Articles from Ohio
It’s difficult to pick a single topic that has received more ink this year than renewable energy projects. With solar projects tipping the scales a bit more than wind, the WDN has covered meetings at all levels, interviewed citizens as well as local and state legislators on the topic and have worked to stay on top of the subject as the conversations and legislation continue to evolve.
This delay has put the project into a bad spot regarding the private funding necessary to get the project completed. The U.S. Department for Energy is ready to pull its grant ($37 million yet unspent) because the timeframe in which it needs to be used will expire, and the foreign investor, Norwegian wind energy builder Fred Olson Renewables, which was likely going to invest a large part of the $173 million needed to complete the project and have some ownership, might pull out.
If the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), the non-profit behind Icebreaker, is not successful in securing additional financing by the end of the year, the Department of Energy will likely rescind what’s left of the $50 million grant it extended to LEEDCo nearly a decade ago, advocates said. That would almost certainly spell the end of the Icebreaker, said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
The battle to control Ohio’s energy mix has been noisy and partisan since 2008, when the Legislature adopted an alternative energy standard.
A legal challenge by two lakeview condo dwellers seeking to block Lake Erie’s first offshore wind farm faces a high legal bar before the Ohio Supreme Court — with equally high stakes for clean energy in the region. The Icebreaker Windpower project’s six turbines would sit roughly 8 to 10 miles northwest of Cleveland and produce roughly 20.7 megawatts of electricity per year. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, or LEEDCo, has worked on the project for more than a decade.
Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, explained on the House floor why Ohio's suburban residents want wind turbines in their state but not in their backyards. "They think it’s just fine to put these monstrosities all over rural Ohio, to ruin the landscape in rural Ohio, to create 600-foot-tall structures with moving parts where the blades break and the fires start and the birds and bats are chopped to smithereens," Seitz said.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Republican lawmakers in Columbus have repeatedly made things easier for energy interests in the state, and that includes blocking local control over where oil and gas wells can go.
The longstanding debate over how much society is willing to sacrifice private property rights in order to erect mammoth, commercial-scale wind turbines has been energized — perhaps even electrified, if you will — by the Ohio Power Siting Board. In a surprise move, the OPSB unanimously agreed on June 24 that it will not allow the proposed 47-turbine Republic Wind Farm to be built in Seneca County. It's a surprise move not because there was fierce opposition — which there was — but because the siting board actually listened to it.
At the Madison County Fairgrounds over cups of ice cream from Miller's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream and packets of sunflower seeds, solar energy developers pitched residents on harvesting more than soybeans and corn on their fields.
In one of their final acts before recessing for the summer, state lawmakers early Tuesday morning sent Gov. Mike DeWine a bill handing county commissioners the decision on where wind and solar farms may be sited. ..."As a state legislator in northwest Ohio, I represent the counties with the most wind development in the state and understand that this bill is extremely important to those who live it every day," said Rep. Craig Riedel (R., Defiance). "My constituents and those throughout the state are asking for a voice."
"This project ... just a few hours ago had their certificate denied," she said of the Republic Wind Farm plan as she began her presentation. "That is the first time that's happened in the state of Ohio." The crowd in the park's shelter house burst into applause. Like the Republic Wind Farm, Honey Creek is a project of Apex Clean Energy.
In a rare move, the Ohio Power Siting Board unanimously rejected plans for a large, commercial-scale wind farm in northwest Ohio on Thursday. Citing well-organized public opposition from Seneca County residents and a long list of their elected officials, the OPSB said it will not allow the proposed Republic Wind Farm project to proceed. Once touted by its developer as a $92 million investment, Republic Wind was proposed primarily for Seneca County as well as one township in neighboring Sandusky County.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A bill making its way through the Ohio legislature would let local officials ban large wind and solar farms in their communities, usurping the authority that now rests with the Ohio Power Siting Board.
A years-long battle over a proposed wind power project in Greenwich Township in southern Huron County apparently has ended with a victory for the project’s opponents. Crossroads Wind Power LLC, as the project is currently known, has filed a notice at the Ohio Power Siting Board declaring that it has relinquished its Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, the state document which had apparently allowed the project to move forward.
Sen. Bill Reineke (R., Tiffin), who sponsored the bill with Sen. Rob McColley (R., Napoleon), dismissed arguments that there is already local input in the decisions of the five-member Ohio Power Siting Board as to where such projects would be located. “I'm telling you that in Seneca County, my home county, we now have four to six projects in the queue,” Mr. Reineke said. “When you consider all the letters, the testimonies, the resolutions against these projects that have come from constituents, township trustees, commissioners, mayors, etc., it becomes clear that the current process has no regard for local input.
Republican lawmakers are making changes to a bill that aims to empower local voters to reject nearby renewable energy projects. Ohio Senator says he is trying to strike a balance between local control and economic development.
“This project will decrease property values and cripple acres and acres of farm land, making it useless for future development,” said Larry Krist, Prairie Township resident. “As a home rule township, Prairie Township should be upset that our input is minimal for this project. This project is a big deal, it is going to last 40 years and be as big as a small town or village.”
Ada-Liberty Township Fire Department was called to a wind turbine fire reported at 4:31 a.m., Friday morning (March 26), according to the Ada police report.
Citizens attended the Huron County Commissioners meeting Thursday morning to discuss Apex Clean Energy. Apex is developing Emerson Creek Wind, a potential wind turbine facility, that will be located on open farmland in Erie and Huron counties.
A decision appeared imminent on APEX Clean Energy's Republic Wind Farm in 2019, as the Ohio Power Siting Board held a series of hearings on the controversial wind energy project and heard heated testimony from residents and company officials. Instead, members of the Seneca Anti-Wind Union (SAWU), APEX officials and local residents still are waiting to see, almost two years later, if up to 50 wind turbines will be built in Seneca County and a small portion of Sandusky County.