Need Help Identifying The Bull?
Why wouldn't an EcoEnergy representative answer the most basic question about the wind resource in our area? Did he really not know the answer?
On February 14th at a special zoning meeting at the Magnolia Township Hall regarding a conditional use permit for the tower EcoEnergy is using to gather and sell wind speed data, Mr. Alex DePillis, an EcoEnergy representative, was able to tell us that class 4 areas of the state were the best sites for industrial wind plants. When asked what wind class our area fell into, he hemmed and hawed and then said he didn't know.
Our BPRC Research Nerd had a hard time believing that one.
Anyone who has done even the smallest bit of research on this subject knows our area is rated class 2, between poor and fair in terms of wind energy.
Why did he say he didn't know?
The US Department of Energy map rates us as class 2. (Here's the map)
If there isn't enough wind in our area, why are they trying to put such a big wind farm here?
The answer? We have the transmission lines, the legislative loopholes, the tax breaks, renewable energy credits , and landowners willing to trust the word of EcoEnergy employees like Mr. Depillis enough to sign away rights to their land for the next 30 years.
It's not about the environment at all. There are much better renewable energy options for our area, ones that are ideal, like manure digesters. (Some of us felt we could have used one in the town hall that night.)
The Research Nerd wasn't the only one in the crowd who had the feeling Mr. DePillis was being less than honest and more than a little condescending. He was there to speak to us about the wind-data collected for nearly a year from the met tower on hiway 213. When he said he didn't know the answer to that most basic question, many of us were left scratching our heads.
This is the expert they are sending us?
And many of us were unpleasantly surprised when Mr. Depillis' demanded to know the name of the person who asked the question and to know if that person was a resident.
Why would he do that?
Smell a fish? We sure do. Intimidation seems to be the name of the game. Unless we stand up to it, we'll have "experts" like Mr. Depillis and other employees of EcoEnergy, and their lawyers calling the shots for the rest of us.
IMPORTANT! The next Magnolia Township wind-turbine related meeting is this Thursday, February 21, 7pm, Magnolia Town hall on county hiway A, west of 213. Come and get to know your zoning board members! It's free, easy, and an experience of democracy-in-action.
PS! Did you know that at training sessions for wind developers they are advised not to wear a suit when talking to rural people because we are supposedly less likely to trust people in suits? There are LOTS of tips on how wind developers should talk to us rural people. The Research Nerd heard a lecture by a wind developer who said "Sure it's easy to get some old farmer and screw him to the wall" with a wind contract, but developers should really try their very best not to do that. He also said that this was not about the environment, it was about business, and the guiding principle of business is to push as much of the risk of any deal onto the other guy. We believe the "other guy" he means is the one driving the tractor.
Worried about Industrial Wind Turbines and Birds? We are too. Though the wind industry downplays the impact of wind farms on birds, new scientific studies are beginning to tell us otherwise. At the site of one wind farm, in spite of efforts to correct the problem, more birds are dying than ever. Click Here to Read About It