It was three years ago today that the Ohio Power Siting Board opened a file for Republic Wind LLC, a commercial wind turbine project for generating electricity, at the request of Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The case is still pending after the main adjudicatory hearing – or the legal hearing – took place a year ago, and the public hearing took place in September 2019.
If approved, Republic Wind would build 47 wind turbines – at last report – to generate electricity in the Seneca County townships of Adams, Reed, Scipio and Thompson as well as Sandusky County’s York Township. The wind farm would have had a total generating capacity of up to 200 megawatts.
The latest filings in the case were last week when parties to the case filed final briefs related to aviation issues and bald eagle nesting sites that had been filed in September during a supplemental adjudicatory hearing.
In a conclusion filed by OPSB staff, the staff made adjustments to its conditions regarding aviation after receiving further information from the Federal Aviation Administration, One Energy Decision and the Ohio Department of Transportation, removing three conditions and modifying one condition.
In the end, the OPSB staff did not make any changes to its original “condition 40” in its original recommendation after a new bald eagle nest was found in the area. “Condition 40” basically says Republic Wind should coordinate with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service “to determine the adequacy of pre-construction eagle use surveys and assure that impacts to bald eagles are minimized.”
If USFWS says the company should develop and implement an Eagle Conservation Plan, the plan would be developed in coordination with USFWS’s Eagle Conservation Plan guidance document and the 2016 Revised Eagle Take Permit Regulations.
Resident intervenors had requested the project not be constructed because the area is a growing breeding territory for bald eagles and it would lead to eagle kills.
However, if the project was approved, the residents asked that the certificate establish a 2.5-mile buffer zone around eagle nests.
Also requesting denial of the project on the basis of aviation and eagle information were Seneca County Park District, Seneca County and the townships of Adams, Reed and Scipio.
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