How Do We Stop Them?
Sadly Ohio has put the bulk of the power in the Ohio Power Siting Board. Worse yet, Ohio Legislature doesn't really give the Ohio Power Siting Board the power to deny applications for wind project. What it does do is lay out the rules that the wind developer must follow, as long as they follow the rules then the project gets the green light.
As citizens there are a handful of things we can do to fight the process.
1. Call and write your county commissioners.
Hardin County Commissioners Ron Wyss, Ed Elliot, and Jerry Cross designated the County as an Alternative Energy Zone back in 2010. This essential rolled out the red carpet for wind developers. Wind developers are encouraged to develop projects in Hardin County. In addition, the commissioners enacted the PILOT program. PILOT stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes. Meaning that the wind developer does not have to pay standard industrial property taxes to the county. Instead they get to make an annual payment. This payment is much, much, much less that what they would pay if the AEZ and PILOT was not in place. The AEZ also automatically gives tax breaks to each and every wind developer that wants to come to the county without further action from the commissioners.
Only one of these commissioners is still in office. It is important to contact them and demand that the AEZ be repealed and the PILOT scrapped. Wind developers rely on tax breaks to be profitable. Without the tax breaks they may not build here.
As of January, 2014 - Logan County Commissioners have not given any special tax treatment to the wind developer. It is important that they DO NOT. Contact them today and demand that they do not give nay tax breaks to any wind developers.
2. Call and write your state legislators.
The reason why wind developers are trying to build these projects all over Ohio is because of an energy mandate passed years ago. The mandate states that Ohio must generate 25% of our electricity from renewable resources by 2025. Of the 25%, half of it (12.5%) must come from within the state of Ohio. Since wind energy does not make sense in our state because there is not enough wind to be profitable and the population is too dense (turbines cannot be safely setback), the wind developers rely on tax abatements and tax credits to make their money.
The law needs changed and the only people who can change it are the legislators. Contact them today!
3. Tell your neighbor.
These projects have a bad habit of creeping in quietly before anyone figures in out. Before you know it they have already started construction and your life has been turned upside down. Educate your neighbors today!