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Big wind projects not right for state

To the editor:

It is unfortunate for the citizens of Massachusetts to witness the ill-conceived commitment of Gov. Deval Patrick and his administration to industrial wind turbines. Perhaps he and his administration have not done their homework. Perhaps they are naïve enough to believe the PR of Big Wind — the little girl chasing the butterfly with the large wind turbines in the background and the promise of amounts of money flowing into the town.

Perhaps the lobbyists are just that convincing.

What science and the more extensive experience of other countries have demonstrated is the following: Industrial wind turbines make no engineering or economic sense in inland New England. Based upon available prevailing winds, as estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy, these turbines will produce little sustainable energy. Moreover, the energy they produce will be intermittent and available when the grid does not need it. The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory classifies wind assets in inland New England as “not good.” As a result, for every megawatt of capacity of these turbines put in place, an equal amount of traditional fossil fuel-based back-up generation capacity will need to be constructed and operated, so that that backup capacity can be quickly brought on line when the wind suddenly stops blowing.

Therefore, in inland New England, turbines will not reduce our carbon footprint. They will not contribute in any way toward limiting global warming. They will, however, significantly increase the cost of every person’s and business’ electricity, precisely at a time when we cannot afford it. The reason is that the subsidies paid to keep this economically unsustainable technology operating will be spread over everyone’s monthly electric bill.

Based upon many epidemiological studies, industrial wind turbines will have serious adverse health impacts upon residents within at least a two-mile radius IWTs. Based upon reliable statistical and property appraisal studies, the values of properties of these residents will decrease by 25 to 40 percent.

Wake up, Massachusetts. The Patrick administration is telling the big lie to promote a pipedream energy technology that will be revealed as a boondoggle a decade from now. I wish wind were the answer; it would be such a wonderful way to power our region. The inconvenient truth is that it fails upon almost all criteria.

Raymond S. Hartman

Shelburne Falls

Legacy Comments1

The wind industry is hiding a dirty little secret ! They've known for a long time (2004) that the gear boxes in these turbines only last a few years ! The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has known about catastrophic gear box failures in commercial megawatt turbines since 2004 . Why wasn't this information made public back then ? The Massachusetts Military Reservation (Otis Air Force Base) received and installed its 1.5-MW Fuhrlander turbine in late fall 2009. Today the turbine has a gear box failure.It's being kept as secret! Turbines have failed in Princeton Massachusetts and Portsmouth High School Rhode Island

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