BigWind ‘Spinning’ the TRUTH

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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.

Appalachianarticlelink 

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…..

Elsewhere:

Trouble in Paradise China.  “China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

China says NO to BigWind- Link

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…..

Recharge 

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…

 

Seneca county, Ohio continues its fight against BigWind

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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….

Coverage of latest meeting 

Citizens for Clear Skies on facebook for more details and pictures- meeting was attending by some 500 citizens!!!

 

Watch out for the newest BigWind visitor in Ohio, APEX

There has been a somewhat quiet consolidation of wind developments in Ohio and Indiana this year and we are just now beginning to see the bigger picture.  Wind projects in various stages of development across Ohio have been sold to Apex. Below we list what we know thus far.  We will be seeing and hearing more about Apex in the days to come.  Could they have been surprised by the change in property line setbacks and the renewable mandate freeze?    If not, they may become buyers for other projects in Ohio as other developers threaten to leave the state.   Who is Apex?  Our research indicates they are a subsidiary of Greenlight Energy Resources which, in turn, appears to be connected to BP Alternative Energy.  (BP owns leases in Southern VW county and wants to utilize the Spencerville-Elgin railroad to build a transmission line)

It is often difficult to sort through ownership of wind facilities/leases.   In the case of Apex, there seems to have been little publicity.  The “press releases” quoted below are the complete texts we could find.  It seems the announcements may not have even been sent to the media in the areas where the acquired projects are located.  Lack of transparency is nothing new in the world of industrial wind but a new law in Kentucky may begin to change that.  Earlier this year the Kentucky legislature passed a law that requires a wind developer to announce when they intend to work in an area and, in some cases, send letters to property owners advising them of their interest in the area.   We understand that that the public notice must be given before wind leases are signed.  In addition, prior to submitting an application to the state, the local community can request a public meeting to review the proposed application. Remember this company name, as you may hear more about it in Ohio, soon…..

APEX PROJECTS IN OHIO

Erie & Huron (Firelands Wind)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, March 25, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired the wind energy assets of Firelands Wind Farm, a subsidiary of juwi Wind. These assets have the potential to support approximately 100 MW of wind energy capacity in Ohio.

Seneca & Huron (Emerson Creek I and Emerson Creek II)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, April 18, 2013 – Apex Wind Energy has acquired certain wind development assets from Citizens Wind, L.L.C. These assets have the potential to support approximately 100 MW of capacity in Ohio.    [Ed. Note: We believe this was Exelon’s Seneca Wind]

Van Wert & Mercer (Long Prairie)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – May 29, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired six wind energy development projects from BP Wind Energy, North America, Inc. These projects have the potential to support approximately 710 MW of wind energy capacity in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Seneca & Sandusky  (Republic Wind)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, March 27, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired certain wind energy assets from Nordex USA, Inc. These assets have the potential to support approximately 450 MW of wind energy capacity in Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas.

By going to http://www.apexcleanenergy.com/project-map  you can see more information about the Apex projects.

Apex Wind Energy Inc. engages in the development of wind energy facilities that deliver renewable energy. It provides facility layout, turbulence, wake, development cycle, pre-development, construction contracting, interconnection design, transmission system design, site civil design, systems engineering, geotechnical, turbine selection and procurement, project financing, interconnection agreement, and power purchase agreement services. The company provides its services in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, New York, and Texas, as well as in the Netherlands. Apex Wind Energy Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.Apex Wind Energy Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc.

Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces clean energy and fuels from renewable sources. It develops, builds, owns, and operates biofuel facilities, solar energy facilities, wind energy facilities, and utility-scale wind energy development projects. Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc. was formerly known as Greenlight Energy, Inc. and changed its name to Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc. in 2006. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. It has offices/locations/projects in Charlottesville, Virginia; Columbia and Anne, Maryland; Laurens County, South Carolina; Beaumont, Kansas; Grover, Colorado; San Juan Capistrano, California; Kingston, Canada; and Corvallis, Oregon. As of August 15, 2006, Greenlight Energy, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of BP Alternative Energy.

visit  Our Projects | Apex Clean Energy.