Entries in Larry Wunsch (4)
2/11/11 Wind Project Homes Slideshow AND Contact the Committee AND Want to watch Wednesday's wind siting hearing? AND Why did the Vice Chairman of the Wind Siting Council testify against the PSC wind rules AND Let's review of the first International conference on health effects associated with industrial scale wind turbines
Click on the image above to watch a video slide show of homes in the Fond du Lac County wind projects. The siting guidelines the Public Service Commission used in Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties are much like the siting rules that will take effect on March 1, 2011 unless the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) decides to suspend the rules and return them to the PSC.
At the hearing, the JCRAR showed themselves to be an unusually attentive group of legislators who appeared genuinely interested in what people at the hearing had to say. They gave particular attention to the stories from the people with homes in the wind projects who are clearly having trouble living with setbacks the PSC setbacks once assumed to be safe.
Click on the links below if you'd like to contact members of the joint committee to thank them for holding the hearing and to ask that they suspend the PSC's rules.
Senator Leah Vukmir (Chair) (R- Wauwatosa) 266-2512, Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Jim Ott (Chair) (R- Mequon) 266-0486, Rep.OttJ@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Joseph Leibham (R- Sheboygan) 266-2056, Sen.Leibham@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) 266-7513, Sen.Grothman@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Lena Tayor (D-Milwaukee) 266-5810, Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) 266-1627, Sen.Risser@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade) 266-9175, Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) 266-7678, Rep.email@example.com
Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) 266-5813, Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to include your name and address.
Click on the image below to see a video made by Larry Wunsch who served on the wind-siting council.
Mr. Wunsch testified to the committee on Wednesday about his first hand experience of living 1100 feet from a wind turbine being marginalized. He said the council wouldn't allow him to play a recording of the wind turbine noise he lives with.
Although Mr. Wunsh made copies of the video below available to council members, it was never discussed.
Posted on YouTube in August of 2008, Larry Wunsch's video has been viewed over 45,000 times.
HUNDREDS JAM HEARING ON WISCONSIN WIND ENERGY RULES
SOURCE: The Associated Press
February 10, 2011
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Hundreds have packed a legislative hearing on how far energy-generating wind turbines should be located from property lines.
Statewide construction standards for turbines are set to go into effect March 1. But Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have raised concerns that the regulations would allow turbines to be built too close to a neighbor's property.
Walker proposed a bill with larger setbacks but lawmakers decided not to consider it after critics said the measure would hurt the wind industry. GOP lawmakers instead have chosen to approach the issue through the rule-making process.
Republicans on the rule committee told state regulators they're worried the rules allow turbines to be built so close to property lines neighbors could get hurt.
The committee wasn't expected to take any action on Wednesday.
Couldn't make the wind siting hearing at the capitol on Wednesday? Want to know what happened?
To: Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR)
From: Douglas Zweizig, Ph.D., Vice Chair, Wind Siting Council
Re: Clearinghouse Rule #10-057; PSC Wind Siting Rules proposed Chapter 128
Date: February 9, 2011
My name is Douglas Zweizig.
I am a retired UW—Madison professor from the School of Library and Information Studies. I conducted national survey research studies, and I directed doctoral students in the conduct of original research.
I’m also a member of my Town's Plan Commission, and I serve as Vice-Chair of the PSC's Wind Siting Council.
I am here today to request the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules to set aside PSC 128 (CR 10-057).
I am one of the authors of the Wind Siting Council’s minority report to the Public Service Commission. (See Appendix E of http://psc.wi.gov/mediaRoom/documents/WSC%20Final%20Report%20and%20Cover%20Letter%208-9-2010.pdf)
That minority report details grave concerns about the basis for the wind siting rules that are before us today. I am here to request that the rules be suspended because they were produced without a thorough or responsible audit of the negative impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines.
The rules as written will not protect the health, safety and welfare of impacted Wisconsin residents and communities. As you may know, the majority of the Wind Siting Council members had a direct or indirect financial interest in pushing for rules that favored the wind industry.
The rules reflect this, resulting in setbacks that are too short, limits on noise and shadow flicker that are too lax, and nearly non-existent remedies for citizens with complaints.
In Act 40, the legislature required an independent and qualified researcher "with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind energy systems" to be a member of the Wind Siting Council.
Instead, the Public Service Commission appointed a junior physician staff member of the state Division of Public Health who was just out of medical school. He openly and publicly admitted he had no expertise in the issue of health effects and wind turbines. He had collected no data and had made no observations himself on the health effects of wind energy systems.
His research consisted of reviewing existing literature using very narrow criteria. This resulted in a whitewashed report to the Council which ignored not only the first-hand experience of Wisconsin residents who are clearly having trouble living with wind turbines, but also disregarded even the most basic recommendations of the World Health Organization on nighttime noise limits necessary for healthful sleep. (www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43316/E92845.pdf)
The most common health complaint from wind project residents is not mysterious: turbine vibration and noise interrupts their sleep. Health problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation from nighttime noise are well known. The PSC should be directed to carry out the quality of study called for in Act 40.
The main argument against more protective guidelines is an economic one. Wind energy proponents tell you the very setbacks that will protect the health of Wisconsin residents are “job killers.” You have been told over and over that wind energy systems will create jobs and provide a clean, effective source of energy with no negative consequences.
Of course, we are all interested in increased jobs for Wisconsin, but those who claim that short setbacks will not only do no harm but will also result in over 7,000 wind-related jobs in our state should be required to prove it, not just claim it.
The MacIver Institute recently attempted to document Wisconsin jobs related to wind energy and were able to identify only 31 jobs that were specifically tied to wind energy-related products. (http://maciverinstitute.com/2010/08/facts-about-green-job-creation-elusive-as-the-wind/) What’s the truth here? Shouldn’t we know?
In the name of questionable job creation, you are asked to accept siting rules that clearly disregard negative impacts to human health, wildlife, and property values in order to promote unsubstantiated claims of improved air quality and job growth.
If the PSC is to create wind siting rules for the entire state, then provisions for accountability must be part of those rules.
The rules must ensure the following things: that wind development does no harm to people, property values, wildlife, or habitat; that it provides an economical power source; and that it reduces output from coal-fired power plants in our state.
As Vice-Chairman of the Wind Siting Council, I am here to say the rules as put forth by the PSC do not meet these requirements and to ask that you suspend them.
I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Town of Union (Rock County) Plan Commission
SECOND FEATURE: LET'S REVIEW:
LEADING EXPERTS POOL MOST RECENT UNDERSTANDING OF HARM OF INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES ON HUMAN HEALTH
SOURCE: Wellington Times, wellingtontimes.ca
Evidence was presented that people likely don’t “get used to” wind turbine noise. Even those who claim not to hear noise appear to endure physiological stress related to the pulsating low frequency noise.
Among the more worrisome bits of information gleaned from the weekend conference was that current assumptions of safe setbacks are likely wrong.
November 5 2010
by Rick Conroy,
Piece by piece, presentation by presentation, the foundation upon which industrial wind industry and much of Ontario’s Green Energy Act sits was taken apart and dismantled this past weekend.
The industrial wind turbine business was always on shaky ground. It has been promoted by governments eager to be seen to be doing something about the western world’s reliance on fossil fuels—oil, gas and coal. In many respects wind energy policy has been a public relations exercise fuelled by governments’ willingness to spill billions of taxpayer dollars into developer’s pockets.
They do so with a mix of wishful thinking and willful blindness in the expectation that technology leaps will fill in the significant operational gaps before most folks realize intermittent generating sources don’t work on a large scale.
None of these folks anticipated, however, that industrial wind turbines would actually make people sick. After the first international symposium in Picton on the weekend, there can be little doubt remaining.
Several analogies were made about how the fight against the harmful effects of smoking tobacco began with just a few voices in the medical and scientific community. It would take decades, however, before governments would listen and begin to take action. The esteemed participants of the Picton gathering fervently hope it doesn’t take as long for governments and the broader public to understand the harm caused by industrial wind turbines.
Dr. Bob McMurtry, a physician and former deputy minister of health in Ontario, gathered doctors, scientists and researchers from around the world to Picton in reveal their findings and share the latest information on the impact of industrial wind turbines in what he termed a “consilience” or unity of knowledge.
WHAT WE LEARNED
Several alarming messages emerged. Every animal with a functioning hearing organ, including humans, is at risk of being affected by the low-frequency pulsating sound emitted by industrial wind turbines.
Those most acutely affected tend to be disposed to motion sickness or car sickness— but even those without these symptoms may be responding to the noise, whether they are aware of it or not.
The low-frequency and subsonic (below the hearing range) noise from wind turbines has a demonstrable effect on the ear and hearing mechanisms. The most acute symptoms include nausea, dizziness and sleep disturbance. It is now becoming evident, however, that even those who don’t suffer these particular symptoms are likely realizing some harm.
These hearing mechanisms are closely related to language development, learning and cognitive organization— as the fine components of the ear become stressed, learning in children becomes impaired, concentration becomes harder for adults, and sleep is disrupted.
Evidence was presented that people likely don’t “get used to” wind turbine noise. Even those who claim not to hear noise appear to endure physiological stress related to the pulsating low frequency noise.
Among the more worrisome bits of information gleaned from the weekend conference was that current assumptions of safe setbacks are likely wrong.
Many opponents of large scale industrial wind factories have pressed for setbacks from homes of at least two kilometres. (Ontario’s Green Energy Act prescribes setbacks of just 550 metres.) But studies done by sound experts John Harrison and Richard James now show that in some conditions— over water and rocky terrain and beneath low cloud cover—the low-frequency noise can travel up to 15 kilometres.
Keynote speaker Dr. Nina Pierpont, the author of Wind Turbine Syndrome, explained that “our brains don’t function well” when subjected to long-term sustained low thumping noise from industrial wind turbines.
According to her research 90 per cent of those in her test sample exposed to the “pulsating tone” of the wind turbines suffered from cognitive performance deficit as compared to a control group. Generally they had more difficulty with reading, spelling, math, memorization and recalling the plots of television shows.
Pierpont’s findings extend beyond cognitive issues. She has also observed that stress to the hearing organ is linked to balance, which has a close relationship to emotions including panic and fear. These are the same triggers that cause in some a paralyzing fear of heights.
She observed that two-thirds of her test group—14 of 21—presented “disturbing symptoms” such as the need to flee, difficulty breathing, and panic.
Dr. Arlene Bronzaft recounted her groundbreaking studies on noise and learning done three decades ago in New York City. In her work she documented how children on one side of a school nearest a busy train line suffered from measurable learning impairment compared with students on the opposite side of the school.
Her work led to legislation and changes in the classroom to ensure students has a quiet place to learn, not just in New York, but across the U.S..
She urged the physicians and scientists in the room to continue to produce evidence of the harm of industrial wind turbines.
“You need the studies and the research,” said Dr. Bronzaft. “You need to teach. You need to be political. But I ask you not to give up if you are successful in one area—there are communities in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Maine and across North America with small groups who are fighting these developers. They will continue to need your help.”
Alec Salt heads the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis. He illustrated that sound emitted from industrial turbines is many times greater than the audible hearing range—prompting him to work through the answer to his own question—does sound that you can’t hear hurt you?
Salt’s research has shown how low-frequency sound affects the transport mechanism of the ear and hearing structure.
“A big part of the sound created by an industrial wind turbine can’t be heard,” explained Salt. “That doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you. When these structures move frequently and dramatically it can have an effect on a range of symptoms.”
He asked the audience to consider this proposition against other human senses.
“Apply this notion to taste, smell, sight and touch,” said Salt. “Does anyone believe that you have to taste something in order for it to be harmful? We know that ultraviolet light (light we can’t see) can have a dramatic effect on skin and other organs. The notion that we can’t be harmed by sounds we can’t hear is nonsense. We need to stop ignoring the effects of infrasound on people.”
He is less clear about whether symptoms persist after exposure to industrial wind turbine infrasound is discontinued.
Sleep expert Dr. Chris Hanning travelled from the U.K. to explain the effect of industrial wind turbines on sleep. He observed that the need for sleep is universal among animals—that poor sleep leads to a range of disorders from obesity to heart disease.
“Disrupted sleep over time leads to heightened states of frustration, anger and feelings of loss of control,” said Hanning. “This noise is viewed as an invasion of the place in which we go to retreat from life, where we go to feel safe.”
He also observed that the pulsating tone when measured on a spectragraph appears very similar in pattern to a fire alarm: “the tone we use to arouse people from sleep and warn them of danger.”
He has found that the persistent low frequency throbbing of industrial wind turbines is more disruptive to sleep than traffic, aircraft and industrial noise. The only thing worse, according to Dr. Hanning, is the rhythmic bass pounding from a loud stereo or “boombox” nearby.
Like Dr. Bronzaft, Hanning urged his colleagues in the room to continue to produce research and studies. He said illconsidered government policies have created thousands of guinea pigs around the world.
“There are enough folks being affected right now that together we can do the work that government and industry should have done in advance,” said Hanning.
After the physiological mechanics of the effect of industrial wind turbines had been described the conference turned to the victims. Dr. Michael Nissenbaum has conducted a controlled study of effects of industrial wind turbines on residents of Mars Hill in Maine.
The subjects in his study live within 1,100 metres of an industrial wind installation consisting of 28 1.5 MW wind turbines. His control group consisted of 27 adults living on average 5,000 metres from the wind turbines.
Eighty-two percent (18 of 22) of those closest to the turbine reported “a new onset or worsened sleep disturbance” since the turbines went online. Only one of the 27 of those five kilometers away reported a new or worsened sleep disturbance. One hundred per cent of those closest to the turbines had considered moving away.
Much of this evidence presented this weekend, will likely be used in January as Ian Hanna of Big Island takes on the Ontario Government in court. Hanna is arguing that the province failed to use the “precautionary principle” when it lowered and removed regulatory hurdles to developers of industrial wind energy through the Green Energy Act. The precautionary principle states that governments or organizations must ensure that its policies do not harm individuals or communities prior to enactment.
It seems clear from this weekend’s Picton conference that the province failed to meet this test.
8/10/10 Ask for advice from people whose lives have been shattered by wind turbine noise and shadow flicker, and then if you're on the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council, just ignore what they have to say.
What's it like to live with turbines too close to your home?
Monday, August 9, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
ADAMS COUNTY, ILL. -- "I'm against irresponsible wind energy, and that's what this is," says Dave Hulthen.
That is Dave and Stephanie Hulthen from DeKalb County Illinois.
They are in Quincy for a couple of days sharing their thoughts on wind farms.
The Hultens live on a wind farm in DeKalb county, and they don't like it.
There are no wind turbines on their property, so they are not compensated by the wind energy company.
However, they tell KHQA their quality of life has been blown apart since the turbines came online this past December.
This is video of the Hulthen's house. You can see the shadows of the big turbines as they rotate from the wind. They tell me this happens just about every morning during a large part of the year. This is a look from the inside of their home.
"We are exposed to shadow flicker as well. That's where the turbine comes between the sun and our residence. We have a flickering in the morning where it could go for 45 minutes," says Dave Hulthen.
Dave Hulthen says there are two turbines within 1400 feet of his home. There are 13 within a mile. And the problems are more than just shadow flicker.
"It's like a jet plane just sitting on the property. Not flying overhead and leaving, but always sitting out there spinning. It's a hum, hum, hum. a low frequency drum noise," says Stephanie Hulthen.
Take a listen to this video shot around midnight one night.
The Hulthens didn't really know what it would be like to live on a wind farm. They visited one before the one near their house was built. They heard some noises and thought they could live with it. It wasn't until they lived with it 24 hours a day before they realized they didn't like it.
"Now we're affected in one way. In two years, could something else happen. We don't know," says Dave Hulthen.
So the Hulthens are in Adams County to share their concerns with the residents here. They say they have nothing to gain, they were not paid a salary to come here, they just believe people need to do their research first to make sure everyone associated with a wind farm is happy in the end.
The Hulthens do have a daily blog about living on the wind farm.
They say not all days are bad, but a majority of them are.
They also blog about the good days too.
If you'd like to read their blog posts, you can click here.
There is also a question and answer session with the Hulthen Tuesday at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.
The Adams County Board is voting on its newly revised draft ordinance Tueaday night.
You'll remember an original ordinance was past earlier this year.
This new draft addresses some of the concerns of residents and a wind energy company.
KHQA spoke to County Board Chairman Mike McLaughlin, he says this new draft addresses the issue of shadow flicker.
"My board's biggest concern is to take care of the health and safety of the residence of Adams County. We don't want to bring in something that's going to harm anybody. That's obviously not our intent," says McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says Adams County is working with a different company than the one that operates the wind farm in DeKalb County.
He adds there could also be other issues, such as elevation, that affect properties differently.
As far as some benefits to a wind farm in Adams County, it could be a big boost on the economic front.
McLaughlin says a lot of the county's taxing districts, like schools and libraries, would benefit a lot from the development.
In the news:
ANOTHER CHAPTER FROM "WIND DEVELOPERS BEHAVING BADLY", CANADA,
"We will build resources, including capital and marketing materials, to challenge this bylaw and any similar bylaws passed in other municipalities including funds to support any legal challenge as a result of delayed issuance of building permits," [Wind developer] Edey said.
"That is not to be looked at as a threat, because it is not," Edey told council and about a dozen wind energy opponents at the meeting. "We don't believe going to court is a good use of resources, but if that's what it takes to move the project forward, well . . ."
From Wind turbines in the news: 10/10/10 "Gloves off in wind farm showdown"
7/28/10 DOUBLE FEATURE: Wind foxes finalize rules for hen house, and they look just like the old ones that have caused so much trouble for residents of rural Wisconsin AND Yet another wind turbine blade failure in an Invenergy wind project
What happens when rules are written by those who stand to gain financially from the outcome?
Wind siting council member Larry Wunsch has been living with a 400 foot tall wind turbine sited just 1100 feet from his door for over two years.
Council Member Dwight Sattler lives about half a mile from the closest turbine to his house. He says he can sometimes hear them, but at half a mile it doesn't bother him.
At half a mile, no problem. At 1100 feet, the noise is bad enough to cause the Wunsch family to put their home up for sale.
Longer setbacks and lower noise limits mean greater protection for rural Wisconsin residents, but less money for those with financial interests.
Should the wind siting council consider what Larry Wunsch has to say when creating siting recommendations for our state?
Or should they follow Wind Sitng Council chairman Dan Ebert's lead and gloss over the issues to speed up the process in order to create guidelines which protect business interests instead of residents of rural Wisconsin?
ANOTHER 'CAUSE UNKNOWN' TURBINE BLADE FAILURE IN ILLINOIS
SOURCE: The Times, mywebtimes.com
July 27, 2010 Dan Churney,
Barbara Ellsworth was troubled, but not surprised Saturday morning when she spotted a broken blade on a wind tower near her home.
“We thought, ‘Hah! We knew that would happen.’”
Ellsworth and her husband Mike live three miles south of Marseilles on East 2450th Road, about 1,200 feet from a wind turbine and about 2,500 feet from one of the two towers damaged during the weekend, possibly by high winds. Chicago-based Invenergy Wind operates the string of towers that run through southeastern La Salle County.
3/28/10 Will you be an 'affected entity'? and a little more about the siting council: Required reading for the first wind siting council meeting Monday, March 29,
WHO IS ON THE WIND SITING COUNCIL?
These bios were provided by the BPWI Research Nerd. If there are any errors or inaccuracies, please contact us immediately by CLICKING HERE so we may correct them.
Selected members were announced March 16, 2010. They include by law,
Two wind energy system representatives:
Tom Green, Wind developer, senior project manager, Wind Capitol Group, Dane County.
Wind Capitol Group is developing a project in Columbia County
"But whether the wind farm goes in, [Tom Green] said, will depend on what the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin decides, as it sets parameters for wind farms - including setback from neighboring properties - that will apply throughout Wisconsin, and which cannot be made stricter by local authorities.
"You can't have a patchwork of rules throughout the state," Green said...
The rules, when they are adopted, will apply to wind farms such as the one proposed by Wind Capital Group - operations that generate less than 100 megawatts."
In April 2009 Wind Capital Group sold the Bent Tree Wind project in Freeborn County, Minnesota to Wisconsin Power and Light Co. (WPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation. Dane County
Bill Rakocy, Wind developer, parter and founding member of Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, LLC, WASHINGTON COUNTY
Emerging Energies is developing the Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County. The five hundred foot tall turbines, made by German company, Nordex, will be the largest in the state.
UPDATE: We received an email from a Manitowoc County resident who tells us...
"Bill Rakocy with Emerging Energies also has land signed up in the Mishicot area. This is a 7 turbine project that was stopped in court with the use of the Manitowoc Co. wind ordnance. Manitowoc Co. gave them the permits under the old ordinance, but was reversed in court. Land is still under contract and he will benefit from lesser setbacks that the committee will place in the standards."
We invite Emerging Energies to contact us by CLICKING HERE if this information in inaccurate.
“We’re excited to develop as much wind [power] as we can in Wisconsin,” says partner Bill Rakocy."
“The permitting process is a rather long-term effort,” says Rakocy. “A conditional use permit is good for two years, typically, and it may take you all of that two years to get the balance of the project details put in place. And then there’s production tax credits available from the federal government, and if they expire in the midst of the project, all your work is for naught.”
“For the project, called the Shirley Wind Farm, Nordex will supply cold climate models of the N100s, upgraded to operate in temperatures as low as minus 20° Fahrenheit.
“We looked very carefully at the N80/N90/N100 Nordex turbines and were convinced by their great track record, along with the quality and experience Nordex brings to the market,” said Bill Rakocy, one of three founders of Emerging Energies.
"We selected the N100s because they accomplish two critical project goals – maximizing available land and wind resources by using the largest, tallest turbines available. We’re excited to introduce them in the US and in Wisconsin.”
The project also represents a shift in the US market toward larger turbines with higher efficiencies and yields. In 2008, the average installed turbine was 1.67 megawatts. Nordex built the first 2.5-megawatt turbine in 2000 and has the longest track record for reliability in the multi-megawatt class, with over 1,000 installed worldwide.
One town representative:
Doug Zweizig, P&Z Commissioner, Union Township, Professor Emeritus, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Served as acting Chairman of the Town of Union P&Z commission during the development of a large wind ordinance. Rock County
"When asked about health and safety effects of wind turbines, EcoEnergy (the company proposing to locate wind turbines in our township) as well as our local utility simply have denied that there are any concerns, using statements such as “The noise from wind turbines is about the same as a refrigerator running in the room. “ or “The noise from wind turbines is masked by the sound of the wind blowing.”
These often-repeated statements are demonstrably false and would be laughable if they weren’t so disrespectful of the people suffering from sleep deprivation and other chronic health effects resulting from bad placement of wind turbines in Wisconsin. If they believe what they’re saying, they can’t have listened to their own turbines.
They are counting on the ignorance of landowners, editorial writers, and, frankly, legislators to allow them to make such deceitful claims. (Yet, while denying any adverse effects from placement of wind turbines, EcoEnergy uses the word “mitigation” a lot—betraying their recognition of the need to counteract the effects of wind turbines on humans in their vicinity.)"
SOURCE: Submitted testimony, public hearing before the Senate and Assembly Energy Committee regarding turbine siting reform, May 12, 2009
One county representative:
Lloyd Lueschow, Green County Board Supervisor, District 28, Village of New Glarus trustee, Green County
Former Director, Integrated Science Services, Wisconsin DNR,
Two energy industry representatives:
Andy Hesselbach, Wind project manager, We Energies, managed Blue Sky/Green Field project in Fond du Lac County, project manager for recently approved Glacier Hills project in Columbia county. BS in Industrial Engineering, MBA.
"Hesselbach said he's concerned about proposals to move turbines farther from people's homes, given the need for Wisconsin to add more renewable power to comply with the state's renewable portfolio standard.
If "the sound or setback standards are modified in any material way, it is unlikely that this project will be developed, and moreover that any large-scale wind project will be built by any entity in the future in the state of Wisconsin," Hesselbach said. "The only option to utilize wind generation would be to develop projects in other states."
CLICK on the image below to watch Andy Hesselbach in a news segment about Fond du Lac County wind projects.
Dan Ebert, WPPI Energy; Vice President of Policy and External Affairs, Former Chairman of Public Service Commission of Wisconsin 2005-2008, former executive assistant to PSC Chair Bernie Bridge. Transition Personnel Director for Governor Doyle 2002.
Dan Ebert, who chaired the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for three years between 2005 and 2008, oversees the legislative and regulatory affairs, corporate communicaton and policy development functions for WPPI which serves 49 municipalities and one electric cooperative in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Upper Michigan.
Ebert was appointed to the chairmanship of the PSC in 2005 by Governor Doyle, having been executive assistant at the commission. Current PSC chairman, Eric Callisto, was appointed in 2008 after Ebert vacated his seat. Prior to being a appointed, Callisto had also been executive assistant at the PSC.
Two environmental group representatives:
Michael Vickerman , Executive Director, RENEW Wisconsin, registered lobbyist. RENEW'S "Terawatt Sponsors: include Alliant Energy, American Transmission Company (ATC), Madison Gas & Electric, WE Energies. RENEW also recieves money from Wind developers EcoEnergy, enXco, Horizon Wind Energy, Invenergy LLC, Emerging Energies LLC [SOURCE]
“You can’t stop a project in Wisconsin based on the appearance of these turbines,” [Vickerman] says, “so over the past seven years the opposition has refined its arguments and framed them in the realm of protecting public health and safety.
Here, as far as I’m concerned, is where they reveal their antiwind bias. They allege that they can’t sleep, they suffer from nausea—they express their discomfort in the most hysterical terms, and I think they basically work themselves into a very visceral hatred for wind.
I don’t even know if they have a philosophical objection to wind. They’re maybe congenitally unhappy people and they needed to project their fears and anxieties and resentments onto something new that comes into the neighborhood and disrupts things.”
Ryan Schryver , Global Warming Specialist, Organizer, Advocate: Clean Wisconsin, Madison, Dane County
Click on the image below to hear Ryan Schryver speak about global warming, weather changes in Wisconsin, and the over-use of dirty coal in our state.
Two realtor representatives:
George Krause Jr. Real estate broker: Choice Residential LLC, Manitowoc County. Lifelong resident of the Port Cities area in Manitowoc County, Realtor in Manitowoc area since 1989, he was voted Realtor of the Year by the Manitowoc County Board of REALTORS® Inc. in 2009
Tom Meyer, Realtor, Broker, Restaino & Associates, Middleton, Dane County
Tom Meyer has been a realtor since 1989 and a broker since 1993. P resently
Managing Broker for the Middleton office of Restaino & Associates
Click on the image below to watch Tom Meyer speak about real estate issues or CLICK HERE to watch it at its source
Two landowners living adjacent to or in the vicinity of a wind energy system:
Dwight Sattler Landowner, retired diary farmer, Malone, We Energies Blue Sky/Green Field project Fond du Lac County
Click on the image below to watch a video of Dwight Sattler
Larry Wunsch, Landowner, fire-fighter, Brownsville, Invenergy Forward Energy wind project, Fond du Lac County
Click on the image below to watch a video of Larry Wunsch
"I have a wind turbine located 1100’ from my home and I can almost see all 86 turbines in the project from my back yard. There will be a lot of testimony today stating that there are no ill effects coming from wind turbines. I am here today to tell you that those statements are nothing but lies.
When the PSC permitted project first came to our Town, we had a lot of questions and concerns. We asked about noise and were told that they make very little noise. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many days where the turbine next to me sounds like a jet engine idling on a taxi-way. There have been many nights where I laid awake from noise generated from these wind turbines.
Think about it. This is a huge, high torque generating device fastened to a 300 foot hollow steel tube mounted to an immense concrete foundation, and you are telling me that this device will not make noise. I am not a sound engineer so I can’t ague sound decibel levels. All I can say is that there are times that these turbines are so noisy that they almost drive me out of my home."
SOURCE: Public testimony given at a public hearing before the Senate and Assembly Energy Committee regarding turbine siting reform, May 12, 2009
Click on the image below to watch a video created by Larry Wunsh and submitted as part of his testimony
Two public members:
David Gilles, attorney specializing in energy regulatory law, shareholder, Godfrey & Kahn Attorneys at Law, former general counsel to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin 2003-2007, former Assistant Attorney General during Jim Doyle's term as Attorney General, Madison, Dane County.
Jennifer Heinzen, Wind Energy Technology Instructor, Lakeshore Technical College, President of RENEW Wisconsin, Manitowoc County
Manitowoc County Wind Energy Systems Advisory Committee from 2005-2006
"I have spent many hours on and underneath wind turbines of all sizes, and have never felt sick. Nor have any of the systems’ owners/hosts that I’ve met. What makes me sick is the profound hatred these near-sided, selfish, wind opponents have towards change and progress."
"Please believe our intent is in no way to belittle local communities or imply that anyone is “dumb,” as you stated in the article. But when irrational and unfounded fears are propagated and allowed to infest the minds of our local decision-makers, the madness must be stopped. I honestly don’t understand why the WINDCOWS and their allies hate wind power… Money? Aesthetics? I quit trying to rationalize it long ago because it really doesn’t matter.
State Statute 66.0401 outlines local governments’ authority to restrict wind and solar energy systems. Those opposed to a project must prove legitimate health and safety concerns. That’s hard to do, considering no civilian has ever been physically harmed by a wind turbine. Therefore, anecdotal tales of “wind turbine syndrome” run rampant on anti-wind websites, but the “evidence” is nothing more than a conglomeration of exaggerations, misrepresentations, and outright fabrications.
One University of Wisconsin System faculty member with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind energy systems:
Jevon McFadden,MD, MPH Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine & Public Health
2009 Senior Assistant Resident and graduate of Johns Hopkins Bayview Internal Medicine Residency Program; Epidemiology Intelligence Service, 2009 Lieutenant, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, 1998 Andrews University Student Missionary to Micronisian Island of Yap
The PSC appoints the members for three−year terms.
The PSC is required to obtain the advice of the council in promulgating rules under the substitute amendment. In addition, the council must survey peer−reviewed scientific research on the health impacts of wind energy as well as national and state regulatory developments regarding the siting of wind energy systems, and submit a report to the legislature every five years describing the research and developments and recommending legislation based on the research and developments.
GRIM NEWS ABOUT BATS, BIRDS and TURBINES
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
BAD NEWS ABOUT WISCONSIN BATS, BIRDS and TURBINES
The high fatality numbers reported in the post construction bird and bat mortality study for Blue Sky/Green Field project in Fond du Lac county have surprised everyone who has seen them.
The report shows that the number of kills in the We Energies project are the highest ever recorded in the Midwest, by as much as ten times the national average.
As far as we can tell, there is no one on the council who has expertise specific to these wildlife and habitat concerns. If you are as disturbed by this as we are, why not contact the PSC and let them know you'd feel better if there was someone on the council who could represent our state's birds and bats and habitat.
It is also available on Blue Sky/Green Field docket on the the PSC website
Click on the image below to watch a video about the turbines alongside the Horicon Marsh in Fond du Lac County. There is talk of putting turbines even closer to the marsh during Phase Two of hte project.
UPDATE: We have been told that siting council member and Green County supervisor Lloyd Lueschow is a retired biologist and was formerly employed by Wisconsin DNR.
Agenda for Monday's meeting:
Overview of process and expectations, time line
Introduction of Commission staff working with Council
Open meeting requirements
Administration of Oath
2) Self-introductions by members of Wind Siting Council
3) Election of officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary
Reimbursement of expenses
Schedule of Future Meetings
Instructions regarding use/enrolling in Electronic Regulatory Filing System (ERF)
Overview of rule-making process and additional Act 40 requirements
5) Review of Draft Rules Outline/topics
Explain how developed
Topics/items that are unclear
Topics/items not in outline which council recommends for inclusion
6) Discussion of how to proceed with future work
7) Next steps/Adjourn
This meeting is open to the public.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN STATEMENT OF SCOPE
Wind Siting Rules
SOURCE: PSC Docket 1-AC-231
A. Objective of the Rule:
2009 Wisconsin Act 40 (Act 40) establishes statewide criteria for the installation or use of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of less than 100 megawatts, and helps ensure consistent local procedures for such systems.
Act 40 requires the Commission to promulgate a variety of rules that specify the conditions a city, village, town, or county (political subdivision) may impose on such a system. If a political subdivision chooses to regulate such systems, its ordinances may not be more restrictive than the Commission’s rules.
B. Existing Relevant Policies, New Policies Proposed, and Analysis of Alternatives:
Act 40 identifies several areas that these rules must cover and several areas that they may cover.
It requires that the rules include provisions dealing with the decommissioning of wind energy systems, including restoration of the site, and setback requirements that reasonably protect against health effects that are associated with wind energy systems.
Act 40 also requires rules that specify the information and documentation to be provided in an application for approval, the procedure to be followed by a political subdivision in reviewing the application, the information and documentation to be kept in a political subdivision’s record of its decision, as well as the requirements and procedures for enforcing restrictions included in the rule.
The rules must also require the owner of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of at least one megawatt to maintain proof of financial responsibility ensuring the availability of funds for decommissioning the system.
The rules may also include provisions dealing with issues such as visual appearance, electrical connections to the power grid, interference with radio, telephone or television signals, maximum audible sound levels, and lighting.
Currently, an electric generating facility with a nominal operating capacity of 100 megawatts or more may not be constructed unless the Commission grants a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
Act 40 requires the Commission to consider the restrictions specified in these rules when determining whether to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity. The rules may also require the Commission to consider the conditions specified in these rules when
determining whether to grant a public utility a certificate of authority for a wind farm smaller than 100 megawatts.
Act 40 also creates a 15-person Wind Siting Council that will, among other things, advise the Commission in the drafting of these rules.
C. Summary and Comparison of Federal Regulation in This Area:
There are a number of federal laws that interact with the issues in this rulemaking, although the Commission is not aware of any that deal with the substance of them; that is, the minimum requirements that a political subdivision may impose.
A few of the federal laws that may inter-relate include the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 USC 4321 et. seq., the Endangered Species Act, 16 USC 1531–1544, and 14 CFR Pt. 77, which requires a Federal Aviation Administration airspace study before constructing certain types of projects.
D. Statutory Authority:
This rule is authorized under ss. 196.02 (1) and (3), 227.11 and newly-created s. 196.378 (4g), Stats.
E. Time Estimates for Rule Development:
The Commission estimates that approximately 800 hours of Commission staff time will be required in this rulemaking.
F. Entities That May Be Affected:
Affected entities include cities; villages; towns; counties; persons and entities that own, want to construct, or want to host wind energy systems; and landowners near such proposed wind energy systems.