I live in Clarksburg, Mass. at the base of Hoosac Ridge below the location of 10 of the 19 wind turbines of Hoosac Wind. I have been exploring Hoosac Ridge as a neighbor for some years and enjoyed the scenic opportunities, as well as solitude on trips out back. At first, based on information from the developer Iberdrola, we thought the project was a good idea, but the information was not accurate and we soon learned about the realities of living near an industrial wind project.
Because our home is in another town we had no say about the project. When construction began we could hear the noise, many times beginning at 7 a.m. and continuing throughout the day until evening. I watched as what I called the "Enchanted Forest" disappeared. Thousands of trees were cut, swamps and wetlands obliterated, and blasting transformed the Ridge, a beautiful, largely untouched wild area teeming with wildlife reduced to a strip of crushed rock.
One of the reasons many of us chose to live here is to enjoy the peace and quiet our rural neighborhoods provide. When the construction phase of Hoosac Wind was completed our quiet rural neighborhood was transformed. The neighbors were told we wouldn't hear the turbines and any sound would be the same as a refrigerator. Then Hoosac Wind started generating electricity. The reality is the noise can be loud enough to wake us and make sleep impossible in our bedroom, one mile away from the turbines. Sometimes it's noisy for several nights in a row, and that does take a toll.
After a year with Hoosac Wind have come to know it as the "Neighbors from Hell." We have been told there is no evidence of noise and therefore we don't seem to have any recourse except to suck it up or move. Those ideas sadden me as this is our home. We have invested ourselves in this place and hope to spend the rest of our days living here. We, the neighbors, are the people impacted in many ways by such projects and the ones who help make these communities what they are. Being here talking about why we should have a say in such things strikes me as strange, as there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the people who live in neighborhoods with proposals for these projects MUST have a voice in things that can affect their homes and properties so profoundly. Anything less has no place in a Democracy, in my opinion.