Key Impacts

Height: The proposed Vestas V100 turbines are 493 feet tall – 82 feet taller than the Fifth Third Building, the tallest building in our region, which stands only 411 feet tall.  At 493 feet tall, these industrial wind turbines are the equivalent of three cell phone towers stacked on top of each other or 2.73 times the height of the grain elevator in Blissfield.

TV / Radio / Cellular Disruption: Studies have been performed by nationally renowned experts which indicate that the industrial wind turbines proposed for our region will cause severe degradation of certain RF (radio frequency) and electromagnetic signals such as TV and AM radio programming.  This is a matter of public safety, as such signal degradation could prevent the citizens of our region from receiving alerts regarding national disasters, severe weather, or even Amber Alerts for missing children.

Shadow Flicker: Also known as “strobe effect,” shadow flicker consists of the continual interchange between light and shadows that are cast across property and homes near turbines as the sun rises and sets each day.  The amount of shadow flicker incurred varies considerably from season to season as the sun’s position on the horizon changes.   Shadow flicker purportedly causes harmful effects on people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is also associated with inducing vertigo, nausea and headaches.

Developers in our area have asked for permission to project 30 hours of shadow flicker per year onto our homes.  Technology exists to prevent shadow flicker from being projected onto sensitive receptors.  Ordinances in other jurisdictions prohibit industrial wind turbines from projecting shadow flicker onto roadways to prevent accidents resulting from the visual disturbance.

Setbacks: Wind developers have proposed setbacks of 1000 feet or 1320 feet from a non-participating residence, rather than the non-participating property line.  Numerous communities throughout the United States and Europe require setbacks between 2640 feet and 5280 feet.  Ontario, Canada, the home of one our region’s wind developers, requires a 550m setback (~1800 feet).

Noise:  Rural environments such as ours often have low ambient noise levels, often ranging between 25 – 30 dBA at night.  Using standard EPA methodology, statistical analysis has shown that a noise limit of 35dBA is necessary to prevent wide spread complaints and potential litigation. This is similar to the noise limits established in several European nations where industrial wind turbines have operated for decades.

Developers in our region have sought 50dBA noise limits, which have proven inadequate in other areas of Michigan.  In fact, citizens in Huron Township, Michigan have initiated litigation on this issue and their local government has reduced the limit to 45dBA.

Health Concerns: The health concerns associated with wind turbines are primarily a result of the noise they create, both audible and sub-audible.

Low frequency noise (aka – infra sound) is the thought to be the cause of most health issues associated with industrial wind turbines. Work by Dr. Nina Pierpont has identified a group of symptoms associated with living in close proximity to wind turbines that she calls “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”  These symptoms include sleep deprivation, nausea, feelings of agitation, hypertension, etc.  Dr. Alec Salt of the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis, stated in a paper entitled, “Responses of the Ear to Infrasound and Wind Turbines,” that it is the ILF’s ability to stimulate the Outer Hair Cells of the cochlea that creates the medical symptoms associated with Wind Turbine Syndrome,

Wind Energy Inefficient:  Dr. Gordon Fulks, PhD., has concluded “[w]indmills are perhaps the worst boondoggle of them all because they require much more high quality energy to manufacture, install, maintain, and back up than [they] will ever produce.”  John Rowe, CEO of Exelon, who is developing wind projects in Michigan has stated, “[i]nexpensive natural gas produces cheaper, cleaner electricity than any or all of the alternatives that I know.”

Farm Land Destruction: Industrial Wind Turbines take approximately 1.5 – 3 acres of farm ground out of production per turbine.  Even when restored after the turbine has been decommissioned, its ability to produce high quality harvest will be diminished forever.  Imagine how many acres will go out of production for a 250 turbine installation?  Include substations, underground cabling, and soil that is compromised by compaction of 400 foot tall cranes and staging, and the yield losses can be considerable and will extend far beyond the relatively short life of the turbine project

Road Destruction: Roads in and around the project area will incur considerable damage from the constant barrage of over-sized machinery.  Moreover, wind developers often fill in ditches at intersections to allow their equipment to make the otherwise narrow turn.  They are also often forced to close sections of road for significant periods of time to deliver the various equipment to the site, resulting in increased traffic and delays.