BUCYRUS – The company planning a massive wind farm in northern Crawford and southern Seneca counties will give residents an opportunity to learn more about the project at a series of meetings in the next few weeks.
At the same time, a group opposing the project is having meetings of its own.
Apex Clean Energy is the parent company of Honey Creek Wind Farm, which company officials have said could bring millions of dollars in taxes and fees into the county over its 30-year lifespan.
Drew Christensen, public engagement manager for Apex, said previously the company plans a 360-megawatt wind project, enough to power about 102,000 homes every year. That’s expected to mean roughly 75 turbines, each between 400 and 600 feet tall, he said.
Apex Clean Energy will answer frequently asked questions
The first meeting is set for Wednesday night.
“We’re planning to go over a number of topics,” starting with an overview of the project, its size and community benefits, he said Monday. “As well as just broader questions on wind energy in general, some of the frequently asked questions that we get.”
After a 15-minute presentation, the company’s representatives will take questions.
“And this won’t be the last one that we do; it’s really the beginning of the education process,” Christensen said. “We want to make ourselves available so that when people have questions or concerns, they can reach out and get them answered from our team.”
Under terms of an Alternative Energy Zone approved by Crawford County commissioners in 2011, the developers would not pay standard property taxes on the turbines. Instead, they would make an annual Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT fee, of $9,000 per megawatt, nameplate capacity, Commissioner Doug Weisenauer said last year.
The company plans to have the project ready to enter the permitting process by the end of this year, Christensen said.
Meetings to be held at Chatfield fire department
Apex has scheduled informational meetings from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department, 3550 Chatfield Center Road; 6 to 7 p.m. May 26 at the New Washington American Legion shelter house, 211 N. Kibler St., and 6 to 7 p.m. June 2 at Lykens Township Fire Department, 2016 New Washington Road, Bloomville.
For information about the Apex meetings, visit honeycreekwindpower.com, call 419-495-5256 or email email@example.com.
The Seneca Anti-Wind Union, which describes itself as a group of neighbors in both counties “concerned about the impact that improperly sited wind turbines could have on our rural, residential and agricultural communities,” also has announced a series of informational meetings.
Upcoming dates are 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department and 6:30 p.m. May 27 at the New Washington American Legion shelter house.