Impact on People and Maine
Once the Rollins project was built, Rainer and Gaby Engle of Switzerland, who bought their "American dream getaway," faced 21 turbines -- the sounds and sights of which dominated their lakeside experience. They lost their enjoyment in the property and listed their property for sale.
The vote to allow King's wind business was a very close one, with people most affected having no vote. There were no local jobs created with the exception of a single management position, and some electricity will be free as long as the project makes money.
We've spoken clearly. Our state government must defend the will of the people. A foreign corporation must not have greater rights than American citizens. Iberdrola should respect the resolve of the people and abandon its wind development plans for Lexington and Concord townships.
More and more Mainers, who earlier had bought into the simplistic conclusion that wind turbines in Maine are a wonderful "green" solution for our energy needs, are learning that, by and large, Maine is not getting a justifiable economic or energy return from the wind turbines that mar the landscape.
Maine's experience with is instructive. While everyone was worried about the "visual" pollution of 450-foot tall white towers sticking up four to five times higher than the surrounding forest, the most invasive aspect of wind turbines has actually been the incessant low frequency "thuds" that come from the blades as they rotate.
This has caused issues for the people who live within the sound's radius which, even in forested areas, is significantly further away than the quarter mile setback.
The facts are the facts and the science is very clear - mountaintop industrial wind destroys forests, lays waste to fragile mountaintops, alters mountain hydrology, causes soil erosion and heavy metal leaching, eliminates important wildlife habitat, kills birds and bats, and does NOT reduce carbon emissions. In addition, it destroys the wild, scenic quality and silence of the mountains with flashing red lights and industrial high and low frequency sounds.
In the background, the turbines churn like a rotating drum powered by Blakean bellows. What is so distracting is that the quality of sound varies from moment to moment. This is not the noise of a highway, a factory, an airport, or even the noise scape of a city. Turbine noise is as variable as the shifting wind, cementing one's attention to intermittency like the rotating lights on a police cruiser. That is on the good days.
As a neighbor of the wind turbine farm, this year has been a journey from hope to anger and disgust. ...Our experience has forced me to look into the deeper issues of industrial wind - the technology, economics and politics - and the investigation has been an uncomfortable journey. It has brought my once-honey-eyed vision of easy, green power to the conclusion that industrial wind energy is, at present, bad science, bad economics and bad politics.
People opposed to the sacrifice of Maine's landscape have the deck stacked against them. Laws in place prevent citizens from challenging the economic and environmental assumptions used to justify wind power. The cumulative effects of multiple wind projects are ignored by the agencies responsible for protecting our environment and wildlife habitats.
How did this happen?
That natural treasure, which we voted to protect one generation ago, is once again in jeopardy. Once again the citizens of Maine need to let their voices be heard, and once again step forward and say "no" to a proposal to place a massive industrial wind complex on the very doorstep, and just a few short miles from the southeast corner of the Bigelow Preserve.
Our experience has forced me to look into the deeper issues of industrial wind -- the technology, the economics and the politics. It has been an uncomfortable journey that has changed my once honey-eyed vision of easy, green power to a view that industrial wind energy is, at present, bad science, bad economics and bad politics.
I add my voice to the growing number of Mainers who are demanding a moratorium on wind projects all over Maine.
Developers of mountaintop industrial wind are touting many promised benefits - from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and decreased dependence on fossil fuels to a huge economic renaissance.
These are all false promises spun to enhance public acceptance.
The prospect of cheaper "green" electricity, even at significant cost to private citizens, appears to be totally acceptable to these entrepreneurial wind developers, and now with the Department of Energy in Washington DC involved, actually "exciting." However, for many of the 106 Vinalhaven households within the 1.5 mile FIW noise umbrella, the daily turbine experience is vastly different. Our feelings of "excitement" would best be described as outrage.
Also filed under [
As an active professional working to save Maine's mountaintops, I've met and have dealt with large groups who are opposed to improper siting of wind factories. We all agree that much larger and more efficient wind factories in the ocean beyond sight of shore, where wind is better and more reliable, makes more sense. To say we are against wind power is a falsehood.
As to the sound problems that Aniel argues, the Maine Medical Association agrees with her, not Dr. Dora Anne Mills.
My family has a long history with Yale. My great-grandfather was the first professor of German, my grandfather graduated in 1900, my father in 1938 and my brother in 1968. All of these relatives had - and those still living still do - a great affection for the Great North Woods of Maine. ...Now we are confronted, apparently as a result of Yale's desire for an ever larger endowment, with a proposal to build the largest grid scale industrial wind power plant ever in Maine in our backyard on the wild and scenic Highland Mountains.
Our governor is proposing emergency legislation mandating the installation of what would amount to thousands of wind turbines within three miles of our Maine coastline (L.D. 1810: An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force).
This has been referred to as "offshore" wind development. It is actually "near-shore" wind development that would displace fishermen and disturb the treasured views of Maine's fantastic coastline.
Recently Gov. John Baldacci scoffed at the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power when we asked him to issue a moratorium on industrial wind power projects until adequate noise regulations are implemented. The Bangor Daily News backed Baldacci in an editorial titled "Wind Ban Wrong." The Feb. 25 piece did acknowledge how right we are on several wind power issues, yet it still concluded that giving the state time would be wrong. We disagree with this, with the conclusion that noise is our primary consideration and with the common assumption that wind power's supposed benefits outweigh its costs.
Imagine how you would feel if turbines were built in your neighborhood and suddenly you were forced into an unimaginable situation? There are so many families in Maine that are overwhelmed trying to deal with problems related to wind farms because the Maine state noise regulations are outdated.
Also filed under [
The opponents to wind power are concerned with the pace at which its development is occurring in the state of Maine. Skepticism and caution are necessary anytime new industries and possibly lucrative business opportunities develop. There are big bucks and big questions now associated with wind power.
Also filed under [