Is it "crazy" that someone would use alternative green energy to provide 65-70% of their family farm's energy needs?
Jim Mather is no different than most people he's disgusted with high energy costs.
In addition to regular conservation methods, Mather would like to build a windmill on his 100-acre farm in the town of Marcellus.
The town, with no guidelines for building windmills, has scheduled a public hearing for 7:15 tonight to establish a six-month moratorium on windmill construction.
"I expected it," Mather said. "They are totally justified. We all want things to happen instantly but nothing happens instantly."
Safety is the major issue, Mather said. That also was the flavor of remarks from town board officials.
"There are some controversial issues," town attorney Mike Cogswell said. "There's the visual. Evidently, they make a racket.
"And there's the safety issue."
Mather said hevisited a small farm in Moravia that has a unit like the one he wants.
"They're very happy," Mather said. Those farmers think the windmill will pay for itself in seven years; the manufacturer suggests a 10-year payback period.
"And I was within 500 feet of their windmill and didn't hear any noise," he said.
This particular windmill has fewer moving parts than most and has a good warranty, Mather said. "It seems to be the most efficient."
The windmill would take care of 65 percent to 70 percent of the electric needs of the farm. More, Mather said, if the family conserves.
I understand that having a windmill on a neighbor's property may cause some concern, if you lived in a row home! This guy has a 100 acre farm! I hope that the town will do the research it needs to do and allow windmills for energy production. I never quite understood the aesthetics question of windmills. Are they ugly? I always thought that they kinda looked peaceful.
I think that Kunstler was right, that many battles will ensue as people begin to challenge the status quo in their communities, and zoning boards will be the grounds for many green issues. Hopefully by the time you read this Syracuse.com will have changed the title of this article. Crazy?