I have spent 84 years above the grass and hope I have gained knowledge with each year. Like my mother used to say, “Live and Learn.” We all have learned from our experiences. I know some people really wanted one or more turbines and at $12,000 per turbine that is $360,000 for the 30 year life of the turbine.
I’d like to tell you what is going to happen in the next 30 years, in my opinion, with a little story.
In the summer of 1941, my father bought a new 1942 Plymouth for $679. After WWII In 1946, he paid $1,000 for the first new Plymouth the dealership received in our hometown. In 1952, when I came home from Korea, I bought a new 1952 Chevrolet for $1,880 without sales tax. Last year I bought a new Ford truck and it is nice but it is far from loaded and it was $35,679.69 plus sales tax. You’re getting the picture.
The first few years will be fine for turbine leaseholders. However, the value of the $12,000 will depreciate in value and federal, state, and county taxes will continue to go up and the appraised value of your land may go up due to the turbines. The turbine company has depreciated the turbines and they will sell them to another company, who will again depreciate and sell them to a third company. The third company will depreciate them and the 30 years are over and the tall 492-foot turbines are obsolete if not before.
When a generation or two have past, the youngest son, grandson, or great grandson will be operating the farm. The $12,000 will buy $2,000 or so of merchandise in current year prices. The grandson can make more money farming that acre than he made from the turbine when and if he was getting paid. The current turbine company will tell the grandson they didn’t agree to tear the turbine down or they will just go bankrupt and leave the country.
The grandson will say why did my grandparents put up the turbine? It is going to cost me many times more than the $12,000 to tear one down. Maybe the government will do it with our tax money. How many times has the government done this sort of thing? Look at Continental Steel in Kokomo and other vacant factories in Muncie, New Castle, and Anderson.
Glenn Sheets, Sharpsville