Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

Orleans Record Letter to the Editor

Photo of Sheffield Wind Turbines taken from on top of the Lowell Mountains 17 miles away

Sheffield Wind – Paul Brouha

To the Editor:I don’t have to wonder what it will be like anymore — now, with 16 wind turbines 420 feet high and their 153 foot long blades rotating, I know. Much of the time their often pulsating roar is like living near an eight-lane beltway or next to an airport where the planes never stop taking off. I say to myself, “This is forever.” The noise leaves me feeling depressed and angry because the value and peaceful enjoyment of our home and property has been taken away. This past couple weeks, as I sat at my deer stand my eye has been caught by the movement, not of antlers, but of the blades of eight turbines visible and rotating from our upper field. Even the deer seem more nervous and have become more nocturnal than in years past.I’ve received calls from residents from as far away as Lyndon, Kirby, and Westmore complaining about the blinking red aircraft collision avoidance lights at night. Neighbors are telling me they also can hear them and that they are shocked to see the turbines from “everywhere they go” — from local roads, from I-93 near Franconia Notch (40 miles away!), as well as from nearer ridge lines between Littleton and St. Johnsbury.

The anger and depression comes from the feeling that the State of Vermont and the environmental organizations (with one notable exception) have abetted and supported the desecration of the Sheffield and Lowell ridge lines. They have simply stood by and assumed we neighbors will bear the uncompensated environmental, social, and economic costs — “it’s only a few people” I’ve heard Avram Patt, Washington Electric Cooperative say. If so, then make it right — the “Vermont Way.”

In a larger context the anger and depression comes from the conclusion that the state, and particularly Gov. Shumlin, don’t care about us and aren’t caring for us. Why have I reached that conclusion? Because, in addition to the local damage these projects are causing, the draft state energy plan, Shumlin’s vendetta against Vermont Yankee, and the legislature’s strong “encouragement” that utilities include unreliably available, high cost renewable (wind) power in their portfolios are all going to ensure that our electric power costs a lot more in the future.

It’s not too late, however, to influence the current and proposed public policy and regulatory decisions as they are not yet fully implemented. Let your legislators and Gov. Shumlin know they need to find constructive solutions to keep rates low for consumers. They should not be arbitrarily raising energy costs by requiring our utilities to embed the significantly higher costs of wind energy in their portfolios.

Paul BrouhaSutton, Vt.

8 comments on “Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

  1. tony s says:

    Change is hard, eh Paul? Only a NIMBY would say such things about such a great project. Wind; yes please!

    • Tom says:

      I think if you read his letter, you would see he doesn’t want it in anyone’s back yard. Your NIMBY charge rings hollow.

  2. freddy crougar says:

    First of so everyone knows this photo of the sheffield project from the top of the lowells was taken with a 118.9mm focal length and that equals a 624mm zoom on a regular 35mm film camera. For a normal 35mm film camera the zoom lens would cost thousands and be about 10 inches in length therefore the photo is VERY disingenuous. If the pic was taken with the same field as the naked eye one could barely see the turbines. I live closer to sheffield and the turbines are tiny in my view from here!

    • Dups says:

      What isn’t disingenuous is the letter by Paul Brouha. ‘I don’t have to wonder what it will be like anymore — now, with 16 wind turbines 420 feet high and their 153 foot long blades rotating, I know. Much of the time their often pulsating roar is like living near an eight-lane beltway or next to an airport where the planes never stop taking off. I say to myself, “This is forever.”

      • freddy crouger says:

        ya um uh hmmm not sure what turbines Paul is talking about but we stopped just off underpass rd during the heavy wind a few days ago and could barley hear them and we were right under them only a few thousand feet at most. I honestly dont like the design of the clipper turbines but give me a break Paul sounds like an airport or 8 lane beltway? So Paul How about you post a you tube video or audio???? I would be more than willing to come take one for you even bring along a decibel meter how about that?? What a joke NIMBY type probably cant even hear or see them from his house!

  3. Sadtosee says:


    Have you ever heard of Mars Hill Maine?? Now Freddy pay attention and we will get you there…A turbine may not make a lot of noise when turning. This may be because the power output is low. Now (Ya still there Freddy?)when the turbine id deliverying 100% power the blades are under tremendous stress and the curvature of the blades will develope a whoosh. Also the hum of the actual generator you will here at it is rated at over 2000 hsp. Now Freddy ask your self “Does producing that much power at that elevation make a sound heard for quite a distance?”

    Please try and understand that theb people in the NEK are not stupid. We are shocked and amazed at the mess and destruction. Those for wind towers are making money either in taxes or land. Freddy do not be angry just listen with both ears !!!!

    • freddy crouger says:

      Ok Sadtosee Ill bite this once. Your clueless or brianwashed and I am done being polite. Its not the generator you hear it is the gearbox that whines. It is not the curvature of the blade the noise comes from. The woosh you refer to comes from the blade tips that can travel in excess of 200mph. Obviously I don’t need to ask myself if turbines make noise apparently you think I am an ignorant tool however in the “CONTEXT” of my comment (you anti windy’s seems to have a problem with using the whole context) I was saying its VERY doubtful Paul could hear the turbines from his home. His residence is just about a mile and a half away from them and while I will readily admit that he might hear them his 8 lane beltway airport crap is just that CRAP. Ya still there Sadtosee????

      • Sadtosee says:


        You need to open your ears and eyes a bit. The generator is part of the gear box assembly and is considered a skid. As the turbine comes up to full load (does not happen often enough lol) the shaft will oppose the direction of the blade and will therefore place more stress (sort of like you words on this blog) on the blade. A turbine freewheeling or at low loads will have much less noise.
        GMP recognizes the potential pits falls in noise levels as indicated in the lease agreement between the land owner in Lowell and GMP.

        Lowell is now being held up to the light and thousands are watching EVERTYTHING! If you think this will go away, think again. It is no longer the “Good Old Boys doing business as usual” Wind developers will have to TRY and lie about the Lowell project bad the cat is out of the bag little freddy and like the permanent destruction being done the truth will NEVER go away.
        Take a look at Mars Hill Maine and see what happened. Is it really worth the money to you?
        You attempts at arguments hold little facts and are quite off the mark Your childish remarks are like when a child gets caught with their hands in the cookie jar and he is busted… Now thousands of people (not a few nimbys as you say) are getting it…Freddy baby you can no longer defend your pathetic and disgusting words…..This horrible mess will never go away.
        You are probably alone and coupled to a computer in the gallows of your basement next to several empty Kool aid loaded with sugar.
        However, you may be drinking the wrong cool aid 🙂

        Consider the following stress relievers: Bowling, medieval flute playing, having lunch with your mommy, knitting or just going for a walk without thinking too much!!

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