Letter to the Editor
June 11, 2008
Wind turbine decision was rushed into
To answer the question posed on page 1 of last week's Times: YES, I believe that the town has rushed into the wind turbine project!
First, I am an environmentally conscious architectural lighting designer and therefore inherently "green minded." I also agree wholeheartedly with Ron Russo's comments. And I'm sure that all of the volunteers on the Barrington Exploratory Wind Power Committee are "good, knowledgeable people" as stated by Peter DeAngelis. But this issue should not pass just because good, knowledgeable people have painted the picture they had intended to paint from day one.
This wind turbine issue certainly feels like a rush to get the funding, which by the way, although interest free, is nothing that should be rushed into, no matter how great the desire to go-green may be.
Here are some additional questions and thoughts for the town to consider:
1. How can such a small committee rush so quickly into such a massive endeavor without a thorough feasibility study?
2. Mr. DeAngelis said, "there were plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in the decision process." Is "two meetings" plenty? and what does he mean by "decision" process? It's called the exploratory committee, not the "Rush To Decide — Secure The Money — Then Hope It All Works Out" committee.
3. How competent can the committee be when the graphics portrayed to the townspeople were not done to the correct scale and were shown from a favorable viewpoint and distance?
4. Why was there not a plan view of the proposed location printed in the newspaper? I still do not have a sense of the intended location on the BHS campus.
5. Why, when the turbine is 246 feet tall, would only the residents in an 800-foot radius be notified about the opportunities to express their concerns? Why not a distance of 1,500 feet, which would represent a viewing angle of approximately 10 degrees above horizontal eye level?
6. Have any multi-season wind velocity tests been conducted at the precise location (and elevation)?
7. The turbine at Portsmouth Abbey is smaller and it cost approximately $1.2 million only a few years ago. Why is this one twice the price?
8. Why would such an important, high impact, high cost project not be a ballot issue?
9. If Mr. DeAngelis is going to throw down the "NIMBY" card he should be cognizant of the fact that the BHS is in everyone's back yard. How many people of Barrington pass by the intersection of County and Federal roads at least twice per day? My estimate: 60 to 80 percent.
10. Why not spend the time to do a thorough feasibility study, including consideration of the possible passage of legislation that would allow the power from the wind turbine to be routed from the optimum (windiest) location to the BHS?
I live about 805 feet from the BHS, but do not consider myself a NIMBY. I'm more of a NIIHBFE (Not If It Hasn't Been Fully Evaluated), kind of person.
43 Upland Way