Information concerning the Lincoln Land Wind Farm and how to report issues will soon be easier to locate.
Morgan County resident Joana Ramsey spoke to the Morgan County Commissioners during public comment of this morning’s regular meeting of the board. Ramsey attended the meeting as a follow-up to email communications she had previously expressed concerns about finding information on the Lincoln Land Wind Farm, and moreover, the delays in Aircraft Detection Lighting System, or ADLS.
Ramsey, who lives within the footprint of the wind farm, says she reached out to the Commissioners in an effort to make information available and easily accessible to the public regarding anything that pertains to the wind farm.
“I brought up a few of those issues to the Commissioners and so I wanted to be here and kind of talk about that and how we’re going to educate people. Some things deal with the ordinances, from drainage to flicker to the complainant process. These things are in there and we need to hold the company that is managing that up to the standard of what is in the ordinance.
Sometimes when you are in it and you think oh we have everything in place, but then you have that outside view. Sometimes you get that myopia, and I’m that outside person that says, hey we do have some things going on and how can we get that information and
Ramsey says she has been encountering shadow flicker at her home, which is a flickering effect caused by shadows from the blades of a wind turbine when they are rotating. She says testing of the ADLS system has not started yet, which is disappointing because previous statements by Ørsted, the parent company that owns the wind farm, alluded to the fact testing had begun.
She says she also ran into an issue with water run-off while traveling on Route 123 recently after snow had melted from a new access road for a turbine. The snow had melted and then refroze causing a large sheet of ice across the roadway that made for a dangerous situation.
Morgan County Highway Department Director Matt Coultas says that issues such as these are being looked at, and anytime the public runs into a similar situation, they should call in.
“With any highway concerns, after-hours obviously we are not personnelled to where we can run twenty-four hours a day like IDOT does out of their maintenance yard. But if there are any after-hours concerns and whatnot, the public just needs to contact West Central Dispatch and they will contact me and we will get those situations addressed.
Morgan County Commissioner Ginny Fanning presided over this morning’s meeting as Board Chair Bradley Zeller attended by phone. Fanning says the issues brought up by Ramsey today have been top of mind with the Board.
“We appreciate that Miss Ramsey met with us and expressed her concerns. We welcome that and from that, we are going to proceed with the hotline number for the Lincoln Land Wind Farm is going to be put on our website. And that will be accessible to all of our citizens, in case they have a concern, then they will be able to go to the correct channels than with the new company and get their questions answered.
We have been in constant communication with them regarding the lighting system. We are definitely as concerned as the citizens of that area are and we are seeing that hopefully it will be quickly resolved.”
Fanning says the Annual Report will be sent to Regional Planning Director Dusty Douglas when it is available from Ørsted. She also says tax income numbers will be made available when they come in, however they will only reflect three months of operation as the first turbine went online in October.
Ørsted acquired the wind farm from Apex Clean Energy in November. To reach the Lincoln Land Wind Farm hotline toll-free, dial 888-913-1953.