Wind power does not represent progress, it's a step backwards.
To editorially support a wind farm off Block Island, costing millions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars in government subsidies and increased rates for electrical users for an unreliable, inefficient and ugly encumbrance on a natural treasure is ill informed and does no service to your readers or the people of Connecticut.
What the Siting Council chose to do in response to the new law was to create wind regulations based upon industry favorable siting requirements. States that have accepted development of wind turbines in populated areas are spending much time and money on the effects on neighbors who are truly suffering day to day.
Even if there were no issues such as health concerns and property value, it should matter when a person wants their life respected and their dreams honored. This is America. The people of Prospect (saveprospect.com) who are trying to preserve their neighborhood are only asking for the respect that all of us deserve.
Commercial-scale wind generation is far more complex than anyone imagines at first glance. These are not our grandfather's faithful 30-foot tall windmills ...These are towering 300-to-515- foot tall behemoths-some approaching the height of the Washington Monument, often placed atop scenic ridgelines, creating serious obstacles to anything that flies, including airplanes.
People in Connecticut support wind power as long as noisy, unsightly turbines are put in other people's backyards. Even if BNE's fondest wishes came true, Connecticut's wind would produce only 100 megawatts, or barely 1 percent of the demand on an average summer day. Consequently, minuscule overstates wind power's niche.
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.
Wind power can be environmentally damaging, wildly expensive to consumers, and harmful to quality of life. It even causes pollution by forcing fossil-fuel plants to cycle up and down more radically ...One can only wonder why so many in government are so invested in a strategy that increasingly is giving the term "renewable energy" a black eye.
Last week, the New England Governors' Conference raised green fantasy to new heights with the release of its Renewable Energy Blueprint, which said the region "has a significant quantity of untapped renewable resources, on the order of over 10,000 MW combined of on-shore and off-shore wind power potential." Neither the report nor the news articles about it bothered to do the math. At 7 MW, New England would need 1,429 E-126s to tap that potential. Though the turbines likely would be clustered in "farms," that's an average of 238 per state, or more than one for each town in Connecticut. The cost would be $221 billion that the states don't have, though they might get a bulk-purchase discount of a billion or two.
This is the perfect feel-good legislation for lawmakers, and they get double green stamps for this one because it also seems to gin up their environmental credentials. But as a practical matter, no state prisons are in Litchfield County where the U.S. Department of Energy says Connecticut's best breezes blow. To be sure, the wind is fierce at times in Cheshire, but conditions can be deathly still in the dog days of summer, when turbines would be reduced to gigantic lawn ornaments and expensive lightning rods.
The [New England] region's power system has had a long history of dependability, but electricity costs have been an issue for businesses and residents for decades. As the region plans ahead, New England's policymakers face a series of decisions that will have an abiding impact on our energy future. ...Economic, reliability and environmental goals are not always perfectly aligned when it comes to electricity generation and transmission. Whatever path policymakers choose to take will require trade-offs. How New England officials balance these sometimes conflicting goals will demonstrate our priorities, impact the regional economy and determine which objectives we can realistically achieve.
Although the approach is too late for projects that have already begun a federal review process, a dozen New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to siting liquefied natural gas facilities. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.
Energy efficiency is by no means a permanent solution, but it should be a permanent part of the solution. Sensible energy use, combined with new power resources, is the only workable answer for New England.