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Turbine project awaits hearing

SANDUSKY TOWNSHIP – A massive wind energy project that will encompass 46,000 acres in rural Richland and Crawford counties is poised for a decision.

Next up is a public hearing regarding the proposed project at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 at Shelby Senior High School, 109 W. Smiley Ave., Shelby.

“After that the staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board will make their decision on whether or not the project can move forward,” said Element Power senior project manager Scott Hawken.

In Richland County the wind turbines would be located near Shelby. They would be found in portions of Sandusky Township in Crawford County.

“Our priority in all of this is to maintain and protect the public infrastructure,” said Crawford County Commissioner Doug Weisenauer.

While some residents in the area are opposed to the project, citing noise as one of their concerns, Hawken has said the turbines sound similar to a compressor on a refrigerator.

“You can hold a conversation at the base and not have any problem hearing,” Hawken said.

“The Ohio Power Siting Board mandates the allowable decibel level, and we must adhere to their standards,” Hawken said previously.”

The project will produce up to 200 megawatts of energy.

Hawken said there are about 150 property owners who have signed on to be part of the project, but there are a few who still have reservations.

“Another issue was the condition of the roads in the area. We are drafting a road agreement with the townships and both Richland and Crawford counties to beef up the roads before the project and to fix them after construction is over,” Hawken said.

“We’ve tried to develop the project to minimize any negative impacts on the residents and have exceeded the state set-back requirements by being 1,250 feet away from property owners.”

Hawken said the state set-back requirement is about 950 feet.