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As turbines rise, residents worry about adverse effects

To Carol Lantow, it feels like her home is slowly becoming enveloped by wind farms. On a clear day, she can see the whirling blades of turbines on two distant wind farms from her home in rural Rose Creek. And even closer to home, a neighboring farmer is planning to erect a single wind turbine on his property about a quarter mile from the home Lantow shares with her husband, Jim.

ROSE CREEK - To Carol Lantow, it feels like her home is slowly becoming enveloped by wind farms.

On a clear day, she can see the whirling blades of turbines on two distant wind farms from her home in rural Rose Creek.

And even closer to home, a neighboring farmer is planning to erect a single wind turbine on his property about a quarter mile from the home Lantow shares with her husband, Jim.

"I'm not against green energy or windmills," Lantow said. "I just believe these projects need to be carefully planned with lots of citizen input."

As wind turbines become more pervasive in southeastern Minnesota with the growing number of wind farms in Mower, Fillmore and Dodge counties, complaints are cropping up about the noise and shadow flicker they cause.

However, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has only received three such complaints so far.

"Minnesota wind projects have been full of comments from people who are concerned about these effects, but typically they are not issues once the project is in place," said Tricia DeBleeckere, an energy facility planner for the Public Utilities Commission.

Brian Huggenvik and his wife built their home in rural Harmony... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ROSE CREEK - To Carol Lantow, it feels like her home is slowly becoming enveloped by wind farms.

On a clear day, she can see the whirling blades of turbines on two distant wind farms from her home in rural Rose Creek.

And even closer to home, a neighboring farmer is planning to erect a single wind turbine on his property about a quarter mile from the home Lantow shares with her husband, Jim.

"I'm not against green energy or windmills," Lantow said. "I just believe these projects need to be carefully planned with lots of citizen input."

As wind turbines become more pervasive in southeastern Minnesota with the growing number of wind farms in Mower, Fillmore and Dodge counties, complaints are cropping up about the noise and shadow flicker they cause.

However, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has only received three such complaints so far.

"Minnesota wind projects have been full of comments from people who are concerned about these effects, but typically they are not issues once the project is in place," said Tricia DeBleeckere, an energy facility planner for the Public Utilities Commission.

Brian Huggenvik and his wife built their home in rural Harmony just a few years ago after being away from Fillmore County for about 20 years.

But now a 300-acre field behind Huggenvik's house could have as many as six turbines, as his property borders the proposed 200-megawatt EcoEnergy wind farm west of Harmony.

"It's not going to be country anymore," he said. "It's going to be an industrial wind farm that we'll be living under. With those flashing red lights, I'm afraid it will look like a spaceship has landed."

Lantow is fighting the wind turbine planned near her house. Late last year, she organized a petition with 17 signatures from surrounding neighbors opposed to the wind turbine. However, the Mower County Board ultimately decided to approve a conditional-use permit allowing the turbine to go up as long as it's 750 feet from surrounding homes.

Lantow doesn't think that not far enough away.

The turbine's platform has already been built and the tower will likely be put up this spring.

While some people who live near wind turbines are bothered by the noise and flickering shadows wind turbines can cause, Lantow's main concern is the effect the turbine might have on waterfowl that flock to a pond at the back of her property.

"We've kept the pond as a small wildlife preserve and have been trying to keep a natural habitat," Lantow said. "We've read about instances where wildlife have been killed by those rotors."

She's also concerned that the tower's blinking red lights will further contaminate the countryside.

Lantow believes the neighbors should put the wind turbine closer to their own home.


Source: http://www.postbulletin.com...

JAN 23 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24283-as-turbines-rise-residents-worry-about-adverse-effects
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