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Hill Country residents oppose wind farms

A failed attempt by one alternative energy company has not stopped efforts to bring wind farms to the Hill Country.

A West Texas-based company has approached landowners in Llano and Gillespie counties, and yet another wind power company has approached a landowner in Mason County.

Despite the promise of alternative energy, coming to Central Texas has not been much of a breeze for this industry.

“I like it out here where it’s nice and quiet, you can hear the chickens, see all the animals,” said Les Bradley of Fredericksburg.

Those images are all part of the Hill Country mystique.

“You’ve got ranching; you’ve got the tourists,” Bradley said.

A company known as Hilliard Energy seeks to pepper the countryside with wind turbines, and residents said they fear the noisy turbines might threaten the peace.

“There are areas they can go to that won’t be as against it as this area is,” Bradley said.

It’s more than just a concern about protecting the way of life and tourism in this area. Residents said they want to keep wind farms out to protect the natural beauty.

“I don’t personally see anything beautiful about a 400-foot windmill sitting out there,” said Dennis Kusenberger. “I think the sunset with just a shadow from the elevation of the hills we have here are about good as it’s going to get.”

This industry could become a big fish in a little pond, bringing with it potential jobs and more power, but it is still a hard sell for some accustomed to serene living.

“It will certainly devalue their property if you’re looking at a 400-foot tower right across your backyard fence,” Kusenberger said.

KXAN Austin News tried to get a statement from Hilliard Energy, but calls made to the legal department, the general manager and the marketing director have not been returned.