Articles from Wisconsin
At its Tuesday, October 14 meeting, the Brown County Board of Health motioned and unanimously approved a resolution declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a "Human Health Hazard".
Highland Wind Farm LLC, citing project delays due to a legal appeal, on Sept. 10 asked the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for a two-year extension on a construction start deadline.
Most of the wind-power capacity is within Republican congressional districts, but many politicians in the party have made ending the tax credit part of their agenda. This year, efforts to extend the tax credit have made little headway in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Now a bird preservation organization says it’s the USFWS itself that is violating the act, and it has sued the agency over what it says is a rule that could endanger thousands of bald and golden eagles. Indeed, the American Bird Conservancy asserts, the USFWS has committed multiple violations of federal law.
Commissioner Ellen Nowak said the revolving loan fund would "hold the renewable industry more accountable for its own development" and free up more dollars for energy efficiency incentives, which are more cost-effective initiatives for utility ratepayer dollars.
Gearboxes can fail in their first three to five years if there was a design flaw, or within six to 10 years from general wear and tear. Each year a growing segment of the wind turbine market ages and gets closer to gearbox failures, Neumiller said. ..."We're seeing the wear-related failures now and our customers' failure rates are increasing rapidly."
The Wisconsin Realtors Association, Wisconsin Builders Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and others filed suit, claiming that Public Service Commission rule 128 is invalid because it was installed without a housing impact report. A Brown County judge upheld the PSC’s rules and Tuesday’s decision affirmed that ruling.
Susan Lodl was taken aback when she and other residents in the Sheboygan County village of Cascade received postcards in 2009 describing plans to use about $500,000 of village money on two wind turbines to power a new wastewater treatment plant. ...Lodl said she found a pattern of vague and misleading agenda items that failed to give residents proper notice and a chance for input.
Despite acknowledging that it will not pass, Democratic legislators introduced the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Act, which would mandate a 30 percent renewable energy production requirement for utility companies by 2030. Wisconsin’s current renewable energy goal for utility companies is 10 percent by 2015.
A St. Croix County town has filed suit to block construction of a wind farm proposed by Emerging Energies. The $250 million project, the Highland Wind Farm, has been on the drawing board for several years and was initially rejected by the state Public Service Commission. The commission later reconsidered and gave the project the go-ahead last fall.
“Should the project build, we expect the same ratio of illness and property devaluation as the Town of Glenmore, WI has experienced with Shirley Wind, also developed by Emerging Energies,” said Salseg. Residents, industry experts, and the Brown County Board of Health believe the Shirley illnesses are the result of exposure to low frequency sound, infrasound, and electrical pollution that did not exist before the eight 500-foot turbines became operational. Three families have abandoned their homes and fifty affidavits document similar negative health effects for other Glenmore families.
With a local economy that has struggled with high unemployment, they defended their incentive package, which includes giving away industrial land and making a $1 million investment in a plan to turn garbage into electricity.
The pieces were finally in place to definitively answer the health question: are the wind turbines making people sick? One year later we still don’t know. Why? In spite of its own recommendation of more studies, the PSC has shelved the report for a year and done nothing. Nothing.
A dispute over a proposed wind farm in northeastern St. Croix County has blown a huge hole in the normally tight-knit fabric of the farming community where the project’s developer hopes to build the $250 million project. That may be the only thing opponents and advocates in the town of Forest agree on about the Highland Wind Farm, which would consist of up to 44 wind turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall to the tip of the highest blade, generating a total of 102.5 megawatts of electricity.
Its author is Senator Frank Lasee of Green Bay. He’s been tilting his legislative sword against wind turbines for years. He says it’s his duty. “I don’t want people harmed by wind. Period! I don’t care if we have them in the state or not, truly. I don’t care about wind one way or another, but I don’t want people harmed like the people I represent, who have truly, drastically, dramatically harmed by this and we don’t seem to care. And that bothers me a lot and this is a redress for those people.”
Homeowners who live near wind turbines told state lawmakers Wednesday they should be able to sue for damages because of the problems with sleeping, headaches and other health issues that emerged after wind farms were built. They spoke in favor of a bill introduced by state Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), whose district includes a wind farm in Brown County where several families have moved from their homes, citing health concerns.
“We are very pleased that the Town has filed a Petition for Emergency Rule as well as a Motion for Reconsideration,” said Brenda Salseg. “Should the Town appeal the decision to circuit court, we are confident that a Court will find that the evidence does not support the decision."
“I introduced (Senate Bill 167) to make sure the rights of my neighbors are protected,” said Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, in a statement. “I believe these people have health problems because of the turbines and I’m tired of the Public Service Commission dragging their feet. This is a public health issue for all of Wisconsin. It’s time to get answers.”
The commission voted 2-1 in September to approve a permit for Highland Wind Farm, a $250 million project that would result in as many as 44 wind turbines generating up to 102.5 megawatts. The developer had reapplied for the permit after the commission voted 2-1 in February to deny an application over questions regarding noise.
Wisconsin lawmakers are scheduled to take up a bill next week that would make it easier for people to sue for perceived health symptoms and property value impacts they attribute to wind turbines.