by Willem Post
The rushing and not protecting the environment by state personnel is because they are afraid to offend politically-favored GMP by actions that might hinder it from cashing in on federal subsidies before deadlines.
This project would not be built without subsidies equivalent to at least 50% of the capital cost. Even with such subsidies, the wind energy cost is about 9.6 cents/kWh (per GMP), compared with an average grid cost of about 5.5 cents/kWh.
Balancing Wind Energy
In addition, the wind energy needs to be balanced with quick-ramping generation facilities, usually gas turbines, that ramp down with wind energy surges and ramp up with wind energy ebbings.
This requires the gas turbines to operate at a percent of rated output which is inefficient and simultaneously ramp up and down which is even more inefficient.
This causes increased wear and tear, increased O&M, increased fuel consumption, increased CO2 emissions and shorter useful service lives.
The annual balancing energy is about (1.0-0.32)/0.32 = 2.125 the annual wind energy.
The inefficient operation of the balancing plants uses so much extra fuel and creates so much extra CO2 emissions, that they almost completely offset the fuel and CO2 emissions wind energy was meant to reduce.
The extra costs of fuel, O&M, shorter useful service lives, etc., costs are not charged to politically-favored GMP.
The Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility would be a capital intensive, highly-visual, noisy facility (100 dB(A) minimum, 106.5 dB(A) maximum) that is proposed to be built on environmentally-sensitive ridge lines.
The wind turbines would be about 466.5 feet tall, equal to a 40-story building, with noise-making rotors.
People living within about 2 miles would be disturbed by around-the-clock machinery noises and an irregular din of whoosh-type sounds, especially during nighttime.
The noise will be similar to (21) 18-wheelers spread out on 3.5 miles of ridge lines on top of 280-ft towers simultaneously and continuously running their engines at a distance, 24/7/365 for 20 or more years; a total madness cooked up by GMP, aided and abetted by its minions in Montpelier.
Decision makers in Montpelier are far away from it all. They will likely not heed the complaints from those who live near the facility. They will likely not heed the complaints from the fauna and flora currently inhabiting this pristine ridge line.
Because of them, Vermonters are in danger of loosing an international reputation of being preservers of their environment, in danger of loosing a part of their soul.