June 5, 2013

Residents file wind farm complaints

By Ken de la Bastide, Tribune staff writer | Kokomo Tribune | June 5, 2013 | kokomotribune.com

Tipton – Residents blamed the Wildcat Wind Farm for creating noise, light flicker and cellphone and television reception issues in a stack of complaints delivered to the Tipton County Plan Commission.

The Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development (CRD) on Monday hand delivered a stack of 23 complaints against the Wildcat Wind Farm operated by E.ON Climate & Renewables in eastern Tipton County. Three of the complaints filed were from the same family.

The Wildcat Wind Farm east of Windfall has been in operation about five months. It consists of 125 turbines in Madison and Tipton counties and is the first of four phases of the project.

The majority of the complaints mentioned noise, light flicker from the turbine blades, loss of television and cellular telephone connections and the conditions of the roads. There were also complaints about drainage problems and issues with the red lights on the top of the wind turbines and vibrations.

Several people complained that horses were acting differently, cats wouldn’t go outside, and the area lacked wildlife.

Steve Edson, Tipton County plan director, said he did accept the complaints but is not accepting responsibility for resolving the conflict.

“The company has the responsibility to resolve the issues,” he said.

The two major complaints are electro-magnetic interference with television and cellphone reception and noise, Edson said.

“There are noise standards that the company is not to exceed,” he said.

Edson said he believes E.ON already has copies of the complaints but will make them available if requested.

“I will monitor the process and keep a record of the resolutions,” he said.

Edson said he believes the roads will end up in superior condition as compared to before the Wildcat Wind Farm project started.

Phil Beer II, the Tipton County engineer, said Monday work on upgrading the roads in the area of the wind farm has been delayed by weather conditions.

Beer said final grading on the roads is scheduled, and the chip and seal process should start the week of June 17.

Chip sealing is achieved by first coating the road surface with liquid asphalt. A layer of crushed stone is then placed and rolled into place.

E.ON will put two layers of chip and seal on each road and in some instances pave the road surface.

“They’re moving ahead,” Beer said. “Depending on the weather the work could be done the first week of July.”

The commissioners informed residents in the wind farm area that for short periods of time there will be fresh oil on the roads during the chip and seal process.

E.ON development manager Andy Melka could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/06/05/residents-file-wind-farm-complaints/