Massachusetts is generally a pretty liberal state. Green energy is popular there. However, recently there have been some events that have caused some state residents to question the wisdom of ‘going green.’
On February 13th (updated February 14th) The Cape Cod Times reported:
After years of running into roadblocks, residents who live near Future Generation Wind made some headway Wednesday night when the Plymouth Board of Health unanimously voted to declare the four turbines along Route 25 a nuisance.
“We want to do justice to this and to all the parties involved,” board Chairwoman Birgitta Kuehn said.
The board also unanimously voted to take action on the turbines within a reasonable time.
Up to 30 residents from Bourne and Plymouth crowded into the meeting room to complain again about how the turbines negatively affect their lives on a daily basis.
“It is amazing to me that these turbines were built in a residential area,” board Vice Chairman Barry Potvin said. “This is clearly something the Board of Health has to take up, because we are sworn to protect the health and safety of the people who live in this area.”
The article explains some of the difficulties in removing the turbines:
The four 500-foot ConEdison Solutions wind turbines were installed in June 2016. They sit close to the Bourne border, but because they are located in Plymouth, it has been difficult for Bourne residents to fight through their own town government.
Since their installation, the Buzzards Bay Action Committee, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserve and protect Buzzards Bay, has collected approximately 360 complaints from residents in the area. Complaints include shadow flicker, nausea, vertigo, sleep disturbance, headaches, anxiety and sound disturbances.
The article concludes:
In October 2018, the Bourne Board of Health found the turbines were a nuisance and sent a letter to the Plymouth Board of Health, Planning Board, Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals, which is responsible for licensing the turbines. No action had been taken since.
If the turbines are removed it would mirror what happened to the two turbines that were at the Falmouth wastewater treatment plant.
After residents in that town complained of the negative impacts from the turbines, a Barnstable Superior Court judge ordered in 2013 that neither turbine could spin again. The November town meeting voted to spend $2.5 million to dismantle the turbines.
The Falmouth turbines, however, were town-owned on town property. The Plymouth turbines are on private property and are owned by a private company.
Moving forward, members of the Buzzards Bay Action Committee plan to attend the Plymouth selectmen’s meeting Feb. 25 to further discuss the issue and possible next steps.
So let’s look at some of the consequences of this particular rush to ‘green energy.’ The residents whose electricity comes from the company that put up the windmills have paid for the installation of the windmills in the form of higher electric rates. Since Massachusetts’ electric customers have an option to choose their electric provider, I suspect the company has lost customers. Meanwhile, I would guess that the rates for the remaining customers have increased. The residents of the towns involved are also expected to use their tax money to dismantle the windmills. This adventure into ‘green energy’ which relied on government subsidies rather than the free market has been a lose-lose for the residents of the towns involved.
The only reasonable path to ‘green energy’ is the free market. Even at that, it may be that the search for ‘green energy’ is similar to the never-ending search for a perpetual motion machine, a concept that totally ignores the basic principles of physics.