Recently, the Sauk Valley Media Editorial Board published a shining endorsement of the Green River Wind Farm in the Daily Gazette. I would like to set the record straight on some of their assumptions:
Myth 1: Construction of turbines creates local jobs in the short term.
Fact: Developers bring their own crews in for construction. Very few local workers will receive any benefit.
Myth 2: Turbine maintenance creates local jobs long term.
Fact: Whiteside is considering nine turbines—one technician maintains 10 turbines, which equals one long-term job. At Mainsteam's maximum estimate of Phase 1 and Phase 2, there would be 290 turbines over three counties, so we would share approximately 29 jobs between the three counties.
Myth 3: The value of the turbines means property tax dollars to local governments, especially public school districts.
Fact: General state aid to local schools is reduced based on increases to property tax revenues and may take years to resume after turbines are decommissioned — just ask economics professor David Loomis of the ISU Renewables Program!
Myth 4: Rent paid on land with turbines provides property owners with additional income that can buy goods and services from local businesses.
Fact: Most landowners who have contracted to host turbines are absentee landowners from other communities or states — that money won’t be spent here.
Red Herring Propaganda: Imagine all the highways that never would have been built.
Fact: Wind farms cannot be compared to highways! The cost of highways and wind farms is shared by all, but only a select few actually benefit from turbines — most who are harmed will never benefit or receive compensation.
These are a few of the problems associated with wind turbines coming to our communities. It's a shame SVM has been as irresponsible in their endorsement as our county zoning committee!