Wind power opponents use half-truths

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Wind |

From a guest editorial in the Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc):

I have read the articles portraying the positive and negative aspects of our wind tower program in Manitowoc County. I find opinions such as the one submitted by Jerome Hlinak (Feb. 18 HTR) particularly bothersome.

Mr. Hlinak states that the reason for stray voltage problems is the PSC’s lack of adequate standards. In reality, the major reason for stray voltage problems is — and always has been — poor electrical wiring installations and the lack of adequate grounding systems on farms. Many farmers were unwilling to spend the money to have their electrical systems properly upgraded to meet the current National Electrical Code (NEC), or the state of Wisconsin’s requirements.

Many times while working on farms I was told by farmers that there are no codes that had to be followed because the farms weren’t located in the city, and that I should just make their equipment work. They did not believe that the NEC and Wisconsin code were applicable, even though local inspections were not required.

“Do it cheap,” were the words I heard all too often. They were satisfied to complain about the PSC and the utilities while they picked up their dead cows and rebuilt their buildings after the fires that invariably happened. We finally will have required complete electrical inspections of both homes and all businesses in Wisconsin, starting Jan. 1, 2010.

The issue mentioned about the wind generators using the earth as a neutral ground is absolutely right. All electricity uses the earth as neutral ground. Every home, factory, commercial building, church and school uses the earth as a neutral ground.

WINDCOWS is taking a known physical aspect of electricity and trying to turn it into something scary. Electricity always is dangerous if not properly installed and maintained. Any and all alternative energy generating methods are thoroughly addresses in both the NEC and Wisconsin codes.

Flicker, ice throw and noise are among other complaints I have read about. The idea of ice being thrown is highly unlikely as the turning blades move too slowly to develop any significant inertia. Ice can and will form on wind tower blades, as it does on all objects. Just don’t make it a habit of standing under a building’s eve trough during or shortly after a freezing drizzle.

Mr. Hlinak’s group is apparently unaware that we have all been subjected to flicker since the dawn of the incandescent light bulb and our alternating current operating system.


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This is some information on ice throw.

This is a video of shadow flicker taken in Wisconsin in 2008.

Information on turbine noise is everywhere, check youtube. The best thing to do is drive over to the wind facilities in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties and experience the noise for yourself. Close your eyes and you will think you are next to the Chicago Airport.

When you get tired of the noise and rotating blades and get back into your car to go home, remember the people you leave behind are home.

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