The editorial about engaging local communities when siting wind and solar farms in the open, sunny, windy places of especially Eastern Washington is spot-on. Forcing these facilities upon communities that don’t want them could threaten the acceptance of these essential tools for fighting climate change.
I have personal experience with wind turbines. I have a campsite along the shores of the Columbia River by Vantage I’ve used for decades. When Puget Sound Energy built its wind farm north of Vantage along the ridges, luckily any direct view was blocked by hills. But while I actually don’t mind seeing the turbines themselves, the truly aesthetically displeasing thing about them are their bright red safety lights. The pattern at the Vantage wind farm is that about every 10th tower has a constant light on, but the worst is when approximately every 20 seconds all the towers give out a sudden strobe-pulse of bright red lights. This is equivalent to aesthetic, visual torture, especially at night and especially when low clouds dramatically enhance the effect.
Instead of continuous lighting, just set up a radar system that only turns the lights on when aircraft are detected. This would assuage most visual complaints.
Steve Shanewise, Olympia