I was born and raised in Walnut, and my family has owned a farm in Lee County for 110 years, where we raise corn and soybeans. I currently live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and I am strongly opposed to the Green River Wind Farm Phase 1 project.
I have a significant background with the energy situation we’re facing in the U.S. and the rest of the world. I was co-chairman of the Alliance to Save Energy for 14 years. The organization is based in Washington, D.C., and is the largest and most productive energy conservation group in the world. We do little lobbying, and our staff focuses its time developing major programs to save energy.
I also was president of OSRAM Sylvania for 18 years – the largest lighting company in the world. Our focus was on developing energy-saving light sources. Our sales were about $6 billion, which is about 3.5 times the size of General Electric’s Lighting Company. That was my full-time job, although I spent considerable time, effort and money growing the ASE.
Following are a few facts about the generation of electricity with wind power:
1. At the very most, according to experts, wind can provide less than 10 percent of our energy needs. The cost of producing energy from wind is outrageous, and the payback for wind projects is about 25 years, not including billions of dollars of government subsidies not included in the payback but paid from our federal taxes.
2. Based on wind power efficiency, we’d be better off using money to develop other power sources (not solar). Development of natural gas reserves would be more cost-effective. We also should pursue the development of fuel cells – a clean, more practical energy solution than wind.
3. If wind is pursued, towers should be in remote places like the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona. Wind turbines make noise and require regular maintenance. I can’t imagine putting these outrageously inefficient devices on our farmland. Getting one wind turbine installed and maintained will destroy many acres of the finest agricultural land in the world.
4. Power generated cannot be depended upon because if the wind doesn’t blow, excess capacity for generating electricity by other means has to be put in place by our utility companies anyway. More wasted money and higher energy costs are the result.
5. The only way wind could be counted on to supply power to the grid is to store it and release it when required. The battery technology to accomplish this doesn’t exist. Development of large-capacity, quick-charge, efficient batteries to store energy and pass it on to the grid when needed is nowhere. Electric cars can go about 35 miles because of this “difficulty,” and they cost 30 percent more than new, very efficient autos.
My vote for this wind farm project is no. You couldn’t pay me enough to offset the negatives. Somebody is getting a lot of money for this technology, but it’s certainly not the taxpayers or electricity customers.
Note to readers – Dean Langford is a 1957 graduate of Walnut High School. He still owns farmland in Lee County.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding