At a recent Westfield Town meeting, concerned residents again made a bid against the new wind development project already in motion in the town.
Janet Nass, Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power member, said she had ben to several Babcock and Brown information meetings and said the meetings have been full of ‘‘half-truths and quarter-truths.’’ During the meeting, Ms. Nass read and presented the board with copies of an article from the ‘‘San Francisco Chronicle’’ entitled ‘‘Survey: Bird deaths up at site of No. Calif. wind farm.’’
The entire report can be found at www.altamontsrc.org/alt_doc/m21_2008_altamont_bird_fatality_report_01_25_08.pdf
Babcock and Brown officials said the towers in question aren’t owned by the company.
‘‘Nothing could be further from the truth. The Altamont Pass, as you may know, is an area in California with 5,000 old wind turbines that are owned by numerous different companies,’’ said Matt Dallas of Babcock and Brown. ‘‘Babcock and Brown owns two small wind farms in the Altamont Pass that are being hailed by many environmentalists and bird advocates as a model because of the practice known as ‘repowering.’’’
Several years ago, Babcock & Brown acquired the Buena Vista wind farm in the Altamont Pass. It had 179 old turbines that were replaced with 38 new turbines that are more bird-friendly due to design and technology improvements, such as mono-pole supports instead of lattice towers, where birds were drawn to perch.
‘‘In fact, the new turbines are so much more technologically advanced that we were able to maintain the same amount of energy capacity output (38 megawatts) that the older 179 turbines had been producing,’’ Dallas said. ‘‘This practice is known as ‘repowering’ and is viewed by many environmentalists as the solution for the Altamont. Babcock & Brown is the only company to repower a major wind farm in the Altamont. Our second Altamont wind farm is currently undergoing repowering. We’re proud to be taking the lead in this area and developing model wind farms.’’
By Shirley West
26 February 2008
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