I drive the Airline back and forth to camp and other Down East adventures, and have always treasured the stretch between Aurora and T28, over the Whalesback, with its expansive views across the Middle Branch to Lead Mountain, then the scenic slither and swoop over the esker’s east end and up the other side of this amazing geologic roller-coaster. Now the scenery is upstaged by gargantuan wind turbines looming over Route 9, ominously distracting with their huge blades.
Why did the developers and permitters have to site the northernmost turbines of the Weaver Wind project so close along this uniquely scenic stretch of Route 9? Another of Hancock County’s treasures has been sacrificed to industrial wind.
I am for green energy, in its place. Huge, highly visible wind turbines should not encroach on great ponds, iconic mountains and other features defining our Down East landscape. The Whalesback is part of a 120-mile esker ending at Katahdin, one of the longest esker systems left by the last ice age.
Beyond the desecration, these outsize turbines so close to the highway are a distraction to drivers. Alert to threats, one is compelled to keep an eye on these Godzillas while negotiating the steep hills and curves. Could a blade spin off due to a failing part, or pitch a raptor into traffic below?
Turbines of that scale should be set back a respectful distance from any highway, especially near this winding, scenic stretch traveled by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.
Industrial wind has already taken too much of value from Hancock County’s landscape, claimed too many of our mountains and views, for too little benefit to our state. Where will it end – Katahdin?
Jane Crosen Washburn
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