Never say die: Apex (BigWind) hopeful to expand in Ohio

Wind warriors are facing a new threat.  Just when you thought industrial wind turbines couldn’t get bigger…they did.  In New York, Apex Clean Energy is proposing to erect 3MW turbines with towers that reach up to 382 feet tall and, if you count the blade, the turbines will be up to 570 feet tall.  That is tall and it makes Ohio’s 1,300 foot setback seem small.  Apex holdings include proposed wind projects in Erie and Huron (Firelands); Seneca and Huron (Emerson I and Emerson II); Van Wert and Mercer (Long Prairie); and Seneca and Sandusky (Republic Wind).   Their next planned project in Ohio is to blanket the Southern portion of Van Wert county, abutting Mercer and Allen counties. The Spencerville-Elgin railroad was a target for the prior owner, BP Wind Energy, for building a new transmission line. What is Apex up to now?   

According to the September 12th Van Wert Times Bulletin, Apex has a strategy to kick start its Ohio wind developments.   Apex plans to continue to make lease agreements and get necessary environmental studies completed, then petition members in the Statehouse to give the counties and townships the authority to set the actual setback distance requirements.  The spokesman for Apex is quoted as saying, ““Our hope is that the law would be modified or changed or somehow be made workable by sometime next summer so we can actually file for our permit (With the Ohio Power Siting Board) next summer,” Arehart disclosed. “Obviously if that is not changed, we will not be able to move forward.”

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.   Everyone needs to stay in touch with their elected officials in the Statehouse.  You can guarantee that Apex is. 

Today the Champaign County Commissioners and the three townships filed their Ohio Supreme Court appeal of the Everpower Buckeye Wind Amendment.   After arguing that Everpower’s Phase I and Phase II were entirely separate projects, Everpower, without a hearing, received approval from the OPSB last February to consider the projects as one.  The local officials were denied the opportunity to have a hearing on the amendment which created significant new environmental impacts.  The Supreme Court Appeal asserts local governments were denied due process by the OPSB….

The prospect of another new wind farm going up in Van Wert County is not dead, but it is essentially on hold for the time being. The Long Prairie Wind Farm project is now owned by the firm Apex Clean Energy. Leading rights and contracts from the 300-megawatt project have been acquired by Apex from BP Wind. Currently there are approximately 275 land owners who have lease options as part of this project in the southern portions…

Arehart and an associate were in Van Wert…The Apex contingent noted that they plan to continue to make lease agreements and get necessary environmental studies completed, then petition members in the Statehouse to give the counties and townships the authority to set the actual setback distance requirements.

The effort with the politicians in Columbus is probably still at least a year away.  In the meantime, Apex, who has held the rights to the Long Prairie project since May, is continuing to work.

“Our hope is that the law would be modified or changed or somehow be made workable by sometime next summer so we can actually file for our permit (With the Ohio Power Siting Board) next summer,” Arehart disclosed. “Obviously if that is not changed, we will not be able to move forward.”

Arehart noted that the company still has high hopes for the project, and much of the meeting included Apex personnel quizzing the trustees and commissioners about objections and praised for the construction and negotiation process with Iberdrola Renewables for the Blue Creek Wind Farm. Major points of discussion included possible tax abatements, compensation for neighbors of those leasing ground for a wind turbine , drainage, soil compaction, and decommissioning plans.

via Never say die: wind farm developer remains hopeful – Times Bulletin.

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