Pay attention Ohio- Board member who regrets deal with BigWind


Will Ohioans share the same sentiment, as BigWind spreads across our state? If you think this won’t affect YOU, then think again. BigWind plans to blanket our state. Just read about it on our home page. Every wind site has multiple ‘phases’ in the works, that usually, quietly begin before the 1st site is even completed….

I am writing to you all as a former commissioner colleague who aided in the negotiations and agreements with E.ON Climate Renewables with Tipton County (Indiana)in 2011. From the onset, I was open to windfarm development in a small section of Tipton County because the commissioners had received no opposition and I felt that the landowners wanted it. … As you know, public notices are small and often overlooked in the newspaper, so not much resistance was present……………until the towers went up, and people saw how enormous and intrusive they were. The red blinking lights even disturb my own summer evenings and my home is 6 miles from the closest tower….. !!!! You don’t have the time to read what all I could tell you, so in a nutshell I just want to say that I wish I had the knowledge then that I have now….

In Tipton County……….my 83 year old mother is mad at me (since I signed the agreements) because she no longer has colorful birds coming to her feeders…… brother’s view from his family dining room table used to be a vast expanse of crops and natural habitat…….now that pristine ‘vista’ is forever marred by giant metal structures………….neighbors hate each other…………back and forth letters to the editor have been selling papers for over a year now………….families are torn apart,,,,, and because the physical presence of the towers will be there for 30 years, these relationships will never be repaired. In short. . . . this has become an issue that has divided our community like no other.

It has torn our county apart….

If I had this to do over, I would NEVER enter into an agreement with any wind company now that I know what it has done to my home community. I am not proud that my name is on those documents. The wind company has breached many parts of the agreement, but insist that their failures are “minor”. Their field representative is arrogant and cavalier in his attitude toward the people who are suffering with the effects of the noise and flicker.

You can’t lose something you never had…………so you are not “losing” the supposed ‘windfall’ of money that the project purportedly brings in. What you WILL lose however, cannot be measured in dollars. You will lose the rural landscape as you know it and you will lose the closeness of “community spirit” because people will hate each other over this and the presence of the towers will always be a constant reminder of the rift…………thus the wounds will never heal.

Please consider this: What do you think of a company that KNOWS it has fierce opposition from a segment of the Howard County citizenry, but would STILL want to build in your county? It is akin to forcing themselves onto you when they KNOW they are not wanted by those in the project area who would be affected by their presence and are receiving no compensation for the change in their environment. How much of a “community partner” would they be when they really don’t care about the wishes of the people?…

Any issue that has become so contentious that it has caused large groups of people to assemble and vehemently oppose it. . . . and which has caused so much heartache and angst among the citizenry . . . . just cannot be good for the whole. I do not feel that Tipton County will ever wholly heal from the deep personal wounds incurred by many from the placement of wind turbines in our county….


Jane Harper
Tipton County Commissioner 2009-2012

Source: Meet Jane Harper – Board member who regrets voting pro-wind –

Iberdrola #1 for receiving federal handouts = $2,172,641,752

Iberdrola is #1 and NextEra is #2.  This is no surprise to those of us who follow the BigWindustry. These companies are here to suck the blood from taxpayers, and what do they have to show for it? After almost 30 years of the Production Tax Credit, the entire Windustry produces less than 5% of our electricity nationwide. Do you believe that if Van Wert county knew this, the commissioners would have been as likely to grant Iberdrola the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) in their county?

Since 2000, the federal government has awarded $68 billion in grants and allocated tax credits, with fewer than 600 companies receiving two-thirds of the total. Six parent companies have received $1 billion or more;..

The company with the largest total, $2.2 billion, is not a household name in the United States. The Spanish electric utility Iberdrola has invested heav- ily in U.S. power generation facilities, especially renewables.

Many of the wind farms it acquired or built have taken advantage of a provision in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Section 1603) that allows companies to receive cash pay- ments in lieu of tax credits for the installation of renewable energy properties.17 Section 1603 has awarded more than $23 billion to companies with U.S. and foreign parents.


NextEra Energy, the parent of Florida Power & Light and number two on the list, got about 90 percent of its grants from Section 1603

Iberdrola, the Spanish energy company that by vir- tue of its U.S. renewable energy properties became the largest recipient of federal grants and allocated tax credits, is far from the only foreign corporation that has gotten assistance from Uncle Sam.

The 50 parent companies receiving the most federal grants and allocated tax credits include 10 foreign- based firms: two each from Germany and Spain and one each from Australia, China, France, Israel, Japan and Portugal. Nearly all are energy companies….


Everpower proposes (sneaky) amendment in Ohio

Yesterday, September 12th, Everpower filed an extensive amendment to its Scioto Ridge project in Logan and Hardin Counties.   The filing includes approximately 70 different documents.    The important thing to note here is that Everpower probably filed the amendment on September 12 because the new property line setbacks go into effect on September 15th.  By filing yesterday, Everpower seeks to avoid the new setback requirements that would have required them to relocate any turbines that are too close to non-participating property owners. 

Everpower also proposes to consider two additional turbine models and to move certain turbines and transmission lines.  These changes affect setback measurements, noise modeling and shadow flicker among other things.   As a result of the changes, Everpower estimates on Page 23 that:

Of the 52 non-participating residences predicted to receive more than 30 hours of shadow flicker per year, 15 are pending (i.e., landowner is anticipated to become a participant) and 37 are non-participants. However, to assure a worst-case analysis, pending participants have been included with the nonparticipating receptors in the summary above. Table 08-02 summarizes the expected shadow flicker for non-participating receptors exceeding 30 hours/year predicted, comparing the results presented in the original Application with those anticipated under the currently proposed layout.


With respect to the setbacks, Everpower notes at page 32:

(c) Locations of Turbines in Relation to Property Lines and Habitable Residential Structures


The minor shifts in the five turbines do not violate any of the property line setbacks and residential setbacks under the Board’s rules at the time the original Application was filed. As noted below, the average property line setback has increased to 1,201 feet from 1,198 feet and the average residential structure setback has increased to 1,996 feet from 1,989 feet. The project’s setbacks are described below.


(i)                 Setback to Property Lines


Section 4906-17-08(C)(1)(c)(i) requires that “the distance from a wind turbine base to the property line of the wind farm property shall be at least one and one-tenth times the total height of the turbine structure as measured from its tower’s base (excluding the subsurface foundation) to the tip of its highest blade.” The maximum height of turbines under consideration for the Facility at the time the original Application was filed was 492 feet (150 meters), which yields a property line setback of 541 feet (165 meters). All turbine locations, including the turbine relocations proposed in this Amendment, will comply with these setbacks, and the two new turbine models proposed in this Amendment are less than 492 in total height. As currently sited, the distance between proposed turbines and the nearest non-participating property line ranges from 549 to 2,669 feet, and averages 1,201 feet. The original Application presented a range of 549 to 2,637 feet with an average of 1,198 feet.  (Ed’s note: Do not be confused by use of averages!)


(ii)               Setback to Habitable Residential Structures


Section 4906-17-08(C)(1)(c)(ii) requires that “the wind turbine shall be at least seven hundred fifty feet in horizontal distance from the tip of the turbine’s nearest blade at ninety degrees to the exterior of the nearest habitable residential structure, if any, located on adjacent property at the time of certification application.” The maximum rotor diameter of the turbines under consideration for the Facility at the time the original Application was filed was 400 feet (122 meters). If the turbine blade were at ninety degrees, the tip would extend from the base of the tower one-half the length of the rotor diameter, or 200 feet (61 meters), which added to 750 feet, yields a total setback of 950 feet. All turbines and locations, including the turbine relocations proposed in this Amendment, will comply with these setbacks, and the two turbine models proposed in this Amendment both have blades less than 200 feet in length. As proposed, the distance between the proposed turbines and the nearest non-participating residential structure ranges from 1,292 to 4,047 feet, and averages 1,996 feet. The original Application presented a range of 1,335 feet to 4,047 feet with an average of 1,989 feet. (Ed’s note: Do not be confused by use of averages!)


With respect to Indian Lake, the amendment states:

(5) Impact on Recreational Areas within One Mile


The impact on recreational areas remains as described in the original Application. Of the turbines that have been shifted, only turbine 25 is within 1 mile of Indian Lake State Park, and it was re-located to the east,

away from the park. Noise and shadow flicker were re-modeled (see Exhibits B and C of this Amendment, respectively), but results for Indian Lake State Park are the same as in the original Application. There are no other recreation areas within one mile of the Facility.


(6) Visual Impact and Mitigation Measures


Visual impact mitigation measures remain as described in the original Application.


There is a great deal of specific information in this 44 page Amendment.  The document and all related exhibits with maps and charts for specific areas can be found at  the PUCO website by clicking on this link, below…

In the Matter of the Application of Hardin Wind LLC to Amend its Certificate Issued in Case No. 13-1177-EL-BGN

via DIS – Case Record for 14-1557-EL-BGA.

Everpower’s admission = BigWind’s failed mousetrap

The Ohio House of representatives gears up this week to hear testimony on Senate Bill 310. On Tuesday, Senator Balderson will provide sponsor testimony followed by other witnesses in support of the bill. On Wednesday opponents, interested parties and the rest of the world will testify. Speaker of the House, Rep. Bill Batchelder, wants to wrap up passage before Memorial Day. We expect to see every conceivable opponent argument come out in a last ditch effort to derail the bill. We have been on this roller coaster for so long we know anything could happen.

 We share a story from the Bellefontaine Examiner where Everpower’s Michael Speerschneider grumbles about the mandate freeze but says, nevertheless, “This doesn’t make it impossible to build if we can find appropriate buyers, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier,” he said.

 As we have reported, a significant point in support of repeal of the mandate is the un-Constitutional nature of the in-state mandate. This requires a percentage of wind to be generated inside the state of Ohio even if out of state wind is available and cheaper. This issue has been the subject of litigation in Colorado and in Minnesota. This week in Colorado, a major victory was achieved when a federal court determined that the challengers to the Colorado mandate had “standing” to bring a lawsuit. Often, those who seek to protect mandates will argue that opponents do not have a right – or the legal standing – to sue. In this case, reported May 5th by E&E Legal, “The Court has recognized that the Colorado RES harms interstate Commerce,” said David W. Schnare, E&E Legal’s General Counsel and lead attorney in the case. “Next he will decide whether that damages not only citizens’ pocket books, but the Constitutional rights of our citizens, our businesses and the States that surround Colorado. A decision in favor of E&E Legal’s constitutional argument would follow other recent, similar Federal Court decisions and would lay the cornerstone to building a national effort to challenge the constitutionality of renewable standards in the other twenty-nine states with similar statutes.”…

Legislation that moved in the Ohio Senate this week could have a potential impact on EverPower Wind Holdings’ plans to develop local projects….

EverPower has wind developments pending construction in Hardin, Logan and Champaign counties and the company official said a large part of their development hinges on finding buyers. “This doesn’t make it impossible to build if we can find appropriate buyers, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier,” he said.

While it displeases alternative energy producers, environmentalists, manufacturers and citizen groups like the local Fight the Wind organization approve of the Senate’s decision. “We are pleased with Senate Bill 310 and its progress through the gauntlet of political barriers to its passage,” Tom Stacy of Fight the Wind wrote in an email. “But this bill is not the end-all for wind or any other renewables. It doesn’t prohibit anything. It just relaxes the rate at which the government is forcing the contrived market for intermittent, undependable, low value sources like wind to grow.

The decision, he said, shows wind developers’ over-reliance on government regulations in their business plans. “EverPower’s admission that SB310 progress puts their Ohio projects at a standstill is case in point to the reality that wind electricity is not sustainable, not affordable and not a good enough mousetrap to capture market share without mandates — even with all the subsidies they receive otherwise,” Mr. Stacy wrote….


Ohio Legislator follows the $ and calls out Honda for bullying competition

Senator Seitz

Whether or not you approve of Senator Seitz’ politics, you must give him credit for the unabashed COURAGE he displays when he is passionate about something. He is a bulldog in a fight!

The day after the Senate’s momentous vote to freeze the renewable mandate, the political machinations are gearing up.   Democratic candidate for Governor, Ed Fitzgerald issued a statement saying he would make renewable energy the central issue of his campaign.   Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder issued a statement saying he would seek to pass the mandate freeze before summer recess.  The Governor issued a joint statement with Senate President Faber saying that renewable energy would remain important and the standards would not be repealed but merely fixed.   In the meantime, the Chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee where the bill will be heard starting next week was not re-elected.    Chaos!

 The Columbus Dispatch continued its lopsided coverage and attacked Senator Seitz for criticizing Honda during the deliberations for the bill.  Honda was a strong opponent of the freeze and Senator Seitz pointed out that Honda is not subject to the mandates because they are served by the rural electric system.  Further, Honda uses taxpayer subsidy.  Both of these things put Honda at a competitive advantage over other automobile manufacturers.  Winners and losers.  Even Honda wants to preserve an unfair system.  Tom Stacy comments on today’s Dispatch article are printed below.  They are excellent and point out that by keeping the MW size of their project below the threshold of regulation by the OPSB, Honda was able to site the project in a way that may be dangerous to the community….

In debate that stretched into early yesterday, Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, called out Honda for its opposition to Senate Bill 310, a two-year freeze on annual increases in state standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Honda buys most of their electric from a rural electric cooperative,” he said during a lively floor speech. “Guess what? Rural electric cooperatives are not subject to the mandates. So they get to buy their electric without having to pay for the mandates. And by keeping the mandates, they are able to disadvantage their competitors, GM, Ford and Chrysler, who buy from investor-owned utilities that are subject to the mandates.

“Follow the money,” he concluded….

Comments following article:

While East Liberty is indeed on the border of Logan County Rural Electric and DP&L territory, the longest standing and main Honda Campus in Marysville (where the Accord is built) is served by Union County Rural Electric Cooperative.

The energy-intensive Honda Transmission facility at Russells Point, OH is situated in Logan County Rural Electric Cooperative’s territory. Even though that facility isn’t subject to the mandate, Honda partnered with a wind developer and built the two longest-bladed wind turbines in the state on its Transmission plant campus.

The project nameplate capacity conveniently falls just below the threshold above which the PUCO’s Ohio Power Siting Board would have had jurisdiction over its placement. Delivery and construction were RUSHED late last year in order to beat the expiration of the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind which expired at the end of last year – another tax break for them that the rest of us pay for.

OPSB would have never allowed those 420 ft. tall machines with their 160 ft long blades to be constructed within 200 ft. of a public road and within 300 ft. of a non-participating property the way the local township trustees and zoning board did through a zoning variance. But what could the local zoning folks say to the employer of far more people than live in its township when they wanted to go against turbine manufacturer and state minimum guidelines for safety? Not much.

While only MOST of Honda’s facilities are served by cooperatives, Dan, Honda also BENEFITS from the mandates by adding these enormous wind conversion machines on a poorly selected site. People living and boating on Indian Lake now must gaze at these monstrosities from everywhere on the lake, while 176 of them are proposed for Logan and Hardin Counties just east of the lake by Everpower renewables – an aggressive UK owned investment house interested in greening their portfolio far more than the environment.

As for Honda, even their corporate public image statement shows they are more interested in a green image than green results. Before they pulled the trigger on the project company executives asked to meet with me to find out what kind of public opposition might arise. I told them I hoped the public would object to the fact that Honda had chosen a very expensive means of reducing their carbon footprint and at taxpayer and lakefront property owners’ expense. The community did not rise to object to Honda so I didn’t either, even though I live at the opposite end of the same county.

I am really growing weary of the Dispatch continually slanting their news on this topic to criticize the brave legislators who are looking out for Ohio ratepayer and job holders’ best interests. There is really good news here for Ohio’s future and I’d like to see the Dispatch recognize that in some of their articles rather than distracting the public off topic by highlighting trivial matters such as how much of Honda’s electricity is subject to mandates.

2014-05-09 07:28:14.0


via Legislator takes swipe at Honda in green-energy debate | The Columbus Dispatch.

Noisy turbine in Ada, Ohio- too little, too late, though?

Within the last month, a couple of articles appeared in NW Ohio papers, complaining about the noise from the Ada school turbine.  This is a separate turbine from the 3 that ONU have; however, ONU has issues, too, as 1 of the 3 has  NOT been operational for some time.  Is this too little, too late, though? Hardin county residents surely would have appreciated learning the facts below – sooner, before their farmers signed leases that will blanket their county with turbines.  Unfortunately, you will read below that the decibel measurements will be taken from the nearest property LINE. Our turbine setbacks in Ohio are from the nearest residence, NOT property line. Our legislators should be ashamed of this woeful setback inadequacy….Remember, the addition of our new FARMER tab on our blog site, to find problems that farmers can experience….

Michael Harnishfeger, Ada’s chief of police and zoning inspector, will be looking into whether or not the wind turbine on the Ada School property violates the village’s noise ordinance for turbines…

“The one out there the day I was out there was very loud,” Simmons said.
He said the noise was that of a loose bearing, or a grinding noise.
Councilman Jimmy Wilson, who lives near the turbine as well, said he too could attest to the loudness of the turbine from time to time.

“I live in the 200 block of Turner and from experiences and those of my neighbors, when the wind is from a certain direction at a certain speed, it’s pretty bad; you can almost feel the vibrations,” Wilson said….

“If we have ordinances that deal with this, we need to know that and we need to abide by those ordinances,” Fleming said. “If there’s something we can do or are obligated to do, then we need to do it and not just ignore these people like it’s going to stop. If it’s actually bearings, it’s only going to get worse.”
“At what point do we say, OK, we need to see if this falls within our ordinance’? Where’s the tipping point here?” questioned Councilwoman Cathy Cole.

Harnishfeger informed council that he will look into obtaining a decimeter to measure the noise level of the turbine. The measurement is to be taken at the nearest property line, according to Village Administrator Jim Meyer….

Ada to investigate noise from wind turbine | Kenton Times.

Are Everpower and Invenergy in “cahoots” in Ohio?

Is there a connection? Read the facts below and decide for yourself…

Everpower:  Terra Firma Capital Partners is the UK private equity firm that owned three renewable companies: RTR, Infinis and Everpower.  Their business model is to buy companies, build them up and sell them.  Terra Firma likes to do this within five to seven years and they like to earn a 15% or more return on their investments.   In 2013, Infinis was spun off as a separate company in an IPO.  Terra Firma did not make what they hoped to on this sale but still netted over $140 million.

At the same time, Terra Firma reported that it might take them a bit longer to exit their other investments like Everpower.   Now comes the news of a shake-up at Terra Firma and a new Manager for Everpower, Stefan Thiele.  What does this mean?  We can only speculate but we do know that Everpower was forced to abandon their Allegany project after losing a court suit they filed against the town of Allegany, NY;  one of the customers of their Cambria County, PA wind farm just went bankrupt;  Champaign County’s ongoing fight against the Buckeye Wind project caused Everpower to miss the deadline for federal Production Tax Credit subsidies (although the subsidy could get reauthorized in 2014); the Scioto Ridge project PILOT subsidy is in question due to community outcry and resistance.   And to top it off, the mandate to buy Ohio generated wind is in question.  This all adds up to some spectacularly bad news for Everpower and Terra Firma’s ability to sell it off.  New management has been tapped. Worse yet, Terra Firma’s plan to raise $2 billion to create a new renewable energy fund is floundering.   Perhaps Terra Firma planned to dump Everpower and RTR into the new fund, we do not know.   The situation in the European Union is making things even worse as renewable energy mandates are being rolled back or perhaps junked.

Invenergy: You will recall that Invenergy sold their Champaign County assets (leases) to Everpower.  They announced that their focus was shifting to the Northwest in places like Oregon and Washington.  Now this week they resurfaced in Hardin County where they still retain ownership of leases for 23,000 acres in Marion, Lynn, Roundhead, McDonald and Cessna townships.  Prior to the end of 2013,  Invenergy bought an inventory of G.E. wind turbines and they are now deciding where to place them.  Because the turbines were acquired in 2013, they can qualify under the safe harbor provisions of the Production Tax Credit and are eligible for the federal subsidy.  Invenergy announced this week that Hardin County is a leading contender for placement of these turbines.  Two things could stand in their way.  If the Hardin County Commissioners rescind their Alternative Energy Zone designation, it would cause Invenergy to go elsewhere.  Also, if they fail to find a buyer for their wind, they would not build.  If the mandate to buy Ohio wind is repealed, it may be impossible to find a buyer for Invenergy’s wind. There is much to think about here.  If Everpower has missed the PTC window, do they have a deal under discussion with Invenergy to go forward and then sell the project to Everpower like they did in Champaign County?  We wonder.   G.E. has come out with new and bigger turbines for low wind areas.  If these are the turbines Invenergy has purchased, they would require longer setbacks.  We think Invenergy’s announcement that it has “improved” setbacks is probably meaningless…