FREEDOM — Residents here want more information before an energy company erects three 400-foot wind turbines on a ridgeline above their town.
While some residents have hailed Competitive Energy Systems’s proposed $10 million wind turbine project on Beaver Ridge without apparent reservation, others are requesting more caution.
Members of Windwise, a grassroots group of perhaps 20 members, are calling for a six-month moratorium on the wind turbines’s construction to give them time to do more research.
They will discuss their concerns at 7 p.m. Friday at Freedom Congregational Church.
“We want more hard data regarding wind turbines, and particularly their effects on nearby property owners,” Erin Wade said. “We’re concerned that there’s not a lot of research regarding wind turbines in residential areas.”>/p>
The energy company did erect an anemometer to study wind speed and persistence for the past 16 months, but has not provided much information on how the turbines might impact the surrounding human and animal habitats.
But the blades will not rotate faster than one revolution every three seconds, and should not pose a problem to flying birds, according to proponents.
The turbines could go up in the summer of 2007.
The three 400-foot turbines might not block a known bird migrating path, but they do stand within a half-mile of a bird rehabilitation center in Freedom. Avian Haven co-founder and manager Diane Winn said she is concerned about the situation, but needs more information to form a position for or against the turbine’s presence.
“There’s a lot of conflicting information out there,” Winn said. “So the issues that we are facing here in Freedom are: Would the turbines be annoying to the human population, and would it be annoying to the birds we treat here?”>/p>
Winn said the facility treats roughly 900 birds every year and houses birds in about a dozen large enclosures. From the research she has gathered, it appears that the number of birds killed by striking the 130-foot turbine blades would be low when compared to the number of deaths from cat predation or other causes.
Still, she would still like to see more information about how the project will specifically affect Freedom, Winn said.
“Right now, we’re just tying together as much information as we can,” she said. “We, like many people in Freedom, are simply trying to learn more about the situation.”>/p>