The Champaign County Commissioners voted to support state and local wind energy projects Tuesday.
The commissioners unanimously passed a resolution backing renewable energy development in the state and urging Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to set a requirement for 20 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.
“This is just a piece of the puzzle to diminish our requirement for foreign oil,” Commissioner Max Coates said.
The resolution states that 25 other states have established renewable energy standards and that harnessing wind energy could increase employment and generate up to $1.5 billion dollars in property taxes for local governments.
“We felt that because of the opposition … we should do some fact finding and learn as much about wind energy as we could from other people’s experience,” Commissioner Steve Hess said.
The commissioners toured an area with wind turbines in Bowling Green earlier this year, and Hess went with the farm bureau on a trip to learn about wind turbines in McLean County, Ill., last week.
The commissioners will be added to the more than 30 other commissions and other organizations in Ohio – including the Clark County Commissioners – to adopt the resolution.
Strickland announced in August that Everpower Renewables – a New York-based wind energy developer – would receive as much as $3 million in grant money to move forward with its Buckeye Wind Project.
The project would go through Union and Wayne townships in Champaign County and extend into Logan County.
It is proposed for completion in mid-2009.
The company began studying the area this spring to collect wind resource data, and negotiations with landowners are underway, according to the Everpower Web site.
Another wind energy developer, Chicago-based Invenergy, also is vying for land on which to build turbines.
By Natalie Morales
3 October 2007
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