This letter was submitted to Goodhue Wind Truth, an organization founded by concerned citizens of Goodhue County Minnesota. The 77 turbine (115.5 megawatt) facility referenced in the letter is owned and operated by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. It went into service December 2009.
I happened to hear you on KTLK a couple of weeks ago. I live south of Minot, ND. A year and a half ago a wind farm of approximately 80 turbines was installed south of Minot. There are 42 in my township, the nearest one is a little over one mile from me.
I have a 50% hearing loss, yet even on relatively calm days I can hear the sound of the turbines. And on windy days I can feel them. It is as if a diesel truck was idling nearby. I can hear that sound while in my house, but not when I go outside. Therefore I conclude that it is caused by low frequency sound or perhaps earth vibrations which cause my house to vibrate. I now experience occasional vertigo and nausea often while the low sound is occurring.
Driving near the turbines in winter can be dangerous. Ice dislodges from the turbine blades, and if the wind is in the right speed and direction the ice pieces land on the road. I have had several hit my car at night.
It was quite disconcerting.
Opposing wind development is not a very popular activity in this area. When a neighbor and I tried to speak in opposition to the turbines at our annual township meeting, we were quickly told that our opinions did not matter.
Prior to the turbines this was on a prime Bald Eagle migration path. I have only seen one Baldy since the turbines went up. Also, this area was an overnight stopping point for Sandhill Cranes. Accompanying the Sandhills I would occasionally see Whooping Cranes. Now the cranes avoid the region. Speaking out publicly is strongly discouraged and I am not aware of any local action groups.
There is nothing which can be done up here, it is all too late. However I am devoted to helping others avoid what has happened here. If I can help in any way, please let me know. Also, I am attaching a photo of a local turbine which experienced a blade failure several days ago. The wind was less than 50 knots when the incident occurred (I maintain my own weather station). Feel free to use and disseminate the image.