I strongly agree with Laura Jackson’s recent letter pointing out that the ecological costs of industrial windfarms on Pennsylvania’s forested ridgetops far exceed their benefits.
These costs include massive forest fragmentation to construct and maintain the 400-foot tall turbines, scalping of ridgetops to develop heavy-duty roads for maintenance, and further carving of the forest for the construction of substations and transmission lines.
In addition to this large-scale forest destruction, there’s also the huge problem of bat deaths due to turbine blades, to the extent of 50-100 bats killed per turbine per year in forested ridgetop settings.
Proponents of ridgetop windfarms attempt to justify forest fragmentation and direct mortality of bats and birds by claiming that there will be a significant reduction in greenhouse gases as a result of windfarm operation.
The reality is that it would require 4,000 industrial-scale wind turbines covering 500 miles of the commonwealth’s ridgetops to meet just 10 percent of Pennsylvania’s energy needs.
On the Keystone State’s forested ridgetops, the huge ecological costs of industrial windfarms far exceed their small environmental benefits.
— Stan Kotala, President, Juniata Valley Audubon Altoona
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