Home in PSC approved wind farm, Fond du Lac County, 2008. Photo by Town of Union study committee member, Jim Bembinster
Letters from residents reporting trouble in PSC approved Wisconsin Wind Farms
12 March 2009
"First, wind farms are not agricultural, they are industrial. They should be zoned and taxed as such. They do not belong in or near a residential area.
I am troubled by what I have read in the document “Report Number 061608-1 Post Construction Noise Survey” prepared by engineers hired by a power company to justify themselves. The report indicates that the calculated values of noise reflect “the increase to the ambient levels.” I would be more interested in receiving the actual noise and energy levels at various wind speeds.
Page four also reports that no “whoosh-whoosh” sound was heard. The reporter must have been deaf or has had the good luck of being present at a rare quiet run-time, or was way up-wind. These noises are loud enough to be heard inside at times. The report has lost most of its credibility as far as I am concerned.
I am beginning to doubt everything the report states. I am starting to think the engineers were hired to give the power company the information they wanted to hear. And that only selective tests from selected sites were used to generate the report. Some people say they saw equipment at spots not indicated in the report. Much of the report, appendix C, contains mostly useless information because of the lack of wind speed and sound level information.
Most of the residences in our area are skeptical of what the power company now reports primarily because of what they have said and have not said in the past. They promoted the project by reporting the “polished good” and the “least” favorable information was neglected. They waved money in front of landowners. These landowners are now having some regrets about the project due to the adverse effects it is having on their lives.
An indication of the double standard used by the companies is that the internal service manuals used by the power companies recommends that employees stay at least 1,300 feet away from an active tower, yet they build towers 1,000 feet from a residence.
Another concern is that Flight for Life helicopters will not respond to areas within a wind farm. Injured individuals will have to be transported to designated landing zones.
I am also concerned about my health. The sound/feeling leaves me irritated and restless at times. My sleep has been affected. I wonder what the long-term effects are of low frequency noise and wind turbine syndrome.
With what I have said, I wonder what good this project is. Are the power companies making a lot of money? These things would never have been built if large government subsidies were not given to the power companies. At $3 million to $4 million a tower, they are a terrible investment.
I see nothing good for me personally. They have spoiled what I have tried to create in the past 35 years in restoring a pre-Civil War homestead to be my Shangri-la."
Larry and Carol Lamont
Town of Marshfield
12 March 2009
From other Wisconsin wind farm residents:
13 March 2009
"Previous letters have attempted to inform local citizens of the hazards of inappropriate placement of industrial wind turbines.
Information received from those living in the industrial wind facilities in Fond du Lac County support world-wide research regarding the negative impact on health including sleep deprivation, headaches, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, depression, increased seizure activity to sensitive persons, vertigo, internal pressure on body systems, anger, irritability and depression due to the noise, shadow flicker and vibration caused by the operation of these huge metal and fiberglass dinosaurs invading our landscape.
One lady from the area stated her father can not come to visit because the shadow flickers caused him to have a seizure. Flight for Life indicates they will not land in industrial wind facilities. “Due to the safety considerations, Flight for Life will not land in these clusters because of the risks posed to air medical transport, and wind farms present additional hazards to Air Medical transport systems” as stated in a memo from Flight for Life.
Not only do those living in these industrial wind facilities experience health problems, they fear for their safety. One woman meeting with the Fond du Lac County Town of Marshfield Board on March 2 tearfully state those living in the area have been “given a life sentence” because at her age she cannot leave her home and the turbine facility will be around longer than she will. Others indicate that homes listed for sale have had no activity from potential buyers. One person indicated that prior to the installation they had an interested party who backed out of the purchase when it was disclosed that the turbines were going up. Loss of property values is a real threat.
Another citizen related that as he walked in his woods, he was peppered with pellets of ice that were being thrown off the blades. Local citizens have experienced ice throws, with one reporting that a chunk hit her car. Others are collecting and saving the chunks in their freezers. With the speed at the tips of the blades reaching upwards of 140 or more miles per hour even a small shard of ice can become a deadly weapon.
Other causes of great frustration reported by members of the community include loss of television, radio and broad band reception. Others report that the shadow flicker is bouncing off of other objects including metal siding, ponds and water, glass and even toasters and refrigerators greatly amplifying the effect.
Attempts by WE Energies to mitigate these problems has been met with less than adequate responses and have been falling on deaf ears. The issues cannot be resolved. People are being told they are only entitled to one working TV and radio in their homes. Even with the best satellite dishes on the market, reception is inadequate and stations that do come in are not the stations homeowners received prior to the installation. Those having to put up satellite are also told that they will only receive two years maximum payment for their loss of reception when previously they did not have to pay for any TV or radio reception.
Many report that windows, shades and curtains have to be kept closed to avoid the flicker. This necessitates the use of air conditioning when previously none was needed because windows could be opened. How is this saving energy? Who is paying for the increased energy use? What about the ability to look out your window and enjoy the view?
If you think you could live like this, there are a lot of houses for sale. If you think you or others should not have to live like this, please contact your senators and representatives to voice your disapproval of the current setbacks. Very shortly Senator Jeff Plale (Dem.), 7th Senate District (Oak Creek, St. Francis, Cudahy, Milwaukee), will be introducing a bill that threatens to take local control out of the decision making process for siting industrial wind facilities and place it in the hands of the Public Service Commission. You can reach his office to voice your opposition to this action by calling (608) 266-7505 or 1-800-361-5487.
Diane Hoerth and Teresa Hahn
13 March 2009
RED ALERT WISCONSIN!
A draft of a bill that would allow the Public Service Commission to repeat the wind turbine siting disasters in Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties has been introduced by Senator Jeff Plale, (D- South Milwaukee)
It should be noted that Senator Plale will have no wind turbines in his district, and no constituents who will be affected by this bill. The main impact will be on residents of rural Wisconsin.
Though the bill mentions no specifics about setbacks, noise limits, and other siting concerns, it is very clear about giving turbine siting approval to the PSC.
The PSC approved the siting of turbines 1000 feet from non-participating residents homes, and a noise limit of 50 decibels. Residents in the PSC approved wind farms of Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties are now having a hard time living with the disastrous results.
After you read it, please call your legislators (click here to find out who they are and how to contact them) and let them know if they want wind turbine siting reform, it should be based it on the Town of Union's Large Wind Ordinance, not a "recycled ordinance guidelines provided by an out-of-state utility"