No matter where you are in the viscinity of our farm, it is impossible not to notice twenty one 450 foot wind towers on top of Lowell Mountain. We have a direct western view of them, and all night they blink a vigil of nine red lights.
This morning, Matt and I had the opportunity to tour the wind project to finally see the towers up close. We really appreciate renewable energy – it fits nicely conceptually with regenerative agriculture.
We were met by friendly representatives from Green Mountain Power. They seemed really excited to talk to visitors about all of the efforts they have made to make the towers as clean as possible. From stopping the towers from turning at key bat activity times to innovative stormwater runoff efforts, they seem to have really worked to make the towers as sustainable as possible, though there still are small numbers of birdstrikes and some disruption of bear habitat. Due to the presence of the towers, the rest of the mountain is conserved and closed off to development.
Other visitors to the towers were mainly out-of-towners. We discussed good lunch places, education funding mechanisms and just general stuff. If you are on a tour of wind towers, the people with you are more likely than not like-minded nerds, I guess.
I thought back to the fear and opposition to this change. Certainly, there are some legitimate critiques about siting development like this in poorer areas (you’ll notice a lack of wind farms in Stowe!) and general concern about impacts on close neighbors (though both reflection and sound are actually really minimal). Nevertheless, there is a small but vocal group against further wind development. I can relate, as there are both legitimate critiques of animal agriculture and also an entrenched group that won’t be happy with anything but abolition.