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Wind power isn't all it's promised to be  

Once again the Sentinel & Enterprise has published an editorial that is filled with fiction instead of facts. The editorial – “City should encourage wind farm developments” – reflects that even the basic research was not done.

On the surface windpower sounds good, but once the research is done, one finds that it’s not all that’s it’s built up to be.

A few of the basic facts are:

* Having a utility-size wind farm located in Fitchburg does not guaranty that the power will be sold in the city. The owners of Mars Hill wind farm, located in Maine, sell a portion of its power to a Shrewsbury company. Fitchburg’s Pine Tree Power, which produces renewable power, sells its power on the New England wholesale market.

* Wind power will not lower Fitchburg’s resident’s electric bills as represented by the editorial. Wind power, even with being heavily subsidized by the government, still is one of the most expensive power choices we have. With or without a utility-sized wind farm in Fitchburg the option to purchase 10 percent of your household power will cost you around a $10 per month above what you currently pay.

At the present time MTC offers an opportunity for anyone in Fitchburg to help support windpower. The latest figures show that of the nearly 14,943 households in Fitchburg, zero have participated, including the proponents of this zoning law. Windpower in California, with more than 13,000 wind turbines, is still one of the most expensive choices.

* A wind farm located in Fitchburg will not lower the price of gas. The government has stated that the latest increase is caused by the lack of output of the oil refineries. The only thing that will lower the price is to increase the output or decrease the amount of gas used in our cars. Less than 3 percent of the oil is used to produce power compared to 78 percent of the oil used for transportation.

* The towns of Hull and Princeton have been used as examples. One of the biggest differences is that unlike Hull and Princeton, Fitchburg does not have a municipal power company and because of this any comparison will not hold true.

A better editorial would be to ask why the Sentinel & Enterprise has not taken the leadership role by installing an onsite wind turbine at its Devens publishing plant or solar panels at its Fitchburg offices. It would also be interesting to see what steps the Sentinel & Enterprise is taking to reduce the large amount of fuel used to deliver the papers and so forth.

Bob Hertel,

Fitchburg

sentinelandenterprise.com

21 June 2007

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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