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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.
MUTUAL - Residents wanting restrictions on turbine construction will have to make another proposal after the Union Twp. trustees rejected a proposal Tuesday. Trustees Howard Peters and Jim Virts voted in sync with previous votes of the Union Twp. Zoning Commission and the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission earlier this year, both of which also rejected the same proposal for required setback distance for being "too restrictive."....... The proposal, originally submitted to the township zoning commission by Union Neighbors United, suggested regulating wind turbines to a minimum of 2,600 feet from a residence or property line, Virts said. It also restricted the tower height to 360 feet.
A recommendation to accept a citizen-initiated wind turbine zoning amendment carried Monday with Rushcreek Township Trustee Marlyn Kelly voting contrary to his fellow trustees. Mr. Kelly opposed a motion by Gary Downing to reject the Rushcreek Township Zoning Commission recommendation to adopt the amendment. "Gary's (Downing) looking for a yes vote?" Mr. Kelly asked. "Well then, I vote no. "We've got five people who voted 5-0 in support of the amendment and I respect their vote." The vote came after two hours of public comment. About 60 people attended the meeting.
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
Jefferson Township Trustees put off a vote Saturday regarding the fate of a citizen- initiated zoning amendment that would restrict the placement of wind turbines on private land. Trustee Tim Tillman said there is some room for modifying the proposed amendment and he wanted more time. "We're learning more every day," he said, "so I move that we table a vote until our regularly scheduled meeting on June 26."
The Rushcreek Township Zoning Commission recommended approval of a zoning amendment developed by a group opposed to wind turbines. The commission's recommendation, which was backed with a 5-0 vote, now goes before the Rushcreek Township Trustees who can vote to accept the recommendation, reject it or modify. Any vote to reject or modify the citizen-initiated zoning amendment will require a unanimous vote of the trustees.
The Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 to allow a variance for a wind measuring tower on 2049 Talbott Road during the meeting Tuesday night. Board members Fred Myers, Jami Hackworth, Frank Vawter and Mike Schafer voted to permit the variance. Board member Charles Sanders voted against.
Union Township resident Bob McConnell and attorney Lauren Ross asked the Champaign County Commissioners to consider forming a committee to focus on issues related to the proposed wind turbine installations in Union and Wayne townships during the commissioners' regular meeting Tuesday. "This has come up as a concern for many of us," said McConnell, a member of Union Neighbors United, a group which has opposed the location of proposed turbines and claims they will hurt property values and negatively impact the landscape.
URBANA - A Union Township resident addressed the Champaign County commissioners Tuesday with his concerns about the possibility of wind turbines coming to the area. Bob McConnell, of the 4000 block of East U.S. Route 36, urged the commissioners to create a committee to gather information about the wind towers and plan properly for the proposed construction in the county.
Apparently, adult bookstores and wind farms have something in common. Judges have ruled repeatedly that a community can put restrictions on where sexually oriented adult businesses can locate. But the same judges have said that officials cannot make those restrictions so tight as to eliminate the possibility of the stores' existence. Now, prosecutors in two counties where residents are railing against large-scale wind turbines for green energy say the same concept applies to wind farms.
This wind turbine, near a house off Rt. 6 outside Bowling Green, is one of four at the American Municipal Power-Ohio Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm. The turbine is similar in size to what several energy companies want to erect in groups of 20 to 25 on private property in Logan and Champaign counties.
EverPower Renewables Project Manager Mike Speerschneider answered questions of Wayne Township citizens at a meeting Wednesday night, addressing wind turbines and the possibility of turbines in Wayne Township. Speerschneider touched on issues concerning electricity, road damage, local labor and the health of citizens living near the turbines. He said the turbines will not generate a decrease in the cost of electricity for Wayne Township because there is "no way to definitively say what it's (turbines) going to do to the electric."
The Union Township Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to reject the wind turbine zoning recommendations made by the Union Neighbors United group, which was submitted at the last zoning commission meeting. However, the buck doesn't necessarily stop there. The zoning commission now must forward the resolution to the Union Township Trustees with a recommendation to reject it. It's up to the trustees from there.
URBANA - The Union Township zoning board unanimously voted Tuesday to make a recommendation to the trustees rejecting a proposed wind turbine zoning resolution. Executive Director Jenny Snapp of the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission - LUC - called the proposal "too restrictive" in height and setback requirements. Champaign County Prosecutor Nick Selvaggio said it gave unauthorized power to governing bodies not listed in state law. The proposal, submitted to the township zoning board by Union Township residents, regulates wind towers to a minimum of 2,600 feet from a building and property line. Plus, it restricts the turbine height up to 360 feet.
Nearly 30 more wind turbines could be in store for Wood County. American Municipal Power-Ohio recently announced a joint partnership with JW Great Lakes Wind LLC for the development of up to 49.9 megawatts of wind-powered electricity on a proposed site northwest of the existing four turbines at the Wood County landfill.
MUTUAL - The Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted in favor, 3-1, of allowing a wind test tower belonging to Everpower Renewables to be placed on Ault Road, during its meeting Monday night. According to board member Fred Meyers, one board member removed himself from the discussion and vote for personal reasons. Meyers said the structure will be 190 feet tall and have three wind measurement devices that will send information to Everpower Renewables.