The Rushcreek trustees conducted a special meeting Monday night in an effort to adopt a resolution concerning the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm project. EverPower Wind Holdings hopes to build nine wind turbines in the township. The large gathering crowded into the Lion’s Den in Rushsylvania to voice their opinions and get their questions answered.
After a lengthy discussion in which pros and cons were identified, the trustees unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the project.
Trustee chairman Rick Kennedy cited several reasons including unfair tax benefits, the considerable potential government subsidies, and the inefficient operation of many of the turbines. Turbines, on average, produce only 30% of their potential wattage capabilities.
Property values of homes and land sometimes decline because of the proximity of the turbines.
Kennedy also indicated that the township’s dense population influenced the decision. The average people per mile in successful turbine areas are 7. Rushcreek’s is 44.5.
Though the township opposes the project, the Ohio Power Siting Board is expected to approve the proposal when it meets March 17th.
Construction, according to project manager Jason Dagger, could begin as soon as early 2015.
Kennedy insists that even with probable approval, the project still may have deal-breaking obstacles. If the Logan County Commissioners deny the builders’ request for a tax incentive known as PILOT, the high taxes may cause EverPower to reconsider their plans.
Dagger is concerned about the strong opposition but is more than willing to work with the residents. There are benefits to the township. Schools typically benefit financially. A property owner with a turbine earns approximately $10,000 per year.
State legislation seems to support wind turbine construction. In 2008, the state passed a law that by 2025, 25% of a community’s energy supply must be renewable. In addition, the state requires that energy efficiency must increase by 24%.
Richland Township, Belle Center Village Council, and McDonald and Taylor Creek Township have passed resolutions opposing the project.
The wind farm would include up to 176 turbines in northern Logan and southern Hardin counties.