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Wind generates frustration

I read, with interest, the article in Monday, June 20’s The Inter-Mountain, “Windmills starting to spin”… I was particularly pleased to read that there will be an open house in the fall and I hope they will let us “wind energy detractors” attend as well.

It is important for Randolph and Barbour County residents to get a close-up look at the destruction and ridge reconfiguring that took place to gouge out the roadways necessary for the long and heavy loads of tower sections and blades. I have seen the entire length of the project and it is a sad sight.

In the final line of The Inter-Mountain article, the wind project’s general manager says that, “The power (generated on Laurel Mountain) is expected to add to the overall stability of the regional grid.” While we might expect some hyperbole from a wind spokesman, this statement goes beyond expected exaggeration. In a good year, wind fueled electrical generation is lucky to reach 30 percent of the capability of its equipment and Laurel Mountain is not a prime location for wind. Add to this the fact that wind turbines begin to show signs of wear after only a few years of service. It’s not unusual to observe 5 percent or more turbines out of operation in relatively new wind farms.

We understand energy in West Virginia. What if 70 percent of a truck load of coal would not burn and the power plant had to sort through the load to get rid of the clunkers? It would not add stability. Neither will the fluctuating nature of expensive, wind fueled electricity which varies in intensity with changes in wind speed, and disappears entirely for days at a time in certain seasons of the year. It would appear that AES and their Chinese partner, China Investment, are not here to generate a stabile supply of electricity, but rather to collect our U.S. tax dollars through credits and government handouts.

John Terry