Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Pennsylvania
Don’t let wind companies get away without regulation. Wind turbines are very, very inefficient and will do little to help our energy problem, reduce the need for coal generated energy, or curb global warming. What will work is a statewide energy conservation program in addition to common sense in siting wind turbines. Appropriate places would include urban settings and industrial parks.
Kittatinny Ridge is at the forefront of a conservation effort aimed at preserving its character as a wilderness corridor; the effort will be adapted to other areas such as the Northcentral Highlands and Laurel Highlands where the Appalachian Mountains run their course. There are plenty such places in Pennsylvania with its alternating terrain of ridges and valleys.
In many ways, the atmosphere is like a gold rush. With the backing of an enthusiastic Rendell administration, wind-energy companies have quietly but aggressively been negotiating leases for land on mountaintops, especially in Bedford and Somerset counties. Several developers hope to build hundreds, if not thousands, of windmills on the ridge lines of west-central Pennsylvania. Typical wind turbines stand nearly 375 feet tall -- about 70 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty -- and can be seen from 15 to 20 miles away. Some people question whether development of wind energy on this scale is appropriate for Pennsylvania, even though wind often is touted as a renewable, nonpolluting way to generate electricity. Longtime residents of Somerset County, where the building is more advanced, say the construction and operation of turbines have damaged the environment. They say the development offers little in return from jobs or taxes. "It's not quite what they tell you in the brochure," Todd Hutzell of Rockwood said.
BEDFORD — Three years ago, Todd Hutzell of Rockwood thought Sand Spring Mountain in Somerset County provided one of the region’s most beautiful views. Now with 20 wind turbines lining the mountain just down the road, he has a much different view. “It doesn’t matter how far you go from them. You can see them,” Hutzell. Hutzell and his sister, Karen Ervin, spoke to about 200 Bedford County residents Monday night at a meeting of Save Our Allegheny Ridges, a nonprofit group formed last year to educate residents about the negative aspects of wind turbines.
There are many places where it [wind energy] can work and not be intrusive. But it's not for everywhere. It doesn't belong on ridgetops where it will destroy the "viewshed" and foul the wilderness quality of the last large undeveloped tract in the region.
Proponents of the Little Equinox Mountain wind facility say it will create jobs, create tax dollars, and enhance tourism. Your readers in Manchester, Vt. might be interested to know how that argument played out when FPL Energy similarly invaded our community in 2004
The first glimpse of the turbines from state Route 6 presents a surreal image like something from a Road Warrior movie.