Wind Power in Wayland?
A WVN "Alert" that I received today raised the question of wind power as part of the Town Center.
It's not clear what WVN means by "Turbines large enough to produce significant amounts of electricity would almost certainly be intolerable for residents and customers." Do they mean noise? That would certainly be a fair objection. Or perhaps they mean appearance?
Originally Posted by WVN
I for one find wind turbines to be graceful additions to the landscape. Assuming that they make sense economically, I'd be all for having them be part of my view, whether driving through Wayland or gazing out from my compound in Hyannis.
A question--would it make sense (technically and economically) to put cell equipment on wind turbines? I'd hate to mar the sleek lines of the turbines with prickly-looking cell appendages, but might be worth consideration.
Not so graceful, and not so practical, either
When you say "graceful" you are probably talking about those big "propeller" designs that you see sticking up on a high ridge (or a huge tower), usually by the seaside. I would definitely oppose that design because the location is in the middle of perhaps the most important bird nesting and migration state in the state. Those things are also quite noisy. More likely they are talking about cylindrical turbines. These are not so graceful looking (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009...-small-acreage). Vertical turbines are quieter, but less efficient. This was the turbine that Solyndra died trying to monetize.
The big problem, though, is that you'd be locating the turbines on short towers in the lowest point in the topography. Logan had 40 mph winds the other day (from the Northwest). I have an anemometer on my roof, and I live in the middle of town on a hill. I got 29mph max that day. The state wind resources mapping tool (http://maps.massgis.state.ma.us/wind/) does not show any town in Metrowest as a possible wind site. Towns on the coast, especially with northwest facing coastline, are the potential sites listed, as well as towns with mountains (in the Berkshires).
What am I missing about the wind turbine debate that has so many people supporting Stop & Shop's efforts to install wind turbines at their Town Center location?
These turbines would supply 1% of their energy needs at the site.
What would hurt the environmental effort most is projects that fail. A project that generates little energy while being highly visible would be a disaster. It's the sort of thing that gives opponents of ideas that are actually good ones ammunition when they fight future projects.
Who would this project benefit? Not the people of Wayland. We would not look green just because we allowed a wind turbine in our town. We look green if we are green. Let's put solar panels at the landfill. Let's put solar panels on municipal buildings (if there are buildings that it makes sense to do it on). Let's encourage grocery stores to get rid of plastic bags and do more to encourage customers to bring their own. Let's find ways to reduce the number of plastic water bottles we generate, and to recycle more. Maybe there's somewhere to place a Natick REI-style parking lot with solar panels that generate tons of electricity while shading the cars that beneath them. Let's compost more, use fewer pesticides, collect our rain water, plant eco-grass, and stop watering our lawns.
Maybe there is a place in town that it would make sense to put a wind turbine. At 1% of their energy generation, this is the not the place, or at least not the time.
Let's not look green. Let's be green.
Last edited by Administrator; 06-23-2012 at 04:15 PM.
A quick correction - Solyndra did not make wind turbines. Instead, they made a type of solar PV module. Different technology altogether.
The Energy Initiatives Advisory Committee issued the following statement regarding Wind Turbines at their meeting last night:
I support this statement. I would have no problem with the proposed wind turbines if they proved successful. My concern is that they won't be. I hope that the success conditions defined in item #2 will be set to target the kind of project we could all be proud and excited about, and not such that we could end up showcasing an unsuccessful example of wasteful environmental spending.
Originally Posted by WIAC
I send my thanks to our environmental gurus who are watching over this process and being thoughtful and intelligent to bring out more and better environmental efforts in town.
I agree with Kim's summary. As a Green Community, Wayland should lean forward in supporting renewable and energy efficiency technologies and projects. The Energy Committee's statement strikes a balance between this support, welcoming Stop & Shop's voluntary sustainability efforts, recognition that they are funding the turbines using their own money (and thereby taking the financial performance risk), and desire that our town's sustainability efforts be focused first on reducing energy consumption, and then on renewable power generation using technologies that will make a meaningful contribution.
Perhaps Stop & Shop's sustainability measures will inspire other prospective tenants of the Town Center to do their part as well.
This is a brilliant suggestion.
Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt
In addition to the energy produced, these "solar roofs" can also produce shade, as Kim has pointed out, as well as shelter from rain and snow for shoppers.
Done tastefully, they could be more aesthetically pleasing than wind turbines, and give more bang for the buck.