My wife and I purchased our home in 1991 near Waverly, Kansas, in Coffey County. It is a half mile section road so there is little to no traffic. Over the years we have purchased other properties on this road, so we now own 235 acres on both sides of the road from our house for half a mile. We did this mainly for the protection of our tranquil environment.
We have owned three different businesses in Waverly, participated in and supported many organizations and have served on several boards. I would like to think that we have been, and are, respected members of the community.
We both grew up on farms and have lived and known the joys of country living, “noise” and “peace”. The place WAS the epitome of country and peaceful living until the wind turbines came in. The distance from the turbines to our home is a little over ½ mile.
We were approached by EDP to “sign up” at least 3 different times and by a few neighbors several more times at the beginning. We adamantly declined.
We did our research and had many reasons for declining (not in order of importance):
The sight of these monsters would change the landscape and view of the entire area.
They are loud.
They would affect property values and marketability.
They are not “green”, Do the TRUE research and math, from start to finish, and try to find out how they pay without our tax dollars propping them up.
They kill birds, bats, etc.
Simply declining to participate changed relationships that we had with many friends and neighbors.
They will probably remain there even after they quit spinning.
Politics / dollars
I will take these one at a time an attempt to be brief.
View: Though some may not call the view around our house “picturesque,” we liked it. The turbines destroyed that. Not only do we have to tolerate the sight of the monsters all day, but at night, we have to watch blinking red lights. Looking at the stars without their distraction is impossible.
I use to hunt on our property across the road, sometimes alone and sometimes I used to take our daughters over there. We made many memories in the timber. The first season after they were built, I went to the timber to hunt. I kept catching the “flicker” and “shadow” of the blades on every pass of their revolution. The simple and peaceful act of walking through the woods, on my own property, has been ruined.
I will not say a lot more about the view. I’m sure you can see them. If you like the sight of them, you’re entitled to your opinion.
Noise: We were assured that these things would not be heard, and that noise would not bother us. They flat lied. The turbines are loud, on many levels.
Our house is framed with 2×6 studs and insulated. Our living room is on the south end of the house, so closest to the turbines. There are many days you can hear and feel the noise through the walls of the house. Our bedroom is across the living room to the north, 16’. The dividing wall is made of 2×6 and we put “sound” insulation in it when we built it (in 1997 before the turbines). There are many nights/mornings that we are awakened by the “noise” coming through to our bedroom. That’s two 2×6 insulated, finished walls that they reverberate through!
We put a “covered” front porch on the south end of the house before the turbines. It was a space that we had wanted and saved for many years. We enjoyed it, until the turbines came in. Now, we rarely sit on it. The view sucks and generally there is a relentless noise from the turbines. We have been robbed of the peace and quiet we once knew; that we purchased and built.
Anymore, there are only a few types of days that I “enjoy” being outside, on my own property.
- NO wind. If the blades aren’t spinning, they make little noise. They still “pop” as they are “searching” for wind, even when there is none.
- Very hard wind. When the wind is blowing hard, you can hear little more than the wind in your ears or the leaves of the trees. That drowns out the noise from the turbines.
- Foggy days, though few annually, are good as you can’t see them. Unfortunately, there is usually enough wind that you can still hear them. Thus, there is still no peace.
There are only a few days a year that are truly quiet and peaceful, the way it was when purchased and should be today.
Early on, I tried several times to reach EDP via their website and phone, to complain. I NEVER once got a response or even an answered call.
Once, just last fall, as I’d had enough, I went to the local office to voice a complaint. One of them came out to listen. He said it all sounded “normal”. Normal would be hearing nothing but the sounds of the country: animals, livestock, birds, frogs, tractors, some road traffic, occasionally gunshots from neighbors practicing or hunting, etc. Anything beyond that is not normal and it shouldn’t have been forced upon us.
By the way, their local office is not marked or signed in any way. If it weren’t for some turbine parts laying around, you wouldn’t know it was the Wind Farm office. That doesn’t sound like a company that is very proud or transparent in what they do.
Property value: I have been to the courthouse at least twice, since the turbines, to question the valuation of our property. I was told there was nothing to compare to and not enough data, etc. I call “bull” on that.
Due to recent increases in land prices, I’m sure anyone could point out that our land value has went up. I doubt that having turbines in our backyard is part of the reason why.
I can’t prove, at this point, that having these here has affected our value, especially due to the land market but I can say this. If we wanted to sell our property and lost even one potential buyer, due to the fact that he could see or hear the wind turbines, then the fact remains that the wind turbines negatively affected the value of our property.
Green: There isn’t enough paper here for me to discuss this topic. Do the research and add up the true cost of these from start to finish. Common sense has been tossed out the window on this. The only statement I’ll make on this is that if it weren’t for the government, our tax dollars, supporting this industry (solar included), we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Wildlife: I can’t say the turbines affect wildlife as I don’t know what they feel or how they cope. However, I have been through pastures and fields and driven under turbines. Without looking, I have seen dead hawks, geese, ducks. Due to their proximity to the turbines (under them), my guess is that the cause of death was getting hit by a spinning blade.
Relationships: As I said above, simply declining to participate in this farm affected our relationships with several of our “friends”. They couldn’t believe we wouldn’t sign on.
We have lived here since ’91 an have been active in supporting our community since. We have/had many friends here.
There is a division as to how people feel about the turbines. There is not a doubt that they have negatively impacted many relationships.
I am quite transparent in my opinion of them when asked or confronted. I used to “circle the section” and visit with neighbors on nearly a daily basis. People used to stop at our house the same. That nearly came to a stop since the turbines came in.
I have asked many people who have them close to their homes if they hear them, the answer is always “no”. “How do you like the sight of them?” I ask, answer: “we don’t notice them.”
Now, I’m not calling those people liars, but I don’t believe them. If you lie to me, that affects my opinion of you negatively. The get paid to not listen or see.
Many of the owners of the ground that have turbines on them do not live near them or may even be from outside this community. They don’t care how they affect their neighbors so long as they get their checks.
Relationships have been traded for dollars and those of us who didn’t “sell out” are the ones who pay the price. We lost our peace, property value, and friends for the sake of a few bucks in a pocket and billons more to large companies, many not even American companies. The companies that promote, build, and support these do not care about you or me. Neither does your neighbor that has signed up. They all have no consideration for anything more than the dollars going into their pockets.
I realize that we all have to live and prosper on our own level, but at what expense.
Decommissioning: What happens when these have no value to the company? We were told they will be torn down and the ground restored to its original state; I doubt it. We watched them go up. We see the prairie pastures and fields that now have miles of roads through them. How do you restore native prairie anyway? Will these companies, counties, landowners spend the dollars it will take to restore the land? Doubtful! If that’s the case we are stuck with these for the rest of our lives, our children and grandchildren’s lives, whether they spin or not. The everlasting “dinosaur” on the horizon. Maybe someday, they’ll topple on their own. They aren’t made of wood though and won’t rot away and disappear.
Health Issues: The only expertise I have on this subject is what we experience living near the turbines. Though I have read many reports on different health issues other people endure, I can truly only speak for myself.
When you combine all the things I’ve been discussing above, I know my own health is affected in a negative way.
I am forced to deal with the noise, view, tested friendships, etc.
It weighs on a person mentally.
If I awake from a good night’s sleep and wake happy and “new,” it is soon ruined by stepping outside, that’s if the turbines didn’t wake me and already ruin another day.
We can’t enjoy our property the way we used to and should be able to.
I feel bad about the friendships that have been stressed.
I have read that there are many things about turbines that can negatively affect a person’s physical health as well, such as causing seizures of various levels. A couple of years ago, my wife started having seizures. We can’t prove or point to the turbines, but we certainly wonder.
I can’t imagine living so close to one of these, as a few people I know do, and having to deal with the shadows and flicker, let alone the noise beyond what I experience. It could be maddening.
Politics and Finance: I’m not touching this one.
In an effort to close… It’s obvious that I see little to no good in these wind farms. Hopefully, someday, technology may advance to a point where there is truly some form of “green” energy. At this time, this isn’t it.
We were not active in attempting to stop this farm from happening. We have no good excuse except for the facts that we were running three different businesses, had a little over a year prior lost our youngest daughter in a car wreck, and honestly, didn’t think there was any way in hell that the people of this community would allow the Wind Farm into our area. We grossly miscalculated and truly regret being complacent. Our rights were trampled and we’ll have to live with that as long as we reside here.
The vast majority of the people who support these are geographically far removed and do not have to tolerate them, nor do they care about those of us who do. Most that speak positively about them don’t do their own due diligence and truly investigate what these are. They take the word of the Company and politician who is not telling you the whole story, and in most of their answers, the truth is lost.
It is my hope that you will take into consideration, the negative impact that wind turbines have on people and the land. I hope you will not just look at a few bucks in the in the county coffer or your neighbor’s pockets. Once they are established, there is no going back.