Waukesha tech college turbine impact will be negligible

Posted on July 29, 2010. Filed under: Wind |

From an article by Jim Stevens in the Lake Country Reporter:

Village of Pewaukee — Residents in a subdivision near Waukesha County Technical College are objecting to a 95-foot tall wind turbine that school officials are proposing to be built behind the Electronics building.

WCTC officials will be holding an informational hearing Aug. 16 to address the neighbors’ concerns.

In a mass email from Village Heights subdivision, the residents are upset they were not notified by WCTC or village officials about the project. The village Plan Commission approved plans for the turbine in April.

The email states the residents object to an “11 story tower and wind turbine behind our homes. We are all of the belief that these types of machines have no place in a residential or urban setting.”

The email also expresses concern about noise, disrupting their lives, being close to the Pewaukee High School cross country trail and disturbing wildlife.

While the turbine is within 935 feet of the school’s property line, there is a hilly, wooded area between the residential area and the campus. Kaylen Betzig, WCTC executive vice president, said it is not known if the turbine will be visible from the residences. Betzig said WCTC has received all necessary approvals from the village and the Federal Aviation Administration. The project still needs approval by the WCTC board, which is holding the meeting to get more input from residents.

Ray Walters, manager of renewable energy and sustainability for WCTC, said people are confusing the proposed turbine with the kind that is visible off Highway 41 near Fond du Lac.

Those turbines are nearly 400-feet tall, with 200-foot long blades that produce megawatts. The proposed turbine has blades that are 11-½ feet long, said Walters and the noise will not be any louder than the natural ambient noise, like “wind rustling through the trees,” he said.

According to the environmental study posted on the WCTC website the turbine will have a noise level equivalent to a refrigerator at three feet distance. Given the turbine will be more than 200 feet from the nearest property line and WCTC building the “turbine will be virtually inaudible at these distances.”


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