12/17/09 ON WISCONSIN! Badgers helping badgers. AND it turns out they are a lot louder than a refrigerator.
Click on image to watch video Grassroots Effort Shares Experiences with Wind Farms
Channel 2 WBAY
By Matt Smith
As Governor Jim Doyle continues his push to achieve what he calls energy independence, a big part of that could come from wind power and new wind farms across the state.
Fond du Lac County has somewhat become the poster child for the cause -- a new wave of energy sweeping through Wisconsin.
"We have no issue with wind turbines per se, but we have a big issue with how they're currently being sited in parts of Wisconsin," Ron Dietrich of the Calumet County Citizens for Responsible Energy said.
A grassroots effort which started several years ago in Calumet County is sharing its story with neighbors, trying to inform them about their experience with wind farms and their impact.
"We're not talking so much the people placing the turbines on their property. It's surrounding residence who don't have turbines on their property could suffer 25 to 40 percent loss of their property value," Diedrich said.
Former state senator Bob Welch is a consultant for the group.
"This is a cause that is really about local control and about community involvement in their destiny, and it's about property rights, it's about what our best choices are for energy," said Welch, of The Welch Group.
One of the latest proposals making its way through the state's Public Service Commission centers in southern Brown County. If approved, the project would erect about 100 turbines throughout Wrightstown, Morrison, Hollandtown, and Glenmore, generating about 150 megawatts.
It's proposals like this that bring out residents and questions.
"Is the agenda green? Is it for corporate? Is it a state agenda? Politics? I'm sure it's all wrapped up in there somewhere," Jason Schmechel of Wrightstown said.
"As I understand, these things have a major impact on people's personal life, and I just want to hear the pros and cons," Chris Hibbard from Hilbert said.
Any opinion is welcome here, organizers say. They just hope to start the conversation -- politics and corporations aside, just neighbor to neighbor.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: It's the Wisconsin way.
Not at all happy with wind energy
Chevrons’ wind farm officially opened Monday and the new turbines are creating quite a buzz… literally.
Bright flashing lights, broken internet signals and increased noise are some of the complaints from local homeowners.Some feel their once peaceful property has been destroyed. Many can’t understand why the wind farms had to be constructed near their homes.
“It wasn’t fair to us we haven’t gotten anything for the decrease in our property value, so we’re stuck,” says resident Tammy Clark.
When I spoke with Monte McKillip, a Chevron representative, he said the company is trying it’s best to address residents’ concerns. Chevron is working on replacing the current lights used to warn aircrafts of the turbine towers, with less intense and intense and obtrusive bulbs.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Click HERE to watch a video at the Chevron website about this wind farm. Nearby homes are not shown or mentioned.
The turbines went on line December 14, 2009.