This is a letter written by Paula Stahl of St. George, West Virginia, about her experiences living in the neighborhood of the 66 MW Mountaineer Wind Energy Center. Formerly known as the Backbone Mountain Wind Farm, the 4,400-acre site has 44 turbines, 1.5 MW each, stretched along miles of ridgeline in Tucker and Preston counties. Ms. Stahl submitted the letter to the Berkshire Eagle and North Adams Transcript, neither of which has printed it.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
During the 1990s, capacity margins in the United States declined almost one third, falling from 21 percent in 1991 to less than 15 percent in 2001. In some regions, margins shrunk to less than 10 percent. Concerns grew over electricity reliability and possible upward pressures on electricity prices. However, as new gas-fired power plants began to come on line in the late 1990s, the developing electricity generation capacity surplus began to raise concerns. The U.S. capacity margin growth of 2002 should have eased upward pressures on electricity prices. However, electricity prices surged in many areas, such as New England, where surplus electricity capacity has developed. This suggests that the standard definition of capacity margin may not be appropriate in the context of current market realities.
While Vermonters are reasonably familiar with the benefits of industrial wind turbines, we have not done our homework on the impact of their construction on our environment, economy and quality-of-life.
The tone and substance of your 3/27 editorial ‘Wind must be part of energy mix’ suggests you, as is true of many Vermonters, have been simply co-opted by wind power advocates with little or no homework done on what impact industrial wind power would have on Vermont’s environment, economy and quality of life.
We should not let wind power's "green" image trick us into abandoning the principle that some places and some species should be saved for their own sakes. We should reject the argument that everything must be "useful," that every place and every aspect of life should be commercialized.
This letter replies to Putney resident John Berkowitz's letter entitled "Vermont can benefit from wind power," which appeared in the Manchester Journal on March 12 [click here]. Mr. Berkowitz argues against a three-year moratorium on wind power in Vermont and in favor of wind power because it will (1) help Vermont and America stop and reduce global warming, (2) help our economy by providing construction and permanent jobs, (3) help secure our energy future, and (4) help our wildlife. Finally, Mr. Berkowitz urges us "to learn more about the issue."
The hostility aroused by the Parham project is not unusual either. Some locals complain that wind farms are noisy, ugly and (citing estate agents) that they reduce property prices. Others, like John Constable, who lives 700 metres away from the airfield, say they are just inappropriate. “I happen to like the Chrysler building,” he says, “but I don't want it near my house.”
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of: the visual character of our environment; the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C; the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.
The threat to Vermont posed by industrial wind power is real. Our cause is just. We will prevail. After all, it is simply common sense.
Turbines: It would take thousands of these clean-energy, landscape-marring machines to generate only a slice of the region's power needs.
Manhattan and Riley County certainly have legitimate governmental interests in the development of the corridor, the promotion of tourism and protection of the tallgrass prairie.
At first gust, wind power sounds like an environmentalist's dream. An endless supply of clean, renewable energy that will help reduce pollution and lower dependence on greenhouse- gas belching power plants and radioactive-waste generating nuclear facilities.
The inventor of the 'Gaia theory' and inspiration for the green movement, Dr James Lovelock, tells Andrea Kuhn why windfarms do not address the problems of global warming
Consider this: We could be looking at 1,000 or more wind turbines taller than the Statue of Liberty on the high ridges of the Flint Hills, and they would contribute only about one-tenth of 1 percent of our current electricity use. That simply isn't worth the destruction of our unique Tallgrass Prairie land resource.
"Onshore wind farms are a health hazard to people living near them because of the low- frequency noise that they emit, according to new medical studies. Doctors say that the turbines - some of which are taller than Big Ben - can cause headaches and depression among residents living up to a mile away."
A FURNESS couple have won a legal ruling proving that the value of their home has been "significantly diminished" by the construction of a windfarm nearby, reports Justin Hawkins.
Plymouth GP Dr Amanda Harry has conducted her own survey on the effect of noise on people living near the Bears Down wind farm in Cornwall. Here, she reveals her findings.
The benefits of wind farms are dubious and undemonstrated. Going headlong into the business of wind farming, either for the revenue or the energy, is less than responsible.
What's the matter with Kansas? For one thing, The Wichita Eagle.