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Foreign wind energy company pursues local landowners  

Credit:  Greece-based entity may not pursue project due to heavy opposition | By Brent Burgess | Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post | Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | www.fredericksburgstandard.com ~~

Whether traveling north, south or west, it does not take long on a Texas highway to come across large swatches of land dotted with wind energy turbines.

These energy producers stand more than 650 feet tall, or more than 100 feet taller than Enchanted Rock from base to summit.

Some Gillespie County landowners near Enchanted Rock recently received letters from Terna Energy, offering to develop wind farm lease agreements in the area.

“We have identified one or more parcels of your land that have features favorable for a wind project,” said the letter that many landowners received. The solicitation was signed by Shane Thompson, Contract Land Leasing Specialist for Terna Energy.

The letter conveyed significant benefits are available to landowners who participate in the project.

Terna Energy is based in Athens, Greece and was founded in 1997. The corporation specializes in renewable energy development.

Terna is not the first wind farm developer to seek land leases in the region.

In 2007, two wind farm developers attempted to obtain land lease agreements in Gillespie County. The ambitions of these companies motivated the formation of Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE), a non-profit organization of community members who oppose wind energy in the region.

According to Errol Candy, vice president of the organization, SOSHCE is not opposed to green energy, but does not see wind energy as a sensible industry for Gillespie County.

The SOSHCE cites land values, the aesthetic of the region and tourism as key factors in the economic sustainability of the area and believes that wind farming would negatively impact these assets.

Candy admitted that SOSHCE has very little power to create any true barriers between wind farm developers and landowners who wish to participate in these projects. So, SOSHCE primarily seeks to educate the public on these land leases, specifically pointing out the control over land rights that is handed over to the energy companies often through lifetime contracts.

Gillespie County Commissioner Charles Olfers personally owns land near Cherokee in the area where Terna was seeking potential lease agreements, and had received a letter from Thompson himself.

“I did call him (Thompson) and I gave my disappointment,” said Olfers. “My constituents are not in favor of it.”

Thompson mentioned that there had been some landowners interested in discussing land lease agreements, but that overwhelming resistance made the development an uphill battle.

“They did hit this area, seemingly with quite a bit of resistance very quickly,” said Olfers.

When contacted by the Standard-Radio Post, as of Monday, Thompson indicated that Terna Energy has abandoned the project due to overwhelming opposition in the area.

“(It) looks good to some people right now, especially with our economy,” said Olfers. “And they don’t realize what the long-term ramifications are going to be.”

Source:  Greece-based entity may not pursue project due to heavy opposition | By Brent Burgess | Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post | Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | www.fredericksburgstandard.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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