What constitutes a good neighbor? Some may say financial contributions to the community infrastructure. “Wind energy provides much-needed tax income to rural communities, to schools, libraries and other public services, benefiting the entire community.” Perhaps, but it sometimes sounds and feels more like a buy-off.
Do we really feel that the promotion of a wind farm in the Bohemian Alps serves to develop good neighborly relations? The strategy appears to be one of secrecy (first contract was filed way back in December of 2013). Contracts made between landowners and wind companies restrict the signees from discussing details with neighbors. It is stated that this is done for competitive reasons, to limit access from other wind turbine companies.
My understanding is that signing a contract only gives the option to use the land at the company’s discretion. One neighbor may get tower(s), another a transmission line, another a substation, another only a signing bonus. A neighbor who does not sign a contract may still be impacted with setbacks, building restrictions, and physical and health disturbances for up to 100 years, all without the monetary benefit.
Promoting good community relations would be better served by neighbors discussing the merits of a community project (the scale of the jubilee project is huge – each member of the outlying area will be affected for up to 100 years) and the benefits or adverse effects which might be put on each member and the community at large. One might even go and visit a community located near Steele Flats, southeast of Fairbury, and observe how a wind farm impacted neighbors in that area.
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