‘Editor’s Notebook’ A Visit to the Wind Farm: My Missed Opportunity

It’s graduation season, and last weekend my sister...

It’s graduation season, and last weekend my sister-in-law threw a well-deserved party for our niece Monica who has completed high school. So, as planned, less than 24 hours (!) after I got home from NAA in New Orleans, I packed my overnight bag and we drove the five or so hours up to the Syracuse, NY area.

A highlight of my socializing with friends and family was the discovery that just 30 minutes away from my sister-in-law is a working wind farm. MHN reports on renewable energy trends, but here was an opportunity to see a real wind farm up close and personal… or at least from the viewing area outside. Located in Madison County, the Fenner Wind Farm produces electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of over 7,800 homes. The farm is owned by Enel North America and comprises 20 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines. It has been in operation since 2001 according to Community Energy whose page I landed on when Googling “Fenner Wind Farm.” Community Energy “leads the development and availability of fuel-free renewable energy with wind and solar power.” Its customers are utilities, businesses, institutions and individuals.

Unfortunately the graduation festivities went on longer than expected and my family vetoed the detour to the Fenner Wind Farm. But here’s a (not very flattering) stock art picture I found.

Even though this isn’t a great picture, I don’t agree that the turbines are ugly; in fact, I think they look quite graceful. What do you think about their appearance, and about NIMBYism in response to windfarms?