Glenn Powell Sept 29, 2009
Excerpt: To Prince Edward County councillor Monica Alyea, the wind energy developers have a lot to learn when it comes to public relations. She attacked the industry for using slick, promotional gimmicks.
“You move through the community like the vacuum cleaner salesmen of years ago,” she stated. In an effort to get leases signed as quickly as possible, “you offer green new riches, and dazzle the property owners with beads, trinkets and funding for local causes.”
Alyea said the developers come armed with pretty pictures and lots of papers but fail to show the exact location of the towers, the transmission lines and the access roads.
“Don’t be afraid to show the real picture,” she stated. Let the people hear the sound of the turbines, she said and don’t describe a wind farm project as being located “out there on an isolated small piece of property”. People happen to live “out there” and lived “out there” for years she said. “They may not want their landscape covered with towers and transmission lines.”
A Wind farm provides minimal direct benefit to the local community, Alyea said, adding that the industry “has some learning to do about citizenship.”