The vote on the Savoy wind turbines last week gave us a lot to think about (“Savoy voters reject bylaw allowing taller wind turbines,” Sept. 27).
Minuteman and Palmer Capital stand to receive between $1.4 million and $2.83 million in annual subsidies in addition to the sale of their generated electricity. Before the meeting, The Berkshire Eagle had reported that the amount they are offering the town in lieu of taxes has fallen to $73,000. Not even enough to replace a plow truck!
Nine years ago the carrot that Minuteman dangled in front of the town was an annual payment of $220,000. And now we’re told that number is completely off the table. Why?
Before the vote we learned that after months of negotiation there is still no movement on the amount the town will receive, and the two sides are very far apart from any agreement. When asked how far apart they were, John Tynan responded: “a hundred thousand dollars.” So, millions of dollars in subsidies will flow to this developer every year and the town is in the posture of begging for a fraction of their promised payment. Why?
One thing is clear: These turbines are certainly not in the best interest of Savoy. The overwhelming vote that defeated the amendment to increase their size (126-NO to 53-YES) was a clear mandate. Residents of Savoy were not just saying “we don’t want larger blades on these turbines,” they were saying “we don’t want turbines – PERIOD!”
The investors would make millions. Eversource would make millions. But we here in Savoy who would be forced to suffer these oppressive industrial machines every day of our lives could only expect ever-increasing rates for our electricity! It’s like reading the history of Appalachia with a stream of developers promising dividends, only to ravish the landscape. Apparently, the prize in Savoy is our wind.
We must come together to protect our town, protect our neighbors, protect our property values and protect the rugged beauty of historic Savoy. We can solve our fiscal problems. We can work together to make our homes more energy efficient. We can write our legislators demanding a slice of these renewable incentives be available to aid in reducing our dependence on energy – not to make a few people rich, but to enrich the town of Savoy.
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