Pedestals for wind turbines
To the Editor:
As Angus King's enormous turbines continue to sprawl across the formerly beautiful ridgelines of Partridge Peak and Flathead Mountain in Roxbury, residents throughout the River Valley should have a good idea about is in store for a mountain near them.
If wind projects currently proposed for Carthage, Dixfield, Rumford, Woodstock, Sumner, Canton, Roxbury, and Byron are built, there will be hundreds of turbines, on every horizon.
What does the River Valley get in return for the sacrifice of its mountains? Not much. For wind power to be a useful source of electricity there must be a way for the grid to store it, since it is undependable and cannot be relied on to produce power when the grid needs it.
Conventional sources must be kept running even when wind is available because no one knows when the wind will stop and the grid must keep the lights on. So wind turbines do not replace conventional generation on a 1 to 1 basis as Mr. King claims. They simply drive the price of electricity higher, because the grid is required by politics, not by science, to purchase wind power whenever it is available, even if other generators must keep running in the background.
Economical grid scale storage does not exist and will not exist in the lifetime of any turbines being constructed today.
Mr. King has claimed repeatedly that his turbines will "help get us off of foreign oil." While this sounds believable, it is simply not true. Even if wind generation made sense, electricity is not produced by burning foreign oil. In Maine 50% of our electricity is produced by homegrown hydro and biomass.
The rest comes from relatively clean burning domestic natural gas. Maine should be proud that its electricity generation is among the cleanest in the country. Mr. King has abused people's gullibility to exploit them for his personal gain.
Likewise, folks should resist the claim that wind turbines will substantially reduce their property taxes or provide any other long term benefit. There is no proof that this will happen, just as there is no proof that turbines will have any environmental benefit. If the massive subsidies provided to the wind developers dry up they will turn their sights on the next "big thing" and we will be left with useless abandoned turbines.
As is evident from what is happening in Roxbury, turbines simply destroy the natural beauty of the area, replacing the cherished silouhette of the mountain against the sky with an industrial landscape of giant whirligigs.
Our mountains cease to be mountains. They become nothing more than pedestals for wind turbines. What a travesty if we allow this to happen.