Many residents of North East township are just finding out about the proposed wind turbine project that could place as many as 50 to 75 of the giant, 500 foot tall turbines in an area bounded by I90 and Townline Road with some sections as far north as Sidehill Road. If you are one of those people who wasn’t familiar with this project, you’re not alone.
During the research for this post I spoke to Valerie Myers of the Erie Times News who has written a number of articles on the North East turbines over the last couple of years, and when discussing these with her, she said she had asked Pioneer Green Energy, at least one local landowner and borough and township officials for their input and they gave her their views which she published in the paper. I applaud her efforts, but still, knowledge of the project seems quite limited.
When was the announcement and where is the information?
Have you ever known of any other kind of project that would dramatically change a community, for decades to come and perhaps, forever, without a major public announcement, plentiful information, and time for everyone in the community to learn about it and offer their input? Projects like that are usually heavily promoted by their backers because they want to gain full community support, they’re proud to show you what they’re doing and why. They’ll try to win you over because they know what they’re doing is positive and beneficial. Yet this project in North East, being planned and under discussion among those directly involved for over two years, is only vaguely, if at all, understood, by most residents of the township. Why?
Perhaps simple inattention or the changing media culture meant fewer people read the paper as closely as they once did, or perhaps they thought the project was unlikely to move forward at all, but whatever the reason, it seems it is moving forward and few of us know much about it or have had the chance to voice our opinion and concerns. We need to fix that.
Information and conversation are essential
Any project of this magnitude deserves our full attention. Everyone in this community needs to know exactly what is being planned and there needs to be as much factual information available as possible. No final decisions of any sort should be made until the residents of North East township and borough have had the opportunity to examine input from all sides and a full and transparent conversation has taken place. This is far too important for ordinances to be written or permits to be issued without a very careful examination of the consequences.
We are doing our best to raise awareness and get everyone involved so you can have your say and help in the decision making process.
It’s our community, it’s up to us.
Photo credits: Better Plan Wisconsin
ALAN ARNOLD says
I HAVE LIVED IN NORTH EAST TOWNSHIP FOR 62 YEARS, GROWING UP ON A FARM I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE A LIVING, I DO NOT THINK IT IS RIGHT TO TO LAND OWNERS HOW THEY CAN USE THERE PROPERTY. I WOULD RATHER SE WIND MILLS STICKING UP IN THE LANDSCAPE THEN MORE HOUSING SUBDIVISIONS. EVERY ONE IS LOOKING FOR NEW ENERGY SUPPLIES BUT DO NOT WANT THEM 9IN THERE NEIGHBORHOOD. I TRAVEL IN THE SUMMERE MONTHS AND SEE MANY WIND MILLS I ALL AREAS, IN FACT THERE ARE SOME RIGHT IN CITY OF CLEVELAND. WE MUST HAVE PROGRESS OR THE COMMUNITY WILL DIE. ALSO WE MUST LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY OF MONEY IT COULD PUT INTO THE COMMUNITY AND TOWNSHIP ITSELF. THE TOWNSHIP MUST GO FORWARD NOT BACKWORDS.
N. Swan says
We’re not talking a manageable 40 foot residential windmill for personal use. Property owners in a rural area should have a right to build a structure on their property that is unimposing to neighbors. We’re talking a “wind farm” of 50 to 75 500 foot talk metal structures! The Bicentennial Tower is 187 feet tall and show me a building in North East that is taller than 4 or 5 stories (60 to 100 feet maybe). This isn’t the Midwest where you can drive for an hour without passing a single house. There’s no isolated farmland in North East. North East is a residential/rural community. Our area depends on its agriculture and tourism, and those things will be impacted by a wind farm. It may be right for other communities, but not North East.
Wow!!! Look at how beautiful those wind turbines are!!
I can’t wait to show my children the amazing ability of WIND to create energy in northwest PA! I have heard about the Northeast wind project for over a year and am thrilled that it is moving forward!
“Have you ever known of any other kind of project that would dramatically change a community, for decades to come and perhaps, forever, without a major public announcement, plentiful information, and time for everyone in the community to learn about it and offer their input?”
Why, yes – in fact. Did you know that the first natural gas well was just drilled in Erie County??
Did anyone hear about it?
The risk of air pollution, water contamination, and explosions is very, very high and yet, the natural gas company was able to come into our community and drill without telling local residents.
I, for one, would much prefer to see the majestic wind turbines over breathing in toxic VOCs from natural gas wells throughout the community.
Paul Crowe says
Make sure you also tell your children wind creates unreliable and intermittent energy, that still requires conventional power plants to back it up, no power plants are taken off line when wind turbines are built.
If you lived anywhere near northwestern PA, which you don’t, you would know we have gas wells throughout Erie County and have had them here for many, many decades.
Majestic wind turbines? You might want to see your doctor for a new prescription.
Tammy C Truitt says
Contrary to what much of the public thinks, wind turbines are not environmental friendly. Please take the time to look into the truth of wind energy production and the negative impact it creates for communities. Confining your research to government and wind lobbying sites reinforces a biased view without exposing the ugly details concerning the impacts to wildlife and people. Wind turbines are an economic loser that will become a behemoth eyesore as soon as the subsidies stop flowing. It is not about green energy it is about the perception of green energy.