Cohocton Wind Watch: Setback for turbines important part of wind law
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Setback for turbines important part of wind law

Ten years ago, my husband Terry and I came close to signing a wind lease without doing basic research or taking the lease to a lawyer. It seemed so simple -- we could make money and be good citizens at the same time. It was only when we read about noise and significant health issues that we had second thoughts about the enormity of the projects, but then we felt guilty because wind was green and great for the environment. Wasn’t it?

Our skepticism about the green potential started on the night we did some math, and Terry calculated that it would take approximately 50 turbines to power one shopping mall. Over time we learned that all around the world, noise was a problem.

We also learned that inland wind turbines work at only 10 percent of their rated capacity. On top of that they often need to be shut down during winter, because of high winds and icing.

Prattsburgh needs a wind law to protect the people who live in the project area. We would have liked to see much larger setbacks than are in the proposed law, but we understand the need to compromise. Interestingly, the overwhelming number of people who are complaining about adoption of an adequate wind law do not live in the project area.

They deny that commercial wind has any ill effects, which is hard to understand when the evidence is as close as Cohocton.

If a wind project is built in Prattsburgh, then it must have adequate setbacks. People in the project area should be able to sleep at night, leave their windows open in summer and should not need blackout curtains to avoid shadow flicker. A wind law will help ensure that.

Ruth Matilsky
Prattsburgh, NY

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