Renewable energy, including wind energy, was the subject of an article recently published in the New York Times. (“Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover,” published Aug. 9).
Horizon energy and its Portuguese owner EDP, who seek to implement the Antelope Ridge project above Union, were cited as examples of prominent wind energy developers. The tone of the article was generally positive regarding Portugal’s attempts to produce the majority of its power by means of renewable energy projects. As the article pointed out, however, not everyone was a winner in Portugal’s attempts to lower its carbon footprint:
“Until it became the site of the largest wind farm south of Lisbon, Barão de São João was a sleepy village on the blustery Alentejo Coast, home to farmers who tilled its roller coaster hills and holiday homeowners drawn to cheap land and idyllic views. Renewable energy has brought conflict: ‘I know it’s good for the country because it’s clean energy and it’s good for the landowners who got money, but it hasn’t brought me any good,’ said José Cristino, 48, a burly farmer harvesting grain with a wind turbine’s thrap-thrap-thrap in the background. ‘I look at these things day and night.’
“He said 90 percent of the town’s population had been opposed.”
I support the development of green energy and projects that reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. However, the proposed Antelope Ridge project would destroy irreplaceable foothill land critical to the wellbeing of the area’s wildlife. Additionally, the wind turbines would be located in an arc extending 200 degrees of the 360 degrees surrounding Union. Like the Portuguese farmer, the people of Union will “look at these things day and night.”
Charles H. Gillis
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