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8/17/09 Wind Farm Buy Out: Money talks, families walk, but only if they agree to a gag-order: Is this the future for residents of the Glacier Hills Wind Project?

The Public Service Commission is now accepting public comments on the proposed Glacier Hills Wind Project which is located about 50 miles northeast of Madison. Above is a detail of the siting map of project.

[Download the full- sized map by clicking here]

[To learn more about this project and see close-ups of the proposed layout, click here]

Each red square in this image is a non participating home. The yellow circle around it represents the 1000 foot setback.

We hope you'll take a moment to contact the PSC to let them know what you think about the setbacks proposed for this project and urge them to base the siting of wind turbines on scientific and medical data rather than the wind developers need to site as many turbines as possible in the smallest amount of space.

You can post your comment to the PSC by CLICKING HERE

You can also view the entire docket for the Glacier Hills Project at the PSC website [CLICK HERE] Enter docket number 6630-CE-302 in the boxes and click "GO"

Scroll down to read selected public comments from this project. We will be adding them as they become available.

PSC REF#: 118452

Public Comment by Lynda Barry

Docket or Case Concern: 6630- Submission Date: 8/17/2009 11:48:10 AM

Comment Detail:
According to the land registry office in Orangeville, Ontario, six homes in Dufferin County have now been purchased by wind developers after serious wind turbine- related complaints; most recently June 26th, 2009 the Ashbee home.

The families were asked to sign gag-orders. The wind company has reportedly spent over $1.75 million buying out these family homes while claiming there have been no complaints from the residents in this wind farm.

This is a list of residents whose homes have been purchased by the wind company according to land registry documents.

Family Name Address

Ashbee PT LT 29 CON 7, PT 1 7R742; Amaranth
Frasers 58234 County Rd 17, Melancthon
Benvenete Pt Lts 284 & 285, Con 4, Melancthon
Brownell Pt Lt 29, Con 5, Pt 1, 7R787, Amaranth
Williams 58232 County Rd, RR 6 Melancthon
Barlows Pt Lt 1, Con 5, Melancthon

Why is this happening?

Industrial Wind Turbines were allowed to be sited too close to these residences. This caused trouble from unexpectedly severe noise and complaints of adverse health affects which include cardiac arrhythmia, sleep disturbance, fatigue, increased stress levels and loss of cognitive function.

The turbines in the proposed Glacier Hills project are sited much to close to homes. For the wind industry to be successful in the long term in our state, siting guidelines must be re-considered.

It seems a uniform standard for setbacks may not be the right answer. Depending on terrain and location of turbines in relation to each individual home itself, the same setback could have completely different consequences.

It's important that the PSC review what is happening in the existing wind farms in our state that have the same setbacks as proposed for the Glacier Hills project. It is critical that a third party be in charge of recording complaints.

I've been told that representatives of the developer of this project wind have repeatedly told residents who will be living in the Glacier Hills project that there have been few complaints from Blue Sky/Green Field.

Until a third party is responsible for recording complaints, and until the PSC investigates these complaints, the PSC will be unable to make a decision on this project based on the first hand experience of residents who are already living with the same setbacks.

More trouble can only come of this.

In the early days of wind development in our state, much was decided based on assumptions. We now have evidence to work from, both in our own state, and the country and indeed throughout the world.

If people and wildlife continue to be harmed, if natural habitat continues to be fragmented and destroyed, this industry will fail. Getting it right from the beginning is critical.

The first thing that has to be addressed in this proposal are the setbacks. The setbacks in this project favor quantity siting over quality siting. Quality siting takes more into account than getting a fixed number of turbines sited in a fixed area in a fixed amount of time.

Please take a look at the map showing two non-participating homes on E. Friesland road near turbines 61 and 120. [Above]

Note the number of turbines surrounding them. Consider what is about to happen to the lives of the families who live in these two homes if the siting goes as planned here.

Will the wind developer also buy out these homes and other homes in this project?

What happens to the future of the wind industry here as the word spreads throughout the state about what families are facing when quantity based wind farm projects come to their area?

PSC REF#: 118423
Public Comment by Douglas Zweizig
Docket or Case Concern: 6630-CE -302
Submission Date: 8/16/2009 5:18:35 PM
Comment Detail:
To the Wisconsin Public Service Commission,
I have viewed the proposed siting of wind turbines for the Glacier Hills project (Figure Vol. 2-2, Setbacks from Non-participating Residences) and believe that the proposing wind developer is suggesting that the Public Service Commission be complicit in an inhuman and potentially criminal act: to place large wind turbines in proximity to existing homes, knowing that they will produce sound and flicker that will threaten the health of the residents.
While once the Public Service Commission could accept the word of a Florida utility that 1000' was a safe and healthful setback from a large wind turbine, the effects of accepting that guideline are now being experienced in Wisconsin wind farms that the PSC has permitted. The PSC can no longer say that it is not aware of the consequences of that unexamined acceptance of the 1000' setback.
As a member of a Plan Commission in a Wisconsin Town that has spent sixteen months and tens of thousands of dollars to develop an turbine-siting ordinance to protect the health and safety of its residents, I have become aware of the experiences of residents located in Wisconsin wind farms and of the increasing research literature that is warning of the effects of siting wind turbines too close to dwellings.
I know that the Public Service Commission has also been informed of these experiences and of the research. We now know that it is unwise to site large wind turbines closer than a half mile to a home.
I think that it is apparent that the Public Service Commission should reject this application to inflict the effects of incorrect siting of wind turbines on Wisconsin residents.

Douglas Zweizig
Plan Commission Member, Town of Union (Rock County)
Posted on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 11:50AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

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