Invited to Tradewind meeting, then asked to leave

On October 30, I received an invitation to attend a landowners meeting hosted by Tradewind Energy. From the letter: “We look forward to sharing some new and exciting information regarding the Alta Farms Wind Project II and let you know what this means for you.” I RSVPed, and when I arrived at the meeting on November 14, I was told to leave by the Development Director, Tom Swierczewski. He informed me that Tradewind Energy already knew how I felt about the project, and that they had made a mistake in inviting me in the first place.

I have testified at hearings concerning ordinance changes for the County. My concerns were (and still are) related to setbacks from non-participating landowners, how wildlife and migratory bird routes would be protected, what impact what may be the tallest land turbine towers in the US may have on hunting access and agricultural practices such as aerial spraying, and the potential for light pollution and aircraft safety due to the proposed height of the nearly 600 feet proposed per tower. This tower height is what they have submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval. Their applications can be found under Interim and Determined Cases at this point. Only the meteorological towers have reached the determined stage as yet- . Tradewind Energy looks at most of these concerns as project killers, and thus I am the enemy now, I suppose.

On Tradewind Energy’s website, they state: “At Tradewind Energy, our commitment is to listen to you, answer your questions honestly, and partner with you to make each project a joint success. We take great care to engineer and construct our projects to minimize impacts and maximize benefits for all involved, giving careful consideration to the needs of landowners and communities.”

It was obvious that this is not the case, and the manner in which I was treated after receiving their invitation in the mail, RSVPing and being told “We look forward to seeing you there”, and then being told very bluntly to leave, was crass to say the least. If they had made a mistake in sending invitations to landowners and residents that they had no intention of “sharing new and exciting information” with, then that was their mistake and they handled their response very poorly. When this project was first proposed over 10 years ago, I attended the open house that was held in Heyworth. At that time the door was wide open. This time the door was slammed in my face. What a way to run a business.


Elizabeth Burns



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