Straight talk for wind farms in good and bad news — stimulus and tower collapse

The Saint ReportEnergy, Environmental Planning, Saint Consulting Links, saintblog, Wind PowerLeave a Comment

By Jay Vincent,

Senior Vice President for Energy, The Saint Consulting Group

altona-wind-tower In all industry sectors, the strongest motivator of NIMBY is typically fear of change from the status quo, but as we commonly counsel our clients in the wind energy sector, the added motivation of concern over health, safety and welfare, warranted or not, is an added “bonus” to those who do not wish wind energy developers well.

The wind tower collapse at Altona, NY — see Burlington Free Press report — reminds us of imperatives for handling difficult news: we can only say don’t hesitate to get the accurate information to the public first on your terms, lest the local opposition make hay with the fear tactic of wind towers falling frequently, and letting the rumors spread over the net like, well, wildfire. Build trust with early, accurate news up front, before being put in a reactive position.

So far, the reports have been straightforward — see Wind Watch and accounts.

On a more encouraging note, the Ann Arbor Business Review interviews James Walker, president of the American Wind Energy Association, who says the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus package provides wind developers with tax credits that will accelerate recovery for the wind industry.

Jay Vincent is senior vice president, energy, for The Saint Consulting Group, email phone 312.970.5770 Ext: 7502

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