Another Voice: Lake Erie can’t afford the ill effects from wind turbines – Buffalo News

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By Rich Davenport

Wind energy has proved through production data to not be suitable for the industrial grid and commercial use.

The New York Independent System Operator real-time energy dashboard shows this, as most often wind is contributing less than 1% of the total production in the state, including recording zero production with alarming frequency.

Meanwhile, as the state closes coal plants and grows wind factories, our shortfall of electrical energy has grown between 2,000 and 4,000 megawatts (load vs. output) throughout each day.

New York is importing energy, from Pennsylvania – from their coal plants, which doesn’t count on our “output portfolio” – smoke and mirrors for “green appearance.” Wind, as a fuel, does not deliver what is demanded by the grid – consistent, reliable, always on electricity.

The Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie, are simply too small to sustain industrialization at the expense of the drinking water. The life in the lake keeps the water healthy – a lesson learned during the last industrial folly that left the lake dead by 1970. From dead lake to the best fishery in the United States, a RAMSAR designated wetland of international importance for biodiversity and a waterfront impossible to enjoy due to the stink of industrialization, algae and swarms of insects, to a destination to enjoy sunsets and dinner along the shore. Do we ever learn?

Block Island has proved to be a disaster for fish with fully gas-filled swim bladders, as the infrasound from operational turbines has displaced the Atlantic cod, for miles. Most fish species in a freshwater ecosystem are those with fully gas-filled swim bladders, and the proposed turbines will displace walleye, bass, yellow, perch, emerald shiners, rainbow smelt and others for at least a 3-mile radius from each operational turbine, perhaps farther.

We learned how bad infrasound, or low frequency noise, is to aquatic life back in the 1990s. No fishing organization locally supports Great Lakes offshore wind.

Development of thorium fuel breeder reactors will deliver emission-free electricity. NYISO and NYSERDA both agree that investment in grid infrastructure and adding heat pumps would boost grid output by 30% without adding a single new power generation source.

All of the above can be done at less cost than wind factories, especially offshore, where it will cost billions just to try and land the power to shore, at taxpayer expense. Do we really want an unreliable electric grid, exponentially higher electric bills and frequent rolling blackouts?

Rich Davenport, of Tonawanda, is a regional alternate director for the New York State Conservation Council.

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