Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that are not addressed below, please contact a member of the Wobbegong Energy team

Basic Wind Energy Questions

How do wind turbines work?

Turbines are strategically placed across a property to ensure optimal exposure of the turbine blades to the strongest winds available. When the wind blows past a wind turbine, its blades capture the wind’s energy and rotate, turning the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy. Inside the wind turbine, this rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox, which then spins a generator that produces electricity. The wind turbine will rotate to face the strongest wind and will angle its blades to best capture the wind energy.1

What benefits does a wind project bring to the local community?

Wind projects provide numerous benefits to the communities in which they are sited. Wind projects represent significant local investments and drive meaningful increases in the local taxable property bases. Wind projects also provide guaranteed annual property tax payments to local taxing jurisdictions, which allow county and local officials to make long-term financial plans and increase spending on public services and other critically important infrastructure.

Wind projects pay millions of dollars per year directly to landowners through lease and easement agreements, resulting in a diversified revenue stream that protects against fluctuating commodity prices and preserves family properties for future generations. In addition, these projects directly create hundreds of full-time equivalent jobs during the construction and installation phases and support indirect and induced jobs during development and construction.

Is it safe to live or work near wind turbines?

Millions of people around the world live and work close to nearly 700,000 operating wind turbines without any health or safety effects.2

According to a 2018 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, there are more than 1.3 million homes located within five miles of a utility-scale wind turbine. The study also found that 92 percent of survey respondents living within five miles of a wind turbine reported positive or neutral experiences and that 90 percent of survey respondents would prefer to live near a wind farm over any type of centralized power plant, whether coal, natural gas or nuclear.3

Do wind turbines create loud noise that’s disruptive to neighbors?

Today’s wind turbines take advantage of decades of design, engineering, manufacturing, and operating experience to minimize sound from operations. Further, our projects will be designed to comply with state and local laws to limit sound impacts. On average, land-based, utility-scale (large) wind turbines produce sounds that fall in the range of 35–45 dB when heard from 1000 feet away. That means they are no louder than a typical refrigerator (50 dB).4

What is shadow flicker?

Shadow flicker occurs when rotating wind turbine blades pass in front of the sun and cast a shadow. Shadow flicker can be mitigated and minimized with proper planning and siting and cumulatively only occurs for a few hours a year. During cloudy days, shadow flicker does not occur.

Are wind projects harmful to human health?

Numerous peer-reviewed, third-party studies have shown that wind turbines do not have adverse, direct impacts on human health. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine titled, “Wind Turbines and Health: A Critical Review of the Scientific Literature.” A panel of experts with professional experience and training in occupational and environmental medicine, acoustics, epidemiology, otolaryngology, psychology, and public health was commissioned to “assess the peer-reviewed literature regarding potential health effects among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines.” Upon review, they concluded, “No clear or consistent association is seen between noise from wind turbines and any reported disease or other indicator of harm to human health.”

Further, Health Canada, in partnership with Statistics Canada, conducted a major study of over one thousand homes and reached the same conclusion, stating, “No evidence was found to support a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and any of the self-reported illnesses.”

Wind projects do not burn fossil fuel to generate electricity, and as a result, do not emit any air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, or particulate matter. Wind helps avoid 334 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, which is the equivalent to removing 73 million cars from the road.5  It is estimated that by reducing harmful emissions that contribute to chronic illness and premature death, wind projects reduce public health costs by billions of dollars a year.

What happens if ice accumulates on wind turbine blades?

As with any structure, wind turbines can accumulate ice under certain atmospheric conditions. This possibility and the risk of ice throw is accounted for during both project planning and operation. The turbines used for our projects will be sited according to applicable regulations, which requires setback distances from roads and residences that adequately protect the public from the risk of ice throw.

In addition, modern wind turbines are designed with ice detection systems to minimize the potential for ice throw. If ice accumulates on the blades, the turbine will simply shut off and will remain at a standstill until the ice melts.

Are wind projects harmful to wildlife?

Wind energy projects, like all forms of development, can result in interactions with the natural environment. Wildlife and natural resources are an important consideration in our selection of project sites.

Even though it has comparatively few effects on wildlife, the wind energy industry is closely regulated by state and federal agencies to ensure any effects are minimized and mitigated.

Climate change remains the largest threat to wildlife. Wind power is far less harmful to wildlife than the traditional energy sources it displaces and is one of the most effective, fastest, cheapest solutions to reduce carbon pollution and the climate change it contributes to.

Do wind projects affect agriculture?

Only approximately 2% of a wind project area is occupied by project infrastructure, leaving the remaining 98% available for current land use. Landowners can continue to farm or ranch their properties right up to the base of the turbine while diversifying their revenue stream to better weather economic downturns and preserve family property for future generations.

Do wind projects negatively affect property values?

No. Many studies have shown that wind projects do not have long-term negative impacts on the value of neighboring properties. Wind projects benefit all local property owners by driving economic investment and tax revenue. These funds improve roads, schools, and community services, while also keeping local taxes low – all of which factor into property values.

According to the Energy Policy Institute, 10 major studies spanning three countries and 1.3 million property transactions over 18 years have found that wind projects do not decrease property values:

  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab collected data from more than 50,000 home sales among 27 counties in nine states. These homes were within 10 miles of 67 different wind facilities, and 1,198 sales were within one mile of a wind turbine. The data span the periods well before announcement of the wind facilities to well after their construction. The research found no statistical evidence that home values near turbines were affected in the post-construction or post-announcement/preconstruction periods.6
  • The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center studied the relationship between wind turbines and residential property values in Massachusetts to assess whether home values were affected by proximity to wind turbines. An analysis of more than 122,000 Massachusetts home sales between 1998 and 2012 found no statistically significant evidence that proximity to a wind turbine affects home values.7
  • Numerous other property value studies based on statistical analysis of real estate transactions have found that wind facilities have no consistent significant impact on property values.8
Who is responsible for decommissioning?

Our lease agreement states that the company is responsible for the decommissioning and removal of project infrastructure at the end of each project’s life. Standard decommissioning practices include dismantling and repurposing, salvaging/recycling, or disposing of the wind energy infrastructure, and restoration.  

Additionally, state, county, and local permitting authorities routinely require a decommissioning and restoration plan be put in place, which outline the various ways in which the project owner will safely and responsibly remove installed equipment and restore the property within the project area. In addition, financial securities are often required to ensure host communities and landowners will bear no responsibility for decommissioning or restoration. 

Can wind turbines be recycled?

Yes. Today 90% of a wind turbine is recyclable, and the industry has made great strides towards recycling options for the fiberglass blades as well, which will continue to increase the percentage of recyclable material.9

Landowner Questions

If I sign a wind lease, what does that mean for my property?

If you sign a lease agreement for the project, it will allow Wobbegong Energy to include you in the planning phase for development and potentially installing and operating wind turbines and other project-related facilities on your property. Wobbegong Energy is committed to working with you during the lease negotiation process. If you have concerns that you would like addressed in the lease, Wobbegong Energy will work with you to make reasonable changes to fit your needs as we know and appreciate that everyone’s property is different. 

What restrictions will be placed on my land during construction?

Once construction activities start, we will work with you in certain areas of your property to limit activities based on season and construction stage. You will no longer be able to farm, graze, or otherwise use the parts of the property where active construction is taking place. Hunting, off-roading, snowmobiling, and performing other recreational activities on leased property will need to be limited or paused during construction (to the extent you have the power to restrict those activities) during construction for the safety of Wobbegong Energy and its subcontractors. Wobbegong Energy will use reasonable efforts to provide you with the construction schedule in advance and work with you and the construction contractor(s) to adjust the use of your land accordingly. 

What will I be allowed to do once the project is operational?

During operations, you will have the ability to use the leased premises for farming, grazing, ranching, or any other activities as long as there is not interference with ongoing wind energy production and operations. 

Who will be responsible for maintaining the property once the project has been constructed?

Under the Wind Lease the Project will be fully responsible for maintaining the wind project facilities for the duration of the project’s useful life. The Project is responsible for security and equipment repair and replacement for all wind facilities on leased premises. Road and turbine maintenance will be performed by a company contracted directly by Wobbegong Energy to maintain the wind facilities.  

Wobbegong Energy is also responsible for security and equipment repair and replacement for all wind facilities on leased premises. 

What if I transfer ownership of my property or sell it?

The lease agreement runs with the land. If the land ownership is transferred, the lease agreement remains active on the property, and the new owner of the property will receive the payments. 

Wobbegong Questions

How will Baca, Morton, and Stanton Counties benefit from this project?

The Wobbegong Wind Project represents a significant capital investment for Baca, Morton and Stanton Counties, which will result in a sizeable increase in the taxable property base.

Wobbegong Energy expects payments of millions of dollars each year to local landowners over the life of the project through lease, easement, and neighbor agreements. These payments increase financial security for landowners, allowing them to diversify their revenue stream, better weather economic downturns, and keep land in the family.

The project will pay millions of dollars annually to Baca, Morton and Stanton Counties and other local taxing jurisdictions such as schools and fire departments without putting a strain on local resources. These additional tax revenues can be put towards road upgrades, schools, public safety, and other critically important infrastructure services.

During construction, the Wobbegong Wind Project will create hundreds of construction jobs and long-term operations jobs directly as well as support other jobs by partnering with local and regional equipment and materials suppliers, bringing new economic opportunities to Baca, Morton and Stanton Counties.

How much energy will this project produce?

The Wobbegong Wind Project will produce up to 1,000 MW of wind power. 

Where will the power from this project go?

We have not yet entered into a power purchase agreement for the Wobbegong Wind Project. One of the reasons that we chose Baca County, Morton, and Stanton Counties is the geographical proximity to several different offtake options in both the western and eastern interconnections. Regardless of the ultimate customer, the clean, U.S.-sourced wind energy produced by the project will be used to power America and support energy independence. 

How will this project affect my electric bill?

An important benefit of wind power is that it provides a long-term hedge against increasing energy prices because it does not consume any fuel and allows power providers to purchase energy at stable, long-term rates. This may help to decrease future increases in electricity prices. 

Will there be flashing lights at night?

We are committed to using an Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) for the Wobbegong Wind Project. The Federal Aviation Administration launched the standards for ADLS technology in late 2015, which is designed to reduce the impact of nighttime lights through the integration of a radar-based system. This technology, which turns the turbine lights on only when low-flying aircraft are detected nearby, significantly reduces emitted light by only activating when necessary. When evaluating the airspace impacts of the Wobbegong Wind Project, the FAA will jointly review our request for use of ADLS. Our commitment to using an ADLS system is just one example of who we are deploying the ever-evolving technological advancements in the wind industry.