Maple Ridge Wind Farm, upstate New York – the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi. Photo by Jon R. Vermilye, Lakeshoreimages.
New York State ranks 8th in the U.S. for installed and operational power generation from the wind. 1,274 megawatts. This is enough to power over 500,000 households. Or a region the size of, say, Rochester. Good, but a long, long way from really good.
For a bit of perspective, there are 19.5 million people in New York State – about 8 million households. This means that about 6% of the state’s households are powered by the state’s wind farms. Obviously we have to build renewable energy sources at a very different scale and rate in order to become truly sustainable and secure as quickly as it is clearly necessary.
So it came as a bit of an unhappy surprise to read an article this week in the local paper. It turns out that residents of counties and towns in the region around Rochester, where a range of wind turbine projects are being proposed, are filing law suits like crazy to stop construction.
A lawyer for the opposition claims that he believes “opposition to wind developments is growing.” The most often cited complaint about wind turbines in all the lawsuits: noise.
No acid rain, no burning coal, no noisy cooling towers, no railroad cars dumping mounds of coal, no tractors heaving the coal, no dumping residue into piles of slag. And no mountaintops being ripped off or blown up to mine the coal.
Come on, people. We have work to do here.