When considering the issue of whether to proceed with the Northern Pass electric project to deliver hydroelectric power generated electricity to New England, those who oppose it seem to think solar and wind power are the alternatives. Well, consider this, when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, the electricity does flow.
The article in the Sunday Herald said it would take 1,100 two-megawatt wind turbines to equal what Northern Pass would deliver. Or, it would take 4,900 megawatts of installed solar panels. These numbers don’t really give one a good perspective. On the other hand, how many acres of land would be required to “farm” these installations? It’s one thing to have wind turbines located in the corn fields of Iowa, but where would they be in New England, a more densely populated part of the country. Even in the flat land of Iowa the wind does not consistently blow.
Even more acreage would be required for solar panels. And, who would clear the snow from them in the winter to ensure that, on the few days the sun shines, they would produce power? And, by the way, both forms of power generation require distribution systems. So, overhead power lines are not eliminated from consideration.
Wind and solar powered electricity generators do make sense in some areas of our country. But, do they really make sense as an alternative to the Northern Pass? There is a disingenuous argument taking place by the opponents to Northern Pass. Honesty and full disclosure are missing in their arguments. Their agenda may not be realistic. New Englanders are cautioned to get all the facts before weighing in.
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