Regarding last week’s article “Towns Look for Clarification of Windmill Project Plans” about Readsboro’s contract negotiations with Deerfield Wind, residents of Searsburg, which shares the same attorney, were not given the same privilege of discussing their contract and voicing their concerns prior to its signing. The statement that the project “is expected to begin moving forward soon” is incorrect, unless the reporter knows something I do not.
The Public Service Board’s decision is pending this fall but a number of interveners are currently fighting the project before the PSB, including Save Vermont Ridgelines.
Should this project be approved, one of the largest bear habitats in Vermont will be destroyed. As this is the first wind project proposed on national forest land, it will pave the way for similar projects in other national forests, such as those currently proposed in Virginia, West Virginia, and Michigan. Almost 20,000 acres have been deemed suitable for wind power in our own Green Mountain National Forest. This project will only produce less than one percent of Vermont’s energy needs and there is no guarantee that any power will even stay in Vermont.
Renewable Energy Vermont would like to see 20% of Vermont’s energy come from wind by 2015. Let’s figure that out. Let’s be generous and say the proposed project of 17 turbines will produce a full one percent of Vermont’s needs. So for 20%, that would be 340 turbines (17×20) on Vermont’s ridgelines. The proposed turbine site covers 3.5 miles of ridgeline, times 20% equals 70 miles of ridgeline required. That’s the equivalent of driving from Wilmington through Bennington to Rutland. Does anyone (residents, second-home owners, tourists) really want to see 340 turbines 410’ tall on top of Vermont’s beautiful ridgelines? Billboards are banned here because they mar the state’s scenic beauty but industrial wind turbines are allowed even though they produce a relatively small amount of intermittent power? Will the destruction of Vermont’s wildlife habitats and our national forests be worth it? Let’s explore better options that don’t involve destroying our best assets: solar, upgrading existing hydro plants, small scale solar, hydro and wind, and energy conservation. Visit www.clearskyvt.org.
Jeanette Lee, secretary, Save Vermont Ridgelines
12 June 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding