Demystifying Common Myths of Wind Power
With all the hoopla going around for and against wind farms going up all over the US, including here on the Great Lakes and off of Nantucket Sound, I feel it is important to weigh in with a little fact checking on "not-in-my-backyard" (NIMBY) claims. After reading all the comments that are inevitably posted to every article involving the wind industry, I feel it is important to quash all the falsehoods associated with wind power.
I’ll start by saying that I am first and foremost pro-environment before anything else. If "evidence" is ever found during an environmental impact study that a wind farm will harm the local ecosystem, I will be the first in line to oppose it’s construction. Now let’s see some comments from these related links.
First let’s start with the argument that "wind turbines do not produce enough electricity to be a viable investment." If this was true, then even with government subsidies, wind farm developers would go bankrupt soon. Instead wind farms are a 30 year success story in the US alone. My favorite success story is of farmers in Minnesota and their community owned wind crop.
"Wind turbines kill a lot of birds." This is also not true. With new asynchronous turbine generator technology, wind turbines spin at about 12 rotations per minute. Birds have better eyesight than humans and we can see them just fine. A friend of mine who works on a wind farm in Oregon says he sees more birds fly into the window at the visitors center than he does into wind turbine blades. Other technologies are also being implemented to ensure the safety of birds such as radar devices that detect incoming bird flocks that shut down the turbines if they are on a collision course.