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Our Initial Presentation
Grant County Concerned Citizenson 1 June 2013
Transcript of Our Initial Presentation
Ordinance Ice or Blade Throw Shadow Flicker In a private meeting with landowners, an E.ON executive stated they did not need to perform a flicker analysis because with their voluntary 1250-foot setbacks, would not be an issue. Using the sun angles of Swayzee, Indiana, we calculated it. The shadow of a 480-foot turbine
could potentially be
longer than 1250 feet
for more than 1300 hours a year,
that is more than 3.5 hours a day. Home of Non-Participant in Phase II The closest turbine is 1,250 feet due west. The next closest is 2,120 feet due east. The third closest is 3,430 feet southeast. There is no denying that we live in an area where icing frequently occurs in the winter. Ice can accumulate on blades and be thrown for long distances. Middle of March through early May; all of August and September
Up to one hour each day
Between 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Some experts suggest up to one blade failure can be expected per year for every 100 turbines. Others suggest the same for every 1000 turbines. End of March through end of April; middle of August through middle of September
Up to 45 minutes each day
Between 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM The tip speed of the GE 1.6 MW -100 turbines varies from 114mph to 189mph. For a 480-foot tall turbine, negating wind resistance, a blade could be thrown over 2,500 feet during normal operating conditions! 'Do not stay within a radius of 400m (1300ft) from the turbine unless it is necessary.' To mitigate hazards in a wind turbine park during icing conditions, GE recommends that turbines be set no more than 1.5x the sum of the hub height and rotor diameter from public use areas, residences, office buildings, public buildings, parking lots, public roads (more than lightly traveled), and railroads. Middle of February through early March; October
Up to 30 minutes each day
Between 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM (dependent on DST) Vestas Wind Turbine Operating Manual GE Wind Turbine Siting Guidelines Mechanical Issues Noise Pollution Light Pollution Property Values Industrial wind turbines are machines. They are not immune to breakdown or failure, sometimes on their own behalf and other times will the assistance of high winds or storms. A big misconception is that wind turbines do not make noise. They do. They are actually the quietest standing at the base of the tower but can be heard up to 2 km (6,560 feet) away in quiet communities. The World Health Organization states that in quiet areas, no noise greater than 40 decibels should be permitted at night, especially for the chronically ill and children. However, they recommend nothing above 30 decibels to ensure that
'no significant biological effects observed.' Independent research compiled by Acoustic Ecology in 2012 has evidence suggesting that a distance of more than two kilometers (6560 feet) is needed before noise levels are guaranteed to be below 40 decibels. Included in this study was the Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert, Ohio. Germany has noise-based setbacks for wind turbines. E.ON is a German company. For quiet areas, such as rural Grant County and Swayzee, the setback is 1-1.5 km,
or 3,280-4,920 feet. Turbines sound like a plane is flying over head, constantly. They also make noise every time they turn into the wind. For some people, the low-frequency noise is the worst. It is typically unheard but causes vibrations in the ground and even the chest. Noise pollution is the leading cause for health issues caused by wind turbines. When turbines are turned on, many nearby residents experience headaches, nausea, sleep deprivation, and other medical issues. One doctor in particular has studied these health issues and identified a conditioned she identifies as Wind Turbine Syndrome. Harm to Animals In 2012, an estimated 537,000 birds were killed by wind farms in the United States. Of those killed, experts suggest 83,000 were birds of prey, including bald eagles. Veterinary scientists who have studied the effects wind turbines have on nearby animals have discovered a wide range of issues related to high-stress levels, ground vibrations, and stray voltage. In order to satisfy FAA regulations, several of the wind turbines in wind farms must have red lights affixed to the top. Due to the quantity and height, the multitude of red lights can be seen from more than ten miles from a wind farm. Wind farm developers claim property values will not decline due to the construction of a wind farm. Some developers have gone as far as to suggest that wind farms will actually increase property values. The favorite study of wind developers, including E.ON is the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study from December 2009. In its conclusion, it claims that property values are not affected by wind farms. However, the data tells a much different story. Experience, common sense, and even their own data says otherwise. Many of the 10,000 properties included in the study are located more than two miles from a wind farm. Most are at least five miles away and many are as far away as ten miles. The study makes conclusions regarding communities surrounding or outside of wind farms. It doesn't make any conclusions based on properties within the wind farm. There is a clear lack of data on properties within areas most heavily dominated by turbines. The absence of data itself is either evidence that properties within wind farms cannot be sold (and therefore essentially have no value) or they do not exist. In addition to the lack of data, the study notes that 36 properties, all within three miles of the turbines, were no included because their property value loss 'deviated too far from the mean' and therefore they were treated as outliers. Independent research actually suggests that property values significantly decline within two miles of a wind farm like what is proposed for Grant County. A property value loss of 25%-45% can be expected. Issues to Consider Our Solution 1.1x (height of turbine + blade length) from all roads and non-participating property lines.
1,320 feet from Interstate 69 and Mississinewa River flood plain. Setbacks 60 decibels measured from the nearest dwelling unit Noise Minimum setback for residences nor municipalities*
Property value guarantees Not Included 1 Issue an immediate moratorium Do not allow the area plan commission to approve any permits for E.ON nor any other wind farm developers until the ordinance is repealed. Research the truth. Listen to our neighbors. Ask your constituents. 2 Repeal the ordinance The ordinance is over five years old. Scrap it. Let's start over. Taller turbines. New studies. More residents. 3 Replace the ordinance Let's use the lessons learned by our neighbors. Let's use the new research available. Let's take resident-first, wind development-second approach. Increase the setbacks. Guarantee
property values. Limit the noise. Adopted in December 2008. The first wind farm in Indiana was completed in April 2008 in Benton County. Purpose
Section 28 .1a 'Assure that any development and production of wind-generated electricity within the jurisdiction of the Grant County Area Plan Commission, Grant County, Indiana, is safe and effective' Purpose
Section 28 .1b 'Facilitate economic opportunities for local residents while protecting residential areas from potential adverse impact of wind turbine generators' Purpose
Section 28 .1c 'Avoid potential damage to adjacent property from the failure of wind turbine generators or towers' Purpose
Section 28 .1d 'Promote the supply of wind energy in support of Indiana’s alternative energy sourcespotential and other such economic development tools.' An amendment to the Economic Agreement with E.ON states that E.ON will voluntarily place turbines at least 1250 feet from residences as measured from the center of the home. Non-participating residential property in Grant County. Turbine from Phase III. 1,100 feet away. Wildcat Wind Farm
Phases II & III E.ON first came to the area in 2007 to begin leasing land in southwest Grant County and holding landowner-only meetings. In May 2013, E.ON filed 124 turbine permits with the FAA for approval. E.ON began placing meteorological test towers around Swayzee. Grant County adopted its current wind ordinance in late 2008. Five more wind farms come online in Indiana in Benton and White Counties in 2009. The first wind farm in Indiana came online in Benton County in April 2008. Another developer, Element Power, placed a test tower just east of Fairmount. In 2010, the Grant County County Council approved 10-year tax abatement for E.ON worth $175 million. E.ON constructed
Wildcat Wind Farm Phase I
in Madison and Tipton Counties in 2012 before federal tax credits were
set to expire. After federal tax credits were extended, E.ON requested to change the dates of the existing tax abatement and to include Phase III in March 2013. There are 124 total turbines; 61 in Phase II and 63 in Phase III Most likely, GE 1.6-100 are the turbines for the project. 96m (315 feet) hub height
48.7m (160 feet) blade length
146m (479 feet) total height There are 23 turbines within two-miles of Swayzee town limits. In Phase II, 61 different houses (approximately 125 residents) within a quarter mile (1,320 feet) of a turbine. That is one house per turbine, and two people per turbine. In the McCann Value Study of 2012, paired sales in Lee and DeKalb Counties in Illinois were looked at to compare properties within turbines (average distance of 2,618 feet) to similar properties in the area away from turbines (average distance of 10 miles). Homes near turbines on market average of one year longer (and with multiple listings) Data shows 23%-33% decline in property values near turbines On April 24, 2012, two blades were thrown from a wind turbine outside of Van Wert, OH. According to the official report filed with the state of Ohio, one piece weighing 6.6 pounds was found 764 feet from the base of the turbine. No debris smaller than 6 pounds was included in the report. In Norway,
on January 20, 2006, all three blades were ripped off a turbine. Parts were found 1.3 km (4,264 ft) away. Farmers around the country living near wind turbines have reported a wide range of strange behaviors. There are reports of yolk-less and even shell-less eggs in San Diego County, California. In Glemore, Wisconsin, dairy farmers are reporting reduced milk production, problems with calving, increased stress, and mass deaths. Cows are lying down less to sleep, even with rubber mats. One farmer says it is like the cows are 'being microwaved from the inside out.' The Indiana Bat is an endangered animal and protected. Due to numerous bat killings in Benton County, Indiana at the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, including several Indiana Bats, the DNR is now investigating whether to force the wind farm operators to change operating speeds or even shut the wind farm down
during periods of the year.