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Wind Energy A Farmers Perspective. Vice President of Iowa Farmers Union Experience with wind turbine leases Experience with distributed generation development.

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Presentation on theme: "Wind Energy A Farmers Perspective. Vice President of Iowa Farmers Union Experience with wind turbine leases Experience with distributed generation development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wind Energy A Farmers Perspective

2 Vice President of Iowa Farmers Union Experience with wind turbine leases Experience with distributed generation development Farmer perspective on transmission and renewable energy

3 Scott Rasmussen Poll –July 09 56% of Americans say they are not willing to pay more in Taxes and utility costs to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. 21% of Americans are willing to pay $100 more per year for cleaner energy and to counter global warming. Only 14% are willing to pay more than that amount.

4 Rasmussen Reports 52% of all adults say it is more important to keep the cost of energy as low as possible than it is to develop clean, environmentally friendly sources of energy 63% rate creating jobs as more important than taking steps to stop global warming In May, only 24% of voters could correctly identify the “Cap And Trade” plan as something that deals with environmental issues.

5 Speaker observations Average ratepayers : Quite a few of us don’t believe humans affect climate Lots of us are unemployed, or financially stressed All of us frequently receive misinformation about Renewables and Transmission issues

6 Result – Low Public Support Transmission – build it and they (turbines) will come? Probably not Pricing issues Interconnection issues Image problem – result of current renewable business model - shutting farmers & citizens out of the market Lack of discussion of alternatives

7 Distributed generation 2 Megawatt single turbine project Distribution line interconnection No transmission impacts Low installed cost Interconnection woes – $cost – electrical standard squabbles – interconnection equipment – over 3 years – not finished Low power purchase offer for DG

8 Iowa Utilities Docket RPU Nextera pricing – 54to 55 dollars per MWH escalating at 2% per year- installed costs of $2150 to $2175 per KW Mid American pricing - 79 to 92 dollars per MWH - installed costs of $2355 to $2685 per KW Economies of scale ?? Add cost of building transmission and DG starts to look very economical

9 Farmer Perspective Shut out of the market Live with effects of wind farms and transmission Can only participate by leasing my land to a utility project My REC frequently tells me wind energy will raise my electric rates

10 When you are approached by a wind developer in Iowa My neighbors signed development contracts surrounding my parcel of land I signed development rights to out of state company before I saw terms I would be offered No bargaining, take it or leave it Developer shopped project to utility If they were unsuccessful, my property would have been tied up Low annual lease, about 1% of annual gross revenue of the wind turbine – extraction business model

11 Would I do this again ? Low annual turbine lease payment Crop damage 3 years to resolve – meeting with attorney generals office - other issues still not resolved Pomeroy residents organized as a group after trying to settle claims individually

12 Contract landowner issues Settlements. Failure to provide a timely settlement for crop damage and compaction at the turbine site and crane and electrical paths as stated in the contract. Poor communication. No response to questions and requests for information. (See above) Need someone on site in the project area with the authority to make a decision as they meet with contract and non-contract holders. Field debris. Rocks turned up, lumber, plastic, fences, posts, etc. left lying around. These will need to be picked up before field work begins. Broken tile. Water standing where it has not in the past. They are supposed to fix tile for 5 years on parcels of ground that construction equipment traveled on. What is the policy for restitution if cut/broken tile is not fixed before field work begins this spring and wet spots can’t be farmed?

13 Non-contract landowner/tenant farmer issues Substation location. It is situated close to an occupied acreage. The noise from cooling fans and light from the security lights negatively impact the house and occupants. Poor communication. No response to questions and requests for information. Need someone on site in the project area with the authority to make a decision as they meet with contract and non-contract holders. Field debris. Rocks turned up, lumber, plastic, fences, posts, etc. left lying around. These will need to be picked up before field work begins. Broken tile. Water standing where it has not in the past. They are supposed to fix tile for 5 years on parcels of ground that construction equipment traveled on. What can be done for drainage issues on a parcel of ground, owned by someone who does not have a turbine, which is adjacent to land the construction equipment traveled across? What is the policy for restitution if cut/broken tile is not fixed before field work begins this spring and wet spots can’t be farmed?

14 Trespassing. During construction, the crew knocked down crop and traveled across land without permission. This happened to a non-contract landowner. Meeting. Notification was not sent to affected, non-contract land and acreage owners in the project. No opportunity for these people to express their concerns. Nuisance. The project changed our view of the landscape. Blade and turbine noise is excessive. Shadow flicker throughout the day for those living in and around the project. There is no longer the natural view of the skyline and pleasant sounds that we expect and enjoy. Sitting outside and enjoying the peaceful sights and sounds of country living is no longer possible. Property value. Not everyone wants to live next to a wind turbine for a number of reasons (see issues above). Non-contract landowners did not have a say in whether or not a turbine was erected near their property, but we are now forced to live with the long term effect and the reduced property values that go with it.

15 MidAmerican Reaction ? Ignore Then dismiss - Nimby’s and Banana’s – I had very poor experiences with employees Explaining this to state AG office was the only thing that helped resolve this

16 Iowa Farmers Union Eminent Domain for building transmission– IFU opposed MEC fights Farmer Owned wind energy IFU worked out a voluntary agreement for locally owned wind energy connected to MEC in 2006 –still not enacted They haven’t kept their promise with IFU- A lot of farmers at their Pomeroy project feel the same way

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20 Remove a foundation ? Liability issues with unhappy neighbors

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23 Is this the best way to sell the public on renewable energy ? Farmers shut out of market I% of profit stays in the local economy, turbine leases on absentee owned land, electricity, green pricing, leave the area. This is an extraction business model modeled after the oil &gas industry leases Locals live with the effects of a commercial wind project - New transmission Socialize the costs-Privatize the Profits

24 We need some vision from elected officials Iowa Legislators want to be leaders in Renewable Energy Transmission will take years to build, we could add thousands of megawatts on the existing power lines we have now We need options : Protect landowners,Local ownership, hybrid ownership models Iowa will not reach our goal without adopting policy so all citizens can participate. We will not fully develop Iowa’s wind resource if there is nothing in it for rural folks! Is this the best we can do ? Great opportunity – on track for a mediocre result ?

25 I’m really pro wind ! Downer We do need to build transmission We also need to efficiently utilize the infrastructure we have now -DG Smart grid to manage distributed renewables Thank the sponsors for involving all the stakeholders

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