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Lenox panel publishes report on wind turbines

The town of Lenox’s Wind Energy Research Panel released their conclusions on a four-month study on the effects of wind power on Lenox Mountain. The 44-page report considered the effects on the economy, the environment, and human health.

The six-member panel that worked on the study was appointed by the town of Lenox, with half being initial proponents of wind power on the mountain, and half opposing. Two alternates were also chosen. The panel was moderated by Lenox town selectmen Kenneth Fowler

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Two panelists were put on each of the three major issues. The environmental and economic panelists found common ground in agreeing that any wind proposal on Lenox Mountain would lack benefits. The panelists focusing on health were split on the impact, with one panelist, Dr. Michael Kaplan, stating that the project “should continue to be planned as it would not likely harm the health of nearby residents”. Recently the state of Massachusetts released a study discounting reported negative health effects from wind turbines, other than seperate problems that could be atribuited to sleep disruption, not necessarily linked to wind turbine noise.

The report did not produce a unifying decision, but instead contained the personal recommendation from each panelist. Channing Gibson served on the panel, and was an opponent to a wind energy proposal on the site. He said that small towns like Lenox risk being taken advantage of in the current “green-rush” in Western Massachusetts.

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Gibson mentioned a study conducted by New Hampshire company Weston Solutions that said Lenox Mountain would be a suitable place for a wind turbine. Gibson said that study did not contain reliable or concrete wind-speed data for the Berkshire site.

Harley Keisch of Preserve Lenox Mountain, a local non-profit, said he was thrilled to see the level of cohesion and order exhibited by the panelists throughout the study.

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The findings of the study will be shared with the public at a forum at the Lenox Town Hall on February 27th. More information on the study can be found online at townoflenox.com, or our website at WAMC.org

Full report can be found here: