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Governor Patrick’s 2000 MW of wind energy by 2020 is a wildly ill considered plan especially for western Massachusetts!  

Credit:  Walter Cudnohufsky, Ashfield, MA 3.02.12 ~~

Of the 2000 MW by 2020 in the Governors sustainable plan, 460 MW are planned off shore with Cape Wind that leaves 1,540 MW as land based in MA.

If 1000 MW of land based generation are assigned to western MA and using substantially larger turbines 1.8 MW machines the current largest turbine in MA. (1.5MW machines on Brodie Mountain); the requirement would be approximately 555 turbines and would consume 111 miles of western MA ridge lines. This calculation uses a recognized spacing of 5 turbines per mile and accounts for only a portion of the required approach roads, building and ownership inefficiencies etc.

If 1.5 MW turbines are used the ridge line required would be approximately 140 miles.

Graphic prepared by Walter Cudnohufsky Associates, Inc., Ashfield, MA

There is approximately 1800 square miles in Western MA is using the approximately 50 miles from VT to CT and 35 miles from the NY state line to the Connecticut valley.

If we used 111 miles of ridge lines (55 times the Brodie Mountain two miles) we would need 5 ridge line sections of 22+ miles each long. These 111 miles only accounts for name plate capacity of the machines 1.8 MW. If the prevailing 20% turbine efficiency is acknowledged and factored into the goal the calculation we need as whopping 555 miles of ridge lines would be required. This may not be physically possible in Western MA even with larger taller noisier 2.5 or 3.0 MW turbines.

It is now proven fact by McCann, Rand, Ambrose, Pierpont and others, that there will be assured and consequential health and property value impacts for a very minimum of two miles around each turbine occupied ridges.

This accounts for a four mile wide band to be heavily impacted area and constitutes 25 % or 444 square miles of our 1800 square miles. Of course much larger areas will be impacted and essentially every town thus every property owner in western MA will be affected at least financially through turbine increased property taxes. One will not be able to drive or look to non occupied ridge lines anywhere in western MA even with this lower number.

The accompanying illustration shows the minimum impact of 111 ridge line miles using 1.8MW turbines. Other options are obviously more substantially impactful with a 1000 MW goal being within two miles of every property in western MA.

All of this would yield only a small fraction of MA energy needs in a non dependable fickle source totally duplicated with back up polluting generation capacity.

As a land planner and landscape architect with a graphic plan reference perspective, I cannot imagine that this has been at all considered otherwise it would have been considered illogical and totally irrational as I consider it.

We must ban industrial turbines on ridge lines in western MA!

Source:  Walter Cudnohufsky, Ashfield, MA 3.02.12

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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