Former Wind Developer Now Regrets His Involvement in Wind Energy

Yesterday, John Hinderaker, Tom Steward, and I met with the group Windlocked LLC, a group of property rights advocates that has been purchasing wind rights in Southern Minnesota to stop the spread of industrial wind farms.

We met with about a dozen farmers from the Blue Earth area, and these people were incredibly impressive with their vast knowledge of wind siting issues and the Public Utilities Commission processes.

One of the most interesting aspects of meeting this group was learning that one of their members, Dan Moore, used to be a wind farm developer but he now says he regrets his involvement in wind energy.

Dan recently wrote this letter to the editor for a local paper:

Dear Editor,
Here we go again.  I strongly refute the false allegations by the recent front page story in the Saturday April 14 Sentinel.  Tradewinds is just another developer who is promising payments in trade for the total mess and divisiveness that pits neighbors against neighbors.  Nothing tears a community apart like a windfarm, that nobody wants, the country does not need, and is built solely for the huge tax subsidies.  Warren Buffet said the only reason to build a windfarm is for the tax subsidies. 
                The article states that the project will generate $1.2 million tax revenue.  This is ONLY a projection that is NOT guaranteed. A more realistic approach is only $1.07 million, or 11% lower than Tradewind’s projections.  Also Martin County only get’s 80% of this money, and the other 20% is shared with the hosting townships.  You can argue it all stays inside the county boundary, but let’s be specific as to who gets what.
                The article says the project borders the Blue Earth River.  This is another false statement because the Blue Earth River does NOT enter Martin County. 
                Landowners who sign the Lease only get $55 per acre.  If you have a turbine on a 100 acre field, you only get $5,500?!  That is less than HALF the going rate that is usually paid.  That is NOT enough money to be compensated for the lights, noise, broken tile, and all of the pain associated with a windfarm.  Basically it’s only 15 bushels of corn you need to raise per acre to equal the small wind payment, plus you won’t have to worry about hitting it with your spray plane or the crooked road tearing up your fields.
                Lastly, the noise issue they site in the article is laughable.  They say the turbines will be 45 decibels and only as loud as a refrigerator. 
Hessler Associates is an acoustical engineering firm used by wind developers and the Public Utilities Commission and is considered supportive of the wind industry.  The PUC requested, and provided state staff to collaborate with David Hessler to write Assessing Sound Emissions from Proposed Wind Farms & Measuring the Performance of Completed Projects.  Hessler writes, “…It would be advisable for any new project to attempt to maintain a mean sound level of 40 dB(A) or less outside all residences….”   “Under no circumstances…should turbines be located in places where mean levels higher than 45 dB are predicted by pre-construction modeling at residences.  David Hessler’s results and recommendations are that “under no circumstances” should turbines exceed 45 dB, yet Tradewinds is OK with residents living with these dangerously loud machines. 
                It’s time for the local landowners and residents to band together to lock up your windrights to stop this project before they get started.   If you need help killing this project, I am easy to find.
Respectfully, Dan Moore, Farmer and former windfarm developer and concerned citizen.

It was interesting to see how Dan went from being a wind farm developer to one of their most ardent opponents.

Make sure to check out the video Minnesota Blows Billions by Clear Energy Alliance to learn more about how wind energy has been a big loser for Minnesotans.

On a more positive note, enjoy the weather this weekend. It will finally feel like spring!