SENECA COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - A potential 200 Megawatt Wind Farm with dozens or perhaps hundreds of turbines has been proposed for Eastern Seneca County and Southern Sandusky County.
But a group of concerned citizens want more say in where the wind turbines could go.The Republic Wind project by Apex Clean Energy wants to establish a large scale wind farm in the rural areas of Sandusky and Seneca county between
Bellevue and Tiffin.
While many property owners and elected officials are thrilled at the idea of renewable energy and additional tax dollars, there are also many detractors.
The Seneca Anti-Wind Union is a group of property owners who feel the economic needs of the county are outweighing the needs of these property owners.
"Money, money talks and so, when we're talking about property rights, quality of life, that sort of thing; from a politician's standpoint, that just doesn't stack up to money," said Greg Smith, member of the Seneca Anti-wind Union.
The group also has health and safety concerns, as Nate Blaser, fire chief for Bloom Township said the 600 foot tall Turbines would act as a wall that air ambulances would have to fly around on a day where there's a low cloud base.
That's because the proposed turbines in this project range from over 450 feet to just under 600 feet, far larger than other wind turbines in northwest Ohio.
"The ceiling height, or the window that they can fly into on a cloudy day is effected by the wind turbines. The wind turbines are much larger than what we've seen in other parts of the state," said Bloom Township fire chief Nate Blaser.
The group wants to allow impacted residents to have a voice in the matter, which is why they oppose current Ohio House Bill 114, which would reduce the current turbine setback, allowing them to be built closer to private property
"Right now, the local county has their hands tied, and the residents don't have any say. And we're advocating for a vote at the local level for the people that will be effected," said union member Chris Aichholz.
The plan is to have construction begin some time in either 2019 or 2020.
The Seneca Anti-wind union is holding a public meeting at 7 p.m. at the Attica Fairgrounds. The group has a public Facebook page for more information.