By Sherri Lange — May 4, 2022
“Krista Kester of rural [Nebraska] said the noise, visual blight and lower land values she expects with proposed wind farm would be devastating to the countryside where her family built a house about 20 years ago. ‘I spend virtually all my time when the weather is permitting outside, I mean I’m an outside gal, that’s just what I am and the notion of that being gone was, you know, really disturbing.’”
– Quoted in Dan Swanson, “Opposition Rising Against Gigantic Windmill Turbines,” News Channel Nebraska, April 26, 2022.
It’s a quintessential American Midwest town that, among other things, hosts Food With Friends events. The last thing the neighbors want is politics necessitated by a government-enabled project that negatively affects their economics and even health.
A four-hour meeting this April 20 by the Fulton Township Board (Nebraska) deliberated on issuing a special land use permit application to Heartland Farms Wind Project, consisting of 84 sites and 72 turbines in Fulton, Washington, Newark, New Haven, North Shade and North Star Townships.
The Fulton Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously against the utility scale wind farm, good news to the large majority of the 100+ participants. The project’s parent, Invenergy, a Chicago based wind promoter/developer, is back to the drawing board.
Bryce: 328 Project Rejections
The macro picture of project pushback of government-enabled wind and solar projects has been chronicled by the leading energy journalist/researcher Robert Bryce. “This morning, I published a piece in Forbes which includes the latest updates to the Renewable Rejection Database,” he wrote.
I was compelled to write this piece because the big media outlets continue to ignore, or minimize, the anger in rural America over the encroachment of big renewable projects…. The vote in Otoe County is the fifth rejection in 2022. It also marks the 328th time that government entities from Maine to Hawaii have rejected or restricted wind [and solar] projects since 2015….
… you won’t hear about these hundreds of rejections from the Sierra Club. Nor will you read about it in the New York Times even though the resistance to the encroachment of big renewable projects is so widespread, and so many communities in New York are rejecting wind and solar projects…. Nor will you hear about the widespread resistance to renewables on National Public Radio, which as I explained in a March 7 article for Quillette, has been publishing pro-wind propaganda that is masquerading as news.
Nor will you hear about it from academics at elite universities like Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Texas, who are producing elaborate net-zero models that require deploying massive amounts of wind-energy capacity.
- Much of the opposition is centered in the Midwest, which has the nation’s greatest concentration of turbines. Opponents have banded together to block wind projects in at least half a dozen states, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Indiana, and Michigan. Disputes are still being waged in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland. Intense opposition also exists in parts of the Northeast, including Maine, New York, and Vermont.
- Dan Litchfield, a senior manager at Invenergy, “one of the world’s largest wind-energy developers,” indicates that “A lot of people tell me they like the look of wind turbines,” he added. “They find them graceful.” But opponents in signatures garnered by the wind company in South Dakota, Lincoln County, easily defeated a 150-turbine project.
- In Maine, plans to erect turbines atop ridges have outraged people worried about marring the rugged landscape and hurting tourism. The group Friends of Maine’s Mountains has been fighting wind-energy developments in the state Legislature, before regulatory panels and in the courts. It has managed to slow or stop nearly all of the proposals.
- Flash mobbing in Indiana: some claim opponents are well organized and branded, Tee shirted, and pamphleteered. “Gregg Townsend, the auditor in Tipton County, Indiana … said activists would “gin up anger and frustration” in many counties. He blames them for stopping wind projects in Tipton and at least six other Indiana counties.”
The unanimous decision to deny Heartland Wind the total access needed for its master plan speaks to the growing ferment of angst and anger against taxpayer-pocket-heavy developers.
Congratulations to the residents of Fulton Township, and applaud Melissa Zemla, Treasurer, Chad Marecek, Clerk, and Trustees Robert Baxter and Michael Oberlitner. As Robert Bryce reminds us: “Rural America gets bad vibrations from big wind.” The bottom line is that, as noted, people care about their health, their economies, and their rural lives.
Has big wind considered bribing people?
Although this offer was made in the UK where few but the wealthy elites have any spare land, in the US it could be very different
“Octopus, a British energy firm, has launched a new scheme to set up onshore wind farms. Through the ‘Plots for Kilowatts’ scheme, Octopus is looking to “to match-make willing landowners with enthusiastic communities who want to host a turbine.”
For landowners who register their interest, Octopus noted that there may be a minimum amount of approximately 10 acres of land needed for the development of a turbine.”
10 acres (4 hectares) for one turbine…. In our case we really need the land for food production.
“Octopus, a British energy firm, has launched a new scheme to set up onshore wind farms.
While the UK decommissions onshore gas wells and seals them up with concrete.
Somewhere I read where the concrete seals haven’t happened yet but that’s still the plan.
I wonder if they’re waiting for some long term data regarding the longevity of wind turbine generation and reliable maintenance and decommissioning costs before eliminating the possibility of a reliable source and committing economic seppuku
It isn’t that hard to drill a bypass hole around concrete seals. There are advantages in directional drilling.
That’s a Boring job but someone’s gotta do it
At what additional cost? Anything is possible when you spend the other person’s money. There is wasteful spending and then there is stupid.
If only a few “seals” are installed, may be possible if you are absolutely sure what is in the hole. If the well is plugged and abandoned, you drill an entirely new one. Most jurisdictions require a well to be P&A.
Octopus? Are we sure it isn’t SHEILD’s arch-nemesis, Hydra?
To replace dependable fossil fuel energy with intermittent wind and solar energy sources is pure grift. None of the entities proposing the windmills and panels should receive any taxpayer funds to push their ridiculous schemes.
The citizens seem to be realizing that the politicians in favor of the “renewables” are probably getting rich off of the usual sources of funding for the projects and are rejecting them. This is good. Needs to be more of the rejection of these projects. Everywhere they are proposed.
Might want to start investigations into how the pols are benefiting from the projects.
“Might want to start investigations into how the pols are benefiting from the projects.”
House, Senate, and Whitehouse (thru ‘pay for access’ to heads of departments) keeps making more millionaires at least among Democrats. Hillary proudly showed of her income tax for $110 during campaign.where did that come from? She was a civil servant.
Further anecdotal evidence of the prevalence and power of negative feedbacks.
I wish the resistance to windmill blight had been a little stronger about 10 years back. When I return to the country side where I grew up in the Midwest (I return often), I look to the North from the highway I drive on and can see a miles-long stretch of windmills on the horizon. When I look to the North West, I see the same thing. And, were it not for some farmland terracing, fencing, and timber, I’d also see them to the South. There are clusters of these things everywhere. It truly is blight.
I also briefly lived in a town that had two clusters of windmills immediately South of the town. They are giant, white, manmade dandelions and are worth as little. The idea of generating electricity from wind is a virtuous idea but not in my backyard, or within 100 miles of me please.
The idea of generating electricity from wind may have been “virtuous” 300 years ago, had someone invented electricity that long ago. After the discovery of fossil fuels and nuclear energy (and the invention of steam turbines), the idea of generating electricity from wind is stupid and delusional.
As stupid and delusional as trying to replace automobiles and trucks powered by internal combustion engines with packs of dogs hauling wagons behind them on the Interstates.
Aw, don’t badmouth dandelions, they are quite epic little plants.
Lots of reasons but primarily:
So if your field is growing masses of dandelions, ‘somebody’ is trying to tell you something.
Even before anyone ventures into the list of benefits from eating them.
(link below, albeit riddled with coulds & maybes – what isn’t these days)
Do we remember being told of Sherwood Idso and his Sour Orange Trees in whichever desert he grew them? Especially “The Cream On The Cake” being that with extra CO2, the fruits were 15% stronger in Vitamin C
So what, Vitamin C is everywhere and cheap as chips.
What we didn’t hear about was Vitamin A – and that due to intensive agriculture (soil erosion), contemporary citrus fruits have only 20% of the Vitamin A inside them that they had 2 generations ago. Do they have a jab for that?
(Vitamin A being not only good for your eyes but is an immense anti-oxidant = helping your immune system hugely)
Now go check out Dandelions..
Most citrus fruits NEVER had a significant amount of Vitamin A. You get Vitamin A from liver, salmon, cheese, butter, etc. There’s virtually no Vitamin A deficiency in developed countries, but there is the possibility of Vitamin A toxicity – too much Vitamin A, owing to the inclusion of Retinol in some skin care products, like acne treatments and some sunscreens.
You do know that most citrus groves don’t have particularly high erosion, don’t you?
If you had done two minutes of research, you would have known that Vitamin A in citrus fruits is a big nothing-burger.
Dandelions used to be known as ‘pissabeds’ due to their diuretic properties. the French called them ‘piss en lit’.
Many people, before fresh produce was available in stores, would pick dandelion (tastes
like endive- great w/ bacon bits, vinegar, & mashed spuds) & nettle leaves (when tender)
to get their greens before leaf lettuce & other greens were available from their gardens.
“Fermented” dandelion heads can relieve tension after a hard day’s work. They are quite
beauty is in the eye of the beholder and landscapes change all the time. I am sure for example that some Native Americans would look upon the countryside that you love and be heartbroken for the lack of buffalos and wild prairies.
Interesting observation but I doubt that. No living Native American lived during the time when buffalo roamed freely and wild priaries grew without boundary. There are people who desire virtuous and idyllic things but have never possessed such things. Therefore they could not lose what they never possessed in the first place. On the other hand, I grew up in a time when farmland sprawled in every direction as far as one could see, without windmills. That is now gone.
Yes you’re right Izaak – not everyone sees the beauty of windmills.
Take Australian Greens founder Dr. Bob Brown for instance.
After passionately promoting windmills to be installed everywhere, when he discovered that a proposed new wind farm would be visible from his retirement eyrie in the hills, he led a new type of environmental protest movement – one to reject this new wind farm development on the basis of spoiling his views.
Hypocrisy produces funny responses, doesn’t it?
So you’re saying you prefer the windmill-covered landscapes to the raw natural ones Izaak? Take a stand, yes or no.
Yep now the American Indians…they weren’t native as they migrated too…hate windmills just like us.
Here’s your chance Izaac..
Partition Octopus to have a large wind turbine built 200m from your house.
You know you want it. ! Don’t be shy.
fulton township mi. lets hear it for the good guys.
The abbreviation for Nebraska is NE.
There is a Fulton, MO and one in MI, but the story isn’t about them.
Which one was the source of Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech?
I must admit, I do like the look of wind turbines. Probably it’s the just novelty factor, or a sci-fi, futuristic vibe I get when I see them.
Not that this changes the facts. Wind turbines are murder for birds and bats, including protected species that you or I would be jailed for killing. Wind turbines play havoc with the health of people living nearby and they frankly are worse than useless for providing power.
Every wind turbine requires either a full backup energy source that can be spun up at a moment’s notice or an expensive, impractical array of backup batteries. Or people can just choose to do without when the wind stops blowing.
Green energy is really a gigantic Rube Goldberg scheme. Everything requires an expensive backup and a complicated workaround. Because of unreliability, costs are more than doubled. Where are the savings? Why is “free” power from the wind so darn expensive?
Therein is the BIG LIE of “renewable” energy – one of omission. What they endlessly repeat is how the “wind and the Sun” are free. The cost of collecting that energy is gigantic, and far more destructive to the ‘environment’ than the alternatives at hand.
Eating chicken, turkey, duck etc is murder for birds but we still do it. The same with keeping cats which kill far more birds than wind turbines do. So what you need to ask is whether or not those deaths are acceptable. In countries like NZ for instance the introduction of the cat and other feral animals into a country where they did not belong has lead to the extinction of multiple species of flightless birds. Kiwis are not at risk from wind turbines but are at risk from cats.
Secondly there is no proven link between wind turbines and negative health consequences. Certainly they do not play havoc with the health of people living nearby. And again you would be better off living near a wind turbine than a coal fired power station. See
Finally wind turbines are certainly not “worse than useless”. Unless you want to explain how worse than useless windmills worked efficiently across Europe milling corn, draining land etc for hundreds of years. Not to mention the thousand or so years of sailing across the ocean powered by nothing more than the wind. And yes of course fossil fuels are orders of magnitude more efficient than wind power but that does mean that wind power is “worse than useless”.
Er, Izaak I think you’ll find there was a judgement recently in Victoria where the court awarded some $250k + costs to a couple of neighbours of a wind farm, on the basis of audible (not sub sonic) noise intrusion, and the attendant effects on personal health.
And ordered the wind farm to shut down until they could demonstrate that they had obviated the audible noise.
(just wait for this legal precedent to gather momentum in other jurisdictions . . . )
“So what you need to ask is whether or not those deaths are acceptable.”
I see. Cats kill birds so it’s ok for wind turbines to kill birds too.
Please show us next time a cat kills an American Eagle.
Isaac Walton is well aware of the complete fallacy of his argument, conflating the killing of game birds to eat with the killing of all birds because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He then goes further, straying into bullshit territory by conflating wind turbines with all forms of wind power throughout history. It’s a pile of crap whichever way you look at it, with Isaac Walton just covered in the smelly stuff.
Starting to think you are Griff, your arguments are that bad.
I think we need to start targeting Martha’s Vinyard, Malibu, Vail, Jackson Hole. etc., etc, as sites for large wind farms. And when I say Martha’s Vinyard and Malibu, I don’t just mean offshore, I mean right there in the hills next to the mansions owned by the climate scaremongers. Maybe use eminent domain to raze some mansions, too, in order to make room for more turbines.
The point being, people who clammer for wind turbines don’t have to live with them. Let’s give them what they want and force them to live with them. See how long they keep supporting these contraptions.
Every scare-monger should be required to have a giant pinwheel (within rock throwing distance of) adjacent to and south west of their palatial mansions to demonstrate their belief in the necessity for such dragons
I think they should have a wind turbine with blades that sweep across every entrance to Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard mansion, so he can take his chances like Golden Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Bats, etc. have to do every time one of these worse-than-useless things is constructed.
You will never see a windmill near Obama’s estate feet from the ever rising sea 😉
Derg: Well, they may have a windmill on the putt-putt course Michelle added.
I believe the article needs some proof reading It appears that they are talking about Fulton Twp MICHIGAN [ https://fultontwp.com/%5D A search on Google and Google MAPS, finds no “Fulton Township Nebraska.” A search of “Fulton, NE ” found this [ https://roadsidethoughts.com/ne/fulton-xx-colfax-profile.htm ] and many sites in other states
Gratiot County MI has these township beside each other and nowhere else in the country.
This is environmentalism?
That is environMENTALism.
Looks like Banning Pass.
Tehachapi pass California. The Alta Wind Energy Center
Apparently that’s better than an unsullied landscape.
Is this any better?
much much better.
(compare the two photos in twenty years)
No, but open cut coal mines aren’t being promoted to occupy prominent ridges on horizons in all directions.
Many more wind farm installations are needed to supply the same amount of power than equivalent coal mines.
Wait till you see the ones for lithium and other rare earths, or those for the limestone to get the cement used for the concrete in the tower bases, or the mines from which iron for the tower is derived, the copper for the windings, oil and silica for the blades…
Not that I mind, I was a mine manager for a number of years. I was and am proud of acquiring an important part of the ability to provide what man needs–including your needs.
That Iron also requires COAL to purify and strengthen it
Considering mining like that is also necessary to produce the …
Structural Steel in the Concrete Foundation
Structural Steel in the 500′ tall Mast that connects to it
Copper for the wiring within behemoth
Rare Earths (Neodymium) to produce the magnetic portions
Other Rare Earths for the needed battery back-ups (low density energy will need them)
Petrochemical stocks to produce the 300′ long lightweight blades
Even solar panels require pure silicon which in turn requires COAL MINING
It’s a lot better on a windless day. The mine is a continuous store of energy.
And here is how Copper is mined (needed to manufacture wind turbines)
And Iron is needed for the Masts and other steel components
And then, of course Izaac, your Coal Mine (image) is still needed to strengthen the steel.
Bear in mind Isaac it will take about 10 times the current active copper mining to replace every car in both the U.K. and U.S. with EV equivalents in 10 years
From the west side of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, the few wind turbines on its eastern hills looked
majestic with all of them synchronized on the bright, sunny afternoon. Hoyt’s picture gives me the
reaction below. They’re not that great looking up close or in a bunch.
And I just captured probably 15% of the windmills there. They list 600 operating windmills, but they don’t mention how many inoperative windmills there are, which I believe is twice that number.
And needing 130 square kilometers of space to produce 40% of the amount of power that a single 1100MW nuclear reactor can produce on a few acres
That’s not an invasion scene from a War of The Worlds type scifi movie?
Not one proposal to put the wind farm in large cities where most of the power is consumed by individuals. Maybe because it’s impractical and people wouldn’t like it.
How about a 10MW monstrosity atop every tall building…right on the roof of every penthouse
It always amazes me how those who are so concerned about the “environment” are perfectly ok with the blight of these things on the natural landscape.
Of course, they don’t live where they would have to see them, so it doesn’t matter to them.
Just a nit… The article talks about Fulton Twp in NE (Nebraska) the headline says Fulton Two , MI(chigan)… Might want to correct that
From a pure efficiency standpoint, turbines need to be located as close to the end user as possible. This has the benefit of placing the largest quantity nearby the highest population centers. There is no reason that rural locations should be forced to accept these monstrosities in order to benefit high density population centers. It is also economic from a distribution standpoint.
Here is another option. A “site fund” should be established based upon the electricity used by each household. This fund would disburse monies to the counties housing turbines based on an “average per turbine”. The counties must then use the funds to reduce property taxes with any excess disbursed equally to county residents. The charges should be substantial, say 5% of the electricity billed to each household.
Oh, yeah? At what distance? One of the dippiest, left-wing, middle-aged women I know tells me they remind her of ballerinas in the sky. Is that a reason to put them up? People tell me they are better than having transmission lines…ahem, you get the transmission lines too, as these turbines have to be built into a network somehow.
I read stories planted in local newspapers about how wonderful these wind farms are — the new high-paying jobs, and taxes, and saving the planet, and … In fact, the locals who are often pictured happily standing in the turbines that have been placed on their property possibly don’t live there — they are retired and living 1,000 miles away.
In the promotion of these projects there is some lying about benefits on one side, and projection about increasing local wealth on the other.
This got me to thinking. What if these communities declared themselves a subsidy free zone or a no exemption to endangered species act zone or an all materials used must be recyclable zone. In other words you need to be able to follow the law, stand on your own and be responsible and recycle all materials when they are at the end of their life. That doesn’t mean bury it.
apparently, the Texas county I live in voted to not allow wind farms within the county. Every county around us have wind turbines covering most every available space, but not here. We are still wind turbine free. However, the county commissioners, while doing well with the wind stuff, neglected the sun. I suspect they never envisioned a rancher giving up so many acres of pasture to solar panels. So, in a little community in the SW part of the county enough bribes were paid to the right folks, and now a large solar farm is becoming a blight on the country side. Of course, if we don’t see some significant rain soon, that might be the only way to make money off of the pasture.
hope for a decent rain and a side order of heavy hail
oughta sort the PV farm;-)
From the article: “Dan Litchfield, a senior manager at Invenergy, “one of the world’s largest wind-energy developers,” indicates that “A lot of people tell me they like the look of wind turbines,” he added. “They find them graceful.”
I find that hard to believe. Only morons like Joe Biden like windmills. Biden actually said the other day he thought windmills were beautiful. Beautiful ! How stupid is that? I bet Joe doesn’t have a windmill within sight of his homes.
Many years ago I was helping restore a cold war military installation to be set aside as a nature preserve. My group consisted of people from the power industry or nuclear weapons production. Another group liked watching birds.
At the time, there were no wind farms in the PNW. Just hydro, coal, and nukes. I asked one of the bird lovers about wind farms and was surprised bu his answer.
Over there pointing to the north, no; pointing to the south, no problem. He had substantive reasons that he explained.
In the US, the public is part of the decision making process. For nuclear power, the NRC holds meeting to get public input. My experience is strong support in the local community and opposition speakers come from all over to protest.
Before the first wind farm was built, I spoke at a meeting in favor.
I am sailor. My boat is between two wind farms. I am here because there is good wind for sailing. Same reason the wind farms are here.
In the power industry we have the responsibility of providing electricity. You have the right to tell us you do not like how we do it.
Wind and solar are way down on my list of ways I would pick to make electricity. If people in big cities wan to put good paying jobs in my backyard, I will live with it.
As long as I do not have to live in there rat infested cesspool that every big city is.