The process has been a long one, and there have been many misleading and false statements made by the applicant and those representing them, so it's no surprise that proponents of the project continue to mislead and spread false information. In the interest of truth, I would like to share some facts that are being overlooked, and in some cases suppressed.
Will wind power ever make up 100 percent of our electrical needs? Not by a long shot. The wind isn’t reliable enough and you can’t just put up a 400 foot tall wind turbine anywhere. The location must be, well, windy. ...I took a detour and decided to ask a few residents who lived near the “wind mills” what they thought of them. I found out that they are controversial, and no one I talked to wanted their names printed.
Do you live inside an industrial wind farm? I do. I live within the Forward-Invenergy project. It is a tremendous invasion of our life style and a horrible happening to our area. My wife, our 13-year-old son and I have experienced headaches, nausea, light headedness, lack of sleep because we hear them in all rooms of our house ...I trusted the elected officials of the town and county and the state's public service commission. That was a terrible mistake. If you allow large industrial limits closer than the set backs I mentioned above you will regret it. It will divide your community.
Much as I like the idea of using these nontraditional methods for power generation, we need a dose of facts when anyone comes forward to propose such changes in power supplies.
For example, wind is certainly a non-carbon source, but it's not a non-polluter. ...we also need to keep the "law of unintended consequences" in mind. We need to add these sources to both fossil and nuclear plants and traditional generation systems, which work without wind or sunshine.
Township of Ridgeville Chairman Mike Luethe made the following statement to the Daily Reporter newspaper on Aug. 15, 2008: "The Town of Ridgeville joined the Township of Wilton in passing an ordinance establishing half-mile setbacks for wind farms. Local governments should still have a say in the matter. Invenergy LLC of Chicago, which wants to develop a wind farm in the area, already challenged in court the joint Ridgeville-Wilton ordinance." "They said we do not have the right to pass our own ordinance," Luethe said, "because it essentially vetoed the county's own ordinance."
Wind energy, again.
Lately there have been a number of letters to the editor from people living in the city of Fond du Lac advising us, living in the rural area, on what wind turbines are all about. Apparently the turbine noise problem will go away if someone raises enough (hybrid) crickets to cover the wind-blade sound.
If anybody is interested enough, our average 12 mph wind does produce a quite audible puffing, which changes with wind direction. At the side of the blades, noise is not too bad. The front side produces the loudest sound; the rear, a little less. Gusting winds increase the noise level.
Windmills likely will be perceived more favorably as energy prices burn holes in our pockets; still, some people are concerned they're an ugly visual distraction that generates noise and threatens birds.
Now is the time to formulate guidelines - before any specific commercial proposals are on the table.
Nothing prevented Navitas from starting the project the past two years. Regardless, the BOA upheld the extension. The only item they took from the new wind ordinance was the ability to extend the project, clearly ignoring county requirements on wind turbine siting. It's a reckless decision that could prove costly again to taxpayers.
The terms of two BOA members expire in July. I expressed my dissatisfaction to the county executive. Again, he guaranteed they are good people.
They may be, but they become paralyzed when making hard decisions and lack direction as a board representing Manitowoc County.
I finally decided to write my opinion on the wind turbine towers. Actually it's more my personal experience. ...I would challenge anyone who thinks wind turbines make little or no noise to live next to one 24/7 for two weeks straight. Then they might be qualified to speak accurately on the subject. The wind turbines are noisy!
Wind turbines are noisy a lot of the time - very noisy.
There are two sounds, a motor drone and an intermittent whooshing sound. The noise is constant, loud and penetrating. This noise penetrates my house; especially my bedroom at night, when it is at its loudest because of the cool air at ground level. This noise is with my windows closed. Disturbing your sleep, yes; good for your health, no.
Your comment that this is a noise crickets can drown out is wrong. The sound from the turbines drowns out the noise of the crickets. It's obvious you have not experienced turbine noise in your bedroom.
Three developers are talking about putting up wind turbines in the offshore waters to generate electricity. ...One plan calls for 390 turbines in an area about 18 miles east of Milwaukee, according to the newspaper report. Another would put 610 turbines one to two miles offshore from Kewaunee to Kenosha. ...We have concerns about the effect hundreds of Lake Michigan turbines would have on recreational boating, not to mention sport and commercial fishing, all of which are vital to the Sheboygan area's economy. There is also the danger that wind turbines rising hundreds of feet into the air pose to migratory birds.
Give some credit to Calumet County for deciding not to go with 400-foot turbines. Perhaps they have seen how the landscape has been permanently trashed at Johnsburg. Now if the politicians in Chilton could start working with the solar energy people they could set a good example for the rest of this area. They will have to initiate some kind of energy program before our governor and his wind crowd take revenge.
Here, near the Brownsville project, we have not heard a good word about the turbines that are operating. The complaints vary from resignation to outright fury.
It takes about 800 1,000-megawatt power plants or their equivalent to run the country on a daily basis. To be conservative, let's say 700 1,000-megawatt plants. Power demand in the United States goes up possibly a little more than 2.5% each year, but again, to be conservative, let's say 2%.
This means we must build 14 1,000-megawatt power plants every year just to keep up. Kohler would have us build 7,000 2-megawatt windmills instead, blissfully ignoring the fact that the 14 1,000-megawatt thermal or nuclear power plants still would have to be built to fill the considerable gap left by non-operating windmills when the wind doesn't blow.
Now, how about a project that is 70% inefficient, could cost around $240 million of your tax money and does irreparable damage to environmental and housing economies, say, like a wind turbine farm?
I support progress and the development of alternative sources of energy, as long as actual progress is being made. Common knowledge says that the wind doesn't blow every day. However, even if it is windy, the wind must reach speeds near 25 miles per hour for the turbines to operate efficiently. And if the wind flies above 55 mph, the turbine must be turned off.
Thus, numerous studies have shown that wind turbines often are efficient only 30% of the time. Nobody would buy a television, car or computer that would work only 30% of the time. So why would we pay $3 million for a lemon?
It's rare indeed when inaction on a bill by the Legislature turns out to be a good thing. But by not putting on the fast track a measure dealing with siting of wind energy farms, lawmakers will have the chance to make the bill better.
Proposals to give the state Public Service Commission the authority to write rules on wind farm siting, including allowable noise levels and setback from residential development, were introduced in late February and received minimal scrutiny and little public comment. In the end end, the state Senate wisely voted to send the proposal back to committee, thus ending the possibility of action on it in this session.
After looking at the magnitude of the project I realized that my farm is on "their farm" and wanted to know what that might mean to my family and me? We're talking about 66 roads being cut into 66 graveled sites, where 66 huge electrical generators will be built and operated. These electrical generators are 40 stories tall (400 feet) and will be equipped with lights and moving parts. Also, these 66 electrical generators will be connected by miles of underground cable and feed into a large electric power sub-station. And remember, there are more coming! Wow, is this really a "farm" or an "industrial wind energy complex"?
Going green is good. We're all for Earth-friendly innovations that reduce our energy needs and dependence on foreign oil.
But they must make sense. Benefits must outweigh costs. They must consider potential health risks.
They can't be knee-jerk decisions by elected leaders who vote for them for political gain without due consideration of ramifications. ...Read the report's comments from residents who live near turbines around the country, and you wouldn't want one near your backyard.
Sure, technology has improved. Yet, EcoEnergy's proposed 397-foot towers could spread health risks farther than most turbines already in use.
In hopes of saving people from the same type of issues we've had with wind tower development here in northeast Wisconsin, I'd like to share some information with the good people of Bureau County. ...Please think about what you are doing before you sign those leases. Energy we can make from many sources; we can't make new soybean and corn ground.
Calumet County Board Supv. Jerry Criter may have held onto his seat last week, but he needs to watch his step as the county moves forward on the emotionally charged wind turbine issue. ...While Dist. Atty. Ken Kratz cleared Criter of wrongdoing in a letter several months ago, he also cautioned Criter "that any future action taken in which you have a financial interest may lead to a sanction ... or criminal prosecution."
Criter needs to take this piece of advice to heart.
More than a year old already, the controversy about how to regulate - or, in effect, even allow - two large turbine projects in one of the most promising areas in the state for wind energy has been hashed over again and again. ...The point is to come up with a plan that can address the concerns of worried residents and the project developers, without it being winner-take-all.
Because if they hold out for winner-take-all, everyone's going to lose.