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You can't make the wind blow on demand . . . or make it stop

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Who would have imagined Grafton Country would be Ground Zero for New Hampshire's anti-wind movement, pitting people power against wind power?

Economics is what's causing the greatest drag on wind power today. Lagging wind seen at Groton wind power plant have prompted residents to tilt against additional wind turbine plants for the area.

As the future of worldwide wind expansion scales itself back, the New Hampshire government wants to move forward? Additional wind plans for this region, coming without data from the Groton wind plant, makes no sense. Residents are concerned.

Too much, too fast is what's happening here. Economics must be discussed first, before another project can be approved.

Is Groton simply a case study for what is to come for the rest of New Hampshire? Are we not paying close enough attention to our cautionary tale — Groton Wind? Would taking a look at Groton Wind reports be essential reading for N.H. energy officials as they look for the light at the end of our wind tunnel?

What has happened at Groton? That information provides a valuable lessons regarding how appealing or unrealistic wind plants are in this area. What are underlying costs, problems, concerns, impacts, and the complexity of that wind power plant?

Over the past year, the N.H. government has looked the other way on the Groton wind plant. Now is the time to discuss Groton before we rapidly sign other wind contracts.

You can create electricity, burning coal or natural gas, when needed. But you can't make the wind blow on demand, and sometimes you can't make the wind stop blowing. Doesn't make sense, does it?

In New Hampshire, wind tends to produce power when consumers don't need it. And on the flip side... too much wind creates an operational problem that requires reducing output from hydro, nuclear, and/or other wind turbines.

I wonder if a New Hampshire bean counter will ever get to see Groton's numbers. Lessons from the Groton power plant provides valuable insights on what's to come for our area. So why don't we have access to those numbers?

Makes you wonder — doesn't it?

Ray Cunningham