Author Archives: Rob Danielson


Above Image: View from a 4.6 MW Wind Turbine. Pattern LLC has announced the possibility of larger turbines for their proposed 600 MW Uplands wind power plant inIowa and Lafayette Counties, Wisconsin.

Update: As of Novmber 21, 2021, On November 4, rather than respond to the 38, precisely-stated questions and documentation requests, Pattern LLC sent a letter to one of the questioners with general information about the proposal. On November 17, the recipient responded to Pattern asking the company to please send the letter to the other 73 questioning co-signers whose addresses they possess. ACTIONS: Each Co-signer of the orginal request has the option to consider emailing Pattern asking the international power plant builder to answer the provided questions, as promised, and to send all correspondence on the matter, personally, to them.Other persons can email and join the request for answers and ask the company to add to thieir name and addresss to the list of the original 74 requesters. Feel free to cc in your correspondence.

Update: As of October 25, 2021, despite their promises, International, wind power plant builder, Pattern LLC, has not supplied a single answer to the questions posed by 74 landowners. The time has come to contact your local and state elected officials and ask them to help the residents Iowa and Lafayette counties in Wisconsin get accountability from Pattern LLC!

On August 13, 2021, following Pattern LLC‘s July 29, Public Information Meeting in Belmont, WI concerning the 600 MW Uplands wind power plant, the company was presented with an extensive set of questions co-signed by more than 50 potentially affected residents in Iowa and Lafayette Counties, Wisconsin and 24 supporting citizens across the Midwest.

All private individuals, businesses and governmental units have the option to consider following-up these requests with questions of their own. For record keeping purposes. it is best to attach a signed letter via email to these addresses: Pattern Energy Corporate Headquarters 1088 Sansome Street San Francisco, CA 94111

Its very possible reading through the 38 questions submitted will prompt some ideas about information you are interested in:

1. Does Pattern agree that if 5.6 MW turbines were installed in Uplands, it would likely be the first time or one of the first times that such technology has been installed, on land, in the US?

2. Of the various types of studies (health, economic, property value, etc.) that Pattern plans to include or cite in its application for Uplands, please name/identify all that specifically pertain to 3.0 MW or larger turbines and apply to a setback of 1250′ or less.

3. It was stated by Pattern personnel at the Public Information Meeting that Pattern’s land lease contract with property owners requires Pattern to individually meet with all turbine-hosting property owners to go over turbine and other siting details before Pattern’s plan becomes final and that this meeting includes opportunity for the landowner to make suggestions. Please provide text from the contract or other document where these requirements are described.

4. Please describe all, pre-application meetings that Pattern will conduct with property owners living adjacent to turbine-hosting property owners to go over turbine and other siting details before Pattern’s plan becomes final and explain whether the meeting includes opportunity for the landowner to make suggestions

5. Please provide an estimated date for Pattern publicizing its final turbine size selections (MW size) and specify whether this date would be before Pattern makes it application to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

6. Please indicate whether Pattern has ever been involved with a law suit concerning these physical impacts on humans:

6A) Alleged audible noise level from one or more Pattern turbines;

6B) Alleged shadow flicker from one or more Pattern turbines;

6C) Alleged nausea, anxiety, sleep loss, disorientation or headaches from one or
more Pattern wind turbines; and,

6D) A combination of these impacts from one or more Pattern wind turbines.

7. If law suits have been received by Pattern, please provide the associated MW size and setback distance conditions for each of the lawsuit allegation types, above.

8. Does Pattern plan to provide counties and local governments evidence from other Pattern Projects of a 100 MW or larger wind power plant resulting in net gain in local government revenue after factoring in payments per megawatt, tax revenue impacts, property valuation changes and other expenses factors over an operation period of at least 3 years? If yes, please explain whether the evidence will be submitted before an application for Uplands is submitted allowing for public input. If no, please explain why Pattern will not be providing this evidence.

9. Pattern’s FAQ estimates payments to counties and local governments only over the first 30 years and describes them, as “stable, long-term funding.” Please explain why 30 years is considered long term when contracts with landowners are longer. Please explain why funds at the discretion of state lawmakers are described as, “stable.”

10. Does Pattern plan to provide local economies potentially affected by Uplands a comprehensive economic study of a completed Pattern wind power plant project 300 MW or larger? If so, please indicate whether the study will address these factors:

10A. Tax revenue impacts for all directly impacted municipalities by comparing historic (15 years prior) and after turbine operation annual property tax collection totals.

10B. Impacts on new business and residential development by comparing historic (15 years prior) and after turbine operation annual tax base additions by type, number and assessed values for all directly impacted municipalities.

10C. Impacts on real estate activity and property values by comparing historic (15 years prior) and after turbine operation sales including a list of annual property transactions, the sale value of each transaction and description of the property including its tax number. A comparison of this data to comparable, municipal government units beyond the view scape of the turbine project and other, wind installations.

10 D. Potential Impacts on population and average income levels by comparing historic (20 years prior) and after turbine operation census data.

11. How many acres, per MW, on average, does Pattern expect would be removed from local taxable rolls for the Uplands project?

12. The Pattern FAQ states, “Pattern Energy began developing the project in 2020.” Please provide the year and month that Pattern or a subcontractor for Pattern acquired its first signature on a lease option for Uplands.

13. Please provide the dates and documentation for Pattern’s official notice of intent to build a power plant to Iowa & Lafayette Counties.

14. Do other states require Pattern to formally notify government officials of intent to build a large wind power plant before seeking signatures from private landowners?

15. Does Pattern encourage Iowa or Lafayette Counties to update their existing Wind Siting Ordinances to include all state of Wisconsin regulations under PSC 128?

16. Pattern’s FAQ states that during construction, there will be additional traffic and heavy equipment in the area including bulldozers, graders, trenching machines, concrete trucks, flatbed trucks, and large cranes. Does Pattern plan to provide the local governments potentially affected by Uplands, contact information for elected officials at a minimum of five governmental units to discuss the construction period activity of a Pattern wind power plant 300 MW or larger? For 100 MW or larger?

17. Please explain whether Pattern’s estimated annual payments to landowners have changed more than 15% and describe the reasons for the changes.

18. Is there a protection in the Uplands landowner contracts that prevents the new owner from affecting changes in contract terms or acquiring additional rights? If so, please provide the section in the contract where these protections exist.

19. Stated in years after initial operation, how soon could a participating property owner discontinue hosting a turbine on their property?

20. If Uplands is not built, what are Pattern’s plans for the land contracts? Would Pattern keep them? Sell them to other developers? A combination of these?

21. Has Pattern ever transferred control of contracts they have gotten from property owners to other utilities?

22. Please provide a list of Pattern wind projects by name and location that are operating in in a ridge-valley landscape where ridges are primarily used for corn, bean and hay cropland and the valleys are heavily forested.

23. Please provide a list of Pattern wind projects by name and location that are operating on Karst geology.

24. Please provide written documentation describing effective preventative measures that Pattern has taken in the past to minimize bird and bat kills.

25. Does Pattern plan to provide comprehensive, third party analysis of the estimated bird and bat killings from Uplands in its application materials to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission? If not, please explain why.

26. Does Pattern plan to provide before and after impact studies on livestock from 300 MW or larger wind systems that Pattern has already built? If not, please explain why.

27. Does Pattern plan to provide potentially impacted residents before and after impact studies of radio signal interference from 300 MW or larger wind systems that Pattern has already built?

28. Does Pattern plan to provide residents before and after impact studies of aerial crop treatment interference from 300 MW or larger wind systems that Pattern has already built?

29. Would Pattern consider proposing a privately owned transmission line in Wisconsin?

30. Will Pattern be providing a list of necessary added transmission and distribution lines with locations to the public for review and comment upon before submitting the Uplands application to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission? Please provide all applicable MISO Project ID numbers.

31. Please provide accounting over five of more years from two, existing Pattern wind power plants showing the percentage and values of total project related expenses that went to local businesses and the percentage and values disbursed to persons businesses residing out of state.

32. How many total wind turbines has Pattern decommissioned with land restored to original use in the United States? Please provide the complete written, decommissioning plans for these turbines.

33. Please explain whether it is Pattern’s intention to return impacted land to its full, former use after the wind turbines are removed? If so, please provide a contract section where this assurance is highlighted. How does Pattern assure that the quality of the restored topsoil is as good or better than before?

34. Pattern’s FAQ states that Wisconsin ratepayers would likely be isolated from paying costs associated with Uplands. Please provide written materials from at least two, prior Pattern wind power plants demonstrating the impacts on state ratepayers over the first 6 years of operation and explain how the same conditions would be applicable to Uplands.

35. Pattern’s FAQ states that Uplands could lower electricity rates. Please provide documentation showing how Pattern wind power plants reduced retail customer electricity rates and explain how similar conditions would be applicable to Uplands

36. Has Pattern been in contact with Wisconsin utilities regarding possible power purchase from Uplands? Please provide a list of these entities.

37. Would Pattern seek Federal Investment Tax Credits for Uplands? Please provide documentation showing how these credits impacted the costs of two, existing Pattern wind power plants over the first 3-7 years of operation.

38. Would Pattern seek Federal Production Tax Credits for Uplands? Please provide documentation showing how these credits impacted the costs of two, existing Pattern wind power plants over the first 5 years of operation.

Wind Power Plant Developer and County Secrecies Continue

        There are four, fundamental facts that every community and every landowner approached by a wind power developer wants and deserves to know: 

  • What is the power size in megawatts of each turbine?
  • How tall are the turbines?
  • How many would be installed and over what area?
  • With today’s wind turbines more than twice as tall and 3.6 times more powerful/louder than those at Montfort, Wisconsin[1], the public deserves to know if the company has tested the turbines for noise and air impacts under Wisconsin’s lower standards?[2]

        Three of the multi-national companies pursuing large wind power plants in Iowa, Lafayette and Grant Counties (Wisconsin) have provided none of this information either for the public, at large, or for directly affected landowners or their neighbors. To be specific, this fundamental information was omitted in PRC’s mid-April brochure[3] regarding the Red Barn power plant that would surround Montfort, it was not present in Invenergy’s mid-February notice[4] to Iowa County  and Pattern LLC did not mention it in their interview[5] 1 with the Dodgeville Chronicle this month concerning their Uplands plant proposal aimed at Iowa and Lafayette Counties.

        Further, when counties have received scarce information from developers, they have not informed the public about it or placed it into public records. The seriousness of these omissions becomes evident when one considers that Foxconn’s much discussed $672 million plant proposal has only one-third of the value of Uplands when tax and other incentives are folded in over 40 years. (See p. 2 / note 10, ) 

     And unlike large factories and farms, the wind power plants would be glaringly obvious to all commuters and vacationers on Highways 151 and 18 all the way from the outskirts of Madison to the Bluffs of the Mississippi River. Day and night.  (See p. 3 / note 16,  ) 

        Had Invenergy’s February 16, 2021 letter to the Iowa County Board [6] been publicly reported, the citizenry of Southwestern Wisconsin would have found the company’s advice about the County’s out-dated, 2014 Wind Ordinance highly informative. The international power plant builder writes, “We encourage you to leave it in place,” despite the fact that updating it would add protections pertaining to impacts from large turbines and other transparency improvements.

    The outcome of Uplands still rests on landowners not signing lease contracts with Pattern. Those who are approached to sign are encouraged to ask themselves:

Why would Invenergy risk stating this request if the company had no fear of increased public and landowner accountabilities from an updated Wind Siting Ordinance?

      Secrecy on both sides has persisted even as community papers have published a steady stream of citizen concerns and information requests since December. The Iowa County Board has yet to acknowledge that more than fifty citizens formally asked the Board to host an on-record, public information meeting for developers to answer questions received in advance and for citizens to ask follow-up questions.

        Concerns about negative health impacts were furthered at the Iowa County Planning and Zoning Committee meeting last week when Scott Godfrey, a member of the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council, stated that he sees little or no ability for County to stand-up for affected residents should they become chronically sick from wind turbine exposures. In 2010, three Wisconsin families were forced to move from their homes in Brown County, Wisconsin when they were exposed to only eight turbines. Those turbines are two hundred feet shorter and have less than half the power of those aimed at the Livingston, Wisconsin area.[7]

        No one disagrees with Invenergy that outdated and lacking public protections are doing a very good job of, “promoting private property rights.” They have literally placed the future of Southwest Wisconsin in the hands of our neighbors. This is our time; this is our test; we either practice the golden rule or have our lands and local economies ruled by outside interests.

  1. Size data at ; and Official utility records indicate that turbines proposed to surround Livingston, WI would be more than twice as tall as the turbines at Montfort (698′ vs. 328′) and have 3.6 times the power (5.6 MW vs. 1.5 MW). The Livingston Turbines said to be under development by Whitetail would be 58% higher than those more recently installed at Quilt Block near Darlington. 
  2. Distances between the wind turbines and residencies in Wisconsin can be as close as 1250’ compared to 1500’-3750’ in other states. Fully allowable noise levels in Wisconsin can be four times louder than background sound levels. Existing Wisconsin codes have no protections against house-vibrating air pressure pulses that can induce nausea, disorientation, sleeplessness and other serious ailments.  
  7. Bensinger Video Vimeo

No-Uplands Wind – A Video by Charles Bensigner

Shown above: A 2.5 MW wind turbine being installed for Pattern Wind LLC in New Mexico, the same company that proposing a high visibility wind system across a 250 square mile area in western Iowa and Lafayette counties, Wisconsin. is pleased to announce that Milwaukee-based videographer Charles Bensigner has produced a 3 minute video introducing the 600 MW Uplands Wind power plant proposal to the citizens of Wisconsin. With approximately 170 turbines 650 feet in height, the power plant would permeate many Wisconsin views of the world reknown Driftless area and establish the second largest power plant in the Midwest despite the area having far less than optimum wind resources.

In a recent letter to MARIA REDMOND head of Governor Ever’s Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, Bensinger asks,

I’m wondering if you’re aware of the tremendous tension and public outcry occurring in certain rural Wisconsin communities regarding what appears to be the forcing of local communities to accept the construction of very large solar and wind farms promoted by out-of-state developers?

Bensinger attributes the underlying causes for the community strife,

[Sales a]gents for these developers often operate in a secretive manner to obtain land contract agreements with landowners, often pitting neighbors against each other and their local political representatives. Residents fear they will suffer deleterious health effects, business disruption and significant environmental impacts from wind and solar farms, loss of good farmland, property values, cherished viewscapes and a major reduction in their quality of life.

Bensinger is no newcomer to energy problem solving and the primacy of local economics. His is currently engaged with several projects with helping neighbors in his urban Milwaukee neighborhood improve the energy performance of their homes. He has found that electric bills in his neighborhood are often 2-3 times higher than bills in nearby neighborhoods. As Wisconsin rebates for efficiency and home improvements rank near the bottom of Midwest states, Bensinger believes that asking urban ratepayers to fund remote power plants is counter-productive on two fronts: (1) by adding new costs to bills that would be better directed to larger Focus on Energy rebates and (2) by under-cutting the development of local measures that would make Milwaukee neighborhoods decreasingly dependent on remote renewable power. The former Director of the Alternative Energy and Biofuels Center at Santa Fe Community College believes that, eventually, urban neighborhoods or clusters of 2-10 houses/businesses will be operating on locally owned micro-grids based on small scale generation technologies. He is particularly enthusiastic about Inductance Energy‘s Earth Engine but expects there to be many solutions far more affordable than the costly monopoly expansion model that Uplands Wind promotes.

Bensinger’s commitment to locally produced power applies to rural local economies as well. He called upon his rural ties in New Mexico to obtain photographs of turbines being installed by Pattern LLC, the same company proposing the Uplands power plant,

Through the, Wisconsin Video Hub, Bensigner and his cohort, Daniel Folkman, have documented important conferences and presentations pertaining to Wisconsin’s rural communities. Below is a sampling of the entries from their library:

  • Limitations of the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) Engineer Bill Powers discusses, Midwest Transmission Expansion Planning [MTEP], utility-prejudiced economic analysis used by regional transmission owners under the auspices of The Midcontinent Independent System Operator [MISO]. MISO and MTEP planning are often confused as having governmentally assigned energy planning authorities. Increasingly, SOUL of Wisconsin and citizen intervenors are challenging the false public impressions and MISO’s annual, capital utility spending exercise. 60 min, 2018
  • Negative Impacts of Expansion Transmission Lines Town of Holland Clerk Marilyn Pedretti (La Crosse Co. WI) describes how their town was ill-prepared for dealing with the economic and other negative impacts from the presence of two 345 kV expansion transmission lines. 10 min, Mar 2018
  • More Wires to Serve Less Need? As legal counsel for the Town of Holland, Frank Jablonski describes the need to challenge Wisconsin Utilities and the Public Service Commission (PSC) purported “need” for additional power and power lines. 9 min, 2018
  • Our Distributed, Local-Based Energy Futures Drawing upon his experiences from authoring long term energy planning for San Diego, San Francisco and the state of North Carolina, Engineer Bill Powers describes the rapid progress being made in home, business and municipal developments of solar plus storage. He discusses the additional roles that energy efficiency and load management play in creating a right-sized electrical system. 12 min, Mar 2018

Encouraging Iowa County Official Accountability and Action

Executive Committee Must Approve Ordinance Upgrade Motion at March 9, 2021 Meeting


At highest levels, Iowa County officials have known about the massive 600 MW Uplands Wind project for more than a year. To date, the County has yet to acknowledge the international developer’s large scale interests and is even on record as instructing inquiring County Supervisors to tell their constituents to phone Pattern Wind LLC for answers to their questions rather than expect the County to attain information.

Whether on purpose or not, County foot dragging furthered the ability of Pattern LLC sales agents to obtain leases from landowners nearly undetected by the public at large. Were these high officials aware that Pattern was getting closer and closer to obtaining the critical number of lease signatures so the massive proposal would clear transmission connection requirements and leap quickly to the review by the state with short review review by the County under an old, incomplete Wind Siting Ordinance? Speaking just for itself, the public record raises reasons for concern.

Through last Fall, the Planning and Zoning Committee ignored requests by Committee members to ask the multi-national developer to hold public information meetings.

To help speed-up the process of bringing the County’s 2014 Wind Siting Ordinance up to current state standards, a citizen intervenor involved with the appeal of the Cardinal Hickory Creek transmission line, drafted an updated Wind Siting Ordinance carefully weaving in missing, allowable protections from PSC Code 128 into the County’s existing document. In early December, the Planning and Zoning Committee, with higher officials present, hardly gave the updated Ordinance a glance. After more delays, the Planning and Zoning Committee voted to table the entire Ordinance update initiative on January 26, 2021.

Having seen enough inaction, 86 citizens “zoomed” into February 15, 2021 Iowa County Board Meeting with more than 20 using the public comment period to voice concerns about the proposed 600 MW Uplands wind power plant proposal. Most emphasized that after months of inexplicable delay, the County must act immediately to update its 2014 Wind Siting Ordinance. Later in the meeting of the full board, a number of County Supervisors clarified these requests by requesting that the Planning and Zoning Committee resume its work updating the 2014 Wind Siting Ordinance.

With citizen caution still running high, on February 25, the Planning and Zoning Committee heard many more, precise and informed requests during the public comment period at the start of the meeting. The Chair of the Committee responded by simply stating that public comments would receive no reply and that Pattern’s proposal and the Ordinance Update were not on meeting agenda and will not be discussed,

Over the course of a year, Iowa County’s silence and inaction has supported Pattern LLC make steady gains towards its for-profit interests while public interests have yet to be acknowledged– not to mention supported or pursued. In September, the County Chair acknowledged that he is employed on a daily basis helping the efforts of wind developers. When letters were sent to County Supervisors by No-Uplands volunteers suggesting it would be appropriate for the Chair to recuse (remove) himself from all discussion of the matter due possible conflict of interest, the Chair responded that the attack on him was unwarranted. He stated that because his work in currently in North Illinois, no conflict in determining wind development regulation in Iowa County exists.

How close is Pattern LLC to attaining landowner signatures for 75% of the land required for the approximate 250 square mile study area in both Iowa and Lafayette County? This is merely one many key questions that citizens have and elected officials, by duty and position are obligated to determine for the sake of public safety, health and long term welfare of the County’s local economies.


Patience is no longer an option. The only way the citizens of Iowa County can expect any representation in this upheaval is to phone their county supervisors and use a technique that demands written accountabilities and action. Here is an outline of the proven technique:

1)  Unless one personally knows members of the Iowa County Executive Conmmittee Ron Benish, Dave Gollon, Jeremy Meek, Dan Nankee or Curt Peterson, phone your personal County Supervisor:

2) Introduce yourself including where you live. 

3) To engage the Supervisor in discussion, prepare and ask 1-3, short clearly stated questions about Uplands details and impacts. Its best to read some materials first and personally determine what missing information is most important to you.  

4) If your Supervisor suggests asking someone else, you have the option to politely say, “OK. I will do that, but as my Supervisor, I want you to experience the difficulty of obtaining factual information and to possess the information you need to make decisions in the best interests of your constituents.”

5) If your Supervisor rattles off information that is not accountable, in writing in the County’s public record, you have the option to politely say, “That is interesting. Can you send me a link to the source for that information? I still want you to research my questions.

6) Tell your Supervisor you will be following up the phone call with your questions in writing in an email.

7) Tell your Supervisor you will phone he or she back in 10-14 days for answers to your questions if you don’t hear from he or she earlier.

8) Conclude the call and the follow-up email by asking the Supervisor to immediately call one of the members of the Executive Committee ( Ron Benish, Dave Gollon, Jeremy Meek, Dan Nankee or Curt Peterson) and ask the member to ask the Chair add a motion to the March 9, 2021 Meeting agenda that would require the County to act immediately to update its 2014 Wind Siting Ordinance to include all available health, safety and other protections allowable in State Code.

SOUL Chronicle Article, Dec. 31, 2020 

Fate of Second Largest Wind Installation in the Midwest in the hands of 50 Wisconsin landowners.

Published in Dodgeville Chronicle, December 31, 2020

Too few residents of Southwest Wisconsin are aware that a Canadian-owned, multinational corporation, Pattern LLC,2 has salespersons on the ground encouraging landowners to sign agree-ments allowing the company to construct at least 1703, industrial-scale wind turbines across Iowa and Lafayette Counties. With heights of around 650 feet, views of the system would permeate the natural horizon from the outskirts of Madison to the bluffs of the Mis-sisippi River4 negatively affect-ing property values over 250 square miles of the Driftless area.5

Were it not for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission publishing Pattern paperwork in late November6, no one would have learned that the fate of the proposal essentially rests on the signatures of about 507 landowners who are likely to be insufficiently informed. In the experience of Iowa farmer, Mason Fleenor, looking back on his decision observed,

“Nobody knew they were going to be this loud, or hurt our property values or be this big. . . No one wants to build around these windmills so you just cut your economic activity down. . . I just want to see the countryside.”8

Local and state taxes are no longer collected for land with wind turbines. Independent studies estimate property value losses from 15 to 45%.9 Landowners and local officials must stop and consider that the diverted state tax dollar payments to partially cover these losses would fall at least $100 million short over 40 years if only 1% of the affected properties were sold per year at a 10% loss.10

Local tax bases would be forever compromised causing mill rates to soar at the same time compatible, agricultural, residential and business development vanishes.

Keep in mind that unaffected farmland in Wisconsin appreciates in value at the rate of about 4% per year. Landowners pondering the possibility of net income from a 40 year wind turbine lease are encouraged to do the property devaluation math (and get an experienced attorney to carefully review the 60 page contract!). Should the value of one’s land drop at the national average, it would take decades of lease payments to make up for this loss.11 The “option agreement” also forces a landowner to give up rights to determine where turbines, wide access roads and electrical lines would be located12. This uncertainty makes it impossible to accurately in-form neighbors of pending hard ships, not to mention, obtain their informed blessings.

Readers with any doubt that turbine noise thoroughly shatters natural soundscapes and peaceful living are encouraged to spend some time internet searching for personal video testimony about “wind turbine noise.”13 Wisconsin state code allows turbines to generate 45 dBA sound levels during the night and 50 dBA during the day.14 The turbine sound described as a “hovering plane”15 is about four times louder than quiet sounds that comprise natural sounds.16 The resulting sleeplessness, nausea, disorientation and depression has forced Wisconsin families to vacate their homes and farms with turbines half the size of those being proposed.17 Follow this search with “wind turbine shadow flicker,” an equally disruptive experience that Wisconsin code also allows households to endure. 18

Video maker Jim Harmon with property owner, Alan Haas, describing changes in community relations after the addition of 88 wind turbines, three on his property in 2008, “Even sweet little, old ladies get angry as hell now;, and that’s no joke either.”

And there are better alternatives for address of climate change and for our pocketbooks.

Wisconsin already has more electrical power plants than we can use.19 (Table 2). As electric customers, we must pay the high interest debt on existing and added power plants over 40 or more years whether fully utilized or not. Pattern’s inferred electric bill savings from the “zero fuel costs”20 of wind power compare very poorly to directly addressing our CO2 and economic challenges with familiar alternatives. If the approximate, 40 year, $1.8 billion cost21 for the 600 MW Uplands wind power plant was invested, instead, into dramatically increased Focus on Energy rebates for efficiency and solar power improvements for our homes, farms and businesses, this would eliminate about 115 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over 40 years compared to 58 million metric tons from the intrusive power plant.22 (Table 3). Alternatively doubling the home/business solar panel incentive to 52 cents of the approximate $2.50 per watt cost could empower about 450,000 households to “go solar” and save an average of $143 per month.23 Creating attractive appliance and equipment rebates for Wisconsin families and businesses would enable long overdue efficiency and dwelling improvements with the superior environmental results.24

The federal report also confirms that the 600 MW wind system is fully dependent on building the Cardinal Hickory Creek 345 kV expansion trans-mission line which Iowa and Dane Counties are trying to appeal in court. 25 26

Immediate sharing of these findings is critical as Pattern salespeople are working daily to get the 50 additional contract signatures before February 24, 2021.27 Hopefully, both the Iowa and Lafayette County Boards will act quickly to at least add the minimal, still insufficient protections from state code to their Wind Ordinances.28

The additional signed agreements from landowners would allow Pattern to take their power plant proposal directly to the PSC for likely approval as state laws do not require such plants to be evaluated for need or require that benefits from alternative investments be compared.29

— by Rob Danielson, Secretary, SOUL of Wisconsin
PO Box 146
La Farge, WI 54639


1 The 162 Megawatt (MW) Glacier Hills Wind power plant is Wisconsin’s largest. Only the 801 Megawatt (MW) Meadow Lake power plant near Chalmers, Indiana would be larger in Midwest states.

2 Pattern LLC financials: See also:

3 According to Pattern’s filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2020, the Uplands wind system would be 600 Megawatts (MW). The estimated minimum number of turbines was determined by dividing this number by 3.5 MW assumed to be the size of the largest, modern turbines. (600 MW / 3.5 MW = 171.4 turbines)

4 See map of the Uplands project area, above, and as inserted into a highlands area view scape map at p.4 of Pattern LLC has not yet publicized turbine height information. October 2018 materials distributed to prospective property participants near Montfort, WI concerning the Red Barn wind power plant, specify turbine heights ranging from 459 to 656 feet. Viewed from highland positions, objects that are 650 feet high can be seen for 38.7 miles, line of sight. Nocturnal visibility from highland locations would extend more than 30 miles based on lights mounted at a rotor hight of 410’. For reference, the smaller, 2 MW wind turbines at Quilt Block in the Town on Seymour in Lafayette County can easily be seen from Montfort, Wisconsin, 24 miles away.

5 The measurement of 250 square miles is an approximation based on Pattern’s Uplands study area map in the company’s August, 2020 presentation to the Iowa County Planning & Zoning Committee. A larger view of the blue outlined area is embedded in the middle image on page 5 at

6 FERC’s publication is accessible at

7 FERC’s publication indicates the Pattern LLC reported to have signed about 15,000 acres of property under “site control” of the 30,000 acres required by regional transmission owners under the auspices of MISO. According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the size of the average farm in Wisconsin is 221 acres. Dividing the remaining 15,000 acres into 221 acre sized parcels suggests an average of 67.8 agricultural property owners would be involved. The estimation of 50 assumes the company will focus on property owners with larger parcels for greater siting flexibilities and fewer affected neighbors.

8 Video interview by Zach Boyden-Holmes with Mason Fleenor (Ida Grove, IA) from Des Moines Register article, “Is wind power saving rural Iowa or wrecking it?” by Donnelle Eller, and Kevin Hardy, April 20, 2017

9 See comparison of utility-funded and independent studies of wind turbine impacts on property values collected by McCann: Utility studies pose there are modest negative impact on values while those conducted by independent evaluators show very significant range of losses from 15-45% with an average of 29%.

10 See summary table “Tab 2,” on spreadsheet

11 See Tab 1 – Adjusted Lease Income With Property Devaluation table at spreadsheet with calculations at:

12 “Section 2.2 Wind Energy Conversion Systems . . . The exact location of such wind energy conversion systems shall be determined by the Developer in its sole discretion. . . ” and discretionary location rights in Section 2.3 Transmission Facilities and Roads with 80’ easement strips for electrical lines and up to 20’ widths for access roads. The contract also enables the Developer to add transformers, battery storage facilities and relocate equipment at sole discretion.

13 For Wisconsin landowner testimonials, see collection of video interviews at

14 PSC Code PSC 128.14(3) Dr. Robert Rand discusses the sub-sonic phenomena starting at 1 hour, 27 minutes into this video: v=2kvoZO-DEho&

15 See Elizabeth Eberts interview at 1:54

16Assumes nocturnal, rural background ambience of 25 dBA and daytime ambience of 30 dBA. 10 dBA is assumed as perceived doubled loudness.

17 Wisconsin Wind Turbines Declared Health Hazard First of its kind ruling; similar to Michigan situation, By Jack Spencer, November 8, 2014, Michigan Capitol Confidential

18 See Shadow flicker limits. PSC 128.15(2)(2)

19 See Table, Wisconsin Power Plants Excess Capability, pdf p. 5, Data in the table compiled from announced new power plants and retirements in Wisconsin Public Service Commission 2020-2026 Strategic Energy Assessment , new plants sought in the MISO Interconnection Queue US Department of Energy (EIA) Form 861 and SEDS records for WI, US census and inflation data.

20 From Uplands Wind FAQ, “How does wind energy affect the cost of energy? The cost of electricity from wind energy is predictable and stable because there are no fuel costs, unlike conventional forms of energy where the cost of fuel can fluctuate significantly over time. Once a wind farm project is built, the price of electricity from the project is set for the duration of its power purchase agreement.”

21 See itemized estimated, comprehensive expenses rows 32-46 of spreadsheet,

22 See table, Uplands 600 MW Wind System vs. Accelerated FOE Incentive, pdf p. 5 and associated spreadsheet,

23 See calculations on spreadsheet,

24 Energy and CO2 reduction benefits sourced from Focus on Energy Calendar Year 2016 Evaluation Report Volume I May 19, 2017 and correspondence with EPA staff regarding use of the AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT).

25 From pdf p. 2 FERC November, 2020 communication, “Pattern Energy Wind states that, on June 22, 2020, it submitted two generator interconnection requests to MISO to interconnect the Project via two queue positions: (1) an interconnection to American Transmission Company’s Hill Valley to Cardinal 345 kV line; and (2) an interconnection to the Hill Valley 345 kV substation.” Note: The Hill Valley substation near Montfort does not exist today. It is a central component of the Cardinal Hickory Creek 345 kV transmission line.

26 Dane, Iowa counties challenge power line approval, says regulators abused discretion, by Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal Dec 13, 2019,

27 See FERC discussion of extension including time for MISO transmission owners to complete site control review, pdf p.7,8,

28 Iowa County Draft Updated Wind Ordinance starting on pdf. p. 68 Contact information for Iowa and Lafayette County Wind Ordnance matters: Iowa Co. Supervisor Districts, map: Iowa Co. Supervisors contacts: Iowa County Planning & Development 222 N. Iowa St. Dodgeville, WI 53533 608-935-0398; Lafayette County Planning and Zoning Committee: 626 Main Street, Darlington, WI 53530, 608-776-3836 Lafayette Co. Map of Supervisor Districts: Lafayette County Supervisor contacts:

29 Pattern LLC is considered a non-public utility or “merchant” developer. Proposals by merchant power plant developers do not have to prove need to meet power inadequacies or evaluate alternatives such as electric customer investment in home and local energy improvements. State laws also allow merchant power plant developers to take their proposals directly to the PSC for review and approval after obtaining 75% of the necessary land or “site control,” “Option Agreements” with landowners. For more on MISO site control policy, see .pdf p. 20, 21, Generation Interconnection Business Practices Manual BPM-015-r21 Effective Date: OCT-16-2019