Green energy not so green anymore

1297813988459_ORIGINALThey’re industrial-looking monoliths, currently equipped with pulleys to hoist the power lines into place when a 230-megawatt industrial wind farm is completed in rural west Niagara this summer.

The poles are being erected along 45 kms of quiet country roads feeding into wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln.

And hundreds of trees, including some that are more than 100 years old are being chopped down to clear the way for them.

There’s no other way to put it. Those poles are ugly.

Even typical wooden telephone poles would have been preferable. They would have better suited the rural setting.

But the poles that are being erected are a blight on the countryside, devaluing property and infuriating property owners – some of whom have watched helplessly as hundreds of old growth trees have been chopped down to accommodate them.

There must have been alternatives.

In a few cases, the township has managed to preserve some of the trees that were marked for chopping. But far more trees were felled than saved.

In Lincoln, Mayor Sandra Easton said there was some tree trimming done as part of the project, but to her knowledge no 150-year-old healthy oak trees were chopped down.

Instead, she said Niagara Region Wind Farm buried its major transmission lines underground.

read more: Allan Benner, The Tribune Friday, March 11, 2016

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