Apex Clean Energy Inc. of Charlottesville, Virginia, plans to file a new application for the Republic Wind project with the Ohio Power Siting Board, said Dan Blondeau, Apex public affairs manager.
Although the original OPSB application was withdrawn in March for the project in northeast Seneca County and southwest Sandusky County, he said Apex is in the pre-application phase of finalizing project design and engineering. Since the company acquired the rights to develop the project in 2014, he said representatives have been working with landowners and local government to put the project on a path to completion.
Blondeau said Apex decided to buy the rights after considering several sites in Ohio because the Republic Wind site has a verified wind resource, existing high-voltage power lines, expansive commercial farmland, an existing network of state highways, avoids sensitive military and environmental areas, has strong local landowner and community support and the county has previous experience in siting and approving wind farm development.
If a landowner was under contract with Republic Wind LLC, Blondeau said the contract continues with Apex.
“A majority of the land is under contract,” he said. However, he invited landowners interested in participating to contact Republic Wind at (419) 549-5688.
“We have talked with many people in the community and found most to be supportive,” he said. “We continue to meet with landowners and community members regarding Republic Wind.”
Blondeau said the scope of the project remains similar to the original plan from 2012.
The project would be constructed on about 15,000 acres of active farmland with about 80 wind turbines spaced a quarter-mile to half-mile apart. Each turbine would require use of a half-acre of land, which includes the turbine’s permanent footprint and an access road.
Turbines would be capable of producing 200 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 50,000 homes.
Although the general scope is known, he said many details are yet to be determined.
“For example, it’s far too early to tell which turbines we will use, how many there will be, or where these turbines will be located,” he said. “However, as we continue to develop Republic (Wind), more of these details will be determined, and we will share project updates with the community.”
The $200 million project would benefit the local economy in the short term with about 150 construction jobs and local purchasing of materials and services, Blondeau said, and 10 permanent jobs are expected.
“In the long term, the project promises to bring sustained tax revenue to the county for the local government and schools, as well as 30 years of local purchasing, employment and investment,” he said.
If approved, construction is planned tentatively for 2018.
For more information, visit www.republicwindenergy.com or call (419) 549-5688.
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