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Why are we here? Concerned citizens from Ohio want you to Get the Facts about industrial wind energy turbines before it is too late and our neighbors sign long-term leases with foreign companies. We hope to challenge what you believe to be true about this industry by exposing truths.
Our coalition of citizens are not opposed to truly clean energy. Wind is not the answer. Wind turbines do not reduce our dependence on foreign oil because we only produce a fraction of our energy from oil. More than 90% of America’s electricity is produced by gas, coal and nuclear. Wind turbines also do not produce anywhere near the amount of energy that they “claim” in the public eye. Statistics from the governmental, EIA, states that ALL wind farms in Ohio for 2012-13 produced LESS than 30% of their capacity; and, even though the wind is free, we know that converting it into electricity is extremely expensive. How many businesses do you know that can survive by producing <30% of what they tell their customers? Even though BigWind only produces very little of the electricity in the USA, they receive 42% of the electrical energy subsidies! Additionally, wind turbines actually increase our dependence on fossil fuels because they must always be backed up, in the fraction of a second, when the winds drop below a certain speed or cease to blow. This causes our fossil fuel plants to constantly “cycle”, something they were not designed to do. Not only are these conditions hard on the power plants, but it increases their emissions; therefore, any negative environmental effects of wind turbines are additive to fossil fuels. And, there are plenty of negative environmental effects. Search our website and you will learn of dirty/toxic Asian Neodymium mining, noise, low frequency infrasound, tons of concrete…and this does not include the tens of thousands of birds, including Eagles, and bats that are slaughtered by the industrial machines. What effect will massive bat deaths have on our MidWest farmers?
For the first time ever, the America Wind Energy Assoc. hosted an Ohio Wind Energy Summit in September 2013. According to their website, “Ohio was one of the top five fastest growing states for wind capacity additions in 2012, with 313 MW added in 2012 and over 54,000 MW in wind resource potential.” http://www.awea.org/events/event.aspx?eventid=15913 This should concern every citizen in Ohio. With each wind farm taking thousands (10-17,000) of acres, they are planning an explosion across our great state. According to North American Wind Power, the goal is to double the capacity for wind power in Ohio by 2018; that means 300,000 acres will be consumed by wind turbines.
As of 10/1/14, the following industrial wind projects are approved or pending in the following counties:
Ashtabula, Champaign, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Hardin, Huron, Lake Erie, Mercer, Logan, Mercer, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert. And wind sites, currently operational, usually have multiple ‘phases’ that will expand in the future. Here, in Allen county, a wind company approached the port authority in 2014 about utilizing the Spencerville-Elgin railroad to build a transmission line…connecting the dots?
If you still need convincing that our state is at risk, visit the Ohio Power Siting Board website http://www.opsb.ohio.gov/opsb/index.cfm/siting-case-breakdown/preapplication/ and review the preapplication and pending cases. Once land owners have leased enough land to developers, the company then submits an application to the OPSB. Our legislature gives complete control for approval/rejection to this governing body. You should find it interesting that zero wind applications have been rejected since its inception. Once the OPSB approves a development, the power then shifts to the county commissioners who will probably be asked to accept a PILOT (see our $ tab), also known as a complete tax abatement. A PILOT allows wind energy developers to give $ back to communities at a fraction of what they should be paying in taxes.
Please utilize the tabs on our website to educate yourself about our concerns. The map below is from the National Renewable Energy Lab. Ohio is not even considered a top 10 state for wind potential. http://smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/top-10-states-for-wind-power-in-the-united-states/4439 Additionally, click here for detailed wind information about Ohio Senate Bill310, which successfully passed the legislature in 2014. Tom Stacy SB 310 testimony 04.08.14
So, if we are not even in the ‘top 20′ for windy states, why are they here?
1. Our legislators passed Senate Bill 221. Ohio law (Revised Code Section 4928.64) requires electric distribution utilities and electric services companies to secure a portion of their electricity supplies from alternative energy resources. By the year 2025, 25 percent of the electricity sold by each utility or electric services company within Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources. At least 12.5 percent must be generated from renewable energy resources, including wind, hydro, biomass and at least 0.5 percent solar. In addition, at least one half of the renewable energy used must be generated at facilities located in Ohio. All companies must meet annual renewable and solar energy benchmarks that increase as a percentage of electric supply each year. In other words, we are now mandating that our electric companies purchase renewable power, whether they want to or not. Source Ohio ratepayers must also pay if new transmission lines are built to deliver wind from remote, unpopulated areas such as parts of Minnesota. Ohio citizens would see their electricity bills increase to pay for these transmission lines, even if we do not need, want or use any wind power at all, given Ohio’s abundant shale gas and relatively low electricity demand.
Two-thirds of the cost of wind development is paid for by taxpayers. New subsidized power from remote states will be paid for by the ratepayer/taxpayer. How much does it cost YOU? Go to the energy subsidy calculator here http://www.ieu-ohio.org/mandate-cost-calculator.aspx
2. Ohio also has Senate bill 232, a P-I-L-O-T, also known as a Payment in Lieu of Taxes. This is a complete tax abatement for wind developers. It allows county commissioners to approve an annual payment, instead of paying traditional taxes (usually approximately $9000 instead of $45,000/turbine). Developers may only be paying 15% of their tax rate with this option. If county commissioners threaten to deny a PILOT, developers may threaten to pull their project. www.ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/pdf/4002.pdf
3. At the federal level is the existence of the Wind Production Tax Credit, also known as the PTC. It has been extended multiple times and has been in existence for most of the past 30 years. It is a tax, collected from all US taxpayers, that is provided as a subsidy to wind developers. It amounts to $0.022/kWh of electricity produced ($23/MW) for the first 10 years of a project’s life. (This is why many developers “sell” their wind farms before they hit the 10 year mark. Operating and Maintenance costs, coupled with the lack of the PTC, don’t make financial sense.) In actuality, it is worth closer to $0.034/kWh because it is applied after taxes. Look at your electric bill and you will see this is almost a 40% subsidy. A recent 1 year extension of the PTC by Congress is estimated to cost the taxpayer $12Billion.
BUT WAIT, the other power producers enjoy subsidies, so the PTC just levels the playing field, right? NO!
In order to compare the industries, you must look at the subsidies per unit of production and the Institute for Energy Research did that. http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/08/03/eia-releases-new-subsidy-report-subsidies-for-renewables-increase-186-percent/
According to our Congressional Budget Office (CBO), wind is actually getting subsidies more than 12x that of oil and gas and 6.5x that of nuclear. Is this a level playing field? According to our CBO in March, 2013, almost 75% of energy subsidies for 2013 will go to renewable energy. Wind has led the renewable sector with a more than 10 fold increase in federal subsidies. Between the production tax credit and other advantages, it is estimated that BigWind is paid $56.29/MW (according to the EIA). Natural gas, oil and coal only receive 6.4cents and nuclear only receives $3.14. http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/030714-692531-taxpayers-hit-hard-for-wind-subsidies.htm
Why are the wind energy developers in Ohio? They are here for the cash, period. Would you be interested in helping us spread the truth in your area? If so, please contact us via the form. Thank you!