An individual reading the pabulum-laced “Time is ripe for wind energy” community column by Justin Tolston in the Journal Star on Feb. 4 would never suspect any downside existed to electricity produced by wind-powered generators.
But if Tolston researched the publicly subsidized wind-generated power debacle of the 1970s and visited the Altamont area of California, he would see firsthand the ruin visited upon the landscape by the hundreds of abandoned wind-generator towers. The LLC companies formed to build those structures were profitable only with public funding. When that dried up, they walked away.
Wind advocates should drive through a contemporary wind farm at night to appreciate the 24-hour onslaught those gigantic towers present to the hapless residents who don’t collect rent from their presence and find themselves forced to live beneath them and their night-long flashing strobe lights. Huge concrete foundations must be poured to support a tower, and those foundations will never come out of the ground. The bolt pattern of the present generation of towers is different from the 1970s versions, so the existing foundations cannot be reused. And utilities still must observe the peak power concept so they can provide the necessary power at any time regardless of whether the wind is blowing.
The true sorrow of the column’s publication is that apparently we are doomed to repeat hard-learned lessons from the past by those who irresponsibly ignore history.
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