Friend hosts town meeting to answer questions about wind turbines
FRIEND, Neb. -- Locals and community members met up at the IHDE Park Clubhouse in Friend to become educated about wind turbines and the electricity they can generate.
“We decided we were gonna do this, not just as a pro and con, but a way to educate the landowners, because with a 50 page contract, if you are not involved with wind leaders, it’s a completely different animal.” said David Vavra, Chairman of the Saline County Wind Association.
Electricity companies can put turbines on a landowners property to generate electricity only after the owner signs a wind lease.
A wind lease allows the company to build a turbine in the location, which in turn would compensate the property owner for the electricity generated.
But with the turbines being built on property, some say it can be too loud and effect hearing.
“But these turbines, they put out what is called infrasound. From 20 to 100 hertz, it is below our hearing range but it still has physical effects,” said Vavra. “It can cause your chest to pound in. It is like if somebody has a subwoofer in their car, you hear them go by and you hear, ‘Whoomp, whoomp, whoomp’.”
Organizers said the event was a way for local landowners to ask questions, get answers, and understand what can be a tricky topic.
“People were afraid of electricity, until we knew how to handle it. People are afraid, ‘We get this noise, is it going to bother me?’ I was just visiting with a couple who said, ‘It’s really loud, we gotta yell to each other in the yard.’ I said, ‘Is it affecting your health?’ They said ‘No, we go in the house and don’t hear it.’ So what is acceptable to one person is not acceptable to another.”, said Vavra.
More questions will be raised as time goes on but Vavra hopes that most were answered during the meeting.