2012-03-01 / Letters to the Editor

Solar panels would be better than turbine

Years ago we removed a chronically troublesome diesel generator from our sailboat – too noisy, too smelly, too many repairs, too much maintenance.

A week later we installed three solar panels and a wind generator, quiet and innocuous. This combination provides all the electricity we need to operate all the appliances on our boat. Because we are blessed to be able to live aboard our boat six months a year, we have experienced the benefits of going green through necessity rather than through desire. The wind generator and solar panels are so logical and innocuous we take this power generation for granted.

While we are obvious proponents of renewable energy, we must admit that light flicker from the wind generator would be a big factor – “would be” if the canvas bimini over the cockpit didn’t hide the wind generator from sight. On the occasions when we are working topside, visually exposed to the light flicker, it is quite distracting and annoying. If you suffer from migraines, the flicker is defi- nitely debilitating. (I am not a doctor or lawyer or energy expert, just a salty sailor.)

If we are to undertake a legal battle with taxpayer dollars against opponents who use the light flicker argument, I wouldn’t bet on us winning, just spending a lot of taxpayer dollars on legal fees.

Consider the budget for building and connecting a wind turbine to the grid, especially the budget already spent on studies, engineering, consultants, etc., and instead this money would be better spent on tax credits to homeowners and building owners to install solar panels on all south-facing roofs and flat roofs. Quiet and innocuous.

Chick Pyle
Emerson Road

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