Parts of the new effort to diversify Vermont's sources of electrical energy are a number of proposed wind farms. In Vermont, these are planned for the tops of ridges where the winds register at speeds that qualify for strong generation capabilities.
One of the proposed locations for up to twenty wind towers is on the ridge surrounding Grandpa's Knob on the western side of Pittsford and Florence, including other townships to the south and west. This tip of the Taconic range is part of our view to the west. Upon hearing about the intent to add one or more wind turbines near the Radio tower on the knob, I was sorry to think about another presence on an otherwise clean ridgeline, but I was ready to accept change with the belief that we all need to welcome renewable energy initiatives to assure us of safe new options for a post-Yankee Nuclear power plant state.
After attending the meeting proposing a twenty tower project with towers up to 490' in height among the possible installation plans, I am less certain this project is compatible for this area. The proximity to residents has the potential for significant negative impacts on their lives, and the addition of numerous towers will change the natural character and habitat of the mountains Vermonters treasure.
We need to add a variety of new power generation facilities that include wind, solar, hydro, and biomass, but we need to be careful not to sacrifice more than we gain in the process. For me, the jury is still out on the wisdom of this particular project, but it will almost certainly require compromise in many areas to add the renewable energy we need.