On July 6, 2023 The Grant County Conservation, Sanitation and Zoning Committee will meet to assess developer ALLETE Clean Energy’s APPLICATION request to build a 19.9 square mile wind power plant (12,793 acres) with industrial scale turbines reaching as high as 665′ impacting more than 400 occupied dwellings in eastern Grant County.
The proposed, 70 Megawatt plant would make the seventh wind power plant aimed at a 600 square mile, three county utility district in Southwest Wisconsin.
The Conservation, Sanitation and Zoning Committee will read and consider written comments and suggestions about the proposal if submitted by June 27th to Erik Heagle, 150 West Alona Lane, Suite #1 Lancaster, WI 53813 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (Start email with introduction).
Following are some project factors determined from Allete’s 62 MB Application that may not be immediately apparent about the proposal:
- APPROXIMATELY 392 DWELLINGS WOULD BE LOCATED WITHIN 1 MILE OF WIND TURBINES AND BECOME SUBJECT TO INFRASOUND IMPACTS PRODUCING UNDESIRABLE HEALTH IMPACTS FOR ABOUT 20% OF EXPOSED PERSONS. (Dwelling figures ascertained from Project “Setback” Maps on pdf pages 63, 65 & 67 in the Application)
- OF THESE DWELLINGS, 69% WOULD BE EXPOSED TO COMPOUNDED IMPACTS FROM 4-8 WIND TURBINES WITH 31% EXPOSED TO COMPOUNDED IMPACTS FROM 1-3 WIND TURBINES.
- A MAY, 2023 STUDY SPONSORED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RECOMMENDS AN AVERAGE SETBACK DISTANCE OF 4,560 FEET (BEIGE AREAS) FOR WIND TURBINES LIKE THOSE PROPOSED BY THE MERCHANT UTILITY DEVELOPER TO SURROUNDING LIVINGSTON, WISCONSIN.* The 3.7 greater distance compared to the 1250’ used by the developer significantly reduces exposure to sound and “SPL related requirements.” The discouraged beige impact areas include about 390 dwellings and most of the Village. *The specified GE 3.4-140 turbines align with the 1.39 km average setback for the “Future with STE” scenario. See “Effects of land-based wind turbine upsizing on community sound levels and power and energy density,” by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Ben Hoen, Ryan Darlow, Ryan Haac, Joseph Rand and Ken Kaliski. May, 2023. Accessible at: https://bit.ly/4560ft
- OF THESE AFFECTED DWELLINGS, MORE THAN 60 WOULD EXPERIENCE FROM 10 TO 90 HOURS OF TURBINE SHADOW FLICKER IMPACTS PER YEAR.
- THE APPLICATION CONTAINS NO MENTION OR ACCOUNTABILITY OF HEALTH DANGERS PRESENTED BY THE DOCUMENTED PHENOMENON OF “ICE THROW.” STUDIES SHOW THAT THE ICE FROM SHEETS THAT BUILDS-UP ON TURBINE BLADES UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS CAN BE LAUNCHED DISTANCES AS GREAT AS 500-1700′. THE LATER DISTANCE, ESTIMATED BY PROF. TERRY MATILSKY OF RUTGERS UNIVERSITY FOR TURBINES MUCH SMALLER THAN THOSE BEING PROPOSED, IS CONSIDERABLY GREATER THAN THE 1250′ SETBACK DISTANCE THAT WISCONSIN LAW ALLOWS ALLETE TO BUILD TURBINES FROM OCCUPIED DWELLINGS AND OTHER EXTERIOR EXPOSURES CREATED BY WORK AND OTHER ACTIVITIES.