With the passage of the Turbine Siting Reform Bill out of committee yesterday, AB 256 takes another step closer to becoming law. [click here to download AB 256]
Many people thoughout our state have been working to get our legislators to look a little more deeply into this issue and respond to the mounting evidence and peer reviewed reports of adverse health effects from badly sited turbines.
Three reports, created specifically to guide legislators in wind turbine siting decisions, and alert them to areas of concern, all identify a half mile as the minimum setback needed to mitigate problems from turbine noise and shadow flicker.
The Reports include:
The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Science Report "Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects". (2007) [Download Document]
The Congressional Research Service Report prepared for Members and Committees of Congress "Wind Power in the United States: Technology, Economic, and Policy Issues (2008) [Download document]
The Minnesota Department of Health, Environmental Health Division In response to a request from: Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security: "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines" (2009) [Download Document]
We thank all who continue to take the time to help our legislators understand what a serious issue this is.
Below is a letter sent to assembly members of the Energy and Utilities committee regarding Turbine Siting Reform. We thank the Kunz family for allowing us to share their letter here.
May 22, 2009
Dear Committee on Energy Chairman Rep. James Soletski,
The current wind turbine siting procedures have not been based on facts, studies, research not there before wind turbines were put up.
Many local governments have adopted more reasonable wind turbine ordinances that protect the citizens from adverse health effects not only in Wisconsin but many other states.
The PSC should not be allowed to trump the hard work of local governments.
To ignore "we the people" and the local government that have followed the problems with wind energy systems based on facts for the last five years.
These problems will not be going away if the PSC has siting rule but in fact will multiply as more wind turbines are added to Wisconsin, especially in high populated areas.
As you may well know we would need 12,000 to 14,000 wind turbines to meet RES for 2024.
We currently have 305 wind turbines.
They produce only a trickle of energy and on some days use more than they produce.
They use electricity when the wind isn't blowing because otherwise the blades could warp.
The wind industry does not seem to want to disclose their usage or wind speed data and I imagine there is a reason for that.
There have been a lot of unanswered questions when dealing with industrial sized wind turbines especially foreign-made products --resulting in moratoriums and Ac Hoc committees to advise local officials based information from a variety of experts with credible backgrounds.
One such study at the State level is a white page report done by the Minnesota Department of Health called: "Impacts of Wind Turbines on Public HealthImpacts of Wind Turbines " that our State of Wisconsin should closely look at to promulgate rules that the PSC has failed to do nor shows any consideration to do so.
The Minnesota Public Health dept. report substantiates why at least a 1/2 milessetback is needed for large industrial sized wind turbines.
Knowledge is the key to a successful well-planned wind power plant.
Your vote reflects your knowledge of the issues for all the citizens for the entire State of Wisconsin.
The failure of the PSC and the wind industry to consider all the citizens has resulted in the stalled projects.
Yet the PSC, wind industry and promoters of wind projects such as Renew and Clean Wisconsin will not even listen to the people or to acknowledge and correct the siting mistakes.
I hope that is not the case with State Government Officials from every district, county, city, town or farm and especially you on the committee for energy.
This is a very important issue and deserves your attention.
The ruining of lives must stop and is a serious matter for those living too close to wind turbine. Please oppose the wind turbine siting bill in its present form.
[NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Though wind developers continue to insist that shadow flicker is not a significant problem and only lasts for a few minutes each day, one of the findings in the Minnesota Department of Health white paper is that turbines sited closer than 2640 feet east or west of a residence means that home can have one and a half hours of shadow flicker a day.
Wisconsin residents living in PSC-approved wind farms have reported shadow flicker lasting even longer and are being driven from their homes during the periods of shadow flicker.
Click on the image below to see what shadow flicker looks like and imagine it lasting for an hour and half in your home each day. This footage was shot by residents of the PSC-approved wind farm near the Town of Byron, Wisconsin)
Please consider taking a moment to call or send an email to
Representative Sheridan (Speaker)
(608) 266-7503 Rep.email@example.com
and Representative Nelson (Majority Leader)
(608) 266-2418 Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ask them to put AB 256 on hold until questions about the issues of health and safety can be more throughly examined and resolved.
Ask them to please do the math: If the state needs to site 12,000-14,000 turbines by 2024, tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents will be affected by this legislation. We need to make sure we get it right.