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.

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.

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. 

Thanks for your support, Brendan!

Embrace jobs at wind farm

Found online: https://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/embrace-jobs-at-wind-farm/article_ad7e2b46-8e0c-58a1-ae8a-14ff15f9e8f4.html

I was excited to hear that Tradewind Energy is again pursuing a permit from DeWitt County to develop the Alta Farms wind farm. For me, projects like this are personal.

We all know times have been tough here and in other nearby communities. Opportunities for good-paying jobs we can actually do without traveling out of the county don’t come our way very often. When they do, we should embrace them with open arms.

Brendan Burton, Clinton

 

We‘ve heard from a lot of folks; residents, small business owners, landowners, community members, the men and women who build the turbine towers right here in this County – a lot of people sharing their immense support and encouragement at our Clinton office, over the phone, online, or in letters like this one from Brendan.

Please show your support – help spread the truth about Alta Farms Wind Project, and take a stand in supporting progress for DeWitt County.