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Holland backs hollow wind farm moratorium

By Paul Snyder

Local solidarity is driving a Holland wind farm moratorium that has no chance of success if the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approves a project in the town.

“We know the PSC will have final say in this project,” said Holland Supervisor Michael Geiger. “We’re just letting them know how we feel about it. When it comes to town politics, we’re about as grass roots as you get.

“The people that live next door want to know you’re supporting them. That’s what I’m doing.”

Holland is one of four Brown County towns targeted by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC for the estimated 100-turbine Ledge Wind Farm. If the project advances, Geiger said, Invenergy could build 22 turbines in Holland.

But the town has enacted a one-year moratorium on wind farm development and revised its setback standards for turbines from 1,000 feet to a half-mile from buildings.

VISIT THE DAILY REPORTER’S SPECIAL WIND FARM PROJECT PROFILE PAGE

Invenergy representatives did not return calls for comment.

If the town wants a moratorium, the state has no reason to disagree, said PSC spokeswoman Teresa Weidemann-Smith.

“It’s the community’s right to make those decisions,” she said. “But ultimately, the decision by the PSC will take precedence.”

The PSC has authority over projects expected to generate more than 100 megawatts of electricity. Weidemann-Smith said the Ledge project is expected to generate 150 megawatts.

According to state law, if the PSC approves a project, it can proceed despite any local ordinance prohibiting the project.

The PSC has not yet begun its review of the Ledge Wind Farm proposal, Weidemann-Smith said, because Invenergy has not submitted a complete proposal for the project. She said she does not know when that will happen.

Once the PSC begins its formal review of the project, she said, there will be plenty of time for local comments.

The comments are coming in already. The PSC has an open docket on the project with more than 80 public comments.

Jon Morehouse, a member of the executive committee for Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, said waiting until the public comment period to speak out against the project would not send as strong a message.

“The moratorium is something that was voted on and publicized,” he said. “If you say nothing, you get run over.”

The Brown County citizens group encouraged the town to enact the moratorium, Geiger said, and the other towns in line to host Ledge turbines also are being encouraged to enact moratoriums. He said he knows the moratorium means nothing if the PSC approves the project, but an empty gesture is better than no gesture.

“The residents at the last two meetings have said they’re prepared to fight,” he said. “I don’t know how they’ll do that, and I don’t really want to know. All I know is with the moratorium, I’m doing something the majority wants.

“If you don’t do something they want, they’ll get somebody who will.”

4 comments

  1. The PSC and legislators keep ramming large industrial wind turbines up residents hind ends with no consideration to the increasing complaints and lists of health affects created by these monsters. Don’t write and say that “Oh yes they do because the Glacier Hills project has a 1250′ set back from homes. That is a meaningless gesture. More and more studies are recommending 2km or 1.2 miles. In the current Forward wind factory erected by Invenergy in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties, I have 5 of these industrial wind turbines within 3/4 of a mile from my home. Even at 3/4 of mile the sound and health affects are next to unbearable. I was naive when Invenergy came to our area. I trusted them. Please do your homework residents of the Green Bay wind factory. If you don’t do it now and work at fighting with everything you have you will regret it the moment the turbines begin turning in your area.

  2. No one refutes wind energy as an alternative source of energy to save our natural resources and clean up the atmosphere. The issue is that Industrial Wind Turbines do not belong in a heavily populated area where they cannot be positioned at MINIMUM of 2640 feet from a structure where anyone lives, works or frequents. There are multiple articles written about research done on what low frequency noise does to the nervous system plus the effects of shadow flicker. And, these wind farms are FOREVER. They are not something that can be discontinued when it becomes undeniably true that they are harmful to health. This not only impacts those of us living with them now but, what about our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. All this talk about the burden on our healthcare system now. Who will pay for the damage done to unborn children who will be in the system for their entire lives? There is plenty of open land in the United States for these industrial wind farms . The Ledge Wind Farm Project is sponsored by a private company for purely financial gains. Do they care what happens to the health of those having to live in the Ledge Wind Farm?

  3. as a person who lives in this area i dono care to see these wind turbines in my area. the haeth of the kids and health of many people will be affected. The area will be over run if we do not stop this out rangous thing they want to develop.Our peole are in the town of holland do not want these wind turbines built but when we are going to the meetings people which live in the are have no say. WE DO NOT WANT THSE WIND TURBINES IN OUR ARE SO PEOPLE MUST FIGTH TO STOP THESE PEOPLE FROM BUILDING THEM. Write your senator and do what ever you can to say NO. The untied states of america should have a say if or if not they want these built. PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR AND TELL THEM NO,. send in your commends

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