WISCONSIN – Four experts shared research on wind turbines and health at Bay Port High School on Tuesday night, as many residents who live in Shirley and Fond du Lac have complained that the wind turbines near their homes are hurting their quality of life.
The panel was organized by Richard Schadewald, a Brown County supervisor who also serves as the chair of the Brown County Board of Health.
He said he’s impartial to the issue, but understands the residents who live near Shirley Wind Farm still have questions they haven’t gotten the answers to.
“You’re going to heard a lot of questions about, you did studies, but were they as big as this wind turbines that you have here, were they as close to the people?” Schadewald explained. “You know, that individual aspect is what makes Shirley Wind significantly different from almost all the other wind farms that we have.”
While some experts shared information that showed wind turbines could affect health, there was also evidence that they may not, leaving more ambiguity in the room than answers.
A representative with Duke Energy Renewables, the company which owns the Shirley Wind Farm, agrees with the studies that show little to no correlation between wind farms and health.
“When I think about what people are saying, I have no doubt that it’s real, but blaming wind turbines concerns us because the truly rigorous peer-reviewed, comprehensive science is telling us there’s no link between wind turbines and health effects,” Tammie McGee, manager of corporate communications with Duke Energy Renewables, said.
Those symptoms residents are complaining of include lack of sleep, headaches, ringing in the ears, and more.
One family said that they had to move out of their house in Shirley because of the wind farm, and now they’re paying two mortgages.
“We’ve been out of our house for over six years now, and it was a choice we had to make, it was either our health or our home, and we chose our health,” Susan Ashley, who now lives in Wrightstown, said.
Her husband agreed. “My family can’t live in the vicinity without being sick or having the adverse health effects,” Darren Ashley said. “I feel that we are the evidence, so there’s really not much more you can say besides what we already know to be true.”
The Brown County Board will use the information presented to continue to look into the wind farm issue.
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