The discussions of wind energy in the towns of Prospect and Colebrook involve proposals for a statewide moratorium of wind turbine construction/operation and a statewide setback of 1.25 miles from residences. Citizens in those towns have every right to be heard and make proposals. However, now we are all involved.
Looking at a very recent installation of wind turbines elsewhere is instructive. The Fox Islands off the Maine coast received the following benefits in its first year of wind turbine operation from Dec 1, 2009 to Dec. 1, 2010. The Fox Islands’ three land-based wind turbines generated 12,105 megawatts of clean power. The renewable energy generated equaled 7,075 barrels of oil. 5,615 tons of carbon dioxide were not released that would have polluted our atmosphere. There was a more than 27% reduction in the energy portion of Fox Island’s electric rates compared to the previous fossil fuel year. And the project generated 15 temporary full time jobs and sustained other green jobs in its production, construction and operation.
I applaud those in Prospect who raised concerns about wildlife habitat. I am finding that wind turbine projects actually save land and water resources vital to wildlife. One of the Fox Islands is an example where 17 acres near the turbines have been set aside for preservation. In this sense, wind turbines also mitigate sprawl.
It is instructive that State Senator Joan Hartley has actively sided with the moratorium concept. This is the same legislator who recently prevented regulations of water usage by utility companies and golf courses from getting out of committee. All this while important streams that make up the west branch of the Naugatuck River are impaired with one completely dried up. Now she is working on stringent regulations on renewable energy. Hartley brings her 2010 “D” League of Conservation Voters record with her.
The cost/benefit discussions of technology are very beneficial. Let democracy flourish. Let’s also remember the BP oil spill, the eleven workers killed, global warming and the resource wars being fought tragically in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Len Yannielli, Naugatuck