March 1, 2011
Letters, Vermont

Prove benefits of wind power

Burlington Free Press, 1 March 2011

The Feb. 18 editorial “Take a leap of faith and ride the wind” stated that, “Critics say (Shumlin) should turn his back largely because of the impact on aesthetics, the impact on wildlife and the degradation of the land.” There are more than just these three sound reasons to reject mammoth wind projects in Vermont.

The governor tells us that we must install wind to reduce CO2 on our grid in order to save the world from overheating due to CO2 presumably caused by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. It has not been proven anywhere in the world that wind energy generation reduces useful amounts of CO2 emissions on modern grids.

Before moving forward on any engineering project, the assumptions and theory that underpin the project must be proven by actual tests in the project’s proposed location. This is called “due diligence.” It proves the project claims – or disproves them. Moving forward without performing this basic step is irresponsible to the extreme (and should be illegal).

This basic step has not been taken regarding wind power, especially in Vermont’s green mountains where turbulent winds further reduces turbine efficiencies and damage turbines adding more cost.

The editorial says, “But here we are in that position in the greenest state in the country, presented with a renewable energy project that will lead us, as envisioned, into a cleaner future.” Really? Prove it! Build a small test project or monitor Searsburg thoroughly and independently.

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