Resource Documents: Iowa (12 items)
Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.
Author: Swanson, Janna
MidAmerican Energy and all wind companies operating in the state of Iowa are and have been avoiding the regulation of the Iowa Utilities Board. That point of law is being argued in court so I will not address it here. If wind installations did go through the proper approval process of the IUB I do not believe they would be allowed. We are commenting on this docket to have our objection on record.
The entire idea that we need industrial wind is political. No one in Iowa is without electricity yet we are covering our state with a vast infrastructure that has little to no regulation. Since the general idea is avoiding CO2 the wind companies should be required to provide a comprehensive overview of how they are accomplishing that. According to Stastista.com mankind globally emits between 35-40 billion tons of CO2 each year. In 2016 the American Wind Energy Association boasted that turbines avoid 159 million metric tons which is far less than 1% of the CO2 emitted by man globally. Weighed against the negative impacts and vast cost of industrial wind this only seems to make sense if you ignore these facts. (I use the word fact loosely when considering AWEA’s numbers because they do not explain how they arrived at their numbers.)
The Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator MISO has reported that reducing CO2 with wind energy costs $237/ton.
Wind turbines cannot supply base load and reliability. We still have all the traditional power plants and transmission lines that we need at any given moment that wind energy is not available. Wind turbines only add power plants, add transmission, add negative impacts and add cost.
Environmental Impact Studies
The issue of environmental impacts has been glazed over because people believe that wind turbines are somehow mitigating Climate Change in such a great way that they are allowed to do anything.
MidAmerican is applying for their first endangered bat and bald eagle take permit in 20 years of having wind turbines. They are saying that they can somehow mitigate the impact of covering 519,937 acres of Iowa land with industrial wind turbines. If MidAmerican is allowed to double to number of turbines and we add the other turbines in Iowa, what the wind industry is asking is to cover at least a 1,500,000 acres of Iowa land in turbines. 1,500,000 acres of Iowa land is equal to 4 full Iowa counties. 4 whole counties worth of land that are no longer safe for birds and bats (or people). MidAmerican downplays the impact by saying that their 21 projects are only estimated to kill 10 bald eagles each year. If they doubled their projects, that is 20 found and documented eagles. If each of those eagles are part of a nesting pair that is now 40-60 eaglets that are at risk of not being born out of the 1700 eaglets reported born in 2016.
Add in the impact of the turbines not owned by MidAmerican and that number can easily be increased to 80-120 bald eagles each and every year from industrial wind alone.
Wind companies like to say that they choose their project areas by careful siting but it is interesting that the “proper” areas and where they have easements always seem to be in the same areas. In this map of a proposed installation in Palo Alto you will see that Invenergy has sited their project at the end of a glacial lake in the Prairie Pothole Region. It is the complete antithesis of “proper siting”.
Bats are also a very important part of our environment. They eat many of our pests that impact our largest economy, farming. A study was done on this subject by the U.S Geological Survey. This chart lists the economic impact on farming from the loss of bats all across the U.S. compiled by the USGS for that same study.
There are places in Iowa where landowners have been told that they cannot have a wind turbine because they have bat habitat so the landowner removes the habitat. Is MidAmerican reporting these landowners or are they just happily building their wind turbines now that the pesky habitat has been removed? This charge can be verified by location if need be.
We must also consider that farm land that is being taken out of production. The state and separate counties have always maintained that we should not take non-renewable farmland out of production for industrial pursuits. Our world class farm ground is irreplaceable. It takes 100’s of years to make even one inch of topsoil. Farm land is ranked by CSR or Corn Suitability Rating. Most wind turbines are situated on land with a high CSR. Turbine construction, crane routes between turbines and access roads all cause compaction that cannot be mitigated by deep ripping. This compaction can easily impact up to 5 acres per turbine. While crops can be grown on compacted soil the yields are reduced dramatically. If Iowa allows 8,000 (doubling the amount we have and bringing us to MidAmerican’s goals) turbines that is 40,000 acres of world class soil irreparably damaged which equals almost the entire footprint of Des Moines. This only does not seem worrisome to people who have never been hungry.
A lawsuit has been filed in Black Hawk County regarding this matter. Case No. CVCV134946 This suit is based on Iowa Code 335.
Turbine blades weighing up to 50,000 pounds per blade are also made out of non-recyclable toxic fiberglass. What landfill will these thousands and thousands of blades end up in?
Informing the people
The Iowa Utilities Board has allowed companies seeking to build wind projects like MidAmerican to take over this role of informing the public of their projects. Industrial wind turbines expect a community to put up with certain negative impacts. Some are spelled out in their own contracts, called Neighbor Agreements they offer to every residence within ½ mile of a wind turbine. One contract reads “to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversion systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference”- Invenergy neighbor agreement 2015. I would like them to explain in detail what they mean for the words “vibration, air turbulence and wake”. Some people have fled their homes because of the health impacts industrial wind can have. Big Wind has many studies that say that no one is hurt by industrial wind but Big Tobacco also was supported by many such studies. People need unbiased information or at least both sides much sooner in the process of siting an industrial wind energy installation.
A letter that was written by a colleague to the Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission talks about the health impacts of those living with industrial wind all over the world. I both know people that wind turbines do not impact and those that they do. We must consider the documentation of those affected.
A docket for objections
The people should have a proper place to voice their objections.
A place for the people to defend themselves
The people should also be afforded the right to defend ourselves, our families, our future generations, our homes, our businesses, our wildlife and our economy. We believe that if we were able to take this to a court of law that we would win overwhelmingly.
In 2016 a group of landowners hired lawyers and expert witnesses in Clinton County Missouri to go head to head with NextEra and all of their lawyers and expert witnesses not in a court of law but using court rules. They agreed on and argued 9 of the 13 easement effects attributed to industrial wind. After 55 hours of testimony the Clinton County 9 member Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously banned industrial wind. This scenario has been played out in different counties across the US.
It is my belief that this is why the wind companies want to avoid the Iowa Utilities Board approval process.
Iowa’s Rural Electric Co-ops have stated that they will not be building any more industrial wind turbines because the cost is too high. Iowa’s RECs are tax-exempt therefore the tax credits mean nothing to them. The turbines that they have were paid for, 100%, by the people through our taxes.
Only because of the generous subsidies and tax abatements is industrial wind energy viable. Warren Buffett has said it and MidAmerican has even said it in their own applications for ratemaking. Even within this application they talk about using “safe harbor” which will guarantee them 100% of the tax credits if they can show that they have expended 5% of any proposed project’s cost. These loopholes allow MidAmerican to build projects for a continued 4 years with 100% of the 10 year tax credit.
In Oklahoma Invenergy’s Windcatcher Project was rejected by the Texas PUC because they could not prove need and because their bid made assumptions about the future pricing of fuels that could not be supported. MidAmerican’s projects are similar because much of the energy will have to be shipped out of state to make the project work for them.
The only reason that our rates now have not skyrocketed is the $10 Billion in tax credits MidAmerican has freely admitted that they will receive over the average life of their industrial wind energy endeavor. This averages out to roughly $5 million per turbine. They will use our taxpayer money to “generously” not raise our bills. Iowa will be backed into a corner once these tax credits are gone and wind energy becomes once again burdensomely expensive.
MidAmerican has said that these wind turbines will last 30-40 years even though they can show no such proof. That number is pure conjecture. Even now we see that they are repowering machines barely a decade old.
The other expense that we wonder about is the expense of decommissioning. Even if the American people footed the bill on another round of industrial wind we know that existing wind turbines will have to be taken down. Expert engineers such as Tom Wind of Wind Utility Consulting, PC and Tom Hewson, Principal at Energy Ventures Analysis have set that cost at roughly $200,000-$232,207.80 per turbine.
The turbines in Fairbanks, Iowa that have been court ordered to be removed were supposed to have bonds of $150,000 per turbine for decommissioning. MidAmerican has only set aside either nothing (Worth County), about $30,000 per turbine for Palo Alto or $13,000 for Boone County. They say they will sell scrap or parts to offset decommissioning costs but there is no way to know what these prices will be and the report attached takes this into consideration.
I could write a whole other report on the community’s cost for increased transmission. The Rock Island Clean Line (that was also flatly refused by landowners all across the state) would’ve had more transmission poles than the amount of turbines it would’ve serviced. Again, increased transmission equals more damaged tiles, more compacted soil, declines in property values, more eyesores, more threats to wildlife and further decreased efficiency on farms.
MidAmerican also does not take into consideration the cost on the businesses and homes within rural communities. Reports by the wind industry show that property values do not decline but independent reports show that property values (homes and acreages) certainly decline in value. Across the US it is known that people do not wish to live within industrial wind installations. According to Invenergy in the proposed Palo Alto wind installation only 24 homes even participated by accepting a contract and money out of the 268 homes that would be directly impacted. This clearly shows that most people do not want the wind installation. This feeling is what impacts property values. In Apex’s installation in Clay County only 54 of 244 homes directly impacted accepted a contract. In fact the landowners tried to stage a land blockade much like landowners have done in O’Brien County. Most of the people who sign wind turbine contracts will not live next to a wind turbine. Only 5-15% of the people in an area will sign a wind turbine contract. Ida County has a petition of 600 names against adding more turbines. In Richland Township of Sac County the residents report that 87% of the people who have signed wind contracts do not live there. I have spoken to other industrial wind opposition activists, across the globe this formula follows. Ask the wind companies to provide these numbers to you since they are the ones who have it all documented.
Our businesses are suffering as their construction tears up our roads, crushes our tiles and makes aerial spraying inefficient or impossible. So far 519,937 acres of Iowa land have been impacted in this manner by MidAmerican alone.
Most of our Supervisors are NOT listening to the people, they are voting for the money. Their constituents fill their meetings begging them not to allow this like they do in communities across the US and around the world yet NOT ONE Iowa County has adequately protected their citizens.
In Michigan’s Thumb region they are allowed a referendum vote. 18 votes out of 18 votes the people have refused industrial wind. Iowa would be the same if we were allowed a voice.
Vermont has required that wind turbines be no louder than 39 dBA at night, 100 feet from any residence.
Many, many counties in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska have restricted or outright banned industrial wind. When communities protect their people, wind companies move on.
A widespread ad was narrated by Oklahoma’s Ex-Governor Frank Keating. Gov. Keating allowed the turbines in his state now laments how much of the money that could be used for schools, used for roads is instead going to the wind industry, an industry many of our lawmakers know as a sham industry.
MidAmerican and Alliant have a great deal of political power in Iowa. I have heard this from our legislators, other power companies, from the DOT and even from the Iowa Utilities Board in Sheila Tipton’s open letter to Gov. Branstad. These companies are running roughshod over our communities, over our governments and over our laws. They have not been voted in and they cannot be voted out. They do not have to adhere to the checks and balances that our governments must adhere to.
Even when communities seek to protect themselves MidAmerican has denied them that protection by holding the tax money out like a carrot to local government. This letter from MidAmerican/Invenergy to the Palo Alto Supervisors shows how our Planning and Zoning Board was ignored in favor of protecting MidAmerican’s bottom line. In Kossuth County the newspaper did a poll asking the people if they thought that the Supervisors made the wind ordinance for the people or the wind companies. 90% said the ordinance was made for the wind companies.
Industrial wind is being forced on thousands and thousands of Iowans. We have no power of recall, no power of referendum and even the IUB process has been taken from us. We are having this forced on us because those who don’t have to live with it have been lulled by the propaganda, lulled by the idea that industrial wind is green and free, that landowners “love the payments”.
Iowans have collected together across the state to form the Coalition for Rural Property Rights. We have called legislators, spoken with Gov. Reynolds, met at Senator Ernst’s office from all across the state, filed lawsuits, written letters, put up signs, placed radio ads and placed newspaper ads. We have a comprehensive Facebook page and have held statewide meetings. We are not only connected across the state but across the US and around the world. Even with our vast numbers it is almost impossible to fight against the money behind Warren Buffett, but we are doing it.
We are conservationists and business owners. We are Republican and Democrats. We are Iowa’s rural residents, we are landowners and many of us are farmers. It is difficult by demographic alone for us to fight so we are joining as one voice across Iowa. Most farmers have to rent some if not all of their ground in order to make a living. Some of the absentee landowners who have signed wind easement contracts and have threatened to take their ground from us if we speak up.
We are not against renewable energy or even wind energy. Like everyone else we thought that the concept was stellar until we finally learned what the full price is. We care about OUR environment and these industrial wind turbines are ruining our environment in more way than one.
Across the state people that have spoken up with problems from the turbines are often silenced with settlements or cannot win a lawsuit because they have signed a contract. Our utility companies seek to silence people so that they do not warn other communities.
That is why we demand our day in court. Industrial wind avoids court for a reason.
The wind industry calls us a “vocal minority” but we know our communities. We are the large majority of our rural communities. Industrial wind seeks to ruin the peace of our homes, the beauty of our countryside, our world-class farm ground, the efficiency of our businesses and our wildlife. These projects tear apart our communities and will stunt our economy because it is true that industrial wind does not make money. As Warren Buffett has famously said, "I will do anything that is basically covered >by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."
All of these impacts must be considered at the same time. We must not make the decisions based on flimsy polls and MidAmerican’s bottom line. We believe that most people would not support industrial wind if they knew what the thousands and thousands of people within the industrial installations know but many people have been “educated” solely by the wind industry’s political machine.
The future funds that MidAmerican and other utilities have been promised could go to fund a million different good causes but big business is preying on the guilt and the fears of the people to funnel money into their own accounts and we all know it, all to reduce manmade CO2 by less than 1%.
Please deny MidAmerican and the wind industry’s bid to continue the onslaught of rural Iowa.
Thank you for your time.
On behalf of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights, Janna Swanson
October 5, 2018
Coalition for Rural Property Rights board president National Wind Watch board member
Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance member
Download original document: “MidAmerican’s bid to IUB for ratemaking on Wind XII comment”
Author: Amshore US WindAmshore US WindAmshore US WindAmshore US WindAmshore US Wind
This ORIGINAL WIND EASEMENT (this “Easement”) is made and entered into effective as of the Effective Date by and between ____ (“Owner”) and Amshore US Wind, L.L.C., a Texas limited liability company, its successors and assigns (“Grantee”).
“Easement Term” or “Term”: Subject to earlier termination in accord with the terms of this Easement and the Option to Extend Wind Easement Term, set out in Section 24 below, the period commencing on the Effective Date and continuing for thirty (30) years after the Date of Commercial Operation, as extended by the terms of this Easement for purposes of removal of Improvements and completion of Surface Restoration.
“Permitted Use”: (1) Installing, operating, maintaining, removing, replacing and collecting data from meteorological towers, stations and anemometers, conducting avian, archeological and biological assessments, environmental assessments, soil and preconstruction analysis, and other studies and evaluations deemed necessary by Grantee for purposes of evaluating the Wind Resources of the Premises, exercising the rights granted to Grantee hereunder, and developing the Wind Energy Project; (2) Constructing, installing, operating, accessing, maintaining and removing (including, when necessary, replacing) (a) WTGs on WTG Pads on the Premises for the conversion of Wind Resources to electricity, and including replacing WTGs for purposes of repowering for conversion of Wind Resources to electricity on WTG Pads located on the Premises and/or in connection or conjunction with other real property on which the Wind Energy Project is located; and (b) all related Improvements (i) necessary or convenient to Grantee in conjunction with WTGs for the Wind Energy Project (ii) for the use by Grantee in collecting, transmitting or otherwise making electricity from the WTGs on the Wind Energy Project marketable and available for sale; or (iii) for the use by Grantee for access to and from the Improvements or a public right of way to the WTGs for the Wind Energy Project (in each case, whether or not such WTGs are on the Premises), or (3) uses otherwise permitted herein. All references in this Easement to electricity or the production of electricity shall mean and include any forms of energy generated from renewable natural wind resources that might be developed, provided nothing contained herein gives Grantee the right to develop renewable natural resources other than wind without the written agreement of Owner regarding the manner in which such other resources may be developed and considerations due Owner therefore.
“Improvements”: Improvements include, but are not limited to, any of the following: WTG’s, buried electric collection lines, electric collection systems, electric transmission lines and poles, telecommunication towers and lines, buried fiber optic and other telecommunication lines, physical hardware, supporting components, Interconnection Facilities, O&M Building, Utility Substation, Collection Substation, transformers, junction boxes, any other operation and maintenance buildings, communication buildings, meteorological towers, stations, anemometers, electric substations, project access and other roads, staging and laydown areas for the construction and maintenance of such Improvements, gates, fences, and any other improvements, equipment, facilities, or fixtures completed by Grantee in accordance with the terms hereunder that are related to and for the purpose of converting Wind Resources into electrical energy (and transmitting data related thereto).
Development Spacing. From and after the Effective Date of this Easement, Owner agrees that it will not (and will not allow any other person or entity to) construct any improvements whatsoever on the Premises that will interfere with the free and unobstructed natural wind flow over the Premises to a WTG. Owner shall not construct any improvements on a WTG Pad without the prior written consent of Grantee. Owner shall not construct any building or other structure in excess of sixty (60) feet in height in the Wind Flow Zone. Owner shall have the right to construct and maintain normal and customary farm and ranch improvements such as livestock pens, water wells, barns and sheds within the Wind Flow Zone. The construction of such farm and ranch improvements within the Wind Flow Zone and the construction of improvements outside the Wind Flow Zone shall be deemed not to interfere with the free and unobstructed natural wind flow over the Premises to the WTG; provided however, Grantee shall not construct any WTG within one thousand four hundred (1,400) feet of the main residence on the Premises or one thousand (1,000) feet of any other existing, permanent residence or barn, either of which is located immediately adjacent to the main residence, or within one hundred fifty (150) feet from any other existing structures, pump jacks, tank batteries, or other above ground oil and gas facilities located on the Premises as of the Effective Date, without Owner’s prior written consent.
Utility Substation & Collection Substation. At any time during the Term of this Easement, and upon notice by Grantee, Owner agrees to either (i) accept rental payments or (ii) promptly execute a purchase agreement, for an electric substation (“Utility Substation”) and transmission facilities in favor of Grantee, or at Grantee’s option, in favor of any electric transmission utility company providing Grantee access for its electricity to the MISO grid, covering no more than twenty-five (25) acres of land, which land must be other than mineral classified land, the location of which will be selected by Grantee and approved by Owner (which approval will not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed). … Owner shall also grant appropriate easements or sales … for road and power transmission facilities to permit connection to existing transmission lines.
O&M Building. Grantee shall have the right to construct an operations and maintenance facility on the Premises with storage facilities and parking areas (“O&M Building”) covering no more than ten (10) acres of land, the location of which be selected by Grantee after consultation with Owner.
Construction. … Grantee shall construct and install all electric gathering lines, conduit, fiber optics and cables for the collection of electricity (and related data) from the WTGs of the Wind Energy Project underground, buried to a depth of at least forty (40) inches, to the point of connection with any Utility and/or Collection Substation. Upon Owner request, all ditching or trenching shall be done either by trenching using the double ditching method of trench construction whereby up to eighteen (18) inches of the topsoil will be separated from the balance of the dirt removed in making the ditch or trench, so that any caliche, other rock or shale will be separated from any topsoil so removed, or by the plowing method. In backfilling after any such operation, the topsoil first removed shall be used as cover soil in such a manner as to result in it being returned to the top of the ditch or trench as topsoil unless the existing soils are rocky and cause thermal resistivity issues which require the use of different soil.
New and Improved Road Payments. Grantee agrees to pay Owner for each new road constructed by Grantee for the Easement Term and existing roads improved by Grantee on the Premises a one-time payment based on Eight Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($8,000.00) per mile, with a minimum payment of Eight Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($8,000.00) regardless of the actual distance of any such road. Any such roads shall not exceed thirty-six (36) feet in width (or a temporary width of fifty (50) feet of such roads during construction or certain maintenance/repair activities for the WTG’s and other Improvements) without the consent of Owner, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. … Payments under this Section 4.13 shall also constitute payment for surface and crop damages for the construction or installation of all underground electric gathering or collection lines and overhead power lines on the Premises that run along the route of or under new roads constructed by Grantee or existing roads improved by Grantee on the Premises, and any payments under this Section 4.13 shall be without duplication of the payments for Compensated Lines under Section 4.12.
Energy Royalty. Grantee shall pay Owner royalties on electricity produced from WTG’s located on the Premises, or on electricity sales from the Wind Energy Project otherwise attributable to the Premises (the “Energy Royalty”) as follows: (I) four percent (4.0%) of the Gross Revenues from the Date of Commercial Operation until the fifth (5th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation; (2) four and one-half percent (4.50%) of the Gross Revenues from the fifth (5th) anniversary to the tenth (I 0th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial tion; (3) five percent (5.00%) from the tenth (10th) anniversary to the fifteenth (15th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation; (4) five and one-half percent (5.50%) from the fifteenth (15th) anniversary to the twentieth (20th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation; (5) six percent (6.00%) from the twentieth (20th) anniversary to the twenty-fifth (25th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation; and (6) six and one-half percent (6.50%) from the twenty-fifth (25th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation until the end ofthe initial Easement Term.
Definition of Gross Revenues. “Gross Revenues” means the total monies received by Grantee from a utility company or other power purchaser (provided, however, that if electricity is sold to a subsidiary or affiliate of Grantee, then, and only then, the gross receipts from the sale of electricity under such contract shall be calculated using a sale of not less than the arithmetical average of the prices quoted by market sources of information, which information may be based upon the price paid by any purchaser or purchasers, including Grantee or any subsidiary or affiliate of Grantee, for electricity produced in the Iowa region of the Midwest Independent System Operator (“MISO”) from operation of wind turbines during the calendar year immediate!y preceding the year in which such electricity production from the Wind Energy Project occurs, taking into account the aggregate terms associated with such transaction) derived from the sale of electric energy and capacity produced and sold from the WTG’s installed on the Premises, net of proportional energy losses associated with the power collection system or utility interconnection. For the avoidance of doubt, Gross Revenues shall (A) exclude monies received from any source other than the sale of electric energy and capacity, including, without limitation, any of the following: (i) any federal, state, county or local tax benefits, grants or credits or allowances related to, derived from, or granted to the Wind Energy Project or Grantee, including, but not limited to, investment or production tax credits, or property or sales tax exemptions, (ii) proceeds from financing activities, sales, assignments, partial assignments, contracts (other than the power purchase agreement) or other dispositions of or related to the Wind Energy Project (such as damages for breach of contract or liquidated damages for delays in project completion or failures in equipment performance), (iii) amounts received as reimbursements or compensation for wheeling costs or other electricity transmission or delivery costs, and (iv) any proceeds received by Grantee as a result of damage or casualty to the Wind Energy Project, or any portion thereof and (B) include any revenues derived from Grantee’s sale of carbon dioxide trading credits, renewable energy credits or certificates, emissions reduction credits, emissions allowances, green tags, tradable renewable credits, or Green-e® products, any of which are allocated to Grantee, if applicable, through its participation in any voluntary registry, association or market-based exchange.
Minimum Royalty. … Grantee shall pay Owner a minimum royalty (the “Minimum Royalty”) equal to the greater of (I) the dollar amount per nameplate rated Megawatt Capacity or (2) the dollar amount per WTG Installed on the Premises based on the minimum dollar amount per year, as set forth in the table below. In the event the Megawatt Capacity per WTG increases during the Easement Term as a result of any repowering effort, the Minimum Royalty shall likewise increase where applicable. The Minimum Royalty shall be prorated for partial years. Grantee shall be allowed to credit against the Minimum Royalty any Energy Royalty accrued during any applicable year and timely paid to Owner as provided in this Easement. In each year that the Energy Royalty timely paid to Owner in accord with this Easement exceeds the Minimum Royalty, then no Minimum Royalty shall be due. I f following Commercial Operation, Grantee terminates this Easement prior to the end of the Easement Term, the full Minimum Royalty for the year of termination will be due and payable unless such Energy Royalty paid during such year exceeds the Minimum Royalty.
|APPLICABLE PERIOD||MINIMUM ROYALTY|
|From the Date of Commercial Operation through the fifth (5th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation||$3,500.00 per Megawatt Capacity or
$7,000.00 per WTG
|From the fifth (5th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation through the tenth (10th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation||$4,000.00 per Megawatt Capacity or
$8,000.00 per WTG
|From the tenth (1Oth) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation through the fifteenth (15th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation||$4,500.00 per Megawatt Capacity or
$9,000.00 per WTG
|From the fifteenth (15th) anniversary of the Date of Commercial Operation twentieth (20th) anniversary of Commercial Operation||$5,000.00 per Megawatt Capacity or
$10,000.00 per WTG
Exclusive Use and Owner Access. This Easement grants to Grantee a sole, superior and exclusive right of use, enjoyment or possession of the Premises for the Permitted Use, including without limitation as to (a) each WTG Pad during the period of construction of the WTG located on such WTG Pad, (b) fenced construction staging or storage areas of Grantee, (c) any Utility Substation, (d) the O&M Building and (e) any Collection Substation, where Grantee shall have the exclusive right of use, possession and enjoyment of such facilities, all subject to Owner’s inspection and emergency rights under this Easement.
Standards for Removal of Improvements. … Tower Foundations and Pad Mount Transformer Foundations: All foundations installed on the Premises shall be demolished, cleared and removed from the ground to a depth of at least three (3) feet from the grade of the surface of the land (i.e., below plow depth). Grantee shall ensure that any holes or cavities created in the ground as a result of such removal are filled with topsoil of the same or similar type at the Premises in accord with Surface Restoration. …
Amshore US Wind, Corpus Christi, Texas
Download original document: “Amshore Wind Easement, Kossuth County, Iowa”
Author: Swanson, Janna
For over 4 years now I have been working every day to protect rural Iowa from the onslaught of Industrial Wind Turbines. Beginning with the day our family received a certified letter that the Rock Island “Clean” Line, a 500 mile wind energy power line, was seeking a 200 foot easement by the threat of eminent domain through our farm. Now I and many other Iowa residents are seeking to halt the hundreds and hundreds of Industrial Wind Turbines being proposed throughout our communities. I am a member of the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance, a grassroots organization started in Clay County Iowa that stopped the Rock Island Clean Line and now I am a board member of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights started in Palo Alto that seeks to stop MidAmerican’s and Alliant’s wind energy goals because those goals are destroying the land and the peace of our homes.
Everyone loves wind turbines you say? Iowa’s government supports Industrial Wind? The farmers love the land payments? No, the closer you get to wind installations the more you will find out how much industrial turbines are losing favor. This last year I have received phone calls from all over the Midwest. People are distraught. People have been going door to door talking to neighbors, putting up signs, writing letters to newspapers, holding meeting, starting groups, starting webpages and talking with their County governments.
For the most part the people that support Industrial Wind live in town or don’t live here at all. In Palo Alto and Clay Counties an average of 4 residences per affected townships have signed up to have Industrial Turbines on land parcels where they live. In Sac County only 12% of the landowners that have signed contracts for industrial turbines actually live on the land. In Blackhawk, Poweshiek, Mahaska, Ida, Greene and Boone Counties it is all the same story. The rural residents don’t want the installations, have no vote yet will have to live with the negative impacts every day for as long as the turbines last.
The people who live in the footprint stand to make the most money but they refuse to sign because they have heard the testimonies of others that signed before they knew of the negative impacts. Many of these people would not sign if they had to do it all over again.
There are many, many reasons why people do not want Industrial Wind and none of those reasons have anything to do with the turbines being renewable energy.
Industrial Wind Turbines can be loud. In rural areas we generally have a nighttime decibel reading of 25 dBA. Wind turbine companies in our state have been seeking to raise that level to 45-60 dBA. Many times people have not just one turbine, but multiple turbines surrounding their homes. The noise is likened the sound to a jet plane that never lands.
Wind turbines create wakes and turbulence for miles. The pressure changes in the air from wind turbines can cause some people to feel dizzy or have headaches, vertigo. Between the pressure and the noise, sleep can be difficult. A growing number of experts are studying these claims and finding that the people with these claims are indeed not “making it up” as the wind industry claims.
Shadow flicker sounds innocuous enough but often it is allowed for rural residents to have to put up with the large shadows that are thrown by the blades for every day for weeks on end all within their homes and on their property. It is like a strobe light you cannot turn off. This can also make people feel ill.
The look of the turbines. Maybe a few are not horrible but when hundreds are shoved in one area it clutters the whole landscape and the night sky is filled with blinking red lights. It can ruin the beauty of the entire countryside for 30 miles in every direction from an area half the size of Des Moines for one installation. The largest reason why we have only 5 offshore wind turbines (these were built behind an island) in the US is because people do not want turbines in their coastal views. Iowans love their views as well. Town and city residents want to have attractive surroundings and so do rural residents.
Wind turbines complicate farming. Gone is any hope of straight rows and that decreases efficiency. Gone is efficient aerial applications. Gone is the soil that is world class and the staple of our economy. Many Ag pilots refuse to fly within half a mile of turbines. Ground rigs don’t work if the ground is soggy or the crops are leaning. The large equipment used to build turbines can damage tile and often it is not fixed in a timely manner or not at all when the wind company disagrees that the damage is their fault.
Turbine failures are inevitable. Failures are also far more common than the wind industry claims. GCube Insurance is a renewable energy insurance provider. On their website they claim “there are an estimated 3,800 incidences annually of blade failure – a rate of 1 in 184, or, put more simply, 1 incident per 61 turbines in operation.” Turbines that throw blades or fall over could harm people working the fields. Turbine fires burn for days and local fire crews are not equipped to fight them.
Wind turbines kill birds. The wind companies like to say that they only kill a small fraction of our birds. They cite buildings, cats and cars as other things that kill birds. How many of those things are there compared with the relatively small amount of turbines? We have 261.8 million cars and 86 million cats compared to 50,000 or so turbines yet the last administration felt the need to give wind companies the right to kill 4,200 eagles each year. That number does not include the rest of the birds or bats.
Our communities are fighting. The local town-based governments that have control over the rural areas want the money. That money, provided by the Production Tax Credit, is driving this whole mess. Even Warren Buffett is quoted saying “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
The American Wind Energy Association has done a great job of telling about how much the rural areas love Industrial Wind and the farmers love their payments. That is likely how they got our legislators to agree to this debacle. Now that the offers have been made and the numbers are in it looks like Iowans would rather preserve and protect our land and landscapes instead of giving MidAmerican or Alliant, that are planning to buy these projects from the wind companies, easement over thousands and thousands of our acres to control.
Many other communities across the US and around the world are voting Industrial Wind out of their communities or instilling restrictive zoning that makes installations unprofitable. Iowa is lagging far behind in protecting its people. They are allowing our utility monopolies to run over our rural communities to satisfy their own back-patting goals.
Wind companies often say that the mountain of evidence in the form of testimony and studies that speak to the problems people have living near industrial Wind turbines are all lies. Even we will admit that not everyone has these problems. I would respect the Industry more if they admitted the problems though they do list them in their contracts. Here is an excerpt from an Invenergy Neighbor Agreement contract that they offer non-participating residents within half a mile of their projects. For a small one-time payment their contract gives the developer an “exclusive easement on, over, under and across all of the Owner’s Property to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversion systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference.” If a company feels the need to offer these contracts then their turbines are too close. If a neighbor does not sign one of these contracts they will still receive the negative impacts. When communities instill zoning that protects homes and properties, there is not enough room for these 50–70-story-tall turbines.
People may say that farmers don’t like progress. If that were true many of us would still be farming with horses instead of machines with 250 horsepower. Farmers understand the cost of restoring our world-class soils after the turbines and the PTC have expired. The US does not make 4% of its energy from wind, only 4% of its electricity. That 4% has cost us billions. What we cut in greenhouse gases according to AWEA is 159 million metric tons of CO₂ worldwide. That is less CO₂ than the 290 million metric tons US forest fires release annually, just a tiny fraction of the 40 billion tons of CO₂ humans are responsible for every year. When you count the cost to our peace in our homes, loss of property values, harm to our wildlife, the harm to the land and agricultural businesses, the price of decommissioning, the loss of community relationships, the cost has been and will continue to be staggering.
Coalition for Rural Property Rights
Author: Upland Prairie c/o Apex Clean Energy
1. Lease. For the term and upon the provisions set forth in that Wind Energy Lease of even date herewith (the “Effective Date”) between Landlord and Tenant (the “Lease”), all of which provisions are specifically made a part hereof as though fully and completely set forth herein, Landlord hereby leases to Tenant, and Tenant hereby leases from Landlord for Wind Energy Purposes, that certain real property (the “Property”) located in Clay County, Iowa, as more particularly described in Exhibit “A” attached hereto, together with all rights of ingress and egress and all other rights appurtenant to the Property, as more particularly described in the Lease. Pursuant to the Lease, Tenant has the sole and exclusive rights to use the Property for Wind Energy Purposes.
2. No Interference. The Lease requires Landlord, during the Term of the Lease, not to cause nor permit any restriction or interference with: (a) the siting, permitting, construction, installation, maintenance, operation, replacement, or removal of Wind Facilities; (b) the flow of wind, wind speed or wind direction over the Property; (c) access over the Property to Wind Facilities; or (d) any other activities of Tenant permitted under the Lease.
3. Term. The term of the Lease shall expire eight (8) years after the Effective Date, if not extended or sooner terminated as provided in this Lease. Tenant may at its sole discretion extend the term of this Lease for an additional thirty (30) year term, with the further option to extend the term for two (2) additional ten (10) year terms.
4. Notice. This Memorandum is prepared for the purpose of giving notice of the Lease and in no way modifies the express provisions of the Lease. In the event of any conflict between the terms and provisions of the Lease and this Memorandum, the Lease shall control. This Memorandum shall continue to constitute notice of the Lease and all amendments thereto, even if the Lease is subsequently amended.
5. Successors and Assigns. The covenants, conditions and restrictions contained in the Lease shall run with the land and be binding on the successors and assigns of both Landlord and Tenant. Tenant and any transferee shall have the right throughout the Term to transfer, convey, sublease or assign this Lease or any interest in this Lease, the Property or the wind facilities to any person or entity without the consent of Landlord.
6. Ownership of Wind Facilities. Tenant shall at all times retain title to the Wind Facilities and shall have the right to remove them from the Property at any time. Landlord shall have no ownership, lien, security or other interest in any Wind Facilities installed on the Property and Landlord expressly waives, relinquishes and quitclaims any lien or security interest in and to the Wind Facilities or any other real or personal property of Tenant, whether arising at law or in equity.
7. No Severance of Wind Energy Rights. Landlord shall not assign or otherwise transfer an interest in the wind energy rights to the Property, or a portion thereof, separate from fee title to such real property, without Tenant’s consent which Tenant may withhold in its sole discretion.
8. Right of Reentry. Upon expiration or termination of the Term, Tenant shall have a license to enter onto the Property for eighteen (18) months following termination to restore the Property and for other activities as set forth in the Lease.
9. Transmission and Access Easement. If a utility requires and/or Tenant requests an easement in perpetuity with respect to one or more of the rights granted to Tenant pursuant to the Transmission and Access Easement, then Landlord shall grant the utility and/or Tenant, as applicable, such perpetual easement which covers the portion of the Property occupied by the utility’s and/or Tenant’s permanent roads, overhead and underground electrical and communications lines, collection and/or transmission equipment, as applicable, upon the terms set forth in the Lease.
As used herein, the term “Transmission and Access Easement” means, collectively, Tenant’s (i) exclusive right to construct, install, lay down, erect, improve, place, replace, remove, relocate and operate permanent roads, overhead and underground electrical and communications lines, collection and transmission equipment on the Property, and (ii) right of access more particularly described in Section 4.3 of the Lease.
Download original document: “Memorandum of lease”