Wind farms near homes isn't a win-win -- Jaime Junker, town of Forest

Wind farms near homes isn't a win-win -- Jaime Junker, town of Forest

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I disagree with the Nov. 19 letter to the editor "Wind power can help rural areas." The letter was about a large wind project proposed for the town of Forest by Texas-based Leeward Energy Corporation.

While our town board appreciates the global need to generate electricity from sources other than coal, the stalled $250 million Highland Wind Farm project is financially risky and environmentally insensitive at best.

Wisconsin is not facing an electric shortage, and regulators just approved a high-voltage transmission line into the state that would import abundant renewable wind energy from Minnesota and North Dakota.

By comparison, the Highland Wind proposal would inject more than 40 wind turbines that are 50 stories tall into a largely residential area in St. Croix County, which is within commuting distance of the Twin Cities and its job-creating economy. The impact on local property values and the tax base could prove devastating.

Moreover, the shirring sound, light flicker and shadow effect of wind turbines can have a negative health impact. That’s why the Wisconsin Public Service Commission is requiring wind farm developers to meet tough standards for noise pollution in residential areas.

I appreciate the fair coverage of this important issue by the Wisconsin State Journal and its outstanding energy reporter, Chris Hubbuch. But I take issue with any claims that the Highland Wind farm will benefit citizens, local economies or the broader environment. 

Jaime Junker, chairman, Forest Town Board

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