My friend Drew Beebe read my post about the demise of our local windfarm and sent me a story about a guy in Jersey who built his own windmill in his back yard. He’s already got solar panels on his roof, and between the solar and wind power he’s able to stay off the grid.
I say good for him, as it’s something I’d do if I could afford the startup costs. I don’t know if it’s any different in Jersey, but here in Illinois the power company would even have to pay him for extra power going back into the grid. I’d love to see a check from Ameren rather than have to send them one every month.
Unfortunately his neighbors disagree, and they’re turning to the law to force him to remove the windmill. Why? Because they don’t like the look of it and its too noisy. Boo frickin’ hoo. Everybody’s ready to jump on the alternative energy and green power bandwagon until it personally inconveniences them.
Things like this are going to set a very poor precedent. Who in their right mind would try something like this when they know there’s a good chance legal fees will up their initial costs and quite possibly kill the project altogether? Why build if city ordinances can be changed and retroactively apply to your windmill just because a neighbor doesn’t like the noise?
Great. Keep on sucking carbon emissions and forking over chunks of your pay to the utilities to preserve a view of nothing. Wonderful plan, people.