State regulators have signed off on three renewable energy projects in in Ohio while turning down a wind project that was widely opposed by local governments where the project was going to be built.
The Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday approved the 80-megawatt Angelina Solar Project and the 69.9-megawatt Alamo Solar Project. Both projects are in Preble County near the Indiana state line.
The Angelina project will take up to 827 acres of a 934-acre project area while the Alamo project will occupy up to 919 acres within a 1,003-acre project.
Both solar energy projects will consist of large arrays of solar panels and associated facilities including access roads, weather stations, buried electrical collection lines and project substations.
The board approved development of the Emerson Creek wind farm in Erie and Huron counties in northern Ohio with conditions.
The wind farm will be up to 297 megawatts. The board modified the agreement to remove eight turbines over concerns about potential damage to groundwater.
The modified deal requires the developer to adhere to 44 conditions designed to mitigate impact of the project during construction and operation. Conditions include, among other things, measures to limit the effect to bird and bat populations and include ongoing post-construction wildlife monitoring.
The developer of the project, Firelands Wind, says some of the power to be generated by the wind farm will go toward running the Google data center being developed in New Albany.
The board denied an application from Republic Wind to build a 200-megawatt wind farm in Sandusky and Seneca counties in northwest Ohio.
“It is very important that we at the Power Siting Board take input from local residents and governments seriously,” Jenifer French, the board’s chairwoman, said in a statement. “The facts in this case, including substantial local government opposition, lead me to believe that, overall, this project is not in the public interest.”
The project would have been built over unique karst geologic terrain, according to the board.
Karst can often result in sinkholes, caves, and underground streams replenished by rainwater that wear away the rock and eventually returns to the surface. Most residents in the project area rely on private wells for drinking water, and the evidence suggests that disruptions to karst formations have the potential to quickly, and detrimentally, affect those wells, the board said.
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