BigWind huffing and puffing all over Ohio, especially near the Farm Bureau

In addition to news reports, there are three important items to relay on Ohio wind projects:

Invenergy’s 175 MW Hardin Wind project is awaiting regulatory approvals in Virginia and West Virginia for the sale of the facility to Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of AEP.  If approved, Appalachian would directly own and operate Hardin Wind.

Union Neighbors United in Champaign County announces that (with the exception of Turbine T-107) EverPower will refrain from constructing wind turbines in Union Township;  EverPower will file an application with the Ohio Power Siting Board to seek approval to reduce the 108-turbine location design approved under the combined Buckeye I Project and Buckeye II Project to a 55-turbine location design, of which no more than 50 turbines maximum will be installed; and the UNU will not oppose the reduced project.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled against the Black Fork Wind motion to dismiss the appeal brought by citizens in Richland and Crawford Counties.  The case before the OSC challenges the failure of the Ohio Power Siting Board to consider a revision to the Black Fork Certificate as an “amendment”.   If the OPSB had ruled the Black Fork motion to revise its project was, in fact, an amendment of the certificate, a hearing on the project change would have been required and property line setbacks would be triggered.  Black Fork had previously been grandfathered under the old setbacks measured from homes. In seeking to dismiss the appeal, the Vorys law firm argued that Black Fork should be denied a hearing based on an alleged technical flaw in their appeal.  One June 6th, Black Fork filed a second amendment seeking approval to allow the use of the Vestas VI10 turbine model with a 2.2 megawatt capacity which has the same physical dimensions as the previously approved Vestas VI10 turbine model with a 2.0 megawatt capacity. Black Fork Wind Energy has also requested an extension of its certificate to January 23, 2020.

This court filing is worth reviewing as the FB  states:

Farm Bureau members have an interest in effective wind energy development. Along with enhancing their income, farmers engaged in wind leasing agreements want to make sure that construction activities on their property adhere to procedures ensuring soil and water conservation as well as air quality. Residents in rural neighborhoods want assurances that environmental considerations, such as setbacks, noise standards, shadow flicker, and other factors, are addressed with effective turbine placement. Area businesses want to make sure that a wind facility in the community enhances local commerce and economic development. In short, OFBF has extensive experience gathering input, addressing the needs of, and representing farm, small business, and rural residents concerning energy development. OFBF’s interest in this case is guided by policy resolutions from Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 State Policies.

 

This articulation of the Farm Bureau’s role raises more questions than answers given that they have consistently taken the side of the wind developer in every case before the OPSB.  In looking at the Farm Bureau website for the “policy resolution” which they contend is “guiding” them, we find only this:

 

Energy: Development of the state’s comprehensive energy policy continues to be a priority for Ohio Farm Bureau. Agriculture is being called upon to provide feedstocks to help produce energy, as well as accommodate generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure on farm ground. In 2017, Farm Bureau will provide education and outreach for its members. Finding ways to ensure energy lease and easement holders are provided information on project developments and advocacy in regulatory proceedings will be priorities. Farm Bureau will promote a diversified energy portfolio of advanced technologies which includes, but is not limited to, coal and nuclear as well as cost effective renewable technologies….

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