June 8, 2021

Wind farm opponents win battle in Huron County

Tom Jackson | Jun 08, 2021 | advertiser-tribune.com

GREENWICH TWP. – A years-long battle over a proposed wind power project in Greenwich Township in southern Huron County apparently has ended with a victory for the project’s opponents.

Crossroads Wind Power LLC, as the project is currently known, has filed a notice at the Ohio Power Siting Board declaring that it has relinquished its Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, the state document which had apparently allowed the project to move forward.

Michael J. Settineri, the Columbus attorney who filed the document, did not respond by press time Monday to a request for comment.

The president of Greenwich Neighbors United, the local group which opposed the wind farm, said the notice shows that his group apparently had won.

“You could say Greenwich Neighbors United has won, but I think the victory is for the whole township and the county,” group president Kevin Ledet said.

Ledet said giving up the certificate means that Swift Current Energy, the project’s owner, no longer has authorization to build the wind farm and no longer has anything to sell to anyone else who might want to build it.

The Ohio Power Siting Board will need to formally approve the relinquishment at one of its monthly meetings, said Matt Butler, a spokesman for the agency.

Environmental organizations have been touting wind power as a form of renewable energy useful in the fight against global warming, but at least some projects in Ohio have run into local opposition by groups citing noise pollution, danger to birds and other concerns.

Ledet frames the issue as a matter of property rights, contending that developers were attempting to impose an industrial scale wind complex on a residential area with a high population density.

Windlab, the original developer for what was known in its early days as the Greenwich Wind Park, began its efforts around 2010, Ledet said. The company’s plans called for building 25 wind turbines that would each generate 2.4 megawatts of energy. Windlab announced in 2018 it had sold the project to Swift Current Energy, which is based in Boston.

Ledet said his group got organized in 2014, so it has been fighting the proposed wind farm for seven years.

“We were really late in getting involved here,” Ledet said. “The project was almost approved prior to us getting involved.”

Ledet, 70, has been president of the group since its beginnings. Ledet is retired from the railroad industry and now works as a farmer, raising cattle and growing hay.

Ledet said Greenwich Neighbors United has about 100 members, including a smaller core group that is very active.

Two other proposed wind farms are being considered in the local area.

The Emerson Creek Wind Farm, which would have 71 turbines, would be located in Erie and Huron counties. The Republic project, with 50 turbines, would be located in Seneca and Sandusky counties.

Ohio has wind farms in operation in Paulding and Van Wert counties, near Ohio’s western border with Indiana, and in Hardin County. Wind turbine projects have been approved in other locations.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/06/08/wind-farm-opponents-win-battle-in-huron-county/