Woman vehemently opposes wind park

In front of room full of local officials, Greenwich woman compared herself to a “mama bear” who’s trying to protect her family.
Aaron Krause
Jun 29, 2014

Valerie Malicki sat with her hands clasped, tears streaming down her eyes, which she closed during a Greenwich Township trustee meeting Tuesday.

Earlier in the tense meeting, she shouted as she frantically rummaged through two piles of material she’d gathered about wind farms — and what she felt were their negative effects.

The trustees had asked the crowd of about 40 to keep their comments to five minutes, due to the amount of people in attendance. They were there to speak out against Greenwich Windpark LLC’s application to construct a windpark that would cover about 4,650 acres of privately leased land. It would include 25 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of up to 60 megawatts of electricity.

The project would include a 34.5 kilovolt electric collection line system and a new 69 kilovolt interconnection switching substation to connect the project to the electric grid.

If approved, construction would begin in mid-2015 and the windpark would be in operation in late 2015.

Malicki and others said the noise emitted from the turbines could disrupt sleep and have a detrimental affect on the health of humans and animals.

“It’s destructive,” a highly emotional Malicki told the trustees. “I don’t care if it’s quiet, I don’t care! It destroys.”

Malicki said one may not hear the noise, but it’s still emitted and it’s destructive.

Kevin Ledet, of rural Greenwich, cited a study of industrial wind turbines in Northern Maine that found they can cause sleep disturbances that result in physical and mental health issues in humans living as far away as 4,500 feet. The study was published in “Noise and Health.” It was written and conducted by three doctors from Maine, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“It didn’t matter how many turbines they were near, or how people felt about the turbines before they went out, they still exhibited these symptoms,” chief researcher Dr. Michael Nissenbaum of the Northern Maine Medical Center said in published reports.

Malicki said local children would live near the windpark if it becomes a reality.

“They’re all within our school — our school,” Malicki said. “Our kids aren’t going to be able to concentrate. I’m not living here if these things come.

“I’m riled up.”

Malicki compared herself to a “mama bear” who’s trying to protect her family.

“We’ve been completely lied to,” she said.

Despite the trustees’ request to keep comments to five minutes, she continued to speak.

Malicki, who came with a sign protesting the proposed park, spoke for so long at one point, that one of the trustees threatened to ask her to leave if she didn’t stop.

“We’re really not the enemy here,” commissioner Joe Hintz told Malicki, who spoke over him as well as state Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk Township), appearing to try their patience.

Trustee David Seidel said he didn’t know that Malicki and the crowd were coming to the meeting until the last minute. He added as far as he knew, nobody from Greenwich Windpark LLC was invited to the meeting, which was a regular trustee meeting.

The trustees, the Huron County Commissioners and Boose all tried to send the same message to Malicki and others: The windpark is not their proposed project, they’re not against those opposed to the project and it’s out of their control. Instead, it’s in the hands of The Ohio Power Siting Board. It will review the complete record and other documentation in the case docket.

The board was created on Nov. 15, 1981 by amended Substitute House Bill 694 as a separate entity within the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

During the meeting, Boose said PUCO is charged with regulating utilities in Ohio and the fate of the project rests in PUCO’s hands.

“No one in this room has the authority to decide whether it’s going in or not going in,” Boose said.

Malicki  pressed Boose to answer whether he could contact PUCO officials. An exasperated Boose said “yes.”

At least one public meeting at South Central High School took place recently for residents to offer testimony for or against the project. But only trustee Walter Leber and Ashland resident Harold Zager, whose wife owns land in Greenwich Township, spoke. Leber said he doesn’t want to give the impression that he’s against the project, but if it’s done, he wants to see it done right.

Zager noted Huron County’s high unemployment rate and said a project such as this can help jump-start the area economy.

Matt Butler, the board’s public outreach manager, said the body will review the complete record and other documents in the docket and make a decision no earlier than August.

Boose said he will return to Columbus with several questions, based on comments made during Tuesday’s meeting. He will try to determine if any laws exist regulating noise of wind turbines. He also said he will investigate whether there are any falsifications in Greenwich Windpark LLC’s report.

“I need to get that to the siting board ASAP,” Boose said.

Comments

Contango

Re: "Ashland resident Harold Zager,"

Will Mr. Zager be willing to compensate the area residents for any potential loss in their property values?

TrollingMotors

Thats what they said about Concrete.

Are they willing to give money back if it raises the value of their homes because of Green Credits and energy saving?

Contango

Re: "raises the value of their homes,"

Yea, people are waiting in line to have wind turbines built near their residences. You're spouting nonsense.

valerie malicki

Exactly!! Note: he doesnt live here!!

Contango

Re: "Zager noted Huron County’s high unemployment rate and said a project such as this can help jump-start the area economy,"

Perhaps the initial construction may see some limited economic benefits, but thereafter it will more than likely be negligible.

Doesn't the EPA require an environmental impact study?

Truth2u

Your so correct, Contango. Probably the only economical impact will be the concrete suppliers which don't need the revenue, gas stations and luckily the local coffee shops, besides that it will be all outside contractors, and possibly foreign companies such as China which has been used in other projects in the USA.

Pterocarya frax...

Concrete suppliers don't need the revenue???

Pterocarya frax...

"Perhaps the initial construction my see some limited economic benefits, but thereafter it will more than likely be negligible."

Virtually an identical statement has been accurately made many times about the Keystone Pipeline project.

Dr. Information

Actually the complete opposite of what you say. The Keystone will have transfer stations, line maintenance etc and is 1 million times bigger in aspect that it will in full fulfill tens of thousands of jobs full time.

You obviously have no clue about the Keystone or you wouldn't have made that comment.

On this subject, the reality is, they should contact folks who live near similar windmills and ask their opinion.

You have to take everything into consideration and not just some 6 month project that will require nearly no upkeep and will not create one new full-time job at all.

toast

Agree.

Contango

Re: "Keystone Pipeline project."

Off-topic. However: After construction consider refinery and potential export jobs and profit.

Not-to-worry, good Dem Mr. Buffett is making a profit without it.

valerie malicki

And what about the people who live here? Not one word about how it WILL effect us.

TFStacy

The US Fish and Wildlife Service requires an Environmental Impact Study. Ohio EPA is not active in wind siting cases at this time (nor have they been in the past).

The passage of OH SB 310 eliminated the in-state renewable requirement in the renewable mandate. The in-state carve-out carried a premium worth ~10% of project revenue. Unfortunately that is not nearly enough to make the project unprofitable. The Federal Production Tax Credit for wind is worth ~17% of project revenue. It expired 12/31/2013 and may not ever be renewed. Still the project developers are pursuing wind in Ohio.

Over 65% of total equivalent revenue accruing to wind development comes from subsidies and other "special favors" paid using your state and federal tax dollars and through hidden "riders" on your utility bills. Plus intermittent wind generation drives up the cost of electricity from our dependable sources. Only ~1/4 to 1/3 of wind project revenues come from selling electricity into the wholesale energy market.

US Senator Rob Portman (OH)(R), has shown he is not committed to the expiry of the credit, having "horse-traded" his vote to extend the wind tax credit in a tax extenders package heard in the Senate in order to get others to support some unrelated provision he wanted in the bill. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Senator Portman and your representative(s) to Congress need to hear from you on this one. Elected officials in Washington assume the issue is not controversial or important to constituents unless you let them know.

TFStacy

Also we got setbacks for wind energy machines extended to ~1300 ft. from property lines. But your developer is likely rushing to get their application approved by OPSB before the law goes into effect late this summer. If you can slow it down (and your trustees and commissioners should be interested in doing that and in why minimum setbacks are growing) perhaps the developer will abandon the project. The commissioners DO hold the power to reject a valuable tax abatement offered under OH SB 232 (Widener). That abatement is worth ~8% of project revenue. If you folks need to get educated on this I am available to help. Also I will call Terry Boose and offer to help him with his "questions." - Tom Stacy, Zanesfield, OH

Really are you ...

New job creation, career creation, green electrical generation that is more reliable than wind or solar, can replace combustion engines, and can be modified for a house or modified for a car. It is small in size and silent with no emissions. Kind of like that set it and forget it thing on tv. I got way ahead of myself.
I want to starts business in Norwalk. A device that will revolutionize the way we live. Electrical needs met with electrical generation in your house for a very very long time. Same way with an automobile, or even lawn mowers.
I could easily sell out to the auto industry GE, any of the big corporations, or use a venture capitalist. But forgive me for wanting to keep this in the community where my roots are. Because if I sold out or went with a venture capitalist, this will be off to China, Mexico, Tiawan, or Japan for production. Not here, where jobs/ careers are needed.

thinkagain

See, I told you pot kills brain cells...

Really are you ...

How effective is a wind farm with no wind?
How effective is a solar farm at night?
How effective is a combustion engine with no gas?
How effective is the power grid?
How effective is a broken power grid?

This device will generate green energy right where it is needed, when it is needed. No inconveniences, no problems.

togbert71

You spewing that crap outta your mouth again. Put up or shut up. You've been saying you want to start this wonderful business in Norwalk for god only knows how long. Shut up or put up already. Hopefully you shut up.

Dr. Information

Amen togbert. This loon above is just out there.

ladydye_5

I agree. A whole lot of talk and no action. Maybe you should try out for the show Shark Tank.

Really are you ...

I suppose it gets old, hearing the same thing repetitively. But like Contango, which he seems to know quite a bit about money, I know quite a bit about electricity. Which is why I throw this out there in articles related electricity. Very rarely will I blog on anything else.

TrollingMotors

You dont like questions and rather be expulsive.

I bet you live a happy life with no regrets at all.

Really are you ...

On the contrary. I like questions, but I am not going to hold your hand and tell you exactly how to do this. I live a happy life, but no, with a lot of regrets. Doing what is right, living by the golden rule. Going off of what great innovators have done. Tesla, Edison, Faraday, and a quite a few others who donated their efforts to the field of electricity maybe left voids or purposefully skipped one area of electrical generation. For example. Electricity can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be converted from one form energy to another form of energy. So while everyone is beating each other up on which form they want to receive their electricity from, ie. combusting oil, coal, natural gas, using nuclear rods, wind turbine (farms), solar panel ( farms), wave (farms), hydro generating, or geothermal electrical generation. I can sit back and tell you that there is another compact portable way to accomplish this in a way harmless to man and environment. If this lady got immediate response from somebody in a township trustee meeting, I should go to a city council meeting.

0_0

60 megawatts? On average wind turbines do not generate nowhere near their capacity. Wind turbines also need power from the grid to work when there is less than 8mph of wind. Its called parasitic consumption.

TFStacy

This is a tricky area that wind developers would prefer the public not understand - or at least only understand enough to get in trouble talking about. Then the AWEA PR machine swoops in and tells the "poor uneducated public" that they have been propagating "myths." They then offer to "set the record straight." I have seen it time and time again for the past seven years. So the commenter is correct that wind energy machinery produces far less than its theoretical maximum. This is NOT for the same reason that some conventional generators also produce far less than their theoretical maximum.

The reason wind energy machines generate less is because the fuel they consume (moving air) varies greatly - even between 100 and 500 ft. off the ground. To make matters worse, the wind as fuel is most abundant when we need the least amount of additional electricity (nights and in spring and fall seasons). It also produces least at times we need the most electricity (hot summer afternoons). This poor timing and lack of firm production when needed most results in the need to keep all of our conventional generators operational (for peak electricity demand periods) while forcing them to operate (and earn) less annually. That leads to lower than required revenue, so the generator owners then must go to PUCO and file a rate case to increase the retail price of electricity we pay so they can meet their fixed cost obligations (such as debt and bond maturity as well as other fixed operation and maintenance expenses that are incurred whether the facilities are well utilized or not).

For coal and nuclear plants, the fuel they consume over their lifespans is very low cost relative to the cost of building the facilities in the first place. Essentially we have already built expensive plants that produce affordable, reliable (and very clean by global and US historical standards) electricity, and we are committed to paying off their mortgages. But now certain factions of society want us to use them less and justify this by claiming the air and water are too dirty and the planet is becoming too hot. Meanwhile, wealthy investors are gaming the system for their own gain, lining their already bulging pockets with our tax and rate dollars. I could name some of these investors but for now I won't. But if they keep up their antics, eventually they will need to be called out.

There is your wind energy political economic cronyism 101, as ugly as it is. Now you need to get organized and hold lawmakers and regulators accountable at every level to end the cronyism that allowed this to get started in the first place. Whatever you do, be FOR affordable reliable electricity because it is the lifeblood of our manufacturing economy.

One key question is "how clean is clean enough?" If lawmakers demand a "final target", then the innovative spirit of the human mind will reach it in the free market without mandates, subsidies and other special rules. Try it. You will meet strong resistance from those determined to end our use of nuclear, coal and gas - the "pro-darkness" contingency whose ultimate goal is for the planet to have far fewer of us on it.

nikki6279

She sounds as nutty as that crazy at lady...

starryeyes83

oh and why is that? Some people are more sensitive to noise and vibrations in the ground. If a person's vestibular system has been compromised or sensitive ; something like this will bother a person's physical symptoms. Not just older/elderly people, either. Happens more than you know.

Not to mention, with the droughts in other areas can this area really afford to lose another five thousand acres of farm land? What with the food and crop shortages worsening every year.

TrollingMotors

“It’s destructive,” a highly emotional Malicki told the trustees. “I don’t care if it’s quiet, I don’t care! It destroys.”

She might want to visit a slaughter house, some chinese sweat shops or maybe work a couple days on an oil rig.

You know because it destroys but you still take part because of your ignorance.

Contango

Re: "She might want to visit a slaughter house, some chinese sweat shops or maybe work a couple days on an oil rig."

And you've done all these three, or are you just spouting nonsense?

nikki6279

they are just saying... everything has its consequences... EVERYTHING! Is she so "emotionally" involved in those things? Heroin in the area is worse than these wind turbines could ever be... why don't she go speak out about something alot more destructive and dangerously close to her kids... than wind turbines

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