Regarding the windmills littering our landscape. Contrary to a recent letter ("Wind energy's benefits," June 16), they are not reliable but high maintenance and not affordable -- federal taxpayers subsidize half their rates and wind is still more expensive than hydro.
Wind advocates claim 650,000 homes are currently powered by wind in Washington. That's absolutely false. That's "green-energy math." In truth, we have 3,075 megawatts of wind power, but the turbines only produce one third of their rated power and only 5 percent during peak load. (When it's needed.)
All the windmills in Washington combined produce enough electricity to power only 35,300 households at peak load. That's all we get for our $5.3 billion spent. To claim wind is the energy of the future is like claiming Columbus' Pinta and Santa Maria are the ships of the future. The public is being misled by windmill supporters so as to not support the state Legislature from defining hydro power as "renewable." Because if hydro power is a renewable, your electric rates must, by law, be reduced. If you don't believe hydro is renewable, then your rates must, by law, be increased.
So ask yourself, is hydro renewable? Because it's your money they're throwing into the wind.
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CLARK WILKINS, Kennewick