GREENWICH -- The group fighting a proposed wind farm in southern Huron County near Greenwich has filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The appeal seems to be the only route left to fight the proposed Greenwich Windpark LLC project, which seeks to set up about two dozen wind turbines, said Kevin Ledet, chairman of Greenwich Neighbors United.
The Ohio Power Siting Board, which approved the application to build the wind farm, has now had two rehearings on the matter, but the opponents of the wind farm lost both times. Appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court is the last avenue for fighting the project, Ledet said.
The appeal, filed at the Ohio Supreme Court on Dec. 30, argues the proposed wind farm did not comply with the rules for minimum setbacks, the distance from the wind turbines to the property lines of the project's neighbors. It's the same main argument that opponents used without success at the Ohio Power Siting Board. The appeal insists the project cannot go forward unless waivers to the setback requirements are obtained from neighboring property owners.
The appeal was filed by Omega Crop Co., a neighbor of the project, and names the Ohio Power Siting Board as the defendant. The lawyer handling the matter for Omega is Samuel C. Randazzo, a Columbus attorney who specializes in utility matters. Attorney General Mike DeWine's office is serving as the Ohio Power Siting Board's attorney.
Opponents of the project contend that the noise and flicker produced by the wind turbines are a nuisance. Other property owners apparently favor the project because they would receive payments for the use of their land.
Ledet said it's impossible to know how long it will take for the Ohio Supreme Court to resolve the case. Normally, it would take months, he said.
In the meantime, an additional complication to the case has arisen.
The Greenwich Windpark LLC project originally had called for building 25 Nordex model N117 turbines on about 4,600 acres, for a wind farm that would generate up to 60 megawatts of energy, with each turbine generating 2.4 megawatts. The owner of the projects is an Australian company, Windlab Systems Proprietary Limited.
Nordex is a German company. The wind turbines would be about 490 feet high.
On Nov. 16 last year, however, Greenwich Windpark LLC filed for permission to use turbines for the project made by Gamesa (a Spanish company), or General Electric (a U.S. company) or Goldwind, a Chinese company.
If the power siting board approves using the other turbines, the project may decide to remove one turbine, reducing the number of turbines to 24, Greenwich Windpark LLC officials said in a letter to the Power Siting Board.
Randazzo, in comments filed to the Ohio Power Siting Board, says the new models that are being discussed are bigger and noisier and rotate at a faster speed than the Nordex turbines.