Tom Wheeler 
Member since Jul 29, 2019


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Re: “In the Balance

Hey Jay,

I helped write the letter. I think your characterization of our letter as "anti-renewable" or that we are on the wrong side of history is fairly ungenerous. Our central point is this: there are additional mitigation measures that can reduce operational impacts from this project, and all feasible measures should be implemented. Wind does have considerable impacts to local biodiversity. Thankfully, through operational curtailment during high-risk periods we can reduce impacts by 50-90% while only losing 1-5% of total energy generation. In other words, we can have wind and wildlife; those who posit otherwise offer a false choice.

By "infancy," I meant that wind energy development has only really ramped up in the last two decades, with the greatest growth in the past decades (largely owing to the fact that wind energy is becoming more cost competitive with other forms of energy production, even before subsidies). (See https://www.awea.org/wind-101/basics-of-wi….) While wind has been in existence for many decades, it is only recently a significant component of our grid mix. As such, there is a growing body of science on how to avoid wildlife impacts with minimal impacts to energy production. (Like the growing body of science exploring "informed" curtailment, where wind farms can use real time wildlife use data to inform whether to stop spinning.)

Best,
Tom Wheeler
Executive Director
EPIC

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Wheeler on 09/20/2019 at 2:06 PM

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