Last month our commissioners took a responsible step toward regulating wind energy in Montgomery County. They have proposed changing the allowable sound limits for wind towers from 60 to 30 decibels. This is in line with the World Health Organization safety recommendations for noise. However, the wind company attended the last commissioners meeting focused on maintaining higher decibel limits. Please contact your commissioners before they meet on Nov. 13. Encourage them to follow through with their proposed changes, and vote to lower decibel limits. Ask them to listen to locals who will have to live beside wind turbines, families concerned about health and child development issues. Tell them the needs of our residents should come before the greed of the wind industry giant.
The Akuo Sugar Creek wind farm is slated across the northern part of Sugar Creek and Madison townships. Here are just a few issues of concern. One can see a lot just from viewing their website.
Akuo refers to their wind farms as “power plants.”
While its power plants in its home country of France are between just 8 and 28 megawatts, the Sugar Creek project will be 200-250 megawatts.
In May the French Academy of Medicine declared wind turbines a public health nuisance. It recommends that towers not be placed more than 4,900 feet from residences. In Montgomery County our current ordinance allows Akuo to construct towers from just 1000 to 1300 feet from residences.
By looking at photos on their website, Akuo’s other power plants throughout the world appear to be far from human populations. Their Rocksprings project is planned outside of the town of Juno, Texas, population 10.
Akuo’s website shows their project as “under construction”. Interestingly they have yet to even apply for a building permit through the county.
The Chicago office for Akuo USA, part of Akuo, is “permanently closed.” I can’t find any US offices for Akuo or Akuo USA.
The 2013 Economic Development Agreement between the county and Akuo’s Sugar Creek Wind describes Sugar Creek and Madison townships as an Economic Development Area: “an area which . . . has become undesirable for normal development and occupancy, because of a lack of development, cessation of growth, deterioration of improvements or character of occupancy, age, obsolescence, substandard buildings, or other factors which have impaired values or prevent a normal development of property or use of property.”
In lieu of the above facts, it is my opinion that a foreign company which chose to no longer operate under restrictive legislation in its own country, looked abroad and found a vulnerable area of expansion. Like the United Fruit Company in third world countries in the 1900’s, Akuo strangely enough found itself a first world victim. Only our county government, our commissioners, can stop this injustice before it is allowed to happen.
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