The big surprise from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on June 24 was its denial of a certificate to build the Republic Wind Project. Although the project that will affect me, the Emerson Creek Project, was awarded a certificate, there are avenues for appeal.
Those of us in the Emerson Creek Project congratulate our neighbors in the Republic Wind Project, the first in 49 years to have a wind company denied the certificate needed to start construction. Special appreciation to OPSB Chair Jenifer French who made public her rationale for the denial. She gave great weight to the opposition that the local government made on behalf of the Republic project. Those of us in the Emerson Creek Project did not get that support from our local officials.
A few months ago the Huron County commissioners signaled their approval of this industrial wind farm by granting Apex the PILOT project that it wanted. PILOT stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes, whereby the Commissioners granted Apex an agreement that will allow it to pay less than they would pay in real property taxes that the land they leased would ordinarily raise. Altogether the county will lose about $800,000 in real property taxes as estimated by our County Auditor.
The PILOT has an interesting history. In 2018 the commissioners granted it. Then in 2019 they reversed their approval, denying the PILOT. Maybe they had a moment of empathy for the residents that will bear the burden of this project. Maybe they had a moment of independence toward Apex. Then in 2021 they again approved the PILOT.
I am a semi-retired law librarian, and since I may live near turbines, I researched the issues. There’s a lot of untruth circulating about wind energy. The amount of electricity these monstrous 655 feet tall turbines deliver is minuscule.. Those of us who may live under the turbines will not see a reduction in our electric bills. Neither does Apex protect us with property value guarantees that would replace the loss of property value the turbines bring.
Anne Southworth, Esq.
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