(File photo from “Portsmouth Patch” website.)
Portsmouth, Rhode Island….Once a seaside abode of staggering sailors, but now the abode of staggering costs, waffling politicians, and the airheaded dream of “free” electricity.
Because I myself love to dream, and have many airheaded tendencies, I too thought it sounded lovely to stick a pin-wheel up into the blue sky and escape electricity bills. However, because I have nose-dived and crashed and been burned so many times, (due to my airheaded tendencies,) I thought I’d do a bit of research before I surprised the heck out of my neighbors by popping a wind turbine up at my farm. Even ten years ago I couldn’t see how it could work, and that was before I knew about the annoying noise, the distracting flickering, and the death of birds and bats.
What troubled me was the problem of storing the electricity from windy days for use on calm days. I have a close friend who is a scholar at MIT, and we were trying to solve the problem of storage by inventing a huge fly-wheel that would pick up speed on windy days, and could generate power as it slowed on calm days. It actually was the best idea I’ve ever heard, but building it involved me writing a novel that sold a million copies, to raise the funds.
Fortunately I didn’t raise the funds, because I’d have a lot of angry neighbors by now, due the noise, flickering and dead creatures.
The people of Portsmouth are not so fortunate. Read all about it at this link, and take particular care to read the comments, which suggest other towns in Southern New England have struggled with the same problem, and have solved the problem by taking the “futuristic” wind turbines down.
A hat-tip to Sandy McGee for a well written post.