We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to present this news story. But first, let's look at an interactive map of existing and proposed industrial wind farms in our state: (Note: it is by no means complete)
Citizens give senator earful about turbines
By Mark Sherry
February 5, 2009
More than 50 people packed the meeting room Saturday morning at the Calumet Fire Station in Pipe to give State Senator Joe Leibham an earful-primarily about what they view as negative effects of wind turbines in the Johnsburg area.
Leibham, a Republican from Sheboygan whose 9th Senate District includes the Malone area, also fielded other questions from citizens but devoted almost an hour and a half to concerns about wind turbines. The scheduled listening session was supposed to run from 10:30 a.m. to noon, but Leibham stayed until almost 1 p.m. before leaving to take a walk-through of local properties to get a closer look at some of the turbine issues.
The Tri-County News interviewed one farmer last summer who had concerns about the installation of the turbines on his property, but this apparent groundswell of dissatisfaction with the turbines only came to light in the past week. Members of the Calumet County Citizens for Responsible Energy (CCC4RE) have met with a group of about 40 Malone area residents who have concerns with the 88-turbine Blue Sky Green Field wind farm being operated by We Energies. CCC4RE has opposed location of turbines in Calumet County under current setback and other conditions.
Bruce Dalka of W2340 Ash Rd., Malone, opened the wind portion of Saturday's meeting by talking about declining property values and high noise levels. He invited Leibham to try to sleep at his home during certain times of the year, saying, "You will not sleep-period."
Shadow flicker reported
Dalka also said the shadow flicker the turbines create "freaks me out, me and my son... It's very disorienting to me and my animals." He said current law provides abatement if shadow flicker is a problem for 25 hours or more per year, but he said even one hour is too much.
Leibham confirmed Dalka's claim that there are two turbines which are closer to a non-participating landowner's home than the required 1,000 feet. Settlements are still trying to be reached for those issues.
TV and radio reception in the wind farm area continues to be a problem as well, Dalka said. We Energies does provide a contractor to assist with those issues, but Dalka said he has six radios in his home and received only one which works.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
What is wind turbine shadow flicker and how could shadows possibly disturb anyone?
Click on the video below for the answer. It was shot the fall of 2008 at several locations in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. If your internet connection isn't fast enough to view this video, please contact us by clicking here, and we'll be happy to mail you a copy on DVD.