1/17/09 State to wind farm residents: We'll give you this big nickel if you sacrifice that little dime-
Click on the image above to hear what turbines can sound like on a bad day. This video was shot by a resident of the Invenrgy Forward Energy project near the Town of Byron in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. The closest turbine to his house is less than 1600 feet away.
Are setbacks and noise limits a public health issue or a profitability issue ?
Profitability for a wind project relies on the same short setbacks and inadequate noise limits that cause problems for residents forced to live with them.
Initially, Wisconsin families complaining of harm due to short setbacks and inadequate noise limits were not believed and even openly ridiculed, particularly by wind developers and lobbyists.
In granting recent approval for the Glacier Hills wind project, the Public Service Commission admitted the problems do exist, and some residents will be bothered by turbine noise and shadow flicker. The commission even suggested the utility consider a buyout of the most severely affected homes.
Now that the PSC has acknowledged the problem, the attitude toward wind farm resident's complaints and concerns has changed. The harm caused to families by inadequate setbacks is now considered unfortunate but acceptable collateral damage, a minor concern when weighed against the greater good.
But what is the greater good in the case of Glacier Hills? Most of us assume it's the reduction of green house gas emissions by using wind power.
However, Clean Wisconsin let the PSC know that there would be no reduction in CO2/GHG levels unless the utility is required to shut down an existing coal burning plant, something the utility has no plans of doing.
In a post hearing brief submitted to the PSC, Clean Wisconsin states:
"If the Commission allows WEPCO to continue construct Glacier Hills and operate all of its existing coal-fired capacity, WEPCO’s rate-payers will be paying over $525 million for a new facility that is not needed to satisfy demand and will not result in overall CO2 emission reductions."
Which begs the question: If there is to be no reduction in CO2 emissions, what is the state getting in exchange for forcing Wisconsin families to sacrifice their health, well being, and property value?
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: It's not just Wisconsin residents who are being forced to make questionable sacrifices. Click on the image below to hear about sacrifices our neighbors to the north are forced to make. An Ontairo dairy farmer speaks about wind leases, turbine related negative health effects and electrical pollution