January 7, 2011

Officials review proposed Salem wind turbine rules

By Larry Shields, The Salem News, www.salemnews.net 7 January 2011

SALEM – A working copy of proposed legislation that would write a new chapter into city law governing wind energy systems was reviewed by the Rules and Ordinance Committee on Thursday.

Committee Chairman John Berlin asked Housing, Planning and Zoning Officer Pat Morrissey, who assembled the ordinance, how many areas had the four (minimum) to five acres needed to install wind turbines in the requirements, but Morrissey was unsure.

Berlin is the sponsor of the ordinance that will establish regulations for Chapter 1189, if passed by council.

Morrissey said the turbines will be restricted to C-2 general commercial and M-2 heavy industrially zoned area.

After viewing a zoning map after the meeting, there appeared to be four areas on the outskirts of town that could support the land and zoning requirements.

Morrissey received input from Jon Vollnogle, president of the Howells and Baird engineering firm, and law Director Brooke Zellers while researching information from 13 outside sources, including other citys, Perry Township and the Ohio Revised Code, for the ordinance.

It allows for “conditionally permitted” devises and is broken down into seven sections that permits not more than two turbines per site with a “faceplate” capacity of 100 kilowatts that must be connected to a commercial power grid and certified by a professional engineer, rather than being experimental, a prototype or home-built .

More than two turbines on a property constitutes a “wind farm,” Morrissey said.

A wind energy system application, submitted to the HPZ office, will require a $750 fee for an engineering review by the city with additional costs paid for by the applicant.

Site inspections, if required, will be completed by a city-approved engineer with costs paid by the applicant.

Documentation that meets Ohio Revised Code, Ohio Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration requirements is required and physical modifications to an existing system must be approved by the zoning office.

Councilwoman Mary Ann Dzuracky asked how the kilowattage was determined and Morrissey said Vollnolge set that. She also wondered about a soil study requirement and Morrissey said the permit application addressed that in the supporting structure drawings regarding weight and stress.

The proposed blade height is set at 30 feet above the foundation and 30 feet horizontally away from the blade tip in the rotation and the system cannot generate more than

45 Dba in noise 100 feet from the foundation.

Visually, it must be corrosion resistant, with a “non-obtrusive finish and a non-reflective color” either off-white, gray or sky/pale blue.

Decorations are prohibited and warnings, like “High Voltage,” are to be clearly marked and the access gates locked.

Berlin asked how much the turbines cost and Morrissey estimated about $400,000 for a 100 kilowatt unit and Berlin wondered about the money is recouped.

Morrissey said they didn’t get into it that much, but noted there are federal and state grants available.

No action was taken, and Berlin closed the meeting saying they would meet again with more revisions and offered his phone number – 330-402-8970 – to anyone with additional input or information.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/01/07/officials-review-proposed-salem-wind-turbine-rules/