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Location of wind turbines blowing up storm

Certainly no one in South Dakota should be against wind power development, but the city and county also can't ignore concerns and questions raised by individuals who will live close to the modern-day version of the windmill. One or two turbines might not be an issue but what happens in months and years to come if more and more requests are made to allow individual wind turbines in residential areas?

No one will argue there is a seemingly endless supply of untapped renewable energy blowing in the South Dakota wind. Neither will they argue that harnessing that power is a step toward breaking our dependence on foreign oil - and providing a source of income for farmers.

Where it is harnessed, however, is blowing up storm clouds.

Toward the end of last year, two Aberdeen institutions received the city planning and zoning board's permission to erect wind turbines on their properties: Presentation College and the Aberdeen Public School District.

Some Aberdeen residents expressed concerns about the noise created by, and aesthetic aspects of the turbines. As a result, last week the Aberdeen City Council wisely placed a three-month moratorium on construction of turbines within the city limits and its one mile jurisdiction; the moratorium excluded the PC project, which is set to go online in April or May.

The school district, which was one of seven in the state participating in the national Wind for Schools Program, decided this week not to pursue the project.

The council and the Brown County Commission also approved a three-month continuance on its discussion of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

No one will argue there is a seemingly endless supply of untapped renewable energy blowing in the South Dakota wind. Neither will they argue that harnessing that power is a step toward breaking our dependence on foreign oil - and providing a source of income for farmers.

Where it is harnessed, however, is blowing up storm clouds.

Toward the end of last year, two Aberdeen institutions received the city planning and zoning board's permission to erect wind turbines on their properties: Presentation College and the Aberdeen Public School District.

Some Aberdeen residents expressed concerns about the noise created by, and aesthetic aspects of the turbines. As a result, last week the Aberdeen City Council wisely placed a three-month moratorium on construction of turbines within the city limits and its one mile jurisdiction; the moratorium excluded the PC project, which is set to go online in April or May.

The school district, which was one of seven in the state participating in the national Wind for Schools Program, decided this week not to pursue the project.

The council and the Brown County Commission also approved a three-month continuance on its discussion of wind turbine regulations two and three miles outside of Aberdeen.

Certainly no one in South Dakota should be against wind power development, but the city and county also can't ignore concerns and questions raised by individuals who will live close to the modern-day version of the windmill. One or two turbines might not be an issue but what happens in months and years to come if more and more requests are made to allow individual wind turbines in residential areas? Permission cannot be decided case by case. Everyone deserves fair and equal treatment.

The concerns are not unique to Aberdeen. Other municipalities, counties and states with favorable wind conditions are finding themselves caught in the turmoil swirling around turbines in or close to residential areas.

The moratorium gives the city and county time to find out how other entities are dealing with the issue, learn from others' miscues and decide how best to handle the issue here.

Harnessing the wind for electricity is only going to pick up speed and the city and county need to be ready to deal with the inevitable. Regulations need to be in place to treat each request on an equal basis.

With proper planning it is possible for wind turbines and individuals to peacefully co-exist in the heartland of one of nature's biggest resources.


Source: http://www.aberdeennews.com...

FEB 17 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24685-location-of-wind-turbines-blowing-up-storm
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