How large are the Wind Turbines?


1) Larger than you might think


Notice how the extreme wide angle fish-eye lens in the turbine company's photo makes the man and his truck look fairly tall in comparison with the turbine. Notice also how strangely narrow his pickup truck seems to be and that the 15 ft diameter base of the turbine looks like it's about the same width as the man's 6 ft height. Compare this with the actual dimensions in the diagram to the right (provided by UPC Wind). To make a more accurate match, shrink the man in the photo down to about the size of his boots and you'll have a better idea of the scale. Both of the above depictions are taken from documents posted on the website describing the installation plan they initially proposed for the Cohocton hills using Gamesa 2.0 MW turbines. Now they're planning even larger units: 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty turbines, each standing 425 feet tall! Perhaps Clipper named their turbines after Miss Liberty herself, as depicted below.


2) Even larger than the Statue of Liberty


This is pictorial evidence that the proposed wind turbines are truly monumental standing a good 30% taller than the Statue of Liberty, measured from its base at water level. The proposed turbines are actually 3 times as high as Miss Liberty alone. Note that 40 people can stand inside her head, about a busload, which makes sense when you remember that each turbine nacelle is the size of a school bus.


3) Much larger than most man-made objects

The key to making wind turbines look like they fit modestly into the environment is to depict them without any surrounding perspective. This is the only simulated picture out of the 16 provided by UPC Wind in April 2006 that shows the placement of one of their proposed turbines fairly close up. The view is along Lent Hill Road looking northwest. Notice that there's nothing human in the picture to provide any kind of scale - no people, houses, barns, silos, tractors, or animals, only a pretty blanket of snow up front and trees and sky behind. However, one of our close neighbors has a substantial farm is just down the road off the picture to the left. The following simulation only begins to reveal that these wind turbines are each 5-6 times taller than the tallest silos in Steuben County. If you really want to know how big they are, isn't it more informative to see how a couple of the units will look in their proposed positions behind our neighbor's farm? (see Notes below)

We're concerned about what it will be like at night trying to sleep near turbines this size.

* Notes:

1) Please accept my apologies for an earlier version of this simulation that made the towers look too tall. I created the picture myself one evening by eyeball using simple computer tools, and I'm no graphic designer... Since then, I've redone it after spending some time working out the proportions with a contour map and graph paper. Wouldn't it have been easier if UPC had just asked its professionals to do some simulations like this for us first?

2) In November 2006, UPC published another round of simulations that are more revealing. Follow the links at the bottom of this page for some real eye-openers.

4) Completely out of all familiar proportion

To get people to accept structures of this size, you need to start smaller and work your way up. First, you invite people to visit the Fenner area where about 20 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines are set up, each about 328 feet high. After everyone has caught their breath, tell them that this is approximately what things will look like in Cohocton. Then propose the erection of more than twice as many (44) similar towers in Cohocton. Then submit information indicating that your proposal is not for GE turbines but for 44 Gamesa 2.0 MW units, each 392-405 feet tall, nearly 20% taller than the ones they've been shown. After folks have started to get a little comfortable with this notion, you can then mention in passing that this is Phase I and you really have about 62 towers in mind, not counting the 100+ you're proposing to erect in the neighboring Town of Prattsburg immediately to the east (see map). Then move quietly behind the scenes to substitute even larger units, like Clipper 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbines, each one standing 425 feet high, higher than all the skyscrapers in Rochester but one - the Xerox tower rises 440 feet. Can we get any bigger or go any higher? Just consider, the Cohocton Town Board passed a zoning law in 2006 at the request of the developer that allows windmills up to 500 feet tall - what's to keep them from going for the truly colossal 3.6 MW turbines? There's a name for this process in sales circles - it's known as the "bait and switch" technique.



Speaking of monumental, consider the cost:

2 of these will almost pay for 1 wind turbine installation (2.0 MW size).


Haven't seen quite enough?

Take a pictorial tour with the links below, starting with some 2005 pictures of an actual project in Tug Hill with smaller 325 ft, 1.65 MW units. Then review some photo simulations supplied by UPC Wind to showcase their project in November 2006.

Size Tug Hill Lent Hill Village Views Town Views


  wind turbines, wind towers; windfarm information; wind power facts, wind energy faq; wind farm debate; anti-wind, anti-windmill campaign