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Major wind project moving to state for approval; Public meeting at Triad first step in process

The state-specified process for erecting wind turbines is getting its first trial run with a project in Logan and Champaign counties that could be under construction within a year.

And to kick off the project, Everpower Renewables, a New York-based utility developer, is holding an informational meeting on Tuesday evening.

Mike Speerschneider, the company’s project manager, confirmed the event is the initial step in applying to the Ohio Power Siting Board. No companies to date have filed with the siting board to build a major wind farm operation.

The meeting, which will take place at Triad High School in North Lewisburg, will be an informal open house where residents may stop by at their leisure between 5 and 8:30 p.m.

There will be several information stations where Everpower representatives and experts on wind issues will address a number of different topics, including wind turbine technology, bird and bat studies, ecological studies and general wind information, according to a prepared statement. It will also include conceptual drawings of what the project may look like when completed.

Although data collection is not complete and the full details of the project are not yet finalized, Mr. Speerschneider said it would likely be capable of generating between 200 megawatts and 300 megawatts of power. The turbines would each be capable of producing between 2 megawatts and 2.5 megawatts of electricity, meaning anywhere between 80 and 150 turbines would be required to reach those levels.

The wind farm, which would stretch south from southern Logan County into northern Union Township in Champaign County, would be capable of producing enough electricity to power 100,000 homes, according to the statement.

The total cost would likely be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and the state has committed up to $3 million in grant funding.

The initial meeting is followed by a formal application to the siting board, according to a flow chart on the process on the agency’s Web site. That is followed by a staff review and recommendation before the application goes to a series of legal hearings. Once the board makes a decision, residents or the applicant appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The entire process takes between nine months and a year.

Mr. Speerschneider said that fits in with Everpower’s plans to begin construction sometime in mid-2009.

When: Tuesday
Time: 5-8:30 p.m.
Where: Triad H.S.

By Reuben Mees
Examiner Staff Writer

The Bellefontaine Examiner

7 June 2008