Ohio homeowners in Hardin and Logan counties are squaring off against EverPower Wind Holdings, a Pittsburgh-based “green” energy company, over its plan to build hundreds of massive wind turbines near their property.
EverPower has requested state regulators’ permission to proceed with construction of the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm, a 17,000-acre wind power network that would span 6 townships. Including Ohio and Pennsylvania, the company currently operates in 7 states.
An Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) investigation filed in December 2013 found that over 60 miles of access roads would be needed to service the complex. Each of the turbines would be between 479 and 492 feet tall.
While Scioto Ridge Wind Farm would not be directly funded with taxpayer money, past EverPower projects in the area received millions of dollars in state taxpayer subsidies in addition to federal and state tax breaks.
Despite EverPower’s promise of profitable renewable energy for landowners participating in the project, area residents including Taylor Creek Township resident Michael Shepard are trying to spread the word about its downsides.
“The residents of the communities have very little, to no, input on the whole project. It’s pretty much a private project that is between the landowners that are having this built on their property and the developer,” Shepard told Media Trackers.
Calling their group “Fight the Wind,” over the past few months Shepard and other local residents have been visiting their neighbors in an attempt to educate the community about problems the proposed wind farm could pose to the quiet rural community.
They have been fighting what Shepard described as an uphill battle, since most of their neighbors did not even know that such a large project was being planned for their backyards.
“The problem that we’ve had is that this has been done so quietly,” he said.
In addition to the increased ambient noise, creation of “shadow flicker” – a constant strobe-like high-frequency eclipsing of the sun caused by the turbines’ blades – and other negative environmental effects, State University of New York at Albany (SUNY-Albany) Associate Meteorological Professor Liming Zhou found that a large enough wind turbine installation can alter the local climate.
According to Professor Zhou’s 2012 study, wind farms can change local weather by pulling warmer air from the upper atmosphere towards the ground.
“You look at this project, and homes are totally surrounded by [wind turbines], all through this project,” Shepard said. “That’s scary to think that I’m going to be totally right in the middle of this, and it could change the weather at my house.”
Shepard and his neighbors hope to convince OPSB bureaucrats of the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm’s effects on their community at an OPSB public hearing scheduled to be held in the Hardin County Courthouse this week, but expressed pessimism about Fight the Wind’s chances, explaining that the people most affected by such green-energy initiatives “have zero say, for the most part, in the project.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding