Since hearing about an application for five wind turbines in the Garnet hill area, the citizens of Peru have been trying to assess their effects on residents’ well-being, and the Berkshires should beware: their size and power are unprecedented in Massachusetts. The height is 492 feet (about 2/3 of the tallest building in Massachusetts, the John Hancock tower, and almost three times taller than the 14-floor Crowne Plaza hotel in Pittsfield). The noise level of each one can exceed 107 decibels, the sound level of rock concert. These turbines will be towering above the quiet Garnet Lake area, only 1,500 feet away. The ridge the turbines will be on is only 400 feet above the lake, so they will be taller than the ridge itself!
We bought our house in Peru 10 years ago as a perfect weekend-vacation place – pristine nature, close to world-class music, dance and theater. We invested a lot of time and money into making this place nice and considering it our retirement home. Our friends and family love it and the Berkshires – our house is always full of guests happy to have a break from busy city life.
There is no doubt that this project, if approved, will have a devastating effect on our life and future plans, and the same for many others. Imagine five John Hancocks towering above you and five rock bands playing in your neighborhood. We know how sound travels in this area because we clearly hear everything on the opposite side of the lake – from the same direction that these wind turbines will be located. No sound measurements are even needed.
Our concerns are also based on reports of the hardships experienced by others. Here is a quote from Michael Fairneny of Moores Road in Florida Ma. who lives about 3,000 feet from smaller turbines: “My quiet, peaceful, serene world and home has been turned into a reality of grief.”
We are for green energy. Its goals appeal to everyone. But it should serve the people, not destroy their lives, and not destroy a pristine area. If this project goes ahead its colossal size and requested waivers and variances will set a terrible precedent. More turbines are planned in Peru, and other wind farms are planned throughout the Berkshires. Now this threatens me, my family, and all our neighbors. Tomorrow it can be your house and all of our state forests.
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