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Iberdrola threatens to pull project

The board is considering a law proposed by the town's wind committee that would require Iberdrola Renewables to compensate property owners who see drops in their land values because of the presence of wind turbines. The proposal also requires the company to buy out any property owner who objects to living near a turbine.

COMPANY CALLS RULES 'UNWORKABLE': Proposal would force buyouts if owners oppose wind turbines

HAMMOND - Iberdrola Renewables is threatening to pull its plans for a wind farm here if the Town Council passes rules it deems "unworkable."

The board is considering a law proposed by the town's wind committee that would require Iberdrola Renewables to compensate property owners who see drops in their land values because of the presence of wind turbines. The proposal also requires the company to buy out any property owner who objects to living near a turbine.

"If there aren't any negative effects to property values, then they are no worse for wear if this agreement is included," wind committee chairman Ronald R. Papke said.

But Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul N. Copleman said the company won't conduct business inside the town if the so-called "Residential Property Value Guarantee Agreement" is passed.

"We feel the draft of the RPVG is unworkable as it stands now," he said.

In a letter to the town, Ibedrola senior counsel Mark Epstein told the town the company was "very surprised and disappointed" that the proposal made its way through the wind committee "without having the opportunity... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

COMPANY CALLS RULES 'UNWORKABLE': Proposal would force buyouts if owners oppose wind turbines

HAMMOND - Iberdrola Renewables is threatening to pull its plans for a wind farm here if the Town Council passes rules it deems "unworkable."

The board is considering a law proposed by the town's wind committee that would require Iberdrola Renewables to compensate property owners who see drops in their land values because of the presence of wind turbines. The proposal also requires the company to buy out any property owner who objects to living near a turbine.

"If there aren't any negative effects to property values, then they are no worse for wear if this agreement is included," wind committee chairman Ronald R. Papke said.

But Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul N. Copleman said the company won't conduct business inside the town if the so-called "Residential Property Value Guarantee Agreement" is passed.

"We feel the draft of the RPVG is unworkable as it stands now," he said.

In a letter to the town, Ibedrola senior counsel Mark Epstein told the town the company was "very surprised and disappointed" that the proposal made its way through the wind committee "without having the opportunity to discuss ... fully documented evidence."

The letter indicates the proposal isn't needed.

"We understand why this question is of interest to the community, and as we have shown at wind projects throughout the country, we are happy to discuss the matter in a fair and open matter in order to alleviate any concern," Mr. Epstein wrote. "We would hope to have that conversation before any action is taken on the RPVG."

Now that the proposal has passed the committee, the Town Council must decide whether to turn elements of the proposal into a law.

Town Supervisor Ronald W. Bertram said he's in favor of it: "Personally, I believe it's vital in protecting the citizens of Hammond."

The agreement would require Iberdrola to agree to compensate a property owner if he or she cannot get the appraised value in a sale because of the presence of wind turbines. The proposal also calls for Iberdrola to buy out a property owner who is completely opposed to living near a turbine.

Given the evidence Iberdrola Renewables has presented to the town showing property values aren't affected, Mr. Bertram said "I don't understand" the company's objections.

The company's letter argues the ordinance is excessive and unacceptable and "would eliminate any possibility of development in Hammond not only of wind farms, but also of any other commercial development."

"While there are many terms that we consider objectionable, in particular, the idea that a landowner could force the company to purchase their property renders the economics of development in Hammond completely unpredictable and unworkable," Mr. Epstein wrote.

The town plans to discuss the issue at a council meeting at 7:15 p.m. today, with a vote taking place sometime in January, Mr. Bertram said.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

DEC 13 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/29328-iberdrola-threatens-to-pull-project
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