Library from Ohio
Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would relax the state’s strict wind turbine setbacks rules but again weaken renewable and energy efficiency standards.
Chairman Balderson, Vice Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member O’Brien and members of the Committee; my name is Mike Kerschner and I have been a commissioner in Seneca County, Ohio since January 2015. Wind Farm projects were not even a matter of discussion at that time. They have since become a very key issue for the citizens of my county.
Some residents in Sandusky and Seneca counties say towering turbines would shatter their peace.
If a sworn affidavit is submitted and approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board, who has to approve any wind farm application before construction can begin, the townships' trustees will be the voice of the people in front of the state.
A group that opposes wind turbine projects in Seneca and surrounding counties has alleged what they called “alarming” and “concerning” correspondence between county officials and a pro-clean energy organization.
State lawmakers are working to amend 2014 legislation they believe has caused wind energy development to stall in Ohio.
If one drives from Bellevue to Attica you will notice the numerous Anti-Wind for Seneca County signs in the front yards of homes. They do far out-number the Pro-Wind Energy signs. One will also be struck that most of the pro-wind signs are in areas without homes; just open fields. And on the evening of May 31st a trip to the Attica Fairgrounds was clearly a meeting for SAWU to address over 500 supporters.
Chris Aichholz, a Bloomville resident and Seneca-Anti Wind Union member, presented the petition which he said formally asks the commissioners to rescind the alternative energy zone the county approved in 2011. He said the AEZ acts as a “welcome mat” for wind projects by making them more economically feasible.
A potential 200 Megawatt Wind Farm with dozens or perhaps hundreds of turbines has been proposed for Eastern Seneca County and Southern Sandusky County. But a group of concerned citizens want more say in where the wind turbines could go.
Ohio utilities would still have to find more of their power from renewable sources like solar and wind but not as much as required by current law under a bill that could soon see a Senate vote.
A proposal from Ohio Senate GOP leaders to redraw rules determining how far wind turbines can be from adjacent properties is expected to attract billions of dollars in new wind farm investments -- and pit clean energy groups against the wind industry. The new setback rules are part of legislation that would also sharply reduce the decade-old state mandates requiring power companies to supply electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewable technologies. And it would tinker with laws requiring utilities to offer energy efficiency programs to customers.(National Wind Technology Center )
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- There soon may be more wind farms in Ohio.
If the certificates are not extended, it’s possible the developer would have to restart the lengthy application process for the project. Attorneys for Everpower Wind Holdings, the developer, argued the projects have been fought in the courts for about eight years.
“These little songbirds migrate at night and they can’t see tall structures like this. When you’ve got a 400 foot pole with three massive blades sticking out it would be a gauntlet for these little migrating birds,” said Kim Kaufman of the Observatory.
As adjacent landowners to a proposed wind turbine site, we have been given a 13-page good neighbor contract that is titled “Wind Farm Neighbor Easement And Setback Waiver Agreement” that is intended to serve as an incentive to be cooperative with the Seneca Wind farm project. If we sign it, we get a whopping $500 signing bonus and $500 per year, but we have to waive our right to file a claim for damages related to any of the stated “effects,” which in the contract is worded as an “effect easement.” If we sign the contract, we also agree to a “setback easement” which states that the turbine can be located anywhere on the adjacent property, even closer than what the current state setback rule specifies.
At issue is the 400-kilowatt turbine adjacent to the city’s sewage treatment plant severely damaged by a lightning strike in February 2017. The blast shattered one of the turbine’s blades and heavily damaged its generator, officials said last year.