Everyone is all fired up about renewable energy. New windfarms are springing up all over the southwest and locally in Torrance County, New Mexico, one new project is ready to double in size and three more windfarms are in different stages of development. While this is all well and good, there is are a few things that are not well thought out in the planning.
The windfarm that is currently operational is providing power for Arizona. One of the planned windfarms is to provide power to California. California definitely needs all the assistance they can get. However, all of the projects thus far slated are to be going out of state. According to one newspaper article, the project directors cannot receive a fair market price for the energy they are harvesting from the New Mexico winds.
Now, the major problem with that is the local rural electric cooperative for Torrance County has recently teamed up with several other New Mexico cooperatives and is in the planning stages buying power from a windfarm. In theory great, but the windfarm they are considering hooking up to is located in Colorado. It seems it would be more economical to connect to one locally operated windfarm rather than connecting power lines and substations to bring the electricity in from hundreds of miles away.
Some of the local residents in Torrance County are upset that the horizon is becoming cluttered with these tall towers and their spinning blades. The towers have been placed up on top of one of the mesas where the wind blows constantly. During beautiful clear days, they stand out against the blue skies and detract from the wide open spaces. This is one of the prices locals pay for progress. The local people do not receive any benefit from these power producing towers. There is even concern about health issues, noise levels, and wildlife endangerment for those living close to the towers.
A partial solution to these problems would be that local residents should receive a percentage of the electricity being generated. Residents would be more apt to accept their cluttered horizons if their electric bill was lower. The percentage would not have to be extravagant, just a single percent or two as Torrance County is not very densely populated.
It will never happen though. The powers that be are too interested in dollar signs to worry about local residents. They will continue to build their farms wherever they can for as much money as they can get. Thousands of miles of new electrical lines will be built interstate to carry the power to the residents who can pay the most for it. Government subsidies, provided by taxpayer money, will help to put it all together, while figuring out how to charge the consumers the most possible while going green.