Trying to catch the windfall

Trying to catch the windfall

There are 25 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Nov 29, 2007, titled Trying to catch the windfall. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

John Roth stood on a mist-shrouded ridge above the Western Maryland farm where his grandfather first plowed the rocky soil in 1892.

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bill Oakland Maryland

Bulger, PA

#21 Nov 30, 2007
Mr. George M, If you look at the back drop of the photo of Mr Roths farm, you will see the top side of backbone mt. This is where the 3 wind turbines will be errected. The turbines will be errected on top of the mt. How is this false advertising?
Near By Neighbor

Markleysburg, PA

#22 Dec 3, 2007
Mr. John Roth....Your lifestyle is your choice...We as neighbors have no choice in what we see on our beautiful mountaintops, if you allow those ugly towers to be built on your land but ultimatley hang over our heads forever.

Since: Nov 07

Columbus, IN

#23 Dec 4, 2007
If anyone needs additional evidence that wind energy projects do NOT pose an economic threat to the coal industry, please check out the website created by AES - a wind energy developer who seeks to build a new 125 MW wind energy facility on Laurel Mtn in WV. AES is also pushing to build other large windplants in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The following link accesses a webpage on AES's website in which they compare 2 scenarios involving how electricity would be generated on the grid in order to accomodate a "comsumer usage" demand that requires 2,000 MW of power plants to be in operation. One scenario provides information about type and generating capacity of power plants that would be operating on the grid if the AES "wind farm" is not built, while the alternative scenario provides same information about power plants that would be contributing to the grid when their 125 MW "wind farm" is built and operating - see:[url]http://www.aeslaurelm om_content&task=view&i d=22&Itemid=41[/url].

This comparison apparently was done to highlight the economic and air pollution benefits of its project's wind energy contribution to the electricity grid. By its own example, this wind energy developer indicates that the construction of a 125 MW "wind farm" would not be expected to cause a back-down in the operation of coal-fired or nuclear power plants! Instead, they projected that the construction of a 125 MW wind energy facility would displace an equivalent amount of generating capacity from powerplants that would be fueled by natural gas (which has a relatively high fuel cost, but is the cleanest and lowest carbon-emitting fuel that is burned to produce electricity).

There you go - an admission by one of the wind industry's own players that coal-fired power plants are not expected to be significantly curtailed due to the construction of "wind farms".

Since: Nov 07

Columbus, IN

#24 Dec 4, 2007
bill, I agree that the photo used for Peltons' article does show in the far distance the ridgecrest of Backbone Mtn. However, no where in the article does it explain that the 24 acre parcel on which Mr. Roth hopes Synergics will build 3 huge turbines is located about 1.5 miles away from his 89 acre farm - or that this parcel is totally forested. It's misleading to have omitted these points.

The article further misled by claiming that Mr. Roth may "have to sell the 88-acre farm where he grows corn and raises cows unless he can switch from old-fashioned agriculture to 21st-century wind farming". There clearly is no "switching" involved - since the wooded tract where the turbines are appear is not agricultural lands.

Mr. Pelton failed to point out that the Public Service Commission's hearing examiner for this case issued an order which would have allowed Synergics to construct Mr. Roth's turbines - as well as install at least 10 additional machines. Mr. Pelton also failed to mention that Synergics filed an appeal to oppose the hearing examiner's decision.

The reason this project was "stalled" has more to do with the greed of the developer than any other factor. At least 2 large wind projects have been built during the same time period as this case, and each project involved only 12 or 13 2-MW wind turbines.

So the claim by Rogers isn't credible that the environmental "safeguards" which DNR recommended and the hearing examiner incorporated in his order would have made this project uneconomic.


Since: Nov 07

Baltimore, MD

#25 Dec 5, 2007
Mike S wrote:
I live a couple of miles from where the windmills will be located and I have mixed views. Personally, I don't find them offensive. I frequently drive by the ones located nearby in WV and, in my opinion, they are not an eyesore. I wouldn't want my neighbor to put them on his farm, however.
I like the idea of renewable energy, but there is a reason that local environmental groups are asking questions about them. The Western MD chapter of the Sierra Club is having a meeting to discuss concerns sometime next month. One major concern is that as the electric grid becomes dependent upon wind electricity, a back up source also has to be set up. These back ups are most often coal fired plants, and apparently, as they start up and shut down, they generate far more pollution than they would if they were constantly running. I'm no expert, I'm just repeating what I've heard.
I agree with Bill- I find the rampant development going on in certain areas of our county far more visually offensive than a few windmills.
That's a valid concern. I'd have thought that the windfarm would have been added to the existing power grid and would have supplemented some of the existing power company's electricity. If that's not the case, then perhaps this needs to be examined thoroughly.

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