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Second Information Request Submitted to Pattern LLC

July 6, 2022

Pattern Energy, LLC Corporate Headquarters
1088 Sansome St. San Francisco, CA 94111 ,

Phillip Ross

Allen Wynn

Matt Dallas

Dear Pattern Energy,

Please find, attached, questions and information requests that twenty-four co-signees are submitting concerning your intention to build a 600 MW wind power plant entitled Uplands Wind (the “Project”) in Iowa and Lafayette Counties, Wisconsin.

Co-signers ask that Pattern LLC provide written answers to as many of these questions as possible prior to Pattern’s July 12, 2022 Open House in Belmont so that follow-up questions can be asked and answered. Signers may also re-ask questions similar to these at the Meeting. For questions that Pattern cannot answer in time for the meeting, please provide a timeframe for when you will provide written answers to all of the co-signers whose addresses are provided. If there are questions that Pattern feels it cannot answer, please specify the reasons or explain when Pattern will be able to answer.

We thank you in advance for your attention to providing this very important and relevant information to them.


I. Project affects on Real Estate Values

During the May 26, 2022, Zoom Virtual “Public Informational” Session (ZOOM meeting), Pattern representatives stated that the Project would not have a negative impact on local real estate values as demonstrated in studies that have been conducted. Please provide copies of all studies that pertain to property value impacts from all turbine sizes (in MW rating and total height) that Pattern is considering for the Project. Please do not include studies that utilize setback distances from occupied residencies that are greater than the minimum setback distance that Pattern will utilize for the Project.

II. Decommissioning and Disposal Practices

  1. Please provide the names and contact information for contractors that Pattern has previously used to recycle wind turbine blades.
  2. Please provide a description of the recycling practices used by these contractors that Pattern determined to be acceptable.
  3. Has Pattern previously committed to recycling turbine blades in an application to a state regulator before? Does Pattern intend to commit to recycling by including it as part of their decommissioning plan in their application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW)?
  4. Please describe all Project infrastructure that Pattern will reserve the right to remain on-site above and below ground, after decommissioning of the Project, if the Project is approved and decommissioned? If this information is not available for the Project, please provide sections from existing decommissioning plans for at least three Pattern wind projects describing the rights Pattern retains to leave infrastructure on-site above and below the ground. Provide this information at your earliest convenience.
  5. Please specify if and how Pattern funds are set aside for decommissioning? Please provide examples of decommissioning plans for 3 existing projects, owned and operated by Pattern.

III. Health Effects from Wind Turbines

  1. At the ZOOM meeting, a Pattern representative stated there was no evidence of wind turbines causing negative health impacts. Please provide all available health impact studies reaching this conclusion for all possible setback distances and for all possible wind turbine sizes that Pattern might select for the Project. Please provide these studies at your earliest convenience before the Project application is submitted to PSCW.
  2. Please provide existing audible and infra-sound field analysis that Pattern has conducted or commissioned for existing wind facilities having the same MW rating, turbine heights and setback distances that Pattern could possibly install/apply for the Project
  3. Please describe the accommodations would Pattern make if residents or landowners become ill from living in proximity to the Project?
  4. Has Pattern ever monetarily compensated a resident or landowner that has become ill from living in proximity to a project they owned and operated?

IV. Wind Turbine Siting and Related Information

  1. At your ZOOM meeting, Pattern was asked for a timetable for when exact locations for wind turbines would be presented to affected Townships and to all participating and non-participating landowners for review and comment. The answers failed to provide the requested timetables. Please provide a schedule of when presentations about Pattern’s preferences for exact turbine locations would be made to each affected township, village, city and county to enable feedback and recommendations from local governments, participating and non-participating landowners and the public prior to Pattern making application to the PSCW.
  2. Please inform elected officials and the public of when the range of turbine sizes in total heights and in MW ratings will be presented to each affected township, village, city and county.
  3. For each possible turbine in the range presented (4b above), please provide the absolute minimum setback distances from occupied residences that Pattern would abide by.
  4. For each setback distance (in 4c above), please provide the state law wording or other reasoning used in determining the selected distance.
  5. For each possible turbine in the range presented (4b above), please provide the estimated dimensions of the required foundation structures.

V. Lease Agreements

  1. For participating Properties, please describe the types of controls that the lease agreement allows Pattern to exercise over the entire property.
  2. Is there language in the Pattern’s lease agreements for Uplands Wind that prohibits the landowner from sharing information with others regarding the lease agreement or other aspects of the project? Please include the language used in the lease agreement that prohibits the landowner from sharing Project information with others.
  3. What information, specifically, is the landowner prohibited from sharing?
  4. If for any reason, Uplands Wind is not built, will Pattern retain the lease agreements or will they nullify the lease agreements, releasing landowners from the leases? For prior projects has Pattern ever retained lease agreements for a project they have not built and if so, what was the final disposition of the lease agreements?
  5. If Pattern retains the lease agreements, could they sell them to another developer?

VI. Community Concerns

  1. Does Pattern have a plan to ensure that Med Flight helicopters can reach residents within or in proximity to the Project? Please provide documentation of Pattern’s Med Flight Plan that would be included with their application for the Project. If a Med Flight Plan for the Project is not available yet, please provide one from an existing project. If Pattern does not ensure that Med Flight helicopters can reach residents in proximity to the Project, please explain the reason for this.
  2. Is money set aside within the Project budget for local road repairs?
  3. Before the application is submitted does Pattern plan to have an in-person public information meeting with a presentation by Pattern where follow-up questions can be asked and answered before the entire audience in attendance?
  4. During the Zoom meeting, Pattern representatives used the phrase “prior to permitting” in answering some questions relating to when specific information would be available. Does “prior to permitting” mean: prior to pre-application notification; prior to application to the PSCW; prior to the end of the PSCW CPCN proceeding, or; prior to construction (after the PSCW CPCN proceeding has ended)?


Marie Baker, 5318 Weaver Rd. Dodgeville, WI 53533
Kim and Roberta Barham, 275 County Road K, Blanchardville, WI 53516
Deirdre Birmingham and John Biondi, 7258 Kelly Rd. Mineral Point, WI 53565
Michelle Citron, 5175 Country Rd ZZ, Dodgeville WI 53533
Jan Day, 148 Commerce Street, Rewey, WI 53580
Kerry McDermott, 776 County Rd. J, Mineral Point, WI 53565
Rob Danielson, S3897 Plum Run Road, La Farge, WI 54639
Steve Ferrell & Sheila Fry, N2221 Asmus Road, Monroe, WI 53566
Carrie Honerbaum, 523 Blacks Grove Rd., Dodgeville, WI 53533
Jackie and John Howard, 21755 Search Rd., Blanchardville, WI 53516
Ronald and Ronna Heftman, 3648 County Road M, Dodgeville, WI 52533
Lillie Jewell, 3362 County Road B, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Marcia Jewell, 3362 County Rd B, Dodgeville, WI 53533 (Linden Township)
Chris Klopp, 4283 County Road P, Cross Plains, WI 53528
Tom and Judith Kordus, 2025 Survey Rd. Mineral Point, WI 53565
Ron and Jean Luecke, 521 Blacks Grove Rd., Dodgeville, WI 53533
Ed Michalski and Mary Michalski, 17900 O’Neil Rd., Mineral Point, WI 53565
Matthew Michalski, Bik Wong, Milo Wong & Lily Wong,17950 O’Neil Rd., Mineral Point, WI 53565
Jason Neton, W5725 County Road H, New Glarus, WI 53574
Allen Pincus, 7836 Lakeview Road, Barneveld, WI 53507
Cyra Polizzi & Richard Paro, 1317 Chandler St., Madison, WI 53715
Frank and Barbara Polizzi, 5381 State Road 39, Mineral Point, WI 53565
George A. Schwarzmann Jr., 21791 Sand Hill Rd, Platteville WI 53818
Lila Zastrow & Dave Hendrickson, N5399 French Rd. Seymour, WI 54165-8352

Wisconsin Farmer: “Biggest Regret I’ve Ever Experienced”

In 2011, Wisconsin farmer, Gary Steinich of Cambria Wisconsin, sent this letter to Better Plan, Wisconsin, asking that it be published.  It is re-printed here with appreciation to both Mr. Steinich and Better Plan, Wisconsin.

“This is an open letter to Wisconsin farmers who are considering signing a wind lease to host turbines on your land. Before you sign, I’d like to tell you about what happened to our family farm after we signed a contract with a wind developer.

In 2002, a wind developer approached my father about signing a lease agreement to place a MET (meteorological) tower on our land. My father was in his 70’s at the time. The developer did a good job of befriending him and gaining his trust.

He assured my father that the project wasn’t a done deal and was a long way off. They first had to put up the MET tower to measure the wind for awhile.

He told my father that if the project went forward there would be plenty of time to decide if we wanted to host turbines on our farm. There would be lots of details to work out and paperwork to sign well before the turbines would be built. The developer said my father could decide later on if he wanted to stay in the contract.

In 2003 the developer contacted us again. This time he wanted us to sign a contract to host turbines on our land. We were unsure about it, so we visited the closest wind project we knew of at the time. It was in Montfort, WI.

The Montfort project consists of 20 turbines that are about 300 feet tall and arranged in a straight line, taking up very little farmland with the turbine bases and access roads. The landowners seemed very satisfied with the turbines. But we were still unsure about making the commitment.

We were soon contacted again by the developer, and we told him we were undecided. Then he really started to put pressure on us to sign.

This was in March of 2004, a time of $1.60 corn and $1200 an acre land. It seemed worth it have to work around a couple of turbines for the extra cash. We were told the turbines would be in a straight line and only take up a little bit of land like the ones in Monfort.

And we were also told that we were the ones holding up the project. That all of our neighbors had signed, and we were the last hold-outs. It persuaded us.

What we didn’t know then was the developer was not being truthful. We were not the “last hold-out” at all. In later discussions with our neighbors we found out that in fact we were the very first farmers to sign up. I have since found out this kind of falsehood is a common tactic of wind developers.

My father read through the contract. He said he thought it was okay. I briefly skimmed through it, found the language confusing, but trusted my father’s judgment. We didn’t hire a lawyer to read it through with us. We didn’t feel the need to. The developer had explained what was in it.

The wind contract and easement on our farm was for 20 years. By then my dad was 75. He figured time was against him for dealing with this contract in the future so we agreed I should sign it. A few months later, my father died suddenly on Father’s Day, June 20th, 2004

After that, we didn’t hear a whole lot about the wind farm for a couple years. There was talk that the project was dead. And then in 2007 we were told the developer sold the rights to the project. A Wisconsin utility bought it.

After that everything changed. The contract I signed had an option that allowed it to be extended for an additional 10 years. The utility used it.

The turbines planned for the project wouldn’t be like the ones in Monfort. They were going to be much larger, 400 feet tall. And there were going to be 90 of them.

They weren’t going to be in a straight row. They’d be sited in the spots the developer felt were best for his needs, including in middle of fields, with access roads sometimes cutting diagonally across good farm land. Landowners could have an opinion about turbine placement but they would not have final say as to where the turbines and access roads would be placed. It was all in the contract.

Nothing was the way we thought it was going to be. We didn’t know how much land would be taken out of production by the access roads alone. And we didn’t understand how much the wind company could do to our land because of what was in the contract..

In 2008 I had the first of many disputes with the utility, and soon realized that according to the contract I had little to no say about anything. This became painfully clear to me once the actual construction phase began in 2010 and the trucks and equipment came to our farm and started tearing up the field.

In October of 2010 a representative of the utility contacted me to ask if a pile of soil could be removed from my farm. It was near the base of one of the turbines they were putting on my land. I said no, that no soil is to be removed from my farm.

The rep said that the pile was actually my neighbor’s soil, that the company was storing it on my land with plans to move it to another property.

Shortly afterwards I noticed the pile of subsoil was gone.

In November of 2011 I saw several trucks loading up a second pile of soil on my land and watched them exiting down the road. I followed them and then called the Columbia County Sheriff. Reps from the company were called out. I wanted my soil back.

A few days later the rep admitted they couldn’t give it back to me because my soil was gone. It had been taken and already dispersed on someone else’s land. I was offered 32 truck loads of soil from a stockpile they had. I was not guaranteed that the soil would be of the same quality and composition as the truck loads of soil they took from my farm.

I was informed by the lawyer for the utility that I had until April 30, 2011 to decide to take the soil. There would be no other offer. Take it or leave it.

I contacted the Public Service Commission for help. The PSC approved the terms of project and I believed the utility was violating those terms. The PSC responded by telling me they could do nothing because the issue involved a private contract between myself and the utility.

They told me my only option was to sue the utility.

My father and I both worked those fields. Watching the way they’ve been ripped apart would sicken any farmer. But what farmer has the time and money it would take to sue a Wisconsin utility?

By signing that contract I signed away the control of the family farm, and it’s the biggest regret I have ever experienced and will ever experience. I have only myself to blame for not paying close enough attention to what I was signing.

We had a peaceful community here before the developer showed up, but no more. Now it is neighbor against neighbor, family members not speaking to one another and there is no ease in conversation like in the old days. Everyone is afraid to talk for fear the subject of the wind turbines will come up. The kind of life we enjoyed in our community is gone forever.

I spend a lot of sleepless nights wishing I could turn back the clock and apply what I’ve learned from this experience. Now corn and bean prices are up. The money from the turbines doesn’t balance out our crop loss from land taken out of production. The kind of life we enjoyed on our family farm is gone forever too.

I would not sign that contract today. As I write this, the utility is putting up the towers all around us. In a few months the turbines will be turned on and we’ll have noise and shadow flicker to deal with. If I have trouble with these things, too bad. I’ve signed away my right to complain. These are some of the many problems I knew nothing about when I signed onto the project.

If you are considering signing a wind lease, take the contract to a lawyer. Go over every detail. Find out exactly what can happen to your fields, find out all the developer will be allowed to do to your land. Go through that contract completely, and think hard before make your decision.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, once you sign that contract, you will not have a chance to turn back.

Update:  June 5, 2011, Gary Steinich contacted Better Plan to let us know he and the utility have reached an agreement on his soil restoration.


  1. Comment by Anonymous on 08/13/2011 at 6:17 pmIt’s reassuring to know there are still people who are brave enough to speak up against.big business. I grew up in the Cambria area and understand the strength of the community. It is unfortunate this project has affected life-long friendships and local business opportunities. Thank you for sharing your story to enlighten others.
  2. Comment by Anonymous on 12/06/2011 at 7:58 amI unfortunately am a non participating neighbor to the wind turbines. So, although my neighbors are making money for the disruption to their land and life, I am not! We have already noticed TV and radio resception problems. We have noticed the noise from the turbines during the warm months. Now that the windows are closed up, that is not an issue. Family members have been woken in the mornings from the shadow flicker.I too have watched the turbines and, between the blades and the shadow movements, it made me feel sick. I don’t know what the long-term health effects will be, and don’t like that I am, against my will, being forced to find out.My biggest concern is the value of our home, now that we have turbines all around our home. What loss will be have when we try to sell our home?Editor’s reply. Real estate appraisers generally estimate the property value loss is anywhere from 20 to 40 percent. There are numerous articles on our website by certified real estate appraisers (by Michael McCann, in particular); I suggest you read them.

Videos About Adverse Health Impacts of Wind Turbines

Below are four video documentaries about adverse heath effects associated with wind turbines recommended by TLVA volunteer, Richard Jinkins of Cobb, Wisconsin, Iowa County. Richard has been avidly studying the phenomena for several years since discovering that members of his family personally experience ill effects from the existing, small, turbine installation near Montfort. WI. The same area would be impacted by the Uplands Wind proposal. In addition to the videos, Richard provides a large file directory with other videos, research papers, maps and other informative resources one can browse through.

1. A Pennsylvania Couple discuss their experiences living 1600 feet from a wind turbine. Note that the offending turbine is much smaller than those being proposed for Uplands, Red Barn and Whitetail (Iowa and Grant Counties, WI) and is positioned 350′ further than allowed under Wisconsin’s, out of date, 2008 wind siting laws. The video is 15 mins.

2. Wind Power Plants in Sweden 30 mins.

3. Norma Schmidt- Retired Nurse (Canada) Ms. Schmidt describes the decline her health after happily accepting the opportunity to site a wind turbine on her property. This video excerpt from the CBC video, Wind Rush also includes a number of specialists including Dr. Michael Nissenbaum who explains the basic phenomena that create audible and inaudible (infrasound) air pulses that lead to loss of sleep and other ill impacts. 14.5 mins

4. Down Wind. This video can be difficult to watch, at times, because of the degree of suffering the residents are forced to endure. It also contains a great deal comprehensive, well-founded information. It is about 90 mins.


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.

Industrial Scale Wind Turbine Liabilities

Handout prepared for the 2021-May-28 Marklein / Novak Listening Session, Belmont Convention Center.

Wisconsin’s current PSC-128 guidelines for siting Wind Turbines was created back in 2012 before the negative health effects caused by the Infrasound emitted by ALL Industrial Scale Wind Turbines (IWT) were well- known. I would ask you to PLEASE contact your fellow State Rep. John Macco understand more about the Shirley Wind (only 8 turbines) to ask some of these questions –

  • Why three families in Brown County have had to abandon their homes, even though Shirley Wind Turbines were said to not produce/transmit anything harmful to humans? [Above photo documents the local pleas for neighbor solidarity and solutions to the ill effects of one dozen, much smaller, 2.5 MW Turbines at the Shirley Power Plant near Glenmore, Wisconsin)
  • Why in 2013 the Board of Directors of Wisconsin Towns Association asked the PSC to enact a moratorium to stop the permitting and installation of wind turbines until further studies are done, solutions are found and the State’s wind siting Rule (PSC 128) is modified to implement standards that address infrasound from wind turbines that will protect the health and safety of residents!
  • Why in Oct 2014 did Brown County Board of Health vote unanimously – “To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI, a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.” In fact, ~90 people living in Brown County have claimed the Shirley Wind turbines have made them sick with sleep problems, headaches, anxiety, and nausea. So, what went wrong in Brown County at Shirley Wind? The simple answer is that the Wind Turbine Operators continue to deny that the high energy Infrasound produced by the rotating turbine blades passing the is the problem. In an attempt to PROVE that the infrasound levels in their home was indeed the cause of the sickness, one of the families that was forced to leave their home contracted with Rand Acoustics to take infrasound measurements inside and outside their home they abandoned. Shirley Wind also hired an acoustic measurement company to take measurements at the same times and locations. They were to take measurements with both the turbines running at full power AND when the turbines were stopped. BUT Shirley Wind refused to shut down their turbines to allow the measurements to be taken while the acoustic companies were onsite. Since there was NO authority that would force Shirley Wind to stop the turbines and enable baseline measurements, the report WAS NOT ABLE to compare the measurements between the running and stopped turbine infrasound levels. After the report was released saying that indeed high energy levels of infrasound were measured in the abandoned home, Shirley Wind (owned by Duke Energy) along with all their industry wind supporters declared that the report was NOT conclusive that the turbines were the source of the infrasound, since the data collection was not able to collect data when the Shirley Wind was not operating … and no one wants to pay for it again!

I challenge our Senators and Representatives is to take ACTION FOR us in SW Wisconsin by protecting ALL non-participating landowner’s property rights from infrasound sickness to –

1) Review the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council – October 2014 report found here –

Please Read all of p50-60 Appendix F Minority Report signed by 6 of the 14 members

  1. 2)  REQUEST a 5 year update to the above report as REQUIRED by Act 50 on Page 50 of the above report – “Act 40 also requires that Council to submit a report to the Legislature every 5 years to provide updated information about health research and regulatory developments, as well as to provide recommendations for legislation if needed.” If due every 5 years, it is OVERDUE as of the end of October 2019 !!!
  2. 3)  Better understand Infrasound by viewing this very good video on YouTube: – or google search for-“infrasound caused by Industrial Turbine German video” and find it yourself
  3. 4)  Revisit a bill first introduced in 2013 by Republican state senator Frank Lasee that – “Allows anyone living within 1.5 miles to sue both the landowner and the owner/operator of the turbine for loss of property value, moving costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, attorney fees, “and any other loss as a result of the industrial wind turbine.”

FYI: Recent actions taken in our neighboring state Iowa –

In Madison County, Iowa -The Madison County Board of Public Health on record saying that there are legitimate negative health effects caused by wind turbines.

Board Chair Dr. Kevin de Regnier said the board identified two concerns after a review of scientific literature and months of hearings and meetings with residents and MidAmerican Energy.

The two health concerns identified are:

➢ “Flicker” caused by the sun reflecting off turbine blades creates a strobe effect that can cause headaches and nausea.

“Infrasound” is a soundwave just below what the ear can actually detect. It is created by the turbines disturbing wind flow. It, too, can cause headaches and nausea.

Resolved that the Madison County Board of Health determines that there is the potential for negative health effects associated with commercial wind turbines and that current setbacks are inadequate to protect the public health,” said Madison County Public Health.

The Madison County Board of Iowa recommends that any future wind turbine projects be at least 1.5 miles from any residence.

Health Impacts of Industrial Wind

(6 videos)

Conference, Sept. 10, 2019, at Erie County Community College, Williamsville, N.Y., sponsored by New York state Senator Robert Ortt. These 6 YouTube videos are provided by courtesy of Citizens of Lincoln, N.Y. below Also see the summary notes by by Tom Erlandson listed at the end of this document

1-Introduction (Sen. Ortt); Dan Stapleton, Niagara County Public Health Director (18 min.)

2-Jerry Punch, audiologist, talks about wind turbine sound and infrasound and its impact on the human body. (38 min.)
3-Robert Rand, acoustician, discusses the mechanics and physiological effects of wind turbine

infrasound and setbacks. (38 min.)

4- Wind Farm Horror Stories: Three victims of industrial wind turbines describe their nightmare. (29 min.)

5- Gary Abraham, attorney, discusses New York State’s Article 10 process and what towns need to do to protect themselves from wind. (12 min.)

6- The participants answer: “Is it wise for Lincoln, N.Y., to allow six 500′ turbines at 3.2 MW to be built ~1,400′ from 34 homes [and only 600′ from some, and less than 1 mile from 121 homes]?” They explain why a 1.24-mile (2-km) setback is needed. (6 min.)

Text Summary below provided by Tom Erlandson, Chair of the Chautauqua County Health Board, based on notes taken during the forum:

Introductory Comments by NYS Senator Robert Ortt, Forum Sponsor

  1. On August 4, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2011 that enacted Article 10 of the Public Service Law. Article 10 now governs Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs).
  2. The New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) sets zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – it involves public health considerations, among others.
  3. Senator Ortt introduced the other speakers.

Dan Stapleton: Director of Niagara County Board of Health, member of WNY Public Health Alliance Board of Directors, President of NYS Association of County Health Officials

  1. Developers should have burden to prove IWTs are safe – public should not have the burden of proving IWTs are not safe.
  2. Concerned about lakes becoming contaminated by IWT fluids, lost sleep, unanticipated health effects of IWTs.
  3. Resolutions read that thorough environmental impact studies be done for IWTs.

Dr. Jerry Punch: PhD audiologist; studied IWTs in 2009 in the “thumb” of the lower peninsula of Michigan

  1. Affected families left home, using motels at night.
  2. IWT noise much more annoying than noise of trains or cars.
  3. Referred to various studies:
    1. “Wind Energy Comes of Age” – Paul Gipe 1995
    2. “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” – Dr. Nina Pierpont
    3. Cooper and Chan: Australian study on Wind Turbine Syndrome
    4. “Low Frequency Noise and Health” – Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira (Portugal, 2007-13)
    5. Berglund, B, et al. 1999 – Guidelines for Community Noise, WHO, Geneva
  4. Mentioned cortisol – a hormone involved in stress.
  5. Stated that sleep disturbance is the most well documented effect of IWT.
  6. Stated that sleep disturbance affects health: hypertension, memory, etc.
  7. Outer hair cells in the inner ear are sensitive to infrasound.
  8. Infrasound can lead to motion sickness – involves balance, vision, muscle receptors.
  9. IWT setbacks are not sufficient to protect human health.

10.EPA noise regulations not updated since 1978.

11. Setback distance is the most effective way of controlling IWT problems: a. 1.25 miles from property line minimum
b. 1.5 miles from property line last month in Madison County, Iowa

12.See conclusions in Punch, J.L. & R.R. James: “Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence That Wind Turbines Pose Risks.” 2016 [link]

Rob Rand: Professional acoustic investigator since 1980; has been investigating IWTs since 2009

  1. Rand quoted from the Code of Ethics of the National Society of Professional Engineers: “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.”
  2. Meters do not measure noise impacts, only noise levels.
  3. Wind turbines sited primarily in rural areas and are touted as pollution-free.
  4. Distance is the only reliable noise control option available for wind turbines so far. Most places do not have enough setback distance.
  5. Background noise in rural areas is low – 20-25 dBA at night. Annoyance is “perceived by individuals or groups to be adversely affecting them. Above 35 dBA is incompatible with rural living without annoyance” – American National Standards Institute.
  6. The quantity, ubiquity, and consistency of anecdotal complaints do have epidemiological significance.
  7. Re wildlife studies with badgers show elevated cortisol levels resulting from infrasound. [link]
  8. Nauseogenesis – a nauseogenic factor is associated with IWTs.

Gary Abraham: Attorney

  1. Article 10 governs industrial wind projects producing greater than 25 megawatts.
  2. The Cassadaga wind project is the first Article 10 project.
  3. It is not realistic to regulate mean/average noise level with IWTs – the noise output is not a steady hum, but is a pulse produced during the blade downstroke.
  4. Siting board continues to use mean/average noise level.
  5. There is not much optimism in NYS about Article 10. NYS Home Rule is the only reason for optimism in New York State.
    1. Towns must pre-adopt 35 dB noise level limits.
    2. Towns must draft laws to protect people.
  6. Re upstate NYS electric energy picture:
    1. The upstate grid is separate from the downstate grid.
    2. The upstate grid is already getting 90% of its electricity from water power and nuclear power sources (i.e., clean energy). Still we keep building IWT projects.
    3. Towns can limit tower height, e.g., to 400 ft. (676 ft. towers in Town of Guilford, NY (Chenango County).
    4. Towns can adopt 35 decibel limits.
  7. Get your New York town to pass a proper wind law!”

We are praying that we will NOT become sick in our homes in South West Wisconsin like those that have in Brown County

Shirley Wind – Local advocates are posting home-made signs on their lawns in Glenmore

Senator Marklein and Representatives Novak and Tranel, PLEASE help us and take immediate actions BEFORE it is too late. Thank you for all for coming to Belmont to hear our concerns.

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.  

Comments Regarding Iowa County Wind Ordinance “FAQ”

No Volunteer, Chris Klopp’s, comments inserted, in RED, below
– – – – – – – – –

Wind Siting Frequently Asked Questions

— Below text, in black, posted by from Iowa County “Wind FAQ

1. What authority does the County have to regulate wind turbine projects?

The county cannot regulate wind projects using zoning authority, but can adopt a siting ordinance consistent with PSC 128 Wis. Admin. Code, §66.0401 Wis. Stats. and §196.491 Wis. Stats.

2. Can the County deny a wind project that is 100 megawatts (MW) or larger?

No. For wind projects of 100 megawatts or larger, the county does not have authority to approve or deny the project. This authority lies with the Public Service Commission. [§196.491 Wis. Stats]

3. Can the County deny a wind project that is under 100 megawatts (MW)?

For wind projects under 100 megawatts, the county can approve or deny a project based on consistency with an adopted siting ordinance that enacts the standards of PSC 128. The county cannot be more restrictive than PSC 128.

4. What are the required setbacks for wind projects?

The maximum setbacks are established in PSC 128 and the county cannot impose a greater setback. The current county siting ordinance includes these setbacks.

5. What role does the county have in a proposed wind project of 100 megawatts or larger?

The county can participate in the Public Service Commission review of the project and provide comments and information like other interested parties. If the Public Service Commission approves the project, and the county disagrees with the approval, the county can challenge the decision through the judicial review under Wis. Stat. Chapter 227.

Comment 1: The County could intervene in the CPCN proceeding.

Comment 2: If approved, the County would still have a role in managing the project, monitoring compliance and enforcement of criteria which would include:

  • Noise, shadow flicker, stray voltage, signal interference, if these are incorporated into the county’s ordinance
  • Construction, operation and maintenance standards
  • Decommissioning
  • Resolution of complaints

6. What role does the public have in a proposed wind project 100 megawatts (MW) or larger?

For projects of 100 megawatts or larger, the public may provide comments to the Public Service Commission through its website as well as during the required public hearing(s) held by the Commission.

Comment: The public may intervene as a full part to the proceeding, as individuals, groups of individuals or as individuals belonging to an organization. There are many other ways that the public can participate that are not directly part of the PSC proceeding. Some of the other ways the public could participate include:

  • Writing Letters to the Editor of newspapers
  • Putting up signs
  • Putting Ads in Newspapers
  • Organizing with other concerned residents and interested parties
  • Writing to and meeting with their legislators
  • Seeking resolutions and letters from the county and municipal governments
  • Seeking resolutions from local organizations

7. What role does the public have in a proposed wind project under 100 megawatts (MW)?

For projects under 100 megawatts, there is a public hearing process at the county as required by the county’s siting ordinance. The county can only respond to concerns that it has jurisdiction of under its ordinance.

Comment: The Current Iowa County Wind Energy Siting Ordinance does not REQUIRE a public hearing. The current ordinance refers to:

  • “Including a recording of any public hearing, copies of documents submitted at any public hearing, … (Section V, subsection 5.0, Application Processing, sub 5.3)
  • “evidence in the record of any public hearing” (Section V, subsection 5.0, Application Processing, sub 5.4)
  • “At its discretion, the county may hold at least one public meeting …” (Section VI, subsection 6.0, third paragraph)

The use of the word “any” suggests that there may be a hearing or that there may not be a hearing. Nowhere does the ordinance definitively require a public hearing or meeting. How the public would be allowed to participate at a public hearing is also not defined. Be aware that a public hearing may not provide extensive public participation and would be different than a public information meeting. A public information meeting, if held, may be prior to the application (after the pre-application notice) or before the application was deemed complete).

The proposed revisions include the following language: “The county shall hold at least one public meeting to obtain comments on and to inform the public about a proposed wind energy system.” (Section V, proposed subsection 5.22 (e.) PUBLIC PARTICIPATION )

8. What impact will revising the county’s siting ordinance to include all of the PSC 128 standards have on a proposed wind project of less than 100 MW?

The current ordinance does not include the PSC 128 siting standards relating to:

Noise – cannot exceed 50 dBA during daytime or 45 dBA during nighttime
Shadow flicker – cannot cause more than 30 hours per year of shadow flicker at nonparticipating residences or occupied community building; such buildings are eligible for mitigation if modeling shows experiencing 20 hours or more per year of shadow flicker
Stray voltage – owner must work with local power company to test all dairy and confined animal operations within 0.5 mile and rectify any issues caused by the wind project
Signal interference – must use reasonable and commercially available technology to mitigate interference caused by the wind system to commercial and personal communication signals.

If these are incorporated into the county’s ordinance, a project under 100 MW will need to be planned to comply with the minimum standards as outlined in PSC 128.

Comment: The sections on Noise, Shadow Flicker, Signal Interference and Stray Voltage contain much more than listed above. While these are the most important omissions in the current wind siting ordinance, there are many other minor but important PSC 128 subsections included in the suggested revisions. Some of these subsections provide:

  • More time for public comments (30 days vs. 10 days in current ordinance).
  • Detailed public participation provisions.
  • Establishment of a Complaint Monitoring Committee and additions to complaint resolution section.
  • Details of the appeal process.
  • The ability for the county to require 50% of the application fees up front. Stronger requirements for retaining funds for decommissioning.
  • More time to determine if the application is complete (45 days vs. 10 days in current ordinance).
  • Requirements for the wind turbine owner to make reasonable accommodation of existing land uses.
  • Construction, Operation and Maintenance standards.

9. Is the county going to amend the wind siting ordinance to include all of the standards that are available under PSC 128?

After consideration at three consecutive meetings, the Iowa County Planning & Zoning Committee took action at its January 26, 2021 meeting to not make any revisions to the county’s wind siting ordinance at that time. The county is continuing to gather and research

information to potentially consider whether the current ordinance should be updated in the future, what PSC standards should be included, and how the changes would be implemented.

Comment: After the January 26th Planning & Zoning Committee Meeting, the full County Board heard comments and discussed the issue of revising the County’s Wind Siting Ordinance at their February 16th meeting. The board sent the issue back to the Planning & Zoning Committee for further consideration, which was not honored at its next meeting. The Planning & Zoning Committee could/should be working on revising the ordinance at the same time it is researching specific sections where questions remain. It is critical that the county revise the ordinance prior to receiving an application. If they do not, they will be placing residents at risk and putting the county in a position of financial risk given the state of the current ordinance.

10. What additional costs could the county incur if it were to revise its siting ordinance to include all the PSC 128 standards?

Most of the additional application review costs can be passed onto the applicant. Most of the ongoing monitoring costs can be passed onto the wind system owner. However, the costs associated with investigating complaints will be borne solely by the county.

These costs may include:

Staff time: take in complaint, start record documentation, request relevant information from owner, investigate, analyze information, determine if a violation exists, propose potential resolution(s)

Third party experts: depending upon the nature of the complaint, the county may need to hire one or more experts to perform studies, analyze data, etc.

Comment: While the county would have staff time involved in processing complaints, this is part and parcel of being a county government. The county is responsible for enforcing all county laws. Does the county determine which laws it is willing to have based on whether it will cost them something to enforce them? This should be no different. As to third party experts, PSC 128.40(2)(a) COMPLAINT RESOLUTION. States: “(a) An owner shall use reasonable efforts to resolve complaints regarding a wind energy system and shall investigate complaints regarding a wind energy system at the owner’s expense.” It is possible that the county could require the owner to provide for third-party investigation of complaints.

Monitoring Committee: the county may choose to create a Monitoring Committee as authorized under PSC 128. It would maintain a record of all complaints and recommend a reasonable complaint resolution to the county. These individuals presumably will be paid a per diem, mileage, etc.

County Board: Ultimately, the board will need to accept the suggested complaint resolution, which will likely entail one or more meetings of a committee and/or the full board. As with any administration of an ordinance, the county may be subject to litigation by anyone who feels it either was not followed or there was an excess of authority exercised.

It is difficult to put a number to the potential additional costs as it will be dependent upon the nature, frequency and number of complaints.

Comment: There are all sorts of meetings and functions that part of the daily functioning of county government. It seems that protecting citizens, specifically in relation to potential health risks posed by a company who’s only interest is to profit off of Iowa County, is a minimum ethical standard. Protecting public welfare does cost money. Why would this one specific industry be allowed to affect public welfare without oversight? As far as litigation, the county can be sued over a broad array of actions it takes. There is also liability in not protecting public health when the county has been fully appraised of possible health risks associated with proximity to wind turbines. If the county feels that the state legislature has put undue burden upon them in regards to siting wind turbines, the county can convey their concerns to the legislature (like any citizen) or collaborate with other counties through the County’s Association, to make a joint effort in this regard.

11. Can complaints be made after a wind project is in operation?

Yes. Regardless if there is a county siting ordinance, complaints must first be made to the wind system owner. The owner has 45 days to resolve the complaint. If unresolved after 45 days, the complainant may either petition the county for review if the project is under 100 MW, or the Public Service Commission if the project is 100 MW or larger.

If the county has established a Monitoring Committee, said committee will investigate the complaint and propose a reasonable resolution. Absent such a committee, this responsibility will fall to the office and/or staff designated by the County Board.

If the resolution is not satisfactory to either the complainant or system owner, the county’s decision may be appealed to the Public Service Commission.

When a complaint involves a wind system that crosses more than one political jurisdiction, there needs to be collaboration between the jurisdictions.

Comment: It is unlikely that the PSC will process any complaints. It is very likely that, with the exception of approval of a CPCN, all other management of the project will be the responsibility of the county.

12. Why does the county have more authority over other development, such as building a house, than it does over wind projects?

In Wisconsin, counties only have authority granted by State statutes. The statutes authorizing county zoning are different than the statutes that authorize wind siting. The wind siting statutes preempt county zoning authority.

13. Is there anything that the public and/or county can do to express concerns or opposition to the State wind siting law?

Ultimately, it is the State Legislature that has the ability to change the statutes relating to wind siting. Petitions can be made to the Legislature to revise or update the siting standards to better reflect the current wind technology. The current PSC 128 standards are largely unchanged since enacted in 2012.

14. What is the wind siting application review timeline?

See the attached flow chart created by the Public Service Commission. It can also be found at

15. What impact will a large wind system have on property values?

This is a question that is difficult to definitively answer. Where most land is currently planned and zoned for agricultural use, the development of a wind project may have minimal impact as that land use is largely able to continue. An argument can also be made that the income generation potential of a wind project on agricultural land increases its overall value, which encourages its continued agricultural use.

However, where land is anticipated to be converted from an agricultural use to a residential or other use, a wind project may have a negative impact on the property value. Such a project can be denied if proposed in an area planned for primarily residential or commercial development in an adopted comprehensive plan.

Comment: Whether or not land may continue to be farmed does not determine the property value. The property value is determined by what the property can be sold for in the current real estate market. From what sources did the county draw the concept that “income generation potential of a wind project on agricultural land increases its overall value”? There are many examples of farm families that have had to abandon their properties because they cannot sell it (at any price) and cannot live there because of health effects caused by the wind turbines. This does not speak to an increase in value. The county is speculating on the fate of county landowner’s investments, which is not only inappropriate but shows a lack of concern for county residents. There are studies that show property value losses.1 That a project can be denied for areas within a comprehensive plan designated as residential, is irrelevant to all of the rurally located properties.

16. What are the possible negative health impacts of large wind projects?

To date, there are many anecdotal accounts and studies that wind projects cause negative health effects. However, there are few if any peer-reviewed scientific studies that draw a conclusive cause/effect.

The Wisconsin Wind Siting Council filed a 2014 report to the State Legislature summarizing health effects associated with the operation of wind systems. The report can be found at: windSitingReport2014.pdf

Another source is a joint statement of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa Policy Project, and the Iowa Environmental Council, which summarizes the results of the best research available. It concludes there is little scientific evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents. The statement can be found at:

Comment: It seems inappropriate for the county to be dispelling the possibilities of health effects from wind turbines. The county’s job is to protect the health of their citizens, not stand up for wind turbine developers claims that their projects do not cause health effects. In the same way that health effects have not been definitively proven, there is also no definitive proof that there are no health effects. There is proof that families living in proximity to wind turbines have had to abandon their homes because they could no longer live in them due to health effects that occurred after wind turbines began operating near their dwelling. The wind siting council report is from 2014, making it dated and there is no evidence presented to verify that it was comprehensive and unbiased. There is no credibility in citing a statement from a utility funded organization (Iowa Environmental Council is utility funded). Has the county verified that the statement from “the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa Policy Project, and the Iowa Environmental Council” is “the best research available”, and by what means? Throwing out cherry-picked evidence on potential health effects from wind turbines is hardly the county’s province. The county ‘s assertion that the Wind Turbines and Health statement “concludes there is little scientific evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents” contradicts some of the actual findings listed in the document, such as:

  • “Current evidence is sufficient to establish a causal relationship between a person’s exposure to wind turbine noise and feelings of annoyance.”
  • “Current evidence is limited for a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance.” Note: This indicates there is evidence that wind turbine noise causes sleep disturbance.

There actually is a great deal of evidence that wind turbines cause health problems. A cardiologist from Iowa did an extensive search of information related to health effects caused by wind turbines. He presents a history of studies and information that details health risks from wind turbines. His paper, “A Madison County, Iowa, Cardiologist’s Investigation and Response to Industrial Wind Turbines in the Rural Residential Countryside Regarding Concerns of Adverse Health Effects And, Exploration of the Relevant Accompanying Larger Issues” by W. Ben Johnson, M.D., December 7, 2020 can be found at:

Some notable excerpts from his paper include:

  1. At p 42-43, “The U.S. government has known about health effects of infrasound and low frequency noise from IWTs since 1987. It was concerned (then) enough to commission a study. The study was a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Health, Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093. Among many impressive scientific papers, was the following: Dr. N.D. Kelley, Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado: “A proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low- Frequency Noise Emissions” Note: “Community Annoyance” is now called Wind Turbine Syndrome; “Low Frequency” includes infrasound; “Emissions” includes noise and vibrations.”
  2. At p 51, the paper cites a text book called Wind Farm Noise and Human Perception – A Review by Bob Thorne (PhD in Public Health and Acoustician specializing in infra- and low frequency sound) stating: “There is a significant body of peer-reviewed research readily available in public forum to substantiate the potential for serious to moderate adverse health effects to individuals due to wind farm activity noise while living in their residencies and while working on their farms near large-scale wind farms or large turbines. Adverse health effects can arise from extreme psychological stress from environmental noise, particularly low frequency noise with symptoms of sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic attack episodes associated with such sensations when awake or asleep.”
  3. At p 90, “Australian Senate Select committee on Wind Turbines held June 29, 2015 established that there is a direct pathway to disease resulting from wind turbine noise.” And “Since 2015, 248 government entities from Maine to California have restricted or rejected wind projects.”
  4. At p 91, something closer to home, “The Brown County Town Health Board in Wisconsin recently declared Duke Energy’s Shirley Industrial Wind Turbine Development to be a Human Health Hazard. The precise wording of the declaration follows: “To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines in the Town of Glenmore, Brown county, Wisconsin, a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passerby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health”

This is just a small fraction of the evidence presented in Dr. Ben Johnson’s 179 page paper. More evidence is presented in the mailer containing four footnotes that citing evidence of health effects from wind turbines: 28, 34, 36 and 37.

17. Why is there so little information available to the public about large wind projects of 100 MW or larger?

Because a wind developer does not have to seek local approval of a project of 100 megawatts or larger, it will usually not provide detailed information until required to provide a pre-application notice to the county. The pre-application notice is required by State law to be filed with several parties, to include landowners within one mile of a planned wind turbine host property as well as the political subdivisions within which the wind energy system may be located, at least 90 days prior to submitting an application to construct a wind energy system with the Public Service Commission. If the turbines are to be 600 feet or taller, an additional pre-application notice must be filed with the PSC at least 180 days before the application for construction of the system is submitted to the PSC.

Until a preapplication notice is submitted to the county, the county has no definitive information on any proposed project.

Comment: If the Developer communicates with the county in any way regarding the project, the county knows something and should be sharing information with the public. If the Developer gives a presentation to a county committee, again, this is information and the public should be informed. What is the first contact that Pattern made with the county by any means? After being contacted by a Developer, the county could ask them questions and could set up a public information meeting, inviting the Developer to participate.

18. Can the county negotiate for local benefits from wind projects, such as access to energy, local jobs, etc.?

The county may propose a developer’s agreement, but has no authority to require one.

19. What impact might a county renewable energy plan have on future wind projects?

It is possible that such a plan may be taken into consideration by the Public Service Commission when considering an application, but that would be solely the Commission’s discretion. However, such a plan would not change the statutory authority provided to the county as pertaining to renewable energy projects on land not owned by the county.

20. How likely is it that an application for a wind project will “catch the county off guard”?

Any wind project under 100 MW must file a pre-application notice with the county and all landowners within one mile of the planned project area at least 90 days before submitting an application for county review under its ordinance. Any wind project 100 MW or larger must file a pre-application with the county and all landowners within one mile of the planned project area at least 90 days before submitting an application for Public Service Commission review. Any project proposing turbines in excess of 600 feet must file a pre-application notice with the Public Service Commission at least 180 days before submitting an application.

Comment: Given that the Planning and Zoning Committee, and the County Board, meet only once per month, and that any real discussion of revising the Wind Siting Ordinance has been delayed and tabled for more than 5 months, 90 days is not likely enough time to give reasonable consideration to revising this ordinance.

1 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%.(From footnote 23 of the Uplands Mailer)