Examine the evidence

Living in Seneca County, we have seen many anti-wind turbine yard signs, read newspaper articles and editorials, and heard many comments, pro and con. With all the anti-wind rhetoric, we decided to see for ourselves what all the vitriol is about. We made a trip to Van Wert, got up close and personal with some wind turbines and talked with folks who live in the area.

Our first impression was the serene appearance of the turbines on the landscape. The blades spin slowly (about six revolutions per minute), and the turbines are more appealing than cellphone towers, power poles, etc. We were able to stand underneath an operating turbine. The “whoosh” of the blades is very quiet; the sounds of birds, and traffic on a highway over a mile away, were more noticeable. A farmer’s auger operating about 1,500 feet away was much louder than the turbine.

No one we spoke with mentioned any problems with shadow flicker, which is caused when the sun shining behind the turbine causes intermittent shadows on a structure, such as a home. Ironically, many of the homes around us displaying anti-wind signs are surrounded by trees. They would get more “flicker” from the sun shining through the leaves than from wind turbines. Shadow flicker is not harmful, will not trigger seizures, and will not exceed 30 hours per year, according to limits set by Ohio.

We are all dependent on electricity, and it is an inconvenience when power is out for any length of time. Solar energy is promising, but let’s face it; Ohio is not the Sunshine State. Nuclear power plants are being decommissioned, and who wants to live close to that potential for disaster? Fossil fuels are not renewable. If you’re concerned about the demise of birds and/or bats due to turbines, what about the danger posed by vehicles, high-tension lines, cell towers, cats, etc.? Are you willing to give up cellphone reception to save a bird? Incidentally, we did not observe any dead birds or bats near the turbines.

We were told real estate values were not negatively affected by the turbines in Van Wert, and the additional revenue was welcomed. Even though we have land leased to Apex, it will not be erecting wind turbines on our land. However, we don’t begrudge the landowners who will have turbines. Personal property rights need to be respected.

Everyone needs to step back, examine the evidence and not make decisions based on emotion or what others are saying. There is a lot of good information on the internet. Educate yourself, and get up close and personal with a wind turbine.

Roger and Kathie Walters,