Letter to the Editor: Wind Energy In Massachusetts

A response to our article: Agreement Reached on Electioneering Communications Related to Cape Wind Project

Dear Editor,

After reading , I am glad to see that Wind Energy in Massachusetts is receiving more and more support. I have a strong interest in following the wind industry’s development. The results of Lenox’s Wind Energy Research Panel’s findings were disappointing. I could not believe that the wind farm project for Lenox Mountain fell through due to health concerns and negative environmental impact. In the case of the Cape, however, while beautiful views of the ocean will need to be only slightly impaired by the sight of a distant wind farm, the offshore windmill energy project is essential to moving towards sustainable energy sources.

Even our Senate leaders from Massachusetts agree.  A few weeks ago, both Senators Brown and Kerry came out in support of critical wind incentives, the production tax credit for wind (PTC).  As of yesterday, Senator Brown has agreed to co-sponsor legislation that will renew the PTC for two years; the PTC is set to expire at the end of 2012.

If the US government had a true concern for our unemployment rate and environmental sustainability rather than ocean views, they would support energy projects such as the Cape Cod Wind Project. That is why I urge Senator Brown to take charge in supporting the wind industry and help extend the Production Tax Credit until 2012 by swaying other political representatives to endorse it.


Christian Montalvo

Craig Hockmeyer March 20, 2012 at 08:08 AM
Respectfully Mr. Montalvo, I used to think wind development was a good idea, until I really dug into the facts. Look for yourself, I promise you; the more you look, the worse it gets. "Big Wind is a Big Scam", and this outrageous statement is easily backed-up once one starts to look at all the huge impacts and costs related to the development and the realized pay-back. Large scale wind energy is profit-driven, and the corruption is obvious. The environmental impacts are huge. The amount of fossil fuel required to build, install and integrate the machines can never really be paid back, for the output from the facility is so meager and un-reliable, that it will probably be destroyed by a hurricane before it can ever generate the amount of power it takes to put it there. Our oil and fossil-fuel useage in this country is grotesque, and over 60% of that consumption is for Transportation, not electricity. Again, look for yourself, and ask the hard questions about the very simple logistics of realizing this development and it's easy to see that Big Wind is a Spruce Goose.
Maggie Dempsey March 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Not to mention the fact that the operation of such wind turbines at sea will drive away fish. What does this mean for a historically fishing-based community? http://sustainability.formas.se/en/Issues/Issue-2-May-2011/Content/Articles/Wind-power-noise-disturbs-fish/ The more you delve into this issue, the more questions are raised about EVERY aspect of this project. While the NIMBY/beautification issue is one of the many reasons that people oppose this project, it is not, as you might suggest, the main complaint.
Christian Montalvo March 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Wow! Thanks Craig, I knew that set up costs were a huge set back to the wind industry, but to be honest, I do not know the details. Do you have any references? I would love to look more into the issue! Thanks for the knowledge.
Christian Montalvo March 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Maggie, This is something I had not considered in doing my research. My main support for the wind industry derives from the number of jobs it has the potential to support. In some areas, like in the state of Iowa, wind can support 20% of electricity needs. However, if growing the wind industry by implementing the Cape Cod project means compromising other jobs, we would be taking one step forward and perhaps and even bigger step back. Thanks for you input!
Maggie Dempsey March 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Christian, I know it appears to be an exciting possibility. I, too, want to see our country make steps AWAY from oil dependency and make commitments, LIKE the Cape Wind project, as steps towards renewable energy sources. The fact that it would create jobs as well sounds like the icing on the cake. But to me, between what Craig and I both mentioned, there are too many unknown factors here to make solving for Y as simple as Cape Wind. To commit so many resources including money and labor, to a project that not only might not pay for itself, but might also prove destructive to the environment in which its built, is not a smart solution. Believe me, MANY of us believed that the Cape Wind project was a GREAT idea... until we started looking for facts. Until a lot of these questions are answered, and in a positive way, I'll remain staunchly AGAINST this project. Please do not mistake me for another selfish Islander who only dislikes this projects for the look of the turbines on our beautiful coast. I don't mind how they look, I just fear what they mean.
Craig Hockmeyer March 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361316/250bn-wind-power-industry-greatest-scam-age.html http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Farm-Scam-Independent-Minds/dp/1905299834
Craig Hockmeyer March 21, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Check into the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound http://www.saveoursound.org/
Maggie Dempsey March 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Now that I'm thinking about it, I drove through Iowa recently on a roadtrip. It was the big flat state with all the wind turbines already in place. Literally miles and miles of those enormous white pylons on either side of the freeway. Supposedly being in such a geographical location makes Iowa one of the best-suited locales for wind power... yet, per your figure, this energy could only support 20% of their needs. 20% in an ideal geographic location, and one that has already been trying wind-power for decades... That doesn't sound very good to me.
Craig Hockmeyer March 21, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Truth is, the more wind power is put on-line, the bigger the back-up is needed for when there is no wind. Once you add in the start-up costs and investments, it's easy to see that the whole industry is based on profits, sold by the idea that we're helping the environment. Conservation is the most effective way to use less fossil-fuel.


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