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Unreliable wind power is not worth it  

UPC’s claim that their wind project could provide electricity for 15,000 homes in Caledonia County may have stirred up a lot of support for their project. It shouldn’t have and here’s why:

Wind-produced energy will be fed into the New England power grid line that runs along Duck Pond Road and follows a path to St. Johnsbury. The Independent Service Organization – New England (ISO-NE) distributes electricity throughout New England using this and similar grid lines. This is the reason why the Sheffield electricity will not be distributed only to this area.

While claiming their wind project could produce enough electricity for 15,000 homes, UPC must also acknowledge that this is an unrealistic figure; that their wind energy could more realistically supply about one-third of those homes and only with unreliable energy.

The problem is UPC never knows what day or time they can expect wind to blow, or if the power produced will meet the demand at the precise time the electricity is needed on the power grid. Because of that fact ISO-NE needs backup sources of energy that are stable and available 100 percent of the time to cover UPC’s largely ineffectual wind power. These sources (“callable” base load sources) include nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas and hydropower that must be up and running (as a “spinning reserve”) to take over on a moment’s notice. This is the reason wind power can never replace coal, nuclear power or any other source of reliable, stable energy. And, as a consumer you wind up paying twice for wind power. The federal subsidies and renewable energy credits make you pay even more for it but that’s another story.

When we realize how ineffective and unreliable wind energy is and we consider the harm the wind towers will cause to tourism, property values, our roads, the environment, wildlife, our beautiful scenery and the peace and tranquility we are so fortunate to have, we also must realize the tradeoff is not worth it.

JoAnn Stefanski

Barton, Vt.

The Caledonian-Record

14 February 2008

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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