From the opinion page today at the Rutland (Vermont) Herald Online: Overwhelming vote on wind
The people of Ira have spoken by nearly a fourfold majority that they are in favor of renewable energy, but not industrial wind turbines on our ridgelines. This is the result of an open, transparent, and civil effort that has been inclusive of all of the townspeople over the past nine months. All voices were welcomed and all were listened to. After five warned town meetings the conclusion is clear: We wish Ira to remain as the Rutland Herald characterized it in 2007 as “pure Vermont.”
Allegheny Treasures posts a few from the comment section for a sense of what the folks think. Go the the article to keep up with comments and further articles/opinions.
From what one can observe the best ways to make electric power are from the harnessing of water falling from a high place to a lower place as at Niagra or by artificially creating the fall with a dam. Next it seems that boiling water to make steam for turbines is a common choice among those serious about the business. Coal can be burned to boil the water and is by far the most popular method. (there is no soot emission.) Vermont is not close enough to a coal source to overcome the transportation expense which becomes too major a part of the finished product. Natural gas is available to Vermont in the Northwest of the state. Canada has vast quantities of this fuel and a pipeline following rail ROWs could open up any part of the state to this fuel. You may remember a proposal along those lines and the furor by the uninvolved. We have a Nuke plant but the populace has been frightened by by the anti’s constant drum beat decrying the process and squawking about imaginary deficiencies. The squawkers have no notion of the process and the likelyhood of failure of the plant. Existing businesses play along with the green movement but don’t seem likely to invest serious capital in processes that take acres of land and produce seasonally effected drips of power, which (if one wishes non interruptable power three phase 60 cycle and high wattage) have to have a real well powered generator to back them up. Solar power as I understand it does not yet break even, i.e. you can’t make a solar cell which over the life of the thing will generate enough power to make another solar cell. Remote gadgets use them as the cost of copper and labor to run wires to a remote location is large enough to off set the cell costs, batteries, and inverter( these are DC devices in an AC world). Fourty story fans are a good choice if one is investing for a quick turn around. These things are not maintenance neutral and after a few years of depreciation on mountain tops, ice storms, blistering summer heat and wear and tear on the gearboxes the financial efficiency will fall off. The subsidies and the capital depreciation for tax purpose now exhausted will make them look ugly to an accountant. They will be put up for sale and another round of tax depreciation will begin to send them to the junk yard. The things won’t have to be moved, the junk yard will come to them. Take a trip to the area surrounding Lubbock Texas. See the future of the Vermont experience.
— Posted by None None on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 1:14 pm EST
The lights are in no danger of going out when Vermont Yankee closes in 2012. New England’s grid has 4000 to 5000 MW of excess capacity, and projections indicate a there is no need to panic. Vermont’s needs are relatively small (about 1000 MW out of a total of 34,000 MW). We have time to develop new in-state sources, especially locally distributed generation which means using the electricity where it is generated. Solar works in Vermont and is a better fit than wind energy because it is a better match for our peak usage. See this article for a perspective on what the distributed energy future looks like:
Contrast that with Hydro-Quebec’s plan for more new hydro dams in Canada and new transmission lines to serve the Northeast. One proposal involves running a big transmission line under Lake Champlain to serve NYC http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Toronto firm pitches Hydro Québec/2643404/story.html.
The most unfortunate myth being perpetuated about wind power is that enough wind turbines can be built to displace Vermont Yankee. Simply put, that isn’t how the grid works. At best, wind power displaces natural gas generated electricity in New England; but it also displaces other renewables including biomass and hydro. Two good studies just came out about how wind is integrated into the grid:http://www.nepower.org/wind_study.asp andhttp://ei.haas.berkeley.edu/pdf/working_papers/WP202.pdf, which also discusses wind’s role in displacing greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence points to wind power as a low value, taxpayer-subsidized form of electricity that is an expensive way to achieve relatively small reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
— Posted by None None on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 12:47 pm EST
L>Y> U>G IS OK all vermont towns have stated N.I.M.B.Y…. so what power producers are welcome and where do we put them? although there is adequate power today what planning is moving ahead for tomorrow? will all our power come from out of state?
— Posted by bruce meyer on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 12:47 pm EST
DEAR LOCAL>>>>>ok show the state what needs to be done..all the voting and all the plans right now are going nowhere.Power is available now but how about tomorrow? there is no foward movement towards a solution. U>G> is ok
— Posted by bruce meyer on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 11:34 am EST
I think that maybe rob pforzheimer is onto something here. People from poor towns should not be allowed to vote because they are obviously stupid. So, let’s have an intelligence test and a fiscal responsibility test before allowing any town to determine its own welfare.
Why? Because those poor people don’t have the smarts that people in the gold towns do and they have no appreciation for the views of their betters either. Gee golly whiz, a guy like “rob” builds himself a nice third home from his earnings on Wall Street and now he has to worry that he might have to see a pinwheel on his neighborhood mountain. It’s just not fair! He’s very, very upset. He’s now thinking of vacationing at his second home in Aspen rather than spend all that hard-earned money from derivatives and such, down at the local general store. Oh, well they have such a pedestrian selection of wine and barely any caviar to speak of …
— Posted by Notta Bushman on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 11:29 am EST
Sorry to be sarcastic, but really folks… you, in essence, did nothing. You made a decision to do nothing. If you truly do support clean, renewable energy, then I challenge you to make a town plan to produce your own clean, renewable energy. Otherwise, you are not guaranteed to be using energy that fits that description.
— Posted by Earthnutvt on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 11:23 am EST
I know, let’s put a “clean coal” plant in Ira! Wouldn’t that be great? No ugly wind turbines or whisper soft noises – just soot. Every soot! Woopee! Coal is renewable, right? Because after 100,000 years, MORE COAL is created NATURALLY! Way to go! You really solved the problem!
— Posted by Earthnutvt on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 11:20 am EST
OK, so what renewable energy are you in favor of? And how soon are you going to implement it? Because you might be reading by candlelight after Vermont Yankee closes. Don’t just “have an opinion.” DO SOMETHING! I find most people are all talk and no action.
— Posted by Earthnutvt on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 11:18 am EST
Bruce, You ask the same question over and over. And over and over, I answer you the same way. To start with, we have some baseload options. Run of River Hydro for one. For the life of me I a can’t understand why the hydro on the connecticut river was allowed to slip away from local control. Another good baseload option would be Biomass. That is a source that’s 24/7/365 and doesn’t need to be placed on a mountain. It could be placed next to train tracks or just off the jug handle of some major highway. (Minimizing transportation impact.) Biomass spreads the wealth further and wider too. As far as I am concerned, solar is completely harmless. You can fill the feild next door, not give me a dime, and I’m fine with that. It’s quiet, clean, doesn’t drive off or kill wildlife and per a study by GE, more forcastable than wind, also if it matters to anyone….it’s low on the horizon. Then you’ve got small scale wind..like the one next the school in Mount Holly. I just don’t see how that’s really a problem. It’s sighted where the power is being used. Doesn’t wreck a mountain and makes no “claim” to contribute to the replacement of Vermont Yankee. Also, they’re not selling REC’s to companies that make the products and services that our families use, which drives the cost of those things up. Is is noisy? I haven’t heard anywhere near the compaints regarding small wind turbines. Now, how about Cow Power, yes it’s expensive, but does make use of a “greenhouse effect” gas..and may well be baseload power. Haven’t take the time to study it. Geo Thermal, probably this would be something that would create some NIMBY’s if it were a viable option here in New England. I will say this..it makes big, baseload power. Something wind does not do. So if I am going to be made a sacrifice of, let it be worth it. For Geo Thermal..it would be hard to refute the contribution to the public good.
So there you have it, same TRUE story, diferent day..We’ve got options…until next time……
Hey, maybe i’ve got the wrong Bruce but, If you see Uncle George tell him I said hello and to get his darn phone hooked up. (Don’t go giving me away now.) Heh Heh.
— Posted by Local Yokel on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 10:54 am EST
Kudos to the people of Ira for protecting their town and region from being industrialized with loud, strob lit 400 foot ineffieceint, unreliable wind turbines.
The brainwashed proponents of this folly were lied to and bribed by GMP and VEC.
Ignorant, poor towns like Lowell and Sheffield should not be able to sell out their neighbors and surrounding regions that will have to bear the noise, property value, wildlife, quality of life and other impacts that selfish greed makes them so willing to overlook.
Industrial wind turbines, visible for miles and collecting our tax dollars from outrageous subsidies and now direct grants, are regional and statewide issues that should not be left to poor towns whose votes are easily bought by lying corporations.
There’s presently a glut of power available in NE, even without Vt Yankee. We don’t need to destroy our ridgelines with giant towers that will become rusting, oil leaking monuments to greed, gullibility and stupidity.
— Posted by rob pforzheimer on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 9:38 am EST
Go Ira! You Rock! You told Wennberg and his Vermont Community Wind Farce where to stuff his towers. Perhaps this will teach his mentor, Per Whoosidoodle or whatever, a lesson in public relations. How about funding a Vermont-scale demo project before going for the ridge-tops? There are many reasonable questions about industrial wind in Vermont and VCWF didn’t answer a one of them intelligently. The Lowell farm succeeded because they essentially bought off the town, and anyone who would be affected by the view or noise was overwhelmed by those who weren’t. I’m all for wind and solar, but bulldozing reasonable people with reasonable questions is not the way to promote it.
— Posted by Captain Tenille on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 8:15 am EST
So now what is the renewable power system you will accept? A system with the ability to supply power uninterupted 24/7/365?.Yankee has done that but yes we need to replace that now.What do you sugguest that is realistic and available right now or within the next two years? That is acceptable and not subject to
— Posted by bruce meyer on Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 7:23 am EST