Wind Energy

Tougher setback rules for wind turbines generate controversy

Gary Baldosser, who farms 2,000 acres in Seneca County’s Adams Township, is a strong proponent of the Republic Wind project and is eager to get at least one of its 66 wind turbines erected on his property. photo: Tom Henry. Toledo Blade

GREEN SPRINGS — “Ohio’s highly contentious debate over setback requirements for massive wind turbines is being played out in rural Seneca and Sandusky counties, where a company ready to invest $92 million vows to walk away unless the Ohio General Assembly comes up with rules much softer than those Gov. John Kasich signed into law in 2014.

It’s an odd situation politically, observers agree, because one of America’s fastest-growing industries is seeking relief from what it considers onerous and unreasonable rules placed upon it by a conservative majority three years ago.

Apex Clean Energy, of Charlottesville, Va., has notified the Ohio Power Siting Board it intends to develop a 66-turbine wind farm across those two counties, but only if it gets what it needs from elected officials.

The project is called Republic Wind. It is the first of five large wind farms, each capable of generating 200 to 450 megawatts of power, that Apex wants to start building in the northern half of the state by the end of 2020, a combined investment of $2.6 billion.”

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

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