Supervisors gather more information on windfarm

Henry County opponents address Lee County Board Tuesday


LEE COUNTY – Lee County supervisors again heard cautions from area residents about the windmill farm that is being proposed by Tenasca Energy of Omaha, Nebraska and partner Cordelio, a Canadian owned power company.
Two residents from Henry County showed Lee County Supervisors maps of the people in that county who opposed a portion of the wind farm by a different energy company that was projected in their county.
The two even brought signs and what they claimed was a scaled model depicting the size of the windmills compared to a typical rural water tower. They placed the model in front of Supervisor Chairman Garry Seyb.
Leland Graber of Trenton, near Wayland, put the display together for a gun show and said people told him they had no idea how tall the turbines were compared to a water tower.
Last summer RWE, the energy company in Henry County, paid out $873,000 to sign up 17,000 acres from about 150 people, including some land trusts. Graber claimed that was a bribe as a sign-on bonus and said more than 100 people signed up, including some of his neighbors.
“People took the money and never read the contract and didn’t talk to their neighbors. I guess that’s like winning the lottery, I suppose, and it’s caused some hard feelings,” he said.
I would just like to see the turbines kept out of all of Southeast Iowa and that’s why I’m here.”
Bill Crawford, who lives near Olds, said he’s in the heart of the Henry County signup area. He showed a map from the Henry County Recorder’s office showing who had signed up for the program and who had not.
He also confirmed the model in front of Seyb was created to scale.
“That water tower is 120 feet tall, and the windmills would be 650 feet tall and that’s what they're proposing in this county,” Crawford said.
“And we’re not just talking one, they are looking at 60-90 in Henry County on the north side. Washington County is in the same predicament as all of us. They, by ordinance, are trying to prevent them from coming in, and that’s just for commercial energy sources, not anything else.”
He said landowners were given a 57-page contract. He didn’t bring the contract with him but said a couple examples of the contract are that you have to get advance permission to hunt on your own land, and you have to give notice before you spray fields.
He said RWE Electric is a foreign-based company, as is Cordelio. He fears the companies are spreading misinformation about the project in America.
Supervisor Ron Fedler said he spoke with someone at meetings last week with Tenasca land agents who said they were working for the wind company out of Canada to get things ready for construction.
“She said there were Chinese investors in the project and that got my attention. I didn’t like that,” Fedler said.
“I asked how many of these towers were proposed for Lee County and she said roughly 75. I didn’t talk to any landowners who were in favor of this. Those are our people that we answer to, and we should listen to them.”
Crawford said the contracts from RWE are for 35 years with a company-initiated 10-year extension. West Point resident Andrew Johnson, who’s regularly engaged supervisors about energy projects intruding on his property, said the Lee County agreements are for 30 years with extensions.
“We wanted to encourage the board to consider requiring a bond so during the decommissioning process there would be some funding to take these down - if there were to be some construction here,” Johnson said.
“These windmills are not owned by Alliant or Access Energy. Those companies would have a vested interest in making sure the windmills owned by other companies would be taken down when decommissioned.
"Do we really want these in this area? I’ve said before we could debate whether these are a good choice or not, but supervisors should supervise and have some input into where these things go.”

Fort Madison, lee County, windmills, wind farm, project, Tenasca, Cordelio, energy, project, opposition, Board of Supervisors, henry county, RWE Electric, news, Iowa, Pen City Current,


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