12/5/11 What's up with the Wind Rules in Wisconsin AND Another letter from a wind project resident AND Look What They've Done to our Fields, Ma: More photos of farmfield fragmentation in WeEnergies wind project
WIND TURBINE REGULATIONS STILL UP IN THE AIR
by CLAY BARBOUR,
December 5, 2011
Officials with the Public Service Commission are still holding on to a set of wind siting rules that were supposed to go into effect almost nine months ago.
The rules were sent to PSC in March. Lawmakers hoped the agency could work out a compromise between the wind industry and its critics and have the new rules in place by now.
Kristin Ruesch, PSC spokeswoman, said the agency had little luck in bringing the two sides together. The issues separating them have not changed: setbacks, noise levels and the effects turbines have on neighboring property owners.
The PSC spent more than a year working out the original rules, with the help of Democrats and Republicans, the wind industry and its critics. Those rules were scheduled to go into effect in March. But after taking office in January, Republican Gov. Scott Walker introduced a bill to increase setbacks.
In the end, the legislative committee that reviews agency rules chose not to act on the governor’s bill and instead voted to send the original rules back to the PSC to see if an agreement could be ironed out.
If no changes are made by March, the original rules go into effect. However, two bills sit in Legislative committees designed to kill the original rules and force the state to start from scratch.
YOU CAN'T ESCAPE THE WINING OF THE WINDMILLS
Cumberland Times-News, times-news.com 3 December 2011 ~~
The noise from these windmills on Green Mountain is so great that it is impossible to live near them.
When the wind is from the east there is a constant loud whining that can be heard from inside your home and if it is from the west it sounds like a train running.
The vibrations are so great from the windmills they rattle the windows in my and other neighbors’ homes. The only time there is no noise is when they are shut down.
The front picture window in my house frames three windmills perfectly. I can close the blinds to get away from seeing them, but I cannot get away from the noise.
Anyone who would like to experience this high noise level is welcome to come into my driveway and listen to it. I know this noise is so great that it can never be eliminated.
Neighbors have told me that they have spoken to our county commissioners about this, but they were told they could not do anything.
I believe all of our county commissioners were for the wind farm, These windmills have ruined the lives of both my family and my neighbors.
I want the public to know what these windmills will do to anyone’s life who lives close to them. I have never heard or read anywhere where the windmill advocates ever mentioned the noise level of the windmills.
Most of the time I can hear the windmills from in every room of my house. I have called almost everyone associated with the windmills that I could find a phone number for, but they quit answering or calling me back.
I even called Maria Litos in California who works for I believe Edison Mission Energy and she said they would shut them down at night until they found a solution to stop the noise, but this never happened.
This constant drone from the windmills even makes your head hurt. Something has to be done about this noise because the people around here cannot live with this.
Another problem we have is with the Tasker Road, which I live on, is the cap they put on our road.
This was nothing but a layer of gravel over our original hard surfaced road. This made our road very dangerous as cars would slide almost like on ice.
Most of the gravel has been thrown off of the road by the traffic within a few days. Even the residents on the Pinnacle Road told me they were not happy with the repairing of their road.
I can hear the windmills loud whining even as I write this letter.
Richard L Braithwaite
The photos below were taken by Jim Bembinster. They were taken in Columbia County, Wisconsin during the construction phase of a WeEnergies wind project in 2011. One concern farmers have about leasing their land to wind developers is that their fields will be fragmented, making agricultural activities more difficult.
They are right to be concerned.