I wholeheartedly disagree with Carey Sullivan that there is “no downside” to the project and disagree with the direction AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. is headed regarding the increase of wind and solar energy in its power mix (news story, Jan. 17). It is being pushed by ardent environmentalists to embrace renewables regardless of the outcome.
A mix of power sources including renewables is beneficial. However, wind and solar are not possible without being fully backed up by a reliable fossil fuel or nuclear power source. Here are just a few facts regarding wind power:
1. Increasing renewables has and will result in higher costs to the ratepayer. When coal plants like Pirkey are brought up and down to accommodate renewables, wear and tear on the plant increases. The cost per kilowatt hour increases exponentially due to the volumes dropping below the optimum volumes to support the fixed cost investment in the plant and the mine.
2. Wind farms have an approximate 20-year life. Many discarded components are not recyclable and there are few landfills that will take them.
3. Recent studies show that wind farms kill over a million birds and bats every year and may tip some rare species into accelerated extinction.
4. Studies have been done and are currently underway to determine the negative health effects of wind energy, and protests are happening all over the country.
Texas Public Utilities Commission, please educate yourself on the long-term effects of approving this wind project.
— Lisa Mayfield, Longview