Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Permitting Turbines in Wisconsin: What We've Learned in 12 Years

From a presentation by RENEW executive director Michael Vickerman at the November 15-16, 2010, in St. Paul, MN:

•Understand that demographics matter – there is a deep cultural divide between farm households and commuter households
•Developers who operate in a transparent, above-board, even-handed manner will eventually earn the community’s trust
•Maintain an active presence in the community – figure out a way to support youth groups and local charities
•How one responds to complaints in the first year of project operation will make a lasting impression
•While it not possible to please all the people all the time, strive to stay on the good side of the most influential residents
•Eventually, wind turbines will become an accepted part of the landscape
•Good neighbor payments are helpful, but they’re no panacea
45 dBa sound thresholds are here to stay
•Sensitivities to environmental impacts vary widely – how individuals may respond to environmental changes can’t be predicted accurately
•Opposition to wind energy capture is as old as Don Quixote
•Some individuals are intrinsically put off by tall structures and continuous motion
•Public acceptance of WI’s smallest projects has been very high