North Kingstown Gets a New Landmark

North Kingstown's Eiffel Tower just arrived and it is 413 feet tall!

If you haven't seen it yet you are in for a surprise. It's 413 feet tall and has it's own blinking red light and it is planted firmly in a residential neighborhood. Wow! Who would have thought that our town would have allowed this to happen. What is next?

Okay, so the people in the neighborhood signed off to allow this to happen to them, God only knows what they were thinking. For this they might get $150 a month to help pay for their electric bill. What happens if this thing fails like the one in Portsmouth and the developer can't afford to fix it or take it down. I hope that there is a plan in place so that the taxpayers won't have to pay this bill.

Personally, I like the idea of using the wind to help reduce the emissions of toxic fumes and carbon dioxide but I don't see why we need this in a highly residential area. The town should have done a better job of managing where, if at all, a giant wind turbine could be built.  It would not work at Quonset because of the airport  It might just be that there isn't a place in town that a turbine should be.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

We R NK October 23, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Who would have thought our school committee would have outsourced their school custodians and chopped the income of their paraprofessionals in half. What is next?
Ed Renehan October 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I think the wind turbine is a plus. Glad to have it here and expected that the developer' placing the turbine in his own backyard would have been an adequate enough gesture to silence NIMBI-ism. Wrong again. Note: No public money involved. Private enterprise on private land.
Mike October 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Sometimes it is the responsibility of the town to save people from themselves (building codes). Sadly the town had no one capable of understanding any technical aspect of a wind turbine. And the town manager seemed hell-bent on having this happen ever since the Zoning Board approved the waver. Does it bother you that there are NO standards for operating a 413 foot tall monster that is 240 feet away from the nearest home, and 440 feet away from the next home (the latest proposed state MINIMUM for this turbine is 723 feet; with further setbacks as required for noise or flicker)? No plan to ensure that the turbine is maintained properly, that blades are replaced when damaged? No plan on how to evacuate the residents if the turbine catches fire? No plan to shut the turbine down if the blades are icing? The town solicitor in an open meeting suggested that the town might not even enforce its one restriction, making an argument that if turbine exceeds the noise limit, that nobody would be harmed and therefore there was no reason to enforce the code. But the one bright thing is that it is up now. Perfect timing for the election. Time for a new town council and new town manager that will keep in mind that North Kingstown is first and foremost a residential bedroom community, and not an industrial power generating facility.
Scott Madison October 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Oh Ed. I do respect your opinion, and share your thoughts on the fact no taxpayer money was used in it's construction. But does such a large industrial turbine belong in a neighborhood? Have you followed the controversy in neighboring Falmouth, Mass? http://www.wickedlocal.com/capecod/news/x1925498731/Turbine-Trouble-No-consensus-in-Falmouth-Board-of-health-plans-new-survey#axzz2A8GNjBeP "Besides sleep disturbance, some residents have issued complaints about headaches, vertigo and tinnitus." http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2012/05/30/shutdown-noisy-machine-falmouth-praised-both-sides-wind-turbine-issue/goZBPJPlYYpA7LBiNaTCPJ/story.html "“The nearest neighbor [in Falmouth] was 1,500 feet away. There’s a problem there,” agreed Larry Chretien, executive director of Energy Consumers Alliance of New England, which purchases wind energy." Keep in mind, the Statue of Liberty is only 151 feet tall (305 with the pedestal) and these neighbors are just a few hundred feet away. Beyond the politics and pros/cons of wind energy, how can an argument be made that a 413 foot industrial power wind turbine with spinning blades reaching speeds over 100 MPH should be in a residential neighborhood?
NK Parent October 23, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I'm also all for the concept wind energy but this specific turbine should NEVER have been placed where it is. I don't think it's a case of NIMBI-ism that these types of turbines should not be anywhere near residential areas. All those involved in the TC who allowed this to happen need to go.
Lori Grayson October 23, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Where is the exact location? Turbines can bring on vertigo and other ailments: http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wind.html
NK Voter October 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM
So, according to Ed's "private enterprise on private land " logic, we should all be able to put one of these in our yards? Also, these turbines are heavily subsidized with federal funds (that's your money, Ed). The ones in Providence used federal stimulus funds (again, your money,Ed) and they are Chinese made. Whether you are pro-wind power or not, even the manufacturers say they shouldn't be this close to people. It is an industrial power plant....stop being brainwashed by the thought of anything "green"
Scott Madison October 24, 2012 at 01:29 AM
http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/ The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies: Evergreen Solar ($25 million)* SpectraWatt ($500,000)* Solyndra ($535 million)* Beacon Power ($43 million)* Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million) SunPower ($1.2 billion) First Solar ($1.46 billion) Babcock and Brown ($178 million) EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)* Amonix ($5.9 million) Fisker Automotive ($529 million) Abound Solar ($400 million)* A123 Systems ($279 million)* Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)* Johnson Controls ($299 million) Schneider Electric ($86 million) Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
Scott Madison October 24, 2012 at 01:30 AM
ECOtality ($126.2 million) Raser Technologies ($33 million)* Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)* Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)* Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)* Range Fuels ($80 million)* Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)* Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)* Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)* GreenVolts ($500,000) Vestas ($50 million) LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million) Nordic Windpower ($16 million)* Navistar ($39 million) Satcon ($3 million)* Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)* Mascoma Corp. ($100 million) *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy. Your money would do better for you if you burned it in your fireplace, at least you would get a return on investment in heat.... I respect your opinion, but have a different one. Enjoy the Kool-Aid.....
Politics Sheriff of NK October 24, 2012 at 02:02 AM
The turbine issues are manifold. The council set this up not for the good of the town they are supposed to serve. The placement is in contravention to all norms of setbacks, location, neighborhood, zoning. On a larger scale, wind power does not work economically. It needs subsidies, in this case other ratepayers get forced to pay exorbitant rates for the kilowatts. That being said, the *theory* at play is that if we are forced to subsidize windmills, then eventually economy of scale will take effect and the costs will come down (as the costs of other energies rises) and they will be economical. That may not pan out and it definitely doesn't address a town council favoring a developer to place a hideous monstrosity that lowers the value of basically our entire community. BUT NK is for sale and the peoples "real estate" agents are re-elected time after time. MESSAGE: DONT VOTE FOR THESE TOWN COUNCIL INCUMBENTS.
Mike October 24, 2012 at 02:09 AM
If you want your tax dollars going to something that is green and works (and works better than ANY other program), then programs that encourage conservation are the key. Insulate your house, change your lightbulbs, and drive the speed limit. These are cheap, easy, and not controversial in the least. Do that and you will avoid building new power plants of any kind, reduces carbon emissions and have more bang per buck than anything else. As an added benefit, you don't have to get into an argument about where it belongs, how bad it looks, or how loud is too loud.
NK WATCH October 24, 2012 at 03:50 AM
hopfully food service, maintenance and paraprofessionals thats whats next. i heard gca is also willing and able to take on the paraprofessional piece as well.
Scott Madison October 24, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Any reason additional comments in this thread were deleted ?
We R NK October 25, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Hopefully they take school committee members, TC candidates and SD administration as well! Although I don't think they will pass the BCI!!
Lori Grayson October 25, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I finally saw it near Walmart and the Train Station!~ It wasn't moving but it looks so intrusive...right smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood. Should be removed.
Scott Madison October 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM
There was a strong effort by community residents who attended Planning Commission and Town Council Meetings voicing strong opposition to this turbine and one that was going to be constructed at Stamp Farm. There were signs and even a website providing information on these turbines (www.noreswindnk.com). The TC, PC, and Town Planner pulled the application for the Stamp Farm turbine due to the developer changing the turbine type/model etc.. but the NK Green turbine was allowed to stay during a window of opportunity given by the town, even though there are many unanswered questions with it. It was fairly obvious there there was some backroom dealings that the developer had with the town, who now has a moratorium on turbines (ironic, isn't it?). As a community, we must be on top of the town officials who could always lift this moratorium and the state still has not come out with guidelines. Only more reason to vote out the current members of the Town Council and make sure independent thinkers are on the council, people who will listen to the residents of this town.
Govstench October 28, 2012 at 02:01 PM
While this turbine does alter the landscape, it has a "life" of approximately 20 years, depending on how well it is maintained. Is it worth the investment? No....at best, it is only 35% efficient and is soley dependent on what kind of energy contract he gets from NGrid. While this thing is not in the proper location, the residents are stuck with it because their leaders did not have ordinances on the books to regulate their placement. Of course, the Stamp Farm situation brought on regulations but it was already too late for this machine. Lessons learned by all.


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