Impact on People and Zoning/Planning
So it's dead - or on life support, at best.
The news that three county commissioners went public this week against the Florida Power & Light Co. wind turbine project on Hutchinson Island effectively seems to have killed the idea. All we're lacking now is the official obituary.
Paula Lewis was the latest to make up her mind, following Doug Coward, but it was the project's chief proponent - Chris Craft - who turned a few heads Tuesday when he announced his opposition.
I have been a resident in the town of Arkwright for almost 10 years. In my opinion, the town board meeting was not an indication of "the community coming together." A community is not together because the town supervisor declares that to the local media to sway public opinion. A community does not come together when proposing ideas and addressing important concerns to the leaders of our town is looked at as "confrontational questions" and "obvious objections." This is not about who agrees with wind power and who disagrees with wind power. The community is divided because Horizon is a huge company, no longer an American company, that has come into a small town with landowners desperate for money, in a society that no longer supports local farming, and a town board basing decisions on financial gains and nothing more. The result: 47 gigantic wind towers up to 330 feet and a turbine size of up to 300 feet, in an area that was considered residential/agricultural a year ago and has since been switched over to industrial zoning.
The smugness with which the two abutters opposing the Hyannis Country Gardens wind turbine were met at a recent meeting by some planning board members and non-abutters was, to me, insulting.
Lack of vision and an inability to understand the importance of preserving a town's character and its sense of place, combined with the negative impact of commercial development, has made Fairhaven what it is today. A big part of our problem has been Executive Secretary Jeff Osuch and this non-elected public official's ability to control town government. His blind confidence in new technology has made us a testing ground for pet projects.
This time, the town has been sold on two giant misplaced wind turbines by using a smokescreen of environmentalism. Again, he has masterfully played town government to make it happen.
The surprise that one week before Thanksgiving Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi had thrown a last-minute Mickey into a state energy bill was no surprise at all…just business as usual. Well… maybe not so usual.
The obvious beneficiary of this maneuver to allow development of “alternative energy” projects within previously protected state ocean sanctuaries is one Jay Cashman, multi-millionaire construction tycoon and close personal friend of the speaker. Cashman has announced his plans to desecrate Buzzards Bay in the name of renewable profits.
County government has the right and duty to investigate the reality of wind turbine facilities and to write a wind energy ordinance that protects the health and safety of its citizens. ...You have to be very naive to believe a 400 to 500 foot, 270-ton to 330-ton piece of machinery would not make noise and negatively affect your family and community. Yes, many of us in Trempealeau County want to protect our health and safety - if you're as smart as I think you are, wouldn't you too?
In the last several months my neighbours and I have directly spoken to many people whose lives have been affected by wind energy projects. It seems like there is not a project out there, large or small, that leaves a community unaffected.
We have most recently heard from Pastor Mark Harris of Mars Hill, Maine. Pastor Harris was here at the Seventh Day Adventist camp on the Gulf Shore this week. This camp sees an average of 1000 people per week through the summer season.
There is only one wind farm in Maine, and it is on Mars Hill. There are 20 families whose lives have been seriously and detrimentally affected by this project, built by UPC. Some turbines are extremely close to families. Complaints have been made from people living as far away as three miles.
Wind turbine setback bylaws for Cumberland County are clearly inadequate for protection of the rights of residents who will be living adjacent to wind turbines. They desperately need to be re-examined and amended.
I would ask the Nova Scotia Government to take a serious, long, hard look at this whole industry and take some leadership by declaring the minimum standards by which wind energy projects must abide. A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country! Use the experience of those who have had turbines for decades and learn from their mistakes.
Blindly surging ahead into wind energy without considering health and safety factors and reasonable enjoyment of a resident's property is not looking after your constituents - the people of Nova Scotia.
Our experience shows that there is a real noise problem, which can be severe. Unfortunately, it is clear that existing regulations are not adequate to protect people, and until this whole noise phenomenon is better understood and regulated we feel that Councils and wind developers should be exercising the Precautionary Principle. Large wind turbines should not be permitted close to residential areas.
However, as soon as the Welsh Assembly published TAN 8, heralding the current rush of local wind farm planning applications, we were forced to look more closely into the claims made for on-shore wind power - both for and against.
We were determined to find out if its contribution to the community as a whole (with respect to energy provision and reducing greenhouse gas emissions) would outweigh the problems such massive re-industrialisation would bring to local people if allowed to go ahead.
Using only government sources and respected technical documents from the power industry itself, the results of our research have shocked and amazed us.
It is clear allowing these large wind farms would jeopardise our health, wealth and quality of life along with biodiversity and the quality of our landscape/environment.
All this to no real purpose since they cannot replace ordinary power stations and are four times more expensive than other means of reducing our carbon footprint.
Setback requirements are a protection of the public health, safety and individual property rights - not a yardstick of a project's economic success. The people who have the most experience with commercial wind power today are the Europeans. They are saying that a minimum of one mile from residences and any turbine should be imposed to protect the public.
But the bigger issue here is that our locally elected officials denied the project as designed and the governor believes she should override local land use authority based on how much more money Horizon can make.
I feel as if our community has been kept in the dark about the 130-plus wind turbine facility to be located in Ellis County. I am a neurologist in the Hays community, a taxpayer and a voting constituent.
After doing a bit of research regarding wind turbines, I believe all of us residing in Ellis County need to be involved in making the decision of whether or not we should permit a wind turbine facility to be located 5 miles from the city of Hays. I am an advocate of wind and solar power. I believe wind power is an excellent manner in which to generate electricity.
But, I do not believe it is in the best interest of Ellis County and the city of Hays to have this facility within 5 miles of our community.
Taralga Wind Farm
June 19, 2007
in Extract from NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard and Papers Tuesday
The villagers should have a forum to voice their feelings so they are not left with a nasty taste in their mouth and resentment in their gut. Further, negotiation with local people with local knowledge might even produce better outcomes for the proposed wind farm. If the Government is to achieve its renewable energy targets we know it has few choices. It can dot the crowded coastline or it can fill up the interior with these turbines. I am sure the Government would not allow hundreds of wind turbines around Newcastle, Wollongong or Sydney without very close and careful community consultation. The people of country New South Wales, and particularly the people of Taralga, no matter whose side one is on, deserve the same respect.
What we have around here is wind. But the idealistic, pastoral vision we once might have had of Dutch boys playing along the dikes with wooden windmills churning in the background, or mountain ridges adorned with them for miles as if pickets in a giant fence, no longer exists.
That vision has been corrupted by the realities of what those large-turbine contraptions mean for the people who live - or could live - near them.
As the debate over "Wind Farms" continues, and is now into court, I cannot help but wonder why it has progressed this far dividing neighbors, friends and families. I also reflect on how the whole ordeal, which has put much undue stress on all parties involved, could have been avoided had our County Board followed normal protocol regarding the granting of Special Use Permits. Last fall, when the hearing for Special Use Application was in front of the County Zoning Board of Appeals, there were several long nights of testimony from both sides. After all testimony was heard, the Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 to deny the application. At that point, in normal county procedure, the issue is over and the applicants must wait a year to apply again. However, in this case, our County Board leadership decided to be above the norm and overturn the Zoning Board of Appeal's recommendation forcing themselves and the county into imminent litigation.
Wind energy is an important renewable energy source. However, it is important to have a comprehensive plan for siting these high-tech wind facilities across New York state, in order to avoid any negative impacts upon surrounding areas. I have recently introduced legislation, S.4608, which seeks to study the need for a statewide comprehensive plan for siting wind facilities. Additionally, this bill would place an 18 month moratorium on any new construction or issuing of new permits for the construction of wind energy facilities, to enable the task force to complete its study and make recommendations.
Now for the disturbing bits. The renewable energy field experts on the panel that evening were present to offer their views on the future of "green energy." Mr. Slaymaker, a representative of a wind turbine project builder/operator, claimed that those who object to wind turbines need only to be "educated" to turn them to the wind side.
I, my wife, and dozens of other Stephenson County citizens who oppose the wind turbine project proposed for Lancaster Township have spent the past six months "educating" ourselves and the only thing that's turning is our stomachs.
Daniel d'Entremont was probably the most impactful ‘lay' witness, as he lived 300-metres from the closest turbine at his home in Nova Scotia. He claims he and his family, were driven from their homes by the turbine noise. He has since been forced to leave the home he built with his own hands and can't sell it, because who would want to live that close to a giant?
Does the BWEA think it unreasonable that SWATT request that the Welsh Assembly call a moratorium on wind farm development until independent surveys are executed on these vital issues. Concerning the election, our campaign resulted in us getting the issue onto the election agenda. And the two anti-TAN 8 main parties were the ones who gained seats in the elections.