71 / 53
      70 / 42
      63 / 44

      Wind energy sparks differing opinions

      W ind energy. Is it a breath of fresh air or just hot air? The answer may depend on who you ask.

      " I nstead of green, it's actually greed , " that's what Paulding County resident Milo Schaffner thinks when he sees wind turbines in his community.

      T hey started spro u ting up nearly three years ago and he says since they've been around, the only thing they've produce is problems , "a lot of it is noise and the shadow flicker, but the noise is especially disturbing late at night or early in the morning."

      S chaffner says the turbines are more just a nuisance , they're dangerous . H e points to a damaged turbine in Paulding County that sent debris flying all over a field in April 2012.

      " W ind unfortunately has a history that isn't great like any new technology , " explains Jereme Kent, general manager of One Energy, a company that builds wind turbines.

      W ind energy supporters like Kent argue there's more positives than negatives when considering wind energy such as the ability to control it and that the fuel, which is the wind, is free, "in the long run, when you look at life cycle cost, wind is competitive with any technology out there, that's why wind is 3 percent of energy in the United States."

      K ent adds one turbine can provide electricity to around 300-500 homes. The average turbine soars over 400 feet into the air. The view can be impressive to some, but for local residents like Schaffner, he's not impressed with the turbines, "it makes you want to move. it's actually split the community. people don't look at each other anymore when they drive by, they don't wave at each other."

      Kent says the fear about wind turbines comes from a lack of information or about wind energy. But, he admits, his industry could do a better job in education, "we need to do a better job of communicating , we need to do a better job of answering the tough questions. none of the questions around wind have simple answers, just like any power plant has simple answer, but the public needs the long answers."