From Greg Nolan, he’s the one on the right, hiding the bowl of his homegrown blueberries, at the Windy River Energy Fair a couple years ago:

Will to do good work

I had a dream the other day. When I opened my electric bill, I found a letter that offered an investment opportunity to me. It seems that our legislators had changed the way citizens and utilities were taxed on investments they made together. The utilities saw an opportunity to use their customers investment capital, a share at a time, to purchase and operate utility grade wind machines in our region. What the utilities offered, with the legislators blessing, was a chance to democratize the production of electricity. Both the legislators and the utilities knew putting the people and their “will to do good work” was the best way to solve problems in America. Making rate payers a part of the production of clean power would make all of us winners. Everyone involved knew that new power plants that burned coal would create a lot of problems and that the wind in our region was a clean, renewable resource that could produce vast amounts of home brewed power. The electrical co-ops had a leg up on other electric companies as they were organized perfectly to get their customers involved. The consumer would not just own a monetary investment but a production quota, so as power went up in price so would their investments. The consumer would have the right to take there production quota off their bill every month after the power company was paid for the good service they provided moving the power to the customers. Power lines from these wind machines put up in windy areas, connecting the people in need, would be built with the same federal loan program that got power to rural Minnesota in the 30’s and 40’s. Non-profits in our region followed this program up with investments of their own in economic development to build utility grade wind machines in our area, creating jobs. The goal was to produce the best wind machines in the world and export these wind machines instead of weapons to the world. Research dollars were invested in electrifying transportation and more economic development went into making cars locally with good batteries that could store the wind energy. We all lived in a cleaner more peaceful place. Our kids took stock in our investments in the future and let out a sigh of relief.

Greg Nolan lives and naps at Snowy Pines, a 40 acre well managed forest in rural central Minnesota. He has lived in a solar power home for over 25 years, and has planted over 3 million trees with his family forestry business.

3 Responses to “Putting money where dream is”

  1. Sundog Says:

    Yeah, those projects exist in Minnesota. They’re called C-BED (community-based energy development) projects. Like the one you’re fighting at the Commission.

  2. Carol A. Overland Says:

    Oh, you mean the very first C-BED project to come down the pike — the Kenyon Wind project where former Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum is in bed with the wind lobbyists, a wind turbine and small collector sub on his land? Yeah, that must be the one… Sounds like Sviggum would be just the guy for Pawlenty to appoint to the PUC…

  3. Sundog Says:

    I didn’t anything about the former speaker’s involvement, but who gives a crap? He’s a local landowner/farmer and, as I understand the C-BED program, has every right to invest in wind. Good for him! I had no idea he was interested in wind energy – that’s a great thing. Is that why you’re fighting it, because a Republican is involved?

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