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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 26, 2010


Reuters - U.S. wind power capacity soared 39 percent last year but job growth stalled as uncertainty about renewable-energy policies and the recession slowed manufacturing, an industry group said. . .

Total U.S. jobs associated with wind energy, stalled at 85,000, about flat from the previous year as the recession took a toll on manufacturing. In 2008, job growth surged as the sector added 35,000 positions

Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald, Vinalhaven - Dedicated two months ago with great fanfare, the Fox Islands Wind Project is producing plenty of power, but also, a sense of shock among some neighbors. They say the noise, which varies with wind speed and direction, ranges from mildly annoying to so intrusive that it disturbs their sleep. And they say they lament losing the subtle silence they cherish living in the middle of Penobscot Bay -- the muffled crash of surf on the ledges and the whisper of falling snow.

The folks living around North Haven Road aren't anti-wind activists. [Cheryl] Lindgren and her husband, Art, supported the project as members of the local electric co-op.

But now the Lindgrens are discovering what residents in other communities, including Mars Hill and Freedom, have learned: When large wind turbines are erected, some people living near them will find their lives disrupted.

That wasn't supposed to happen here. Co-op members on Vinalhaven and in neighboring North Haven endorsed the $15 million project as a way to hold down high electric rates and maintain a sustainable community. The developer, backed by the Rockland-based Island Institute, saw it as a model for other offshore towns.

In the wake of the complaints, the developer is taking extraordinary steps to try to lessen the impact. Several modest fixes are under way, and bigger ones are being considered, including some that could sacrifice energy output.

But the Vinalhaven experience also is being seen as a cautionary tale. Upon invitation, Art Lindgren and other neighbors have spoken at meetings in mainland towns where new wind farms are being proposed.

Meanwhile, wind power opponents are attempting to change the state noise standards by which projects are permitted. All this may complicate Maine's efforts to use its renewable resources to become more energy independent and create an industry around wind power.



Blogger PlanB247 said...

hmm... annoying noise or carbon, mercury and other toxin-spewing coal plants... or ridiculously expensive nukes with no way to ever get rid of the waste. I think I'll take the mildly annoying noise, thank you very much.

January 26, 2010 3:33 PM  
Blogger KM said...

Except you'll still need the coal and nuke plants, because the wind is intermittent, wildly variable, and nondispatchable. It can't replace reliable sources.

Furthermore, the noise is not "mildly annoying". See

January 27, 2010 11:36 AM  
Blogger KM said...

As the article notes, it's not just "mildly annoying" noise -- it's seriously intrusive and disturbing.

Plus, no coal or nuke plants will shut down, or even be used less, because of intermittent, highly variable, and nondispatchable wind energy.

January 27, 2010 1:20 PM  
Anonymous wellbasically said...

It's too bad these people in Maine couldn't become whales, then the liberals would care about the noise. But because they stand in the way of a liberal goal, they have to just suck it up.

January 27, 2010 1:44 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, then, screw it. Clean coal will save us...

January 27, 2010 1:46 PM  

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