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The tumultuous wind farm debate, as well as Seneca County Commissioner’s role in it, remained the public’s key concern during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled commissioner’s meeting.
Bird conservation groups will be raising concerns about the impact on birds from Lake Erie's first proposed offshore wind project, “Icebreaker,” tomorrow at a public hearing before the Cleveland City Council. Black Swamp Bird Observatory and American Bird Conservancy found numerous problems with the project's environmental assessment (EA); the inadequacy of the EA's science and process will be the basis for the joint testimony to be submitted by BSBO's Don Bauman and Mark Shieldcastle.
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.
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.
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.
Attorneys representing the Buckeye Wind and Champaign Wind LLC projects are seeking approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board to extend the certificates for the project from May 28, 2018 to May 28, 2019, according to documents filed with the agency. If the certificates are not extended, it’s possible the developer would have to restart the lengthy application process for the project.
Documents filed with PUCO show the developers have filed an amendment slashing the number of proposed turbines to a maximum of 50. The project would use 27 potential turbine sites from the first phase and 28 from the second phase. It’s unclear what the economic impact of the new project might be.
Township trustees in Huron County are telling the commissioners they don’t support making the county an alternate energy zone (AEZ). At the very least, they are skeptical. Apex Clean Energy has asked the commissioners to consider declaring Huron County an AEZ.
An Ohio man fighting a wind project in his home county shared his experiences and advice Thursday night with residents of Cass County, where a similar project is proposed.
Chris Zeman of rural Republic said he’s forming a group opposing the wind project called Seneca Anti-Wind Union. He invited people to visit a new Facebook page. “We’re trying to inform people about the importance of the setbacks and destruction of the viewshed,” he said.
Republic Wind, LLC, intends to file an application to construct the Republic Wind Farm, which would spread across nearly 15,000 acres of leased land. That property is in the townships of Adams, Reed, Scipio and Thompson in Seneca County and York Township in Sandusky County, according to a pre-application filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board.
It’s been 15 years since Jim Spencer started a small solar energy company in New York that would turn into Pittsburgh’s biggest wind developer and, on Thanksgiving Day, be sold to the world’s biggest asset manager.
Police have issued a cease-and-desist order to the management of Schoenbrunn Inn and Conference Center to make them stop work on a wind turbine for which they had not obtained a building permit.