March 9, 2010

Letters to the editor: March 9, 2010

Students support wind power project

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A windmill in Vermont occupies a forested, mountainous site. Proposed Maine wind farms would be built on similar terrain.

The Associated Press

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.

(Continued on page 2)

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