December 24, 2005

Vermonters of the Year

To the Editor, Vermont Guardian:

All of the currently proposed wind power projects in Vermont (up to 312 MW) would provide only 10% of our current needs. They are practically irrelevant to the unlikely loss, desired or otherwise, of Hydro Quebec and/or Vermont Yankee.

Wind power does not respond to demand. It may or may not be there when needed. The Searsburg facility, for example, generates no power at all almost 40% of the time. With widely distributed installations on a system, as in Germany, their average infeed is reached only a third of the time. Even when the wind is blowing well, the system must be ready (i.e., burning fuel in "spinning reserve") to provide power when the wind drops again at any time.

We will therefore need as much other electricity sources with wind as we would without. If we come to depend on the small amount of power the wind turbines will provide, we will, like the Danes, be using the expensive spot market even more.

It is not just unnecessary but offensive to entertain industrial-scale development of the ridgelines, with strobe lights and noise and ecological degradation that far surpasses anything now on the mountains, for such obvious nonsense.

While annual honors are being given out, Vermont Guardian, in unquestioningly presenting the sales pitch of Dave Rapaport and other developers as news, has clearly earned "dupe of the year."

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