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Unhealthy journalism about wind power  

Credit:  Burlington Free Press | Feb. 18, 2014 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com ~~

Mr. Joel Baird’s investigation and report on Green Mountain Power’s $620 million synchronous condenser (“Can wind power plug-and-play with the grid?” Jan. 31) should fit nicely on the dusty shelf with nearly every other piece of reporting on Northeast Kingdom wind development projects constructed by Chittenden County reporters.

Mr. Baird, like his colleagues, seems to be torn between not being nerdy enough to get the science and too cool to go out and talk with the locals. GMP gets a free five-page promotional cover story with Tom Swift-ian “gee-whizzes” included on a topic that deserves tough questions like; “who is actually paying the $620 million for this equipment?” “Why wasn’t the issue of synchronization addressed in the initial proposal?” “Who, exactly, benefits from this power?”

Mr. Baird’s question of whether the condenser will “help resolve ongoing controversies regarding turbine noise and ridge top development” is both naïve and offensive. Siting 50-story high wind turbines on fragile ridge lines in remote and pristine parts of Vermont to generate intermittent power for consumers in other parts of Vermont (thus the condenser) is an outrage.

Suggesting that if the project approaches the advertised production capacity (which it won’t) those affected (people within the view shed, animals displaced, and bird and bat victims of the turbines, not to mention the fractured headwaters of the three rivers originating on the Lowell range) and those afflicted (incessant noise, accompanying illness, nausea, headaches and the inability to sell their homes) by the project will stand down is insulting to those in proximity who are suffering and have no recourse to relief.

Healthy journalism reveals all sides of an issue. Mr. Baird’s pinhole peek at the subject of synchronous condensers, like so many of his colleagues, ignored the social, economic and personal costs associated with these unnecessary and taxpayer-financed projects.

PHIL LOVELY

Craftsbury Common

Source:  Burlington Free Press | Feb. 18, 2014 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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

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