Industrial wind turbines—turbines over 40 stories tall—do not belong towering over East Grand Lake, Maine.

Industrial wind turbines—turbines over 40 stories tall—do not belong towering over East Grand Lake, Maine. Period.

It is not a question of whether the government subsidies that make these projects profitable for the developers are a fair and just use of tax-payer monies; or whether wind power is truly Green; or whether the intermittent power produced by these monstrosities can even be delivered to the end-users at a fair and equitable rate; or whether the promised tax revenues and outright bribes paid to the local communities and their leaders justify the destruction of some of the most scenic vistas of Maine; or whether any lasting local jobs are created with their construction and operation. It is a question of whether these turbines belong next to—towering over—East Grand Lake. They don’t. It’s that plain and simple.

The industrial wind turbines do not belong towering over a lake steeped with a tradition of sporting camps and summer cottages; of trolling for land-locked salmon shortly after ice out, or of fishing through holes cut in its ice. People have been coming to East Grand Lake year after year for many generations to enjoy boating, fishing, sailing, sledding, hunting—to get away from the noises and stresses of more populated areas in which they live. There aren’t many places like East Grand Lake anymore. Lakeshores are being over developed, lakes are becoming crowded, and their waters are not as clear or as cold. Folks come here to get away, not to gaze at the distant ridgeline and be reminded of their worlds back home filled with the constant noise of traffic or the washed-out city night skies where one is lucky to see just a few of the very brightest stars.

The industrial wind turbines do not belong towering over East Grand Lake because they will destroy its scenic beauty. They will be visible from all over the lake whether you are out in a boat rounding Hayes Point or deep in the Arm. You will see them from the scenic turnout on Route 1 in the Million Dollar Viewing area—though with the turbines in the distance the turnout will need to be renamed to something like “Former Million Dollar View.” You will see the turbines at night, their red safety lights will dot the horizon, flickering as their blades pass between you and them, ruining what used to be a perfect view of the night time skies. You will hear them too. They will destroy the tranquility of East Grand Lake nights. You will hear their constant drone, and wish for the peacefulness they have ruined. These turbines will ruin the character of the lake with their presence on the ridge-line, with their red lights at night, and their noise whenever they operate. They don’t belong on the ridge-line towering over the lake. It’s just that simple.

Industrial wind turbines do not belong towering over East Grand Lake. Wide new roads will be needed to install and access these monstrosities; new clearings will be needed to site them; new long wide cuts for transmission lines will be needed as well. Rain and snow-melt will have to be diverted to prevent the lake water from clouding. The loss of vegetation will allow the rain runoff faster entry into the lake, warming and changing the water quality from north to south. As the water quality decreases, the lake water temperature will rise and East Grand will suffer. Deer and moose, not accustomed to the droning noise, will vacate the area. Eagles and other birds and bats will be put in harm’s way by these turbines, whether through actual strikes or from experiencing drastic air pressure changes near the blades. The sound of the loons echoing up and down the lake at night is East Grand Lake. These hostile turbines must not drown out the loons. Forty story tall turbines do not belong towering above East Grand Lake.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection will be the permitting agency for the Greenland Ridge wind farm, the state agency tasked with the responsibility “for protecting and restoring Maine's natural resources and enforcing the state's environmental laws.” Let us all hope they do protect Maine’s natural resources. Forty story tall turbines do not belong towering above East Grand Lake.

Bill Beavers
June, 2012