Letter to the editor: Wind energy is now a statewide issue

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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.

Respectfully,

Len Yannielli, Naugatuck

1 COMMENT

  1. This wind turbine issue is turning into a battle of semantics, with the overuse of the word “green.”

    I am a huge fan of “green” (environmentally conscious, renewable) energy. But I am very, very opposed to placing wind turbines in my neighbor’s backyard (or frontyard) on a hill, in the middle of a community, against manufacturer’s suggestions for safety and without any standard or regulation in place
    for setbacks that ensure the health and well-being of my friends and neighbors in Prospect.

    Why? Isn’t it obvious? People are a part of nature. People are part of “green” and people deserve respect as much as our other animal friends and nature as well and the whole planet. What does anyone gain to be “green” if it hurts hundreds of people living in a small town? A rush job to put in turbines is counterproductive to the true goal of being “green” in any way, which is to preserve life, and promote health for the planet, (and its occupants, who happen to be people living in a neighborhood).

    A statewide moratorium is needed on all wind turbines, until safe, acceptable standards for setbacks can be put into place for future use, and guidance when doing such projects. Common sense dictates it, and so does walking our talk about “green” energy!

    Most people want “green” energy. It gets tiring reading letter after letter from those who claim to be “green” and want this unplanned, poorly thought out facility on the hill, citing wildlife and natural references but ignoring their neighbors. Don’t play word games! Be honest!

    Let’s take care of our people, and THEN and only then, when it is safe for all, we can succesfully put in green energy, wind power, or whatever, but done correctly and with intelligent planning for the safety and welfare of all life.