There are a few in our city and county who think easy wind energy dollars are the answer to every problem facing our community. Others are taking a more cautious approach that those dollars may cost more than they are worth and may, over time, cause greater taxation and higher electrical costs.
More and more states, counties, and countries are realizing that the cost (health and safety, infrastructure, use of land, etc.) of wind energy is too great. They are opting for more stringent controls and greater setbacks as citizens and elected officials take a closer look at wind energy companies and the problems they bring.
Blade failure, ice throw, and fire are the main safety concerns. Last fall in Australia over 8,000 acres burnt from a turbine fire. Just over Easter weekend two were reported, one in Maine and one in Oklahoma. If you have ever experienced a fire in a wheat field, you know how destructive and dangerous they can be. It would be our first responders who would answer that call. If strong winds are blowing the event would be catastrophic.
Many doctors are noting health issues and sleep deprivation with those living near turbines due to noise, flicker, and lighting. Low level infrasound, those sounds below our hearing capacity, has also been cited as a health concern. Studies in Germany have proven that the infrasound linked to wind turbines can cause a decrease in the force of contraction in heart muscle up to 20 percent. In a person with a healthy heart it may not be a problem, but in someone with a weakened heart it could be fatal.
Being a life-long farmer, I cannot agree with the loss of farmland to these giant behemoths. They take up to two acres of land out of production and their construction can cause compaction and drainage issues for many years. Huge underground bases are needed for these giant turbines, which take 2,400,000 pounds of concrete and tons of rebar, which replaces good Van Wert County fertile soil!
Wind is not a reliable source of energy. Our electrical providers would have to keep their plants operating as it is too costly to restart them on a calm day; there is no savings of fossil fuels. They do not perform as well or have a long-term life as wind energy companies predict, per independent engineers. When they fail you will be faced with higher taxes to support those schools and higher electrical costs.
SB238 proposes to change setbacks measured from your habitation, not from a property line and make them even closer to your home. This is not acceptable. Ohio’s setbacks are the least restrictive and must be set at greater distances in heavily populated rural areas for health and safety reasons alone. All of these issues lower property values.
Germany and France both have one-mile setbacks while Holland sets theirs at 3,280 feet. Studies have shown that due to strobe and shadow flicker turbines should be from 3,300 to 5,000 feet from habitations. Science states that at least 1,700 feet should be set for safety from debris and ice throw.
I hope you believe as I do that it would not be Christian or ethical to allow wind energy companies to encroach on the land of your rural neighbors, take away their quality of life, perhaps even endanger their lives, and drop their property values for short-term dollars and cents!!