March 6, 2020

Wind farm angers residents who live near turbines

Kara Biernat | WGEM | March 5, 2020 |

Residents are upset over the placement of a new wind farm.

It’s happening in rural McDonough and Warren counties, where some residents said they don’t like the new form of energy, as it now sits in their backyard.

Some residents said it’s the constant humming noise.

Others said it’s the red lights on the turbines at night. But one woman said she’s also concerned about what living within a mile of the wind farm will do to her health.

It’s a different view out Brian and Melanie Monroe’s window, as they now see a field of wind turbines.

“This is our new view to the south,” Melanie Monroe said. “We can count all 60 turbines.”

The Monroes live in Warren County, Illinois, where their home is now part of a new wind farm, built to generate renewable energy.

“It’s just been a very, stressful, concerning, topic, it makes you scared,” Melanie said.

She said they first heard about the plan for the project in 2018 and were immediately against the idea.

“We were pretty naive, and circulated a petition,” Melanie said.

That petition didn’t work. Now, Melanie said she’s concerned about what living a mile away from 60 operating wind turbines means for her long-term health.

“The stories that I have read from people that live around the builds, the closer you are, the more significant negative health affects,” Melanie said.

She said when they’re churning energy, she can feel the vibration and is worried about her hearing.

Other residents, like farmer Steven Hall said they’re not on board either.

“Most people here that farm, don’t care for it,” Hall said. “You can hear them go swoosh swoosh, about half to three quarters of a mile away.”

He said he and other farmers chose to not provide their land for the turbines.

“Then you got the lights at night, looks like an airport,” Hall said.

Capital Power, who operates the wind turbines, said they’ve been approved to install a radar system, which will eliminate the red lights at night.

With the new system, the lights would only turn on if a plane comes within a three mile radius of the wind farm.

Capital Power said many people support the wind farm, especially the farmers who are making money off of renting their land to house the turbines.

The power company also said the wind farm will bring in about $2 million a year, just in taxes, to go towards helping local schools and infrastructure.

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