We took a trip to Illinois to the Crescent Ridge wind farm. We talked to a farmer who farms 1,500 acres. He told us how this project was developed and the promises that were made.
These towers were 275 feet tall and had 140-foot blades. He explained that the township and county were almost broke, so they thought property taxes (at that time) paid by the wind company would help. They did, but this payment has been changed to a flat rate that’s much less because of lobbyists for the wind companies making deals with the state of Illinois.
The noise is much louder than they promised. He said he can sleep through his grain dryer running because it’s constant, but not the up-and-down swooshing noise of the turbines. He had insulation sprayed into his home on an addition, thinking it would keep out the turbine noise but that only amplified it.
He said he couldn’t believe that Midwest Energy would put turbines up in an area such as ours that is so populated. He said setbacks should be at least 1,500 to 2,000 feet and that turbines don’t belong around homes.
Most of the electricity produced there goes to Chicago. The Chicago population fought to keep the turbines out, and won. He also mentioned that 14 of the turbines at Crescent Ridge had cracked blades. The solution: Turn off the turbines when the wind hits 20 mph. Real safe, huh?
The problem is they’re in court, trying to decide who should pay for replacing these blades. They fixed the roads after the project went in but he was wondering who’s going to fix the roads the second time when the cranes and heavy equipment come in to repair these cracked blades.
Dick and Brenda Ludwig,
10 November 2007
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