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Upstate – gone with the wind?  

Credit:  The Valley News, valleynewsonline.com 21 May 2005 ~~

As upstate New Yorkers, we are very fortunate to live in an area with numerous clean, beautiful lakes and miles of pristine, rolling countryside. Many of us take advantage of these magnificent surroundings in a variety of ways-as nature lovers, hikers, campers, hunters, and property and business owners, to name a few.

Something is being planned that will take away much of what we enjoy about our Finger Lakes region. That something is called “green power” in the form of the planned construction of dozens of wind farms.

I am not against renewable energy, which is designed to reduce the pollutants created by fossil fuel-generated power and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil supplies. These are positive goals, which I support, where appropriate. The proposed wind farms in our Finger Lakes region, however, are NOT appropriate for several reasons.

First, these wind farms will require the construction of up to 1,300 enormous turbine wind towers all over Western New York. Each tower will be nearly 400 feet tall. Imagine a 32-story building or a structure much taller than the Statue of Liberty. Placed on hilltops, these towers could be seen from over 20 miles away.

The span of the tower blades will be 270 feet-nearly the length of a football field. These wind towers generate nearly constant noise, which may be heard as far as 3,000 feet away.

When the blades are rotating there is a constant swooshing sound. As the wind changes directions the blades’ angle must be adjusted, which creates a loud grinding noise. If the wind becomes too strong the blades’ rotation must be stopped, resulting in a screeching sound similar to that of a train stopping. That same loud screeching occurs when the blades are restarted.

Second, the negative impact of the turbine tower wind farms on the environment will be significant.
Trees must be cleared for roadways to tower sites as well as the very large areas surrounding the towers. In some areas, bedrock will need to be blasted through for each tower’s substantial foundation.

Our area’s wildlife will be strained because of the deforestation, the noise, and the lights. Thousands of birds will be struck out of the sky by the rotating blades. During our long winters ice will accumulate on the blade tips. With tip rotation speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, the blades have the potential to throw ice at a high velocity up to a distance of one-third mile.

Third, in addition to the towers’ colossal size and noise, the rotation of the blades creates a strobe light effect with sunlight. And each tower is nicely equipped with several bright red lights that blink on and off 24 hours per day, every day.

If this isn’t enough to cause you to think twice about allowing these wind farms in our area, consider this: the power generated by the wind towers must be greatly supplemented by traditional power sources and it will be directed to a national power grid. In other words, the power created in upstate New York will not be for the towns where it is to be generated nor will it reduce our utility costs.

Are we willing to sacrifice the unique beauty in our backyard for power that does not supply us directly and wreaks havoc on our environment? Are we willing to allow our neighbors who are unfortunate enough to live near a wind tower to be hurt both physically and financially?

Knowing there are other more suitable and less harmful sites for these proposed wind farms, I cannot and will not support them. What about you?

For additional information about this issue, you can contact Save Upstate New York at 732-445-3876 or visit their web site at www.saveupstateny.org.

B. Thomas Golisano

Pittsford, N.Y.

Source:  The Valley News, valleynewsonline.com 21 May 2005

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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