Thursday, April 27, 2006

24 square miles? Heck! I'd be against it too!

Environmentalists appear to be gearing up for a fight with one of their main allies, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. The enviros want to push ahead with a federal bill to fund a windmill farm in Nantucket Sound, 8 miles from Kennedy's home. There would be 130 windmills spread over a 24 square mile area of the ocean. Sheesh! Think of the carnage to the bird population! It would be a new form of road kill!

Kennedy's bid to block the proposal is a rider on a Coast Guard bill, so his fellow Congresscritters are looking to get rid of the rider on procedural grounds.

I wonder about that 24 square mile bit. This project is supposed to provide 420 Megawatts of power. That's about 3-and-a-quarter Megawatts per windmill. These things are at least 40 stories tall and they'll be situated smack dab in the middle of the Sound (see the map).

It just seems like too much sea room to devote to these things. I guess it's a creative way to get more of them packed into one area without using up real estate.

And consider: 420 Megawatts. That's 42% of the capacity of a single atomic power plant, and it takes 130 windmills to get even that much.

On a lighter note, back in September Greenpeace was giving a tour of the Sound to promote the windmill project. All of a sudden, "like circling sharks," a flotilla of 20 boats carrying wind farm opponents pulled a "Greenpeace": they hounded and harried the Greenpeace vessel, "sounding loud horns, waving banners and shouting, 'Go home!' " That's the spirit! Right near the site of the Boston Tea Party, too!

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