Friday, December 31, 2004

A closer look at Danish wind farms

The Barnstable Patriot, January 2004:

When the weather cleared at Blavand (Denmark), we were fortunate to be able to go back and actually see the Horns Reef complex.

That was, for me, probably the most important experience of the entire trip, and it was truly a revelation. No computer simulation, video or photo presentation can be a substitute for what the eye actually sees.

My impression was that even at a distance of 7 to 8 miles, the complex was far too visible and, when coupled with the strobe lights that flashed asymmetrically from its perimeter, it presented the look of an industrial complex. I did not find it aesthetically pleasing.

There is, at least in my mind, an expectation that when the sky meets the horizontal sea line there should be nothing permanent to break that plane. Not to wax philosophical, but it may be a human response to want to look at an unbroken seascape to, at least in a psychological sense, escape from the land. A sail or an irregular cloud line, yes, but nothing permanent that will draw the eye from the natural balance of the sea and sky.

In its stark utilitarian aspect, the Horns Reef wind farm assaulted my sense of natural balance and I was disappointed by it.

-- Jim Coogan