Entries in wind siting council (27)
9/11/10 Wisconsin Eye hosts panel on wind issues: WeEnergies, WPPI, Vice Chair of Wind-siting council and Wisconsin author weigh in on wind rules.
09.10.10 | Newsmakers: Future of Wind Energy
Wisconsin has more than 300 electricity-generating wind turbines, which can cost up to $4 million each, and developers have plans for hundreds more to meet a requirement that 10% of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2015.
Although the Public Service Commission has proposed permanent rules on the siting of those turbines, members of the Wind Siting Council, which studied the issue for six months, have warned that they can pose shadow “flicker,” health and property values problems.
Wind energy was discussed in a Sept. 10 Newsmakers with Dan Ebert, a vice president of WPPI Energy and former Public Service Commission chairman; Andy Hesselbach, Wind Energy Project Manager for We Energies; Doug Zweizig, Town of Union planning official and Wind Siting Council vice chairman, and Lynda Barry, author now researching a book on homes near turbines.
WIND TURBINES IN THE NEWS:
WIND TURBINE NOISE, AN INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT
SOURCE Herald Gazette, knox.villagesoup.com
September 10 2010
By Stephen Ambrose and Robert Rand,
Stephen Ambrose and Robert Rand are members of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. In 2009, they became concerned about the negative comments from residents living near wind turbine sites and, the apparent lack of regulatory action to address the potential for adverse health impacts from wind turbine generator noise in Mars Hill. They launched their own evaluation, and came to the following conclusions in a series of guest columns.
Wind turbines larger than one megawatt of rated power have become an unexpected surprise for many nearby residents by being much louder than expected.
The sounds produced by blades, gearing, and generator are significantly louder and more noticeable as wind turbine size increases. Long blades create a distinctive aerodynamic sound as air shears off the trailing edge and tip.
The sound character varies from a “whoosh” at low wind speeds to “a jet plane that never lands” at moderate and higher wind speeds. Blade-induced air vortices spinning off the tip may produce an audible “thump” as each blade sweeps past the mast.
Thumping can become more pronounced at distance, described as “sneakers in a dryer,” when sounds from multiple turbines arrive at a listener’s position simultaneously.
Wind turbines are not synchronized and so thumps may arrive together or separately, creating an unpredictable or chaotic acoustic pattern.
The sounds of large industrial wind turbines have been documented as clearly audible for miles. They are intrusive sounds that are uncharacteristic of a natural soundscape.
Studies have shown that people respond to changes in sound level and sound character in a predictable manner. A noticeable change in sound level of 5 decibels (dB) may result in “no response” to “sporadic complaints.” An increase of 10 dB may yield “widespread complaints,”; a 15 dB increase “threats of legal action.”
The strongest negative community response occurs with an increase of 20 dB or more, resulting in “vigorous objections.”
Audible tones, variability in sound level, and an unnatural sound character can amplify the public response. For a distinctive or unpleasant sound, a small change in sound level, or the sound simply being audible, may provoke a strong community response.
Community response can intensify further if sleep is disturbed and quality of life or property is degraded.
Weather conditions influence the sound level generated and how it travels to nearby homes. Sound waves expand outward from the wind turbine with the higher frequencies attenuating at a faster rate than low frequencies.
Locations beyond a few thousand feet may be dominated by low frequency sounds generated by the wind turbines.
Wind turbulence and icing, both common in New England due to topography and latitude, increase aerodynamic noise from intensified or chaotic dynamic stall conditions along the blade surfaces.
Atmospheric conditions at night and downwind enhance sound propagation toward the ground by increasing levels over longer distances.
Wind turbines are elevated hundreds of feet to receive stronger winds yet winds down on the ground or in nearby valleys may be non-existent with correspondingly low background sound levels, accentuating the impact of the intrusive sounds.
Other professionals have developed thresholds, or criteria, for sound level to protect public health that may be applied to planning for wind turbine permitting.
Recommendations from Hayes McKenzie Partnership in 2006 limited maximum wind turbine sound levels at residences to 38 dBA and no more than 33 dBA when “beating noises” are audible when the turbines spin.
Dan Driscoll presented his analysis in 2009 (Environmental Stakeholder Roundtable on Wind Power, June 16, 2009) with a Composite Noise Rating analysis of 33 dBA to reduce rural community response to the level of “sporadic complaints.”
Michael Nissenbaum issued his findings in 2010 from his medical study at Mars Hill, recommending a 7000-foot setback for public health.
The World Health Organization published sound level thresholds of sleep disturbance and adverse health effects from peer-reviewed medical studies (Night Noise Guidelines for Europe, October 2009).
Our next column will compare our sound level versus distance data with these medical, health, and community response criteria and show what distances are necessary to protect public health.
Currently there is no effective, reliable noise mitigation for wind turbines of this size other than shutdown.
Therefore, at this time it appears appropriate that proposed wind turbine sites should position wind turbines at least one mile away from residential properties and further for sites with more than one wind turbine. Smaller wind turbines (under one megawatt power rating) produce less noise than those currently being marketed and installed for grid power in Maine; these may be an option when distance is an issue.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
The wind farm mentioned in the following story was cited an example of a successful community wind project by Wind Siting Council member Michael VickermanState of Maine finds Fox Island Wind Turbines in violation of noise standard
8/23/10 PSC discusses wind siting rules today AND what do Maine and Wisconsin have in common? What happens when a state changes law to fast track wind development? Good bye local control.
WIND SITING TO BE DISCUSSED BY COMMISSIONERS AT TODAY'S OPEN MEETING AT THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN
Beginning at 11:30 Am
610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin
Live audio of the meeting will be broadcast over the web. 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 at the appointed start time.
At the last meeting Commissioner Lauren Azar recommended a setback of 2200 feet from homes unless a developer could prove that noise and shadow flicker standards could be met at a closer distance.
She also recommended a 40 decibel noise limit, in accordance with the World Health Organization's nighttime noise guidelines.
A call for a windpower moratorium
August 20, 2010
By Karen Bessey Pease
This law fast-tracks industrial wind development in the high terrain regions of Maine — by eliminating citizens’ automatic right to a public hearing, by removing our ability to object to development based on scenic impact, and by allowing what I consider to be state-sanctioned bribery (couched as “tangible benefits” and “mitigation”) by industrial wind developers of individuals and entities who might be impacted by massive wind turbines on our iconic ridges. LD 2283 can be read in its entirety at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_123rd/billtexts/SP090801.asp
I live in Lexington Township, which stands to be greatly impacted by LD 2283. Former Gov. Angus King and Rob Gardiner of Brunswick’s Independence Wind have submitted a permit application — to be reviewed under this new law — for a 48-turbine development at the gateway to the Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail.
Local residents have also heard of plans to continue the line of industrial wind down through Lexington to Brighton, Mayfield, and beyond. In order to meet Gov. John Baldacci’s goal of 2,700 megawatts of land-based wind power by 2020, another 300 miles of Maine’s mountains will be sacrificed, as well.
Maine citizens weren’t consulted before this misguided and biased law was enacted. As an “emergency measure” we didn’t have time to make our objections known before it was implemented. What is now apparent is that the wind industry hugely influenced the crafting of this law.
In a letter from Rob Gardiner to Alec Giffen, chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power, Gardiner lists his recommendations for how to write a law which would give wind developers the advantage over Maine citizens, forestalling their objections to wind developments.
Gardiner states: “In my opinion, the biggest sticking point is visual impact. Under the standard of ‘fitting harmoniously into the environment,’ wind is at a serious disadvantage. Because it involves 250-foot high structures that are usually on high ridges, the visual impacts are significant.” (Gardiner’s own permit application states that the turbines destined for Highland stand more than 400 feet tall, creating a more serious “disadvantage” — and those visual impacts will be far, far more significant.)
“An immediate executive order followed by legislation that specifically removes the presumption of negative visual impact from wind farms would go a long way toward setting the stage for balanced regulatory review.”
“A second element of such executive order and legislation should be to declare that reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is a public benefit, and that wind farms can make a significant contribution toward a more sensible energy mix for Maine. Therefore, any regulatory agency should accept these positions and not waste time receiving further evidence and debating them. To the extent that regulators are charged with balancing the benefits of any project against the negative impacts, these beneficial aspects should be ‘a given’ for wind farms.”
Further directions given to Giffen: “…wind farms ought not to be expected to help purchase conservation lands or do other types of mitigation. Wind farms ARE mitigation for our energy consumption habits and for the impacts of fossil fuel consumption.”
“I understand that preserving Maine’s ‘quality of place’ is an important goal for your task force. I fully accept that having wind farms everywhere might ruin that quality.”
“I recognize that LURC feels overwhelmed … This may need attention, but it is a short-term phenomenon. Don’t change the rules, provide the necessary resources. The Governor can do that ... But creating a new agency or shifting responsibilities will, in actuality, make it harder for developers.” (Gardiner’s entire letter can be read at http://highlandmts.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/comments_rob_gardiner_120607.pdf)
Impartial experts are speaking out about the negligible ecological benefits of industrial wind. After two decades of experimentation around the globe, there’s been no significant reduction in carbon emissions. Electrical consumption is constant, but wind is undependable and intermittent; therefore, conventional electrical generators must be kept online to take up the slack when the wind doesn’t blow. Because of the extremely inefficient combustion from the modulating in-fill of natural gas backup for wind plants, it’s possible that we may actually be increasing overall fossil fuel use.
The wind industry has repeatedly told us that wind will get Maine off “foreign oil.” However, Maine does not use oil to generate electricity, but rather to heat our homes and power our automobiles — two applications that even John Kerry and Phil Bartlett acknowledge aren’t addressed by wind power.
To say that we’ll reduce our dependence on oil if we install wind turbines across Maine is misleading.
Ms. Schalit’s fact-based series is a wake-up call. In light of these revelations, Maine citizens whose lives have been turned upside down by this legislation are requesting an immediate moratorium on wind plant construction and a careful reexamination of LD 2283 by our Legislature.
Karen Bessey Pease lives in Lexington Township.
8/15/10 TRIPLE FEATURE: Too Close? Too Loud? Too bad: when it comes to writing siting rules in Wisconsin, wind industry concerns trumped protecting residents AND Freedom of Information isn't Free: A look at $36,000 worth of shade thrown on a reporters wind rules open records request
UNION MAN DETAILS HOW COUNCIL WROTE THE RULES:
SOURCE: The Janesville Gazette, gazettextra.com
August 15, 2010
By Gina Duwe,
UNION TOWNSHIP — A local man who worked on the state council to write wind siting rules says the slanted make-up of the committee toward the wind industry created a disservice to the process.
The resulting rules likely will increase local dissent and resistance to proposed projects, which he predicts will end up in court, said Doug Zweizig, who co-chaired the wind siting council.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I don’t think it’s going to be pretty,” said Zweizig, who also is vice-chair of the Town of Union Plan Commission and worked on a special committee to write the town’s wind ordinance.
The wind siting council this week released its report that serves as recommendations to the state Public Service Commission.
Zweizig was one of four council members that disagreed with portions of the report and wrote a minority opinion that was attached to the end of it. The minority report states concerns over the failure “to address the realities of the effects of large wind turbines on nearby populations, to bring quality information into critical areas and to explore the economic implications of locating an industrial facility next to a residential area.”
Legislators approved a bill last fall to allow the PSC to create rules to regulate wind projects statewide instead of the patchwork of local ordinances.
The council drafted its report over the last four months, and the three PSC commissioners will consider the report, the full record and all public and stakeholder comments before issuing the final rules, said Lori Sakk, legislative liaison for the PSC.
Then the presiding officer of the state Assembly and Senate will have 10 days to refer the rules to a committee, which would have 30 days to schedule a hearing or request to meet with the agency. If neither action is taken, the rules are promulgated and become law.
The law said the council members needed to be representatives of specific categories, including the energy industry, uncompensated landowners, wind developers, real estate agents, medical and research experts, environmentalists and local government.
But, “that’s not the way the appointments were made,” Zweizig said.
Whenever the PSC had any leeway, someone with ties or a supporting opinion to the wind industry was appointed, he said.
Sakk responded by saying the council members were appointed according to the statutory eligibility requirements established by the state Legislature.
Zweizig said his impression is that wind industry advocates were frustrated with towns such as Union, which has an ordinance for a half-mile turbine setback, so they went to the state to override the local ordinances. They got the legislation, he said, and since the PSC already was supportive, a council was put together to rubber stamp the desired outcome.
“What that did in terms of group process, meant that the majority never really had to explain itself very much … or talk through issues,” Zweizig said. “They didn’t have to do that because they knew they had the votes.”
Council Chairman Dan Ebert said in a letter accompanying the report that the council had “significant discussions” on many recommendations “in the spirit of working toward consensus.” He said the recommendations reflect input from all council members, but acknowledged there were areas that the council did not reach a consensus.
The council’s report states a turbine should be sited so:
– It is set back from homes 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height, which would be 440 feet for the 400 foot turbines, Zweizig said.
– It creates no more than 40 hours of shadow flicker on a home. If it’s more than 20, the operator is required to provide mitigation, which can include putting blinds up in a house, Zweizig said.
– The noise it creates is no more than 45 decibels at night and no more than 50 decibels during the day.
Zweizig said some council members lacked concern for health problems associated with living too close to turbines. He and others tried to point out that people are abandoning their homes because of health problems stemming from the noise and shadow flicker.
That’s why council member Larry Wunsch, who lives within 1,100 feet of a turbine in Fond du Lac County, is trying to sell his property, Zweizig said. Wunsch also was among the four minority opinions on the council.
“He did whatever he could to let those on the council know those are the circumstances,” Zweizig said. “They never asked him a question. They never said, ‘What is this like?’ They just waited him out, knowing that in the end they would just outvote him.”
Local wind projects
The status of proposed projects in Union and Magnolia townships is unclear.
EcoEnergy was developing both projects, including signing on landowners, before it sold the rights for both to Acciona in 2007, said Jason Yates, contract manager with EcoEnergy in Elgin, Ill. The proposed projects back then included three turbines in Union and up to 67 in Magnolia.
Wind measurement towers were put up in both townships: Magnolia’s went up in April 2007 at County B and Highway 213 and Union’s went up in late 2008 at County C and Highway 104.
The Magnolia tower came down this spring at the end of the 36-month contract, landowner Tom Drew said. Since then, Drew said the only thing he heard from the company was that it was waiting to see the results of the state’s new wind siting law.
In Union, the town permit for the tower expired last fall, and Acciona has decided to remove the tower, supervisor George Franklin said. It will be removed this fall after the corn that surrounds it is harvested, he said.
The Acciona North American website does not list any Wisconsin projects under its “In the works” projects. Acciona could not be reached for comment.
Evansville turbine begins operation
The new wind turbine in Evansville should be operational early this week, if not already, after possibly being struck by lightning.
The Northwind 100 arrived at the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Water Street in June. After running for only a couple days, the turbine stopped working late on the night of July 21 or early on July 22, said Eve Frankel, marketing and communications manager at Northern Power Systems.
“We believe that it was potentially due to a lightning strike, but it’s still under an investigation,” she said.
The manufacturer is fixing parts on the turbine and ruling out causes, she said.
The repair shouldn’t cost the city, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said, because it would be covered under the warranty or insurance.
Frankel said lightning striking a turbine is an “unusual occurrence,” though Wisconsin seems to have more lightning strikes than other regions.
The tower height on the 100 kilowatt turbine is 120 feet and each blade is 37 feet. The turbine is part of the $7.2 million effort to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility.
NEIGHBORS: WIND ENERGY HAS ITS PRICE
August 14 2010
by Clay Barbour
ST. CLOUD, Wis. — Elizabeth Ebertz loves her garden, but the 67-year-old grandmother doesn’t work in it much anymore.
The small vegetable patch, which has produced onions, carrots and tomatoes for many family dinners, sits behind her home, in a little valley, about a half-mile from a dozen 400-foot-tall wind turbines.
The structures are part of the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in northeastern Fond du Lac County, one of the state’s largest wind farms, capable of producing energy for about 36,000 homes.
Unfortunately, said Ebertz, the turbines also produce enough noise to chase her from the garden — and most nights, disturb her sleep.
“Sometimes it sounds like a racetrack, or a plane landing,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe how loud it gets.”
The state Public Service Commission is considering a new set of wind farm regulations that could free up the industry and promote growth in Wisconsin, a state that has lagged behind the rest of the Midwest in using wind as an alternative energy source.
The PSC, which regulates state utilities, is expected to send the proposal to the Legislature by the end of the month.
If passed, the measure could go a long way in helping Wisconsin reach its goal of generating 10 percent of its energy with renewable sources by 2015. Renewable sources account for 5 percent of the state’s energy now.
The measure could also end what has been years of localized fights — often spurred by well-funded anti-wind organizations — that have effectively killed at least 10 proposed wind farms in the past eight years, and scared off several others.
But for people like Ebertz, the new rules mean more people will have to deal with wind turbines and the problems that come with them.
“I wish those things were never built here,” Ebertz said. “They’re just too close to people. I wish they were gone.”
State far behind neighbors
Wisconsin spends about $1.5 billion on imported energy every year and ranks 16th in the country in available wind.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Wisconsin has the capacity to produce up to 449 megawatts of energy from its current wind farms — enough to power about 110,000 homes.
Yet the state trails other Midwestern states in wind energy production. Minnesota wind farms produce 1,797 megawatts, Illinois produces 1,848 and Iowa generates 3,670. “It’s not even close,” said Barnaby Dinges, an AWEA member and lobbyist from Illinois. “Wisconsin is danger of falling out of the wind game altogether. It’s getting a reputation as inhospitable to the wind industry.”
Dinges has lobbied for six wind farms in the past five years, three of them in Wisconsin. He said the state has a number of well-organized anti-wind groups that have endangered its 10 percent goal.
“This isn’t like any grass-roots opposition we have seen elsewhere,” he said. “These aren’t just concerned citizens going to meetings. These are mass mailings, billboards, full-page ads. It’s more professional and it costs a lot of money.”
Jenny Heinzen — a professor of wind energy technology at Lakeshore Technical College, which has campuses in Manitowoc, Cleveland and Sheboygan, and a member of the state’s Wind Siting Council — said she has been amazed with the opposition.
“I have my suspicions that they are getting help from some groups from outside the state, but that has never been confirmed,” she said, referencing persistent rumors of coal and natural gas companies helping to kill wind projects here.
There are a lot of people who live near wind farms and never report problems. Still, the state is home to several anti-wind groups, including the Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, the WINDCOWS, the Calumet County Citizens for Responsible Energy, Healthy Wind Wisconsin and the Coalition for Environmental Stewardship.
These groups have some powerful supporters, including several prominent lawyers, lobbyist and former state Sen. Bob Welch and Carl Kuehne, former CEO of American Foods Group.
But officials with the anti-wind groups say most of their members are simply residents who do not like the thought of living near a wind farm.
“We heard that criticism before — that we are a front group for oil and gas companies — but it’s just not true,” said Lynn Korinek, a member of WINDCOWS. “We are a group of about 200 members who hold rummage sales to fund our fight. There are no special interests behind us, believe me.”
Neighbors claim health problems
Most of the state’s anti-wind groups say they have nothing against wind energy, they simply disagree with how it is implemented in the state.
Still, their websites show members either fear the possible side effects of wind energy, or want others to fear them. The concerns include diminished property values, occasional noise pollution, moving shadows cast by the giant windmills along with loss of sleep from vibrations, increased menstrual cycles, high blood pressure, headaches and irritability.
Recently, the state Division of Public Health looked into the issue, studying more than 150 medical reports, interviewing dozens of residents and municipalities and consulting the universities of Wisconsin, Maine and Minnesota, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Their conclusion was that scientific evidence does not support the claim of wind turbine syndrome, an umbrella term for the health problems some have attributed to wind farms. The letter also points out that many of the symptoms associated with the condition — headaches, irritability, loss of sleep — are fairly common and can be attributed to other factors.
“They can explain it anyway they want, but something is different around here and it has been ever since they put those turbines up,” said Allen Hass, a 56-year-old farmer who owns about 600 acres in Malone, northeast of Fond du Lac.
Hass has three Blue Sky Green Field turbines on his property. He said We Energies, which owns the wind farm, pays him about $12,000 a year for the space.
Hass said the money does not make up for his health problems, including headaches and loss of memory.
“I wish I never made that deal,” he said.
Brian Manthey, We Energies spokesman, said the company is aware of Hass’s complaints, but that the scientific evidence does not support them. He said the company works hard to make its neighbors happy.
“You never get 100 percent support for anything, but you will find that a lot of people are happy with the farm,” he said.
New rules trump local ones
The new rules, written by the Wind Siting Council, streamline the state approval process so potential developers know exactly what they face when considering a project in Wisconsin.
Probably the most important aspect of the new regulations deals with state permitting. In the past, the state only had direct authority over wind farms generating more than 100 megawatts.
Under the new rules, the state would deal with all wind farms. Local municipalities would still be involved but would not be allowed to establish regulations stricter than the state’s.
Supporters figure this will open the door for the rapid growth of wind energy in the state by bypassing many of the local fights that have created such a logjam. Wisconsin is home to nine wind farms, with another two under construction, and three in the planning stages.
STATE OF MAINE WANTS $36,000 for public records on wind energy
Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com
August 16, 2010 By Naomi Shalit,
As part of its reporting on the Wind Energy Act of 2008, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting filed a state public records request under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, called a FOAA request.
However, the Center never received much of the material it requested from the state because the cost was prohibitive: $36,239.52.
That’s what the state Public Utilities Commission wanted from the Center to search for e-mails from 2005-2007 between then-PUC Chairman Kurt Adams and any representatives of wind company First Wind (where Adams took a job after leaving the PUC); between Adams and Gov. John Baldacci, for whom Adams had previously worked as legal counsel; and between Adams and several prominent wind power attorneys employed by the law firm of Verrill Dana.
In her response to the Center’s request, Joanne Steneck, general counsel for the PUC, explained that “in order to review any e-mails from 2005 to 2007, it will be necessary to restore Mr. Adams’s mailbox from the mail server back up. According to the Office of Information Technology … it takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to restore a snapshot of each day’s e-mails.”
The Center sought access to the e-mails because Adams’ input had been crucial to the deliberations of the governor’s wind power task force.
Initially, Steneck told the Center that a search of backup discs containing e-mail records for the period prior to January 2008 could be done for a cost upward of $10,000.
The Center then asked for a waiver of the $10,000 cost, under provisions in the state’s FOAA that allow waivers to be granted for noncommercial use of public information.
The PUC refused to grant the waiver and revised its estimate of the cost for the Center to get the information to $36,239.52.
According to Steneck, the increased estimate represents the actual cost for OIT to retrieve and restore 824 backup tapes, at a charge of $21.99 per hour, plus the time it would take for PUC personnel to review the restored e-mail messages and redact confidential information. The process is laborious, she explained, because “the state of Maine’s e-mail system was designed in such a way that the backup and restore process allows for disaster recovery purposes only and does not include duplication or search criteria of an archive retrieval system.”
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"
8/4/10 DOUBLE FEATURE Wind developer to local government: Law is on my side. In fact, I'm writing the law AND The noise heard 'round the world: report finds negative health impacts from wind turbines
PERMITS EXTENDED ON WIND FARM
August 3, 2010
By Lyn Jerde
Another Columbia County wind farm - this one in the county's southern tier - is still up in the air.
The Columbia County Board's planning and zoning committee Tuesday extended, by one year, conditional use permits to two landowners, which would allow for another year of testing wind speeds, using two 197-foot test towers set up by the Madison-based Wind Capital Group. The towers have been in place for two years.
One of the towers is in the town of Arlington, on land owned by Sherri and Lloyd Manthe. The other is in the town of Leeds, where the landowner hosting it is Alan Kaltenberg, a town supervisor.
Planning and Zoning Director John Bluemke said the extension of the conditional use permit to Aug. 1, 2011, as approved by the committee, is contingent on approval from the Arlington and Leeds town boards.
Thomas Green, senior manager for project development for Wind Capital Group, said results from the test towers (which don't have bladed turbines, as electricity-generating windmills do) have shown that southern Columbia County could have wind that is strong enough, and frequent enough, to make the area a viable location for a wind farm.
But discussion is still in the early stages, he said.
"Thus far, we feel pretty good about the wind capacity in the area," he said. "We know we have to have the data to take further steps."
Another year of testing the wind would provide additional information while the Wind Capital Group assesses other factors that might determine whether their wind farm might be in Columbia County's future.
In northeast Columbia County, construction has begun on the access roads and headquarters for the Glacier Hills Energy Park, being built by We Energies, in the towns of Scott and Randolph. The Glacier Hills turbines are scheduled to be built in the summer of 2011 - up to 90 of them, each about 400 feet from the base to the top of the highest blade tip.
If Wind Capital Group builds a wind farm, Green said, it would sell any power generated to an electric utility.
In speaking to the planning and zoning committee Tuesday, Green noted that there currently are state and federal initiatives to encourage the construction of facilities that generate electricity from renewable resources such as wind.
"For the foreseeable future," added committee member Fred Teitgen.
Green said he doesn't see the incentives going away any time soon, partly because Wisconsin has a law requiring utilities to generate a percentage of their electricity from renewable resources.
Committee member Harlan Baumgartner said he's not convinced that wind will be or should be a major factor in future energy generation.
"There might be other ways of producing energy that are more feasible than wind," he said.
Although officials of the towns of Leeds and Arlington must sign off on the extension of the test towers' conditional use permit, neither the towns nor the county can, legally, make their own regulations regarding the siting of wind turbines.
It's not that the town of Arlington hasn't tried. In the spring of 2009, the town board adopted an ordinance requiring that all wind turbines must be at least 2,640 feet, or half a mile, from buildings.
However, a new state law has directed the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which regulates the state's utilities, to set parameters for wind turbine siting that would be applicable throughout the state - meaning that no county, town, village or city could make rules that are more restrictive.
Green said the PSC is in the process of drafting those rules, and they should be in place soon.
"We can't make a decision," he said, "until there are standards in place."
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
One thing this article does not mention is that Tom Green himself is writing the 'standards' that will allow him to site this project.
When the state legislature voted to strip local government its power to regulate wind projects, Tom Green of Wind Capitol Group was appointed to the 15 member Wind Siting Council which has just finished writing siting guidelines for the entire state.
Like Tom Green, the majority of the council has a direct or indirect financial interest in creating rules that favor wind development over protection of local residents and wildlife.
What's the "Dean Report" and why does it matter to wind project residents? Here's what windaction.org has to say about it
The Dean Report
Acciona Energy's Waubra wind farm, located in western Victoria, Australia is the largest operating wind facility in the southern hemisphere.
Excerpt from the Dean Report:
Further research has shown that the acoustic energy from wind
turbines is capable of resonating houses, effectively turning them into
three-dimensional loud speakers in which the affected residents are now
expected to live.
The phenomenon of natural resonance combines to produce a cocktail of
annoying sounds which not only disturb the peace and tranquility
once-enjoyed by the residents, but also stimulate a number of disturbing
physiological effects which manifest in the physical symptoms described
In the opinion of the author, backed up by residents' surveys and scientific
measurements and analysis of the noise of turbine can be a significant
detractor for those living within 10 kilometres of them.
More research is urgently needed to determine the extent of the nuisance
effects and what setbacks are required to minimise the negative effects on
The long term medical implications are considerable and need to be
researched before any further applications for wind farms are consented.
Failure to do this, in the opinion of the author, will significantly effect
the utilization of this technology and will produce long-term consequences
that will be to the detriment of the whole of society.
 The Waubra wind energy facility is located near Ballarat, in western
Victoria, Australia. It is the largest operating wind facility in the
southern hemisphere consisting of 128-1.5 megawatt turbines for a total
installed capacity of 192 megawatts. The turbines were first turned on in
February 2009; the facility was fully operational by July 2009.
 Noel Dean and his family moved away from their farm in the spring of
2009 when the headaches and other symptoms worsened