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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘Clean’ energy

To The Editor:

I support "clean" energy knowing that totally clean energy is self-deception because of the processes, materials and actual energy that is needed to produce, for example, solar arrays and wind turbines. We know that solar and wind power are intermittent. No power is produced when the sun is not getting to the solar array or the wind is calm. If it wasn't for the big partially coal-fired grid that we all depend on for steady 24/7 power, the so-called clean energy we are too easily sold on would not be tenable.

Further, if there were not large state and federal subsidies for solar and wind there would be no profit in fielding these kinds of projects that produce power at three to five times the cost of that dirty old grid. I am amused by the extravagant efficiency claims of the solar proponents. Many times I have driven on Route 100 to see snow-covered arrays with some units actually pointing in the wrong direction. I hope that when Warren and Waitsfield consider the large planned solar installations realistic efficiency factors over time are used, not the overstated levels espoused by solar sales folks. Further, when the projects have reached their useful lives I hope that a fund is included in the financing calculations to decommission the arrays, perhaps to prepare the sites for new more advanced technology to produce energy.

On the positive side, the proposed locations for these solar projects seem sensitive to the potential blight these kinds of projects can cause. Thankfully, the proposed sites will not industrialize the scenic Route 100 corridor any more than it is now.

In conclusion, if the numbers work, why not take the subsidies and feel environmental? Also pray that the subsidies are not phased out.

Michael Barker



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