Library filed under Impact on Views from USA
Following a July 17 selection by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Gillespie County will be one of many counties in the state that will see new power lines in the next four to five years that will carry electricity from wind farms in West Texas and the Panhandle regions to the more metropolitan areas in Central and East Texas.
When St. Lawrence Wind submitted its draft environmental study to Cape Vincent, there was no assessment considering the viewshed impact from the St. Lawrence River. This is astounding and negligent considering much of Cape Vincent's economy is tourism based on water recreation. Many people will view this industrial wind plant from the water.
The Atchison County Courthouse is dwarfed by wind turbines in Rock Port, Mo. The wind facility consists of four massive wind turbines up to 350 feet from the base to blade tip.
During a work session last week, the Ocean City Mayor and Council reviewed a presentation from Bluewater Wind proposing a 200-turbine wind farm off the coast of the resort with construction beginning by 2013. Delaware recently approved a similar, albeit smaller, project off its Atlantic coastline with an anticipated 60-70 turbines producing enough energy to supply about 50,000 homes in that state. While all agreed the idea has merit from an alternative, renewable energy standpoint, the biggest concern raised during Bluewind's presentation last week was the visibility of the massive windmills from the shore and their impact on the landscape.
However, not all Montanans are ready to raise their glasses. Among the skeptics is Ursula Mattson of East Glacier. She said she is all for the benefits of wind development, but worries about a potential downside, mainly "the negative impact of these huge wind farms right in front of the most spectacular scenery in our country." ..."We don't have much authority over wind farms," said Kristi DuBois, native species coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Missoula. She likens the state's current level of knowledge about the wind industry and its potential effect on wildlife to what was known about the impact of hydro-electric facilities on rivers and fish when they were first constructed. For example, the state has very little information about migration pathways of bats, she said. Without that information, it's difficult to for the state to provide input on the siting of facilities to lessen bat fatalities from turbine blades, she said.
Visibility was the top concern amongst Mayor and City Council members this week, as they heard the latest updates on the potential offshore wind farm off the coast of Ocean City. Bluewater Wind came before the Mayor and Council this week in an effort to keep the community updated on the potential offshore wind park, one they hope will come to fruition no later than 2013. ...Council member Jim Hall questioned the stability of residents' energy bills, pointing out that only 10 percent of energy bills would be affected by wind energy. "We would still have 90 percent, at least, of fluctuation in our bills," he said.
"We don't want to see them. Standing on the beach, we don't want to see them," he said during the council's work session Tuesday afternoon. Councilman Jim Hall echoed the mayor's sentiment, saying the project could prove far more popular if the turbines were invisible from land. "If you can't see it," Hall said, "then you can add acres and acres of wind farms. I think people are going to eat it up." For Bluewater, it's an expensive courtesy. Lanard said pushing the turbines farther out to sea makes it more expensive. It costs $1,000 for every foot of cable connecting the wind farm to the shore.
The Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm is currently Pennsylvania's largest wind farm with 40 wind turbines, each at 2 megawatt capacity. The site was slated to become operational October, 2007. Built by Gamesa, the project covers parts of Cambria and Blair counties near Altoona.
Often, the visual impact of 130 wind turbines as tall as the Statue of Liberty in the middle of Nantucket Sound is presented as a clash of aesthetic sensitivity vs. alternative energy reality. But the National Trust for Historic Preservation has reminded the U.S. Minerals Management Service that real laws and mandates exist, and it says MMS is not going by the book in its evaluation of the Cape Wind project. ...Nobody, the National Trust included, expects that the views at the Kennedy Compound or the Nantucket historic downtown will remain forever unaltered. But Congress has decreed that all efforts must be made to preserve the integrity of historic sites, and the MMS must comply.
In southeast Wyoming, they've pledged 1 million acres of land in hopes that wind farm developers will choose them, says Scott Zimmerman, a farmer and rancher in Laramie County. But Susie Lemaster, who is not an owner of vast acreage, built a house with her husband in the country four years ago near Horse Creek Road. She doesn't want to see the neighboring land filled with 500- foot towers topped with rotating blades, making electricity.
Photo from the wind site near Johnsburg, North East of Fond du Lac. Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
The company building two wind farms in Cohocton will contribute $50,000 for restoration work at Memorial Town Hall in Naples. The Town Board voted unanimously last week to accept the cash; otherwise, it would go back to Cohocton for historic preservation projects there. The $50,000 is part of $200,000 UPC Wind agreed to set aside to compensate for the effect modern wind towers would have on the historic character of the area. Naples qualified for a share because one of the Cohocton turbines is visible when driving south through Naples on Main Street.
The United South and Eastern Tribes, an organization of 25 federally recognized Indian tribes in 12 states, has joined with the Wampanoag of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in their opposition to the wind factory on Nantucket Sound. The board of directors of the organization called upon the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which is reviewing the Cape Wind application, to "respect the Traditional, Cultural, Spiritual and Religious beliefs of the Wampanoag People and preserve the spiritual integrity and sanctity of the eastern horizon, vista and horizon viewshed; and to deny the permitting of such a devastatingly and destructive experiment, which will adversely affect and destroy the essence of tranquility, sanctity and spirituality of this sacred place for all time."
The Vermont Public Service Board, a neutral arbiter of aesthetics, has ruled twice against the structure, which was erected by the owners of Teal Farm in January 2006, with the blessings of the town's zoning administrator. Subsequent challenges from the farm's adjoining neighbor, part-time Vermont resident E. Miles Prentice III, halted the project. The service board agreed with Prentice: It found the wind tower to have "an unduly adverse effect" on the surrounding viewscape. Living Future Foundation, which operates Teal Farm and its array of sustainable energy-and-agriculture projects, appealed the decision.
The Boyds Mars Hill, ME provided this letter to the residents of Byron and Roxbury, ME in hopes the voters of both towns would make informed decisions before agreeing to permit industrial turbines on their ridgelines. This letter is published here with the permission of Boyds.
The Fletchers of Mars Hill, ME provided this letter to the residents of Roxbury, ME in hopes the voters of Roxbury would make an informed decision before agreeing to permit industrial turbines on their ridgelines. This letter is published here with the permission of Shirley and Richard Fletcher.
While being a multi-state resident for decades now, I have grown to appreciate Vermont much more than Connecticut, so much so that I have started a new business here in hopes of permanently moving here soon. But while the controversy rages about ridge lines, and wind mills, I can't help but wonder why the state of Vermont has banned all billboards from the interstates, and disguises the cell towers along the interstates to look like trees as not to offend the local character, but now it seems as though we will have no problem building 30-story tall structures on the most visible and scenic areas of the state, all with the flashing navigation lights so all can see for miles around in the once silent and dark scenery of the last great 'Kingdom' in the east!?
Wind turbines like the ones proposed by Florida Power & Light Co. on Hutchinson Island have been called ugly by residents worried about the 400-foot-tall structures with their large, whirling blades. Imagine the turbines standing atop a concrete foundation 10- to 20-feet high on a public beach access. The large pedestals could be needed to protect the towers from a storm surge washing over the dunes along the Hutchinson Island coastline where FPL proposes to build the electricity-producing wind turbines. Henrietta McBee, FPL's director of project development, raised that possibility when she and St. Lucie County Administrator Doug Anderson visited the Horse Hollow Wind Farm near Abilene, Texas, early in January.
House in Ellenburg, NY is surrounded by power lines that service the adjacent wind turbines.