It's a good think Len Lisenbee is retired. If he was still working for the DEC, he would be in New York City counting rats and cockroaches — Andy and Chuck would see to that! His article on windmills (Feb. 3) was right on target, except he didn't cover the whole list. I have an old friend that has worked for a subcontractor to a wind farm in Utah. He told me that the wind farm he works for is a net loss, whether you count dollars or volts. In the winter, the biggest draw on the electrical grid was the wind farm. The windmills have electrical brakes and hundreds of gallons of oil that have to be heated.
The maintenance on windmills is high; the oil has to be changed, filtered or recycled; the braking system has to be serviced, not to mention the instrumentation — that is a yearly deal that never ends; when they get to the end they start all over. It takes one failure and bad weather to rip a windmill apart. I was told the record for a prop in Utah is 2.8 miles; that was the one they found!
The bright boys in Albany want to put a thousand-acre solar farm in to cut our carbon footprint. That means they will create a thousand-acre dead zone. I've lived in upstate New York and in the country most of my life. I've spent most of my time battling poison oak, wild grapevines, morning glory, hop vines and sumac. Are they going to pave a thousand acres, spray with herbicides or have a crew duck walk underneath rooting the weeds out? For the amount that a solar farm would reduce our carbon footprint, you would be better off planting a thousand acres of trees — at least they work 24/7/365. The next thing you know, the bright boys in Albany will be hiring a night crew on the solar farm to shine flashlights on the panels to make them profitable.