Library from Ohio
Bowling Green's former utilities director, Daryl Stockberger, has been lauded by numerous groups and public officials for getting Ohio's first four commercial-sized wind turbines built just west of the city. ...So what happened Oct. 1 when push came to shove - when Bowling Green City Council felt the city needed to lock itself into a long-term contract for its largest source of power? It aligned itself with coal. ...AMP-Ohio is pursuing a new coal-fired power plant because it is legally obligated to provide a reliable stream of what's known as "baseload" electricity, Mr. Carson said. That's power that can be pulled off the grid 24 hours a day. Wind and solar power are supplemental sources..."Until you find renewable fuels you can use to make baseload [electricity], an energy-consumptive society like ours is going to have to do the best it can," Mr. Scherer said.
A group with varied opinions on wind energy development in Champaign County expressed their interests and concerns about wind turbines during the first Wind Turbine Study Group meeting Tuesday. The five-member group was created by the Champaign County Prosecutor's Office, with Prosecutor Nick Selvaggio serving as a mediator. Group member Julie Johnson, of Union Neighbors United, read a list of concerns she has with wind turbines being built in Union Twp.
The prosecutor's office will facilitate a weekly meeting to provide open discussion about the effects wind energy development could have on Champaign County. ... "Our approach is comprehensive and we're trying to make sure we understand the impact of these propositions," Shokouhi said.
More proposals for wind turbine zoning regulations within Union Twp. were discussed Wednesday night. ...The commission decided to wait to vote on the proposal until a completed draft has been compiled and until the Wind Turbine Study Group - a new group created by the county prosecutor's office to examine the affects of wind energy development in the county - has had a chance to meet and submit suggestions.
The Champaign County Commissioners voted to support state and local wind energy projects Tuesday. The commissioners unanimously passed a resolution backing renewable energy development in the state and urging Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to set a requirement for 20 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.
Tour group members took turns being photographed standing in different spots near the blade, trying to get shots in an angle that might adequately show the immensity of the rotor. Once in place, it will span 263 feet in diameter while spinning.
According to a release sent Monday afternoon from the UNU, "Spokesperson Julia Johnson explained that the zoning amendment was withdrawn in order to support and encourage a more deliberate and coordinated assessment of wind turbine regulation in Champaign County." Johnson also said, "Townships in Champaign County are approaching this issue in a disjointed way. Since the time we submitted our zoning amendment, members of the Ohio Wind Working Group and the zoning and a subdivision committee of the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission have emphasized the need for a county or regional dialog on wind power regulation."
The Logan-Union-Champaign Region Planning Commission - based in East Liberty - reviewed the proposal, which had been passed on from the Union Township Zoning Commission last week for review. The LUC recommended the township zoning commission deny the proposal by Union Neighbors United - the group of township residents opposed to the turbines without more regulations.
No wind turbines are proposed for Clark County, but they could be, Planning Director Shane Farnsworth told the local rural zoning commission on Wednesday. "There's a lot of complexity to this issue," he said.
Twenty percent of our electricity from wind requires 10,000-plus turbines on a land mass of 42,000 square miles. Spread evenly across Ohio, we'd see two to nine industrial turbines everywhere we looked. Twice the height of a large radio tower, their enormous blades cast disturbing repetitive flickering shadows across everything up to .75 miles away, and can be noisy enough to disturb sleep in hilly regions. Wind energy costs $2 million per megawatt (MW), and 20 percent of our state's electricity today would require over 20,000 MW of wind. That's a $40 billion dollar investment with no electricity when we need it most - on windless summer days. Do we want to foot the bill for this inefficiency?
Let's look at the reality, not the hype. Ohio and every other state east of the Mississippi that is not on the ocean is just barely on the ragged edge of acceptability for a few turbines in a few high places that are already lived on, farmed on and gazed at for their beauty. This is a railroad that needs to be sidetracked. Legislating 20 percent of our power from wind won't make it any more feasible; it will just make us throw our money at it until we cry uncle.
After the meeting, when asked why the commission was discussing a more permissive proposal than it looked at originally, Runyan explained, "There are two very opposing sides to this; those that want no turbines whatsoever and others that want them because they get compensated very well. We can't please everyone, we just want something that will work for the community." However, Runyan did point out that none of the issues that were decided on by the commission were set in stone. "We are trying to get some general guidelines that we can live with."
A second wind energy company vying for space in Champaign County will continue its pursuit in spite of grant money awarded to a competitor last week. Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer of wind energy products, is one of two companies that has begun the process of measuring wind speed in Union Township and plans to progress toward wind energy development in the area, said Eric Miller, the company's senior development manager. "Our plans have not changed. We're still moving ahead," he said.
Wind energy projects headed for Champaign and Logan counties will get up to $3 million in grant awards to move forward with production, Gov. Ted Strickland announced Thursday. ...Diane McConnell, a Union Township resident and member of Union Neighbors United .. said the lack of information that affected residents have received is her biggest worry.
"I'm willing to accept whatever concerns may be associated with nuclear power because of what I consider to be the greatest, most immediate threat to the environment and humankind, which is global warming," he [Strickland] said. He stressed that no utility at the table has indicated plans to build a new nuclear power plant...Inclusion of nuclear power as an advanced technology, however, might make it easier for a utility like FirstEnergy Corp., Akron parent of Toledo Edison, to meet whatever benchmarks the governor proposes.
The four giant windmills just outside of Bowling Green might be in for some company. In conjunction with JW Great Lakes Wind and American Municipal Power-Ohio, a joint-action group for municipal utilities, the city is investigating the idea of adding onto the state's only utility-size wind farm.
Cuyahoga Coounty commissioners say a German company with lots of experience in wind-energy development is the best candidate to do a year-long feasibility study of erecting wind turbines on Lake Erie and building an affiliated wind-research center. Commissioners selected a team led by Juwi International from among three proposals to do the $800,000 study. An energy-development task force appointed by the commission has proposed building five to ten turbines on the lake, the first such freshwater wind development in the world. More importantly, a research and development center, to be run by Case Western Reserve University, could be the centerpiece of a wind-industry cluster that would generate jobs for the region. Case would run the research center as part of its newly formed Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation.
Bowling Green already has four wind turbines generating electricity - and has had them since 2003. Dozens more may be on the way, reports News 11's Dick Berry. The tall, twirling turbines are easy to spot along US 6 near the Wood County landfill. If everything falls into place, rows and rows of wind turbines could be in place by 2009. And Bowling Green could become "Blowing Green." Bowling Green and the company responsible for building the original four turbines are looking at adding another 33.
Case Western Reserve University wants to head up research for the proposed wind-energy center, which would feature wind turbines on Lake Erie. As part of its proposal to run the research center, the university has offered $200,000 toward an $800,000 study of a local task force's bold vision - up to 10 wind turbines in the lake and a world-class research center. Although Case was late in entering the project, it is likely to have a "leading role" if the research center is built, said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, chairman of the Cuyahoga Regional Energy Development Task Force.
Two northwest Ohio higher-education institutions may receive federal money from three bills the House Appropriations Committee passed recently without opposition....... Money was included for Bowling Green State University for two separate projects, each in a different bill The Energy and Water Appropriations Act includes $100,000 for BGSU's Coastal Wind Ohio partnership with the city of Huron, Ohio. The funding would allow BGSU to buy and install two wind turbines and wind-power experimentation stations for the Huron area.