Thanks for your support, Katherine!

Educate yourself on wind project.

There has been a lot of misinformation circulating since Tradewind resubmitted its application for the Alta Farms Wind Project a couple of weeks ago and I’d like to encourage everyone to get informed for yourself and not rely on the voices of a few in our community who simply don’t want this project to happen.

I’m frankly fed up with the scare tactics being used that would have you believe our water is at risk of being poisoned, our families are at risk of becoming ill and that somehow this project will affect weather forecasting. Those things are simply not true.

I recently visited the Tradewind office to learn more about this new phase in the project and they shared insightful third-party analyses on those concerns and more. They also reviewed in detail the differences between this application and the first one.

If you take the time to learn about this project for yourself, I think you’ll easily reach the same conclusions I’ve reached. This project is good for our community and poses no risk to our citizens.

-Katherine Bassett, Clinton

Thanks for your support, Benjamin!

DeWitt County Governmental Bodies Stonewalling Alta Farms Wind Project Application

Found online here: https://dewittdailynews.com/letters/470348

I am disappointed that the DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals have been stonewalling Tradewind’s new Alta Farms application. It is the county board’s role to approve or deny applications, not theirs.

When I was a McLean County Board member, our commissions always scheduled meetings in a timely manner in order to get them to the County Board. By delaying the application process, the DeWitt County RPC and ZBA are attempting to take that important role away from our elected officials.

It is time for these boards to do their jobs.

Benjamin Owens
Clinton, IL

Wind Energy & Weather Radar

Don’t be fooled by myths about wind energy and weather radar. Research shows that fears about wind turbines interfering with weather radar are misunderstood.

Did you know…

  • The National Weather Service has indicated that Alta Farms Wind Project will have low (almost zero) operational impact on Lincoln, Illinois weather radar.
  • Alta Farms has voluntarily committed in the Special Use Permit to shut down the wind turbines for the duration of all severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in DeWitt County.
  • The National Weather Service is the expert in weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protections of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.

Leading Subject Matter Expert Shares His Support

Found online: https://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/wind-energy-project-worth-supporting/article_7da5b16c-5ea6-5dce-a248-80e682910106.html

I am writing today in support of the Alta Farms II wind energy project in DeWitt County. I am a professor of economics and helped create the renewable energy major at Illinois State University. I also ran the Illinois Wind Working Group under the Department of Energy to help promote wind energy for many years.

I was hired by the developer of the project, Tradewind Energy, to do an analysis of the property tax revenue and economic impact of the project to the local community. My analysis found significant property tax revenue coming to the schools, county and other taxing entities as a result of the wind project. Furthermore, the construction and permanent jobs that will result from this project will boost the local economy and provide good-paying employment for union workers and students from programs such as the one at Illinois State.

I want to encourage the DeWitt County Board to approve this project.

David G. Loomis, Bloomington

Dr. David G. Loomis is Professor of Economics at Illinois State University and Co-Founder of the Center for Renewable Energy. He has over 10 years of experience in the renewable energy field and has performed economic analyses at the county, region, state and national levels for utility-scale wind and solar generation.

He has testified on the economic impacts of energy projects before the Illinois Commerce Commission, Missouri Public Service Commission, Illinois Senate Energy and Environment Committee and numerous county boards. Dr. Loomis is a widely recognized expert and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Associated Press, and Chicago Tribune as well as appearing on CNN.

Dr. Loomis has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles in leading energy policy and economics journals. Dr. Loomis received his Ph.D. in economics from Temple University in 1995.

How do I determine if a source is credible? ​

The Wind Works for DeWitt is a community platform for honest dialogue and genuine questions. While we encourage respectful debate, we condemn the spreading of misinformation. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about wind energy and the Alta Farms Wind Project, much of which has been pulled from unreliable, biased sources like windwatch.org or stopthesethings.com. Some of the information even stems from misleading communications on Facebook. These websites referenced are not credible sources. They are not fact-based, not peer-reviewed, and do not provide insight from subject matter experts with experience in the field. 

We are here to share the facts about wind energy and arm you with credible information from credentialed, reliable, and unbiased third-party experts. Here are some tips on determining if a source is credible:

  1. The author should have a position of authority, experience or credentials in the field.
  2. Credible research, reports, or studies should include citations to other resources.
  3. Citations and other information should be drawn from sources like well-known non-profit organizations, respected universities, or government agencies.
  4. Whenever possible, seek out studies or papers that are peer reviewed. The peer review process is a form of scientific quality control.

Then and Now: Key Application Differences

While Tradewind’s application is similar on the surface to the complete application submitted last year, there are some key differences worth noting that make this application more substantial and one we continue to believe citizens of DeWitt County can support. Those include:

  • Nearly a year’s worth of additional development activities have been completed (e.g., engineering work on the wind farm design and public road improvements, final geotechnical work, landowner approval of the site plan)
  • Turbine models reduced from 13 make/model combinations to four. All are 4 MW or larger, meaning we can generate more power with fewer turbines.
  • Securing several important permits and contracts.
  • Directly addressing several comments raised during the first review process, including:
    • An independent report concluding there will be no impacts by the project to the vital Mahomet Aquifer
    • A commitment to curtail the wind farm anytime the National Weather Service issues a severe weather or tornado warning for DeWitt County
    • Proposed utilization of DeTect’s Harrier Aircraft Detection Lighting System
    • Improved Sound and Shadow Flicker reports to ease readability.

We look forward to talking more about these topics in the upcoming hearings, but more importantly we encourage you to stop by our Clinton office to get your questions answered directly. If you’re unable to make a trip to our office, you can call us or send us a direct message to request more information on the new application and we will respond as soon as possible. 

5 Common Myths Debunked

Changes to energy production will always have their detractors. Let’s look closely at a few common arguments by wind opponents to see how they hold up.

 

1.) Subsidies

While it’s true that wind development in the US has involved a modest amount of federal subsidies, this pales in comparison to the amount of public funds used to support the fossil fuel industry- $649 billion in 2017 alone. In contrast, the primary government subsidy for wind energy, the Production Tax Credit, is being phased out next year. As wind power continues to plummet in cost (66% cost decrease between 2009 and 2016), most industry leaders have supported this change.

2.) Carbon Footprint

As with subsidies, most forms of energy production involve some carbon footprint, but the greenhouse gases produced by wind energy are negligible compared to fossil fuels. Through component production and transportation, wind power produces about 11 grams of the greenhouse gas Carbon Dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, compared to 980 grams for coal power and 465 grams for natural gas.

3.) Property Values

Some opponents have claimed that wind development will hurt nearby property values, but local research suggests the opposite- the third-party Market Impact Analysis for Alta Farms II found that landowners are likely to use extra income to improve their property, increasing equalized assessed property values within DeWitt County. Across the board, there is no peer-reviewed research suggesting that wind farms are deleterious to local property values.

4.) Land and Water Resources

Unlike natural gas and oil drilling which have frequently contaminated local ground water, wind energy production is comparatively safe to local water tables, due to turbines’ shallow depth of construction, and Alta Farms is no different. To quote a third-party hydrological analysis by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, “contamination of the Mahomet Aquifer from Project related activities is almost impossible.”

Wind energy’s massive growth across the Midwest couldn’t happen without the enthusiastic support of countless American farmers who have found that wind development is an economically viable “third crop” that complements existing output. With permanent facilities covering just 0.70% of the Project area, Alta Farms’ impact on DeWitt County’s agricultural land will be minuscule and poses no foreseeable impediment to farming in adjacent acres. Through construction, maintenance, and associated transportation for the project, all land will be returned to its original topography and condition, per the Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement. (See Tradewind’s Application for Further Details)

5.) Avian Deaths

Bird and bat deaths due to wind turbines do occur, but oil fields, power lines, and other energy infrastructure cause vastly more. Greater threats to flying wildlife exist- windows kill about 1,000 times as many birds and bats as wind energy, while household cats kill at least 10,000 times more across the nation. Considering the total number of deaths effects on migration patterns, and natural habitats, wind turbines are simply not a significant threat to flying wildlife. That’s why both the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club have endorsed wind as a safer form of energy for flying animals and the habitats they inhabit.

Despite what opponents suggest, the drawbacks of wind power are less than those associated with most forms of traditional energy. Wind is an unfolding success story in American energy production, and we look forward to writing the next chapter in DeWitt County.

Thanks for your support, Dixie!

Support Tradewind in DeWitt Co.

Found online: https://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/support-tradewind-in-dewitt-co/article_337a1d1a-2d37-5568-ae58-b869ea01f89d.html

Our community should be beyond excited that Tradewind Energy has decided to resubmit its application to the county for the development of the Alta Farms wind farm.

Projects exactly like this are providing big benefits to communities throughout rural Illinois, helping to fund struggling schools and giving our neighbors good-paying jobs that keep them in the places they grew up.

It’s time we, as a community, stand up to those among us who want to stop progress and hinder the economic well-being of DeWitt County. Please do what you can to support this project.

Dixie Walden, Clinton

Wind Works for DeWitt / Arm Yourself With the Facts

Tradewind Energy, an Enel Green Power Company, has set its sights on creating wind energy in DeWitt County for many years under the project name of Alta Farms.  In every community we serve, it is our steadfast goal to be good neighbors; that is to participate philanthropically, shoot people straight, and be very transparent as to the steps and processes involved for developing and operating such projects.  As we’ve set forth sharing our ambitions in a positive, welcoming fashion, most of this community has responded graciously; encouraging our goals, advocating our collective progress, and proactively getting involved by voicing their support for this development.  We are eternally grateful for each of you who continue to support us. Thank you. We take aim at making you very proud. 

You may have seen misinformation or attacks circulated about the Alta Farms Wind Project, which can make it more challenging to get to the truth. That’s why we’ve created WindWorksforDeWitt.com – a one-stop platform to learn about the benefits of the Project, sort out fact from fiction, and connect with supporters. We’re setting the record straight in DeWitt County, going far beyond opinion, but rather using science, engineering facts, and detail analyses from unbiased, third-party, subject matter experts who have thoroughly studied the subjects in question.

In recent weeks there has been an outpour of people sharing their immense support and encouragement at our Clinton office, over the phone, online, or in letters.  Keep up the good work, and lean on this website as a resource to arm yourself with the facts. Help spread the word; talk to your neighbors, sign-up to receive our communications, talk with our team, and get involved.  Together we are leading the change for health and prosperity for all residents of DeWitt County.