No, This Would Be the Best Form, If We Were Going to Allow You to Produce Energy

This is one of those stories that leaves the reader unsure of whether to laugh or cry:

Save The Bay, the leading environmental organization in Rhode Island, is opposing a plan to erect a wind turbine at Black Point, a coastal property in Narragansett that was preserved two decades ago using state open-space bonds.
The Providence-based organization joined Tuesday with five other environmental advocacy groups — all supporters of green energy — to send a letter to Governor Carcieri that raises questions about the project. The plans being developed by the state Department of Environmental Management and the Town of Narragansett include the installation of up to six large wind turbines at various sites in the town.

First of all, I wonder whether it mightn’t be time for Save the Bay to consider a name change, inasmuch as thwarting wind turbine projects takes the group out of the water, so to speak. Moreover, to the extent that we hinder production of energy of any sort, we increase pressure for alternate solutions, such as the LNG terminal that would bring large, traffic-clearing vessels into our waters, where they’ll unload their product through a pipeline away from the dock.
The underlying issue is a bit more fundamental, though:

Jonathan Stone, executive director of Save The Bay, said his organization is against any plan to put up a wind turbine at Black Point because, he contends, it would be an industrial use that would mar an otherwise pristine landscape.

Call it NIMBYism, or whatever you like, but there’s a strain in the modern mentality that wishes for everything to be produced — whether dinner or electricity — with no visible sign… at least in the lives of the advocates.

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14 years ago

How does Mr. Stone manage to go through life bearing the awful burden of knowing that he is among the betters among us that deserve to be allowed privilege. I would think the use of the property for alternative energy would be considered something to put on display, especially in a place where the most output can be derived.
I know the sound this guy is making, and it is an awful lot like your standard expression from an anal orifice.
What a jerk! Is this condescension something brought on by the air in the southern coastal regions?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
14 years ago

Let’s face it, “wind farms” are green, feel good and relatively cheap. But, they are not a reliable form of power generation. Since the total supply of electricity on the “grid” cannot be “ramped up” quickly, full generation will still have to be provided. This because a fall off in the wind cannot be immediately covered by other production methods. People seem to have the idea that we canno just “switch over” when the wind fails. “Switching over” assumes that the power is available.
RI should give more thought to tidal generation, that is in fact reliable and predictable.

14 years ago

Taxpayers voted and paid for this land to be preserved as open space. Some respect you guys have for democracy. How about some cell towers there too?
This is a public land grab, which I guess fools some folks so long as it’s covered in greenwash. Is that what conservatives stand for now in this state?

14 years ago

I fully agree with Warrington Faust wind farms are not the answer and are unreliable alternate energy power resources. They can wreck havoc on the power grid causing it to trip out with fluctuations due to changing wind speeds.
In Hawaii the Marine Corps Base and US Navy are completing 2-year proof of concept tests on Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) PowerBuoy® which is 1 mile offshore sitting 14 ft out of the water (about normal height of a regular ocean buoy) and generates constant electricity by the bobbing motion of waves driving a piston like generator device up and down that is located under water. A power cable is fed back to shore.
PowerBuoys® are deployed in Spain, Scotland, England, and States of New Jersey and Oregon beside Hawaii. The 40KW and 150KW PowerBuoys® can be connected together to create megawatt power farms that do not have the same visual pollution and unpredictability as wind farms and also wave motion is very predictable and constant.
Estimated average cost of electrical power generated from a PowerBuoy® is about $0.10/KW about $0.01/KW more than what National Grid indicates it pays for Rhode Island electric power and $0.09/KW less than what Deepwater Wind wants to sell its offshore wind farm electricity to National Grid.
But then of course we a talking about Rhode Island and Save the Bay would say no to PowerBuoys® because they would be industrial use, visually pollute the bay and take away fishing and quahog shellfishing space not to mention pleasure boating space.

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