With wind turbines, ‘rotten’ cuts both ways
Credit: Joan M. Lagerman, October 18, 2014, fdlreporter.com ~~
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Bill Lueder’s Oct. 13 Money & Politics column in The Reporter – Wisconsin Lags on Renewable Energy – focuses on the progress of renewable energy projects in our state. He discusses solar and wind project development.
The author quotes Matt Neumann, president of the Wisconsin Solar Energy Industries Association, who says that Wisconsin’s recent record on renewable energy is “rotten.”
As a resident for six years in the Blue Skies Green Fields industrial wind project in Fond du Lac County, “rotten” is how I would describe what life has been like for my family and a number of my neighbors.
Yes, most citizens likely want energy policies that include a conservation plan, as well as different forms of renewable energy. I am not against renewable options. But what wind developers and the author of this article won’t tell you is that increasing numbers of wind turbine project residents report being sick in their homes with headaches, ear pressure, ear pain, nausea, dizziness and sleep deprivation from the infrasound and inaudible Low Frequency Noise emitted by the giant wind turbine blades.
Lueder’s article used numbers and percentages to make his case supporting renewable energy. In regard to industrial wind turbines (IWTs), what the article fails to tell readers is that industrial-scale wind turbines after 20 years of federal tax dollar subsidies in the form of Production Tax Credits have a capacity factor rated from only 17 percent to 25 percent. IWTs are not reliable and cost-effective.
When there is no measurable wind, the IWTs are not adding electricity to the grid. In fact, they require winds up to eight miles per hour before they add electricity to the grid. The money could be better spent on biomass, solar and conservation programs because wind-generated electricity is not only unsafe when sited too close to people, but is 45 percent more expensive than conventional energy systems in the state of Wisconsin.
Michael Vickerman, a spokesman for Renew Wisconsin and lobbyist for wind turbine projects, stated in the column that wind projects have “flatlined.” He added that no new wind turbine projects have been built in 2013 and 2014.
In my opinion, that is because rural Wisconsinites are educating themselves on the hazards of living 1,250 feet from these massive wind generators as set by Public Service Commission guidelines. They won’t tell you about the over 100 wind project residents in five counties who have completed notarized affidavits submitted to their county Boards of Health and reporting the above adverse health symptoms.
When these residents leave their homes for a few days, the adverse symptoms disappear. They can sleep at night. They do not experience the ear pressure and pain and tinnitus. After years of the state ignoring these complaints and their calls for a state-ordered scientific health study, last week the Brown County Board of Health weighed the scientific data collected, including the December 2012 noise testing from Shirley Wind in southern Brown County, and voted unanimously on the following resolution:
“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.” (Brown County Board of Health, 10/14/2014)
These victims in five Wisconsin counties can no longer be dismissed and discredited by some journalists and the wind lobbyists.
Joan M. Lagerman of the town of Marshfield is a member of Concerned Citizens of Fond du Lac County.
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