People Shooting at Wind Turbines in Michigan, Elsewhere

A pistol at the shooting range. Paper targets, not turbines. Credit: Foxtongue via Flickr.

So I heard a TV news report about gunfire that shut down a wind turbine park in Michigan's Thumb. And I went looking for more information on the Internet. It wasn't an easy find, though. Seems shooting bullets at wind farms is nothing new. The Michigan incident is just the latest episode of upset people taking out their anger on defenseless nacelles, blades and, in this case, transformers. According to the Huron Daily Tribune:

"Police are looking for the culprit who damaged a volt transformer on a wind turbine in the Michigan Wind 1 wind farm sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning ... a gate leading back to the turbine was found open and it was determined someone using a firearm had shot the 34,500 volt transformer ... Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson said the damage to the transformer appears to be 'intentional sabotage.'

We can't be sure that the shots fired near Ubly, Michigan, were indeed by a wind power opponent, or coal lover. Maybe it was just a bored kid stupidly destroying private property. Actually, the bored kid is a better scenario than another possibility: Someone who doesn't like wind turbines, and the renewable energy they produce. Maybe they prefer greenhouse gases and other pollution, like life-shortening particulate matter.

According to that TV report, from WNEM, someone shot at wind turbine No. 8 with a small-caliber weapon, causing up to $50,000 in damages to a transformer. This overloaded the system, which shut down one of more of the turbines in the area.

Maybe this gun-toting vandal is upset that the wind turbines can make a little noise, block the sun a bit and are 300 feet tall. Or maybe this someone is upset they're not making any money from wind energy, by leasing their land for turbines.

Either way, if you dislike wind and love the alternative --- mainly coal in the U.S. --- then please feel free to take up residence near one of the many belching coal plants located in Michigan. Hell, here's a map for the whole country. Please leave the shooting to hunters.

One more thing, there's a reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandals. Oh, no, that's for another wind turbine shooting incident in Pennsylvania, where workers could have been killed. That's not to be confused with this wind turbine-related shooting in Romania.

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Tags: Coal | Michigan | Wind Power