A recent article in Farm Forum magazine (Feb. 20, 2020) about wind parks revealed how landowners are treated with respect. When the landowner doesn’t have a wind tower but lives close to one he receives a “good neighbor payment” of several thousand dollars per year. This is taking place in Kansas and Michigan. North of Avon, there are several landowners who live close to the neighbor’s tower but don’t receive any money.

 When promoters (investors) talked landowners into signing easements, most trusted that they would be treated in a fair and respectful manner. The strategy of Big Wind is to have local people who most people trust get land owners to sign an easement which is impossible to void. And now we find those investors had one goal — to get the park built so they would get their investment back at the expense of local landowners. Very disappointing.

If you go to the intersection of Highway 46 and 37 and look northwest you will see a large area that doesn’t have any wind towers. This is 12 square miles of federal waterfowl production area. At the west end is an eagle’s nest which has a two-mile setback. For a wind tower, the federal government cares about ducks, geese and eagles but not people. Our county commission approved a 1,000-foot setback from a neighbor’s house. Very disappointing.

This type of action is why I will be running for county commission.

(2) comments

Larry Skow

What will you change by becoming county commissioner? The cat is already out of the bag? But remember--certain people wanted to eliminate coal power. Along with that went good paying jobs at mines/service sector that supported the mines. First we changed to gas fired--that meant gas wells. Again good paying jobs through the whole chain. Then that became "dirty". Now you are at solar an wind an now there problems there an not as many good paying jobs an supply chain is much shorter. Good thing electricity will be cheap. Or will it? But question remains. What will or can you change? Out side of fairly good wages for your self for being a county commissioner? How many broken promises made in campaign? Cats out of the bag already.

Friedrich Farmer

Oh, look, Mr. Van Gerpen is beating his dead horse one more time.

Someday South Dakotans will be earning revenue by exporting our excess electricity. And as the Argus Leader wrote in September, “The rapid expansion of wind energy will reach across the state...”

Meanwhile farmers have another source of revenue now that the trade war has handed our markets to the South Americans. (Of course we’ll have to survive Trump’s pandemic first.)

Ed, after you lose your bid for county commission, maybe instead of tilting at wind turbines, you could join the Flat Earth Society. You can’t pick a better lost cause than that. And you won’t be holding back progress for the rest of us.

Welcome to the discussion.

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