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Wind turbines at work in New York

I took a run this weekend over to Ellenburg and Clinton, N.Y., to see 121 wind turbines at work. These are the 400-foot behemoths installed over the fall and winter by Noble Environmental Power. They're the first of nearly 400 towers planned for this windy stretch of scrub and farmland just south of the Canadian border. We've been arguing about wind energy in Vermont for more than five years now. ... Only two conclusions were inescapable: First, a wind project undoubtedly transforms the landscape, for better or worse. Second, seeing a wind "farm" at work won't settle the argument over "better or worse."

I took a run this weekend over to Ellenburg and Clinton, N.Y., to see 121 wind turbines at work. These are the 400-foot behemoths installed over the fall and winter by Noble Environmental Power. They're the first of nearly 400 towers planned for this windy stretch of scrub and farmland just south of the Canadian border.

We've been arguing about wind energy in Vermont for more than five years now. Critics say the 1.5-megawatt wind machines don't produce enough energy to justify their desecration of the landscape, their possible killing of birds and bats, and the noise they generate. Supporters say we need clean sources of renewable energy.

I wanted to see for myself. Boon or bane? The wind was more like a gentle breeze Saturday, but the giant blades were turning. Only two conclusions were inescapable: First, a wind project undoubtedly transforms the landscape, for better or worse. Second, seeing a wind "farm" at work won't settle the argument over "better or worse."

This is a pretty bleak... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

I took a run this weekend over to Ellenburg and Clinton, N.Y., to see 121 wind turbines at work. These are the 400-foot behemoths installed over the fall and winter by Noble Environmental Power. They're the first of nearly 400 towers planned for this windy stretch of scrub and farmland just south of the Canadian border.

We've been arguing about wind energy in Vermont for more than five years now. Critics say the 1.5-megawatt wind machines don't produce enough energy to justify their desecration of the landscape, their possible killing of birds and bats, and the noise they generate. Supporters say we need clean sources of renewable energy.

I wanted to see for myself. Boon or bane? The wind was more like a gentle breeze Saturday, but the giant blades were turning. Only two conclusions were inescapable: First, a wind project undoubtedly transforms the landscape, for better or worse. Second, seeing a wind "farm" at work won't settle the argument over "better or worse."

This is a pretty bleak part of New York. Scenic beauty isn't the first asset that leaps to mind. Nevertheless, before the wind towers, this was a natural landscape made up of living things -- the sway of trees against the skyline, the soft contours of hills and fields. The towers stick up in this viewshed like thick steel spikes. They are white and metal and dwarf every other thing in view. Love the or hate them, there's no question they look like something out of a science fiction movie.

They made almost no noise, at least during my visit. You hear a faint "whosh, whosh" sound and, if there is no highway noise, a faint metallic drone, as of an airplane far, far away and hidden by clouds.

But, among the people who live surrounded by the turbines (a different situation than in Vermont, where turbines would be placed on uninhabited moutaintops), the start-up of the wind farms seems only to have hardened opinions. People opposed to construction of the turbines find them noisy, intrusive and ugly. People who supported construction find them quiet, beautiful and -- as one woman said -- hypnotically soothing as the blades turn.

Has anyone out there taken the drive (Grand Isle ferry to Plattsburgh, north of route 190, west on Route 11)? I love to hear what your reaction was.


Source: http://www.burlingtonfreepr...

MAY 5 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14807-wind-turbines-at-work-in-new-york
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