LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted October 4, 2018
I recently saw a letter posted where an employee of Trinity felt those opposed to an industrial wind complex in DeWitt County were posing a threat to his livelihood. I am confused by this statement because from the beginning Tradewind has never showed serious intent to employ any local business.
It is important to state that wind developers know the PTC will eventually end. They have had decades to develop a business model that would allow their companies to exist without this handout yet they have failed to do so. Their lack of action on this part is what threatens the long term opportunities for wind turbine component suppliers. Not the local citizens.
During the research, siting and survey processes I, along with others, repeatedly saw vehicles with out of state license plates. I know for a fact there are capable businesses with industrial wind complex experience that are locally owned and employ people in DeWitt, Macon and other surrounding counties that were never contacted by Tradewind. Why did they fail to hire those businesses and help provide an income to feed and house those local families?
It also would appear Tradewind never had any intent to utilize our local wind tower business, which makes no sense. This project could have been scaled from the beginning so that Trinity could have been a supplier. That hasn't happened. One of the things Tradewind keeps dangling in front of the board is the number of jobs this project would create. Yet they have failed to utilize local businesses that could certainly use the work with the current economy in Illinois.
Now this person wants us to re elect board members who have never questioned the lack of local businesses used by Tradewind; board members that did not work to ensure Trinity would be utilized on the project?
Have these board members also never driven down to the Macon County wind complex to see what license plates and companies are on site each time a turbine needs repair? I have made a point to drive by the site during 4 of the recent repairs. Surprisingly I rarely saw an Illinois license plate. So where are the 10 permanent local turbine technicians that project was supposed to create jobs for?
If these wind turbines are truly 'green' they would be employing local resources to eliminate the additional fossil fuel needed to transport out of state employees and out of state components to the site. It seems inexcusable that we would end up with wind turbines in our county where the towers are not supplied by a company right here which actively employees DeWitt County residents.