Library from Ohio
A court battle was underway to decide the future of Miami Valley wind turbines. As the debate went on indoors, protestors lined up outside the Governors office in Columbus. They were handing out flyers, letting people know that these wind turbines would be taller than the Statue of Liberty, and ruin the landscape. Ohio lawmakers were considering a proposal that would put 70 wind turbines on land in Champaign county.
An engineer who has researched the proposed Buckeye Wind Project in Champaign County says steps have been taken to reduce the noise impact on residents from the wind turbines but that complaints from residents are still ‘inevitable.' David Hessler, principal engineer with Hessler Associates Inc., testified Friday morning in Columbus before the state power siting board that is holding hearings on the Buckeye Wind Project. ...Turbines in other areas have been found to produce persistent wind-rushing sounds that some people living nearby say interfere with the quality of their lives.
Opponents to a proposed electricity-generating turbine project in Champaign County questioned Thursday during state hearings whether the wind-turbines would harm an endangered species of bat, but a researcher who studied the issue said the windmills would not. ...UNU attorneys argued the study did not follow specific guidelines for net placement developed by the department of fish and wildlife. A follow-up study by wildlife officials, however, did find evidence of the Indiana bat in the area. Meinke said she had worked closely with officials from the department of fish and wildlife when she conducted the study, which was deemed adequate at the time.
Attorneys closely questioned an aviation consultant Tuesday, Nov. 10, in a hearing on a proposed wind turbine project in Champaign County. Thaddeus Brys, a consultant for Aviation Systems Inc., testified before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in a hearing on the Buckeye Wind Project, which would build about 70 turbines throughout Champaign County. Gil Weithman, law director for Urbana, questioned Brys on news that the Federal Aviation Administration recently reduced the number of turbines it considered a presumed hazard.
A second day of testimony before the Ohio Power Siting Board today, Nov. 10, saw an attorney for the Urbana Country Club and the Champaign County prosecutor closely question an executive with the company seeking to build as many as 70 electricity-generating wind turbines in eastern Champaign County. Prosecutor Nick A. Selvaggio questioned Chris Shears, vice president of development for the company, Everpower, about how proposed setbacks could effect future developments in the area.
Fifteen new letters of opposition were filed on the Ohio Power Siting Board docketing Web site Thursday after a public hearing on the Buckeye Wind case Wednesday night at Triad, during which some 50 people testified on the record about their views for and against the project. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio spokesman Matt Butler said Thursday it will take court reporters some time to complete a transcript of the public hearing and that it could be ready by the end of next week, prior to the start of evidentiary hearings.
Residents from Champaign County and beyond appeared in droves at Triad High School Wednesday evening to either give or hear opinions during a public hearing regarding the proposed Buckeye Wind Project. Upon arriving at the school participants could see the yellow "safe set-backs" signs and even hear blaring through a mounted speaker a recording one opponent had depicting turbine noise. Walking through the front doors individuals easily found themselves inundated with literature from both sides of the issue.
A packed auditorium at a public hearing held at Triad High School Wednesday, Oct. 27, represented a community divided over a proposal to build 70 wind turbines across six townships in Champaign County. More than 50 people signed up to testify before representatives of the Ohio Power Siting Board. ...the testimony from dozens of residents who spoke was varied as locals either welcomed Everpower with open arms or told the company to leave Champaign County.
There is a statewide push for increased use of renewable energy in Ohio and efforts to bring one particular kind of energy to Champaign County are blowing in all kinds of controversy. There was a public hearing Wednesday inside Triad High School auditorium for people to express there opinions about the project will be suitable for the area.
With the exception of the shores of Lake Erie, the ridge just to the east of Urbana stretching northward to Bellefontaine, has some of the best potential for wind power generation in the state of Ohio. Which is why Everpower has selected Champaign County for the Buckeye Wind Project. ...Out of those 70 turbines 38 have been flagged by the Federal Aviation Administration as having a potentially negative impact on approaches to Grimes Field on the north and to Weller Airport on the east side of Urbana.
Grimes Field Manager Carol Hall said there is a concern that placing a "localizer" navigational aid at the municipal airport would put an existing navigational aid in jeopardy. "About 90 percent of pilots here aren't instrument-rated," said Hall, adding this means they are not certified to use the localizer navigational aid.
The turbines have inspired spirited opposition in rural Richland and Crawford counties. Karel and Jim Davis, who have lived on a 6-acre plot across from Baird's farm for 35 years, have placed "No Wind Turbine" signs on their front yard on Champion Road. "We don't want our property to feel like an industrial park," said Jim Davis, 65. "But we think they're well-meaning people." Construction for wind turbines is expected to begin in July 2010.
A hearing for a proposed turbine project in Champaign County has been rescheduled for next month, according to documents filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board this week. The adjudicatory hearing for the Buckeye Wind Project was initially scheduled for Oct. 27. It is now scheduled for on Monday, Nov. 9. The hearing will allow parties involved in the project to present testimony to members of the OPSB.
In addition to local residents, emergency first responders are considering how the proposal to site 70 wind turbines in Champaign County will impact them. The Federal Aviation Administration has issued notices of presumed hazard to navigable airspace for 38 of the proposed sites, noting their potential negative impact on Grimes Field, where a CareFlight hangar is located, and the privately-owned Weller Airport, which was used for a helicopter landing and takeoff to transport a crash victim on Oct. 6.
An Indian tribe says plans to build a commercial wind farm in western Ohio pose a threat to an ancient burial mound and the state should put a barrier around it to keep it from being disturbed. The Piqua Shawnee Tribe asked that the mound be protected in a motion it filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board regarding EverPower Wind Holdings Inc.'s proposal to build the 70-turbine farm near Urbana.
Julie Johnson considers herself in that "backyard," so she is part of a group pushing for better regulation of wind energy. She is concerned that the state will allow the turbines too close to homes. She said local sentiment remains strongly against the project and that people have concerns about safety, noise and potential environmental impact. Some residents thought that the energy produced would be used locally, and that their electricity rates would be cheaper, she said. Those people now understand that isn't the case.
Black Fork Wind Farm turbines may start popping up next year across Richland and Crawford counties, raising uncertainties about taxes and effects on property values. Gary Energetics, an alternative energy company (Denver, Colo.), plans to install 112 Vestas 1.8 megawatt wind turbines, starting in the second half of 2010. The turbines would be at various sites encompassing about 46,000 acres crossing the border of the two counties.
Urbana’s City Council voted unanimously Friday, Oct. 9, to file as an intervenor in a proposed wind turbine project, after concerns were raised that the project could impact approaches at two local airfields. ...Michael Speerschneider, a project developer with Everpower, said the company would work with the airport to alleviate those concerns. He said Everpower will not build a wind turbine that was deemed a hazard by the FAA. Instead, the company will offer to invest in localizer equipment at the airport to resolve the issue.
A plan by a Midwest utility to distribute energy-efficient light bulbs to customers backfired when it was learned that the recipients would not only have to pay for the bulbs, but also pay the utility for the electricity they wouldn't be using. Ohio's governor sent a letter to regulators who pulled the plug on the program for now, or at least on the charges that caught consumers off guard.
Cuyahoga County commissioners today rejected proposals to build a wind turbine at the county fairgrounds because the estimates were too expensive. Instead, the commissioners voted to seek proposals for a used, rebuilt turbine, similar to the refurbished machine at the Great Lakes Science Center.