attached conditions contain potential deal breakers and they intend to fight the actual project to the bitter end.
We are with them. The Sheffield voters, when they approved the project for an entirely illusory tax benefit, sold the Northeast Kingdom's birthright for a mess of pottage. Assuming The Ridge Protectors prevail and the project is stopped, these same voters, when they discover the taste of pottage, will be thanking them.
As an example of how the system can be abused, Patrick administration officials like to point to the challenge to the Hoosac range wind farm in the Berkshires. State officials believe that area residents who have aesthetic objections to the wind turbines have focused on plans for the service roads to the ridge site as a way to delay or possibly block the whole project. But, whatever the motivations of the residents challenging the plans for the roads, they will cross streams in 10 places and merit an intense review process.
It now seems that, having disrupted and destroyed some of our local countryside with heavy negative industry, our Fenland Council has "accommodated" enough of these "awesome beasts", and may not wish to play ball with its political masters any longer.
The wind industry has not been slow in reacting to the public's withering support of this industrialisation of our countryside and has placed its marketing machine into top gear.
I agree with the council that it is time to withdraw from this rural carnage inflicted by these industrialists. I even more strongly object to my beloved English countryside being concreted over by international giants, that may have very little regard or no concern for our national heritage, the British countryside.
As I drove on, I was less amazed and more distraught that anyone would call what I saw, a farm. My uncle is a farmer and his farm doesn't look anything at all like what I saw. The words wind and farm conjure up a friendly pastoral connotation. An image that is harmonious with nature.
What I saw is an industrial wasteland. Row after row of huge machines placed menacingly along the highway. They evoke images of the future and the "Terminator," a science-fiction/horror film. It doesn't look anything at all like a farm. The vista looks like a factory, a huge money-making, profit-sucking corporate machine.
There weren't any farm hands working the area. Machine after machine of cold hard steel and there was no one working.