The following letter was received by us and is addressed to people who have signed a lease option

with Ecogen.  If the option is due to expire, you may want to consider

the following information before you put your land back under Ecogen's



 You may want to take another look at the real estate tax part of the

agreement.  The company is supposed to pay all taxes attributable to the

wind towers.  The wind towers are exempt from taxation for 15 years in

New York.  At the Fenner, NY project the wind towers were listed as

improvements on the tax parcel owned by the landowners.  Could the same

thing happen here?  Keep in mind that you will be addressing this issue

15 years in the future.  What is the likelihood that you will be dealing

with the same company you signed with?  15 years seems like a long time

and you received your annual lease payment in that time but what do you

suppose the taxes are on a commercial power generating wind tower?  And

let's not overlook what the tax consequences would be if the wind

company went bankrupt.  You may want to look into Ecogen's history of

wind project construction and management or the lack thereof.


 Ecogen has publicly stated that many of its towers will be

interconnected with ABOVE ground transmission lines.  The lease says

under the "use" clause that the tenant (Ecogen)  has the right to use the property

for constructing transmission lines.  It does not say they will be

underground.  Ecogen told me and other landowners that the lines would

be underground but it is not in writing.


You may want to look at the right of first refusal clause.  My lawyer

said that to sign this agreement would take away my right to sell my

property to whom I wanted.  The clause says that Ecogen has the right of

first refusal if the land owners desires to sell or to "effect any other

form of transfer with respect to the land".  How does this effect

parents who may want to give the land to their children?  How does this

effect the landowner's will/estate?  How does this effect land with

multiple owners who may want to buy each other out at some point?  What

happens in cases of divorce?  Why does a wind tower lease even need to

include this clause?


The scope of construction necessary to erect the wind towers should

also be reconsidered.  The South Bristol Views website says that "Ecogen

has already stated that they would have to clear-cut at least a 350'

circle for each turbine just to assemble the blades".  The New York

State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) describes the

following in "A Guide for Local Authorities in New York": Access roads

to each turbine location are typically 18-20' wide.  Crane pads are

installed along access roads and adjacent to the tower foundations.

Foundation excavation is additional to the area described.  All this

area  needs to be clear cut in wooded areas.  NYSERDA's guide also says

that each turbine may require up to twenty cement trucks.  The turbines

themselves come in 10-20 tractor trailers with additional tractor

trailers needed to bring in other tools and construction materials.

Does your lease agreement say anything about Ecogen restoring the area

to pre-construction condition?  Does your lease say anything about tower

removal if they are no longer in use?  Consider this along with the real

estate tax implications above.


Lastly, people should consider the liability they may be taking on by

allowing wind towers to be constructed on their property.  Ecogen plans

on putting towers as close as 120' from my lot line.  Blade and ice

throws, tower collapse, fire, noise, soil erosion/disruption of natural

drainage, and the potential to negatively effect ground water sources

and wells are all concerns that have been voiced and debated.  What

landowners need to consider is in the event that a wind tower somehow

damages a neighbor's land, who is responsible to pay for damages?  You

can argue about the likelihood of any of above concerns, but are you

prepared for the consequences if they do occur?  I doubt if your

homeowners insurance is going to cover the potential damages a 400'

power generating wind tower may cause.  Did your agreement say that

Ecogen will be responsible for any and all damages that the construction

or operation of the wind towers may cause?  Mine didn't.  Be aware that

NYSERDA lists distance as the factor which will mitigate the above

listed effects on neighboring properties.  Here there are virtually no

setbacks.  I have found no other wind project in the U.S. which puts

wind towers right on top of neighbors lot lines as is proposed here.  Do

you really want to be pioneers into the uncharted waters this project

poses?  Make sure any reassurances given by the sponsoring wind

companies are given in writing.