Thursday is the last day for public comment on a proposed wind farm that would stretch from southeast Minnesota across the border into Iowa.
Illinois-based company, Invenergy, is planning on a project called the Freeborn Wind Farm; a total of 100 turbines will be going up.
The cost of the project is around $300 million and will produce approximately 200 megawatts – which would power up to 70,000 homes.
Farmers will be getting $10,000 per year for each turbine on their land, but some others living in the area have concerns.
“It’s going to cause some problems with our quality of living,” said concerned Glenville resident Dorenne Hansen.
Hansen said her health could be in jeopardy if the Freeborn Wind Farm project is passed.
“Because of the noise and the flicker and the infrasound; I have stage four cancer myself. There’s two other people just in my mile block that have cancer. We’re just worried they’re going to ruin our quality of life. We’ll never have a quiet night again,” said Hansen.
She also said those concerns will interrupt her recovery.
“People are having troubles sleeping. Sleep is an important part of recovery, you know, your body repairs itself while you sleep. The flicker causes migraines. I have a propensity to motion sickness,” said Hanse.
But representatives from Invenergy say the project is designed to be compatible with those concerns.
“We want to be a good neighbor and that’s why we have designed the project with extremely robust setbacks from homes and a great attention to detail as far as potential nuisance like sound and flicker,” said Dan Litchfield, Invenergy Senior Manager of project development.
Health issues aren’t the only concern. Hansen said she’s also worried what the project will do to property values and the possibility of losing air TV and radio signals.
“It is in the site application that Invenergy has filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities. It says right in there they know they’re going to lose signal, but they feel it’s such a small amount of people that are going to be affected that they’re not going to do anything to mitigate it ahead of time,” said Hansen.
In a map that outlines where the new turbines will be located, it also shows a large area where there is a reception impact zone.
An impact study shows the number of ABC 6 households who potentially are at risk, which is 151.
“Ultimately there’s going to be no impact on people who live around there, now there are a few people who may have some television reception problems from the turbines, but we have to fix that,” said Litchfield.
Litchfield also said they are beginning a state permitting process that’s going to look at signal problems and any other concerns the community has.
But Hansen said she doesn’t see anything positive happening for her with this project.
“We have everything to lose,” said Hansen.
Invenergy hopes to start and finish construction in 2020.
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