Man Imprisoned For Putting A Wind Turbine In His Backyard

Man arrested after using wind turbine on his own private property

A man from Minnesota has been sentenced to six months in prison for installing a wind turbine in his own backyard.

Jay Nygard joins a growing list of “off the grid” citizens who have served or are currently serving jail time, as the Federal government wage a war on the rights of private property owners.

Nygard’s harsh sentence come amid efforts by the U.S. government to make it illegal to have a garden in your front lawn, collect rainwater on your own property, or live off the grid in the U.S. reports:

The trouble started for Jay Nygard when he installed a 29-foot-tall wind turbine next to his home in 2010. Nygard is the owner of Go Green Energy, a company which produces miniature wind turbines as well as the turbines of the same make installed near his home.

One can assume that he installed the wind turbine to take advantage of the products he sells for a living. Originally, legal issues emerged because neighbors complained to the city, saying that Nygard’s turbine was “an eyesore.”

One of his neighbors, who sued him over the presence of the wind turbine, said that the turbine’s unpleasant visage took away their “freedom and enjoyment” of their property.

Nygard fought the courts, who ordered him to remove the turbine on more than one occasion, for years. Though he resisted, he eventually caved to the pressure and had the turbines removed.

Yet, this was not enough for the city government who demanded that the turbines cement base also be removed. Despite the fact that three engineers said that the removal of the base would cause structural damage to Nygard’s home, the city continued to demand its removal.

According to Nygard’s son, he even tried to add an easement to the house’s deed saying that when the house is demolished the pad must be removed. He managed to remove 50% of the base in order to avoid damaging his family’s home.

Despite his best efforts, Nygard ultimately was given six months prison time last year for failing to remove 100% of the base.


  1. Libelous trash. I’ve read local news reports for Orono Minn. The device was noisy, created a strobe effect on other people’s homes, and didn’t meet zoning regulations. Snopes has debunked the whole darn thing.

    • You may have read the reports, I lived it. The turbine was NOT noisy, at least it complies with MN state noise regulations as 4 of them operating together, on one property in St Paul, passed a nighttime noise study. There were no ordinances controlling wind turbines when I put it up, thus it was uncontrolled just like BB hoops, clothelines and flagpoles. At least, that is what the appeals court ruled during the first round of litigation that we won. 1995 MN state law even gives all in MN the right to harvest the wind, yet the city and the courts completely refused to discuss applying that law to this situation. Not sure how something with out a light source could create a strobe light effect….. defies physics. You go ahead and run with the neighbors lies and be proud of yourself, then read my next post below and think to yourself if you want your government and the courts to treat YOU that way.

      • What I do know is that in 2012, the MN
        court of appeals ruled FOR us stating that the turbine was
        uncontrolled in Orono just like BB hoops, clotheslines and flagpoles.
        Thus I did NOT need a building permit. For some reason, the judge who was over-ruled by the appeals court decided to allow Orono to file a motion to re-open the case for the EXACT SAME reasons. We were dumbfounded and confused as to why double jeopardy did not attach.
        She ruled against us again, fir the same reasons, stating in court, I
        don’t know very much about cities and ordinances, I don’t do this
        very much” I have the transcript if you want to see it. We
        appealed the case on double jeopardy and the same reasoning we used to win the first time around. Then Orono files a motion with the
        appeals court that it should be dismissed because my lawyer filed the paperwork electronically (a system they were switching over to)
        instead of personally. They dropped our case without letting us make an arguement. Then we found 1995 MN state law that gives all the right to harvest the wind and brought that to the courts attention, who told us that we should of told her the law sooner. In the meantime, the city completely banned wind turbines which violated state law, we sued and got their ordinance invalidated, whereas the city decided to enact a defacto ban where they supposedly allow wind turbine, but they really don’y, Still in vilation of state law. We are in litigation right now over that issue as the city is preventing me from selling my legal product and support my family. Back to the turbine, when none of the courts would listen to us that they needed to respect the wind energy law in MN, we finally took the turbine and pole down and removed them frm our property. I then chopped the top half of the footing out and sliced the anchor bolts off rendering the footng useless. Then I buried it. I did not want to go any further as it was damging the 1920 foundation of my house. DId not matter to the city. They came to my house by court order with metal probes to prove the concrete was still there, which I already said it was. They took me to court and said my wife and I needed to go to jail for 6 months for violating the order. Yet we COMPLIED with the order as the turbine was gone and the footing rendered usless. I even gave the judge signed and stamped engineering reports which said to leave it there until the house was torn down to prevent damaging the foundation of the house. She called those excuses and sentenced my wife and I to 6 months in jail. I did 5 only becuase of a huge public outcry which removed the footing to get me out of jail. I spent an extra day in jail because the city lawyers refused to send the inspectors affidavit to the judge. You tell me, is this the America you believe you live in?? I have done nothing but try to get the city and judges to FOLLOW the law and they still refuse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.