By Mary Kay Barton
I live in Wyoming County – home to 308 industrial wind turbines sprawling throughout five towns. Nobody here is getting “free” or reduced-rate electricity. No meaningful permanent jobs were created. Homes are selling below their assessed values, and Wyoming County tax rates are up 85 percent over the past 13 years, in direct correlation with the installation of wind factories here.
Oft-repeated claims by Big Wind salesmen that their projects “will power X number of homes,” are pure bunk. New York State currently has 20 installed wind factories, which are averaging only 24 percent of their rated capacities.
Since wind factories provide no firm capacity, they can’t even be said to power a light bulb reliably.
When the state’s first wind factories were built in 2000, New York was already receiving approximately 50 percent of its electricity generation from “emissions-free” sources – 19 percent from hydro, 29 percent from nuclear and 1 percent from all “other renewables” (wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, etc).
Unfortunately, nuclear’s significant contribution to the state’s electricity generation is not counted toward its “emissions-free” goal. Thus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mad push for “renewables” (aka, the unreliables) rages on.
After 15 years, 20 installed wind factories and tens of billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars thrown into the development of “renewables,” in 2015 the state was getting 23 percent from hydro, 30 percent from nuclear and 3 percent from all “other renewables.”
Since all those billions of dollars thrown into the wind over the past 15 years have only managed to garner a few measly percent of electricity generation from all the “other renewables” combined – could the governor and his political allies please explain how they think the state is going to magically hit the mark of 50 percent from “renewables” over the next 15 years? It is simply impossible – especially since electricity storage is not even close to being realistic.
Does Cuomo care that he is making life much harder for the citizens he is driving into “energy poverty,” and those whose most expensive life investments – their homes – are being devastated by his unattainable green energy policy? Is he purposely trying to drive people out of the state? Will Cuomo’s legacy be that of the guy who destroyed the state’s beautiful rural environment and wildlife for the consumer fraud of industrial wind?
As the song goes, “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone …”
Mary Kay Barton, of Silver Lake, Wyoming County, is a retired state-certified health science educator who has been serving over the past decade in local water quality organizations.