PLEASE ask Ohio legislators to NOT ENDORSE SHAYNE THOMAS for his bid to run for the 88th district.
Please both call and email the Speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder. Shayne Thomas is seeking key endorsements from legislators at the state level in a bid to fill the seat of Bill Reineke 88th District Representative. If Shayne Thomas secures those endorsements, he will be a viable candidate in the primary election this spring.
When you email Rep. Householder also include these legislators on that email: email@example.com Phone (614) 466-2500
– Representative Bill Reineke (Seneca and Sandusky County) firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are just a few of the many concerns that have been expressed already by those in the community concerning Shayne’s conduct as Seneca County Commissioner:
Many area residents started contacting Shayne Thomas in December 2017 to express concern about the proposed wind projects following public disclosure by the wind development companies. How many did he tell “there wasn’t anything we could do to stop them” or “although he hates to see hog barns or big silos go up the landowners have every right to do with their land what they choose”.
2. After December of 2017 many came to learn that he had been promoting the reduction of setbacks at the state level. This would place turbines closer to non-participating property lines than what current law allows. In June of 2017 when the majority of Seneca county was unaware of utility scale wind energy development in Seneca county, Shayne Thomas, Susan Monroe (from Apex and Van Wert county)and local businessman Gary Baldosser went before the Senate Finance Committee to promote the reduction to setbacks in Ohio.
3. Shayne Thomas used his influence to promote these projects by seeking legal counsel to support them at the OPSB. He recommended the Seneca County Commissioners hire the same lawyer that represents Apex Energy. Apex Energy is also the same company associated with the wind lease in which the family of Mr. Thomas will benefit financially from in the proposed Honey Creek LLC.
4. Although Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner recommended the commissioners rescind the AEZ. Shayne Thomas was very vocal in protecting the AEZ (Alternative Energy Zone). After thousands of signatures were collected county wide to rescind the AEZ, Shayne Thomas made a statement at the November 13th 2018 commissioner’s meeting, recommending they wait until 9/19/19 at 9:00 AM to rescind the AEZ. A bizarre date which ultimately was changed and the AEZ was ultimately sunset in June of 2019.
5. In another commissioners meeting on August 21st, 2018, Shayne Thomas chose to walk out on a retired Seneca East School teacher and veteran, Paul Smith during a commissioners meeting. Shayne abruptly adjourned the meeting when Mr. Jones, a beloved teacher and writer, went to the podium to speak.
Now that there are two Seneca County Commissioners working hard to protect Seneca County from utility scale wind energy development, it appears Shayne Thomas plans to move forward in his political aspirations in running for the 88th District State Representative against Gary Click in the spring primary election on the Republican ticket. Interestingly, Gary Click recently attended a Seneca Anti-Wind Informational meeting and he has been very engaged with our group asking questions and sharing the concern over safety regarding blade throws.
Shayne Thomas apparently has seen the writing on the wall in Seneca County with 5 out 6 townships within the Republic Wind project voting to intervene. Also, the Seneca East School Board, The Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Seneca County Commissioners, Seneca County Parks, and numerous residents in the wind projects all choosing to oppose utility scale wind energy development in Seneca County. Shayne is pictured at the end of this email surveying a large group which assembled in a Republic Town Hall meeting which overwhelmingly opposed industrial wind.
That’t right, BigWind is proposing TALLER turbines in the USA…while they lobby, hard in Ohio, for SHORTER safety setbacks! ZERO logic. Additionally, as farmers complain that soil compaction occurs, what will occur as a result of LARGER and HEAVIER equipment on our roads and fields??????……
US developers propose record 207-metre wind turbine height
A new Department of Energy report shows that the wind industry is increasingly comfortable with taller turbines that optimise project cost and performance
By Richard Kessler in Fort Worth,15 August 2019
Wind project developers in the US through May have proposed turbine heights up to a record 207 metres (680 feet) versus an average 146 meters for 2018 installations, as the industry benefits from technology advances, according to a new Department of Energy (DOE) report.
Permit applications filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this year show 44% of proposed turbines will exceed 152.4 meters in height (from ground to blade tip extended directly overhead), up from 39% in 2018 and 14% in 2017. The FAA regulates all aspects of civilian aviation…
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wiser, primary authors of the 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report, noted the FAA data represents total turbine height, not hub height, and therefore includes the combined effect of both tower and rotor size…
In 2018, turbine size continued to increase in response to technology advances as developers grow more comfortable with larger, taller machines that optimize project cost and performance…
Both rotor diameters and hub heights increased in 2018, continuing the long-term trend, according to the report…
Vestas CFO sees scope for upscaled turbines on land and sea
The OEM could boost the nameplate capacity of both its onshore and offshore models further, CFO Fredriksson says
By Bernd Radowitz in Berlin,15 August 2019
Vestas could upscale both its currently most powerful onshore and offshore turbine models further to reach a greater nameplate capacity, the Danish OEM’s chief financial officer Marika Fredriksson told Recharge.
The manufacturer will only develop any new product or concept if it sees a clear path to both lower levelised costs of energy (LCOE) and “something in the pocket for us,” the CFO had stressed in a conference call with investors on second quarter earnings..
Asked be Recharge in an interview little later, whether she sees greater chances for improvements in onshore or offshore – given the fact that Vestas has already presented a 5.6MW onshore model and a 10MW offshore machine – Fredriksson said: “I would say both.”
“In onshore, we see a good potential to further decrease the LCOE. We have a modular approach with EnVentus and still see a great potential to lower costs further,” she said…
Vestas in January had unveiled its EnVentus modular platform, launching two 5.6MW models as its so far highest-capacity machines on land.
While most rival OEMs meanwhile also have presented turbines in the 5MW class, going much higher in onshore capacity could lead to growing headaches as far as road transport is concerned…
MHI Vestas chief executive Philippe Kavafyan at the launch of the V164’s 10MW version had already said the OEM likely won’t stop at that size and will move forward with more “incremental innovation through all parts of the value chain.”
Why is experience so valuable? One reason is that it should make us wise to avoid mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, our elected legislators choose to heed the advice of slick salespeople, rather than seek the experience and wisdom of the people who elected them into office. Readbelow, about the wise experiences of Iowa with BigWind. Learn from their mistakes and try to educate others…..
230 government entities in the US alone have banned or blocked industrial wind turbines at the urging of their constituents. Hundreds of homes are directly affected by every large industrial wind installation. These installations cast a long list of negative impacts for 2640 feet, at least that is the distance the wind companies will admit, yet they require county ordinances allow them setbacks from the foundation of homes to be merely 1200-1600 feet.
On average only 10% of the residents (page 32) who live in any large proposed wind installation will actively participate in the project even though all residents are offered money and hold-harmless contracts from the wind energy development company. The list of negative impacts in these contracts are blighted views, flashing FAA warning lights, turbines causing or emitting noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, shadow strobing (flicker) and electronic signal interference. These contracts if accepted by residents also require the resident give an easement over their entire property and waive the right to a jury trial for future problems. This is hardly worth the couple of dollars a day offered to residents.
What do these contracts mean by “vibration, air turbulence and wake”? The turbines must be set far enough apart so they do not impact each other. The homes in between also receive those impacts- often causing residents to feel ill or uneasy. The contracts say both “to cause and emit noise”. The turbine generators noise emissions are rated at 110-115 dBA – same as the front seat of a rock concert. The companies ask to be allowed a dBA of 50-55 at neighboring homes. These limits are not monitored or enforced. The movement of the blades can cause noise much like a bullroarer does. Turbine noise has been recorded in homes 5.5 miles from turbines by Australian researchers. This noise as well as the unheard pressure can cause sleeplessness.
Industrial wind including their excess transmission lines complicate and hurt farming practices. The Rock Island Clean Line, a 500 mile proposed wind energy power line across Iowa and Illinois was only able to acquire 8% voluntary easements after 4 years of asking because farmers do not like power lines or turbines in their fields. Iowa and Illinois residents defeated the line. Construction ruins farmland for generations. Crops may grow but once the ground is compacted or soil layers are mixed they will yield far less. Farmers have reported continuing crop loss around wind turbines after 12 years. Aerial applications for spraying or seeding cover crops is impeded hurting both the economy of the farm and of the county.
Many people believe that we are developing wind energy to cut carbon emissions but in Iowa our emissions from power plants rose 3% during 2016-2017 with thousands of turbines already built. That same year our emissions from industrial processes, likely from building wind turbines, grew 31%! Even the roughly 2 million pounds of concrete in each turbine base emits CO2 at almost pound for pound. In 2020 our emissions will surely rise again as we close the carbon-emissions-free Duane Arnold nuclear plant fifteen years early and replace it with a mix of industrial wind and natural gas or coal. Natural gas has half the carbon emissions of coal. Iowa’s fall in carbon emissions has as more to do with switching some of our power plants from coal to natural gas than our move to wind energy.
Iowa’s rural electric co-ops still cannot afford to build new industrial wind turbines, being tax-exempt the tax credits do nothing for them. Iowa’s Alliant Energy has raised rates 24.9% to build wind turbine infrastructure and pay $110 million to be released from the power purchase agreement they had with the Duane Arnold nuclear plant. They raised rates even though they receive the same tax credits MidAmerican will. MidAmerican Energy has seemed to be able to afford to build industrial wind without raising rates but they did enjoy $10 billion in tax credits to do it. MidAmerican’s owner Warren Buffet has publicly admitted that the only reason to build wind turbines is for the tax credits. In 2015 the Iowa Utilities Board asked MidAmerican to return more of that money to the ratepayers of Iowa who will shoulder 100% of the risk for turbine projects. MidAmerican complained to then Governor Branstad. Branstad changed the composition of the Iowa Utilities Board to “appease MidAmerican thus sending a message to the Board and its staff to get in line and approve anything that the utilities, particularly MidAmerican, bring to it.” –Sheila Tipton, from her published open letter to Governor Branstad.
Counties often admit they are allowing wind turbines for the property tax revenue they bring. Iowa Code 427B.26 outlines the tax payment schedule. The first year a wind installation is running they pay no taxes. The second year they will pay 5%, the third 10%, increasing by increments of 5% until they are forever capped at 30% in year 8 while each and every turbine is raking in about $300,000 a year in tax credits. Communities will see about $10,000 per turbine in year 8. This is after the heavy equipment takes value out of our roads, compromises our tiling infrastructure, compacts our world class farm ground and the turbines lower home values of hundreds of residents.
Industrial wind turbines do kill our eagles, other birds and threatened/endangered bats. This past year MidAmerican Energy applied for a permit with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to kill these animals with 2020 of their wind turbines. They finally applied for this permit after 20 years of having wind turbines. No other turbine company in Iowa has yet decided it is even necessary to get a permit for killing animals with their turbines. With organizations like the Sierra Club firmly standing with companies like MidAmerican there is no one to make sure that wind installations are held accountable.
The reason Iowa has industrial wind installations is that rural communities don’t have the power of a recall election, do not have the power of referendum and don’t even have the protections of the Iowa Utilities Board. Iowa’s Supreme Court made a surprising ruling recently that only our County Supervisors, lacking any kind of expertise or qualifications will be allowed to regulate wind projects, not the Iowa Utilities Board which means that the wind companies just regulate themselves. During depositions for a lawsuit that was filed in this matter one Supervisor admitted that he felt threatened by MidAmerican and their partner Invenergy. Counties often vote out wind supporting Supervisors but it is too little, too late. The only county in Iowa that has a decent industrial wind ordinance is West Des Moines’ Dallas County. They do have setbacks of 2640 feet and noise limits of 30 dBA no industrial turbine could ever honor. This effectively blocks any project from being built.
Now our Federal government is proposing that we extend tax credits for wind turbines another year. Understand when the tax credits begin, they run for 10 years. Any turbine that is built this year will receive 100% of the tax credit because of mechanisms like Safe Harbor. The tax credits are not ending. It is only the start of the tax credits that is ending. Industrial wind turbines in the US have been 100% paid for with our taxes. There are 59,338 wind turbines in the US receiving an estimated average of $4,000,000 each. If these other projects are receiving the same money that MidAmerican has admitted to that is $237,352,000,000. Industrial wind now only intermittently supplies 2-3% of the power in the US.
Our investor owned utility companies are incredibly powerful and wealthy. They like to build as much infrastructure as we will let them because they will receive an 11% guaranteed rate of return. Please look past the politicians and the few people being offered money to host these installations on land where they neither live nor farm and hear us. Stop to consider the atrocity that this is for the quiet, often disconnected residents of rural America. We are US citizens, we are tax payers and we are ratepayers. Our businesses and homes mean as much to us as yours means to you. People may believe that where we live there is plenty of room for all these projects but it is simply not true. Iowa only has 1% of the US population yet we have already covered well over one million of our acres with industrial wind installations, the same area as 3½ counties and only reached 37% in wind energy for our electricity usage. Can you imagine what 100% would look like?
Janna Swanson Ayrshire, Iowa Coalition for Rural Property Rights president National Wind Watch board member Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance member
Sub HB 6 was introduced in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. After hours and hours and hours of opposing testimony in previous weeks from wind, solar and environmental activists, the Committee threw in the towel on trying to make the bill acceptable to renewable advocates because, no matter what was proposed, the renewable lobby refused to accept nuclear energy as “clean energy” – a carbon-free source that accounts for 90% of Ohio’s clean energy. They preferred to force the shut down of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, put over a thousand people out of work and then try to replace the lost generation with massive increases in wind and solar. AWEA and the environmentalists revealed their true colors – they are in it for the money not clean air, not carbon-free generation. The only green they see is cash…for them.
The Sub. HB 6 removed wind and solar as well as energy efficiency mandates and subsidies from the bill entirely. If the opponents wanted to call the bill a bailout for nuclear energy instead of a clean air bill – they got their wish. But an important addition was made to Sub HB 6 as well. A provision was included to give the voters in a township where a wind project was being planned, the right to vote to either accept or reject the certificate of approval issued by the Ohio Power Siting Board. This would be accomplished in the same way that a referendum on a zoning decision is made.
You are urged to watch testimony as well as that of Terrence O’Donnell and Dayna Baird on behalf of AWEA a the Ohio Channel:
Sub HB 6 passed out of the Committee on a party-line vote. It will go to the House for a full vote on Wednesday.
From a free-market perspective, this bill goes a long way. 1.) Ohio would be the first state in the nation to free itself of government mandates for renewables and energy efficiency. 2.) Government could no longer over-ride the will of the people in forcing industrial wind where it is not wanted and 3.) subsidies for all energy, including nuclear, would end in six years. There are 38 Democrats in the 99 member House. We understand there are several holdout Republicans who may jeopardize passage.
What is their reasoning? How many industrial facilities have been placed in areas zoned for residential use? The four proposed projects in Seneca County cover a combined 250 square miles. How will employers attract a workforce to live in such a place? Whose children would return home to farm? It is estimated that between 30 to 40% of leaseholders in most project areas could be absentee landowners. The tenants living and working on the land will never have any control over their living conditions without the vote.
The wind industry incessantly promotes polls that say Ohioans are solidly in favor of renewable energy. If that is true, what does the wind industry have to fear? According to them, the voting public would vote in favor of wind development. Why are these legislators opposed to giving citizens a say in guiding the growth and future of their own communities?
Why are the holdouts in favor of shutting down 90% of Ohio’s clean energy? This carbon-free resource will be replaced by gas not intermittent and inefficient wind and solar.
Yesterday afternoon Representative Bill Reineke worked to get language that he drafted into the new version of current bill HB 6. This language establishes a local vote by effected Townships within a given industrial wind turbine project. This would happen only after the project goes through the currently in place process with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). Only if the OPSB grants a particular wind turbine project its build certificate would this proposed legislation apply. At that point a petition could be filed with the County Board of Elections that consists of 8% of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election would add a referendum vote within each affected Township. This still allows projects to move forward if a given Township votes to support the industrial wind turbine project. A majority vote of 51% of voters would be required. Otherwise, the project would NOT be able to be built in that given Township due to a lack of supporting votes. This proposed legislation answers our pleas for more local control in the siting of industrial wind turbine projects. The new language reads:”Establishes a procedure for electors in the unincorporated areas of a township to submit a referendum petition to approve or reject a certificate issued by the Power Siting Board for a wind farm that is to be located in whole or in part in the township. Provides that the certificate is invalid if rejected at the referendum by electors from all participating townships. Requires the Power siting Board to modify the certificate if not all participating townships’ electors reject the certificate. Applies the referendum only to Major Utility Wind Farms (50 or more megawatts) and Economically Significant Wind Farms (5 to less than 50 megawatts, except for those that are 5 to less than 20megawatts that meet certain requirements). (R.C. 519.214, 4906.10, 4906.101, 4906.13, 4906.20, 4906.201, 4906.203.)”….
Wind energy experts are pushing back against a change made to the House energy bill, HB6, that allows municipalities to vote on wind farm projects. Opponents of the change say this will dramatically impact the wind industry. Listen Listening…
The referendum provision reflects ongoing local battles among landowners who do and don’t want wind turbines in northwest Ohio.
BigWind is working hard in the Ohio legislature to reduce turbine setbacks. One might ask what the title means? Turbines and People do not belong together and that is why we have setbacks. Setbacks are PROTECTIVE for Ohio residents and wildlife and property rights. Without them, we may as well live in the Wild West. Just how many turbines are we talking about? SEE THIS LINK FOR A GOOGLE MAP REPRESENTATION. IT IS SHOCKING!!
It is poor policy to reduce setback distances while turbines are getting taller. Larger rotor diameters mean longer throw distances!! No other state or local jurisdiction in the nation is reducing setbacks.
At a minimum, the General Assembly should not take action while the Ohio Power Siting Board is in the middle of rulemaking on blade shear. Testimony about blade shear at the PUCO late last month indicated blade failures on current wind turbines in Ohio within the last three years have thrown debris over 1500 feet. The current setbacks are only slightly more than 1200 feet from a property line. Changing the setbacks to pre-2014 levels would allow the 650 foot turbines to be located much closer to your home than currently allowed.
Curiously, we wonder what documentation the sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill are relying on? Not only should our legislators be concerned about safety, but also the nuisance of noise, vibration, and shadow flicker. If they are successful in changing the setback, can citizens sue the legislators???…
The Energy Generation Subcommittee continued its hearings on April 24th with more calls for reducing wind setbacks and more protests from wind and solar advocates who do not want to compete with more reliable and available clean energy sources. The hearings can be seen on the Ohio Channel at http://ohiochannel.org/collections/ohio-house-energy-and-natural-resources-subcommittee-on-energy-generation . We encourage you to go to the link at look at Part One at about 43 minutes to watch Michael Shellenberger’s testimony in favor of the bill. Shellenberger has written prolifically Forbes magazine against wind’s gigantic footprint which destroys the landscape, habitat and the environment generally. In Part Three at 1hr 45.36 Susan Munroe of Chambers for Innovation spews a bunch of nonsense about Blue Creek in Van Wert County and misrepresents the impacts of safe setbacks. She claims on behalf of Paulding County that they want all the wind they can get.
A revised Clean Energy bill will be introduced next week and hearings will resume before the full House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Power Siting Board conducted a “workshop” to determine whether rules should be established for blade shear. The workshop can be viewed at:
Julie Johnson testified against a setback reduction and argued that the failure of OPSB to require incident reporting, independent investigation and public access to incident reports results in the inability of landowners and persons who sign Good Neighbor Agreements to give “informed consent” to the waiver of setbacks. They can unwittingly impose risk upon others who may live on, work on or visit properties within the range of a debris field if a turbine fails. Terry Rittenhouse pointed out in his testimony that while the wind companies claim that blade failure is an extremely rare event, Ohio has experienced a 100% failure rate with incidents occurring at Hog Creek in Hardin County, Blue Creek in Van Wert County and Timber Road in Paulding County. In two incidents, fragments traveled further than the current setbacks.
Gary Biglin also spoke on behalf of those residing in Richland County near the Blackfork Wind project. Dennis Schriener, a nuclear engineer who specializes in safety, spoke as well. Schreiner resides near the proposed Apex project called Emerson Creek in Huron County. He described his efforts to find safety standard information and said it was not publicly available in the United States and that he had to secure information when he was out of the country in Brazil. The information he obtained specified a safety setback of 1,640 feet. We have seen this specification in Nordex materials.
The workshop was disappointing in that there was no give and take discussion. It was similar to a public hearing where the Administrative Law Judge sits in silence and listens. After the citizen testimony, no wind developer (if any were present) spoke. Michael Settineri, the Vorys attorney who represents many wind developers, popped up and said he could not let the moment pass and encouraged the OPSB not to promulgate a rule because it might undermine investor confidence. He suggested that any incident reporting be made a part of a certificate condition and remain a matter between the OPSB and the wind operator. It was a foolish comment given the testimony. The OPSB will now take the information provided to them and draft a rule. The proposed rule will be subject to public comment before adoption. This is a good step forward by the new leadership of the OPSB which has prior to now, ignored public safety.
Ohio House Democrats O’Brien and Skindell have introduced HB 223 to repeal existing property line setbacks. Perhaps it is their intention to have the language folded into the Clean Energy bill since so many witnesses demanded it. To date, Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, has rejected requests to consider setbacks in the Clean Energy bill. A sampling of news stories related to the Clean Energy bill are included below….
In other news:
AEP is taking bids to set up energy purchase agreements for solar or wind facilities that are operational or coming online soon within the 13-state footprint of PJM. It will seek 10-year agreements for wind and solar projects online now as well as 15-year solar and 12-year wind agreements, for facilities that begin operation between 2020 and 2023, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
PV magazine says “As we’ve noted before, Ohio is not the first state that most people think of when they think solar. At the end of last year the state had only 202 MWdc installed, placing it in the bottom half of installed capacity nationally, and SEIA’s project database did not show any larger than 20 MW. Despite this humble start, Wood Mackenzie ranks Ohio as the top state in the Midwest for solar development over the next five years, and a look at the status of some of the leading projects explains why.” “Six projects totaling over 1 GWac that have siting board approval, interconnection agreements and/or PPAs, suggesting that large-scale solar development is about to take off in a big way.”
Filings on the OPSB website show Republic Wind LLC and OPSB staff Friday requested a 90-day extension to allow the company more time to submit information for the staff investigation report. Perhaps Republic is waiting to see if legislation to repeal property line setbacks is sneaked into the budget by Sen. Dolan, slips into the Clean Energy Bill or is passed as standalone legislation.
The FAA has awarded the state with a certificate of authorization allowing it test defense-related drone technology without reliance on a visual observer or chase aircraft. Typically, drones can only fly within the uninterrupted line of sight of the person operating the UAS, but the special waiver allows AFRL and the Ohio UAS Center, which is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s DriveOhio Initiative, to use SkyVision to test drones beyond the visual line of sight within a 200 square-mile parcel of unrestricted airspace near the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. We wonder if this program would prevent turbine development in the area?