- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Walker’s wind-farm rules protect health, safety

Gov. Scott Walker’s bill on wind-farm siting increases setbacks to 1,800 feet between wind turbines and property lines, but any landowner can agree to have them closer if they wish.

More importantly, Walker’s bill closes a loophole that allowed wind companies to use the property of non-participating landowners as a turbine safety/collapse zone. This means a wind company can put a turbine as close as 440 feet from your property line and claim about 700 feet of your land as a safety/collapse zone. This means it becomes an automatic no-build and no tree zone, because it’s within the 1,250-foot setback.

You have to get permission from the wind company to build or plant trees on your own property. If they allow you to do it, insurance companies may refuse to insure any structure inside of this safety zone, as happened recently to a family I know in Fond du Lac County when they wanted to build a long-planned garage on their home.

Walker’s setback of 1,800 feet keeps the safety/collapse zone on the participating landowner’s property. It provides a way for landowners to be compensated for land used by the wind company.

Walker’s bill will help also protect the health, safety and property values of rural Wisconsin families faced with having 500-foot turbines 1,250 feet from their doors.

It gives landowners a choice. This is why I’m urging my legislators to support this bill.

Lynda Barry-Kawula

Brodhead, Wis.