5/26/10 TRIPLE FEATURE PSC Agenda for tomorrow's open hearing includes three big Invenergy items AND Brown County residents push for wind turbine health study
BIG WIND DECISIONS ARE PART OF PSC OPEN MEETING TOMORROW
Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 10:30 a.m.
Flambeau Room, third floor
Public Service Commission Building
610 North Whitney Way
Audio of the meeting will be broadcast from the PSC Website beginning at 10:30. CLICK HERE to visit the PSC website, click on the button on the left that says "Live Broadcast". Sometimes the meetings don't begin right on time. The broadcasts begin when the meetings do so keep checking back if you don't hear anything right at 10:30.
There are many items to be discussed and decided upon at tomorrow's open meeting but three of them are of special interest to those of us who are following the wind issue in our state.
All three involve Chicago-based wind developer Invenergy.
Invenergy wishes to expand its 86 turbine Forward Energy wind project in Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties, it also wishes to construct a large wind project in Brown County which it is calling "Ledge Wind"
The third item involves a lawsuit from the Wirtz family who abandoned their home because of turbine noise.
These items are number 12 of 17 items currently listed on the agenda.
Docket number: 9300-CE-100 – Application of Forward Energy LLC for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Construct a Wind Electric Generation Facility and Associated High Voltage Electric Transmission Facilities, to be Located in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties
9554-CE-100 – Application of Ledge Wind Energy, LLC for a Certificate of Public
Convenience and Necessity to Construct a 150 MW Wind Electric Generation Facility and
Associated Facilities, to be Located in the Towns of Morrison, Holland, Wrightstown and
Glenmore, Brown County
9554-EI-100 – Complaint of Ann and Jason Wirtz, Seeking Compensation for Injuries
Sustained as a Result of the Operations of the Forward Wind Energy Center (suggested
minute) (DL memorandum of 4/27/10)
Wind turbine foes press Brown County to ask Wisconsin for further studies
SOURCE: Green Bay Press-Gazette, www.greenbaypressgazette.com
May 25, 2010 By Tony Walter
The citizens group contesting the proposed locations of wind turbines in southern Brown County has asked county officials to take an active role in convincing the state to further study the health and safety impact.
In more than two hours of presentations before a joint meeting of the county’s Human Services Committee and Board of Health, group members cited sleep disorders, physical danger and well contamination among their reasons.
The Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy is challenging the proposed Ledge Wind project sites of Invenergy LLC in the towns of Morrison, Glenmore, Wrightstown and Holland.
The state Public Service Commission has the final say on the locations and has appointed a wind siting committee to establish the guidelines that are expected to be announced this summer.
“This is a very significant matter for our leadership to discuss before installation,” said Carl Kuehne, a spokesman for the citizens group. “We want to make certain that they’re properly sited.”
The group made four requests:
* That the County Board or Board of Health prohibit erection of wind turbines until a study of the health effects can be completed.
* That the county ask the state Department of Public Health to conduct a formal and independent study of the health effects of wind turbine noise on existing farms in Wisconsin.
* That the county ask the PSC to defer any applications for siting wind turbines anywhere in the state, particularly in Brown County, until the study is completed.
* That the Board of Health establish appropriate setbacks and noise level guidelines for wind turbines in Brown County.
The group submitted a petition with 900 signatures.
Morrison resident Tim Harmann showed a video in which he interviewed residents near Fond du Lac who were dissatisfied with the wind farm project in that region.
Ann Wirtzsaid her family had to move away from wind turbines near Fond du Lac because of health issues created by the turbines. She gave an emotional review of her experience.
“Don’t do this to people,” she told the committees. “I beg you.”
Jon Morehouse, a member of the citizens group, said there were dangers from broken blades and fallen turbines, adding that one collapsed last week in Illinois.
Kristin Morehouse said the construction of turbines in Morrison presented serious well contamination issues to a community that has already been beset with such issues.
Matt Thornton, a spokesman for Invenergy, said the evidence of health and safety with wind turbines is extensive.
Reading from a prepared statement, he said, “There is prodigious evidence nationwide that wind turbines are safe and produce no negative health effects. There is already a body of evidence in Wisconsin showing wind farms are safe, healthy and beneficial, including the recent Glacier Hills case decided by the Public Service Commission.”