Ten years ago my husband and I returned to Gainesville/Era to enjoy retirement on our family land. We opted to live on this land because of the beautiful views east and west and the quiet. Today we are threatened with facing wind turbines the size of 50-story buildings, flashing red lights and long, heavy, loud trucks tearing up our farm-to-market and county roads.
Besides our potential loss of peace, quiet and wonderful vistas, the most galling aspects of the proposed EDP Renewables Wildcat Creek Wind Farm are the following:
The Portuguese corporation, which is proposing to build the wind farm while winning tax abatements from local taxing entities, is 25% owned by a huge Chinese corporation which is trying to buy that entire company.
EDP Renewables has not been forthcoming or transparent with the involved taxing entities about the size of its intended wind turbines, the corporate ownership and its actual need for tax abatements. After confirming publicly several times that the project could not be accomplished without tax abatements (and immediately after Era ISD rejected tax abatement) EDP resumed its attempts to sign up landowners. Maybe those tax abatements aren’t so crucial after all.
EDP Renewables has stated that it intends to sell its electricity to large companies in the DFW area. That means Cooke County would not benefit from cheaper electricity generation.
If EDP Renewables recruits enough landowners for its proposed wind farm, its wind turbines must be connected to transmission lines. Access to those transmission lines will, in many cases, allow the electric company which purchases the power from Wildcat the use of eminent domain to take away landowners’ property. These will not be the same landowners who needed or wanted to contract with the company for lease payments.
If these things can be forced on the western part of Cooke County, it can also spread to the eastern side in future years.
We are members of the Cooke County Coalition for Property Rights. We applaud the courage and judgment of the Era ISD Board of Directors and the Muenster Memorial Hospital Board of Directors in rejecting tax abatements for the proposed Wildcat Creek Wind Farm and urge the remaining entities – the Gainesville Hospital District Board of Directors, Muenster ISD Board of Directors, the NCTC Board of Directors and the Cooke County Commissioners Court – to follow suit.
Paula Roberts, Gainesville
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