©2010 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

Most people when asked are in favor of wind energy. Green. No foreign oil. No spent fuel rods. Cool-looking turbines. But when a reporter and I went out to DeKalb County to talk to residents embroiled in a lawsuit surrounding a wind farm installed in an otherwise tranquil setting, we heard quite an earful. Residents pitted against each other, noise, shadow flicker, lost sleep, stress, dead animals, lower real estate values, lost sightlines. It was a long list of complaints. Although many people wrote off their grievances as little more than NIMBY, you do have to wonder whether 1400 feet is the sufficient amount of distance that a turbine should be from the foundation of a home. Landowners who allowed the wind turbines on their properties are to be paid $9000 a year, per turbine, for the privilege. Some had a few. In this economy, I can see it from their perspective too. In this case, however you look at it, the wind blew up a storm.

Alex Garcia


  1. Those enormous wind mills make for some great images. And now that it’s getting warmer outside I won’t dread being assigned to shoot them every so often for an update story.

  2. As someone who is very likely to be affected by ANOTHER industrial wind farm being planned for Lee County, THANK YOU for bringing this boon-doggle of “green” energy to light. The fact that the Lee County board is going to most likely approve this industrial wind system to be built close to the 3,000 acre Nachusa Grasslands and Franklin Creek State Nature Preserve is a travesty!! Amazing how loudly money speaks.

  3. They’re kinda cool to see on a drive through the country, but I’d probably go with NIMBY. But $9,000 a year is pretty persuasive. They also screw up Doppler radar, so weathermen need to know where they are.

  4. We are some of the folks out in DeKalb county who now find ourselves surrounded by these gigantic industrial wind towers. Most of the landowners who chose to have these put on their land do not even live on the property, and so do not have to suffer the property value loss and disturbances from living too close to them. These towers should not have ever been allowed to be placed so close to peoples homes. What the landowners who said yes to these turbines did to the nearby landowners has indeed turned out to be very unneighborly! We were not newcomers to the area but instead have lived in the area for decades. We now wonder if we can ever get the full value for our property and the so called property value guarantee that this wind company gave us is full of many loop holes for the wind company to use against us. They might look great to someone driving throught the area, but to live within the windfarm area is a whole different experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.