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Turbines threaten Peru, Berkshires

I am writing not only as a citizen of Peru but as a resident of Berkshire County because I am alarmed about the current request for a special permit and variance for the placement of five to six 500-foot industrial wind turbines on Garnet Hill and Haskell Hill in Peru.

Peru is not alone in being at risk of becoming a larger scale wind farm if this one “small project” of industrial wind towers is allowed. There are many potential sites in Peru and other hill towns for additional projects.

I have always supported alternative energy but the scale of these towers and the close proximity to people’s homes offers many risks to health, the environment and our best resource as a county, our natural beauty. We cannot continue to let the developers misrepresent the virtues of this not so green but greedy energy source. The benefit is in the millions of dollars of tax credits going to the developers not the energy produced by the wind.

The risks include potential health effects due to noise, wildlife impact, loss of property values and potential increased difficulty finding a buyer when you decide to sell your home. There are alternatives like solar and small scale windmills that should be considered before we turn residential and agriculture land into large-scale industrial sites. We can learn from Cummington, which received a federal grant for a solar energy project that will benefit residents with reduced electric bills, and Falmouth which is trying to dismantle two town-owned industrial wind turbines that have caused so much trouble after being in operation for less than five years.

As noted in an Eagle article from Nov. 23, the cost of the Hoosic Wind project was $50 million plus another $50 million in legal costs. Doesn’t that raise a few red flags?

The two-mile radius of the proposed wind turbines in Peru extends to the edges of Washington, Middlefield and Worthington. This is not just an issue for Peru but for every town that may be impacted. I would hate to see these beautiful hills become spoiled by industrial wind farms.