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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Windmills threaten DeKalb County nature, birds

To the Editor:

The letter in the Friday, Aug. 10, Chronicle from a Chicago resident advocating for more wind generation in DeKalb County illustrates a rather selfish and one-sided view of the situation.

Our big city friends fail to recognize the delicate nature and fragile beauty of this rural DeKalb landscape already permanently marred by turbines in south county.

Wind energy for the Chicago market should be generated by turbines placed in Lake Michigan. Imagine thousands of these 580-foot tall units from Chicago to Michigan City and north to Milwaukee without destruction of even a single acre of the most fertile cropland in the world. Windmill visual blight, a consideration wherever the units are placed will not be an issue because no one lives in Lake Michigan.

Emerging wind generation technologies discussed at our local windmill meetings suggest that within a few years turbines with caged vertical spiral vanes placed about a vertical shaft will minimize if not completely eliminate bird strikes, at the same time mitigating damage to bat colonies, Monarch butterflies and honey bees.

Windmills placed in the lake will still cause a problem to migrating birds, unless the units are designed to fold horizontal to the water surface during bird migrating season or in low visibility conditions, but this issue is also shared by land-based units.

With emerging technologies on the horizon, it would be best for the DeKalb County board to impose a five-year moratorium on construction of new wind towers, and it would be best for our avian friends if the existing turbines in south county were shut down and removed.

John O’Halloran

DeKalb

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