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Letter: Wind offer too little, too late

To the Editor:

AWA Goodhue Wind sent letters to people living within one-half mile of their proposed turbine sites. This must be their good faith effort to allow us to participate in their project.

Unfortunately I believe their effort is too little and too late. This offer should have been made three years ago when the project started.

Wind developers have known for more than 10 years that their industry receives most of its complaints from residents who live at distances between one-quarter mile and one-half mile from large turbines. This fact turns up repeatedly in the history of utility scale wind development.

People that live less than a quarter of a mile from a turbine are more likely to be paid participants. People more than a quarter of a mile away are likely to be non-participants. Participants do not experience fewer problems; they are financially and legally motivated not to complain.

These facts are what led to the local community-based energy development model. C-Bed was intended to ensure that the people most severely affected by alternative energy development would be the local owners and participants.

Since T. Boone Pickens owns almost 100 percent of this project, most of the financial benefits will go to Texas. One hundred percent of the problems will stay here. Will Pickens care if we can sleep at night? Or if stray voltage ruins local dairy herds?

As to this good faith offer, would it have been made at all if the Minnesota Public Utilities had not required it of AWA Goodhue Wind as a condition of granting a permit? Should we thank AWA for this offer? Or should we thank Goodhue Wind Truth and the Coalition for Sensible Siting?

Rick Conrad