Letter: Examine what setbacks meanWhat is on the line in the decision to apply Goodhue County’s setbacks in the permitting of AWA Goodhue’s wind project?
By: Rick Conrad, Goodhue, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
What is on the line in the decision to apply Goodhue County’s setbacks in the permitting of AWA Goodhue’s wind project?
The future of the planet? Not likely.
The future of wind development in Goodhue County? Maybe, but only if you assume that wind can only be developed by large industrial corporations who sign a minimal amount of land and bully their way through the permitting process.
The future of AWA Goodhue? Possibly, but only their timeline and project layout are definitely affected. They can proceed by signing more land and participants and negotiating with the people who live inside 10-rotor diameters of their turbines.
The ten-rotor setback ensures that wind development will be in areas where the majority of affected are signed participants.
It doesn’t prevent all industrial wind energy development. It reduces the shadow flicker on non-participants to almost zero. It ensures lower noise levels for non-participant, it doesn’t insure that turbine noise will not exceed present background levels.
Does it affect you as an landowner? It certainly reduces the number of sites where you can site turbines on your land without the consent of your neighbors.
Would you really want to inflict problems on your neighbors without their consent? Their consent might offer you protection from legal actions.
If you and you neighbor don’t get along now, doing a turbine on your land closer to their house than the house where you live is not likely to improve relations. Conversely, if your neighbor were to become a paid participant, you may become the best of friends.
So what is really at stake? Not wind development so much as who benefits.
Will the people who have lived here for generations benefit or pay the price for wind development? Where is the proof that 1,500-foot setbacks that AWA Goodhue offered to non-participants will protect property value and our health.
Do research. Don’t take my word for it and never sign a wind lease without consulting a lawyer that specializes in wind development, and talk to your neighbors.