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So You want to Establish a Windfarm Eh?



Important instructions for Budding Windfarm Entrepreneurs.

Preliminary Notes.

* The number one thing to remember in all your dealings is that you are "Green" and therefore hold the moral high ground. This gives you a latitude not available to conventional industry and enables you to cast scorn and derision on opponents. It also means that you can be quite elastic with facts to suit your own purposes.

* It is because our Governments are morally bound to the decisions made at Kyoto and have designated "renewable" electricity at over three times as dear as "dirty" coal generated power that windfarms can exist at all. You must therefore not accept in any form that wind energy is "subsidised', in fact you must quickly talk down anyone with the temerity to make such a suggestion. Remember, you are Green and have the moral high ground.

Steps to take to Establish your Windfarm:

1. Select an area to establish your windfarm. Probably a State with a Labor Government is preferable as they are more likely to kow-tow to Greenie groups although this has not been completely established.

2. Pick an area within that State that is economically deprived - preferably one that has recently lost a major source of employment. This has the effect of making local politicians easy pickings as any suggestions that you would spend money in their area makes them go weak at the knees. Don't worry if the area is a very attractive one and the building of your wind farm will detract from that - remember, you are Green and have the moral high ground, haven't you? Also it is important that the area is windy some of the time for your own credibility. However, in many instances this factor is of minor importance as the generation of electricity is not the real reason for the construction of the windfarm in the first place (Refer to windfarm approval granted 11.4.01 in South Gippsland) This factor does increase in importance if you actually do plan to sell electricity from your windfarm.

3. Go to work on the local Shire - probably it is a good idea to single out the councillor from the area in which you propose to build your windfarm. This is because they will be under pressure due to the closure of the above industry and they will have made stupid promises to the people they are supposed to represent so that it appears that they are doing something for the area. Wine and dine them (or any other junket such as interstate flights etc). This would be considered bribery in any other industry but , Hey you are Green and have the moral high ground so it does not apply to you. Then you can get all the other councillors on side by making donations to the Shire. This too would usually be associated with bribery but Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground.

4. Approach local landowners in the area that you would like your windfarm and offer them quite substantial amounts to place turbines on their properties. Because of the rural depression and general greed you will have no shortage of takers. Of course, when you have gained approval from the local authorities you can easily renege on the agreement and offer far less. This is not usually good business practice but if you are smart enough in your initial agreements then there will be no problems and Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground so ripping off a few greedy farmers shouldn't worry you too much.

5. Hold some "Information Meetings " to soothe the concerns of locals who may have some doubts about your real intentions. It is important that these meetings contain several stooges to ask "Dorothy Dix" questions that you have prepared in advance. It is also important to gloss over any real concerns that nearby residents may have. Outright lying is permissible in answering these people because Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground so getting your windfarm going is far more important than a few residents' concerns. Make sure that your propaganda (sorry, information ) contains large amounts of figures demonstrating savings in "greenhouse gas emissions" Don't even bother having these prepared by anyone with expertise in the subject; the actual figures are meaningless to the average person and so long as they contain lots of zeros scattered throughout they will look very impressive. If by chance you are challenged by some smart alec in the crowd you can pull the Hey we are Green and therefore honest bit (Greenpeace has been getting away with this line for years) and make them look small to shut them up. Avoid at all costs suggestions that your windfarm has a saving in emissions similar to what would be achieved by shooting a paddockfull of farting cows.

6. Don't be afraid to make promises that you have no intention of keeping with respect to noise, bird strikes, television interference etc. Promises are easy to make and, anyway, who will make you keep them? After all, you are Green and have the moral high ground

7. If you are clever enough then you will be able to get the local authorities to upgrade the access roads in the area and assist you in other ways. After all, you are proposing to spend several million dollars in their area. Never mind that the net result in local employment is zero and the ongoing prospects are not much better. Some tourism is promised by those in favour but as many other wind farms are on the drawing boards and they are all closer to the capital city then make sure you do not yourself suggest your turbines will be tourist attractions.

8. Some nasty opponents may write disparaging letters to the local press in the area suggesting that the overall efficiency is poor and the contribution to the power grid of the state is negligible, especially when the disruption to the environment and visual pollution is taken into account. These accusations can be treated in two ways:

a. By ignoring them as they don't carry any weight and the wind is free and Hey you are Green so you can ignore their ignorant views and as you have already looked after the local authorities they can't do anything to you anyway.

b. By getting stooges to write letters saying how great the turbines they saw in Esperance, King Island, Outer Mongolia etc were. Be sure the stooges neglect to mention that the power that the turbines in these locations is supplementing is mostly generated by diesel and is very expensive so of course it makes sense to have windpower in those areas. It also helps if the stooge has been promised a turbine or two on their own properties. Hardly cricket, but then Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground.

Also be bolstered in your quest by hearing "but we've got to do something" quoted by people who haven't the faintest idea just what that something should be but believe that "Solar and wind are good" without ever bothering to check out the facts.

Don't worry if some disgruntled objectors take their concerns to the appropriate tribunal to try to get you stopped. You have already chosen your state wisely (see above) and there is no way they will get a ruling in their favour.

They have to rule in your favour as Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground. (Anyway, you have far more cash than a few objectors so can afford a much better legal team than them) They may hold you up for a little while but just budget for this to happen but you are much bigger than them, have the moral high ground so all will be OK for you.

If by any chance the unthinkable happens and you lose then don't despair - the solution is very simple. All you have to do is change the name of your company, wait for a year or two and the start the process over again. Your cultivation of the local authorities will ensure a smooth path for you and because your previous application has bankrupted any objectors both financially and spiritually there will be no one left to stand in your way. Hardly ethical, but business is business and anyway Hey, you are Green and hold the moral high ground. Remember, achieving your goal of constructing your windfarm is far more important than the rights and mental anguish of a few objectors.

You are nearly there. See, it really wasn't so hard. Remember never tell a deliberate lie when a believable half truth will do as well. And anyway Hey you are Green and have the moral high ground.

Your Windfarm is up Running.

You now have the options of selling it to some gullible company or keeping it for yourself. This will largely depend on the political situation of the day as any hint of the Government insisting on windpower competing with normal generating methods will quickly make your enterprise insolvent so it is important to unload it before this happens. Perhaps a contact in the appropriate department would be worth cultivating. How you do this is up to you but Hey you are Green and have the moral high ground.

Decommissioning

Most windfarm agreements with local authorities insist on dismantling and cleaning up of the sites when the wind farm has reached the end of its working life. You can avoid such messy and expensive arrangements by the simple method of selling your assets in the windfarm to a holding company set up for the purpose (preferably offshore) for a very large amount. This will ensure the bankruptcy of the holding company. There will therefore be no money for any decommissioning, no one for anyone to sue to get the eyesores removed so a satisfactory completion to the project can be assured. The only losers will be the greedy farmers and the local people and landscape and they deserve all they get anyway for dealing with you in the first place. Your conscience can remain clear as Hey, you are Green and have the moral high ground

Good Luck !!

Prepared for the Shonky Wind Corporation April 2001 By Grabcash and Vannish, Investment Consultants




(This skit was converted to html and placed online by John Ray but all responsibility for its contents lies with an author involved in the Australian windfarm industry)




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