The state approved a large-scale wind-turbine project yesterday in two counties northwest of Columbus. The project is to include 176 turbines.
EverPower Wind Holdings has proposed building the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm in southern Hardin County and northern Logan County. The Ohio Power Siting Board, which regulates wind-energy projects, approved the company’s plans at its meeting yesterday morning.
EverPower has already secured leases with landowners who have agreed to allow turbines on their properties across the 17,000-acre project area, said Jason Dagger, a development manager with EverPower, which has an office in downtown Bellefontaine in Logan County.
He said he hopes construction can get underway next year.
The turbines, each one nearly as tall as the 555-foot-high LeVeque Tower in Downtown Columbus, could together generate enough energy to power about 75,000 average-size homes.
But the Ohio Power Siting Board approval is only one hurdle the company must clear. It still must meet environmental criteria it spelled out in its application to the board.
In addition, several dozen local residents in a group called Fight the Wind have asked the Hardin County commissioners to repeal an “alternative energy zone” agreement that cuts the amount of tax the company must pay on each turbine. Dagger said the tax break is necessary to make the project economically viable.
Logan County has no such energy zone, and the Fight the Wind group doesn’t want local officials to enact one.
Michael Shepherd, whose home is in the middle of the project area, said he expected the state approval. He said his group’s focus will remain on applying pressure to disallow the tax breaks.
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