I wanted to inform you on the latest developments regarding the Walmart wind turbines. In case you were unaware, in August Omni-wind asked Lacey Township Zoning Board for the variances necessary to install 14 wind turbines (windmills) in the Walmart parking lot. The plan calls for extending 14 of the existing 35 ft tall light poles to 50 feet tall and adding a 10 bladed turbine to the top of the pole. The turbines blades are 8 foot long. This meeting was continued by the board until Oct. because the Board wanted additional information.
At the September meeting, Omni Wind showed up with nine experts to testify on their behalf. Here is a synopsis of their testimony, comments from the audience (only eight of us) and concerns you should be aware of:
Omini claims these turbines are a new design that is safer and more efficient
Fact: This turbine is not in use anywhere else but on Omni’s property and they only have 1. Recently a wind turbine in Bamber Lake fell apart while spinning, flew through the air and narrowly missed a person. There is no safety report on this new design.
Omni claims that there is no noise from these turbines
Fact: No noise level studies have been done. We are supposed to take their word. Residents close to the wind turbines in Ocean Gate complain of the constant noise from the wind turbines that Ocean Gate put in place last year.
Omni claims the residents of Jacqueline Court will not be able to see these turbines because of the tree buffer.
Fact: Most of the trees in the buffer are deciduous and have no leaves for at least 6 months of the year. Most of Jacqueline Ct can see Walmart quite clearly at that time. Also the township road on the railroad has been approved, as well as the Ocean County Trail. The plans call for the 30 feet of the trees between Walmart and Jacqueline Ct. to be removed for the road. The trees between the houses and the railroad bed will be removed by the county for the trail. There will be almost no tree buffer at all. Walmart and their new 54 foot tall windmills will be viewable by all of us.
Omni admitted that these windmills will only generate 1 percent of the electricity that Walmart needs and that all of the energy produced by the turbines will be for Walmart’s benefit
Fact: Walmart is trying to appear to be more “green” and is rolling out a nationwide ad campaign on how environmentally friendly they are. While seeking alternate energy is a worthwhile goal the amount being generated in this proposal is not significant enough for the burden it will place on the residents of Lacey. Jacqueline Court was constructed before Walmart ever thought of building in Lacey. The property values, safety and well being of taxpayers who lived there should be the priority, not Walmart getting a break on their electric bill.
Omni is hoping that Walmart will use their wind turbines in stores throughout the country.
Fact: This will be the FIRST place they are trying this. We are being asked to be the guinea pigs. Most Walmart stores are not located in residential communities. They should experiment in those areass first and not by our homes. Since this hasn’t been tried before and there is no data to show it even will be successful, I don’t believe Lacey residents should be put at risk.
The meeting on the turbines will be continued Monday Oct. 3 at 7 PM at the Lacey Municipal Building. Public comments will be allowed at that time. Please consider attending this meeting and voicing your objections to the wind turbines. Note: the meetings are not televised. The Zoning Board was very interested in public opinion and very respectful to the residents. They are willing to listen but you need to come and tell them of your concerns. The approval is not a done deal and your opinions will count. If we don’t show up and speak up they will assume that Lacey residents have no problem with this project. The decision will be made at this meeting.
If you have any questions or need clarification on any of this please feel free to call or email.You can also view the plans at the Lacey Municipal Building.
Judy & Bud DeFiglio