September 19, 2018
Letters, Ohio

Carpetbaggers and their turbines

The Advertiser Tribune | Sep 17, 2018 |

You have read here previously of how sPower refused to cancel my wind lease agreement even after learning their agents had used misrepresentation to get me to sign it. Now comes the story that a great many other people are having problems with them as well.

Through the second half of this year, a large number of the leases they hold in Seneca County are expiring from their “preconstruction” phases and should require the landowner to re-sign the agreement if they would like to continue being part of the project. At least 30 of these expiring leases are parcels which will either have turbines, according to the plans released by sPower, or let a turbine be built on a nearby property that is too close to have a turbine without the neighbor’s OK.

After seeing the plans, learning of all the permanent access roads that will be built across their fields, hearing of severe problems in other wind projects with broken and crushed field tiles, learning of the adverse affects of living near turbines, researching the awful consequences to area wildlife, and witnessing the beginnings of permanent loss of friendship with their neighbors, more than half of these leaseholders have decided they want to wash their hands of the entire situation by foregoing any money and not renewing their lease.

But guess what, with the preconstruction part of these leases expiring, and not yet having a permit to begin construction, sPower is refusing to let the dissenting landowners out. By taking advantage of some loophole in the contract, they are saying the project is “under construction” and therefore now in “construction phase,” which locks the leaseholder in for another three years. By then, the turbines will be built and the lease becomes perpetual for all practical purposes.

What kind of a company holds people hostage like this? Is this the kind of company we want in this county for the rest of many of our lives? Do Holly Stacy and Shayne Thomas know about this when they say all the landowners who have signed up support these projects? How can anything that begins with trickery and lies ever turn out to be good for us? Who but unscrupulous carpetbaggers would operate in such a fashion? sPower should either treat our people with dignity or pack up their bags and get out of town … for good.

Jim Hoffert,

Bloom Township

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