September 20, 2018

Seneca Wind moves a step closer to gaining final approval

By Tom Henry, Blade Staff Writer | The Blade | Sept. 19, 2018 |

TIFFIN – Seneca Wind, one of two commercial-scale wind farms planned southeast of the Toledo area, has been certified by the state of Ohio as a qualified energy project.

Dan Williamson, a spokesman for the developer, sPower, said that’s not the final approval but is an important step forward for a project that’s expected to generate $56 million in revenue for Seneca County, several townships, and school districts over its 30-year lifetime.

The company expects its application before the Ohio Power Siting Board to be approved next spring. It was filed in July. Once approved, installation is expected to take eight months, Mr. Williamson said.

“It’s a positive step in the right direction,” he said of the latest development.

Gordon Gray, sPower wind director, called the state certification “a significant milestone for Seneca Wind, which will bring revenue and economic activity to Seneca County and deliver clean energy throughout the region.”

The company vows to hire at least half of its full-time equivalent employees from Ohio, and work with an Ohio university or apprenticeship program to support education and training for careers in the wind industry. It also has agreed to upgrade roads, bridges, and culverts, and provide emergency response training for fire and emergency responders.

The project will consist of 85 commercial-scale turbines built across 25,000 acres of land in Seneca County’s Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden, and Bloom townships. The wind farm is expected to generate enough energy to power 60,000 homes.

Opponents of the Seneca Wind project and the Republic Wind project, which would be built on land in Seneca and Sandusky counties, have formed the Seneca Anti-Wind Union. They have distributed yard signs and engaged in a petition drive.

Complaints are often voiced about the size of the turbines, which are expected to be up to 600 feet tall.

Chris Aichholz of Seneca Anti-Wind Union has said the projects are “ripping apart our community.”

The Ohio Power Siting Board announced on Sept. 5 it has postponed two hearings scheduled for Republic Wind’s proposal. The makeup dates have not been announced.

The hearings had been scheduled for Oct. 2 and Oct. 15 in Green Springs, Ohio, and Columbus, respectively.

The state board said the delays came at the request of Republic Wind, which expects to amend its filing. As of now, Republic Wind is proposing 58 turbines across 35,000 acres of land in Adams, Pleasant, Reed, Scipio, and Thompson townships in Seneca County, and York Township in Sandusky County.

URL to article: