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Lowell Mountain Wind: Not right for Vermont  

Credit:  by Willem Post, www.vermonttiger.com 18 October 2011 ~~

GMP is offering to buy the Don and Shirley Nelson’s hillside farm at the asking price to “prove” that real estate values do not decline due to noisy 460 ft tall wind turbines on 2,000 ft high ridge lines and to get the Nelson’s invited guests off the Nelson’s land so GMPs TNT blasters can proceed with the partial destruction of Lowell Mountain. If the Nelson’s do not agree to sell to GMP and do not agree to remove their guests from their land, then GMP will take the Nelson’s to court and sue them for about $1,000,000; the Nelson’s are an elderly couple.

This is a PR disaster for Vermont’s wind energy oligarchy that will be heard all over the world during Vermont’s foliage season.

GMP’s wind turbine facility, “KINGDOM COMMUNITY WIND”, is much larger than Vermonters had in mind when they agreed to wind power. They had in mind much smaller facilities, more in line with Vermont notions of small is beautiful and complying with Act 250.

Vermonters had in mind not ruining ridge lines with 21 strobe lights, cutting hundreds of trees without permission, filling in wetlands without permission, building roads to haul up rotor blades that are 180 ft long, and build 21 wind turbine monsters, each 460 ft tall, on environmentally-pristine, 2,000 ft high ridge lines. The wind turbines make lots of noise, especially low frequency noise and infrasound which are most annoying/harmful for people and animals and that are mostly ignored during “expedited” government hearings.

GMP is building this project not for Vermonters, but for its parent company Gaz-Metro, Quebec, Canada, which will reap the financial benefits at the expense of Vermonters. The high costs of the expensive, intermittent, variable wind energy will all be rolled into jobs-destroying higher electric rates for Vermont households.

Wind energy subsidized with an equivalent of 50% of the capital cost: 9.6 c/kWh (per GPM)
Average annual grid prices in New England: 5c/kWh

Just what Vermont households and businesses need: paying for flood damage with higher gas taxes, a miserable economy, real household incomes 9.5% less than with 10 years ago for the bottom 80% of households, rising prices of goods and services, higher electric rates, and an irrationally-exuberant, renewables-vendor-inspired Vermont Energy Plan with 90% renewables to outdo the Germans who are going for 50% by 2050. The end result will be lower standards of living for most Vermont households and less revenue and profits for businesses.

The real kicker is that several recent, independent studies, based on measured, real time, 1/4-hour data sets of grid operations, performed in the US (Colorado and Texas) and the Netherlands, have shown that wind energy does little to reduce CO2 emissions, because gas-fired, quick-ramping gas turbine balancing plants are needed to operate at part-load to be able to quickly ramp up when wind energy ebbs and to quickly ramp down when wind energy surges. The part-load-ramping operation is very inefficient for gas turbines requiring extra fuel/kWh, resulting in extra CO2 emissions/kWh. The extra fuel and extra CO2 emissions mostly offset the fuel and CO2 wind energy was meant to reduce. Wind proponents claim CO2 reductions due to wind energy that are NOT based on measured operations data sets, but on estimates produced by calculation methods that are not based an any measured data.

It would be much wiser and more economical to shift subsidies away from expensive renewables that produce just a little of variable, intermittent energy. Those renewables would not be needed, if we use those funds for increased energy efficiency, because it provides the quickest and biggest “bang for the buck”, AND it is invisible, AND it makes no noise, AND it does not destroy pristine ridge lines/upset mountain water runoffs, AND it would more effectively reduce CO2, AND it would create 3 times the jobs at less cost per job all over Vermont (not in Denmark, or Spain, or China), AND it would not coddle the wind oligarchy in Vermont and Quebec, AND Vermonters can do it without public resistance and controversy.

Source:  by Willem Post, www.vermonttiger.com 18 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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