I have been following the Lowell wind project since the start of talks more than eight years ago. I agree that we need more renewable energy in the state but do not think that wind is the way to go. Wind turbines are very expensive to build and only have a life of up to 20 years. The big push for them at this time, I believe, is due to the fact that the federal subsidies for wind projects runs out at the end of 2012. Without the subsidies, turbines would be too expensive to consider (each turbine costs upward of $1 million per megawatt to build. It costs even more to get it on the grid but the figures vary on that because they have to have new lines and such in a lot of places).
In a time when many of our federal and state programs are being cut and our national debt is at an all time high, I ask “can we afford to build these turbines in a place that relies heavily on tourism for its livelihood?” Would you want to go camping in an area where you hear the whooshing of the blades whenever the wind blows?
This will affect everyone. If revenue is lost from one area, either taxes will need to be raised, more programs will need to be cut, or both. Electric rates will go up and more people will need assistance paying their bills.
If the Lowell project goes through, you can be guaranteed that there are more waiting to follow closely behind it. Can we afford the cost of such an unreliable energy source?
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