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View of turbines from water will be disturbing

When St. Lawrence Wind submitted its draft environmental study to Cape Vincent, there was no assessment considering the viewshed impact from the St. Lawrence River. This is astounding and negligent considering much of Cape Vincent’s economy is tourism based on water recreation. Many people will view this industrial wind plant from the water.

A major scenic entrance to town is via ferry from Wolfe Island which has a panoramic view of the entire wind project on the American shore. Shoreline residents on Carleton Island and Wolfe Island will be exposed to an uninterrupted view of the wind project’s tremendous visual impact. On calm nights these shoreline residents will witness a bizarre spectacle of dozens of red strobes reflected in the water.

I believe I know why these particular visual studies were not included. Because it’s impossible to mitigate the view of 425-feet monster wind turbines sitting on flat terrain when viewed over flat water. They would rather you not see the disturbing reality. Nor can you manipulate the visual impact as they do on land, by placing a tall object up close making turbines in the distance look small. If you have access to the river, you can witness the visual impact based on current towers of known height.

On the river near the head of Carleton Island, look for the tall, thin tower behind town. This is only turbine hub height, but you would add another 135 feet for the blade height. Don’t confuse it with the cell towers which are much smaller.

If you are upriver of Linda Island, near green buoy 233, inland is another tower with a strobe on it. This tower is also only turbine hub height. You would add 135 feet here as well for blade height.

If you imagine 97 turbines with spinning blades and flashing strobes, based on these existing tower heights, and that these towers are smaller and much less obtrusive than what you will see, you start to realize the enormity of the impact.

If you can’t get on the river I have provided animated simulations you can view by computer. They are accurate, and were done with engineering software using real distances and turbine sizes.

You can view them at: www.stlawrencewind.org, click on the links tab and look for new simulations. Or at: www.insigniodesign.com/sim/Project1.html or www.insigniodesign.com/sim/Project2.html. Please spread the word.

Art Pundt

Cape Vincent

Watertown Daily Times

28 July 2008