For the approximately 75 people that braved the stormy weather, Monday night at the Friendly Senior Center was an opportunity to hear the Logan-Hardin Neighbor’s United’s strong case against using wind turbines as a supplemental energy source.
The organization was started in September of 2013 by residents in the Belle Center and Indian Lake area. They grew and became a non-profit corporation earlier this year.
President Michael Shepherd identified that the overall goal for he and his members is to stop the creation of the wind turbines. They have enjoyed some success so far. They worked with other groups around the state to get some state legislation changed.
Second, they are passionate about educating the public about the problems of wind turbines. He stressed that they are more than just a bunch of people that don’t want them in their backyard.
Shepherd thinks wind turbines will increase energy rates, infringe on property owners’ ability to enjoy where they live. He thinks that many will be built too close to where people live. He doesn’t like how many will be built around Indian Lake. Finally, tax dollars will be misused.
Shepherd is especially concerned with how close to homes the wind turbines can be built. They cause “shadow flicker”, are noisy and aren’t failsafe.
Tom Stacy, an advocate for affordable energy, explained that wind turbine usage will actually increase energy bills for tax payers. If wind turbines create energy, other energy creators must cut back their production. In order to cover their costs, they must submit a rate case to PUCO. By law, taxpayers must assist energy companies if they can not meet expenses.
Wind turbine companies, according to Stacy, can’t make any money without government assistance. Typically, turbines barely make enough to cover their production costs.
The supposed income that schools receive from turbines is misleading. If a district, for example, receives $200,000, the state will decrease that amount in foundation money to the district. Hence, there isn’t any advantage to district’s that have the turbines.
Recent state legislation has decreased the potential subsidy amount available. Stacy is unsure whether the legislation will prevent wind turbine companies with their installation plans.
Mechanical engineer Phillip Morse called wind turbines “lackluster supplemental energy sources”. Morse explained that turbines are not built in areas that maximize wind. Transporting the energy created is often not cost effective.
Morse explained that the turbines are not efficient. Running at 25% efficiency would be “good”. Turbines, according to Morse, run, one the average, at about a 6% efficiency rate.
The only reasons that Shepherd thinks anybody would in favor of using wind turbines is the potential income earned from having one on their property and not understanding all the factors involved.
Finally, studies indicate that property values decrease if the land is near a wind turbine.
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