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Support for renewable energy from windmills

December 18, 2013

[Editor’s note: Any decision concerning approval or rejection of plans for a controversial windmill project in Catskill State Park has been postponed until the Town of Denning, NY receives recommendations from Ulster County and its planning board.]

I advocated to the Ulster County Planning Board for a privately owned small wind project explaining the need for renewable energy. These projects must be many and diversely located with no one solution for an enormous problem. Neither wind, nor [solar] photovoltaic (PV), nor bio-wastes, nor small hydro, nor any of the individual renewables can be alone against the enormous challenge of reducing fossil and thermal fuels.

Due to interruptions I failed to show the neighborhood video tour. From nowhere can the windmill be seen through the dense forest, even without leaves, except near the old schoolhouse. The sound illustration, despite an audio malfunction, was a remarkable demonstration of bird calls and chirping around a quiet windmill.

• This windmill represents 12 railroad coal-hopper-cars not combusted. Avoiding coal is to the community’s “benefit.” Each small windmill helps with a tiny, incremental reduction in pollution.

• Fossil thermal generators to our west pollute us. One objector/advocate of flora and fauna does not understand this relationship.

• Another advocates solar PV, imported from China with our exported capital, jobs and pollution. Small windmills are substantially from North America.

This industry can’t survive unless protected from obstructive zoning and requires legislation similar to a farmers’ right to farm. Perhaps Gov. Cuomo understands the importance of small wind and will advocate protections.

Sherret E. Chase (owner of Chase Wind and Chase Construction Management)
Ashokan, NY