Commentary: Wind turbines help create energy but also disturb peoples' homes
12 April 2009
I am from the town of Empire, which includes the Cedar Ridge Wind Farm.
There are 44 wind turbines in this project, three of them are within a quarter mile (1,320 feet) from our home. I can see 12 from our door.
Now that the towers are working, people are grumbling. You cannot believe how loud these things are! Alliant has had a decibel meter on my tree for four weeks now. I can't wait to get the results. The engineer will be visiting to feel the vibration that the turbines create.
For those of you that are fighting for proper setbacks from your home, do not give up because the results are 20 times worse than even I thought. My wife has not slept in a long time. Here is something she wrote:
Hello family and friends. I want you all to understand what the wind turbines are doing to families who are located too close.
I have reviewed some low-frequency vibration studies and find them to be true since I personally am experiencing most symptoms. Also, take a moment to look at www.windturbinesyndrome.com — it is eye-opening. I am not the only one feeling the effects. It is all over the world.
In 1996 my husband and I had the opportunity to purchase our property of 35 acres to build our dream home a few years later. We were required by the Town of Empire to purchase the 35 acres in order to build our home. Both of us grew up in the country and appreciate the peacefulness. I am sad to say today I wish our dream hadn't come true. I feel betrayed by our township, fellow landowners and by our country.
I haven't had a decent night sleep since last November when the wind turbines were turned on. Each night I need to take a pill to sleep. Sometimes that doesn't even help.
This spring when we are able to open our windows, we will not be able to. I stand outside even now at night when I get home and it truly sounds like I am at O'Hare airport. I can feel the vibrations in my bed at night along with the noise.
My children have noticed not being able to sleep. I have noticed the dogs do not care to be outside for too long in the evening.
We have seen the beginning of flicker in our home. For about an hour right now at 6 p.m., our home has been turned into a disco with the shadow from the blades.
Our tax assessment went up this past year. Farmland has gained in value. I wonder why. Too many wind turbines are taking up the farmland. I know if we even tried to sell our home, it isn't salable — this is a term the appraiser used. The turbines do not affect our value, but they affect our salability. Does that make sense?
I am for renewable energy, but why so close to people's homes? Why our homes? Why not in the ocean, deserts or maybe in someone else's backyard?
When I grow old enough to retire, I will move from this place to somewhere peaceful — that is if I can grow old.
The next time you take a drive to the country and say how beautiful the wind turbines are, pull over, turn your car off, get out and listen. I know I can't hear the crickets or the frogs anymore. I can't even hear the horses next door playing in the pastures.
Tony S. Moyer and his wife reside in the town of Empire near Eden.
Red Alert, Wisconsin
A bill that would allow the Public Service Commission to decide where wind turbines can be sited in your community has been introduced by Senator Jeff Plale, (D- South Milwaukee) CLICK HERE to download the bill
Note from the BPWI Research Nerd : After spending the night in the Forward Energy Wind Farm on April 9th, and getting even the smallest idea of what the people in the wind farms of Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties are being forced to live with because of inadequate setbacks approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, I urge you to contact your legislators as soon as you can and let them know that Senator Plale's Turbine Siting Reform bill is a receipe for disaster.
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. Families 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 contact 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. The guidelines used by the PSC were provided by an out-of-state utility with a keen interest in siting as many turbines as possible in any given area, and no interest in protecting public health, safety, welfare, and property values.
(Click here to download the Wisconsin draft Model ordinance, which has since been pulled from the PSC website. This is what the PSC used to site the turbines in the wind farms which are bringing people such misery)
Having trouble with turbine noise or shadow flicker? Want to get your story told? Contact us by clicking here. Better Plan, Wisconsin is ready to help!