Thursday, December 24, 2009

Green Energy hits a stumbling block - Not in Your Back-Lakeshore

Plan for wind energy farm on Lake Michigan has neighbors howling

Its NIMBY tilting at Windmills.
proposal to construct a massive wind turbine farm, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of power, over 100 square miles of Lake Michigan, a few miles offshore from Pentwater and Ludington, has many residents howling.

At a meeting in Ludington last week, residents gasped and jaws dropped when developers unveiled drawings showing 100 building-size turbines spinning within sight of Lake Michigan beaches.

"Would anyone put these in the Grand Canyon? This is our Grand Canyon, our beautiful spot," said Pentwater resident Mary Stiphany, adding that the hulking turbines would obstruct views and hurt tourism. "It would be such an eyesore."

The response is an indication that making the dream of alternative energy real in a spot as treasured as the Great Lakes may be harder than imagined.
Renewable energy has consequences and costs too, and blocking some scenic views with one hundred to two hundred 35-story high wind turbines would be one of them.

The again I'm surprised the people wouldn't feel wonderfully virtuous to gaze out on a massive farm of 200 spinning turbines in front of their formerly scenic beaches and lakescapes.

Of course, a nice compact nuclear plant would take up much less room and produce more, and more reliable, power to boot. But we can't have that in this brave new green world.


Expatriate Owl said...

I hasten to observe that in the Netherlands, they put pictures of their windmills on postcards, promotional literature and tourist tzatzkes. And the tourists flock to the Netherlands to SEE the windmills.

In Jerusalem, everyone laments that the historic windmill in the Rechavia neighborhood is obscured by the Kings Hotel and the Dat building.

And here on Long Island, the preservationists (myself included) are actually trying to PRESERVE the remaining windmills [].

Maybe if they would plant tulips by the wind turbines. Or, better still, stop calling them "turbines" and start calling them "windmills!"

Aaron said...

Interestingly, the west side of Michigan, where these windmills are proposed is heavily Dutch-American.

Perhaps they're sick and tired of being associated with windmills, wooden clogs and tulips? :)