Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building Champions to Build Projects

Hey, The American Wind Energy Assocciation annual meeting is coming up in May!

Guess who is Doing a session about "siting".
Nope, not Michael Skelly,  Jimmy Glotfelty, or even RICL's "Director of Development" Hans Detweiler.  RICL's "manager" Amy Kurt is doing a session.  Go figure.  Here's a discription from the AWEA wibsite.  DO a search for "CLEAN LINE" and you will see this session .

Project Development Track
3B – Shape or Be Shaped: Rebuilding the Foundational Support for Wind Energy
Building Champions to Build Projects
clock2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
clockRoom:         Mandalay Bay F
Manager, Clean Line Energy Partners
Industry sector(s): Siting
As wind energy development continues to grow, the industry faces increasing challenges. It’s easy to get wrapped up in reacting to criticism or responding to detractors. But is it worth it? This presentation will provide an alternative solution, focusing on identifying supporters, developing them into champions, and working with them to build our projects.
Learning Objectives:
  • Change the way you think about community relations in project development.
  • Identify and build a network of supporters for your projects.
  • Activate your supporters to help develop your project. 


Wow.  That's interesting.  Clean Line Energy Partners spokesman to the AWEA is telling the industry an interesting strategy.  It sounds like Clean Line Energy is telling the industry;

"Look, we know wind energy is about as popular as... well transmission for wind energy.  Here's what you do.  Ignore the public’s concerns.  Don't respond to them and for heaven's sake, don't acknowledge their concerns no matter how legitimate they may be."

Is it wise for the wind industry to listen to the advice from a speculation project company who has three of their four main projects in a terminal flush down the spec project toliet?  The Rock Island Clean Line is about to get rejected by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The Grain Belt Express will likely be rejected by the Missouri Public Service Commission, and the TVA is moving towards new generation from natural gas.  High priced wind energy form Oklahoma is no longer in the TVA’s long term planning.  

Is it now wise for the AWEA to listen to the advice of Clean Line Energy Partners?  How many ratepayer opposition organizations are there to this company's proposed projects?  Here’s a list of some social media sources.

Let's take a moment to speculate on Clean Line Energy's motivation for holding this session at the AWEA convention.  Maybe Clean Line Energy, under Amy Kurt's advisement, has learned how to curtail and mitigate the damages done by concerned ratepayers who question the legitimacy of this company's projects.  

Maybe Clean Line Energy is making inroads by not acknowledging and ignoring the concerns of residents who believe it's simply wrong to give eminent domain power to a privately owned speculation project.   

Maybe Clean Line Energy has gleaned some prophetic wisdom by their extensive lobbying campaigns to politicians and wishes to share their knowledge and experiences with the wind energy industry.

Maybe it's wise for those in attendance at the AWEA convention to question the wisdom of taking advice from such a company.  If Clean Line Energy or any company in this industry has learned how to handle a disgruntle public, wouldn't that company keep their mouths shut and keep their secrets to themselves?

Yes, Clean Line Energy Partners LLC is an "acclaimed" award winner for their use of social media.  That award is on their resume, in spite of shutting down the companies five Facebook pages shortly after receiving the award.   Nevertheless, it's easy to guess the wind energy industry will be snickering as Amy Kurt gives the presentation.  Clean Line's been colossal failure at preventing ratepayers from raising their voices and concerns.  Clean Line Energy has clearly lost the battle with social media.

Maybe Clean Line has learned how to handle ratepayer opposition.  Then again, maybe this session at the AWEA convention is Clean Line's attempt to stop the bleeding with their main supporters in the wind energy industry.  Clean Line is facing so much opposition from Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa, the opposition is surely bleed over to the wind energy companies.

It is possible Amy Kurt is attempting to tell the wind energy companies "Hey we're in this with you.  We're facing the same public opposition you all are facing." when Clean Line is  really attempting to convince wind companies they are not the root cause of wind energy opposition by consumers.  Clean Line has exposed the inefficiencies and failures of the Production Tax Credit and Renewable Portfolio Standards, plus the wind industries extensive lobbying efforts.  While these are all needed for the wind industry's success and also Clean Line Energy's success, this has created a bit of bad PR for the wind energy in Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas.  

It is possible this session at the AWEA convention is Clean Line's attempt to mitigate the damage to the company's image within the industry and sway the image of the company within the industry.  Clean Line Energy still has not had one wind energy company sign up and commit to building a wind farm if RICL, GBE or P&ECL is built.   Maybe wind energy companies do not want to be associated with the transmission projects proposed by Clean Line Energy.  Rather than watch and listen to Amy Kurt's Clean Line presentation, it might be more interesting to watch the reaction of the audience.  

Snickers, raised eye brows, and a laughs out loud might be the response to this presentation.  

Then again, the description of this presentation by Amy Kurt is reminiscent the public relations propaganda used by the tobacco industry to deny the health concerns of cigarettes.     Perhaps wind energy companies should be asking a different question; 


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