Lovko: Against the windmills

CENTER RUTLAND, VT.

Yale is not talking about its proposed wind turbine project, but the people in Ira, Vt. are. The project — to build approximately 45 windmills on the Vermont Community Wind Farm on land partially owned by the Yale Endowment — has generated a large grassroots opposition in Ira and its surrounding towns. Petitions have been signed and towns have filed formal opposition to the project with the state Public Service Board. The controversy has been picked up by the media: television and radio stations are covering it and our local newspaper, the Rutland Herald, has published donzens of letters expressing opposition. A large number of people responded to last week’s article in the News (“Yale-backed wind plan incites controversy” Sept. 30) with negative comments about this proposal.

We have made numerous attempts to contact Yale in protest regarding this project. Up until now we have received little to no response. The people we’ve reached have been unwilling or unable to refer us to who might be able to respond to our concerns.

I am strongly opposed to this project for many reasons. Ira and the surrounding towns are small rural enclaves nestled among beautiful mountains. This project would drastically change the very essence of these towns from their quiet rural heritage into large industrial electrical complexes, and would do so against their wishes.

Yet, the Yale Endowment is invested in this project. Those behind the plan are not only ignoring the people, but the towns’ plans; most of these communities have rules similar to zoning ordinances that prohibit ridge line development.

While on the surface this wind turbine complex appears “green,” in reality it is anything but. This project is purely and simply about money and greed, and will destroy the very environment it is supposedly saving. The turbines will result in habitat destruction and fragmentation, mountain-top blasting, light pollution, erosion, and water degradation, and lots of noise. New road construction and the use of heavy equipment will damage the sensitive slopes.

The people will not only suffer from the change in the nature of their towns, but from very real property devaluation, flickering lights, and noise pollution. I am a supporter of alternative energy sources and know that these sources are part of the solution to our energy problems. However, without careful thought of how and where we develop these resources their creation can do more harm than good. This project is one such instance.

I hope that those who manage Yale’s Endowment will reconsider its involvement in this wind farm proposal. My views of Yale have been lowered because of its involvement in this proposal. I am not alone.

From a public relations standpoint this is a loss for Yale as it appears to be motivated by greed at the expense of small rural towns who pay the costs for Yale’s profits. I hope Yale will rise to the occasion and hold itself to the same high standards it holds its students and faculty to by not profiting at the expense of others.

Teddi Lovko is a resident of Center Rutland, Vt., a town approximately seven miles from Ira, Vt.

Comments

  • Anita Toppin

    I agree 100% with what Teddi Lovko says. I have lived in Ira, VT for 30 years and chose to live here because of its rural character. We have no school, no public water, no public waste system, no police, no streetlights and little to no traffic. But we chose to live here because of those very things. Our town plan excludes ridgeline development because it is those mountains that really define our community. We do not want industrial growth. Mountains are not renewable and it would be a crime to blast and destroy them so that we can have power that will not be cheaper and certainly will not be constant. Instead of rushing into this in the heat of alternative energy sources, I would rather see us patiently find a way to provide this renewable energy in a way that we will not have to sacrifice nature’s beauty and bounty the way we mistakenly allowed strip mining at one point in our history. Let’s not find out years from now that this is a regretable mistake.