BigWind RELEASES landowners from leases in Ohio!!

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Since our excitement (in red) makes this a little difficult to read, here is the letter in its entirety…Citizens for Clear Skies in Van Wert county have been persistent, devoted to truth, and unstoppable. Congratulations!! There is hope for others!!

“Commissioners,

We have made the difficult decision to conclude our pursuit of the Long Prairie Wind project in Van Wert and Mercer Counties. The current policy environment in Ohio, which creates unnecessary market barriers for wind energy, has made our investment in the state a highly risky proposition. Apex is blessed to work with communities across the state to create economic development opportunities through renewable energy. Our high-quality Ohio portfolio promises to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in local revenue and school funding to the state, along with a critical, low-cost source of power. Unfortunately, the state’s current anti-business policies are making it necessary for us to reduce our investment exposure in the state and to choose which of our projects we continue to advance in Ohio. Due to some challenges presented by the transmission system around Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Long Prairie Wind has been selected for divestment. We will be releasing project landowners from their leases over the next several weeks. We are continuing to advance our other Ohio projects, and this decision will allow us to direct even greater attention and resources to them. Van Wert and Mercer Counties remain excellent locations for a wind facility, and we anticipate that if and when the state becomes more welcoming to these investments, the area will once again have a bright future in wind energy.

Sincerely,

John Arehart
John P. Arehart III, PE
Apex Clean Energy, Inc.
310 4th St. NE, Suite 200, Charlottesville, VA 22902
office: 434-220-6122 | mobile: 540-241-5285 | fax: 434-220-3712”

 

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The ‘rest of the story’ about Van Wert, Ohio turbines

How often does BigWind create a positive atmosphere in the community? How often does it bring unity? How often do Facts relay the Truth? rarely…..

To the editor,

Citizens for Clear Skies is a group formed to bring the truth to the community on the dynamics of wind energy. We are accused of only being negative from the opposition group. This is our collaborative response to their last letter:

We see significant reductions in this technology globally due to governments becoming more educated in time over the detrimental impact to consumer power bills.

We see an intermittent “resource”, one that is rarely present when consumers need it most….

We see structures that bring an “urban” feel to the country by dominating the skies, not the peace and quiet we feel we deserve by choosing to live rurally.

We see greed at the expense of your neighbors in their property value depreciation.

We see companies that use schools as their primary pawns, then paint those opposed as anti-school and anti-community.

We see taxpayer backed technologies that put hundred of millions into the pockets of company investors, while providing a fraction of that profit to a community affected….

We see farmers that have a choice whether to prevent urban sprawl or choose to sell their land.

We see a community where farmers by far have the most capital and land, as compared to other residents.

We see and hear countless stories of shadow flicker, sound and vibrational disturbances that cause serious negative health impacts on many, not non-intrusive objects to farm around.

We see trespass zoning and zoning laws that protect all citizens, not someone’s right to circumvent laws that have existed much longer than this technology.

We see small town residents buying into the massive expansion of government instead of maintaining the small government principles that make our country work better.

We see energy that is inherently more expensive and less reliable when we need it most, one that does little or nothing to reduce CO2 emissions.

We see an issue in climate change, one where relevant studies and data from opposition is completely suppressed by a willing media to promote their leftist agenda, rather than allow public debate.

We see a negative contribution to a country already 20 trillion dollars in debt, a debt that our children will have to repay at some point, the kind of big government that would make Eastern European countries proud (while they are ironically reducing this technology significantly)….

We see community and family division, not a positive attitude, solely created by this intrusion.

Hopefully Van Wert really digs into this issue and realizes what is happening globally with this technology. Recently one wind developer claimed that Ohio was not a solid wind energy resource. Wind energy is being fought and failing in many places in the country, not just Van Wert. People in the Blue Creek foot print are suffering. There are ample testimonials of families and their dealings with wind energy. It is claimed that wind energy will attract people to live here, but we find that to be dishonest. Ask someone considering relocation to Van Wert if they would buy a rural property under monstrous wind turbines, or would choose to live in the city or elsewhere? We think that answer is pretty obvious.

Citizens for Clear Skies

Van Wert county commissioner opinion of BigWind

A Van Wert county commissioner opinion about the new potential for a 35,000 Apex project. He compares this to living next to a hog farm…which no one wants to do. If you have heard that communities are torn apart by the wind industry, he hints at that reality in Van Wert. What will happen if the Apex Long Prairie Project moves forward? It looks like the one commissioner wants to leave this decision up to the people who will reside amongst it. Read a lot of common sense in this article…

Wanna start an argument? Go to almost any random group of people in Van Wert County and state your opinion about windmills. Chances are, you will quickly find someone with whom to disagree…

But, if you are going to build something on your property, you are subject to a tax assessment. Real property taxes are assessed on all land, buildings and structures. If a property owner would choose to build a windmill, they would be taxed on its full value.

The question then is should a wind farm receive a tax break? The pro crowd argues that, yes, most definitely, this is economic development and a tax break should be automatic. The current wind farm is taxed pursuant to a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) wherein the schools, county, townships, and other agencies receive a fixed payment instead of the windmills being normally assessed. This results in about a 70-80 percent reduction in tax payments.

A few years ago, before the state changed the setbacks and after several conferences with our township trustees, the Ohio Power Siting Board and Iberdrola, we determined that the PILOT eliminated our ability to negotiate with wind companies and was not in our county’s best interest. We revoked the Alternative Energy Zone designation for our county that had allowed the Blue Creek Wind Farm to be taxed under the PILOT.

Should the setbacks be returned to a manageable distance for Apex or Iberdrola to build a farm, this is the issue we would present to voters. We would ask the affected townships and the wind company to negotiate a tax scheme that has a chance to be approved and then submit it for an up or down vote.

A concern becomes who gets to vote on this issue? It does not seem appropriate that areas that stand only to benefit from a taxing scheme be allowed to vote to burden another area. For example, if a mega hog farm would want to locate on the outskirts of Convoy and the tax benefits would accrue to every other part of the county, what might be the result in Middle Point of that vote? Or if the roles were reversed, what might be the result in Convoy?

Van Wert City Schools would receive a significant monetary benefit if turbines were located in Liberty Township. But it is the residents of Liberty Township who would be burdened by the presence of the windmills and it would be that township’s tax revenues that are affected by a reduction in the amounts paid by windmill owners. I don’t know a definition of fair that would allow Van Wert City voters, an overwhelming majority of the school district, to determine this issue for Liberty Township….

Personally, I think I’ve been clear on my position in the past. I think windmills are horrible federal policy but as long as the federal government is intent on bankrupting our next generation, I wouldn’t object to see some of that money get wasted locally.

If you are in the pro crowd, I would advise against trying to pressure us to force windmills on a population that, as of now, does not want them. That has been the tactic of the wind companies for the last few years and it continues to have a zero chance of success. Replace lecturing with negotiation – the antis are well aware of the reasons to build these things and are not convinced. Perhaps you can pay their electric bills to win some support….

 

Port Authority rejects Apex entry into Allen county!!

One small battle win, in the big war against BigWind. What a wonderful site to see so many Allen and Van Wert residents unite in their opposition to this wind energy transmission line. The decision of the port authority was UNANIMOUS! Apex, however, did not appear to waver, in their desire to make this happen…via another/alternative route.  At least some of the Allen county citizens are now awake/enlightened/informed and common sense will prevail. Now is the time to speak with your farming neighbors and friends, in order to PREVENT Apex from obtaining an alternative route!….

The public has spoken….

It was a packed house for Thursday’s meeting of the Allen County Port Authority.

Members of the public wanted to let their voices be heard concerning a proposal by Apex Clean Energy to build a transmission line to an American Electric Power substation in Lima.

The line would link a proposed Long Prairie Wind Farm in Van Wert county to the Allen county substation.

Apex needed permission from the Port Authority because the line they want to construct runs along the Allen Van Wert rail line and they need an easement from the Port Authority for that to happen….

Source: Port Authority rejects Apex Clean Energy request for transmission line

Pay attention Ohio- Board member who regrets deal with BigWind

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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……..my 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 –

Apex whines (in Ohio) for BigWind setback changes

Apex continues to push for legislation to override property line setbacks. When Apex bought the approved BP project in Van Wert County, the old setbacks were in place. Now that Apex wants to pursue Phase II, they are confronted with the new setbacks and they are not happy about it. After reading press reports of Apex whining, Sen Seitz remarked,

“The most interesting thing about this article to me is that the former County Economic Development Director (Sarah Moser) is now working for the wind developer. That, plus the fact that the County benefits financially from the PILOTS while the township/village does not, makes it quite dangerous to allow the county commissioners to override the statewide setbacks. “

The Van Wert County Board of Commissioners heard an update on the Long Prairie wind farm project from Apex Clean Energy representatives and also talked to officials from county villages about economic development.

Scott Hawken and Sarah Moser from Apex Clean Energy provided an update on the project to the commissioners and representatives from the nine county townships that could potentially be included in one of the two planned phases of the Long Prairie wind turbine project. Representatives from the three school districts involved (Van Wert, Crestview, and Lincolnview) were also present, as was County Engineer Kyle Wendel and Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Susan Munroe.
Hawken, Apex development manager, said the Ohio General Assembly was the biggest hurdle the project had to clear to become a reality.
“The major roadblocks slowing us down in development are the current setbacks the state has in legislation,” Hawken said, noting that industry groups are currently working to educate legislators on the impact the setbacks have had on Ohio wind energy projects….

Source: Apex gives wind energy project update