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April 12, 2024

With wind turbines, ‘rotten’ cuts both ways…

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 20, 2014

With wind turbines, ‘rotten’ cuts both ways

Credit:  Joan M. Lagerman, October 18, 2014, ~~

Bill Lueder’s Oct. 13 Money & Politics column in The Reporter — Wisconsin Lags on Renewable Energy — focuses on the progress of renewable energy projects in our state. He discusses solar and wind project development.

The author quotes Matt Neumann, president of the Wisconsin Solar Energy Industries Association, who says that Wisconsin’s recent record on renewable energy is “rotten.”

As a resident for six years in the Blue Skies Green Fields industrial wind project in Fond du Lac County, “rotten” is how I would describe what life has been like for my family and a number of my neighbors.

Yes, most citizens likely want energy policies that include a conservation plan, as well as different forms of renewable energy. I am not against renewable options. But what wind developers and the author of this article won’t tell you is that increasing numbers of wind turbine project residents report being sick in their homes with headaches, ear pressure, ear pain, nausea, dizziness and sleep deprivation from the infrasound and inaudible Low Frequency Noise emitted by the giant wind turbine blades.

Lueder’s article used numbers and percentages to make his case supporting renewable energy. In regard to industrial wind turbines (IWTs), what the article fails to tell readers is that industrial-scale wind turbines after 20 years of federal tax dollar subsidies in the form of Production Tax Credits have a capacity factor rated from only 17 percent to 25 percent. IWTs are not reliable and cost-effective.

When there is no measurable wind, the IWTs are not adding electricity to the grid. In fact, they require winds up to eight miles per hour before they add electricity to the grid. The money could be better spent on biomass, solar and conservation programs because wind-generated electricity is not only unsafe when sited too close to people, but is 45 percent more expensive than conventional energy systems in the state of Wisconsin.

Michael Vickerman, a spokesman for Renew Wisconsin and lobbyist for wind turbine projects, stated in the column that wind projects have “flatlined.” He added that no new wind turbine projects have been built in 2013 and 2014.

In my opinion, that is because rural Wisconsinites are educating themselves on the hazards of living 1,250 feet from these massive wind generators as set by Public Service Commission guidelines. They won’t tell you about the over 100 wind project residents in five counties who have completed notarized affidavits submitted to their county Boards of Health and reporting the above adverse health symptoms.

When these residents leave their homes for a few days, the adverse symptoms disappear. continue reading…



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  • Mike Betz
    Posted at 09:18h, 20 October

    The writer says the “money” could be better spent on bio mass, solar and conservation. What money? The tax payer’s money? No respectable for-profit business model has yet been developed that can produce energy from any renewable at a profit ..they all rely on massive tax-payer funding to hide the uneconomical nature of uncontrollable natural sources like wind or solar. Conservation works best, and of all the renewables, only geo-thermal is currently economical to the point of being worth the install costs on your home.

    I Understand the writer’s frustration with personal problems with health when you live close to wind machines, but I wish these “victims” would get educated about the real costs of renewables before spouting off about where the money would be “better spent”.

    These schemes may be damaging to the personal health of those living nearby, but wind and solar both destroy any hope of economic recovery by increasing costs of energy dramatically. Both are parasitical systems that pad the pockets of GE and other foreign companies who don’t even pay taxes in America. In effect they are robbing the tax payers, and ensuring more cities begin to look like Detroit as low cost energy becomes a thing of the past.

  • Theodore P. Hartke, PE, PLS, President, Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc.
    Posted at 17:44h, 20 October

    Mike is right about renewables not being able to hold their own financially. If it wasn’t for the green energy taxpayer subsidy, we would not be suffering from sleep deprivation.

    The other thing which is ignored and overlooked by decision makers is the theft of property values nearby and within a wind farm. Three of my neighbors had their homes appraised, and the appraisers told them their values had gone down by $20,000, $30,000, and $25,000. These homes had some recent improvements such as remodeling and new windows and STILL went down by these amounts. The other notes in this article are spot on. The Vermilion County citizens who live nearby these InvEnergy turbines can also attest to the following:

    “When these residents leave their homes for a few days, the adverse symptoms disappear. They can sleep at night. They do not experience the ear pressure and pain and tinnitus.”

    We have complained to Doug Toole, at the Vermilion County Health Department, who will not receive our complaints because he says that the VCHD does not regulate wind turbines. Now, enter Brown County:

    “After years of the state ignoring these complaints and their calls for a state-ordered scientific health study, last week the Brown County Board of Health weighed the scientific data collected, including the December 2012 noise testing from Shirley Wind in southern Brown County, and voted unanimously on the following resolution:
    “To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.” (Brown County Board of Health, 10/14/2014)
    These victims in five Wisconsin counties can no longer be dismissed and discredited by some journalists and the wind lobbyists.”

    I don’t think the wind farm victims in Vermilion County are going to allow our concerns be dismissed anytime soon. I hope the Livingston County board is taking note and does a better job protecting their citizens from InvEnergy’s wind turbines.

    Question: If a Vermilion County board member thinks this is internet science (Bruce Stark,) will they come visit and see for themselves? When Chuck Mockbee was asked why he won’t respond to an invitation from his own district resident, he says, “I just choose not to come out there.”

    We really really wish that these wind turbines would actually give some net gain for he sacrifices we have made with our health, or financial loss in home equity, and destruction of relationships with our community “leaders.” There is no lemonade to be made out of these lemons.

  • Howard Beele
    Posted at 20:53h, 20 October

    Ignorance is bliss until you have to suffer for someone else’s ignorance. Maybe Vermillion county board members should learn from Ford County. After all, the board chairwoman who helped get their wind ordinance passed had to sell her house in the country for a loss and move to town to escape turbines that were placed in her front yard. “I didn’t know all the facts” she said later. Of course she didn’t because she, like the Vermilion board members, failed to due any due diligence and all of them believed the lies spun by wind companies.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 21:51h, 20 October

      Thanks for the reminder, I forgot all about that situation in Ford County. When we were working up in that area, we were too focused on other things, but I do remember being told that now.