WOODVILLE, Ohio – The skyline in the village of Woodville may have a big change next year as Martin Marietta and One Energy plan to build three wind turbines for a quarry operation.
Last week, Woodville Township trustees voted to approve a zoning change to allow the turbines and other wind projects in zones around the township.
“The zoning change was a recommendation from the regional planning commission,” trustee Paul Runion said. “We had no language on large turbine energy systems.”
One of the primary opponents to the project has been the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, which said it has not seen environmental impact findings for the project.
One Energy CEO Jereme Kent said that while they comply with local zoning, state agencies, federal laws and endangered species acts, they are not required to “take the proof we complied with and turn it over to local nonprofits. That’s just simply not how the rules work.”
He said they don’t have to go through “a public state-permitting process with the Ohio Power Siting Board” and that while they have to comply with laws, “it just means we do that like a private business and not like a public utility project.”
The observatory said the laws need to be changed, especially in an area where many migratory birds pass through twice a year, mostly at night.
Shieldcastle said if the project is approved at the state level, it could open the door for more wind turbines in the area and have a compounding negative effect on the migratory bird population.
“This is a very special area,” Shieldcastle said. “One of its greatest values is its natural resources that occur here in the Lake Erie marshes. And this is going to potentially begin a very serious effect on that.”
One Energy will have to resubmit permits after the recent zoning change and hopes to have the three turbines built and operating by early 2023.
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