11/13/08 Spotlight on Town of Randolph, County of Columbia, State of Wisconsin.... And how many jobs will the turbines bring to your community?
BPRC SPOTLIGHT ON THE PLANNED WIND FARM IN
Columbia County, town of Randolph-
Potential site map of 90 turbine wind farm project proposed by We Energies, previously owned and developed by Florida Power and Light
Click on the MAP links below to see exactly where wind developers are considering siting wind turbines near the town of Randolph. Developers often consider several sites for each turbine. The maps below show the sites being seriously considered. The map is interactive. On the left side of the image is the zoom in (+) and zoom out (-) tool. There is also a satellite image available.
These industrial scale wind turbines are over 45 stories tall, have a blade span wider than a Boeing 747. Each blade is more than 130 feet long. There are documented problems with turbine noise especially at night. Loss of sleep due to noise is the number one complaint from those whose homes are less than 2640 feet from a turbine. Shadow flicker is also a problem. The wind developers and wind lobbyists want to be able to put as many turbines into each project as possible, and ask for a setback of just 1000 feet from our homes. That's about 350 steps. Unless your township has a wind ordinance, the state of Wisconsin allows them to do this.
Better Plan, Rock County has put together a DVD which shows the troubles people in the Fond du Lac and Dodge County areas are having with turbines sited too close to their homes. Included in this DVD is an interview with a dairy farmer having trouble with stray voltage since the turbines went on line in his community, and what happened to a dairy farming family when they said no to wind developers. Unfortunately their township had no ordinance to protect them from the aggressive tactics of the developers. Because of the placement of the 400 foot turbines around their farm, they can no longer spray their crops.
If you'd like a copy of this DVD, please contact us by clicking here. Include your mailing address and we'll get a one right out to you.
If you know anyone Columbia County, why not tell them about this website so they can find out how close developers are planning to put turbines to their homes. Once one wind farm goes in, others soon follow.
One compelling argument favoring wind energy development in rural areas is the opportunity for local economic benefits, especially jobs. Wind energy proponents fervently tout numbers showing hundreds of high-paying jobs created. But as with many of the benefits attributed to wind energy development, the details tell a different story.
Most of jobs in a wind energy project are created during the construction phrase. These jobs are temporary lasting between 6 and 18 months. High-paying jobs, in particularly are usually filled by people who come to the area for short periods of time to assemble the towers, turbines, and associated electronics and to build substations and transmission lines necessary to connect wind turbines to the electric grid. Few permanent jobs are created.
Many wind companies publish their estimated employment numbers when trying to secure public support, however, they have no obligation to report actual employment so it is can be difficult to confirm or refute their preconstruction estimates.
Larger project owners have the resources to pool their operational functions (purchasing parts, administrative, payroll, insurance, etc.) and can have centrally located crews to do maintenance on multiple projects. Smaller project owners sign maintenance contracts with turbine vendors that do not rely on local labor. For example, Vestas has its own turbine operations business.
Windaction.org received this report written by a gentleman laboring at a wind energy construction site in the United States:
"I went to jobsite to check in yesterday afternoon. I noticed a lot of folks there who didn't speak English. I put on my mandatory hardhat, safety vest, hard-toed boots, and safety glasses, poured myself a cup of coffee and walked to the warm-up area. There we were given our daily safety talk.
This phase of construction is winding down and now they're 'energizing' the 90 or so turbines erected.
"After the safety talk and the pep talk, we formed a big circle. They put on loud music and a large fellow led us in stretches! Mind you the sun had still not risen and there were more than a hundred people there, about 15 men for every woman, all with hardhats, safety vests, steel-toed boots, and safety glasses on, all doing coordinated stretching.
"I asked someone in my office how many were from here. He said he was a local and that there were a few more. He said most of the early construction jobs, including site preparation labor positions were done by the locals. The actual design work plus the construction, erection of the towers, the energizing, and the operation, were all done by people who have been doing this type of work all over the world - they're trained and experienced, which means they're not from here. And the crews are from Spain, Poland, Germany, and Korea....
"So as usual, the low paying jobs go to us. The investment comes from out-of-state and largely from out-of-country. The profits go out-of-state and largely out-of-country. The workers come from out-of-state, and many from out-of-country.
"By the time the average person realizes what's happening, there will be huge wind farm facilities built across the state. They will all be financed, built, owned, and operated by out-of-state entities, and most of the energy will be sent out-of-state and the profits will largely go out-of-state and overseas. And we will be sitting here wondering what happened.
"Oh well, at least I have a job. I wonder if I'll be paid in Euros."