Wow, this information is very hard to find in print; COSTS to DEcommission a large wind energy turbine. Developers like to tell us there are bonds to cover such costs. In Ohio, approximately $5,000 range/turbine. That number is laughable, but it is often hard to prove. Why? Because so few turbines are ever actually decommissioned – they are often just left standing, dead – don’t believe us? Just Google dead turbines and you will find pictures all over the web, particularly, of older ones in California and an entire industrial wind site in Hawaii. The reality, however? If you want them removed from your community, after their expected life of 10-15 years, the estimated cost is $224,000 PER TURBINE. What farmer can afford that? What county can afford that? What state can afford that? Certainly not Ohio….
Bureau County resident Ed Gerdes addressed the Bureau County Board on Tuesday with further concerns about decommissioning the Big Sky wind turbine project, located north of Ohio.
Since he addressed the board last month, he along with follow residents sharing similar concerns, have done more digging into the project and have developed additional questions about decommissioning.
“The people who should be here talking about the decommissioning are landowners, but as you know, they have a confidentiality clause in their lease which doesn’t allow them to speak publicly,” he said. “In fact, we found out as of now, they don’t know the project has been sold … and I know they don’t know what’s going on with the decommissioning plan either.”
At last month’s county board meeting, Gerdes shared an in-depth study his group had done by a Virginia-based company on decommissioning costs. As previously reported in the BCR, the study revealed the total cost to take down 87 turbines was just over $19.4 million, or about $224,000 per turbine. At that rate, the cost to decommission Big Sky could potentially be in the $10-12 million range….
“They are a hazard, and on top of that, who is liable for injures suffered from the time they are shut down to the time they are taken down? The landowners I’m assuming would again have to have some sort of liability insurance to take care of that,” he said….