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Area lawmakers support reconsideration of Greenwich wind turbines

Two lawmakers representing the area have written letters supporting a Greenwich farming business’ request for a state board to reconsider its approval of the building of wind turbines in rural Greenwich.

State Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk Township) and State Sen. Gayle Manning (R-13th district) are asking The Ohio Power Siting Board to grant a rehearing regarding the matter.

The Ohio Power Siting Board, a separate entity within the public Utilities Commission of Ohio, has approved the wind turbine project.

Omega Crop Co. LLC had met the deadline to request a rehearing. The deadline for a party to file such a request was Sept. 24, and Omega owners Gerald and Connie Oney filed the request the previous day.

The board has 30 days from the date of the Oneys’ filing to make one of three decisions: It can reconsider its approval of the project, deny Omega’s reconsideration request or the board can expand the amount of time it takes to consider its options.

“Due to a number of concerns listed in their appeal, I am hopeful that the Power Siting Board will allow for a rehearing to ensure that these issues are addressed,” Boose wrote.

Opponents, many of whom make up a group calling themselves “Greenwich Neighbors United,” have expressed setback requirement concerns, as well as those about noise, impact on wildlife and what they claim are adverse health affects.

Specifically, the group claims the wind turbines proposed by Greenwich Windpark are too close to places where people live, work and recreate.

Kevin Ledet, chairperson of Greenwich Neighbors United, sent the Reflector a picture to illustrate “what Greenwich will look like if this development moves forward,” he said.

“These pictures help show why the community and local officials are upset about the Ohio Power Siting Board’s decision to grant a certificate to Greenwich Windpark developers over the objections of hundreds of community members,” Ledet said. “That’s why we have filed an application for rehearing and urge our neighbors to file comments with the OPSB in opposition to the Windpark (Case #13-990-EL-BGN).

“In addition, we are also asking members of the community who are members of the Ohio Farm Bureau and Huron County Farm Bureau to let the OPSB know that they do not speak for them. Many people in the community are upset with the Farm Bureau for making comments in this case that are in opposition to their members. They should be helping us keep our farming community vibrant and beautiful, not trying to destroy it,” Ledet added.

The letters from Boose and Manning are published in today’s Reflector.

“If granted, a rehearing will ensure Omega and its interests as a component of Huron County’s economy will be considered fully and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code,” Manning wrote. “With that, I respectfully ask for the Ohio Power Siting Board’s favorable consideration of Omega Crop Co.’s application for rehearing.”

Greenwich Windpark, LLC proposes to construct a wind farm that would generate up to 60 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The project would be located across about 4,600 acres and consist of up to 25 turbines, each with a name-plate generating capacity of 2.4 MW.

Greenwich Windpark LLC, in its response to Omega’s request, wrote, in part, “the potential impact of the project to neighboring properties and agricultural property is required by law to be considered by the Board as part of the proceeding and were indeed adequately considered in the proceeding.”