The wind blowing through Gillespie County won’t be used to generate power anytime soon, that is if Robert Weatherford has his way.
Weatherford is president of Save Our Scenic Hill Country, a group committed to keeping wind farms out of the Texas Hill Country.
“We think that it would significantly impact the scenic beauty of this area,” Weatherford said.
One of the areas being considered by energy companies for wind farming was the hills north of Fredericksburg, near Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
Now local governments are making their opposition to the
giant wind turbines known.
Gillespie County Commissioners passed a resolution that says the county opposes the creation of wind farms in Gillespie County and throughout the entire hill country.
Greg Snelgrove, director of economic development in
Gillespie County, said wind farms would destroy what makes the
area so special.
“A huge portion of our revenue is generated from tourism. We do
not believe that a wind farms are attractive to tourists,” Snelgrove said.
After meeting with community leaders NRG Energy officials announced they are no longer considering Gillespie County as a possible site for a wind farm.
That’s welcome news for the more than 200 members of Save Our Scenic Hill Country, but the group isn’t letting its guard down.
“Until we know for sure that there are not going to be other
companies we are going to continue to stay very active to help prevent the installation of wind turbines in this area,” Weatherford said.
“We really would prefer they go to other locations, we don’t think
they’re a good fit here,” Snelgrove said.
Wind farm opponents say there is nothing stopping another company from coming in and starting a new farm.
They’re hoping the legislature will take steps to regulate turbine
placement during the next session.
Gillespie County, Fredericksburg, and the city of Llano have all passed resolutions against wind farms.
Currently Texas leads the nation in the number of wind farms it has, but it does not regulate them.
By Russell Wilde
29 December 2007
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