Two wind farms now on hold

Company cites changes to the “setback” rules as reason for action.
MCT Regional News
Jul 13, 2014

A pair of possible wind farm projects are “on hold” after a pair of legislative actions changed the rules on renewable energy.

Iberdrola Renewables has put its Dog Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and its Leipsic Wind Farm in Putnam County on hold, citing changes to the “setback” rules.

The previous rules required a fall zone for turbines that kept them set back 1,125 feet from the outer wall of the “nearest, habitable residential structure,” or roughly 1,300 feet from its base. The new rules change it to 1,125 feet from the nearest property line.

“We’re disappointed because there were a lot of local benefits to build both projects,” said Dan Litchfield, of Iberdrola Renewables, which runs the existing Blue Creek Wind Farm, a 304-megawatt facility visible from U.S. 30. “They would’ve brought $5 million a year into the local communities.”

On Tuesday, the Putnam County commissioners still passed a resolution designating the county as an alternative energy zone to show its support.

“The Board is willing to provide real and tangible personal property tax exemption to support the development of alternative energy generation facilities, provided the appropriate service payments are made,” according to the resolution.

The Dog Creek Wind Farm called for 50 wind turbines. The new rules would’ve left room for only seven. The Leipsic project called for 75 turbines, but the new rules would’ve only allowed three.

“It’s not just about the money to lease the acreage,” Litchfield said. “Both projects would need about 50 percent more acreage for adjacent properties. … But some people just don’t want to lease their land, for any number of reasons.”

He noted wind energy providers don’t have eminent domain, or the right to force the use of property, like other traditional energy providers do.

The changes shouldn’t affect the Scioto Ridge project, run by Everpower, said Michael Speerschneider, the public policy officer. That 176-turbine project in Hardin and Logan counties has already received its permits, although neighbors continue to oppose it.

Still, it affects the company’s hopes of expanding in the future.

“Where the new rules do become much more problematic is if we’re looking to do anything else in Hardin County or anywhere in Ohio,” Speerschneider said. “It’s just not something we can consider anymore. There will not be expansions or new projects in Ohio anymore unless the political climate changes.”

The legislation also passed Senate Bill 310, a two-year freeze on changing the state’s energy portfolio into renewable energy. Back in 2008, the state approved a demand to get 12.5 percent of its energy from renewable resources and reduce its energy consumption by 22 percent.

“We began to invest here because of those laws,” Litchfield said. “We were looking to invest millions of dollars in Ohio. Now that the laws are gone, it’s just disappointing to us.”

———

©2014 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)

Visit The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) at www.limaohio.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

bnjjad

Congrats Ohio. Making yourself even more business unfriendly.

TheGravyWhisperer

...I agree, bnjjad, and the same notion goes for the rest of the nation
...wind, solar, coal, oil, natural gas, new nuclear endeavors, etc.
...if we don't get over our fear of cracking eggs, other nations will make the omelettes...

JACKEL

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

Contango

Re: "real and tangible personal property tax exemption,"

Another case of govt's support of big business corporate welfare.

Without tax subsidies, alt-energy is inefficient and an economic money loser.

Remember: One person's subsidy is another person's tax.

Contango

"US oil output booms—now refiners have to catch up"

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101823507

It's becoming increasing difficult for alt-energy to economically and realistically compete with the abundance of oil and nat-gas being produced world-wide.

bnjjad

Great, We have an abundance of a product that NO one truly knows who much we have left.

BP just did a study saying we had 53 years left of oil production. If that is true, what then?

TheGravyWhisperer

...then, cobblers will be back in business

Contango

Re: "53 years left of oil production,"

Believe that's an old study from 50 yrs. ago. :)

Peak oil is a myth.

FYI: China has some of the largest shale oil and nat-gas reserves in the world. They haven't even been touched as yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil...

bnjjad

Doesn't matter if they haven't been touched. Why should we not move forward with other forms of energy? Wind and Solar are FREE and renewable and abundant. Its great that China has the oil, Not sure how that will help us in the long run.

Again. We still DON'T know how much is left. No one can be sure.

BP Source: 2014 - http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp...

Contango

Re: "Not sure how that will help us in the long run."

You've witnessed the price of crude (WTI & Brent) increase over the last 20 yrs. or so, because of imports to China.

Simple supply and demand.

Oil is fungible. Any new supplies will tend to have an effect on the world-wide price.

-----------------

Re: "Wind and Solar are FREE and renewable and abundant."

But converting those sources into a sustainable, usable & economically viable product is currently expensive and inefficient.

Alt-energy currently can't survive without govt. subsidies.

The infrastructure for oil and nat-gas already exists. Build on what we've got and continue to develop alt-energy technologies in the mean time.

BP? Back in the 1960s, 'experts' were saying that there was only a 50 yr. supply remaining. I take those reports with a grain of salt.

bnjjad

"But converting those sources into a sustainable, usable & economically viable product is currently expensive and inefficient." - The same can be said about Oil & Gas as well considering the massive costs of the infrastructure to haul it around and refine it. New pipelines are expensive. New tankers are expensive. New refineries are expensive (in fact, only 1 was built between 1998-2014).

If we are importing to China, what makes you think they will want to export theirs to us? If they need it, they will take it for themselves, just like we should be doing with our own. Foreign Oil practice is not helping anybody.

I am all for Gas engines, I like my Horsepower and muscle cars, yet I also firmly believe we need to find other alternatives and get them going. I also know that the gas companies are not in the business of finding ways to put their money maker out of business so I wont count on that. Who is left? Companies that need help developing ideas.

"The infrastructure for oil and nat-gas already exists. Build on what we've got and continue to develop alt-energy technologies in the mean time." - As for this, how do you think they develop these technologies? Field Testing is a wondrous thing. In order to get test data you need installations of equipment, you need companies willing to build them. There have been so many advances in the past 10 years because we are pushing them into the main stream and all of that knowledge is going back and letting them develop it further.

Edit - That Refinery I mentioned? It was built in 2008 and is the smallest producing refinery in the US built since 1975. It produces just 3000 barrels a day. 2K less than the next smallest one. It cost over $400 million to build as well)

Contango

Re: "If we are importing to China, what makes you think they will want to export theirs to us?"

It is currently illegal to export U.S. crude.

http://www.bloomberg.com/quickta...

Point: China will use their own shale oil and will be unlikely to export it.

The price of nat-gas which is increasingly used in electricity production continues to decline. In comparison, alt-energy is expensive.

If private enterprise want to develop alt-energy, it's OK with me, just without tax subsidies.

bnjjad

Point: China will use their own shale oil and will be unlikely to export it. - Exactly like i said, how would this help us in any way?

Also, you keep saying it is expensive. Regarding this articles subject matter, Wind power is actually cheaper on levelized costs then Coal according to a recent DOE breakdown. Hydro is even better. Last time I checked those are "alternative energy".

Contango

Re: "how would this help us in any way?"

Again: Oil is fungible. (Look up the term if you need to.)

The less China uses, the greater the amt. of crude available for the U.S. and others. Prices should be driven down.

Wind and solar - "peak demand" problems. Increasingly cheap nat-gas no.

Windy

Solyndra

Dr. Information

And Obama is still sitting on the Keystone Pipeline egg which has proven to NOT ONLY be 40+% more green by putting the pipeline into the states for refinery, but also will create many jobs. Instead, Canada is going ahead with plans to the west, where their oil will be shipped to Chine for refinery where there are next to no regulations (not so GREEN).

Really are you ...

Do you not see the problem with the Keystone Pipeline? This will pipe the oil to our refineries. Great! From Canada not the United States. It is not our oil, we just refine it!

Contango

Re: "Keystone Pipeline"

The crude is coming by rail anyway to a terminal and then shipped by existing pipelines to refineries.

Keystone XL would just help reduce the additional transportation costs.

Dr. Information

@really

I never said it was our oil AND by using Obama's own EPA findings, sending this oil to China will not ONLY cost America JOBS but will also be less planet friendly as China has next to no regulations on refining. The US does.

JACKEL

•China was the world's largest power generator as of 2011. Fossil fuels, particularly coal, continue to be the leading sources of the country's electricity generation and installed capacity. They are becoming the largest storer of oil. Due to the hold on The Keystone Pipeline Canada is now exporting to China as well. The volcano in Iceland put more carbon in the air in five days, than the world in five years. There are somewhere around 200 volcanos and one active daily .

Really are you ...

If they are tight on space, and are heII bent on putting up these wind farms. Instead of the traditional fan blades, use vertical spirals. Any wind direction will rotate the shaft that will turn the generator. That is an additional 70 feet applicable to all 4 sides of the farm. They could even be screened in to make the bird lovers happy. Got an insect problem? Electrify the screen.