Ridgeline development is not the answer. There are many reasons this Reunion Power wind project is wrong; several of them being environmental (the wildlife corridor, the ridgetop ecosystems and the need to protect them, the destruction of upland and lowland watersheds, to name but a few.)
Then there’s the aesthetics (destruction and deforestation of those mountains, and the extensive blasting that will be required, and the turbines that will stand functional or not on property owners land.)
Then there’s the financial piece: we will be promised big pay offs as host towns, but look what has happened to Lempster, NH with property values. There are countless “for sale” signs!
Whose headache and liability is it when a turbine is not functioning or not maintaining output to projected capacity? How does this affect a landowner who signed a contract? Think about the fact that this power will not outweigh the costs, and your electric bill will not reflect the false promises and claims; further, the massive federal grants available for alternative energy projects bring corporations large and small drooling out of the woodwork!
These corporations do not mind if these projects are not as effective as initially proposed, nor will they mind even if these ultimately fail; they do not care about lawsuits and other “speedbumps.” And, you guessed it, they are not out for the “public good!!” Surprised?
Also understand that roadways will be needed to support construction vehicles and industrial-scale turbine maintenance equipment and tractor trailer trucks hauling replacement propeller blades. They need large permanent roadways. These roadways will create issues with erosion, especially as rain events like that of Hurricane Irene are likely to occur more frequently.
Last, but not least, is the health effects that experts will attest to (both vibrational and noise-related) as these towers will need to be deeply cemented into the geology of that ridge. “Compensation” and promises will not pan out. Let’s all look deeper into this and not be placated or set back on our heels by slick and glossy commercials. Let’s be sure it’s what we want to be happening to our towns and our communities and our resources (environmental, financial, etc).
Could those dollars lining Reunion’s pockets be better spent? Local connections and community-building efforts with transparent communications, not covert and divisive tactics, will begin to facilitate the real energy solutions for the future and will prove healthy for Vermont communities.
We must be willing to look at all sides of the issue (even the ones not being dislosed by said corporations) and not simply be sold a bill-of-goods cloaked in ‘green.’
Vanessa M. Holmquist, Pittsford, Vt.
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