Rent-seeking wind firms
In recent years politicians have spent billions on subsidies and grants to encourage the development of wind power. The result is that rent-seeking entrepreneurs have jumped on the wind power bandwagon to cash in the subsidies. One such firm is Eolian Renewable Energy.
Eolian’s business strategy: Find a small rural community with some terrain suitable for industrial wind turbines. Form a subsidiary to develop wind turbines. Convince the community to allow the turbines with exaggerated promises of tax revenues and work for local contractors. Build the turbines with free money (grants) from the federal and state governments. Monetize the subsidies by selling off the future power generation to Wall Street. Walk away from the project laughing all the way to the bank.
I love to see folks honestly make lots and lots of money. I do not share that admiration for rent-seekers who use false hopes to line their pockets with our taxes. These schemes always collapse and always leave a trail of economic wreckage behind them. Enron, Lehman Brothers and AIG were all examples of rent-seekers using government subsidies or guarantees to make a short-term profit.
Eolian is now seeking to push its wind power rent-seeking scheme in Frankfort, a town whose existing zoning does not address grid-scale wind generators. Residents will soon have a chance to place a moratorium on wind turbines so that they can update the zoning ordinance. Frankfort residents would be wise to adopt this measure and slow down Eolian’s rent-seeking scheme.
R. Kenneth Lindell
Consider the cost
Mount Waldo — is wind worth it?
While many important questions surround wind development, I think one is not being asked, especially in the case of Mount Waldo. Is it worth it?
I mean worth the resources; yes, it will cost a lot of money. But more important, is it worth forever altering the mountain?
Eolian likes to refer to Mount Waldo as “impacted,” and yes, there are three radio and cell towers there. But no one who has been on Mount Waldo would label it impacted. Except for a small one-lane access road, foot trails are the only pathways crisscrossing through the forest on the mountain.
Putting turbines on the mountain would greatly impact it. Just think about getting those things up there. Large roads would have to be built. This means clear-cutting and blasting, run-off and erosion.
So now Eolian is saying it would install four turbines (or maybe four; like most of their information it changes often). Knowing that these will generate power between 18 percent and 30 percent of the time (FERC statistic, you can look it up), is it worth it? Really?
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