This is in response to Naomi Schalit’s fascinating article on wind farms (Aug. 9).
Gov. John Baldacci’s written response to her inquiries offering his reasons for supporting the wholesale introduction of wind farms to high-ground scenic regions of Maine neglects multiple important factors going to the economics of these projects:
* The highly inefficient methods for transmission of electricity generated by wind power over the long distances required from remote locations;
* The failure of high-ground wind power to supply consistent and peak-demand streams of power, which makes this form of wind power hard to integrate into the power grid;
* The failure to provide any reserve funds for removal of the very large pieces of equipment that constitute these farms after the likely early obsolescence of existing technology;
* The expense and environmental impact of new roads and reinforced bridges necessary to accommodate the equipment’s installation; and
* The ambient noise levels generated in otherwise quiet environments.
In their haste to adopt the “in” technology, the governor and his Wind Power Task Force neglected these factors, as the article’s numerous quotes from those now having second thoughts dramatically illustrate. They did so to the detriment of this state and its residents. even as they created opportunities for private commercial gain with tax and other incentives.
By contrast, offshore, ocean-sited wind farms, such as those being actively designed and developed by the University of Maine’s Department of Engineering, offer the potential for much higher efficiency in wind-power generation, transmission and grid utilization.
Stephen Hudspeth, Andover
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