On August 20th 2018, Monroe County Commissioners hosted a public informational meeting about the installation of an industrial scale wind energy generation system for a 15,000-acre swath of Monroe County lands.
Commissioner Vicki Koerber noted the public meeting was catalyzed by reaction to developer Joe Koppeis’ August 6 request for Board of Commissioner’s support of his wind energy system. At the 6 August regular commission meeting Mr. Koppeis presented a letter, subsequently published in the Waterloo Republic-Times. Printed on Monroe County Board of Commissioners’ letterhead, for Commissioners Elmore, Koerber, and Wittenauer to sign, the letter was to be sent to Monroe County rural landowners. It effectively would have made the commissioners and county governance sales agents for Mr. Koppeis’ project.
"We have not signed that letter,” Commissioner Koerber said in her opening remarks.
Mr. Koppeis recently said he will request a special use permit/zoning variance for his project in the spring. A well-known local developer, Koppeis’ projects include the Rock City storage complex in Old-town Valmeyer and the 11 South building in Columbia, as well as a repeatedly delayed Holiday Inn Express development near Murphysboro, IL. For his Southern Illinois Wind LLC venture, he has partnered with NorthRenew Energy, a Boston-based financial company with the stated aim to “own and operate renewable energy and advanced energy assets with substantial growth potential, significant current income and meaningful downside protection.”
The Southern Illinois Wind LLC project, as described by Koppeis and NorthRenew’s managing partner, Garth Klimchuck, is a factory-scale wind energy conversion system, consisting of 50 turbines, each 600-feet tall, to be sited along a 15,000-acre area of Monroe County, running from Valmeyer to Fults.
We are your neighbors, fellow citizens, residents and taxpayers of Monroe County. Our Monroe County Fair Wind Coalition working group formed in October and includes Pen DauBach, Carl DauBach, Merrill Prange, Paul Minton, Alex Knoll, Kelly Brandt, Rich Harsey, Peggy Voelker, Mike Kaestner, and Courtney Schweickhardt.
We applaud the efforts of our local media, The Monroe County Independent, Republic-Times, North County News, Belleville News-Democrat, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and St. Louis Fox2 News for bringing this issue to public attention. We thank the people who post and maintain the FaceBook page “Save our Bluffs – Say No to Joe” for shining a light on the controversial aspects of Koppeis’ plans, and are cheered by the number of "Say No To Joe" yard signs we've spotted.
Information is crucial. Action is imperative. Our mission is to take action:
- to encourage Monroe County decision-makers to deny a special use permit/zoning variance for this project should Southern Illinois Wind LLC proceed with their initiative;
- to amend our Monroe County ordinance on wind energy conversion systems to protect our ciitizens, our environment, and our way of life.
Take action with us:
Stop Factory Wind. Keep Fair Wind.