Video Link: Seneca investigates Apex
Please, Please, take less than 5 minutes to LEARN about what BigWind could do in YOUR community, AGAINST your will!!!!…..
Video Link: Seneca investigates Apex
Please, Please, take less than 5 minutes to LEARN about what BigWind could do in YOUR community, AGAINST your will!!!!…..
Isn’t our government supposed to be BY and FOR the people? Then why is it that the people, of Ohio, have a government board, the OPSB (Say Yes to BigWind Board) which is allowed to APPROVE BigWind projects Looooonnnnng before Ohio citizens know anything about it? Case in point is below. Land was leased 10 years ago, for a BigWind project, yet the first public informational meeting was not held until 2018!?! This is outrageous. Ohio citizens have the right to have the light shown on these deceptive, unethical practices of BigWind…..
The project slated for Erie and Huron counties impacts the following townships: Groton, Oxford, Lyme, Ridgefield, Sherman, Norwich and Richmond. Townships were an ideal choice for this project’s location because, absent a referendum, the residents have no direct voice in the matter.
Most residents want a referendum, and the time for one is critical. I agree that a referendum should not be held after a project receives certification from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). The time for both a referendum and a public meeting is when leases are offered to landowners. Although land for the Emerson Creek Wind Project was leased as long ago as 2009, the first public information meeting required by the OPSB was nine years later in November 2018….
Information about the cost and financial backing of this project is not available. When I asked the Power Siting Board about that, public spokesman Matt Butler replied, “It is not uncommon for an applicant to request confidential treatment of financial data, as APEX has done in this case.” A number of published sources state that without tax benefits and outright subsidies, no company would be involved in building a wind project.
The issues are serious. These turbines are 655 tall…
The New Year is staring off with gusto! A must watch video has been produced by the Seneca Anti-Wind Union coalition. Everyone – we mean everyone should watch this video, share it on your social media, send it to your friends and think about ways your community can activate your neighbors. Watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=pzg8qPOgI7s.
Next, educate yourselves about a memorandum filed with the PUCO by the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board in connection with Republic Wind in Seneca and Sandusky County. Last February Apex filed an application for Republic Wind. In May, the OPSB declared the application complete and ready for review. In December, Apex filed a motion to change the turbine models and alter the array resulting in all proposed turbines being put in new locations causing changes to access roads and collector lines. They also requested that the OPSB commence a hearing on the revised application in March, 90 days after submitting practically a whole new application. The OPSB staff rejected the request citing the customary 60-day window to determine whether the amended application is complete.
Staff sees no need to rush the process. Apex will ask the PUCO to overrule the OPSB staff.
If one visits the Apex Republic Wind website, https://www.republicwindenergy.com/ , this is how Apex characterizes it’s amended application and the push to cut short the time period for careful evaluation:
‘“Great news! After months of diligent work to gather feedback from the community, we have found a few opportunities to amend our proposed turbine layout for Republic Wind. We have been working with OPSB to update our permit application for the project with this new layout, which we believe will be even more amenable to the members of the Seneca County community as a whole. We are glad to report that we do not anticipate this shift to delay our project, even with our request to extend the OPSB review process. We want to thank everyone who provided feedback for helping us create an even stronger Republic Wind project.”
Pure spin! They call this significant amendment, an “update” and does their statement that they do not anticipate a delay mean they do not anticipate the PUCO will support the OPSB? Something to watch!
Next up is Invenergy’s Hardin Wind project. This project has not received opposition from the community. It was approved in 2010 under the old setback rules measured from the neighbor’s house and has been amended multiple times although it does not appear the OPSB ever required Invenergy to adhere to the new setbacks. According to the docket in the case, construction started in 2016. In order for Hardin Wind to secure 100% of the PTC, they would have to place the project in service within four years of commencing construction (2020). In 2017, the media reported that AEP would purchase the power from Hardin Wind for its subsidiary, Appalachian Power serving West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. But unbeknownst to us, the West Virginia Public Service Commission denied the AEP’s request to buy the output of Hardin Wind last April. The WV PSC said the cost of the power would impose an unnecessary increase in power bills and be a burden on taxpayers. WOW!
“Appalachian Power’s push into renewables suffered a setback in April when the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) denied the company’s proposed purchase of two wind farms, one in Greenbrier County and another in Ohio. The PSC ruling stated that construction costs would cause an unneeded increase in power bills and a burden on taxpayers. The PSC decision followed a similar decision made by Virginia regulators in April.
The company had proposed to buy the Beech Ridge II Wind Facility in Greenbrier County and the Hardin Wind Facility in Ohio for more than $86 million.
We are not certain if much construction has actually occurred in the Hardin Wind project and we wonder if it will go forward without a contracted entity that will buy the expensive power. Notwithstanding, it is interesting to look back to 2017 when AEP announced it would purchase the power from Hardin Wind, At the time, Invenergy spun the project this way: “Wind power’s declining costs and the extension of a federal tax credit “make the purchase of these wind facilities beneficial for customers, improve Appalachian’s fuel diversity, and increase the company’s flexibility to develop and offer renewable products for its customers,” Appalachian Power said in a statement.” Guess not…..
Trouble in Paradise China. “China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.”
It has now been determined that the US emitted more CO2 in 2018 despite less coal and more renewables. This is a very interesting article which shows that U.S. emissions reductions since 2007 were principally the result of the recession and lower energy use. As the economy recovers and industry expands, renewables cannot contribute to CO2 emission reductions. As increases in energy demand continue, more renewables are not the way to address emissions reduction…..
US 2018 CO2 emissions up despite less coal, more renewables
Research firm Rhodium Group reports the 3.4% increase was aided by the power sector with natural gas the main replacement for coal as electricity demand grew
By Richard A. Kessler in Fort Worth 09 January 2019Updated 09 January 2019
US CO2 emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, the largest increase in eight years, despite near-record coal plant closures and the addition of 7.9GW of wind and solar capacity through October, according to a preliminary estimate by research company Rhodium Group.
This compares with declines of 0.8% in 2017, 1.7% the prior year and 2.7% in 2015…
Total US emissions have generally declined since the Great Recession that began in 2007-08, in part because of lower electricity usage in the ensuing years but also from reduced carbon intensity of US energy supply as utilities switched from coal to natural gas and renewables…
Even though 14.3GW of coal capacity likely closed last year, the most since 14.7GW in 2015, additions of renewables fell far short of making up this shortfall as US electric power consumption surged year-on-year in a robust economy.…
That raises questions about to what extent renewables can replace coal generation next decade and by extension, contribute to CO2 emission reductions…
Nov. 15, I attended the Apex public information meeting for the Firelands Wind LLC-Emerson Creek Project (OPSB case # 18-1607-EL-BGN). These public meetings are required by administrative rules for the Ohio Power Siting Board under OAC 4906-3-03. The meeting had some poster presentations and a map which depicted the locations of 655-foot-tall industrial turbines…
At one point during the meeting, I stopped to speak with a couple I knew from Erie County. I had opened my folder to make a note of the location of one of the turbines in that county. An Apex employee rushed at me and loudly stated “she is signing people up.” I showed her what I had written on my folder but she (the Apex employee) proceeded to insist that the sheriff deputies make me leave. The sheriff deputies were polite and explained that because this was a private venue and Apex had rented it, Apex had the authority to make me leave. I questioned how this could be a public event, posted in the Sandusky Register, yet…The officers explained…I did leave as the officers said they would have to charge me with trespassing if I did not leave at the request of Apex.
…Because we have no say in approving projects or how they will be sited, they really do not think they need to be accountable to us or to take our concerns seriously. And they can throw me out of a public meeting….
Senate President Larry Obhof surprised the Ohio caucus by naming Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) as Chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Media reports noted “I look forward to Steve’s leadership of this committee,” said Obhof. “He has proven himself a hard-working, thoughtful, solution-oriented leader, and he understands the importance of developing a long-term energy policy that provides affordable options for Ohioans and protects our natural resources.” Wilson was appointed to the Ohio Senate in 2017 and was elected to his first term in 2018. He currently serves on the Education; Finance; Insurance and Financial Institutions; Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs; and Ways and Means committees. Sen. Wilson, a retired banker, has not previously served as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee . He is a co-sponsor of Sen. Dolan’s stand alone bill SB 238 to roll back property line setbacks.
With a new chairman installed, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources resumes its committee work this week. It should be noted that HB 114 is not on the agenda. Sen. Matt Huffman, attending a breakfast in Urbana on Saturday, expressed his belief that there was just not enough time left in year to deal with HB 114. Senator Huffman gave a brief speech while in town in which he said that there are significant manufacturing expansions occurring or planned throughout his District. He is very concerned about these employers being able to attract employees. He said that if communities cannot supply a workforce, companies will begin to turn away from NW Ohio. This begs the question, why would anyone want to live in the middle of an industrial power plant? How inviting would it be to attract a workforce to an area that had become uninhabitable due to the proliferation of industrial wind turbines?
As Lordstown, Ohio struggles to accept the loss of the GM plant there. We should not forget it was only last May that the people of Paulding County destroyed a bit more of their environment and provided taxpayer subsidy (PILOT) to GM to “power” the Lordstown plant with wind. Guess wind and solar aren’t such great economic development/retention tools after all. Wonder how the folks in Paulding are feeling about now?
Out of curiosity, we visited the Ohio Secretary of State’s website to see if we could find more incorporations for Apex wind projects. While it is not possible to determine where these projects might be, it was instructive to see how many limited liability companies have been created – some of them within the past couple of years. Here are eleven:
Apex Ashtabula Wind
Apex Buck Springs Wind LLC
Apex Emerson Creek Wind LLC
Apex Emerson Creek West
Apex Firelands Wind LLC
Apex Grant Ridge Wind LLC
Apex High Springs Wind LLC
Apex Honey Creek Wind LLC
Apex Long Prairie Wind I
Apex Long Prairie Wind II
Apex Sugar Grove Wind LLC
The list, above, should remind all of us WHY it is important to persevere in this fight for property rights. This is a many year long battle, that must continue until our tax dollars no longer subsidize this inefficient energy……
There are many reasons why rural communities are fighting back against wind development. This isn’t some crusade against a cleaner source of energy, that would be silly to think that people against living in a wind turbine project want dirty air and water. What this boils down to is property rights guaranteed by the constitution, and the safety, health, and welfare of all citizens in the rural community.
First on the property rights issue. The rural communities are zoned agricultural/residential. Nothing about industrial wind turbines are either of those. The fact is, wind turbines are industrial electric generators. It is an oxymoron to call them wind “farms.” That is a fancy spin that pushes the idea of it being agricultural. And why do they push that? Because the wind industry expects a special land use exception to site wind turbines like they are agricultural.
I ask a simple question to the readers. Can anyone name one example of zoning regulation that measures someone’s industrial structure to the foundation of another person’s house? You can try to find it but it doesn’t exist. This is largely the language in wind ordinances that wind developers look for when attacking a rural community in the cloak of darkness. They want the public to think this is a farming operation so they can justify measuring these things to a house and not a property line. They want this to look like a confined feeding operation like that of a hog barn which can be measured to a house. Then you get into the argument that “I would rather have a wind turbine than a hog barn.”
Which leads to another question: When you build or choose to live in the rural community that is zoned for agriculture is it unreasonable to think you may experience agricultural nuisances? You know that comes with living rurally. A follow up to that, when you build or choose to live in the rural community that is zoned agricultural is it unreasonable to think you will be dealing with something industrial? Yes, that is unreasonable. It goes against the very essence of why people choose to live in the rural community.
Turbine manufacturers have recommended safety distances in their operations manual that is mainly established by Gcube insurance, the main insurer for liability of industrial wind turbines. The setbacks in these manuals are largely kept from the public for proprietary reasons. Shouldn’t the public have a right to know just how dangerous the wind industry’s own insurers define as what is safe? Setbacks all over the Midwest can easily be proven inadequate by many resources. If you want some specific information about proper setbacks please read some of the following links. Here is a study that proves that a 300′ turbine can sling debris over 1700′ from a physicist. Other recommendations based on safe setbacks can be found in many other places too (1, 2, and 3). As a final follow up to this section, ask any wind developer to produce a scientific, peer-reviewed, independent study that proves the setbacks they advocate for and claim are safe. They will duck and dodge. A developer recently turned that question around on me and I produced the study listed above along with two others studies. Then all I heard was silence.
This is about conflicting land uses and equitable zoning over all else. The language in leasing agreements plainly states there is a “no build” zone that extends out from a turbine. Measuring a turbine to someone’s house can deny them the right to develop their land as they see fit in the future. That is theft, it is referred to as trespass zoning. If developers want to site wind turbines, the zoning must be to a neighboring landowners property line unless they sign a “good neighbor agreement” also known as a setback waiver.
This is perfectly legal right now. But wind developers do not want to negotiate the property rights of all landowners in a footprint. They expect zoning law to allow them to steal uncompensated easements from all non-participating landowners as a part of their robbery scheme. That is unconstitutional. This is the source of the main opposition for people in the rural community.
Next, it is a quality of life issue. Wind developers constantly say there is no scientific evidence that wind turbines affect people’s health. Which poses another question. If that is true, then why does every leasing agreement offered admit all the health effects they so adamantly discredit actually do exist? I have copies of lease agreements and all the health effects are in every contract. And here is the bigger point, when you sign an agreement, you have been essentially “gagged” into speaking negatively about wind turbines to the public. There is a gag order in the agreement. Why are those terms necessary if the wind industry is so right about discrediting the health effects? Independent studies show wind turbines do affect people’s health and you can read that in many places (1, 2, and 3).
Thirdly, wind developers insist wind turbines do not have an adverse effect on home values. That can also be soundly refuted. They constantly cite a study done by the Lawrence Berkley Laboratory. That study is flawed. The Berkley study can be refuted in multiple sources (1 and 2). There is plenty of evidence that says wind turbines absolutely affect home values. Information about property value depreciation can be easily found (1, 2, 3, and 4.). If these reports are so wrong about property values and the wind industry is so right, then why do wind developers fight against offering the citizens a property value guarantee? Doesn’t that seem appropriate given the lengths they go to try to prove that wind turbines do not result in property depreciation?
Finally, some specific refutations of the pro-wind crowd from Van Wert County that was interviewed in your recent series. The Chamber of Commerce president said that the Blue Creek Project is the “number one tourist attraction” in Van Wert County. Where is the proof of that? I and many other residents have not once heard people visiting our community for the wind turbines. That is pure speculation and opinion. Secondly, she calls the turbine money a “game changer” for our schools. The two school districts that receive wind money have been on sound financial footing for multiple decades because their taxpayers have routinely supported ballot issues. It has nothing to do with wind payments. The annual payments are fractions of the annual operating expenses of these districts. School funding can easily be found online to prove it.
The only district in the county that doesn’t receive wind payments has far more academic opportunities than the other districts that do. The Van Wert City School district has fully implemented project-based learning through the New Tech Network, have two programs in the PTLW (project lead the way) methodology in Biomedical Science and Engineering, have a fully functional mass media television production studio on campus, a state respected robotics club, and a more diverse offering of courses. All of these without the addition of wind payments. So it’s a false narrative that wind payments are “game changers”; the truth is they help schools at a fraction of what is claimed.
It is also necessary to disclose some information regarding the pro-wind farmer interviewed in your piece. This farmer, admittedly, is compensated by hosting wind turbines. At a tune of $20,000 or so per year, this farmer has already received over $100,000 in payments and will garner over $400,000 by the end of the terms of the contract. Would that not be enough to say a wind turbine’s noise is “minimal?” Would that allow one to make no distinction between industrial wind turbines and a highway a mile away? If one believes so much in the cause, why would they not just donate their property for the cause? This comes down to money. Money for a minority of landowners at all of their neighbor’s expense.
In conclusion, folks fighting for their quality of life are not against better means to serve our complicated energy needs. We are fighting for our property rights, our health, our guaranteed safety, and energy policy that makes sense. I haven’t even touched on the false narrative perpetuated by the wind industry and how it’s saving the Earth. I have plenty of science that proves that is plainly false.
I also haven’t touched on the complicated economic picture that proves this technology firmly relies on tax and ratepayer support to produce a highly expensive, low-value product that negatively impacts all our bank accounts. Those are arguments that simply do not resonate with the average citizen. The complexities and dynamics are very difficult to comprehend. Lastly, the large amount of people who support wind technologies will never live near any wind installation, thus making it easy to push it on the rest of us.
— Jeremy Kitson, Citizens for Clear Skies, from Van Wert County, Ohio (Thank you to the News Sentinel of Ft. Wayne, for printing this letter!!!)
letter reprinted in entirety w permission from author
After seeing the information on the proximity of a large number of 650 foot turbines to Seneca East school, and the new World Health Organization concerns about the sound levels that sPower says will be experienced at the school, several people have contacted us about what could be done. We have checked into the issue and learned that the school can intervene at the Ohio Power Siting Board against the project as currently proposed in an effort to get the turbines pushed back farther away form the school for the safety of the children.
If you share these concerns, you can contact the school board members and superintendent.
We hope that Seneca East takes the relatively easy step of filing an intervention so that all may rest easy that the health of the children is being considered in the siting of the proposed wind project. If this situation is new to you please study the attached map showing the proposed turbine location distances and sound levels around Seneca East school. Anything in the green/tan/gold areas on the sound map is considered unsafe by the World Health Organization.
***ADDITIONAL BREAKING NEWS***
Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas’s Mother-in-law’s Trust officially signed a wind turbine lease on August 4th 2018 with APEX Clean Energy for the Honey Creek Wind Project!!
Since the signing of this wind lease Commissioner Thomas has passed a resolution to intervene in the Republic Wind Project (APEX) and also has voted to officially hire a Pro-Wind Attorney to represent them. This same attorney’s law firm has had ties to APEX as well!!
Is this a conflict of interest? Is this unethical? We will let you decide!!…
At this point, it’s safe to say lots of Seneca County residents oppose potential incoming wind turbines.
On Wednesday night, for a little over an hour, county commissioners listened to concerned citizens’ thoughts and opinions on the Seneca Wind Project.
The meeting was organized by Commissioner Shayne Thomas.
“Nothing is pre-scripted, so we’re coming in with open minds and open hearts, and hoping to understand what the townships’ position is and move on from there,” said Thomas.
Every comment that was made, whether it was by the public or township trustees was anti-wind turbines.
Currently, the APEX Republic Wind project is on hold, but the sPower Seneca Wind Project is moving forward in front of the Ohio Power Siting Board….
Citizens for Clear Skies on facebook for more details and pictures- meeting was attending by some 500 citizens!!!