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Big Wind has big plans

Big wind has big plans for Seneca County. There are now at least four possible wind farms that would cover almost the entire eastern half of the county. If these projects all go forward, more than 200 industrial wind turbines could cover Adams, Pleasant, Reed, Scipio, Thompson, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships.

There is growing concern among non-participating property owners that this potential change in our environment may cost us the peaceful enjoyment of our own homes, diminished property values, and even our potential health and safety. If you haven’t already started to research the wind industry’s full impact on a community, we urge you to please start.

For example, earlier this week, my wife spoke with two leaseholders who are receiving monetary compensation from Apex Clean Energy for agreeing to host turbines on their land. During those conversations, both gentlemen admitted they had never watched footage of the shadow flicker that is created by industrial wind turbines. According to Apex, turbines “will cast a shadow on surrounding areas as the rotor blades pass in front of the sun, causing a flickering effect while the rotor is in motion.” Countless videos of shadow flicker can be found with a simple internet search. Try to imagine large rapidly moving shadows continually passing over you while you grill on your deck or play in the yard with your kids. Or, imagine trying to relax and watch the evening news in a room where it feels like someone repeatedly is turning the lights on/off/on/off.

Documents filed by Apex with the Ohio Power Siting Board provide details on 40 residences in the Republic Wind Farm that would be most affected by shadow flicker. Nearly three-quarters (29 out of 40) are homes of non-participating property owners. By Apex’s own calculations, 19 of these properties would experience shadow flicker more than 200 days of the year. And these numbers are drawn only from the 40 most affected homes. Overall, Apex predicts 600 homes in the Republic Wind Farm would experience some level of shadow flicker. (See OPSB Case No. 17-2295-EL-BGN, Exhibit I filed Feb. 2 and Response Part 1 filed May 11). Similar data for the other possible wind projects in Seneca County – Seneca Wind, Honey Creek Wind and Emerson West Wind – have not yet been filed with the OPSB.

Wind companies tout the revenue they would bring to the county and leaseholders. But these are not philanthropic companies, and those funds would come at a cost. Shadow flicker is just one small part of that cost. To learn more, we urge all local residents to attend an informational meeting that will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at the Attica Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall. Ultimately, each person has the right to decide for themselves whether they feel wind farms would be beneficial for Seneca County. But please take the time to be fully informed before making that decision. Please join us in Attica Thursday.

Charles and Kimberly Groth,