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Ohio Power Siting Board decision denying Republic Wind

In this decision, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) ruled Republic Wind, proposed by Apex Clean Energy did "not satisfy the requirements of R.C. 4906.10(A)(3), requiring a minimal adverse environmental impact, or R.C. 4906.10(A)(6), requiring a project serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity, and that these deficiencies cannot be remedied by additional conditions." A portion of the OPSB's conclusions are posted below. The full decision can be accessed at the document links on this page. 

Excerpt of the OPSB Order

{¶ 2} In this Opinion, Order, and Certificate, the Ohio Power Siting Board (Board), considering the record as developed by the parties, denies the application of Republic Wind, LLC (Republic or Applicant) to construct, maintain, and operate an electric generation facility as proposed in Ohio. With all major electric generation applications, before issuing a certificate, the Board is required to make affirmative findings regarding each of the enumerated factors in R.C. 4906.10(A). When the Board issues a certificate to an applicant, we typically find that the application, as filed, only meets the statutory requirements if certain conditions are met. In these cases, while the Board issues the certificate, the applicant cannot construct and/or operate the facility until each of the conditions is satisfied. Here, however, the Board finds that the application does not satisfy the requirements of R.C. 4906.10(A)(3), requiring a minimal adverse environmental impact, or R.C. 4906.10(A)(6), requiring a project serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity, and that these deficiencies cannot be remedied by additional conditions. 

{¶ 3} As referenced in R.C. 4906.10(A)(6), “Public interest, convenience, and necessity” can be looked at through a broad lens. On the one hand, this factor considers the public’s interest in energy generation that ensures continued utility services and the prosperity of the state of Ohio. At the same time, this statutory criterion must also encompass the local public interest, ensuring a process that allows for local citizen input, while taking into account local government opinion and impact to natural resources. In this case, a majority of local government entities intervened in this proceeding or opposed the project, including the Seneca County Commissioners, who intervened and passed a resolution to void any road use agreements previously signed with the Applicant, and the Seneca County Park District, who opposes any construction of the Project within 2.5 miles of any of the Bowen Nature Preserve’s boundaries.

{¶ 4} As discussed in greater detail throughout this Opinion, Order, and Certificate and as pointed out initially by residents at the local public hearing, the project was proposed on a unique terrain consisting of karst formations. Such terrain results in sinkholes, caves, and underground streams replenished by rainwater that wears away the rock and eventually returns to the surface as springs, seeps, or as base flows in streams. In our decision, we ultimately find there is insufficient evidence to determine that this project can be built on such a terrain without adversely affecting the environment and properly serving the public interest. Of particular concern, most residents in the area rely on private wells for potable water and the evidence suggests that disruptions in the karst formations has to the potential to quickly, and detrimentally, effect those wells. These relatively unique and delicate land properties, along with other factors, lead local government officials representing townships, counties, and park districts to oppose the project. Ultimately, the Board agrees and finds the application should be denied. 

 

Opsb_republic_wind_oder_denying_certificate_a1001001a21f24b63837g03451_thumb
Opsb Republic Wind Oder Denying Certificate A1001001 A21 F24 B63837 G03451

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Source: http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/...

JUN 24 2021
https://www.windaction.org/posts/52604-ohio-power-siting-board-decision-denying-republic-wind
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