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WHAT A WIND FARM LOOKS LIKE AT NIGHT

As industrial scale wind farms become more prevalent, the night skies across this country are going to change significantly. Recently a plan to build such a wind farm just north of Monticello, Utah has caused some controversy, mostly from nearby residents. What hasn’t been stated is their visual effect at greater distances. Here is what a small wind farm (about 20 turbines) looks like at night, from a distance of 25 miles.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

These lights will be visible for scores of miles, perhaps as far as a hundred miles, particularly to the east. This is the kind of view visitors to Mesa Verde National Park can expect when they look west at night. Do aesthetics matter? Janet Ross, a Monticello resident and an advocate of the project said, “…I think for aesthetics, for safety, for noise, it needs to be a little further away. And that’s what town people are concerned about too.”

If aesthetics matter, there’s more to be concerned about than that.  I hope environmentalists scrutinize these kinds of visual impacts in the same way they look at other kinds of visual degradations….JS

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