2/19/10 TRIPLE FEATURE: CORRECTION: We were wrong. It was MONROE county not Brown County AND When it comes to the ways of wind developers, the cat that lost its tongue found it on Thursday night in Brown County AND what does it take to come between a father and son? Would you guess a payment from a wind developer? AND Wisconsin wind farm residents are not alone in health complaints
Correction: Better Plan was in error when reporting that residents who spoke out against the Invenergy project proposed for Brown County found dead skunks and deer heads on their mailboxes.
The dead skunks and deer heads were found on the mail boxes of those who spoke out against an Invenergy project in Monroe County
Better Plan regrets the error.
Concerns about proposed Invenergy wind project draws capacity crowd to meeting in Brown County
By Lynda Barry
February 20, 2010
KAUKANA- It was standing room only in Van Able's restaurant after residents quickly filled the five hundred seats in the banquet hall and overflowed into a side room.
Community members came to hear concerns about Chicago-based Invenergy's 100 turbine Ledge Wind project which would occupy the Towns of Morrison, Holland, Wrightstown and Glenmore, making it the largest wind development in the state.
The event was organized by a grassroots community organization called Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (bccrwe.com) and drew a capacity crowd.
Along with speakers who addressed the now well-known issues of turbine noise, sleep loss, shadow flicker, loss of property value and impacts on farm animals, local residents had the chance to hear about something rarely spoken about in public.
Landowners detailed their first hand experiences with the questionable techniques used by Invenergy to convince them to sign onto the project.
They spoke about being lied to by developers who said their neighbors had signed onto the project when in fact they had not. They spoke about the varying amounts of money offered to different landowners even as Invenergy claimed publicly that all landowners were getting the same amount.
Some landowners talked about about what made them decide not to sign on to the project while others expressed deep regrets about having signed the contracts.
There were several discussions about what options landowners had for getting out of contracts and along with concerns about being sued by the wind company.
Speakers also talked about about the negative impact the proposal has had on the community and spoke about the new hostilities between neighbors and family members.
A speaker from Monroe county mentioned that in his community residents who spoke publicly against the project were soon greeted by dead skunks and deer heads on their mailboxes. Some felt the wounds made to this previously strong community would never heal.
Invenergy representatives were in attendance but did not openly identify themselves and remained quiet throughout the meeting.
More on this story to come.
Wind farm debate divides families
by Jeff Alexander
February 17 2010
Plans to build the state’s largest wind farm in southern Brown County is dividing several rural communities. It’s even causing turmoil within families.
For almost a year now, Roland Klug has lobbied his neighbors to join him in signing contracts with a Chicago company to build 400-foot wind turbines on their land in Morrison. As Roland sees it, it’s a sign of the times.
“Some people hate them. I love them. I think it’s progressive. It’s a country moving forward,” Roland said.
But just a mile away is another sign with a very different message put up by Roland’s son, Dave.
Like many families in this farming country, the Klugs are at odds with each other.
“It is very, very trying I will say right now,” Dave said.
As Dave sees it, the prospect of 100 turbines towering over the landscape is appalling. The fact that four could be as close as 1,000 feet from his home is scary, he says.
He points to research he says he’s done on other wind farm developments around the country and the impact on nearby residents.
“Every one we read about are having all kinds of health issues, property values drop, and to me I guess it just doesn’t seem like it’s a real good investment for our community,” Dave said.
But according to Roland, it’s an investment that will help him keep his farm. He’s signed on for two turbines that will pay him $20,000 a year.
Roland says he “had to sell off 48 acres to make a payment for a couple of years, and we’d have to just keep selling off.”
Roland knows he’s made some neighbors angry. “My son gets very mad.”
Dave said, “My son is 21 and was all set to buy some land right by me which would’ve been my dream, been great, but right now we had to put it all on hold. You cross your fingers, but he’s probably going to end up living somewhere else.”
Roland says, “I just know in time it’ll all straighten out, it always does.”
Dave Klug, though, isn’t so sure. Especially if the wind turbines go in.
There is a meeting scheduled for Thursday night called “Living in an Industrial Wind Turbine Project.”
It’s at Van Abel’s in the Town of Holland. Doors open at 6 P.M. and speakers begin at 7.
NEW! CLICK HERE to watch a video about wind farm residents in Australia who describe sleep loss, health problems and other complaints identical to those reported by Wisconsin wind farm residents.
For those with slower internet connections CLICK HERE to read the transcript of the interview
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: People who live in Rock County may be interested in the wind company's response to resident's complaints. Spanish owned Acciona is the same company that now owns the leases to land in the Towns of Magnolia and Union. Better Plan, Wisconsin has contacted Acciona several times to ask about their plans for the community. Acciona has not replied.