Monday, March 29, 2010

Local opinions mixed after state board approves largest utility-scale wind farm in Ohio

A proposal to build the largest utility-scale wind farm in Ohio has been approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board, but local opinions remain mixed on whether the board included enough protection for the communities affected. The Buckeye Wind Project, proposed by Everpower Wind Holdings Inc., will cross six townships and spread across about 9,000 acres of rural land in Champaign County in western Ohio, Matt Sanctis of the Dayton Daily News reports.

Officials estimate the 50-turbine farm could power as many as 32,000 to 33,000 homes a year. The siting board included several provisions designed to alleviate local concerns, including requirements that Everpower establish an informal process to receive project-related complaints from the public; decommission the facility, and individual turbines, at its own expense; repair all affected roads and bridges after construction and decommissioning; and repair any damage to agricultural land, including field tile. Still, one local group that had protested the farm said it still might file an appeal and seek a second hearing.

Julie Johnson, a member of Union Neighbors United, questioned aspects of the decision, including a provision that only construction and maintenance personnel should receive additional training to recognize potential issues such as protection from ice being thrown from turbine blades. Opponents also fear turbines won't be far enough from homes, Sanctis reports. Supporters of the project voiced relief that construction could finally move ahead, with the local jobs it could possibly bring. (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a good idea to cite Dayton Daily News as a source when they can't be bothered to get the facts straight and the paper is not in the community it's covering.

Just an example of error - It's not 50 turbines. OPSB approved 53 of 70 and Everpower is still pushing the city to cave on the ones the FAA designated as aviation hazards.

Check out the ONLY paper of record for Champaign County instead - for further information on Buckeye Wind AND the two projects approved for Hardin County.

Of course I'm biased since I covered this particular story myself.