Citizens challenge Wisconsin 80 MW project claiming nuisance

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Five citizens from the town of Marshfield in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, are challenging the town's approval of Navitas Energy's 80 MW Green Field wind project. They have taken the town to court, claiming the wind project is a nuisance. The strategy apparently is one of the few legal ways to nullify a wind project in Wisconsin once a town has issued a conditional use permit.

According to the lawsuit filed in mid-December, the citizens say shadows from spinning turbines could cause dizziness and headaches and may distract motorists, among other claims. Greg Jaunich of Minnesota-based Navitas calls the claims ridiculous. The company, which is 75% owned by Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa, plans to build the Green Field project this year for We Energies. It is one of three winning wind projects in a request for proposals issued by the utility in late 2002. Of these, Navitas is also to build the 80 MW Blue Sky project near Calumet, Wisconsin, again using Gamesa's 1.8 MW turbine. The third winning bid was Midwest Energy's 54 MW Butler Ridge project.

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