Ohio Power Siting Board WILL say YES to BigWind

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How can we be sure? They ALWAYS do! We have blogged about this board before. Their name should be the ‘Say Yes to BigWind’ board. There has NEVER been even one instance when the board has sided with the people of Ohio. Have they been bribed or infiltrated by BigWind? It certainly appears so…..

Champaign County officials and a handful of townships are opposing a proposal to extend deadlines to begin construction on a controversial Buckeye Wind farm before a possible decision expected later this week.

Members of the Ohio Power Siting Board could decide as early as Thursday whether to extend certificates needed to build the project. The Champaign County commissioners, along with trustees from Goshen, Union and Wayne Twps., recently filed briefs asking the state to take no action to extend the deadlines until a hearing is scheduled and the state provides an opportunity for public comment.

MORE: Lawmaker: Current wind farm regulations ‘stifle’ investment in Ohio

If the certificates are not extended, it’s possible the developer would have to restart the lengthy application process for the project. Attorneys for Everpower Wind Holdings, the developer, argued the projects have been fought in the courts for about eight years, which has created the need for an extensio0n…..

But attorneys representing Champaign County and Goshen Twp. recently argued the developers have had opportunities to begin construction in recent years but have not done so. Instead, they argue, the developers have sought to make changes to the projects and are now seeking an extension just two months before they are set to expire.

RELATED: Champaign wind farm may move forward after nearly decade-long fight

Attorneys for the county also argued that extending construction deadlines would also mean tougher setbacks should be applied to the turbines in the project’s footprint. The Champaign County projects were among the earliest approved in the state, before lawmakers imposed tougher requirements for how far turbines in more recent projects should be from neighboring properties.

County attorneys also argue that the two phases of the project have always been considered as separate, independent projects and to extend the deadlines for both “undermines the spirit of the application and hearing process and the requirement to protect the public interest.”…

 

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Ohio Power Siting Board says YES to BigWind (again)

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Once again, the Ohio Power Siting Board rubber stamps a BigWind application.  We have noted in the past, this board has NEVER rejected an application from BigWind, in favor of Ohio citizens- NEVER. Read the link, below, and you will see where Hardin Wind, LLC, has amended their application FIVE…that’s no typo…FIVE times!! The turbines just continue to get larger and larger. Why is this? Could it be that the original turbines are already outdated? YES  Note that their ‘approved’ setbacks barely exceed the height of the turbines! 

We have reported, many times in the past, that the OPSP is nothing but a Say Yes to BigWind board.  An Ohio body of appointees who live nowhere near any of the proposed site and are thrilled to allow BigWind to flourish across our state.  Despite multiple citizen attempts to slow BigWind down, this board seems awfully ‘cozy’ with BigWind….makes us wonder…

https://dis.puc.state.oh.us/TiffToPDf/A1001001A18B26B42733J05063.pdf

You didn’t know BigWind will be building beside YOU in Ohio? See FAA approvals

Could BigWind be planning a move next to you?  Visit the link, below, which is the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.  Pending applications for approval of wind turbines are listed here.  The FAA has three categories: 1) Proposed; 2) Interim and 3) Determined.  As of today, there are seven cases involving 22 industrial wind turbines under review by the FAA.  These may include cases not currently under review by the Ohio Power Siting Board because they may fall below the size threshold which triggers OPSB review.  For instance, there is one turbine proposed for a rural area near Celina in Mercer County. It appears that the turbine may be intended to support a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feed Operation).  Notwithstanding, there are smaller homes in the area that are very close to the proposed turbine.  Do the neighbors know?  What protects them?

There are two new FAA applications in the Findlay area each for 2 turbines.  In Darke County near Greenville two rows of three turbines are proposed.  Nowhere has this project surfaced previously.  The turbines are 410 feet tall and presumably they would be more than 1 MW each thus crossing the threshold required for OPSB consideration but there is nothing pending at OPSB for Darke County.   Why not? Other projects include Leipsic (2 turbines), McComb (2 turbines) and more.   All readers should visit the FAA website for additional information.

 The FAA follows federal regulations in determining whether a hazard to navigation may be present.   Portions of the regulations are provided below to introduce readers to aspects of the FAA evaluation process.  More information may be obtained by following the link below or googling “FAA obstruction”.

Also of interest, the U.S. Department of Energy reports Ohio ranks in the top ten for distributed wind energy.   If the FAA reports discussed about is any indicator, it looks like Ohio will move up in the rankings with more manufacturers building on-site wind.  But we were disturbed by the quotes from Patrick Gilman, a program manager with the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.    Gilman said wind energy is expected to keep growing in Ohio and across the nation despite legislative obstacles and opposition from certain sects of the population.  He also repeated the bad info about Ohio’s setbacks being more restrictive than other states.  Does AWEA have a D.O.E. employee on the payroll?

Source: Obstruction Evaluation / Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA)

Ohio Power Siting Board says YES to BigWind’s ‘Top Secret’ information (again)

The Ohio Power Siting Board approved a request in the Buckeye Wind case from turbine maker Gamesa to extend the protective order which keeps noise and safety information secret.  In 2013 Gamesa was granted a protective order for 18 months,  On June 1, 2015, the OPSB granted an additional 24months of secrecy until June 1, 2017.    But on May 30thGamesa filed for yet another 24 months of protection from public view.  This request was  granted with the OPSB Order stating:

 

{¶ 12} Ohio Adm.Code 4906-7-07(H)(6) requires a party wishing to extend a protective order beyond 24 months to file an appropriate motion in advance of the expiration date, including a detailed discussion of the need for continued protection from disclosure. If Gamesa wishes to extend this confidential treatment, it should file an appropriate motion at least 45 days in advance of the expiration date. If no such motion to extend confidential treatment is filed, the Board may release this information without prior notice to Gamesa.

 

So mark your calendar for June 2019 to see if the Gamesa noise information is made public.  But in the meantime, Google Gamesa and noise complaints.  Maybe there is a reason they do not want us to see their manual….

New wind farms with a capacity of 5 or more megawatts must obtain a siting certificate through the Ohio Power Siting Board. This unique siting process is made possible in Ohio because all seven entities involved with approving the siting application are seated at the same table: the chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, and a public member….

 

Source: Wind and other Renewable Energy – OPSB

http://www.anthonycreditexpert.com

The ‘Spin Doctors’ of BigWind are in Ohio….

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The Doctor is “In” – that is, the Spin Doctors of industrial wind. This past week the Spin Doctors were busy in their emergency rooms using the tools of their profession: truthiness (half truths) , proofiness, cherry-picking, fear mongering, false choices, weasel words and euphemism to save their hides.

“Spin (which is actually propaganda from a military perspective) is making us blind to what is happening. Being blind, we let our governments and big corporations get away with doing things that are unjust and to the detriment of the economy of the ordinary people and detrimental to democracy. Spin has been and continues to be used to pull the wool over the eyes of the general public.” http://www.truthliesdeceptioncoverups.info/2013/05/spotting-spin-some-tricks-of-trade.html

Reply comments on wind siting rules were submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board on November 8th. The Mid-American Renewable Energy Coalition and the Ohio Environmental Council took shots at GNU and UNU and vice versa. We were dumbfounded by the spinning served up by the windies and enviros. Dizzy! Take some Dramamine and visit the link, below, to read all of the reply comments. We will share some spin highlights….

Ø Cherry-Picking & Truthiness: “MAREC believes the Board should apply wind energy standards that are consistent with neighboring United States jurisdictions, rather than adopting rules from foreign nations whose rural landscapes and population densities are vastly different than in those areas where wind farms are proposed in Ohio. A cursory review of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan wind energy ordinances establishes that Ohio’s guidelines are already more restrictive than counties where wind farms both have and have not been built.”

MAREC lists four “cherry-picked” Indiana setback examples and suggests Ohio should emulate them. Yet, a more comprehensive list of 12 other Indiana counties reflects that 5 ban industrial wind facilities outright and five establish setbacks from property lines. The Indiana property line setbacks range from 1,300’ to 3,960’ (¾ mile). The two counties that measure from the residence have setbacks of 2640’ and 1,500’ from a non-participant residence. Our Indiana list also shows MAREC’s information about Tipton County is factually incorrect. Tipton revised their setbacks in July to 2640’ from residence, 1500’ from the property line within the Prairie Breeze development area and 1460’ from property line in the rest of the county.

If MAREC wants OPSB to apply wind energy standards “consistent with neighboring United States jurisdictions,” they would have to agree to enabling Ohio counties to ban industrial wind facilities outright as five Indiana Counties have done; establish setbacks from property lines as five counties have done; or lengthen setbacks from the residence as two have done. We recommend that readers use the MAREC chart and the Indiana list which reveals the dishonesty of MAREC when visiting with your local elected officials both at the state and county levels.

Ø Proofiness: Outight lying with numbers to mislead; quoting statistics out of context so that they mislead; distorting statistics; or using incorrect logic in order to mislead the audience.

“ It is MAREC’s view that the Board should acknowledge the original setback regulations “worked” considering there are nearly zero sound or shadow flicker complaints against the two existing wind farms in Ohio with over 5 years in operation. The Board should not adopt sound and shadow flicker impact setbacks from property lines.” (MAREC reply Page 3) In this instance, MAREC is deceptive because the wind leases and “good neighbor agreements” contain gag clauses that forbid landowners from complaining. This was recently reconfirmed in Hardin County when an EverPower representative peddling a good neighbor agreement advised that they would be free to complain but only to EverPower. Wind developers contractually suppress complaints and then defend their practices based on the assertion that there are “no complaints.” SPIN!

Similarly, MAREC asserts at page 15 of their reply that “Trade secrets: UNU argues an applicant should be required to submit to staff any post-certificate evaluation of shadow flicker impacts, including all supporting documentation; however, this information should not be protected by trade secret. MAREC disagrees – trade secret information should be protected in accordance with the statute.” Whether it is bird kills or shadow flicker intrusion, the wind industry works to manipulate or hide information that may be damaging to them and then relies on “proofiness” to spin their argument.

More general “proofiness” was revealed this week in the industry publication, Wind Watch, when the statistics used to assert public support for wind were exposed as misleading. “Seventy-seven percent of Trump supporters want more wind farms, but 69% want more coal mines, 66% want more offshore drilling, 58% want more fracking, and 55% want more nuclear. Trump supporters want wind farms, but that is only because they want more electricity whatever source it comes from. Whether it is ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ doesn’t seem to matter. The research also does not specify how much new wind capacity they would want, so they may only want a tiny amount.”

Ø Euphemisms –“ When part of a spin performance, euphemisms are usually used with other spin methods. With spin, euphemisms tend to be used when the intent is to manage the impressions of the audience so that they will not react to bad news in a way the spinner does not want.” http://www.truthliesdeceptioncoverups.info/2013/05/spotting-spin-some-tricks-of-trade.html

UNU’s Reply at page 14 states “Initially, MAREC objects to the Board’s use of the term “noise” and asks the Board to use only the term “sound,” contending that “noise” has “a negative connotation that indicates loud, harsh, or disturbing sound.” But make no mistake about it, the sounds imposed on the public by wind turbines are loud, harsh, and disturbing. The semantic niceties offered by the wind industry cannot disguise that fact. Acoustic engineers define “noise” as “unwanted sound.” Since no one desires the sounds from a wind turbine, not even the turbine’s host landowner, “noise” is the most appropriate term for turbine emissions in this rule.

We direct the reader’s attention to the timely article from Columbus Business First reporting that Ohio State University has been engaged in a research project called “Sounds of New York.” In this instance, the sound is not just “noise” but “noise pollution”. Whether one is in a quiet rural area or in a bustling urban environment, there is a point at which the increase in “sound” is unwanted and harmful. Important to note, also, is that human complaint data is considered to be important in understanding and responding to the problem. OSU acknowledges complaint data can “provide reliable information to support decision making”. But OOPS! Here we go back to “Proofiness”! In New York, complaint information is essential to addressing a problem while the wind industry hides complaint information and dares the public to disprove their “proof” that there are no complaints about noise or shadow flicker.

We could go on and on. Our message to all is EYES WIDE OPEN. Understand the tricks of spin and help your community to SEE how wind propaganda is being deployed to BLIND them to the truth….

In the Matter of the Ohio Power Siting Board’s Review of Rule 4906-4-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Status: OPEN-OPEN
Industry Code: GE-GAS & ELECTRIC
Purpose Code: BRO-Rule promulgation
Date Opened: 5/18/2016

View All
1 – 15 of 30 documents 1 / 2 First Previous Next Last
Date Filed Summary Pages
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. 14
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. 34
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation electronically filed by Amy M Milam on behalf of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation 7
11/08/2016 Reply Comments electronically filed by Mr. Christopher A. Walker on behalf of Union Neighbors United and Johnson, Julia F. Ms. and McConnell, Robert Mr. and McConnell, Diane Mrs. 44
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of the Ohio Environmental Council on Review of Rule 4906-04-08 and Proposed OAC 4906-4-09, Case No. 16-1109-GE-BRO electronically filed by Ms. Miranda R. Leppla on behalf of Ohio Environmental Council. 10
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC electronically filed by Teresa Orahood on behalf of Sally W. Bloomfield. 33
11/08/2016 Reply Comments of Greenwich Neighbors United electronically filed by Mr. Samuel C. Randazzo on behalf of Greenwich Neighbors United. 17
11/07/2016 Reply Comment electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Ms. Katie Elsasser. 4
11/07/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Mr. Gary Biglin. 2
11/04/2016 Reply to Initial Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of State Sen. Bill Seitz. 3
11/01/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of State Sen. Bill Seitz 33
10/28/2016 Comments electronically filed by Mr. Matt Butler on behalf of Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, Ohio History Connection (SHPO) 3
10/24/2016 Initial Comments electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. 30
10/24/2016 Comments filed on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. electronically filed by Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Icebreaker Windpower, Inc. 8
10/24/2016 Comments of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC electronically filed by Teresa Orahood on behalf of Sally W. Bloomfield. 9…..

http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?CaseNo=16-1109

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….

 

NW Ohio, eyed for ‘wind corridor’, may now change map

Due to the POOR wind in Ohio, per the National Renewable Energy Lab, Representative Brown must surely be including OTHER STATES in his ‘wind corridor’?! All the Ohio turbines produce energy a mere 30% of the time, and we know from our previous post, this intermittent energy is EXPENSIVE and not necessary.  Is someone padding the pockets of these legislators? Why would they want to INcrease our electricity rates? Why would they want to HURT our businesses and, eventually, our job security? Why would they want to take away our property rights???????

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would create an Ohio Wind Corridor encompassing much of the northwestern portion of the state that could be spared from property setback restrictions the industry contends make new large-scale wind farms impractical.

“This is the area that has the most consistent wind patterns to allow [the wind industry] to make investment with a reasonable return,” said Rep. Tim Brown (R., Bowling Green), who is sponsoring House Bill 190 with Rep. Tony Burkley (R., Payne).

Mr. Brown said he’s open to adding other geographic territory to the corridor.

The language was inserted in House Bill 190 last week as a possible way for the region to get around restrictions enacted in 2014 that require newly installed wind turbines to be located at least 1,300 feet from the nearest property line. Prior law required the extended tip of a turbine to be at least 1,125 from the nearest home….

The bill would allow the Ohio Power Siting Board to develop alternative minimum setback restrictions within the northwest wind corridor that, Mr. Brown said, could be geographic or project specific. As introduced, the bill would have given counties the option of imposing the old setback requirement instead of the more restrictive one…
The bill is pending before the House Public Utilities Committee but is not expected to move before lawmakers recess as early as next week for the summer…

In testimony submitted last week, Julia F. Johnston of Urbana told the committee that the impact of wind farms, particularly in mechanical accidents, can stretch well into neighbors’ property.

“Not every location is a good place for wind development,” she said. “Most wind developers are not in the energy business but are private equity investors looking for a handsome return subsidized by taxpayers and ratepayers.

“H.B. 190 would now add Ohio families living in the Wind Corridor as subsidy providers where they would be forced to donate their land if setbacks are not measured from property lines,” Ms. Johnston said. “We call this ‘trespass zoning.’…”
Source: NW Ohio eyed for creation of ‘wind corridor’