I was born and raised in Walnut. My family has owned a farm in Lee County for 110 years. I am strongly opposed to the Green River Wind Farm Phase I project.
I have a background with the energy situation we are facing in the United States and the rest of the world. I was co-chairman of the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) for 14 years, now Chairman Emeritus for the remainder of my life. The organization is based in Washington, D.C., and is the largest and most productive energy conservation group in the world. We do little lobbying, and our staff focuses their time developing major programs to save energy. .
I was also president of OSRAM Sylvania for 18 years. We were the largest lighting company in the world, and our focus was developing energy saving light sources. Our sales were about $6 billion which is about 3.5 times the size of General Electric’s Lighting Company. That was my full-time job, although I spent considerable time, effort and money growing the ASE.
Following are a few facts about the generation of electricity with wind power:
1. According to experts in and out of government, wind can provide less than 10 percent of our energy needs. The cost of producing energy from wind is outrageous, and the payback for wind projects is about 25 years, excluding billions of dollars of government subsidies which are not included in the payback but are paid from our federal taxes.
2. Based on the efficiency of wind power, we would be better off using the money to develop other power sources (not solar). The development of our natural gas reserves would be much more cost effective. We should also pursue the development of fuel cells; this is a clean and more practical energy solution than wind.
3. If you really think wind should be pursued, the towers should be in remote places like the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona. The windmills make noise, and they require regular maintenance. I can’t imagine putting these devices on our farmland. Getting one windmill installed and maintained will destroy many acres of the finest agricultural land in the world. Think about the impact these devices have on dairy herds and other farm animal ... Whoosh, Whoosh …
4. The power that is generated cannot be depended upon because if the wind doesn’t blow, excess capacity for generating electricity by other means has to be put in place by our utility companies anyway — more wasted money and higher energy costs are the result.
5. The only way wind could be counted on to supply power to the grid would be to store it some way and release it when required. The battery technology to accomplish this does not exist. Development of large capacity quick charge, efficient batteries to store energy and pass it on to the grid when needed is nowhere.
I could go on and on. My vote for this wind farm project is NO! You couldn’t pay me enough to offset the negatives. What a waste of money! Somebody is getting a lot of money for this technology, but it is certainly not the taxpayers or electricity customers.
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla