PAULDING – The Paulding County commissioners were updated on the Timber Road IV wind farm project during a recent meeting.
Erin Bowser, project management developer for EDPR, said the project is still in its planning stages. Timber Road IV will be in eastern Harrison Township and work south through Paulding and Blue Creek Township. Bowser noted that the company successfully has entered into a contract to sell power, but cannot name yet who that is with.
The project will be 125 megawatts, and currently is planned to have 31 turbines. EDPR does have approved from the Federal Aviation Administration for the wind farm. Bowser said the company is limited by what it can put on the electric grid.
Bowers said the a permit hearing will be held in front of the Power Sitting Board on the project and that it’ll be important to have supportive people at that hearing. Work is expect to get started next March of April on the project. Construction will begin around May and be done in November. She noted that the company’s been getting a lot of feedback from farmers that tile repair could be better. Officials are working with farmers to come up with a specific spec to see what will work. The other thing the company is doing is flying drones over the entire area to provide tile maps.
Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein asked how much efficiency has been lost due to the current setbacks restrictions for turbines. Bowser said the company is losing 50 percent of its build area because of the inefficiencies. Commissioner Tony Zartman said the setbacks are limiting the economic benefit to the community. It was noted that the new setback law makes an exception for existing facilities and ones that already had received permits. For those projects, the Ohio Power Siting Board measured the 1,125-foot setback to the outer wall of the “nearest habitable residential structure” on neighboring property. Otherwise, property line setbacks were roughly 550 feet.
For any new commercial wind farms, HB 483 now will require a setback of 1,125 feet from the tip of a turbine’s blades to the nearest property line. In practice, that will translate to setbacks of about 1,300 feet from each turbine’s base. It was asked if this is the last set of windmills because of the setbacks the company will be doing in the area. Bowser answered, yes. Officials then asked what if EDPR decide to abandon the wind farm? They were told the Power Siting Board requires a bond put in place. The Power Siting Board holds millions of dollars in bond form. The wind farm will be producing so much money, so somebody will just buy out within the first 10 years. Bowers said it’s in every lease that the company has to have a decommissioning bond. She added that the Power Siting Board has to revisit every five years.
• heard from Deb Guilford, superintendent of the Paulding County Board of Developmental Disabilities, about the PC Workshop building sale.
• heard from Laurie Lucas, who invited the commissioners to a closed group community action plan meeting on Tuesday for Paulding County Against Drugs. She also noted that the Habitat for Humanity is having its Hog Run on Oct. 6 at the OSU Extension hall.
• heard from Prosecutor Joe Burkard about two checks collected from drug funds towards a portable, Tactic ID Drug Identification Unit to be purchase by the county. This unit is handheld and utilizes laser technology to identify many chemicals and narcotics.
• authorized the engineer to advertise the Paulding County road reclamation with cement stabilization project in Blue Creek township.
• signed a memorandum of understanding between Wayne Trace School District and the Paulding County Sheriff’s office for a school resource officer.
• authorized the engineer to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission funds for projects.
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