Monday, July 18, 2011

What's Worse Than a Coal-Fired Power Plant?

Cooling towers at Brayton Point Power Station, Somerset, MAHow about a coal-fired power plant with two 497-foot cooling towers?

The Green Miles spent the weekend with family in southeast Massachusetts, and the new towers at the Dominion-owned Brayton Point plant in Somerset were never far from view. (Here's how they look from four miles away in neighboring Swansea.)

How out-of-character for the region are they? If they were office buildings, they'd be the tallest in New England outside of Boston & Hartford. But it's distant offshore windmills that would be eyesores?

I took this video after a swim off the public docks across Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island. Even five miles away through the Flipcam's tiny lens, the two towers loom. They're supposed to cool the power plant's water discharge, which is the preferred solution if your prerogative is to keep the coal-fired power plant burning. But for the region's residents, is this really how they want to get their energy?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The consensus of people in my parents' neighborhood which has the beach that Miles was swimming at, is that these cooling towers are eye soares. But everyone rationalizes that they are cooling the once warm water that went into the bay. The temperature of the bay was going up and effecting marine life. Now these towers are fixing that problem.

I agree that alternatives would be better and that it is ironic that some criticize wind power as being an eye soar. Look at these ugly towers that are using coal (coal that is probalby from mountain removal in West Virginia)!

On another note, I have a co-worker who lives quite close to the cooling towers and he said that the rumor is that the plant may eventually go nuclear. Think of it: Now that it looks like Three Mile Island and Homer Simpson's workplace, who will care if they go nuclear? I wonder if there is any truth to that?