Travis Clendenen’s September 27 letter to the editor is a wonderful example of the deceit, both large and small, that the wind industry is built on. On one side of the wind debate is Mr. Clendenen, who failed to disclose that he is a employee of Vestas – one of the largest foreign industrial wind turbine manufacturers in the world. Mr. Clendenen’s employer would receive a multi-million dollar contract if Vestas wind turbines are used in the Sibley wind development.
The Sibley industrial wind project is also a good example of how wind developers use bait and switch sales tactics. The Sibley project was permitted as a “Community Based Energy Development” (CBED) wind project with local Minnesotans as owners. However, as soon as the project secured a power purchase agreement to receive Minnesota rate payers’ money, its membership interests were sold to Star Distributed Energy in Indiana.
On the other side of the debate are the good folks of Sibley County. The local residents who will be most directly affected are using their own time and treasure to try to protect their homes and families from an out-of-state wind developer in pursuit of Minnesota rate money and federal tax credits. The Minnesota Rural Electric Association estimated a rate payer loss of $70 million dollars a year just on wind energy that they were forced to buy when they did not need it and re-sold it at a loss somewhere on the grid. Industrial wind is also the main driver of the 2 billion dollar CAPX 2020 power line expansion across Minnesota. A closer look at wind reveals it is anything but cost competitive for Minnesotans.
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