Dear Commissioners and Staff,
I spoke on Monday evening (20 March) about the need to add something in the Wind Turbine regulations about the quality of the applicant because of the large amount of buyer’s remorse several countries, states, and counties have after entering into partnerships with particular companies. I know not all wind turbine companies have a bad reputation; however, if Douglas County enters into a partnership with a company with a bad reputation, it not only makes a bad impression on the public but could also lead to years of potential legal issues and headaches.
My comments the other night focused on NextEra Energy only because their representative spoke and highlighted only the company’s positive attributes. Furthermore, NextEra is the most likely candidate at the moment to apply because they are already in the process of signing up landowners. I know I rattled off numerous numbers when I spoke, and I wanted to allow you the opportunity to verify my information and do more research if you wanted. I didn’t plan on speaking on Monday, so this information was found during 10-15 minutes of searching the web while waiting my turn. The quality of the applicant is an important consideration for Douglas County’s residents and me, and further research may yield additional concerns.
Sources for the information I presented:
NextEra CEO steps down because of alleged state and federal campaign violations, media manipulation, and surveillance of critical journalists https://www.npr.org/2023/01/25/1151453870/fpl-florida-power-ceo-eric-silagy
$36 million in fines between 2000-2017 for NextEra and its subsidiaries https://www.energyandpolicy.org/nextera-energy/
NextEra $8 Million fine and given 5 years of probation for killing 150 golden and bald eagles https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/esi-energy-llc-wholly-owned-subsidiary-nextera-energy-resources-llc-sentenced-after-pleading
South Carolina investigates NextEra because of lobbying efforts https://apnews.com/article/business-criminal-investigations-lobbying-campaigns-south-carolina-c7752594f8e7a780771b88585e703717
NextEra loses lawsuit against Reno County, KS challenging citizens petitions https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2022/09/01/appeals-court-rules-against-nextera-energy-in-a-lawsuit-against-reno-county-over-wind-farm/
NextEra spent millions trying to ban clean energy transmission line project in Maine https://www.energyandpolicy.org/nextera-spent-20-million-to-ban-clean-energy-transmission-project-in-maine/
Again, if an industrial/commercial turbine project comes to Douglas County, we need to think not only about the turbine’s placement and its effect but also about the quality of the applicant. I don’t think the County or the public would want or should enter into a contract with an applicant on probation by the Department of Justice because of clear violations and blatant disregard for laws and regulations. Lastly, I think the County and City Planners must be careful and critical of the information NextEra provides them during this process. The above articles have shown that their reputation and track record should be further evaluated.
Thank you for your time,
Douglas County rural resident