Articles from Iowa
Sibley Fire Chief Kenny Huls says when they were looking for what may have caused the fire, they noticed some charring on the windmill motor, and with the distance and the wind carrying those sparks, he says it appeared to him that perhaps the wind turbine malfunctioned and shot a spray of sparks out into the field.
Wind energy is not an agricultural commodity, as hogs, cattle, and grain are. It is not a product that supports rural economic development. It does not revitalize communities. It damages them.
After talking to Cherokee County Auditor Kris Glienke recently to speculate that a significant issue of some sort existed with turbines in the recently commissioned 200 megawatt (MW) Glaciers Edge Wind Project in western Cherokee County, Glienke shockingly reported, “I'm hearing that all the blades might need to be repaired or replaced.”
Rural areas in Iowa are agricultural not industrial. Rural communities should not suffer from noise, shadow flicker, adverse health effects, and devalued homes because of wind turbines. The wind is promoted as free, but the true costs of the wind industry in rural Iowa are not. Is our goal as a state the elimination of rural communities and create a vast industrial scale, corporate ag-industrial mini-state?
"You get up every day. You go to work with it every day. I mean the silence is gone, and it's forever gone. Yeah, it's gone," said Tanya and Mike Lamb, of Greenfield. The Lambs live 500 feet down from a wind turbine and can't forget the seven surrounding their property. "It's so loud and it hurts my ears that I mean we can't sit outside," Tanya Lamb said.
Dr. Ben Johnson believes there are true, real health affects related to industrial wind turbines. Johnson not only has a medical professional perspective, but he's also a landowner near wind projects in Madison County. As a physician, he says he's seen rhythm disorders, which are often associated with sleep disorders.
Frustrated Madison County residents are calling for county supervisors to stop wind turbines from being built across their countryside. ..."The problem is nobody knows that it's coming in until it gets there," Madison County resident Brett Terharr said.
The current ordinance requires there to be 1500 feet between a wind turbine and any home on neighboring property. Supervisor Jon Herzberg said increasing the setback much more would effectively end wind energy possibilities in the county. “A 1600-feet setback is about the most you can go, otherwise the wind energy company won’t come in,” he said.
Iowa's largest farm group is calling for statewide regulations that guide where large-scale wind and solar farms can be built, as members raise concerns about the loss of valuable farmland to renewable energy projects.
Changes could be coming to Page County's wind turbine ordinance. The Page County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to consider an amendment to the county's wind energy conversion system ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday morning at the county courthouse.
CLARINDA — Some of what is known about wind turbines in Page County is on paper.
My advice: Do not sign an easement that would affect the legacy of your land and never sign anything without an attorney present. Many Iowa attorneys are held on retainer by an energy company; be sure yours is not. Easement law is not common knowledge in Iowa as it is in the West, where landowners have dealt with water or mineral rights for generations. Get an attorney who understands easement law.
Leaders in southwest Iowa’s Page County held two public hearings this week to gather residents’ comments on wind power, whether to allow more wind turbines to be built or to enact tighter regulations on the turbines.
"Our intent in having an ordinance is to protect people," said Morris. "I'm proud of that fact. Is it perfect? No, that's why we're debating here. How do we make this ordinance work best for everybody? It's a tough issue. You have land rights that are important, whether that's with a windmill or without a windmill."
Meaningful input from county Boards of Health are discounted. Meanwhile, turbines are put up, people suffer physically and mentally – often insidiously – and living quality is permanently and negatively impacted. We should at least have guidelines that reflect the most current understanding of adverse health effects and, as such, will require much larger separations (certainly greater than 1500 or 2500 feet) of turbine placement from adjoining private property depending on the power generating capacity of the proposed turbine.
Hardin County supervisors unanimously passed an indefinite moratorium on wind turbine building permits at its meeting Wednesday.
The environmental groups claim PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq and Commissioner Mike Huebsch should have recused themselves from the case because of their ties to utility groups supporting the project. Valcq previously served as regulatory counsel for We Energies, whose parent company WEC Energy Group also owns about 60 percent of American Transmission Co., one of the developers of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line.
The amendment caps the number of commercial wind turbines or wind farms erected within the boundaries of Adair County at a total of no more than 535. Adair County currently has 532 turbines completed or under construction. This comes after neighboring Union County earlier this year passed its ordinance allowing the construction of wind farms to start within the county.
"This clean, green energy is not so clean and not so green," says Julie Kuntz, who opposes a Worth County wind project. "It's just more waste going in our landfills." Daniel Laird, a U.S. Department of Energy researcher, acknowledges that disposing of the blades is a challenge. Wind energy generation, now topping 100 gigawatts nationally, will create 1 million tons of fiberglass and other composite waste, said Laird, director of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.
These monsters are 494 feet tall from base to the tip of the blade; the blades are close to 200 feet long. When you have a very large structure, moving and spinning at over 200 mph, vibrating the air, then compound it with multiple structures, all of the same size and speed, there will be noise – and lots of it. You don’t and won’t understand, until you live it. It doesn’t take any type of degree, or a ton of common sense, to understand this concept. They do indeed sound like jets that won’t land. It goes on all day, almost every day. We pray for days without wind. You don’t and won’t understand, until you live it.