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Commissioners hear details on 2nd proposed wind farm

With three companies looking at Seneca County for potential wind energy projects, an agreement to accept tax reductions for renewable energy sources may be rapidly approaching.

Representatives of Nordex met with Seneca County commissioners to discuss a wind farm project which could begin construction in 2013. The goal is to create a farm of 80-85 wind turbines, each 490 feet tall, in Seneca and Sandusky counties near Bellevue.

Laura Caspari, project developer, said the 2.4-megawatt turbines are to be manufactured in Arkansas. Nordex, based in Germany, mainly produces wind turbines, however it has 25 wind farms across the United States. This project would be the first in Ohio.

Tim Vought, senior project development manager, said Nordex expects to hire more than 50 percent of its construction force from Ohio and said it could employ about 10 people after the wind farm is in operation.

Caspari said the project would not be possible without an agreement to make Seneca County an Alternative Energy Zone, which lowers taxes levied on renewable energy generation.

Commissioners Dave Sauber and Jeff Wagner said they were in favor of the energy zone. Commissioners said they most likely will charge $9,000 per megawatt, the maximum which can be assessed.

Sauber said a meeting is to be called with Sandusky County commissioners to discuss implementation of the energy zone. Sauber said he would like to have the agreement finalized next month.

In new business, the board:

Approved a resolution authorizing an amendment to the service contract for Juvenile and Court Magistrate and Clerk Services.

Approved an appropriation adjustment for $90,000 within the General Fund.