Students support wind power project
These letters are written by students in science teacher Jonah Rosenfield’s class at Waynflete School, a private academy in Portland.
In reference to the Feb. 12 article “Group seeks allies to block new wind farm,” we believe the benefits of constructing a wind farm in Highland Plantation outweigh the supposed negatives. The wind farm’s effect on the scenery cannot be sugarcoated.
However, the cause for the second major complaint, noise produced by the turbines, has been greatly exaggerated. The closest year-round residence is a mile and a quarter away from the proposed site, and the noise generated by turbines has been fearfully distorted. The only complaints brought against the wind farm are not only insignificant, but unfounded.
This wind farm would supply 129 megawatts of renewable, zero emissions power. That is enough electricity to power the city of Portland, while 55 percent of Maine’s electricity is generated using oil and gas, resources that must be imported.
In contrast, Independence Wind, the company that would develop this project, is a Maine-based company. However, a “state”-centric argument is absurd compared to national security and global climate change. Dependence on fossil fuels is a ticking time bomb planted at the heart of all of modern civilization. Posterity may not long remember our words, but they will not be alive to remember anything if we do not act.
It was once said, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” We must lead the nation once more. If one person complains, let us assuage their fears, if one demands transparency, let them have it, but we must stand firm.
Stand firm, ye from Maine, for the hills of Pennsylvania have changed to the mountains of our own state and with them has changed the survival of the Union to the survival of the human race.
Kieran Hanrahan, John Pedersen and Cora Thaxton
We would like to take this opportunity to discuss the construction of Maine’s largest wind farm at Highland Plantation. We know that there has been controversy over its creation, and we want to address why it is a good idea to follow through with the plan.
While we realize that windmills’ noise and presence may be impeding for local residents living within a few miles of the site, we believe that with today’s initiatives to design more efficient energy sources, modifications can be made to the turbines to reduce these concerns.
The voices of the opposition cannot be considered in this process unless they actively pursue their campaign with vigor and factual support, which they have done sparingly until this point. The building ramifications would not be severe; the only major dilemma seems to be that of sound.
There are ways in which to reduce the decibel amount produced by the wind farm, which may not even be necessary considering the distance of homes from the farm.
On an economic level, this endeavor will be very productive. Independence Wind, the corporation heading this project, is a Maine business and will stimulate the state’s economy with the hiring of local employees for this project. The wind energy generated by this farm would be enough to power the entire city of Portland.
By building these 48 turbines, the state will receive much needed revenue for schools and local budgets from federal tax breaks on energy efficient equipment.
If we are to end our dependence on fossil fuels, we must look to long-term, not short-term solutions to power our world with alternative energy sources; these windmills will certainly serve that purpose.
Maine has the opportunity to be a leader in clean energy efficiency and stewardship of the Earth, and this is why we should build the wind farm.
Jonathan Sherman and Elena Britos
We support the construction of the proposed Highland Plantation wind farm, and we believe that the arguments against the project have gotten out of hand. Opponents of the proposed wind farm are complaining about the risk of sound disruption and health risks.
The reality is that turbines can only be heard up to half a mile away, and the nearest residence is a mile and a half away from the proposed site. New laws have been put in place to prevent similar issues such as this. In addition, there are no proven health risks and honestly, the annoyance is on the same level as living near a highway.
Opposers of the project should realize that the representatives on the wind turbine issue want only the best for Maine, as the state has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels.
Relying on fossil fuels requires the destruction of whole mountains and habitats, whereas the turbines merely disturb the view and a smaller area of nature. In addition, fossil fuels are derived from foreign land where soldiers are inclined to risk their lives in order to obtain this resource.
This project would be beneficial for residents because we would be in control of our own energy resource, while simultaneously boosting our local economy. Also, electricity would be cheaper for Maine residents which is necessary in this economy. Overall, what we will gain from the construction of these turbines (clean and affordable energy, new jobs, profit) heavily outweighs what will be lost.
Margaret Fisher and Dora Novey-Buttfield
I see why the residents of Somerset County oppose the building of the 48 wind turbines. The project would cost a staggering $230 million and the residents are worried about the noise and the view they will have after these huge wind turbines are put up.
Residents should not worry so much about the noise because the wind turbines will be built far enough away where people do not hear them.
The view will change, yes, but not by much. One portion of land will be altered to accommodate these 400-foot-tall turbines.
Some of the residents are also worried about the destruction of the wilderness, but each turbine put up only takes up a 24-foot concrete circle that is 5 feet deep.
The building of the wind turbines would give jobs to many people in Maine and produce enough energy to power Portland at full capacity.
Without these turbines Maine would not be doing a good job at using alternate energy.
We need to try and conserve our oil and energy and use our other sources of renewable energy.