October 8, 2007

NO industrial wind turbines in National Forest

Dear Bob Bayer, Project Coordinator, USDA Forest Service --

Please do not allow the construction of industrial wind turbines on National Forest lands in Readsboro, Vt., as proposed by PPM Energy.

Such construction would be a permanent loss of the land for any other purpose. It would require acres of clearing for each turbine, new heavy-duty roads, and excavation (including blasting) for steel-reinforced concrete bases that would remain in the ground forever.

The motion and consequent noise and vibration of the giant turbines are a threat to flying animals -- birds, bats, and insects -- and would disturb the lives of animals on and in the ground.

Their height and required safety lighting would adversely transform the character of a rare natural landscape.

These and other impacts far outweigh the potential benefit of the facility as a source of nonpolluting renewable energy.

As you know, wind energy is highly variable, intermittent, and nondispatchable. Thus, integrating it into the grid is problematic.

Other sources must be kept available to balance the infeed from wind. They may continue to burn fuel in standby mode, burn fuel at lower efficiency in a ramped down state, or burn extra fuel in more frequent starts.

The beneficial effect of wind as a clean source of energy is therefore substantially diminished as a supplier to the grid.

In many cases, the infeed from wind may simply be absorbed as a tolerable variation in line voltage, thus not displacing any other source at all.

In sum, forest land and habitat should not be sacrificed for such a negligible potential benefit that will not measurably alter our energy use.

Reject the proposal of siting wind turbines in the National Forest.

The forest is not renewable.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism, human rights, animal rights, Vermont