As a resident of southern Lincoln County for the past 15 years, it is disheartening to read about the 500-tower wind farm being proposed for Lincoln County. All South Dakotans should be concerned, as there are many negative aspects that should be taken into effect with the wind plant.
No trees, no shelterbelts are going to block the view of the 400 ft. monstrosities taking over the landscape. This is what Dakota Community Wind Power visualizes for Lincoln County. Imagine the sheer size and the visual impact 500 turbines will have for miles.
Did you know that it is not cheap or necessarily green? Wind turbines are used only about 30 percent of the time because the wind does not blow continuously. They are not a significant or efficient source of energy. Coal, oil and gas are used to build the towers, and they must be kept running continually to keep the grid on. If the wind stops – coal, oil and gas are still burned because the turbines are not capable of running without the use of other fossil fuels. The individual in this county is not going to see a reduced electric bill. The energy is using South Dakota’s resources to ship the energy out of state, and you cannot store wind energy for later use as you can fossil fuels.
The tax subsidies for wind turbines are outrageous, costing the average taxpayer 200 times what it costs to subsidize gas, oil and coal. According to the Wall Street Journal, it costs $52.48 per one million watt hours generated per the U.S. Energy Information Administrator. Nuclear energy cost is $3.10, 84 cents for hydropower, 64 cents for coal and and 63 cents for natural gas. This is negative pricing.
Are you a hunter or a conservationist? According to the New York Times dated Nov. 22, 2013, Duke Energy was ordered to pay $1 million in fines to the State of Wyoming in the Justice Department’s first case against a wind power company. They violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is a federal law. Per the Wildlife Society Bulletin, almost 600,000 birds, including 80,000 raptors, hawks and eagles, are killed by windmills each year. South Dakota sits on the Central Migratory Bird Flyway. If an individual kills an eagle or protected raptor, the fine ranges from $15,000 to $500,000 and a possible prison term of six months to two years. Hypocrisy, in my opinion.
Maybe you do not care about your neighbor’s health or property value. Research the fact that many homeowners in other states are forced to abandon their properties because of the property depreciation and health hazards brought on by the turbines.
How would you feel if you cannot sell your home? Who wants to buy property in a turbine’s shadow? Who wants to be forced out of their home and lose what they worked hard for?
I do not live in this county or South Dakota so I can look at flashing FAA warning lights, shadow flicker, noise or the ugly monstrosities that will pass by my property. I live in the country north of town so I can enjoy the farm country, the sunset and the beautiful place we call home. I live here to raise a healthy family, with a good education.
Is this South Dakota’s legacy?
For your fellow South Dakotans, get the facts before you invest or sign your rights away.
J.L. Fischer lives in Beresford and is a resident of Lincoln County. She is a professional with a real estate title insurance company in Sioux Falls and previously spent 11 years in the banking industry. She is not affiliated with any group for the purposes of her letter, but is concerned about the future of her children and the rural heritage in South Dakota.
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