Wind farms hit opposition

Full story: Baltimore Sun 39
Business and political leaders in Western Maryland's Garrett County are lining up against a proposal to allow the clearing of up to 400 mountaintop acres of state forest for the construction of 40-story wind ... Read more
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Fenwick

Washington, DC

#1 Jan 29, 2008
It is always safer to be AGAINST!
Fed up in Towson

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

#2 Jan 29, 2008
Sounds like another unwanted, expensive, inefficient bauble the governor will ram down the peoples' throats against their will. If MD is really serious about generating more power, why not build more nuclear reactors?
Klaus

Gwynn Oak, MD

#3 Jan 29, 2008
as an environmentally concerned citizen I am troubled that one environmental resource (wind) is pitted against another (400 acres of forest). Careful review of the environmental benefits of wind power show that they are never as big as claimed. The installed power comes to bare only when maximum wind coincides with high demand. If there is high demand and no wind the lacking windpower has to be compensated for with other readily available environmentally friendly power sources, usually hydro-electric power of which we have little in MD. I haven't seen any comprehensive discussion of this complex context without which the proposed turbines can only be described as a damaging boondoggle.
Maryland Citizen

Baltimore, MD

#4 Jan 29, 2008
The wind companies are misrepresenting the condition of the states land they are seeking. There is two beautiful state parks, hiking trails and a critial wetlands. Shame on DNR, you are suppose to protect our natural resources.
Bill

Radford, VA

#5 Jan 29, 2008
I can totally agree with the idea that people are against tearing down forest land to build the windmills. I am totally on board with that argument.

But if I hear one more person say they are worried about the "aesthetics" of these things I am going to be sick. From the folks that live in their million dollar homes on the beach that don't want to see them on the coast line, to this, people need to realize there are ideas like this, there is nuclear power which has its own problems...and there is coal strip mining, which doesn't just take the trees off the mountains in the forest...it takes the whole darn mountain!
Paul Tupelo

Baltimore, MD

#6 Jan 29, 2008
Maybe they should consider these turbines, www.windside.com . They are more efficient and require less space than the traditional wind turbine. The turbines will however creat a cheaper, safer energy than proposed nuclear plants that will use up limited water supplies.
Paul Tupelo

Baltimore, MD

#7 Jan 29, 2008
Fenwick wrote:
It is always safer to be AGAINST!
If you believe this then you are not for the American way. We were founded on doing what was not safe but what was right. Would you water watch the forrests die as more pollution rains upon them.
Paul Tupelo

Baltimore, MD

#8 Jan 29, 2008
Fed up in Towson wrote:
Sounds like another unwanted, expensive, inefficient bauble the governor will ram down the peoples' throats against their will. If MD is really serious about generating more power, why not build more nuclear reactors?
Nuclear reactors use ground water to cool them. If you paid attention to the news and your surroundsing, you'd realize that in the south where they are in the midst of a drounght, nuclear plants will most likely be shut down. Water should be preserved for us to drink, not used to cool a nuclear reactor and become un-usable! Sometimes money need to be spent upfront top conserve money in the long run, just like hybrid cars, double/triple pain windows and other fors of energy efficeny. Do your research before you make stupid comments!
reason

Glen Arm, MD

#9 Jan 29, 2008
Yeah, lets not construct wind turbines. Let keep burning those fossil fuels because, as we all know, it's an unlimited resource and has absolutly no environmental impact. Also, clearing 400 acres of a 55,000 acre forest will have such a drastic effect on an already thriving Garrett County economy. But to make my arguement, I'd better not mention the forest areas in Garrett County and West Virginia are strip mined every day to produce the electricity that we use. Everyone wants a solution but nobody wants to sacrific to get it.
Robbie

Bonners Ferry, ID

#10 Jan 29, 2008
Paul, you don't need to use potable water to cool a nuclear power plant. We have nuclear power pants along rivers and bays. Perhaps the stupid comments are coming from you.
Dan B

Bowie, MD

#11 Jan 29, 2008
In response to the unreasonable comments by "reason", installing 100 wind turbines on public lands would clear 2/3 of a square mile of forest but the paltry amount of electricity they could produce would not reduce the tonnage of coal that is currently mined or burned for supplying us with power. So the wind turbines will only add to the wildlife and habitat impacts occurring in our region - they will not reduce it. By the way, the vast majority of coal mined in Appalachia is from deep mines - not strip mines or via the dastardly Mountain Top Removal technique -see: http://www.vawind.org/Assets/Docs/Very_Shaky_... .

In supplement to Tom Pelton's otherwise good article, the loss of 400 acres of forest habitat due to construction of 100 wind turbines is only the tip of the "iceberg" in terms of impacts to the forest ecosystem of US Wind Force's industrial wind energy proposal for MD's State Forests. About 2,000 acres (over 3 square miles) of vitally important "forest-interior" habitat would be lost due to the resulting cascade of harmful impacts associated with forest fragmentation.
JOE

Grasonville, MD

#12 Jan 29, 2008
The idea has it's merits, I like the idea of putting it on government land. Look this is clean efficient energy, get with the program.
Sean

Baltimore, MD

#13 Jan 29, 2008
Robbie wrote:
Paul, you don't need to use potable water to cool a nuclear power plant. We have nuclear power pants along rivers and bays. Perhaps the stupid comments are coming from you.
BUT as he pointed out, in the South, the rivers aren't flowing like they used to, and up here we're already tapping into the Susquehanna for drinking water, so the two would ABSOLUTELY come into conflict.
Southern MD Joe

AOL

#14 Jan 29, 2008
This is Western Maryland at its best.When the politicans winds blow.Just put thos on Toms Ridge Hunting Lodge,Swanton Maryland.Outa sight out mind.....
Ravenmg

Towson, MD

#15 Jan 29, 2008
What a great idea! Lets give some private company access to State-owned land, throw in some tax credits, and let them make money off of it. Cut down all the trees and vegetation and hope for windy days so that we can gain a miniscule amount of energy to add to the grid. What a boondoggle!!!!!

If they want to build wind turbines let them do it off of the coast. At least the structures in the water would provide habitat for undersea life. And there is lots more space to work with.
reason

Glen Arm, MD

#16 Jan 29, 2008
Dan, so you would rather wait until technology can produce the "cure-all" solution? Please tell me when that might happen as I'm sure we'd all like to know. And your right, initially the electricty produced from the turbines may not significantly offset the use of coal but is that a reason to abandon the idea? As technology improves, so will the efficiency of alternitive energy sources (including wind). And your also correct that there is still alot of deep mining occuring but how is that relavent to your arguement, they both have a significant impact to the environment? Ok, you've convinced me, I say Dan is right, lets just sit back and wait for some smart guy to discover the cure-all solution. In the mean time, lets criticise all other efforts.
Dan B

Bowie, MD

#17 Jan 29, 2008
Folks posting here should take time to learn a few facts about MD's electricity demand and industrial wind turbines' generating capability before asserting opinions.

The annual production from 100 2-MW wind turbines would be about 480-million kilowatt-hours (kWh)- which sounds like a lot until you look at the magnitude of our state and region's electricity demand.

Between 2000 and 2005, MD's demand for electricity increased by nearly 8-billion kWh see Table 8 under MD in: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/FTPROOT/electricity/... . We would had to have built 26 200-MW wind energy facilities in 5 years just to keep pace with the net increase in MD's demand for electricity - at a loss of 10,000 acres of forest if they too are put on forested ridgetops (where most wind projects in our region are planned).

Even then, the electricity produced by 100 2-MW wind turbines would vary considerably throughout the year, with most produced during wind nights and very little during summer afternoons - when demand reaches its highest level.

For additional perspective, consider that the 1,600 MW reactor which is planned to be added to the existing Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in southern MD would produce more much electricity per year than 2,500 2-MW wind turbines likely would yield. However, during the summer months, that one additional nuclear reactor would generate as many kWh's as 5,000 of these giant wind turbines.

5,000 huge wind turbines would be spread along more than 700 miles of ridgetops (at typical spacing of 7 per mile), and could result in the direct loss of 15,000 to 20,000 acres of forest - and 75,000 to 100,000 acres of ecologically-significant "forest-interior" habitat (see: http://vawind.org/Assets/Docs/Forest%20Fragme... ). Putting wind turbines on State Forest lands is merely a token gesture which will enrich an out-of-state corporation; this development's miniscule economic benefits would be overshadowed by the threat it poses to tourism and to our cultural and natural heritage.

Furthermore, based on recent scientific estimate of bat mortality due to collision with wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic mountain region, the 5,000 2-MW wind turbines which would be needed to equal the summertime electricity production of just one nuclear reactor would be expected to kill up to 250,000 bats PER YEAR! See: http://vawind.org/Assets/Docs/Wind_and_Bats_0...

Lastly, the amount of coal that would be annually offset due to building the proposed additional reactor at the existing Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant would fill a train pulling 100 ton boxcars that stretches for 650 mile!
Ken

Baltimore, MD

#18 Jan 29, 2008
Europe has lead the way with wind energy and now even they are questioning their choices. As usual, wind energy seems to be more about dollars than it is about saving our planet. The wind companies are after the huge chunks of taxpayer dollars at stake. In Pennsylvania, an Italian company Gamesa (who has established many American shell companies) is attempting to place wind turbines on any available ridges the can secure - do you think these foreigners care how much our quality of life is impacted? I bet they care more about making $$. Wind energy is inefficient, and the turbines themselves are flawed in their designs.
How many of you realize that when the wind blows too strongly, these turbines have to be shut down? Does that make sense? I would think that would be when the turbines would be most effective - but they're not - they're taken offline. Also, it is a fact that most of the existing turbines in place operate at a very low productivity rate (the 20% to 40% capacity range).
Before embracing wind energy as a "green solution" that is a win-win situation for everyone involved, please do your own research. I think the old adage "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is (not true)", applies to wind energy.
If we as a nation instead focused on conservation alone, or developed solar energy and hydrogen cell cars, that will more than offset the miniscule amount of electricity generated from wind, and we can leave our beautiful mountain forests in tact for the next generation.
reason

Glen Arm, MD

#19 Jan 29, 2008
Dan, I question if the power plant expansion is a good idea because that too has some serious environmental risks, not only to FIDS, but also to people. Unlike other alternative energy sources, nuclear energy produced large quantites of very harmfull waste. Right now, this power plant rails its waste out to the mid-west where it is stored because it can not be recycled. A small spill of these materials could harm thousands and cause significant damage to the environment. Also, you need uranium to produce nuclear energy which must be mined. I think using nuclear energy may be solving one problem but creating another.
sacrificesmustbe made

Centreville, MD

#20 Jan 29, 2008
I agree that the scenic aspects of a limited area would be interrupted but the ugliness of coal mining, the cost of oil and the refusal of the current administration to put money and research into alternative fuels are reasons that clean, energy efficient wind power must be seriously considered and put into use now before there is no sky or nature worth seeing due to the distruction of land by greedy, take it now and don't put anything good back philosophies of many people.

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