As we enter another year, we see that, as the proliferation of industrial wind continues, more people and communities are being harmed by the adverse impacts. We know THE issue for us in 2017 will be efforts to reduce setbacks.
Meanwhile, we can count on Ohio Senator Cliff Hite to lead that assault on our property. Remarkably, in an interview with the Findlay/Hancock County newspaper, Hite says, ““I’m the little guy in this fight.” The article goes on to say “Hite’s 1st Senate District includes wind turbine-rich Van Wert and Paulding counties, and Hardin County, which has multiple turbine projects in the making. But policies promoting renewable energy, like wind and solar, would be job creators for the entire state, Hite said. Amazon, Google and Microsoft have told lawmakers and the governor they would like to locate in Ohio. (Remember, however, that Ohio is WEAK for wind and the turbine here only produce appox 40% of the energy they could theoretically produce-if spinning all the time)But they first want the state to adopt a consistent policy involving renewable energy sources. Besides the potential economic benefits, Hite favors wind and solar energy for their environmental benefits. “I believe with all my heart as a Republican that it is our job to make this state better, when it comes to the air,” he said. “This shouldn’t be just a Democrat issue. This shouldn’t be just a few factions out there … We should be united to do what we can.” http://thecourier.com/local-news/2016/12/31/hite-lame-duck-governor-will-face-challenges/
So it seems that Cliff Hite feels his district needs to sacrifice everything so that THEORETICAL jobs can be created someplace else in the state and everyone in Ashtabula can breathe clean air. Does Hite think his constituents are dumb enough to believe that? We hope many readers will resolve in 2017 to write lots of letters to your local papers. We observe that the Ohio press is continuing to cover the perspectives of the environmental community and not the other side of the issue. With that in mind, we feature several important stories today….
Highlights of other wind projects outside of Ohio include:
PENNSYLVANIA: In Carbon County, citizens are at a boiling point over a project by Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables (formerly known as Iberdrola) Avangrid has received anonymous notes from area residents including “…We have ex-military and many avid hunters in our area who will have their lives and property affected if this project goes through. I for one will not forget who is attempting to do this to my family and my neighbors. Take care for now. A concerned citizen from Jim Thorpe, PA. PUT THEM WHERE THEY ARE NOT SO NEAR TO DEVELOPMENTS!!!” “Then on Sept. 15, a Facebook post referenced the 2013 Ross Township mass shooting, which left three people dead and several others wounded during a supervisors meeting. Rockne Newell, the shooter, had feuded with the township for years about his property. One commenter, according to Atlantic Wind’s court filing, said, “Well, when you push someone till they have nowhere to go and then take what they own … well … not defending him but look what they did to him over a period of time,” according to the posting included with Atlantic Wind’s court complaint.
NORTH CAROLINA: In reference to an Amazon project being developed by Avangrid (fka Iberdrola) – “Generally speaking, property owners’ concerns with wind farms is that turbines will be built too close to their residences. They warn the turbines’ low but steady noise, as well as “shadow flicker” from spinning blades, will be a constant irritant. Those factors, and the constant sight of turbines, makes property owners worry they won’t be able to profitably sell their land one day.” A second project in the area being developed by Apex is now facing similar local opposition. “In the Winslow case, an Apex tower is less than 900 feet from their property line and the area is subject to up to 660 hours per year of shadow flicker, according to the petition. Apex IS the company hoping to build, soon in Van Wert county! Flicker is the term used to describe a strobe-light effect during certain times of the year as the turbine blades pass between the sun and a person or object on the ground.” In November, the Perquimans Board of Commissioners blocked the project on the Perquimans side, voting 3-2 to deny Apex a conditional use permit it needs and now Apex has taken the County Commissioners to Court.
WISCONSIN: Manitowoc County will join St. Croix, Brown and Kewaunee counties in requesting the State of Wisconsin fund a study on the Low Frequency Noise impact of wind turbines on human health. “We need some guidance in getting some parameters set for where this low-frequency noise situation is,” Hoffman said. ”It is going to be a small area of Manitowoc County that these wind towers are going into, and I consider this heavily populated. … I think we need to come up with something that is solid and concrete, and we don’t have the ability at the county level to have somebody that can go up there and say ‘This is where those wind mills should be.’”
MICHIGAN: A remorseful leaseholder writes a letter to the Editor saying “We gave up our beautiful community, we are giving up our health, our electric bills have risen and there doesn’t seem to be anyway out except leaving.” “They are now planning on moving, but have been told by Realtors that they will have trouble selling their home because of the turbines.” “I now believe that the only safe place for turbines is at least a mile and a half from anyone’s home.”
IOWA: Kossuth County is considering revisions to its local wind ordinance to address Shadow Flicker and to limit the number of turbines that can be built in the County. Eric Briones, project developer for Amshore US Wind LLC, said via email that in its current form the county ordinance is certainly one of the most restrictive versions proposed in the state of Iowa. “It limits both business opportunity and the rights of landowners, and jeopardizes what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact to the county and schools with potential projects,” Briones said. “Limiting the amount of turbines that can be constructed in the county completely strips away the rights of the citizens of Kossuth County who may want to develop their land for economic gain. “Debora Blume, Director of Communications for MidAmerican Energy Company, said in an email that through the county’s process, MidAmerican continues to provide information and its views with respect to the proposed 1,600-foot setback from occupied residences. “While we have successfully built and operated wind projects in 23 Iowa counties over the past 12 years, we have not built a wind project in a county with an occupied residence setback requirement that’s greater than 1,250 feet,” she said. “MidAmerican will evaluate our planned development after the setback and other wind ordinance requirements are established by Kossuth County, and then determine any next steps.”
Probably the most troubling statement from these articles is that someone with a turbine 900 feet from their property line could experience 660 hours of shadow flicker. The current Ohio maximum is 30 hours per year at a residence measured by considering the light coming through a theoretical window imagined by computer modeling. If the North Carolina experience is accurate, the shadow flicker intrusion on a neighboring property would exceed the “indoor standard” by 22 times! This is an area where we need to get a better idea of the current setback impacts as well as future impacts if setbacks are at risk of being shortened.
Hopefully our efforts in the coming year will be helped by swift action from the Trump Administration. The Washington Times editorializes about what Trump should do when he takes office, including doing away with the Department of Energy.. “ In the meantime, we’ve endured wasteful, panicked policies such as massive subsidies for the wind and solar power, and electric cars. Worst of all, Congress has saddled consumers with ethanol subsidies and mandates. These boondoggles cost us billions of dollars, and none of them are commercially viable in their own right. In fact, the DOE has produced no dramatic breakthroughs in energy technology despite 40 years of trying (and failing) to pick winners.”
pic from http://www.windtoons.com/images