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Turbine project propels forward  

Wind turbines on the move in Ellenburg Windpark.

ELLENBURG – Blades have started spinning here, as wind turbines are being placed on line.

Allison Finley, public affairs manager for Noble Environmental Power, said seven wind turbines were running this week, all in the Ellenburg Windpark.

“Right now, they are working to energize and commission the wind parks,” she said. “More will come online in the following days.”

Each of the 121 turbines in Ellenburg and Clinton must be synced with the grid, and electrical-collection systems need to be energized before startup.

UNHAPPY NEIGHBOR

When there is a breeze along No. 5 Road, the turbines are difficult to hear. In fact, one turbine is supposed to make less noise than a kitchen refrigerator, according to Noble.

Not everyone agrees.

“My fridge don’t make that much noise,” said Al Barcombe, standing beside his country home. “I don’t like ’em.”

Barcombe said that years ago he moved to Ellenburg from Rochester to raise horses and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.

“If I had known they’d do all this, I never would have put so much into this place,” he said, as blades from six turbines sliced through the air behind his barn.

“I don’t think I’ll stay.”

Barcombe refused to sign any leases with Noble. The closest turbine is about 500 feet from his property line.

“They look closer than they really are,” he said, walking toward them.

“I don’t see nothing beautiful about ’em.”

NOT BOTHERED

Several wind turbines also sit in Clarinda Boadway’s yard.

She said that, so far, the sound hasn’t been a problem.

“I thought it’d be annoying, but it hasn’t bothered us yet.”

She said she hasn’t noticed shadow flicker, either, an effect that occurs when a moving object comes between a person and a light source.

“Maybe it will be different in three months. I don’t know.”

‘WHOOSH, WHOOSH’

While walking her dog, Sparky, along No. 5 Road, Cindy Recore seemed mildly optimistic about the wind project.

“I hope that they work out now that they’re up. But I think they might push a lot of people out of here.

“It’s like the old saying, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.'”

She said the faint whooshing of blades pesters her at night.

“When it’s quiet out, you can hear ’em. When the wind stops, all you can hear is ‘whoosh, whoosh, whoosh’ all night long.

“I’m not crazy about them, but it’d be good if they worked out.”

GOOD FOR TOWN

Dick Decosse, owner of Dick’s Country Store, thinks the project will benefit the area economically.

“It’s a good opportunity for our town,” he said from behind the gun counter at his store. “It will certainly help out.”

Decosse is eager for Noble to fire up the four turbines in his own back yard.

“It’ll be kinda neat to see ’em turning. Visually, I don’t find anything wrong with them.”

Noble Environmental Power has promised landowners yearly easement payments for use of their property.

“They’ll benefit anybody who has them,” Decosse said.

Finley said both wind parks should be online by the end of the month.

By Rachel Osborne
Staff Writer

The Press Republican

5 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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