An Australia wind power company hopes to begin building a wind farm in Greenwich Township in Huron County by the second quarter of 2015, with the facility to begin generating power by the end of next year.
The applicant, Greenwich Windpark LLC, wants to build 25 Nordex 2.4-megawatt wind turbines in an area of land located east of Greenwich and just north of Richland County. The project would cover 4,650 acres of land leased from 26 landowners.
The wind turbines would be up to 490.5 feet tall, with rotor diameters up to 383 feet. The wind farm would generate about 210,000 megawatt hours every year, according to Greenwich Windpark LLC. Greenwich Windpark LLC is a subsidiary of Windlab Developments Ltd. USA, located in Plymouth, Mich., but the parent company is in Australia. Nordex, which is making the wind turbines, is a German company with a production plant in Germany, although it has an office in Chicago.
Monica Jensen, vice president of development for WindLab in North America, said three things still have to happen for the Greenwich Wind Farm to get under way in 2015.
The Ohio Power Siting Board, the state agency that regulates wind farms, has to issue a certificate for the project. In addition, Windlab has to obtain a contract to sell the power, and Windlab has to complete getting a connection from the wind farm to the electrical grid.
The Ohio Power Siting Board has held hearings on the application and now has to schedule a meeting to consider issuing a certificate, said Matt Butler, a spokesman for the agency. The earliest that could happen would be August, but no meeting for that month has been scheduled yet, he said.
A transcript for the agency’s public hearing on the wind farm, held May 6 at South Central High School in Greenwich, showed that the project received a positive reception.
Only two people spoke: Harold Zager, an Ashland resident who owns property in the proposed site area, and Walter Leber, a Greenwich Township trustee.
Zager said he wants the project to go forward. Leber said the project will be good for the community “if it’s done right,” but said he still had questions.
Butler said about 40 people attended the meeting.
“We have been speaking to the various landowners for over four years,” Jensen said. “I think we have a good relationship. It has been a very positive process.”
Two wind farm projects have been proposed for Erie County, but neither appears to be anywhere near completion.
In May 2010, officials at JW Great Lakes Wind met with about 50 Groton Township landowners at Groton Township Hall to discuss a possible wind farm that would cover a large area of southern Erie County.
There’s been no news recently about the possible wind farm, said Kerry Jett, road superintendent and fire chief for Groton Township. No application for a Groton Township wind farm has been filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board, Butler said.
NASA officials have been talking for years about a proposed wind farm at NASA Plum Brook Station.
“It’s still out there,” said Frank Jennings, a NASA spokesman.
The latest public hearing was held in September 2013, but the project isn’t imminent. NASA would have to be approached by a company interested in the project, he said. In the meantime, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared for release and public comment, he said.
The Ohio Power Siting Board does not have jurisdiction for wind farm projects on federal land, Butler said.
Status of wind farm projects in Ohio
Name of project County
Wind farms in operation
Blue Creek Wind Farm Paulding, Van Wert
Timber Road II Paulding
Wind farms granted a certificate to begin operations
Buckeye I Champaign
Hog Creek I Hardin
Hardin Phase 1a Hardin
Timber Road I Paulding
Timber Road III Paulding
Hog Creek II Hardin
Black Fork Crawford, Richland
Buckeye II Champaign
Northwest Ohio Wind Paulding
Scioto Ridge Hardin, Logan
Proposed wind projects
Honey Creek Crawford, Seneca
Republic Wind Farm Seneca
Greenwich Wind Farm Huron
LEEDCo: Icebreaker Lake Erie (near Cleveland)
Source: Ohio Power Siting Board. The list does not include projects which have not yet filed a site application with the board.