LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted April 28, 2018
When the wind industry erected its first industrial turbine decades ago it began a learning process. As with any new endeavor mistakes were likely made from lack of awareness. Once the companies became aware of those mistakes they needed to make a decision. Correct the issue or choose to repeat the mistake. When it came to manufacturing or operational errors surely wind companies chose to not repeat those mistakes. That decision would be detrimental to the health of the company.
When the decision was made to start siting turbines in close proximity to people’s homes the wind energy development companies could say it was a decision made from lack of awareness. They could state they had yet to learn it could result in problems such as visual annoyance, noise disturbance and shadow flicker. We now know for a fact that these issues are real. Some wind companies have acknowledged these issues by investing in technologies to counter the effects while others have made their decision to continue with the ‘mistakes’ that are potentially harmful to the health and well-being of non-participating residents, but benefit the financial health of their companies.
The residents of DeWitt County are dealing with a company that surely knows siting turbines too close to people’s homes is a mistake. In fact this company offers financial consideration for participating landowners whose residence is closer than 2,640 ft. to a turbine. Why? What occurs within that 2,640 feet that participating landowners need to be compensated for?
Yet prior to our recent setback ordinance update the wind energy company would have willingly located turbines 1,500 feet from non-participating properties, stating that there are no health issues and accidents rarely occur. 3,800 blade failures in one year is not my definition of rarely. Safety incidents do occur and ignoring that fact is a mistake.
“…and a mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” - Paulo Coelho
To all the committee and board members of DeWitt County, please do your duty to protect our non-participating property owners, our wildlife and our county’s future. Allow us the chance to update our comprehensive plan to define where we want future industrial wind developments and where we don’t.
Please enact a moratorium on wind energy permits now.
Please do not allow Tradewind’s mistakes to become our decisions. This is our county, our home, and we will be living with these mistakes long after they are gone.