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US Wind Force counters commissioner's concerns

A wind energy official has fired back at a Mineral County commissioner on the viability and public perception of the wind industry. David Friend, vice president of US Wind Force, said in a letter Friday to the Allegany County commissioners and also sent to the Times-News that Commissioner Wayne Spiggle's skepticism and concerns "are unfounded."

CUMBERLAND - A wind energy official has fired back at a Mineral County commissioner on the viability and public perception of the wind industry.

David Friend, vice president of US Wind Force, said in a letter Friday to the Allegany County commissioners and also sent to the Times-News that Commissioner Wayne Spiggle's skepticism and concerns "are unfounded."

"Wind power is a viable source of renewable energy, providing additional generating capacity needed in the eastern United States," Friend wrote to the commissioners, packaged with a plea for county government to "have the best possible information on the benefits of wind energy."

"Wind energy is a powerful, clean solution to our growing energy needs," Friend told the commissioners. "Every state with a renewable portfolio standard considers wind energy in its highest classification for green resources."

Friend's letter was in direct response to a March 29 Times-News story in which Mineral County Commission President Wayne Spiggle said he doesn't believe wind energy decreases greenhouse gases and questioned whether the majority of Mineral County residents do.

Friend also addressed Spiggle's comments on the amount of energy produced,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CUMBERLAND - A wind energy official has fired back at a Mineral County commissioner on the viability and public perception of the wind industry.

David Friend, vice president of US Wind Force, said in a letter Friday to the Allegany County commissioners and also sent to the Times-News that Commissioner Wayne Spiggle's skepticism and concerns "are unfounded."

"Wind power is a viable source of renewable energy, providing additional generating capacity needed in the eastern United States," Friend wrote to the commissioners, packaged with a plea for county government to "have the best possible information on the benefits of wind energy."

"Wind energy is a powerful, clean solution to our growing energy needs," Friend told the commissioners. "Every state with a renewable portfolio standard considers wind energy in its highest classification for green resources."

Friend's letter was in direct response to a March 29 Times-News story in which Mineral County Commission President Wayne Spiggle said he doesn't believe wind energy decreases greenhouse gases and questioned whether the majority of Mineral County residents do.

Friend also addressed Spiggle's comments on the amount of energy produced, capacity and job creation. Spiggle's comments were aired originally in a letter to the Allegany County commissioners following their March 20 public hearing on proposed text amendments to the zoning code.

Those amendments would limit wind turbines and regulate setbacks and safety issues and set height and noise restrictions that wind energy advocates claim would end any chance of industrial wind facilities of being constructed here.

Friend said his company strongly disagrees with Spiggle's assertion that wind energy does not reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

"Every megawatt hour of electricity generated with wind displaces a megawatt hour of electricity that would have been produced using some other source - usually by burning fossil fuels," Friend said.

Wind also is more predictable than critics of wind energy claim.

"If you think about it," Friend said, "the wind seldom changes rapidly from, say, 30 miles per hour to zero or vice versa in just a few moments. If it's a windy day, it's windy. If it's a calm day, it's calm - there are, of course, exceptions."

Spiggle's letter to his counterparts across the Potomac River also questioned whether the Dan's Mountain project would support 13,000 homes. But Friend said that number's a conservative one.

The project will serve about 13,140 "average" Allegheny Power customers, Friend said. That number, based upon figures obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy on the average number of kilowatt hours used by a single household, could increase to nearly 19,000 homes.

Friend acknowledged that the wind farms won't produce energy all the time - but neither does any other power plant.

"Sometimes, it even stops," he said of a wind farm's energy output. "On average, though, the Dan's Mountain project is expected to operate at about 30 percent of its rated capacity - not 13 percent as implied."

West Virginia residents chose a pro-wind position 57 percent of the time in a 2006 statewide voter opinion survey. Residents in Tucker County - the location of the only operating wind farm in the state at that time - supported wind energy 15 points higher than the state average.

Much of the criticism related to job creation is that most of the jobs are temporary. Friend didn't dispute that - but noted that "for construction workers, every job is temporary. The succession of temporary jobs constitutes their full-time employment."


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

APR 14 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19825-us-wind-force-counters-commissioner-s-concerns
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