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3/3/11 Unhappy Anniversary: It's been three years and like a bad neighbor, Invenergy's turbine #4 is there.

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Note from the BPWI Research Nerd--

It's been three years since the 86 turbine Invenergy wind project went on line near the Town of Byron in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.

Today, March 3, marks the third anniversary of the activation of Invenergy's 400 foot tall turbine #4.

The Public Service Commission allowed Invenergy to erect a turbine that is forty stories tall weighing more than 250 tons less than 1600 feet from a home belonging to the Meyer Family.

(Note: The PSC also permitted Invenergy to site these same turbines as close as 1000 feet from non-participating homes in this project)

BROWNSVILLE%20DIARY%2080%20WEB.jpgGerry Meyer began keeping a noise diary three years ago. Here's how it begins:

March 3, 2008
Turbine #4 turning slow for the first time. 10:00 pm I went out to check the fire and I looked up in the sky to try and see the jet flying over. It was not a jet, but the turbine.

March 6, 2008
Same sound as Wednesday the 3rd of March

March 7, 2008

Turbine sound. Our 13 year old son, complained of a headache. He had not been told headaches being one of the side effects of turbine noise. My wife and I were concerned about how the turbine noise would affect him. He has become our son via social services with many problems. His ears are like that of Radar on MASH. He hears sounds before we do, such as fire department sirens.

Three Years have passed.

Here is a recent e-mail from Gerry Meyer

February 11 2011– 5:40AM. We went to bed last night at 10:20PM.

This was the worst night of sleep since the turbines went up almost 3 years ago.

I was woke up at 11:38. Even on bad nights I usually get 2 or 3 hours of sleep before being woke up. I was woke up every hour after that. I thought I would remember the other times but I can’t remember them this morning. At one of the wake ups I had a head ache--  At 5:38AM I was woke up to the thumping sound of the turbines and could no longer sleep. It is Sunday morning. It would be nice to sleep a little later, but it is not possible. I am so angry as I type this my fingers are shaking. 


Video below, filmed by Gerry Meyer: 

Turbine #4 is the closest one to the house but there are many others. Click on the video below to see them and hear what Gerry Meyer has to say about living in the wind project.


Better Plan posted the following in 2008: Excerpts from Gerry Meyer's turbine noise diary


Today we feature the first entries of a noise log kept by a Brownsville family who live 3/4 miles east of South Byron in Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin.

The new wind turbines have just gone on line there. They aren't the only family we've heard are having turbine troubles. We've heard from several. Children seem to be especially affected by noise and headaches.

If you are having problems with turbines it's important you start a day to day diary right away so you will have a record of what is happening to you. And please let us know how you are doing!

The Diary Begins:

Our family lives on County Road Y in Brownsville, Wisconsin, which is about ¾ of mile east of South Byron. 

Turbine # 4 is 1560 feet behind my house.

Turbine # 3a is about 500 feet mostly east and a little north of turbine #4.

Turbine #6 is about ¾ of mile to the northwest of our home.

Across the road, mostly south and slightly west is turbine #73 at a distance of 2480 feet.

Down the hill to the west is turbine #74a which is about ¾ of a mile away.

We can hear all five of these turbines at various times.

The following is a log of our experiences with wind turbine noise

March 3, 2008
Turbine #4 turning slow for the first time. 10:00 pm I went out to check the fire and I looked up in the sky to try and see the jet flying over. It was not a jet, but the turbine.

March 6, 2008
Same sound as Wednesday the 3rd of March

March 7, 2008

Turbine sound. Our 13 year old son, complained of a headache. He had not been told headaches being one of the side effects of turbine noise. My wife and I were concerned about how the turbine noise would affect him. He has become our son via social services with many problems. His ears are like that of Radar on MASH. He hears sounds before we do, such as fire department sirens.

March 8, 2008
Saturday AM. Loudest so far. Like jet in sky with whoosh to it. I have not written every day. That does not mean the turbine sound is not there. I feel we may never have peace and quiet ever again. We can only hope there are days with no breeze.

March 10, 2008
5pm. Sounds like a high flying jet. 10pm Low flying jet. At 10pm loudest I have heard it. My son still has headache.

March 18, 2008
#4 not turning but could hear whose of #6. We could hear the turbines daily so if there is no record that does not mean there was no sound.

March 25, 2008

Could hear whoosh of #3a. #4 not turning at 4:45 PM. At 5:30PM #6 turning with jet sound of whoosh of turning blades.
Our son is a foster child we adopted. He has lots of issues which are mostly behavior but also include mental problems. If we just stopped by to talk and you interacted with him you would not know, but tick him off and you would see it. He is like Radar on MASH in that he usually hears sirens before we do. My wife was concerned about his health when talk began about turbines and then we received information about health issues. Our son does not know about the health issues from us or from anyone talking about them.
        Soon after #4 began turning he had a bad headache. It lasted about four days or he mentioned them for four days. At school there is a complicated way to help him try and behave and do his schoolwork. He does not focus and is angered easily. So there is a level system with level 4 being the best and in level 1 he is in solitary confinement and cannot go to his regular classes. Level 3 he is in the special ed. Room with other students. Level 2 he is in the special ed room but kept from other students. For about two weeks he did well and stayed at level 4. After the turbine began turning  and the headaches he has now gone to level 1. I should also say he can only go up or down one level in a day. Since Wednesday he has told teachers and the principal and us that his head is spinning and in some cases he tells us that his head is spinning 100 miles an hour. I would guess it has a connection to his behavior at school. Sometimes we can hear the turbine while in our house.

March 26, 2008

#4, #3a & #6 running. Can distinguish between #3a and #4 jet sound whoosh.

March 27, 2008

Fairly quiet

March 28, 2008

Not much wind. Slow turn. Not much noise.

March 29, 2008

Wind from SE. Jet sound with only slight Wind.

March 30, 2008
Turbines around us not running much.

March 31, 2008

6AM Jet sound. 10PM fog, drizzle. Woosh sound.

April 1, 2008

Wind NW 14 mph. 6:15AM #4 not running. I hear #6 with jet sound.
 2:30 PM tower #6 still very loud.

April 2, 2008

6AM. Wind from the SW. #4 jet sound. Now hearing #73 and #74a as the have come on line. In the afternoon #74 is louder than #73.

April 3, 2008
6AM Some sound from #4

April 4, 2008
6AM #4 turning slow, no wind. 11PM #4 and 73 loud and sound like jet going over

April 5, 2008
Our son could not sleep and was up at 1:30 AM. I sent him back to bed and went to our family room in the north end of the house. I could hear turbine #6 from inside the house. Remember that turbine is ¾ of a mile from our house. I turned on the TV (low sound) and could still hear the turbine.
7:30 AM Definitely that jet sound from #4.
Can also hear #’s 3a, 6 and 73. I had a brief unusual feeling in my head somewhat like when one gets off a roller coaster. This was around 11:00AM. This is the loudest the sound has been since March 5th. At 11pm still that jet sound.

April 6, 2008

6-6:15 AM. Wind from the South. Turbine #’s 4, 6, 73, 74a all turning. Jet sound as soon as I went out the house door. 9AM #’s 6 &73 loudest. 10PM #4 quite loud. Saturday has been the worst day so far.

April 7, 2008
5:30 AM Can hear the turbines easy.
10:00 PM Quietest in 3 days

April 8, 2008

Drizzle and not many turbines turning at 10PM. #4 some sound

April 9, 2008

My wife told me she had a headache Friday through Monday with turbines turning. She had no headache Tuesday. Turbine was not turning. This morning she told me she has a headache and asked me if the turbine is turning. Yes it is.

April 10, 2008

Fairly quiet today.

April 11, 2008
6AM Could hear the woosh but turbines were hidden in fog. 3:00 PM Loud, jet sound with strong south wind.

April 12, 2008
7:00 AM #4 Jet sound with whoosh sound. At breakfast I asked my son if he could hear the turbines in the house. “Yes, and I hear them in my room,” he said, “Some nights I can’t sleep” His room is upstairs in the SW corner of the house. As I sit below his room (inside the house) I can hear the turbine.

This interview is with Gerry Meyer, who carried mail in his community for 30 years. He also keeps the Brownsville Diary, a daily turbine noise log that can be read by clicking here

For those whose internet connection isn't fast enough to watch the video, a transcript is provided below

Town of Byron, Fond du Lac County, WI

GERRY: Well I've been keeping a daily log and I think it was March 5th the turbine that is 1560 feet behind our house was turned on. I didn't know it at first. I walked out of the door and when I walked down the sidewalk and I heard the sound of a jet flying over so I'm looking up in the sky for this jet. Well it wasn't a jet. It was the turbine going.

So the majority of the time it sounds like a jet going over. Sometimes the whooosh whooosh whooosh of the blades turning around.

We have another turbine that's about 2800 feet across the road and at times that one is just as loud as the one behind our house. In all we hear five of them from our house.

Q: Have you noticed any change in your quality of life because of the noise, or has anyone in your family noticed any change in their quality of life?

Last Saturday seemed to be the loudest when all five of them were running. At one point I was walking across the yard, I had a little funny feeling, I don't know, a  different feeling inside of my head kind of like after you get off a roller coaster, you're not completely stable.

We have a 13 year old son we adopted through social services who has a lot of issues, emotional issues, health issues, and a couple days after the turbine started turning-- the one behind our house-- he had headaches for about three or four days, pretty strong headaches---  and he's on an unusual program at school because of discipline. Level four being the best, he can stay in the class room with other students. Level three he's in a special ed room,  level two he's in the special ed room but segregated from the other children and level one he's in a different room, kind of like solitary confinement . And after these headaches he went from level four down to level one and two for almost two weeks.

He'd come home and tell us, he'd tell the principal, tell his teachers that he felt his head was spinning a hundred miles an hour. So we can't prove at this time that it's from the turbines but we're thinking there's a connection.

When we first heard that the turbines were going to be built in our area my wife was especially concerned because our son is kind of like Radar on "Mash"-- he hears a siren, tells us there's a siren, but we don't hear any siren, then a couple of seconds later sure enough the fire department is out or there's an ambulance run taking place.

Q What has the interaction with the local officials-- either township or county-- been with its residents?

I think most of the ground work had taken place before the residents were aware. I think the energy people had visited the counties, the towns, and it was cut and dry. And then there was a few local residents who caught wind of it and attended meetings and tried to tell the town officials--  here it's a very small township-- there's a chairman and two supervisors-- we're in the town of Byron, Fond du Lac County, it's the southern edge of Fond du Lac County.

Q When you talk to the neighbors in this area, what's the general consensus, are they satisfied with the project?

I think some of the farmers feel they were mislead. And after they signed the contract the energy company pretty much walked all over their land. They didn't build roads in a common sense manner, they stayed off of fence lines-- in some cases they went along the fence line and then cut diagonally across the field. I was at the first meeting when the energy company came and said maybe there would be an acre to two acres of land being disturbed on each site. And if you take the width of the road and the distance-- some of them are a quarter to a half mile off the main road, they're disturbing quite a bit of land.

Q. Are there a lot of homes out here that turbines are situated close to?

I would say yes. The majority of the turbines would be close to homes. The set back is 1000 feet. However we're 1500 feet and 2400 feet and we hear them and to me they are a real nuisance. And 2500 feet should be a minimum.
Q. Under state guidelines they can come closer to your home.You're already being affected by the distance they're at now. At a thousand feet, what do you think, would they be unbearable?

I would think, in time, from what I've heard, that the low frequency noise, something we may not hear or be aware of,  but it's in the air,  and our bodies feel it even though sometimes consciously we're not hearing or feeling it. There's one thats about three quarters of a mile from my house, last Friday my son woke up at 1:30, I saw the light on and I sent him to bed, and I could hear something, I went into our family room and I could hear Turbine #6 which is three quarters of a mile away, inside my house. To me, that shouldn't be.

Click on the image above to hear wind turbine #4 from the Meyer's front porch.


Here's Better Plan's post from last year at this time, when the Meyer's had been living with the turbines for two yearS.

What's it like to live in the 86 turbine Invenergy Forward Energy wind project?

Here are two recent notes to Better Plan from the Meyer Family. They are residents of the Invenergy Forward Energy wind project near the Town of Byron in Fond du Lac county. 

Since the turbines went online near their home two years ago, they have had trouble sleeping, increased blood pressure, ringing and crackling in the ears and headaches. Cheryl has been taking sleeping medication, something she never needed before the turbines started up.

The closest turbine to their home is less than 1600 feet.

From Cheryl Meyer

March 8, 2010

"The turbines are so loud that our dog, Trigger, goes to the backroom window and barks at them.

It sounds like a snowplow driving around the house full bore with its blade down.

I find it interesting the last few days that when I go out with the dog he goes so far down the sidewalk and then turns and looks north to the turbine. He stares at it a few seconds and then moves on.

 But they have been usually loud the last two days. Just thought I would let you know.  


March 9, 2010

From Gerry Meyer:

Cheryl has a really bad headache.

 She has tried Imatrex or the shot three times in three days, so today went to the Doctor....

The message Cheryl wrote you was when I was in LA. I remember her telling me that the turbines sounded like snow plow coming through the house.

You could add that Trigger barked because that is what he does when a vehicle comes in the driveway. The turbine was so loud he thought a plow was in the driveway.




On February 18th, I spent another night in the Meyer home to get a better idea of what they are living with and was kept up well past three in the morning by a thumping from the turbines that seemed to come from all directions.

The only thing I can compare it to is the bass sound you hear coming from a car with powerful speakers. You feel the noise as well as hear it. It was impossible to sleep until it finally stopped.

The typical turbine jet sounds and whooshing were louder outdoors than indoors, but the low thumping was penetrating and much louder inside the home than outside the home. This was especially so on the second floor.

The Meyer family home is a typical wood framed old farm house found throughout rural Wisconsin. The Meyer's young son often goes to bed with two radios playing, one on either side of his head to counteract the turbine noise.

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