L is for Letters to Lepinski:
Residents speak out about life in a wind farm approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
(Fond du Lac County home, winter 2008)
In April of 2005, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved wind developers plans to build a 133 turbine industrial wind plant in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties. The PSC approved the setback distances of 450 feet from the home of a participating landowner and 1000 feet from a non participating landowner.
PSC records indicate these setbacks are based on Wisconsin's draft model wind ordinance. (PSC Ref #37618, p.30)
Some time after an open records request from the town of Union study committee revealed that no medical or scientific data was used to determine the safety of these setbacks, (in fact, the ordinance appears to have been written largely by power companies, wind developers and wind lobbyists),-- the draft model ordinance was pulled from the Wisconsin State website.
The Public Service Commission has been unable or unwilling to say who pulled the ordinance from the website, when it was removed or why. At this time, questions about the origins and authors of the ordinance used to site turbines in Dodge and Fond du Lac county remain largely unanswered.
Residents who are experiencing trouble with turbine related noise, shadow flicker and other negative effects of living too close to turbines are speaking out about it.
Here are excerpts from letters sent to Public Service Commissioner Jim Lepinski.
The bitter tone of these letters reflects the general feeling of many residents in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties who are now living with the results of the PSC's decision.
(Fond du Lac County home, Winter 2008)
January 2, 2009
Dear Jim Lepinski,
It has been almost a year now since the Forward Energy wind turbines have went on line.
I have tried to keep an open mind and change the way I have looked at wind farms, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
I have seen a number of homes in this wind farm go up for sale.
(Home for Sale, Fond du Lac County, 2008)
Some of the homes are lived in by people that were born and raised here this township, but because of the issues from the wind turbines, they said it just doesn’t feel like home any more.
The homes for sale in our township that are in the wind farm project still have not been sold. In more than one case, the prospective buyers have stated that they were uncomfortable living so close to a wind turbine or just did not want to live so close to a wind turbines in general.
I guess so much for the REPP study [submitted to the PSC] that states property values actually go up inside wind farms. I always wondered why the attorney for Forward Energy told the Town of Byron Board of Appeals that if they had to provide adjacent non-hosting land owners with a property value protection agreement, that the company would not be able to get financing for the wind farm.
(Home for sale, Fond du Lac County, Winter 2008)
Months ago I sent you a DVD with some of my complaints but have not heard anything back.
Use this link if you need to be refreshed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyOImGHyJtQ
[or Click on the image below to watch]
Invenergy told the PSC and Dodge County Board of Appeals that shadow flicker would be minimal. They stated that with modeling software they could almost eliminate this. This is BS. I get shadow flicker for 6 weeks in the fall and 6 weeks in the spring. As you can see from the video this is not minimal. Have someone in your home consistently turn the lights on and off and see if you can concentrate on a something like reading.
(Click on image below to watch video wind turbine shadow flicker inside and outside of homes in Fond du Lac County)
People who state that wind turbines are very quiet are probably good candidates for a lobotomy. I have not slept with the windows open on my house since the turbines have went on line. There are days when it sounds like a jet engine idling on an airport taxi-way. There are other days when the noise is so intense, we can hear them through the walls of our home. Don’t come to me with the 50 decibel thing. I am not a sound expert. All I know is I was told [we'd] hardly hear them. Just another lie.
[Note from BPWI Research Nerd: The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) seems to be the source of the comparison of the sound of an industrial wind turbine to that of a refrigerator. This comparison is often repeated by wind developers seeking to site a project. Click on the image below to find out more]
I remember this one well. Joel Link at Dodge County hearings along with Mark Jacobson stating the this type of new designed turbine does not have ice build up on its blades, and if it should the turbine would shut down.
I was plowing snow in my driveway on December 23rd when I noticed out of the corner of my eye what looked like a bed sheet diving to the ground. After the second time this happened, I figured it out. The turbine was shedding a ice/snow mix and the second one landed just short of my property line.
I will tell you this, that if this event in the future should cause property of bodily harm, I will be out for blood. If you don’t believe me about the ice/snow build up, see for yourself.
(Click on image below to watch video which shows the ice and snow build-up on two of the turbine blades, and the blade where the ice fell off as described. Click here for link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EmYe2u6J6g )
Where do I go from here?
I can’t complain anymore to the Town chairman.
He stated in an interview with Ted Perry from Channel six in Milwaukee that the town residents that are complaining about the wind farms issues are "implants" in the town and "not good stand-by people". So I am wasting my breath talking to this clown and the other two [town board] morons.
I can’t complain to my State Reps because they have told us that it’s a local issue and not within their control, but yet the state creates a law which the wind companies use to force their way into a community to erect turbines and destroy the community atmosphere [and] they use a model ordinance that was drafted by (guess who) energy company officials to address concerns.
I would be wasting my time talking to [wind developer] Invenergy people like Mick Baird, Joel Link and Mark Jacobson who basically never addressed concerns early in the project design and have told town residents that I and others are just a trouble-makers.
So here I am typing this letter to you.
I don’t know of any other way at this time to enforce what a poor decision this has been on the part of the PSC.
I am shocked that the Public Service Commission didn’t place parameters in this project to protect me and other residents within the wind farm project.
I don’t want to hear the "Not In My Back Yard" thing. [I have a turbine 1100 feet from my home]
Do any of the PSC commissioners have a wind turbine 1100 feet from their home, or does any State Rep have a wind turbine 1100 feet from his/her home?
Best yet, do you know of an energy company official with a wind turbine 1100’ from his/her home?
I didn’t think so.
Let’s focus on the truth, this isn’t about renewable energy, it’s about money.
This is just another scam were an LLC develops something to take advantage of subsidized money to stuff millions in their pockets.
I am not sure where this is all going in the future, but I know this has taken away a quality of my life.
This is why residents of Wisconsin don’t trust the judgment of the PSC or their own State Reps. I hope the PSC learns and [will] not bend to the pressure of lobbyists.
To Jim Lepinski, Public Service Commissioner:
I am writing in disgust to you about the wind turbine project that went up around the town of Brownsville.
My family and I live in the township of Leroy. We came to live out here about five and a half years ago, looking for a nice community to live in and raise our children.
We thought we had found an area where people would look out after one another and show decent good values towards their neighbors. Obviously this is not the place, nor the people that I thought were out here.
Now all I hear when I go outside to my once quiet yard is that thumping swishing noise created by those stupid wind turbines. Not to mention how ugly those things are with their stupid red lights on top of them.
I feel like we now live in the middle of an industrial park!
If I wanted to live in an industrial park with noise and lights we would have lived in a city. We chose to live on a quiet rural road where no real disturbing sounds existed up until now. We were never in favor of those things to go up around here. I have never heard anything good about living next to them and now I know it as a fact.
My husband did go to a couple of the town hearings before they voted to put them up, only to have [his words fall] on deaf ears. I think maybe those who were supposed to be listening to the opposers of this project were probably doodling while their pleas were being said. My husband and I are tax paying upright citizens, who have worked hard for what we have. We have done nothing but renovate our house, trying to make it a nice home, only to have you and your people knock it all down.
The really great thing is, you don't care.
No one cares.
Do you live next to these things? I bet none of you do.
I am personally inviting you to come out to our house while they are turning, which is ninety percent of the time, so you can hear for yourself what a nuisance these things are.
Thank you so much for considering people like me. You know it takes us average middle class citizens to make your stupid townships and counties go round. Do we deserve this?
If you guys think they are so great, why don't you put them up in YOUR backyards! I don't care what anyone says, you all sold your souls to the devil for a little bit of money.
You had men put these things up, and they can take them down. This is not a God-made creation, they are man-made pieces of junk that are creating a lot of noise in my yard.
I want something done about this!
Start making laws that protect innocent citizens like us from this stupid project.
Town of Leroy
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