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Developer drops plan to build wind farm in Logan County

A developer will not move forward with plans to build a wind farm in Logan County after commissioners rejected its tax plan.

As a part of its Scioto Ridge Wind Farm, Everpower planned to build 87 turbines in Hardin County and 18 in Logan County, Everpower Project Manager Jason Dagger said. Now it will continue forward with the project in Hardin County but not Logan, he said.

Everpower requested a payment in lieu of tax structure, Dagger said. It would have brought about $1.8 million in revenue annually to Logan and Hardin counties, he said, with about a third going to Logan County. It would have also brought about a dozen jobs to the area, he said.

The Logan County Commissioner’s decision to reject the proposal stated – “The Logan County Board of County Commissioners is not convinced that over the life of the project that granting the PILOT would benefit the community.”

In the decision, commissioners said Everpower didn’t meet all the requirements of the application and failed to show why the project would have a positive impact on the local economy.

“We feel that Logan County would certainly have benefited from the annual tax revenue that would’ve been generated from this project,” Dagger said. “That would have been mostly going to the local school districts.”

Commissioner’s also cited a public meeting where about 40 residents spoke out against the project and only the developer spoke in favor.

“They made the right decision,” said Michael Shephard, a member of the group Fight the Wind, formed in opposition to the project.

The project would have hurt local taxpayers, Shephard said, and the turbines are too much of a disturbance to residents.

“I definitely think the vast majority of Logan County was very much against the wind development,” he said.

But Dagger believes strong opposition by a few may have intimidated residents who were in favor of the project. He pointed to a 2014 survey by Everpower that found 54 percent of the community favored the project.

Commissioners mentioned opposition groups in their decision to reject the tax plan: “The actions of a very few involved against the project have been rude, distasteful , offensive, hostile, and at times completely repugnant,” it said. “Some have attempted to threaten or intimidate members of immediate family of the county commissioners in an effort to frighten or bully the commissioners into a position.”

Shephard denied any members of Fight the Wind had done anything the commissioners described.

“I really don’t have any knowledge of that,” he said. “It wasn’t anything that our group participated in.”