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December 6, 2021

11/8/2021 11:13:00 AM
Don't be fooled by Pattern

Dear Editor;
When we're working at my pottery shop in Mineral Point, visitors often share their delight in the beauty of the rolling hills of our driftless, unglaciated Southwest Wisconsin. We smile and agree, and sadly, are reminded of the great challenge our area is facing.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission, consisting of three appointed, non-elected commissioners, will decide our fate when Pattern Energy Group, a multinational corporation, makes its application to the Commission to build Uplands Wind, a vast wind turbine power plant. Uplands Wind. It sounds so nice, doesn't it? We all love our Uplands area. However, Pattern plans to build 170 gigantic 650 foot wind turbines in Iowa and Lafayette Counties. Picture these machines. Taller than any building in Wisconsin and placed within 1250 feet of residences.
Pattern is like a stealth bomber. For over a year, with no public information meetings, their salespeople pressured property owners to sign 60-page contracts to lease their land for forty years, promising money that Pattern cannot guarantee, and even lying that neighboring landowners have already signed away their fertile farmland.
These turbines produce a noise similar to constant airplane landings, as well as visual shadow flickering. According to university research, the infrasound air concussions of turbines can affect the cells in humans, livestock and wildlife, causing Vibroacoustic Disease (VAD). If the PSC approves Pattern's application, some of us will not be able to stand the nausea, headaches, and more serious symptoms over time. Some of us will need to abandon our homes. All of us will feel the negative effects on our health, property values, and local economies.
Iowa and Lafayette Counties have hundreds of abandoned mines, mostly lead mines, and a landscape of soft limestone fissures and sinkholes. What will happen to our groundwater when deep concrete foundations are built for the huge turbines?
Bigger is not always better. LOCALLY CONTROLLED small scale wind and solar projects, combined with homeowner efficiency and storage can create truly green energy. Don't be fooled by Pattern's wining and dining.
What can we do? Get the facts about gigantic wind turbine facilities before signing a contract, write or email our opinions to township, municipal and state elected officials, and join others in this struggle to save our quality of life in Southwest Wisconsin. This next year is crucial for our future.

Frank and Barb Polizzi
Mineral Point, WI

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