If the OPSB is simply going to give the green light to every wind developer, why have such a board at all? What are we paying these people to actually do? Consistent with expectations, the Ohio Power Siting Board approved motions to extend the deadlines for the Buckeye Wind I project to May, 2018 and Hardin Wind Energy LLC to March, 2018. The Hardin County project was not opposed. The Buckeye Wind project was opposed by Champaign County, Urbana, Goshen and Union Townships as well as Union Neighbors United. It is interesting to note that in trying to justify a need for extension, Invenergy blamed its Hardin County difficulties on the market while Jason Dagger of Everpower blamed the community’s efforts to protect its interests through litigation. It is anticipated that the Board’s Order approving the Everpower extension will be appealed.
The Greenwich Windpark project was approved despite the contention that the public did not have adequate opportunity to comment on the project. Sen. Skindell, a non-voting member of the OPSB, spoke on behalf of the opponents and questioned whether the staff had considered the merits of the public’s concerns. A spokesperson for the OPSB affirmed that the staff had noted the public comments but was not persuaded by them. Sen. Skindell (D-Lakewood) then asked whether the Staff of the OPSB had been informed by any wind developer that the recently enacted legislation eliminating the in-state renewable energy mandate or the legislation changing measurement of wind turbine setbacks would prevent any developer from going forward. The response from the staff was that they had not heard of any developer who was unable to go forward due to legislative changes. We are reminded of Senator Skindell’s previous worries that wind development would be stopped in Ohio as reported last June by Green Energy Ohio. It appears that his fears were not well-founded.
We continue to appreciate the ongoing interest and support of the community in this never-ending effort to protect our local economy, our families and our environment. Today’s actions are a disappointment to many but it is not the end of the road….only a bump….
The Ohio Power Citing Board voted unanimously Monday to approve an extension for the first phase of the Buckeye Wind Project in Champaign County until 2018.
The decision was important for the wind farm because the certificate to build the project was scheduled to expire in March of next year. If the request for an extension was turned down, it would mean construction of the wind farm would have to begin. Or Everpower, the company in charge of the project, would have had to start the lengthy certification process from the beginning.
The project has faced numerous legal challenges which delayed construction, said Jason Dagger, a spokesman for Everpower. The extension was granted until May 28, 2018, and Dagger said he believes that’s plenty of time to get the project up and running….