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10/14/10 On being a red square in a yellow circle: A wind siting council member weighs in on the real cost of Wisconsin wind farms AND Wind Turbines Too Loud? Sorry Charlie, ain't a lot we can do for you now.


The red squares in the yellow circles on the map above represent non-participating homes in the WeEnergies Glacier Hills wind project currently under construction in Columbia County.

The larger red dots are the turbine locations. [Scroll down to see more detailed maps.]

The new wind rules adopted by the Public Service Commission have the same setbacks from homes as were used for this project.

One difference is the PSC required WeEnergies to offer to buy two homes in the project because seven turbines were to be located within half a mile.

The new rules do not include this sort of protection. Chairman Eric Callisto said by law homeowners have the right to sue the wind developer/owner and he felt that was all the protection they needed.

 Although Wisconsin wind farm residents who have been forced to try to sell their homes because of turbine noise and shadow flicker have found no buyers, local wind developers say 400 to 500 foot tall wind turbines located less than 1500 feet a home have no impact on property values.

[CLICK HERE to watch Wisconsin Eye video: During the panel discussion, WPPI vice president Dan Ebert  and WeEnergy's head of wind development Andy Hesselbach explain why turbines do not affect property value. ]

Or CLICK HERE to link directly to the Wisconsin Eye 'Newsmakers' feature "Future of Wind Energy"

 Developers also say Wind energy is the cheapest way to get renewable energy and cite surveys which indicate stong public support for wind power.

Wind siting council member and Wisconsin realtor Tom Meyer weighs in on the matter.

This is not a question of whether or not people like, or favor "wind" as the lobbyists try to argue. Everyone likes wind, sun, water, earth.

The issue is this: The total cost of generating energy by the use of 400 and 500 foot tall turbines in Wisconsin’s rural communities.

Developers admit that they cannot get investors, who are primarily foreign investors, to put their money up unless the costs of access to the land are depressed.  

To get the biggest area to install the highest number of 400 to 500 foot tall turbines, the developer needs to have the greatest access to the most land and compensate the fewest people with the least dollars.

 The developer does not need your land, he needs to get one foot [away] from your land.

 Every foot the developer is made to move away from a landowner whom he does not have to compensate, adds cost to the developer and reduces the bottom line to investors.

Every dollar spent to gain access to the right to disturbing the peace of a landowner reduces the bottom line.  

For wind turbines to be profitable, the industry could improve the technology or depress the cost of access to the land.

By their actions, they prove they believe depressing land costs is more favorable than investing in improving the technology.

Their answer to improved technology is taller and more intrusive. That's not a real solution. 

If the turbine can't produce energy without imposing on neighbors, there is no reason to spoil the earth, and threaten the water, and block the sun, to catch the wind.

-Tom Meyer

Wisconsin Wind Siting Council Member

NOTE: Tom Meyer was one of the authors of the minority report from the wind siting council. The report details why some council members strongly disagree with the recommendations sent forth to the Public Service Commission.

CLICK HERE to download pictures of homes in Wisconsin wind projects.

CLICK HERE to read about a Fond du Lac County wind project home (pictured above) that spent 740 days on the market and finally sold for half of its appraised value.

CLICK HERE to read about a Fond du Lac County home (pictured above) in the WeEnergies wind project that appraised for $320,000 just before the turbines went up. The owners were unable to sell the home and abandoned it because of turbine noise and vibration. It was auctioned at a sheriffs sale with an opening bid of $107,000. There were no takers. The home has been empty for nearly a year.

Below, detail maps of non-participating residences in WeEnergies Glacier Hills Project


The project mentioned below was sited with the same setbacks and noise limits used to site the We Energies Glacier Hills project. (Detail maps above)


Source: News at WLBZ2.com

The Associated Press

VINALHAVEN, Maine (AP) -- The CEO of the electric cooperative that installed wind turbines on Maine's Vinalhaven island says there's disagreement over data suggesting they're too noisy.

Fox Island Wind CEO George Baker says his experts dispute the findings of a Department of Environmental Protection consultant who says the turbines violate nighttime noise limits.

State law sets a 45-decibel limit. Baker says his experts believe it was ambient noise from wind rustling through trees that exceeded 45 decibels, not the turbines themselves.

Baker says it'll be a difficult issue to resolve. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that slowing the turbine blades to lower the noise level by a couple of decibels may not make appease critics. And lowering it further could hurt the economic viability of the project.

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