Gov. Patrick’s embrace of wind power ...

Gov. Patrick’s embrace of wind power is ill-advised

Posted in the Boston Forum

Jack DeLeo

Providence, RI

#1 Dec 8, 2012
Gov. Patrick’s embrace of wind power is ill-advised
It is unfortunate for the citizens of Massachusetts generally, and likely devastating to many residents of Florida and Monroe specifically, to witness the ill-conceived commitment of Gov. Deval Patrick and his administration to industrial wind turbines.
Perhaps he and his administration have not done their homework. Perhaps they are naive enough to believe the public relations materials of Big Wind — the little girl chasing the butterfly with the large wind turbines in the background and the promise of large amounts of money flowing into the town. Perhaps the lobbyists are just that convincing and generous with their donations to the Patrick administration.
What the science and the more extensive experience of other countries have demonstrated is the following: Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) make no engineering or economic sense in inland New England.
Based upon available prevailing winds, as estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy, IWTs will produce little sustainable energy. Moreover, the energy they produce will be intermittent and available when the grid does not need it.
The U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory classifies wind assets in inland New England as “not good.” As a result, for every MW of capacity of IWT put in place, an equal amount of traditional fossil-fuel-based back-up generation capacity will need to be constructed and operated, so that that backup capacity can be quickly brought on line when the wind suddenly stops blowing.
Therefore, in inland New England, IWTs will not reduce our carbon footprint. They will not contribute in any way toward limiting global warming. They will however significantly increase the cost of every person’s and business’s electricity, precisely at a time when we cannot afford it. The reason is that the subsidies paid to keep this economically unsustainable technology operating will be spread over everyone’s monthly electric bill, in addition to the cost of the normal fossil-fuel-based capacity required to back up those IWTs.
Based upon many epidemiological studies, IWTs will have serious adverse health impacts upon residents within at least a 2-mile radius of the IWTs. Based upon reliable statistical and property appraisal studies, the values of properties of these residents will decrease by 25-40 percent. It is precisely these impacts that have led European countries (e.g., Holland, Germany and the UK, among others) to halt construction of IWTs.
It is precisely these impacts that have led Massachusetts towns to want to sell their IWTs (e.g., Princeton) or shut down the IWTs that are operating (e.g., Falmouth). The experience of Princeton is instructive.
Any payments estimated as flowing to the towns of Monroe and Florida from the operation of the IWTs which have not taken account of the poor wind resources and their poor operational performance will have been vastly overstated.
Wake up, Massachusetts. The Patrick administration is telling the “Big Lie” to promote a pipedream energy technology (Big Wind) that will be revealed as the “Big Boondoggle” a decade from now. I wish Big Wind was the answer — it would be such a wonderful way to power our region. The inconvenient truth is that it fails upon almost all criteria.
I have a Ph.D. from MIT in mathematical economics and have served on the faculties of MIT, Boston University and the University of California, Berkeley. I am president and director of Greylock McKinnon Associates, an economic consulting firm specializing in analysis in support of litigation.
I critically reviewed “The Wind Turbine Health Impact Study” of Massachusetts and found it to be “junk science.”
Raymond S. Hartman
Shelburne Falls
Dec. 6
Source: North Adams Transcript | 12/07/2012 |
Jack DeLeo

Providence, RI

#2 Dec 8, 2012
Cape wind turbine on line for base cleanup

By George Brennan
[email protected]
November 03, 2009

CAMP EDWARDS — Rose Forbes, the woman who spearheaded a wind turbine project for the Air Force, said recently it made little sense for the base to clean up groundwater using energy that fouled the air through fossil-fuel emissions.

Yesterday, federal, state, local and military officials gathered to celebrate her vision.
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More than 200 people huddled under a tent at the base of the 389-foot turbine as the wind whipped outside. They were invited to celebrate the completion of the $4.6 million, 1.5-megawatt turbine and a milestone in the massive cleanup of pollution at the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

"The Air Force can now say all environmental cleanup decisions and remedies are now in place," said Doug Karson, a spokesman for the Air Force Center of Engineering and the Environment and yesterday's master of ceremonies.

The last two decisions on how to treat two chemical spills were signed within the past few weeks, Karson said.

"Today is the culmination of a long and, at times, arduous saga," U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., said. There were times when it was difficult to see the "end of the cleanup tunnel," he said.

The end is still several decades away, but the wind turbine is expected to make the effort less expensive.

The Air Force expects its turbine to generate 30 percent of the electricity needed to operate the water treatment plants on the base, a savings of about $600,000.

It is located outside one of the nine treatment systems that pump and treat 15 million gallons of water polluted by training and weapons testing on the Upper Cape base.

Several speakers, including Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, noted the role community activists played in holding the military accountable for pollution.

The community was angry and distrustful of the military, Delahunt said.

They and other speakers pointed out that the wind turbine represents the change that's taken place at the base over the past three decades.

"This one turbine represents just the beginning of (Massachusetts Military Reservation's) energy independence," Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, said.

The Guard has filed plans to add as many as 17 wind turbines on the 22,000-acre base and is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to make sure they won't interfere with the base airfield.

"We will not only have the greenest cleanup," Delahunt said, "but we are setting this base up to be the first energy-independent military installation in the United States."

With all the parts finally in place, the Air Force is eager to take its new wind turbine for a spin but has to finalize some agreements with NStar and finish some electrical work before flipping the switch, Forbes said.

That could happen any day, she said.

The turbine stands as a testament to the state's commitment to alternative-energy sources and to eliminating roadblocks to getting them built, Ian Bowles, secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said.

"It's a symbol of clean energy," he said.
Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#4 Feb 3, 2013
Falmouth Massachusetts

BREAKING NEWS: Selectmen support removing wind turbines
More to come online and in Feb. 6 print edition of The Bulletin
Events Calendar
By Scott A. Giordano
Posted Jan 30, 2013 @ 07:09 PM
Last update Jan 30, 2013 @ 07:24 PM

The Falmouth Board of Selectmen voted to support removing the town’s two wind turbines, and they will draft language for a warrant article to be presented at their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 4 – in time to have the issue go before voters in the town’s April 9 special election and then proceed to the general election in May.

Selectmen also voted to request the Massachusetts Clean Energy Commission forgive the town’s debt for renewable energy credits and to send a delegation of state officials to request help with the town's debt for the purchase of Wind 1 at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility.

At the end of their Jan. 30 meeting, Selectman Doug Jones said he was “very proud of the work we’ve done as a board to come to an agreement,” despite their differences of opinion throughout the process.

“This has been a long process to get us to where we are right now,”added Selectmen Chairman Kevin Murphy.“We’re in the last lap here.”

Look for follow-up information posted on Wicked Local Falmouth and published in the Feb. 5 print edition of The Bulletin.

Read more: BREAKING NEWS: Selectmen support removing wind turbines -- Falmouth Bulletin

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