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Windmills will scar mountains for generations

On Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 218 at Frostburg State University's Dunkle Hall, the Maryland Public Service Commission will receive public comments on a Goliath windplant - with 29 industrial turbines, each nearly 500-feet tall - to be constructed over five miles of terrain atop Dan's Mountain, just south of Frostburg. The wind project would dwarf all development ever built in the history of Western Maryland and would be the most visually dominant feature in our landscape, particularly since its football-field-long rotor blades would be continuously in motion.

On Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 218 at Frostburg State University's Dunkle Hall, the Maryland Public Service Commission will receive public comments on a Goliath windplant - with 29 industrial turbines, each nearly 500-feet tall - to be constructed over five miles of terrain atop Dan's Mountain, just south of Frostburg.

The wind project would dwarf all development ever built in the history of Western Maryland and would be the most visually dominant feature in our landscape, particularly since its football-field-long rotor blades would be continuously in motion.

The county's commissioners and their planning commission refuse to do anything to protect people and property while doing everything to enable the wind developers.

Even smaller wind facilities are well known for the noise they make, the flickering shadows they create for miles downrange, for wildlife they kill, for diminished hunting opportunities, and for the nearby properties they devalue, despite attempts by operatives of these limited liability companies to deny these realities.

What is less well known, particularly for people who believe the technology represents a better energy alternative, is how ineffectual wind projects are.

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On Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 218 at Frostburg State University's Dunkle Hall, the Maryland Public Service Commission will receive public comments on a Goliath windplant - with 29 industrial turbines, each nearly 500-feet tall - to be constructed over five miles of terrain atop Dan's Mountain, just south of Frostburg.

The wind project would dwarf all development ever built in the history of Western Maryland and would be the most visually dominant feature in our landscape, particularly since its football-field-long rotor blades would be continuously in motion.

The county's commissioners and their planning commission refuse to do anything to protect people and property while doing everything to enable the wind developers.

Even smaller wind facilities are well known for the noise they make, the flickering shadows they create for miles downrange, for wildlife they kill, for diminished hunting opportunities, and for the nearby properties they devalue, despite attempts by operatives of these limited liability companies to deny these realities.

What is less well known, particularly for people who believe the technology represents a better energy alternative, is how ineffectual wind projects are.

This particular project might annually average about 19MW of fluttering energy to a grid that produces over 140,000MW at peak demand times.

Windplants produce no effective capacity, generating most when demand is least. They cannot therefore replace any conventional power plants that do produce effective capacity, particularly coal, and they cannot be deployed to shore up our aging electricity infrastructure.

The grid must work harder to integrate the high wind variability, at significant cost to any carbon emissions a windplant might offset.

Not too long ago, Allegany County had land use provisions that would have protected its residents from this kind of inappropriate development.

But local politicians colluded with wind representatives and a prominent wind lobbyist to rescind those provisions, putting language into its ordinance written by the wind industry to enable this mess.

The sad reality is that many politicians know the cost of very little and the value of nothing, seeking profit from scraps of the world even at the loss of the region's soul.

If you live in Frostburg, LaVale, Cresaptown, Rawlings, Lonaconing, Midland, Mount Savage, large parts of Cumberland, or along the North Branch of the Potomac and the West Virginia side of that river - and now wake up seeing beautiful mountaintops much as they appeared hundreds of years ago - you'll be shocked when these ridges disappear, replaced by massive industrial machinery that will define the landscape for generations.

People should demand better, both from their political leaders and from the PSC, which is mandated to protect the public from this sort of scheme, despite a state law that has eroded its authority. The public's interest would be served by a large showing of concern.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/o...

JAN 13 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18591-windmills-will-scar-mountains-for-generations
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