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Wind farm property sells at sheriff’s sale

By Paul Snyder

The attorney representing two Oakfield residents in a case against Chicago-based Invenergy LLC wants the results of a sheriff’s sale this week to convince the state to review the case.

Madison-based attorney Ed Marion on Thursday sent a letter to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, requesting it consider new facts in Ann and Jason Wirtz’s case against Invenergy.

The Wirtzes abandoned their home in Brownsville last year after Invenergy’s Forward Energy Wind Center became operational in 2008. The property, appraised at $320,000 in 2007, sold to the Bank of New York Mellon at a sheriff’s sale Tuesday for $106,740.

“I hope it will influence the commission to look favorably, at least, at giving us our day in court,” Marion said.

The Wirtzes want the PSC to force Invenergy to compensate the family for their losses, although no specific amount is named.

Marion said the PSC has not yet made a decision as to whether it will review the case.


  1. And that my friends is how someone can steal your home and your dream. I pray that Ann and her family get restitution.

  2. anotherinvenergyvictim

    I have been watching this story closely. We are located in Orangeville,NY where Invenergy is in the process of putting wind turbines. Invenergy even contacted us for an easement which we would not give them. We knew we did not want to be here when they start working on the industrial turbines, let alone live here. We did not want to expose our children or my husband who already has health problems. We also had a herd of TN fainting goats that I took 3 years to build up. I went all over the country getting different bloodlines-even had 1 from WI. Research I did showed problems with goats near industrial turbines.
    We started looking for another place but could not find one that would allow livestock. With a heavy heart we sold all goats this past spring at a loss so we could move them quickly. We are now in our other home and the home in Orangevlle,NY sits empty. It has been for sale since Oct. 2009. The real sad part of this story is that the turbines that will be sited closest to our old home are leased to by people who will live nowhere near them including my HUSBANDS FAMILY. We no longer speak to his family at all. Ironically there are 6 of them who own that land and by dividing up their lease money they will get less than we would have if we had signed an easement. By Invenergy offering that easement we knew our small farm would have noise, flicker,etc problems.
    So now we pay a mortgage on property that sits empty. We to will only be able to do so until the livestock money holds out. At that point we will do what Jason and Ann did and let the bank take it.
    I pray everynight that someone holds Invenergy and the other LLC wind companies accountable for destroying peoples lives.

  3. Alicia de la Paz

    Yes, you poor poor victims of clean energy. I’d like for you to go talk with the folks from families of the coal miners who recently LOST THEIR LIVES mining perilous cheap coal so that your electricity can come from somewhere else than your precious back yard.

    There are thousands of people that live in the midst of wind turbines worldwide that seem to have no problems. I suspect that your problems come from elsewhere than the turbines, and they make a nice scapegoat to avoid looking at your own victimized mentality.

    Unfortunately for you folks, I imagine your problems follow you wherever you go. In the meantime, the rest of us will continue to work towards a cleaner more sustainable future for ALL of us, even for you.

  4. This is ridiculous. People need to look at the greater good that we are making progress in making this country a better place with clean energy. Personally I think anyone who says, “I pray everynight that someone holds Invenergy and the other LLC wind companies accountable for destroying peoples lives.” has major issues and obviously full of there own sob-story enough to believe that this is what ruined your life. It is clear that you had major problems before and will always if you keep it up.. enjoy.

  5. Take a look at this article from the Wall Street Journal — as it states wind power is no miracle source of energy for the future. It is extremely inefficient and has cost every taxpayer a whole lot of money. And the Wirtz family’s life and every other wind turbine victim was sacrificed at the expense of this??? Unbelievable.

    The Wind Subsidy Bubble
    The Wall Street Journal, 20 December 2010

    Ethanol isn’t the only heavily subsidized energy source that won a multibillion dollar jackpot in last week’s tax deal. The other big winner was the wind industry, which received a one year extension of a $3 billion grant program for renewable energy projects.

    Talk about throwing good money after bad. Despite more than $30 billion in subsidies for “clean energy” in the 2009 stimulus bill, Big Wind still can’t make it in the marketplace. Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, had warned that without last week’s extension of the federal 1603 investment credit, the outlook for the wind industry would be “flatline or down.” Some 20,000 wind energy jobs, about one-quarter of the industry’s total, could have been lost, the wind lobby concedes. For most industries that would be an admission of failure, but in Washington this kind of forecast is used to justify more subsidies.

    But what have these subsidies bought taxpayers? According to AWEA, in the first half of 2010 wind power installations “dropped by 57% and 71% from 2008 and 2009 levels.” In the third quarter, the industry says it “added just 395 megawatts (MW) of wind-powered electric generating capacity,” making it the lowest quarter since 2007. New wind installations are down 72% from last year to their lowest level since 2006. And this is supposed to be the miracle electricity source of the future?

    The coal industry, which Mr. Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department have done everything possible to curtail, added almost three times more to the nation’s electric power capacity in the first nine months of 2010 (39%) than did wind (14%), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    The grant program that Congress has extended was created in the 2008 stimulus bill. It forces taxpayers to pay 30% of a renewable energy project’s costs. Big Wind insisted on these grants because wind energy producers don’t make enough net income to take advantage of the generous renewable energy tax credit.

    The industry also wants a federal renewable energy standard, which would require utilities to buy power from green energy projects regardless of price. Without that additional subsidy, AWEA concedes that wind power will “stall out.” It is lobbying for billions of dollars of subsidies to cover the cost of hooking off-shore wind projects to the electricity transmission grid. And now that the cap-and-tax scheme on coal and oil and gas has failed in Congress, the windmillers want the EPA to use regulation to raise costs on carbon sources of power.

    Big Wind also has lobbying operations in state capitals, where it has been pushing state renewable energy standards. More than half the states—mostly in the West and Northeast—have enacted these mandates, which are already inflating home and business electricity bills.

    According to an analysis by Chris Horner, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the stimulus bill’s subsidies for renewable energy cost taxpayers about $475,000 for every job generated. That’s at least four times what it costs a nonsubsidized private firm to create a job—a lousy return on investment even for government.

    The wind industry claims to employ 85,000 Americans. That’s almost certainly an exaggeration, but if it is true it compares with roughly 140,000 miners and others directly employed by the coal industry. Wind accounts for a little more than 1% of electricity generation and coal almost 50%. So it takes at least 25 times more workers to produce a kilowatt of electricity from wind as from coal.

    Given this level of inefficiency, it’s no wonder that wind and solar energy require at least 20 times more in government subsidies per unit of electricity generated than the average for coal and natural gas, according to a 2007 study by the Energy Information Administration.

    The wind industry gave the vast majority of its campaign contributions this election cycle to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats. If Republicans are serious about shrinking the federal budget and ending corporate welfare, a very good target would be green pork, starting with wind.

  6. Alicia de la Paz and Adam,

    Both of you need to do some more research before rattling off the nonsense you’ve chosen to print. Do us all a favor and do your damn research first.

    1). wind power is pointless. It’s extremely expensive, ineffective and has a dirty laundry list of victims that spans the world over. If you think this story is unique, you’re dead wrong.

    2). Wind power wreaks of government money. That’s my money and yours. Wind turbines can’t operate within the market and basically NEEDS us to contribute. Which might be fine except that

    3). Wind power is dirtier than coal and gas. Because of constant ‘Cycling’ and ramping up and down of coal and gas plants (wind turbines cannot exist without another energy source because of their intermittent nature (not a single coal plant in the world has shut down because of Wind power)), the energy created is worse for our environment. A good example of this is driving on a highway going 55 vs the starting and stopping in rush hour traffic.

    Wind power could be one of the biggest hoaxes known to man. Stop perpetuating something you known nothing about.

  7. To Adam and Alicia, a couple of things. First I am living in an area where a wind farm is going in right now. There are many people that cannot take the noise and shadow flicker. Shadow flicker can actually trigger epileptic seizures amongst other problems. I’m tired of hearing people say, “it’s all in your head”, It may very well be, but there are Lorazepam and diovanALOT of people that commit suicide ever year because of “something in their head”. In fact, the phycological pharmaceutical business is through the roof in this nation with OCD, ADHD, ADD, Manic Depression, Anxiety, etc… We threat these diseases just like we do any physical disease and the illnesses from wind turbines should receive the same respect! Adam and Alicia you sound very immature and also very liberal. Just so you know, we have ZERO responsibility to do anything “for the greater good”! That is Socialism! In this country we help our neighbors, even the ones with wind turbine issues. I would bet neither of you have a wind turbine anywhere near you, or you might be singing a different song. Lastly, Adam if you are so into the greater good then round up your buddies, pool your savings, and buy out the people’s houses under the wind turbines that are now uninhabitable. That would be something for the greater good.

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