Proceed with caution on wind


To the Editor:

Letter to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission regarding Vineyard Wind: I am writing to urge the commission to take the time, and make the effort, to fully educate yourselves on all aspects of industrial wind energy.

My experience informs me that there are many truths not spoken about by those who promote industrial-scale wind projects.

My conclusions after many years of research on, and experience with, local South Shore wind power installations are:

  • Industrial wind power permit approvals were consistently premised upon serious errors, omissions, and misrepresentations of fact, and
  • Professional cautions were routinely ignored by permitting authorities.

As a resident of Duxbury, I was introduced to the topic of wind power as a result of my town’s desire to embrace the concept of wind energy. Since our town’s project was to be sited adjacent to my neighborhood — and because our town was required to notify abutters — we had the time and desire to educate ourselves. The short of it is: The more questions we asked, the more concerns we had … concerns about environmental damage as well as health and safety impacts relating to both the construction and operational activities.

Due to a host of concerns, and many unanswered questions, the Duxbury board of selectmen opted not to pursue the proposal — our town’s focus shifted to solar power and energy conservation measures.

Once Duxbury’s wind project was voted down, my board of selectmen appointed a wind advisory committee to which I was appointed. Our mission was to collect facts relating to the experiences of communities that had permitted wind turbines. Our efforts were to understand and catalogue lessons to be learned in case Duxbury ever chose to revisit the notion of wind power.

What an education on wind energy I have received since 2012! Issues related to permitting, construction, finance, health impacts, safety, wildlife, the environment, politics, regulatory, and legal issues.

Over the last many years I have been contacted by neighbors in other towns hoping my research might help educate them. Neighbors’ firsthand experience consistently proves that wind projects, approved by their communities, were NOT operating as advertised. Why, neighbors wondered, was there such a lack of knowledge as to the true scale and scope of adverse impacts upon their communities?

My research informs me that every project here on the South Shore gained permit approval based upon serious errors, omissions, and misrepresentations of fact by the developer and their hired consultants. To be clear: The operational impacts resulting from wind power plant installations were never fully, or accurately, exposed to the public during the all-important permitting phase.

My very best wishes to you all, as I know educating yourselves on this complex subject is not an easy task. I advise that you proceed with extreme caution before voting to allow Vineyard Wind to use our tax and ratepayer funds to despoil our sea with the detritus of tomorrow.


Joanne Levesque