Regarding Rick Martinez’s Feb. 3 column about ridgetop windmills, my opposition to the proposed facility in Ashe County is not about “pretty power” – it is about preserving our Blue Ridge landscape.
What is proposed in Ashe County are 28 turbines standing 365 high, each approximately three times the height of the 10-story Sugartop condominium building in Avery County. It was this building that united landowners, environmentalists and politicians to press for passage of North Carolina’s Mountain Ridge Protection Act of 1983.
One of the primary objectives of the act is to protect the beauty of our mountain landscape from ridgetop development. If the Ashe County project moves forward, it will set a precedent for similar projects across Western North Carolina.
In the next few years, what will we see crowning our state’s ridges? Will we see a thousand giant wind turbines, interconnected by power lines crossing farms and forest, or will we see layered mountain ridges – views that have long defined our history, culture and economy? Will our Blue Ridge landscape be lost to industrial ridgetop development in exchange for the minimal electrical output that ridgetop wind energy can provide?
There are better options – energy conservation and efficiency, small-scale wind and solar.
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