Contrary to lobbyist Timothy Killian’s recent assertion that “wind works;” in fact, wind power doesn’t work (on average) 75 percent of the time. When it does work, it is usually out of sync with demand and so requires very large backup capacity requirements. In Washington state today, that requirement is being met with natural gas fired turbines and at great expense to the consumer. As usual with proponents of unrestricted growth for commercial wind power, the “wish” is greater than the actual “result”.
As for a suggested inconsistency by our locally elected permitting authority, Mr. Killian might care to read the public record on the Vantage Wind Project and see that any resident who may have had a concern about setbacks was satisfied with the project as designed. Our commissioners have been very consistent throughout the last six years of wind project permitting process. If concerns and/or objections were raised by the public, mitigations were explored – publicly. To date, the commissioners’ only “hard” setback requirement was what is considered the “safety setback” that is determined by the turbine manufacturer. In the Kittitas Valley Wind Power project and the Desert Claim Wind Power Project, the overwhelming response by residents that would be affected was that they wanted greater setbacks due to impacts documented in the record. And in fact, most residents wanted 1 mile setbacks like most of Europe specifies; but the commissioners only suggested 2,500 feet. And even then, the commissioners stated that exceptions would be entertained.
Mr. Killian’s other absurd suggestion that the county was inconsistent concerning the distances to the Ryegrass Rest Stop might also think about how close the public will be to wind turbines if they visit the Puget Sound Energy’s Renewable Energy Center at the Wild Horse Wind Power project. I am certain the public will not be within the safety setback in both cases.
So Mr. Killian, why don’t you just limit your concerns to your own neighborhood and we will concern ourselves with our neighborhood.
31 March 2008
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