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Wind Power

DeKalb: What We Were Told – Part Two

From Our Life with DeKalb Wind Turbines:

Here is a slide (from exhibit K) taken straight from the DeKalb county public hearing. This slide was in Nextera Energy’s PowerPoint presentation at one of the hearings. This slide is stating that any complaint will be adressed and they do an exhaustive analysis that helps in design. Once again this looks good on paper, but we are living a different reality.

A BLOW to Wind Farms

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This editorial was published in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on Sunday, May 1.  The author is obviously pro-wind, and is highly critical of Whitley County and WCCS.  She mentions near the end of her article that ‘Whitley County should look at the wind ordinance developed by Benton County’.  See Benton County’s wind ordinance HERE.  It provides for only a 1000-foot setback from residences outside a platted community…perhaps the author should ask the folks in DeKalb, Illinois if that’s enough space.

UPDATE:  Terry Smith sent a response to Tracy Warner, editor of the JG:

Mr. Tracy Warner:

There are always two sides to every story.  Stacey Stumpf wrote the pro-wind side of the windmill story as published this past Sunday on Page A13.

I encourage you to send her to a windmill farm and spend 24 hours in a house situated 1400 feet from a wind turbine.  This could be arranged at a windmill farm in Illinois at no expense to The JG or her except she would have to make her own travel arrangements.

Please advise if this is the type of investigatory journalism you guys still do at The JG.

Terry L. Smith

From the Journal-Gazette:

State policies lack incentive for alternative energy

Just as some Whitley County residents have made it clear they don’t want a wind farm in their area, Indiana lawmakers are making it clear they couldn’t care less about wind power.

Escalating costs and detrimental environmental effects of reliance on fossil fuels are impelling more states to adopt policies mandating increased use of renewable energy resources. But state legislation passed last week and some local opposition could be sending the message that future wind power investment is unwelcome in Indiana – despite the strong winds, dependable electricity infrastructure and abundant agricultural land that make wind energy a natural fit for the state.

“This shows the state isn’t putting out the welcome mat to renewable energy investment,” said Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Bad law

Senate Bill 251, authored by Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, sets the goal of getting 10 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

“It’s basically meaningless,” Kharbanda said. “It does nothing to tap into the economic development opportunities of renewables. If anything, it makes the terrain more difficult to traverse.”

Four out of the five utilities operating in Indiana are believed to have already met the majority of the law’s goals or will soon after already-planned energy projects are completed.

Indiana is one of just seven states with voluntary renewable energy standards (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency interchangeably refers to such state policies as Renewable Portfolio Standards). Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all have mandatory renewable energy standards. And most of the mandatory standards are more aggressive than Indiana’s measly voluntary goals.

“Those requirements have been a driver for wind development in the 29 states that have them,” said Brad Lystra of the American Wind Energy Association. He diplomatically describes Indiana’s new renewable energy standard as “a good first step in the right direction.”

A 2008 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that 70 percent of the investment into renewable energy goes to states with mandatory requirements.

There are other significant problems with the new law. One of the most troubling is just what many state legislators are willing to consider a renewable energy source. Under SB 251, nuclear, methane and coal gasification are all considered renewable energy sources.

But coal – despite its relative abundance and accessibility in southern Indiana – is a fossil fuel and is not by any stretch of even the most impressive imagination a renewable resource, despite its abundant supply. About 95 percent of Indiana’s electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.

Another element of the bill that should cause apprehension for any true conservative is that it grants eminent domain authority for private companies to acquire land for carbon dioxide pipelines. Eminent domain is a power that should be limited – very limited – for governments to use only after proving the absolute necessity of taking private property.

Opponents to the legislation also think it unfairly allows utility companies to shift the costs of investing in energy projects onto ratepayers.

Read the rest at the Journal-Gazette.

DeKalb: What We Were Told — Part One

From Our Life with DeKalb Wind Turbines:

Here is a slide (from Exhibit K) taken straight from the DeKalb County public hearing.  This slide was in Nextera Energy’s PowerPoint presentation at one of the hearings.

This slide is stating that the Leq max is 45.  Once again this looks good on paper, but we are living a different reality.

Wind Power?

Shattered Blade…again.

From Our Life with DeKalb Wind Turbines:

There was another turbine blade that shattered this morning in the Lee/DeKalb county windfarm project by NextEra Energy Resources (approximately 4 miles from our home…we can see the shattered turbine from our property). there was debris thrown from the blade (more info to come on that). In May of 2010 there was a blade that shattered in this project and the NextEra spokesperson (Steve Stengel) said in the DeKalb County Chronicle: “that type of blade failure is unusual.”
Here are some pictures we took today:

More pictures at Our Life with DeKalb Wind Turbines.

Meet the New Ethanol: Wind Blows Past Corn as Subsidy King, No End in Sight

From Big Government:

So Al Gore has come around on the policy cancer that is ethanol, even as Newt Gingrich decides that telling the truth on this would be politically inconvenient. Yet the great strategist Mr. Gingrich does not see that support for ethanol leaves him completely unable to speak the truth about the booming wind and solar debacles threatening to expand this economic black hole even wider.

That is, unless he wants to look like a certain other candidate defending his own state version of ObamaCare while decrying Obamacare. Not pretty, not conducive to attracting voters.

As Congress considers the booming debt and which programs to nibble at for meager reductions, possibly they should heed Gore’s complaint: “It is not good to have these massive subsidies.”

True. And Gore even specifically noted ‘for first generation’ ideas like corn squeezins. But big ol’ subsidies make even less sense for fully mature technologies, like wind, whose electricity was commercialized 120 years ago (despite the mysticism, romanticism and silly talk of ‘new technology’ shrouding windmills, they’re creaky technology for which any improvements will be at the margins of efficiency. It’s a windmill.)

And now guess what? Windmills have surpassed ethanol’s pocket-pickery.

Read the rest at Big Government.

WCCC Visits DeKalb, Illinois

Please click on the link above and take a really good look at the picture of the house and the wind turbine. Then scroll down to the entry for Monday, March 14th.   The visitors they are talking about are 8 members of Whitley County Concerned Citizens.   I was one of those visitors.

We walked around that yard, and stood in front of that porch, and looked out the windows of that house from the inside.   It’s a beautiful house, inside and out.  And the natural setting is amazing.  But, you just can’t begin to imagine being surrounded by 146 turbines –  spinning motion every direction that you look when you’re outside, and reflected in every shiny surface inside.

Spinning motion outside the kitchen window where you stand to do dishes, outside the windows of your front door, through the windows of your sun porch, as a backdrop watching your kids play on the swing set, outside the dining room windows, reflected in the TV screen, reflected in the glass of the pictures on the walls, reflected in the glass doors of the kitchen cabinets.

And they are so HUGELY out of proportion to everything else.    The 2 closest ones to their home are 1400′ away  – and they look like you could just reach out and touch them – they’re enormous.     Dave pointed out a line of turbines that were 6 miles away, and some that were 8 miles away.   They looked like they were just at the end of the field.   (Note:  the wind ordinance that the Plan Commission proposed for Whitley County last October called for a 1200′ setback).

Dave & Stephanie Hulthen are a very nice young couple in their mid 30’s, living in their dream home.  They have 4 young children, and they live directly across the mile from the farm where Dave grew up, and Dave’s parents still live.   Dave makes beautiful custom cabinets and furniture in his shop at home.

Their focus is “people need to know the truth about what it’s really like to live with turbines, and the wind companies don’t tell the truth”.  Dave has a degree in physics, so he really understands a lot about how the whole system works.  They are all about proper setbacks.    Ironically, when Dave wanted to build his cabinet shop (very nice metal building),  their county code said the shop had to be ‘set back’ from the road at least as far as front of his house “in order to be aesthetically pleasing”.  No joke!!

Dave drove us around through the wind farm, telling us the stories of various families who live there.  Then, he drove to the edge of the wind farm, so that there were no turbines in view in front of us.  He called our attention to the fact that we were looking at “normal” surroundings – farms and houses.  Then he said “now I’m going to turn the vehicle around” and suddenly you’re assaulted with this view of huge, spinning sticks towering over farmland and houses.  The feeling is gut-wrenching.           Before I went, I honestly thought that looking at them wouldn’t be all that bad.  I was more concerned about other issues.    But, I have to admit that looking at them, and being surrounded by them affected me more than I thought it would.   I can’t imagine our beautiful countryside looking like an industrial waste land; and not just for a short time…….but for the next 30 – 40 years.

There was also a constant drone of noise –  and the generators weren’t even operating –  they weren’t producing electricity that day.   Also, there was the “whoosh, whoosh” of the blades.     The shadow flicker varies from house to house depending on the distance and directional relationship between the house, the turbines, and the sun.   For Dave & Stephanie, the shadow flicker is like a disco strobe light at sunrise, lasting 45 minutes, from May through September.

They said some days are so bad, so noisy, and some nights so sleepless,  they look at each other and say “put the FOR SALE sign in the yard”.   And then they remember,  ‘oh, yeah –  nobody will buy our house, we’re in the middle of 146 turbines’.

Their dream has been shattered by turbines.

If you’ve not made the trip –  please do.    And please write to your County Commissioners and let them know of your concerns.  You can find their addresses here.   County Officials have told us they need to hear from people in all areas of the county, not just in Washington, Jefferson and Cleveland.   Please share this information with anyone you know in Whitley County.  This is a county wide ordinance that is being considered – and the next phase of the wind farm may just target your part of the county.   The time to let your voice be heard is now.

Joan Null
Whitley County Concerned Citizens

Wind Power Update — Important Meetings

Sent to me by Joan Null, Whitley County Concerned Citizens:

Hello all –

Here’s an update on some important meetings and events coming up, along with an interesting article.

The Plan Commission meeting has been changed to Tuesday, March 15th @ 7 pm. Location will remain the same;  lower level of the Government Building on West Van Buren St.     This will be a public hearing on Draft D of the Comprehensive Plan – the final opportunity for the public to give input.  They will very likely vote on the plan that evening.

Also on the  Agenda is discussion about the formation of a Citizen Committee to study the issues surrounding wind farms, and how they could potentially impact Whitley County for many years to come.

It is very important that we attend this meeting. Attending meeting, writing letters, making phone calls, and visiting with our county officials are the only ways they can know what we do or don’t want to have happen in our county.     This proposed wind farm will affect your children and grandchildren.  The time to weigh in on the subject is now.   Please come to this meeting.

Wind Capital is organizing their leaseholders and encouraging letter writing.   We need to do the same.   Our County Commissioners need to hear from us and know why you are opposed to the wind farm.   We all have different “hot buttons”.   Some of us are concerned about the health issues, some about setbacks, property values, economic feasibility, some about the efficiency rating;   our county officials can’t know our concerns unless we communicate with them.   And they want to hear from many, many people, not just a few.  Here are the addresses for the County Commissioners (they are the ones who will ultimately have to approve any wind ordinance).  Please let them know your concerns – contact them.

Tom Rethlake
7420 N 350 W
Columbia City IN 46725
Direct Phone:260-248-1527
Administrative Assistant Phone:260-799-4778

Don Amber
3977 NW Carlin Court
Churubusco IN 46723
Direct Phone:260-609-2833

George Schrumpf
1780 E Linker Road
Columbia City IN
Direct Phone:260-248-3130
Administrative Assistant Phone:260-248-3134

Also –  there will be a meeting on Wednesday, March 23rd at Indian Springs Middle School.   As we understand it, this will be a pro-wind meeting put on by Alan Tio of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation,  and Purdue University.    We need to have a good turnout for this meeting as well –  we need to hear the arguments that pro-wind is using.

And finally –  here is a link to a good article –  note that it was written by Bob Novak.  Novak heads Purdue University’s Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.  It will be interesting to see if the Purdue speaker at the pro-wind meeting agrees with Mr. Novak’s article.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in Whitley County.

Whitley County Concerned Citizens

More Icing Video from DeKalb, Illinois

This is unbelievable…think about the icing we sometimes get here in Whitley County…

From Our Life With DeKalb Wind Turbines:

icing conditions again….are you kidding me?

we had freezing rain last night and this morning and the buffeting noise from the blades was unpleasant. let me rephrase that….unbelievably unpleasant. we would rate it as a 6+. it was like someone was playing a joke on us. below is a video we took this morning. we had readings over 60 dba. we did not get a good night’s sleep, we even tried sleeping in different rooms of the house. this morning we called the police and they came out to address the situation. the police heard the noise. we asked the policeman, ‘do you think we could sell our home?’ he said, ‘not now you can’t.’ we also heard from many of our neighbors this morning on how bad the sound was throughout the night.

we called and left messages for:
the Nextera Energy Hotline 1-866-223-4808
Neil Palmer – nextera representative
Tom Factor – nextera representative
* we have not heard from the above

we also called:
the police
our planning and zoning director
*we did hear back from the above
*we also received a call from the county sheriff who is going to investigate into our issue.

if the setbacks were increased, many of our issues would have been eliminated.

Turbine Noise & Whistle Video

From Our Life with DeKalb Wind Turbines:

God Bless America

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